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Native American Gods

Aztec Gods

CHALCHIHUITLCUE

Lady Precious Green, wife of Tlaloc. Goddess of storms and water. Personification of youthful beauty, vitality and violence. In some illustrations she is shown holding the head of Tlazolteotl, the goddess of the witches, between her legs. Chalchihuitlcue is the whirlpool, the wind on the waters, all young and growing things, the beginning of life and creation.

CINTEOTL

The corn god, the giver of food, god of fertility and regeneration. Cinteotl is protected by the rain gods Tlaloc and Chalchihuitlcue.

COATLICUE

Earth monster. In the darkness and chaos before the Creation, the female Earth Monster swam in the waters of the earth devouring all that she saw. Wehn the gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca decided to impose form upon the Earth, they changed themselves into serpents and struggled with the Earth Monster until they broke her in two. Coatlicue's lower part then rose to form the heavens and her upper part descended to form the earth. Coatlicue has an endless, ravenous appetite for human hearts and will not bear fruit unless given human blood.

COYOLXUAHQUI

("she who wears copper bells on her face") sister of Huitzilpotchli.. The earth and moon-goddess of the Aztecs. She is related to the four hundred star-deities Huitznauna, who are under her control. She possesses magical powers which with she can do great harm. Coyolxauhqui decapitated her own mother Coatlicue when she became pregnant in what her children deemed unseemly circumstances. Immediately the sun-god Huitzilopochtli sprang fully armed from Coatlicue's womb and slew Coyalxauhqui and many of her kin on the hill of Coatepec (snake hill). According to one tradition, Huitzilopochtli tossed Coyalxauhqui's head into the sky where it became the moon. He hoped that his mother would find comfort at night by seeing the face of her daughter in the sky.

EUEUCOYOTL

The Old, Old Coyote. Associated with gaiety and sex. A god of spontaneity, of ostentatious ornament, of unexpected pleasure and sorrow. A trickster and troublemaker. Considered unlucky.

HUITZILOPOCHTLI

God of war, son of Coatlicue. Principal god of the Aztecs. When Coatlicue became pregnant with Huitzilopochtli, her daughter Coyolxauhqui incited her brothers, the Centzon Huitznahua (the Four Hundred Stars) to destroy Coatlicue, because her pregnancy brought disgrace on the family. Still in the womb, Huitzilopochtli swore to defend his mother and immediately on being born put on battle armor and war paint. After defeating the Four Hundred Stars, Huitzilopochtli slew his sister and cast her down the hill at Templo Mayor where her body broke to pieces on striking the bottom. Priests at Templo Mayor killed prisoners in the same way, these sacrifices being replicas of mythical events designed to keep the daily battle between day and night and the birth of the God of War ever in the minds of the people. Often considered synonomous with QUETZALCOATL.

ITZCOLIUHQUI

The Twisted Obsidian One, the God of the Curved Obsidian Blade. God of darkness and destruction. Blinded and cast down from the heavens, Itzcoliuhqui strikes out randomly at his victims.

ITZPAPALOTL

Obsidian Butterfly. Beautiful, demonic, armed with the claws of a jaguar. The female counterpart of Itzcoliuhqui.

MICTLAN

Below the world of living men there are nine underworlds, the lowest of which is Mictlan, the Land of the Dead ruled by Mictlantechupi and his consort Mictlancihuntl. Souls who win no merit in life come here after death, but they do not suffer as in the Christian hell. Instead they merely endure a rather drab and colorless existence before passing again into the world of the living. As a man disappears into the West, the direction of the dead, the seeds of his rebirth are sown.

OMETEOTL

"God of the Near and Close," "He Who Is at the Center," the god above all, the being both male and female who created all life and existence. Ometeotl is dualistic, embodying both male and female, light and dark, positive and negative, yes and no. Ometoetol occupies Omeyocan, the highest of the Aztecs' thirteen heavens, and the four heavens immediately below Omeyocan are a mystery about which no one knows very much. Below the five highest heavens is a region of strife and tempest, where Ometeotl breaks into his many facets or aspects.

QUETZALCOATL

The Feathered Serpent. The Precious Twin who lifts the sun out of darkness, god of the winds and the breath of life, First Lord of the Toltecs. Lawgiver, civilizer, creator of the calender. Demons tempted Quetzalcoatl constantly to commit murder and human sacrifice, but his love was too great for him to succumb. To atone for great sins, Quetzcoatl threw himself on into a funeral pyre, where his ashes rose to the heavens as a flock of birds carrying his heart to the star Venus. A frieze in the palace at Teotihuacan shows his first entry into the world in the shape of a chrysalis, from which he struggles to emerge as a butterfly, the symbol of perfection. Quetzalcoatl is by far the most compassionate of the Azec gods -- he only demands one human sacrifice a year. Often considered synonomous with HUITZILOPOTCHLI.

TEZCATLIPOCA

The Prince of This World, the Mirror that Smokes, the One Always at the Shoulder, the Shadow. A trickster, revered particularly by soldiers and magicians. The name refers to the black obsidian mirrors used by magicians which become cloudy when scrying. A god of wealth and power, Tezcatlopoca's favors can only be won by those willing to face his terrors. Ruler over the early years of a man's life.

TLALOC

Lord of all sources of water, clouds, rain, lightening, mountain springs, and weather.

TLALOCAN

Kingdom of Tlaloc, a heaven of sensual delights, of rainbows, butterflies and flowers, of simple-minded and shallow pleasures. Souls spend only four years here before returning to the land of the living. Unless it strives for higher and nobler things while living, a soul is destined for this endless round of mortal life and Tlalocan. When a life had been particularly evil, a soul might journey instead to Mictlan.

TLILLAN-TLAPALLAN

The land of the fleshless. The Land of the Black and Red, the colors signifying wisdom. A paradise for those who successfully follow the teachings of Quetzalcoatl. Those souls who come to Tlillan-Tlapallan have learned to live without fleshly bodies, a state greatly to be desired.

TLAZOLTEOTL

Eater of filth, devourer of sins, goddess of witches and witchcraft. Tlazolteotl has power over all forms of unclean behavior, usually sexual. Confessing sins to Tlazolteotl, one is cleansed. The goddess has four forms or aspects, corresponding to the phases of the moon: a young and carefree temptress, the lover of Quetzalcoatl; the Goddess of gambling and uncertainty; the Great Priestess who consumes and destroys the sins of mankind; and frightful old crone, persecutor and destroyer of youth.

TONATIUH

God of the Sun. Poor and ill, Tonatiuh cast himself into the flames, and being burnt up, was resurrected. Daily Tonatiuh repeats his passage across the heavens, down into darkness, and back again into the sky. With him Tonatiuh carries all brave warriors who have died in battle and all brave women who have died in childbirth. The greatest heroes Tonatiuh carries with him to the greatest heights. In Tonatiuhican, the House of the Sun, dwell those who have won even greater enlightenment than those who dwell in Tlillan-Tlapallan.

XIPE TOTEC

Lord of the Spring, god of newly planted seed and of pentitential torture. A pockmarked saviour who tears out his eyes and flays himself in penance to the gods, thus persuading the gods to give maize to men. Giving up his pockmarked skin, Xipe Totec is then clad in robes of gold.

XIUHTECUHTLI

Lord of fire, Lord of the Pole Star, pivot of the universe, one of the forms of the Supreme Deity. The lord of every flame, from those which burn in the temples to those which burn in the lowliest huts.

XOLOTL

The god with backward feet who brought Man as well as Fire from the underworlds. Bringer of misfortune. The evil aspect of the star Venus. Quetzalcoatl's deformed twin.

Inuit Gods

AGLOOLIK

Good spirit that lived under the ice and helped with hunting and fishing.

AIPALOVIK

Evil god of the sea that ould hurt boating by biting them.

AKNA

Mother goddess of childbirth.

ANGUTA

Gatherer of the dead. Anguta carries the dead down to the underworld, where they must sleep with him for a year.

ANINGAN

The moon, brother to the sun whom Moon chases across the sky. Aningan has a great igloo in the sky where he rests. Irdlirvirissong, his demon cousin, lives there as well. The moon is a great hunter, and his sledge is always piled high with seal skins and meat.

AUKANECK

God that lived in the sea, whose movements created the waves.

AUMANIL

God that lived on land and controlled the movements of the whales.

EK CHUA

God of merchants and cacao growers. Black faced with a huge nose.

IRDLIRVIRISISSONG

The demon cousin of the moon. Sometimes Irdlirvirissong comes out into the sky to dance and clown and make the people laugh. But if anyone is nearby, the people must restrain themselves or the demon clown will dry them up and eat their intestines.

KEELUT

Evil Earth spirit with the appearance of a dog.

SEDNA

Goddess of the sea and the creatures of the sea. A one-eyed giant. A frightfull old hag, but she was young and beautiful when her father threw her in the sea as a sacrifice. A sorcerer wishing to visit Sedna must pass through the realms of death and then cross an abyss where a wheel of ice spins eternally and a cauldron of seal meat stews endlessly. To return he must cross another abyss on a bridge as narrow as a knife edge.

SUN

A beautiful young maiden carrying a torch who is chased through the sky by her brother Aningan, the moon. The planet Jupiter is the mother of the sun and very dangerous to magicians. If they are careless, she will devour their livers.

TEKKEITSERTOK**

God of the Earth that was the most powerful and owned all of the deer.

TEKKEITSERKTOCK**

The earth god, master of hunting to whom all deer belong.

TOOTEGA

Old woman deity that was able to walk on water.

TORNGASAK

The good spirit, representing everything in nature good and helpful to man.

North Gods

AWONAWILONA (Pueblo Indians)

"The One Who Contains Everything." The Supreme God, the Creator of All. Before the creation there was only Awonawilona; all else was darkness and emptiness. Both male and female, Awonawilona created everything from himself and taking form became the maker of light, the Sun.

BREATHMAKER (Seminole)

Breathmaker taught men to fish and dig wells, and made the Milky Way. When the virtuous die, they follow the Milky Way to a glorious city in the western sky.

COYOTE (Southwestern Indians, but known in other areas as well)

A trickster, a clown. The creator and teacher of men. Like Loki, Coyote is always lurking about, causing trouble and playing pranks. To the Zunis, Coyote is a hero who set forth the laws by which men may live in peace. The Pomo Indians maintain that Coyote created the human race and stole the sun to keep them warm. The Montana Sioux say that Coyote created the horse.

The Chinook tell how Coyote and Eagle went to the land of the dead to bring back their dead wives. On reaching the land of the dead, they found a meeting lodge lit only by the moon which lay on the floor. Every night an old woman would swallow the moon and the dead would appear in the meeting lodge. Recognizing their wives among the spirits of the dead, the two gods devised a plan. The next day, after the old woman had vomited up the moon and the dead had disappeared, Coyote built a huge wooden box and placed in it leaves of every kind of plant. Coyote and Eagle then killed the old woman, and Coyote donned her clothes. When the time came, Coyote swallowed the moon. The dead appeared, but Eagle had place the box outside the exit. When Coyote vomited up the moon, the dead filed out and were trapped in the box. Coyote pleaded to be allowed to carry the box, and Eagle gave it to him. But Coyote couldn't waitto see his wife and opened the box. The spirits of the dead rose up like a cloud and disappeared to the west. So it is that people must die forever, not like the plants which die in winter and are green again in a season.

GAHE Also GA'AN (Apache)

Supernatural beings who dwell inside mountains. The can sometimes be heard dancing and beating drums. Because they can heal and drive away disease, they are worshipped. In the ritual dances of the Chiricahua Apache masked dancers painted a different color for each point of the compass represent all the Gahe except the Grey One. The Grey One, though he appears as a clown, is really the mightiest of all the Gahe.

KACHINAS (Hopi)

Nature spirits which inhabit and control everything -- animal spirits, spirits of departed ancestors, spirits of natural resources such as wind, rain and thunder. Their exact number is not known, but at least five hundred appear in the mythologies of the different villages.

NESARU (Arikara)

Sky spirit. In the beginning, Nesaru had charge over all creation. Displeased with a race of giants in the underworld who would not respect his authority, Nesaru sent a new race to the underworld to replace them and sent a flood which destroyed the giants without destroying the new men. When the new men cried out to be released from the underworld, Nesaru sent the Corn Mother for their deliverance.

OLELBIS (Wintun, Pacific Coast)

The Creator who lived in Olelpanti (Heaven) with two old women. When the first people destroyed the world with fire, Olelbis sent wind and rain to quench the flames, and repaired the earth. Olelbis intended men to live forever. When they grew old, they were to climb to heaven and join Olelbis in paradise. Olelbis set two vultures to the task of building a ladder to Olelpanti for men to ascend, but Coyote persuaded them to stop work.

RABBIT (Southeastern tribes)

Like Coyote and Michabo, a trickster god. Through a sly trick, Rabbit brought fire to man.

RAVEN (Northwestern tribes)

Another trickster god. Very greedy, forever seeking food. Raven stole the moon from a miser and placed it in the sky.

In the beginning Tirawa-Atius called the gods together to announce his plan to create the human race and promised the gods a share of power for their help. Shakura the Sun was assigned to provide light and heat, Pah the Moon was assigned the night, and Tirwara-Atius placed the Evening Star, the Mother of All Things in the west. The Morning Star he set to guard the east. After the gods had raised dry land from the watery chaos, Tirawa Atius told Sun and Moon to make love, and they gave birth to a son. He then told Evening and Morning Star to make love, and they gave birth to a daughter. So the human race was made.

All would have been well if Coyote had not stolen a sack of storms from Lightening. Opening the sack, Coyote loosed the storms and so brought death into the world.

THOUME' (Chitimacha)

Thoume' taught the people to make clothing and fire, and how to make love. After making the moon and the sun, Thoume' sent the trickster god Kutnahin to teach medicine and food preparation to men. Kutnahin traveled through the world disguised as a derelict covered with buzzard dung.

WACHABE (Sioux/Osage)

Black Bear. A guardian. Symbol of long life, strength and courage.

North Gods: Algonquin

GLUSKAP

The Creator, or more exactly, the creator force. Generally benevolent, but often whimsical. Gluskap created the plains, the food plants, the animals and the human race from the body of the Mother Earth. His rival was his wolf brother Malsum, who made rocks, thickets and poisonous animals. After a long struggle Gluskap killed Malsum and drove his evil magic under the earth. Gluskap drove away monsters, fought stone giants, taught hunting and farming to men, and gave names to the stars. His work done, Gluskap paddled towards the sunrise in a birch bark canoe. Some day he may return.

KITCKI MANITOU

The Great Spirit, the Supreme Being. The Uncreated, the Father of Life, God of the Winds. The Great Spirit is present in some way in nearly every North American Indian mythology.

MICHABO

The Great Hare. A trickster. A shape-shifter. Creator of men, the earth, deer, water and fish. Michabo drives away cannibal spirits. In the House of Dawn, Michabo is host to the souls of good men, feeding them succulent fruits and fish.

NOKOMIS

"Grandmother." The Sacred Earth Mother. Nokomis nurtures all living things.

North Gods: Cherokee

ASGAYA GIGAGEI

The Red Man or Woman evoked in spells to cure the ill. Asgaya Gigagei is either male or female, depending on the sex of the patient.

KANATI

"The Lucky Hunter." Sometimes called First Man. He lives with his wife Selu ("Corn") in the east where the sun rises, and their sons, the Twin Thunder Boys, live in the west.

OCASTA

"Stonecoat." The name comes from his coat which was made of pieces of flint. Equally good and evil, Ocasta was one of the Creator's helpers. Ocasta created witches and drifted from village to village stirring up turmoil. Some women trapped Ocasta, pinning him to the ground with a stick through his heart. The men cremated the dying Ocasta, who while burning on his funeral pyre taught them songs and dances for hunting, fighting wars and healing. Some of the men were granted great power and became the first medicine men.

SELU

"Corn." Sometimes known as First Woman. Kanati's wife. Selu created corn in secret by rubbing her belly or by defecating. Her sons, the Twin Thunder Boys, killed her when they spied upon her and decided she was a witch.

SUN

A goddess. When Sun's daughter was bitten by a snake and taken to the Ghost Country, Sun hid herself in grief. The world was ever dark, and Sun's tears became a flood. At last the Cherokee sent their young men and women to heal Sun's grief, which they did with singing and dancing.

TWIN THUNDER BOYS

The sons of Kanati and Selu. Kanati and Selu live in the east, the Twin Thunder Boys live in the west. When thunder sounds, the boys are playing ball.

North Gods: Iroquois

BIG HEADS

Demon gods. Giand heads without bodies which fly about in storms. They find men very tasty.

DEOHAKO

Spirits of maize, beans and gourds who live together in a single hill. Searching for dew, the maize spirit Onatha was captured by the evil spirit Hahgwehdaetgah who took her off to the underworld. Sun rescued her, and ever since she has remained in the cornfields until the corn is ripe.

HINO

Thunder god, god of the sky. The Rainbow is his consort. With his fire arrows, Hino destroys evil beings.

North Gods: Navajo

ESTANATLEHI

First Woman's adopted daughter. To punish mankind for pride, First Man and First Woman sent a plague of monsters to kill and devour them. The time came when First Woman repented of the evils she and First Man had visited upon men, and she sought a means for their deliverance. First Woman discovered the infant Estanatlehi lying on the ground near First Woman's mountain, and took her in. The infant Estanatlehi grew to adulthood in four days. Making love with the Sun, she gave birth to the Twin Brothers who after many adventures slew the monsters.

FIRST MAN AND FIRST WOMAN

In the beginning, First Man and First Woman ascended from the underworld together with Coyote, leading the people through trials and tribulations into the surface world which became their home. Deciding that the sky was too empty with only Sun and Moon, First Man, First Woman and Coyote gathered up glittering stones and placed them in the sky to serve as stars.

NAGENATZANI

Elder Twin Brother.

THOBADESTCHIN

Youngest Twin Brother.

North Gods: Pawnee

ATIRA

The Earth, Sacred Mother of every living creature.

The Pawnee were hunters. When told to abandon hunting and settle down to farming, their priest replied: "You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother's bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother's hair? It is a bad law and my people cannot obey it."

EVENING STAR

An evil star who drives the sun down out of the sky and send his daughter to hinder Morning Star from the sun back up again.

MORNING STAR

A protector who leads the sun upward into the sky. A soldier god.

NORTH STAR

A creator god. Beneficiant and venerated.

SHAKURA

Sun god. The Pawnee performed their famous Sun Dance for Shakura's sake. Young warriors attached themselves to tall poles with strips of hide which were tied to sharp stakes. The stakes were driven through the skin and flesh on the chest. The young brave would then support his entire weight with the hide ropes as he slowly circled the pole following the sun's movement in the sky. This lasted until the sun went down or the stakes ripped out of the brave's flesh.

SOUTH STAR

God of the underworld, the opposite of North Star. Magical and feared.

TIRAWA-ATIUS

The Power Above, creator of the heavens and the earth.

In the beginning Tirawa-Atius called the gods together to announce his plan to create the human race and promised the gods a share of power for their help. Shakura the Sun was assigned to provide light and heat, Pah the Moon was assigned the night, and Tirwara-Atius placed the Evening Star, the Mother of All Things in the west. The Morning Star he set to guard the east. After the gods had raised dry land from the watery chaos, Tirawa Atius told Sun and Moon to make love, and they gave birth to a son. He then told Evening and Morning Star to make love, and they gave birth to a daughter. So the human race was made.

All would have been well if Coyote had not stolen a sack of storms from Lightening. Opening the sack, Coyote loosed the storms and so brought death into the world.

South Gods

AUCHIMALGEN (Araucanian, Chile)

Moond goddess, wife of the sun. Only Auchimalgen cares anything for the human race, all the rest of the gods being utterly malevolent. Auchimalgen wards off evil spirits and turns red when some important person is about to die.

CUPARA (Jivaro)

Cupara and his wife are the parents of the sun, for whom they created the moon from mud to be his mate. The children of the sun and moon are the animals, and among the animals is the sloth, who was the ancestor of the Jivaro.

EK CHUA

God of merchants and cacao growers. Black faced with a huge nose.

EVAKI (Bakairi)

Goddess of night. Evaki places the sun in a pot every night and moves the sun back to its starting point in the east every day. Evaki stole sleep from the eyes of the lizards and shared it with all the other living creatures.

KAMI and KERI (South American generally)

Kami and Keri were born into the sky world as the sons of the jaguar Oka and a woman created by magic. Their mother was killed by Mero, the jaguar's mother, and in revenge, Kami and Keri burned her and themselves up in a great fire. Bringing themselves back to life, they came to earth as human beings where the separated the heavens from the earth, stolfe fire from the eyes of Fox, and made the rivers with water stolen from the Great Snake. After teaching humans how to live together, their work was done, and they climbed to a mountain peak where they disappeared.

NGURVILU (Araucanian, Chile)

God of lakes and seas. Ngurvilu prowls about the waters in the form of a wild cat. It's tail ends in a huge claw, with which Ngurvilu might attack any human out of sheer maliciousness.

PILLAN (Araucanian, Chile)

God of fire, thunder, and war, chief of all the gods. Aided by brigades of evil spirits, pillan causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, blights crops, creates storms and sends war.

TONAPA Also TONAPA VIRACOCHA NIPACACHAN

The great god Viracocha in human form, traveling in disguise as an old man with a staff, preaching virtue to the people, working miracles, sleeping in the fields with nothing but his tunic for cover. Failing more often than succeeding, widely despised, Tonapa departed across the sea.

TUPAN (Tupinamba, Brazil)

God of thunder and lightening. A bulky young man with wavy hair. Tupan likes to visit his mother often, and when he does the passage of his boat causes storms. The Tupinamba respect but do not worship Tupan.

CHABE (Sioux/Osage)

Black Bear. A guardian. Symbol of long life, strength and courage.

South Gods: Inca

IMAHMANA VIRACOCHA and TOCAPO VIRACHOCHA

Son of the creator Viracocha. After the Great Flood and the Creation, Viracocha sent his son Imaymana Viracocha together with his brother Tocapo Viracocha to visit the tribes and see if they still followed the commandments they had been given. As they went, Imaymana and Tocapo gave names to all the trees, flowers, fruits and herbs, and taught the people which of these could be eaten, which could cure, and which could kill.

INTI

Sun god. Inti's image is a golden disk with a human face surrounded by bright rays. Every day Inti soars across the sky to the western horizon, plunges into the sea, and swims under the earth back to the east. Inti's sons are Wirakocha, Pachacomac, and Manco Capac.

KONIRA WIRAKOCHA

The great god Wirkocha diguised as a traveler in rags. A trickster, a prankster. No one knew who he was, and the people he passed called him names. Yet as he walked, he created. With a word he made the fields and terraced hillsides. Dropping a reed blossom, he made water flow.

MAMA QUILLA

Goddess of the moon. Protector of married women. Her image is a silver disc with a human face.

MANCO CAPAC

The son of Inti, also a solar god. The youngest of four brothers, Manco Capac defied the eldest brother who greedily demanded all of creation for himself. Sealing the eldest brother forever in a cave, Manco Capac murdered another and frightened the third into fleeing, never to be seen again. Thus gaining power over all the world, Manco Capac founded the city of Cuzco and was worshipped as the Son of the Sun.

PACHAMAC

God of the earth, creator god. Prior to the Incan conquest, the Peruvians worshipped Pachamac as the supreme being. For political purposes, the Incas were forced to adopt Pachamac into their own pantheon, but his position was never very secure. The great Inca Atahualpa treated Pachamac's priests with cold indifference, explaining to the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro that the god's oracle had made three ruinously inaccurate prophecies. The Great Sun King even incited the Spaniards to defile and loot the god's temple. They accepted the invitation enthusiastically.

SUPAI

God of death. A god of insatiable greed. The Incas sacrificed over a hundred children a year to Supai and still he would not leave them alone.

VIRACOCHA

Literally, Sea-Foam. The Creator. The teacher of the world. After the Great Flood, which covered even the highest mountains and destroyed all life, Virococha molded new people out of clay at Tia Huanaco. On each figure of clay he painted the many features, clothes and hairstyles of the many nations, and gave to them their languages, their songs and the seeds they were to plant. Bringing them to life, Viracocha ordered them to travel underground and emerge at different places on the earth. Then Viracocha made the sun and the moon and the stars, and assigned them to their places in the sky. Raising up smaller Viracocha, the God ordered them to go about the world and call forth the people, and see to it that they mulitplied and followed the commandments they had been given. Some of the little viracocha went south, some went southeast, while the God's two sons traveled northeast and northwest. Viracocha himself traveled straight north. Some tribes had rebelled, and these Viracocha punished by turning the people into stone. At Pucara, forty leagues north of Cuzco, Viracocha called down fire from the sky upon those who had disobeyed his commandments. Arriving at last at Cuzco and the seacoast, Viracocha gathered together his two sons and all the little viracocah, and they walked across the water until they disappeared.

Gods: Maya

BACABS

The gods of the four points of the compass, who hold up the sky. The lords of the seasons.

CAMAZOTZ

Bat god, demon of the underworld.

CHAC

"Lightening," "the Cutter," "Lord of the nine generations." Rain god. One of the four Bacabs, the Lord of the East. Portrayed as a red man with a long nose. Revered particularly by farmers.

HUNAB KU Also KINEBAHAN

"Eyes and mouth of the sun." The Great God without Form, existing only in spirit. The chief god of the Mayan pantheon.

HURAKAN

God of thunderstorms and the whirlwind. His name gave us the word "hurricane." At the behest of his friend Gucumatz, son of the Sun and the Moon, Hurakan created the world, the animals, men and fire.

ITZAMNA

"Lizard House." Sky god and healer, son of Hunab Ku. Founder of the Mayan capital city of Mayapan. God of drawing and letters, patron of learning and the sciences. Itzamna can bring the dead back to life. His symbol is a red hand to which the ill pray for healing.

IX CHEL

"Lady Rainbow." Consort of Itzamna. Goddess of the moon, of weaving and of medicine. Her hands and feet are claws, and there are snakes in her hair. Except for Hunab Ku, all the other gods are the progeny of Ix Chel an Itzamna.

IXTAB

Goddess who rules the paradise of the blessed, who are served magnificent food and drink in the shade of the tree Yaxche. For reasons cmopletely obscure, Ixtab is portrayed as a hanged woman with a noose around her neck.

KUKULCAN

"The Feathered Serpent." Serpent god. The city of Quirigua was dedicated to his service. Roughly similar to Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs. He is said to have built the great city fo Chicen Itza.

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