Stories of the Maya: Bloody rain and The Deer King

Starting this weekend, we are proud to let our readers know about this new section, one that’s mystifying, sometimes eerie and absolutely stunning, where we will be translating and re-posting Maya legends, for both your amusement and ours.

These Maya legends are stories heard or told by the local families, passed from generation to generation and fascinating to the ears of people who listen to them for the first time.

The first is a well-known story based in Maya towns of the southern region of Quintana Roo where man and nature lived in peace until one day everything changed.

It turns out that one of the important economic activities that were carried out in the native communities of the Mayan area of ​​the Yucatan Peninsula was hunting, which was needed for both food and commerce, however, the Mayan civilization regulated its slaughter, because specifically deer was highly appreciated as the favorite food of the jaguar god, better known as Balam.

It turns out that Don Rach had gone out like any other morning to hunt and the deer that he fired upon that day had inside his belly a stone that casted the silhouette of a deer, this object was a “gift the gods had given to the chosen animal”.

This strange artifact would apparently give luck to whomever held it, this being because it drew deer towards it, however this stone was intended to choose a person that cared for deer, and now the gift was in the hands of Rach, a ferocious hunter.

The deer he killed that morning, was the deer king, that’s why h beared that strange artifact inside him, now Rach would be the bearer of such a valuable stone, he took advantage of this “gift” in the form of an amulet and every time he went out to the jungle he would  bring home a deer , his popularity as a hunter was growing and people depended on him for deer meat, legs, ribs, it turns he was an excellent seller and his product was constant, for him going hunting was as easy as picking flowers. A year passed and the number of deer killed by Rach was far too many.

In the jungle a new deer king had grown up, and he had received the blessing of the Maya deities, this new animal would be the one who would face the man who threatened his species, it was on this faithful day that Rach went to the jungle and climbed on top his favorite tree, he made himself comfortable and called out the deer that would die, by surprise the deer king of the jungle appeared, an animal as big as a horse with horns as dense as a rose bush and a penetrating aroma that filled the air.

Rach saw the most majestic animal he would ever hunt, as he shot the bullet and it ricocheted off the chest of the immense beast, he slowly walked towards Rach and began to speak in his native Mayan language, warning him, that the gods had forbidden for him to ever return to the jungle as his punishment would be the misery and misfortune of his family, until the number of deer he had single-handedly  killed reappears in the wild, the deer king asked him for the stone and swallowed it, quickly disappearing into the jungle.

A hard rain started to fall on Rach’s head, but it wasn’t rain, it was cold and thick, it was the blood of all the deer he had once slaughtered.

The rain was intense and blinding, at one time it was difficult for him to breathe, it took Rach seven hours to leave the wild, when it usually took an hour, when he managed to, the rain had calmed down, the man came home bathed in fetid blood, he never returned to jungle ever again after that.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom

 

 

The Yucatan Times – Maya Universe

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