Flayed God: The Mythology of MesoAmerica

Flayed God: The Mythology of MesoAmerica

by Roberta H. Markman, Peter T. Markman
     
 

Roberta and Peter Markman take us into a fierce and breathtakingly wondrous world of were-jaguars, obsidian butterflies, feathered serpents, snake women, and living skeletons - the world of the Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya; Tlaltecuhtli, the Earth Monster; Chichen Itza; and the mysterious fall of the great city of Teotihuacan. This stunning collection of original… See more details below

Overview

Roberta and Peter Markman take us into a fierce and breathtakingly wondrous world of were-jaguars, obsidian butterflies, feathered serpents, snake women, and living skeletons - the world of the Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya; Tlaltecuhtli, the Earth Monster; Chichen Itza; and the mysterious fall of the great city of Teotihuacan. This stunning collection of original tales, legends, and historical accounts explores the rich tapestry of Mesoamerican narrative myths that have survived the Conquest. Some of the narratives in this selection are presented here for the first time in English translations of their original texts, while other antiquated translations have been updated. "We are fortunate to be able to present what remains of one of the world's great mythological traditions," write the Markmans, "and even in these 'fragments shored against the ruins' we can still sense the magnificence of that tradition." From the ancient goddess of Zohalpico, perhaps the earliest known image of the village cultures, The Flayed God chronologically traces the development of the myths of creation, fertility, rulership, hero journeys, and migration within the urban mythic traditions of the Olmec, Toltec, Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec cultures. Richly illustrated throughout with the strange and compelling imagery of the original codices, stelae, friezes, murals, figurines, masks, and statues, The Flayed God is among the most coherent and eminently readable volumes to date on the Mesoamerican experience. The flayed god of the title is Xipe Totec, "the metaphoric embodiment of the cyclical pattern of all life, a pattern promising the rebirth of man and man's sustenance, the corn, but requiring sacrificial death for the accomplishment of that rebirth." He is depicted with his face covered by a mask made from the taut skin of a sacrificial victim, a mask through which we can see the wearer's own living eyes and mouth, and he also wears the skin of the flayed one as a garment. In the ritual

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062507495
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/28/1994
Pages:
496

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >