The myths of the Aztec and Maya derive from a shared Mesoamerican cultural tradition. This is very much a living tradition and many of the motifs and gods mentioned in early sources are still evoked in the lore of contemporary Mexico and Central America. Professor Taube discusses the different sources for Aztec and Maya myths. The Aztec empire began less than 200 years before the Spanish conquests and knowledge of their mythology derives primarily from native colonial documents and manuscripts commissioned by the Spanish. The Maya mythology is far older and evidence survives from native writing and art of the classic period, over 600 years before the Spanish conquest. Drawing upon these sources, as well as 19th- and 20th-century excavations and research, including the interpretation of the codices and decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing, the author discusses, amongst others, the "Popol Vuh" myths of the Maya, the flood myth of northern Yucatan and the Aztec creation myths.
Politics-Social-Sciences, Anthropology, General,