Maya mythology

Maya mythology is part of Mesoamerican mythology and comprises all of the Maya tales in which personified forces of nature, deities, and the heroes interacting with these play the main roles. The myths of the Pre-Hispanic era have to be reconstructed from iconography. Other parts of Maya oral tradition (such as animal tales, folk tales, and many moralising stories) are not considered here.


The oldest written Maya myths date from the 16th century and are found in historical sources from the Guatemalan Highlands. The most important of these documents is the Popol Vuh[1] which contains Quichean creation stories and some of the adventures of the Hero Twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque.

Yucatán is another important region; the Yucatec Books of Chilam Balam contain mythological passages of considerable antiquity, and mythological fragments are found scattered among the early-colonial Spanish chronicles and reports, chief among them Diego de Landa's 'Relación de las cosas de Yucatán', and in the dictionaries compiled by the early missionaries.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, anthropologists and local folklorists committed many stories to paper, usually in Spanish or English, and only rarely together with the Mayan language text. Even though most Maya tales are the results of an historical process in which Spanish narrative traditions interacted with native ones, some of the tales reach back well into pre-Spanish times. Important collections of myths have been published for the Chol,[2] Kekchi,[3] Lacandon,[4] Tzotzil,[5] Tzutujil,[6] and Yucatec Maya,[7] to mention only some of the more accessible ones. At the beginning of the 21st century, the transmission of traditional tales has entered its closing stage.

Other Languages
Boarisch: Maya Mythologie
español: Mitología maya
français: Mythologie maya
Bahasa Indonesia: Mitologi Maya
italiano: Mitologia maya
lietuvių: Majų mitologija
Nederlands: Mayamythologie
日本語: マヤ神話
português: Mitologia maia
Tiếng Việt: Thần thoại Maya
中文: 瑪雅神話