VII International Symposium on Latin American Indian Literatures


pp. 13-17 Mary H. Preuss : "Two Stories of the Contemporary Maya of Yucatan".

p. 14b guardian spirits


their function


"look after individuals who are lost and lead them in the right direction."


"two of them watch over men, and

three, over women and children."


"at night ... digging deep trenches on the sides of streets so that nobody can pass. Before daybreak ... fill in the trenches".

pp. 15-16 souls of the dead




"Mayas believe they will be reincarnated in another human body".


"The Tzotzil believe that souls ... can reappear in dreams of the living to give them advice, ... or ask for attention and affection."


"the sexual act, an invocation of a magician, or various rites waken the souls of the dead and instigate their rebirth."


[ED, pp. 426-7] there are "the three days immediately after death, during which time they carry on their life just as they did while living, incognizant that they are the


ones who have just passed away. During prayers for them on the third day, they hear their names mentioned and realize their present state. ... and the following day begin their journey".


[ED, p. 425] "many souls resist leaving the body they inhabit, because of their fear of falling into the clutches of ocol-pixan, spirits that hover near those souls who are ready to make their afterlife journey. Prayer protects these souls but ... Another safeguard is to slap the defunct’s body


twelve times {cf. [Bauddha] 12 links in "chain of dependent origination"} gently with a rope, in order to ... prepare his soul for a happy departure".


"the dog can see spirits and, if they belong to an evil person, it barks in order to chase them way".

ED = Los elejides de dios. Me`xico, 1978. transl into Spanish of :- CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTON, Publication 559 = The Maya of East Central Quintana Roo. 1945.


pp. 19-22 Gregory Fields : "The Nahuatl Poem "Xopancuicatl"". [‘Spring Song’]

p. 21a (3rd stanza of the song)

"the Heart of Heaven

the Ever Present

the Ever Near

the Self Maker"

{cf. [Peratic] "primal trichotomy into the three or worlds, ingenerable, self-generable, and generable" (P);

[Docetic] "self-generating powers" (D);

[Ah^mim Codex] the "self-generated" decad of Aiones (AC);

[Great Announcement] crucifixion as "joining of the generable and the ingenerable, the two modes of the Self-generable" (GC)}

P = (p. 207)

D = (p. 218)

AC = (p. 586)

GC = G. R. S. Mead : Echoes from the Gnosis, Vol. VII = "The Gnostic Crucifixion". 1906. (p. 43)


pp. 43-50 Franklin O. Loveland : "Traditional Tales of the Rama Indians". [eastern Nicaragua]

pp. 45-46 Rama myth about self-toppling cooking-pot

p. 46a

"a dutch pot – tiksakung – made out of clay – devil’s pot, pot to cook the ahi in. Ready the pot and begin to cook in it and the pot starts falling over. They try to make it stand up. The pot likes to fall ... . ... the only food cooked is ahi, or surf clams".

"They looked in the bushes and found a big pot, made a fire and boil[ed] the ahi and ate the ahi. But the pot was a trap set by the waksuk. ... Waksuk [used to] come out at night and ate them all".

p. 45b

"The turmali spirits ... drove away the waksuk into a hole in the mountain where they stay today. ... when the punu [L. Anona palustris] cork that plugs the hole in the mountain rots away, the waksuk will return." (WThP, p. 131) {Annona palustris ("alligator apple") is a "narcotic fruit" (AA); "has flowers with white petals which have a pink base. ... fruit can be up to 4 in (10 cm) long and more, and is yellow-green when ripe. Its flesh is edible and aromatic" (PA).}

"the waksuk are the drove jaguar, ... that travel in large herds, both on the ground and in the trees".

WThP = Franklin O. Loveland : "Watch that Pot!" In :- Sex Roles and Social Change in Native Lower Central American Societies. Champaign : U of IL Pr, 1982. pp. 124-41.

AA =

PA =

pp. 47-48 S^uar (of Ecuador) myth about pot-woman

p. 47b

"Ahimbi, the water snake, is the son of [mother] Mika, the earthenware pot {cf. mother-in-law who became an earthenware pot in myths from the Mato Grosso}, and [father] Unishi, the sloth. Ahimbi has an incestuous relationship

p. 48a

with his mother, Mika, and as a result Unishi blamed his mother, the moon, and beat her and buried her in a hole from which she escaped with the help of Goatsucker. The children of Mika and Ahimbi, hearing of this," slew their paternal grandfather Unis^i, "shrinking his head."

Mika had "issued from an egg that was ... rescued by a bird."


pp. 89-92 Fred Gillette Sturm : "The Mbya`-Guarani` and the Apapoku`va-Guarani` Myths of Creation and Destruction of the World".

p. 90


pp. 90-91



"the true father, Namandu`, ... existed in the midst of the original [originating!] winds" together with his "manifestation" the hummingbird.

"Our Father Namandu`, the First, ... existed illuminated by the reflection of his own heart" – "he-who-creates-his-own-body-out-of-the-primeval-darkness" creates four pairs of world-souls" {cf. Gnostic Ogdoad} :


" "Our Great Father," Nanderuvusu`," dispelled darkness by "light inherent" to him.









"fire" & "enthusiasm"











"rain" & "dew"



"thunder" & "storm"


Namandu` junior

"sun" & "light"


"human language"


"primordial cross"


"primeval bats"



1st woman was found within "a ceramic jar with a lid"


"blue jaguar which threatens to devour all life forms. ...Our Great Father kept the blue jaguar


Mba>e Pochy ‘the furious one’


under his control in his hiding place". {cf. [Rama] myth of confinement of "drove jaguar" (on p. 45b)}


pp. 105-135 Peter G. Roe : " "Implicit Mythology" in Shipibo, Cashinaua, and Waiwai Feather Adornments".

S^ipibo shamans & the dead




The shaman "must first take a hallucinogen, in this case nishi ... (Banisteriopsis caapi – and admixtures). As the drug affects him he rises like ... a hummingbird, a Pino ..., and ascends his ladder of power to the golden world of the Sun".


"the Sun acts like a beneficent father to the human {as likewise in the Hopi myth} ..., and grants him knowledge with which to cure. This knowledge is shina, literally "illumination." {cf. /shine/} ... The "color energies" ... of the feathers are so intense that the Sun’s attendants, the Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) which paddle his Celestial Canoe, are charred from his heat ... . ... This intensity of the Sun’s illumination is ... the Sun’s knowledge (his "light," his wisdom ...) ... . ... The shaman returns from the realm of the Culmination of Light in the highest level of the Skyworld like a falling meteor ... . ... Now the shaman can cure and can dissipate the cold, nebulous nihue:, the dark ... clouds of contagion that occlude the patient’s soul."


"the Pinon, the Hummingbird, ... is the carrier of the soul, flitting it past the clashing-cutting symplegaden of the giant scissors (ani be:steti) on its way to the Sun. ... the Hummingbird who carries the soul to the Sky World and by the swiftness of its flight prevents the death of the soul." {[Aztec] hummingbird-god Huitzil-opochtli is figured as a skeleton – would, especially in the context of his idol’s being carried in [Aztec] legendary migrations, this suggest his being a psychopomp?}

bird-myths involving Sun-man or Moon-man





S^ipibo (of Peru`)

"the small Be:scon parrot who steals who steals the coals [embers] from ... the draconic Yoas^hico, and gives it to mankind by lodging it in the red (fire = red) Coman tree".

"The Dove woman ... elongates the phallos of the human male foolish enough to copulate with her. {this is also a Mundurucu` myth} She turns his member into the long, ambulatory, seductive penis of the Moon."


Waiwai (of British Wayana)

"The Sun took the feathers from the Bird Man and used them to make his headdress." "But the [Sun Man’s] headdress [was too hot and] made all the water dry up."


Makiritare (of Venezuela)

"The ogre Odosha, born of the worms that fed on the discarded, rotting umbilicus of the Sun, is a friend of the cannibal moon ... . He assumes the guise of a black Oropendola bird (... with a yellow tail, a bird similar to the Oriole ...).

In ... contrast, Wanadi ... (damodede ... "periodic manifestion") of the Sun, is ... a crimson-crested red-headed Woodpecker".


Mary H. Preuss (editrix) : LAIL Speaks! Labyrinthos, Culver City (CA), 1990.