Uxmal Yucatan —The Legend of the Dwarf—

During the Uxmal Empire, it is said that an elderly sorceress lived in the city of Kabah, who worked in the oracle of the city. She could not have children, but she always prayed to the God “Chic Chan” to give her one until one day, the god Chic Chan appeared and told her to go to the cenote every day and check the turtle eggs. The old woman did it and found a very large egg and took it home. A few months later the shell broke and a green looking child emerged. His mother adored him, and named him “Saiyawincoob”. Time passed but the child remained the same size, the woman noticed that his voice changed and his beard began to grow, so she discovered that he was a dwarf.

Leyenda de la bruja y el enano de Uxmal

One day the dwarf guided by his curiosity and the carelessness of the old woman decided to find out what his mother was always taking care of excessively in front of a cauldron, as he approached, discovered a Tunkul (a musical instrument of the type of slit drum of Mesoamerican origin used by the Maya) so high in range that its tone was heard echoing in the city of Uxmal. It was already predicted that when the Tunkul’s song was heard, the reign of the current king would come to an end, so immediately the ruler ordered to find the culprit of that announcement, when he arrived in front of him, he asked the dwarf if there was any way to prevent that from happening. The dwarf said no.
The king of Uxmal said to him:
“I’m going to challenge you to three tests. The first: build a white road, long, and straight.
The Dwarf returned to his house. His mother said to him:
—”Go back and ask the Governor to put the first stone on the road, and you will see what happens.” And so he did. The Governor put the heavy stone with great effort, and the Dwarf did the same when his turn came. Assisted by the magical powers given to him by the gods, the dwarf was able to complete the “sacbe” (white road) connecting the city of Uxmal with the city of Kabah.

Maya sacbé

The king was furious so he gave him a second challenge:
—”This night you must raise a house higher than any other of the place; if it is not finished at dawn, you will die. “—
The dwarf returned home and went to sleep on the ground. The next day he woke up lying on the roof of the largest pyramid in the place. Seeing the beautiful and tall structure, the king, even more furious, give the dwarf his the third challenge.
—”Go for three cocoyoles,” — the king ordered. —We will break those hard seeds on our heads until one of us triumphs. — The dwarf agreed, since the witch had placed in his childhood a hard layer on his head, as expected, this one resisted the blow; when the king’s turn came, he received the blow and died.

After this event the dwarf was crowned King of Uxmal, and his adoptive mother said to him, she could die in peace because she knew the place was in good hands. The old woman gave him wise advice and indicated to be fair and act in a correct way, without being blinded by power. This worked for a while for the new king however, as years went by, he forgot that conversation and eventually succumbed to malice, to the degree of one day announcing the creation of a new god (himself) that would be superior to the existing ones, so he  ordered to build a wooden idol, which did not stand the test of fire, and then a stone idol, which went through the same test and became lime. Finally, he ordered the construction of a clay one, which hardened with fire. Then the dwarf gave it life and the statue spoke. For some time the inhabitants of Uxmal worshiped him, for what they were called the “Kul Katob“; which means the mud worshipers.


The dwarf monarch lost the protection of the true gods, offended by the sacrilege, destroyed the city of Uxmal and annihilated all its inhabitants.


The Yucatan Times



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