Merida. Man of Corn / Człowiek z kukurydzy

A sea, waving in silence under a night sky existed from the world’s beginning. This world however was dark and empty. It was not to the gods liking, while they wished for their names to be forever remembered. This is why they created the earth, followed by mountain ranges and riverbeds.

When the creation was ready, they brought over animals. Birds appeared on the skies, mountains and forests filled with wild creatures. But pumas, jaguars or dears could not even speak with each other, let alone praise gods, their creators. They bleated, howled, screeched and barked, but saying even one of the gods names was well beyond their capacity. The result of gods work up to now  was far from perfection.

Then they started to experiment. First they worked with earth and mud to create a first human body. As one might easily suspect, this attempt was bound to fail from the very beginning. The body fell apart into tiny pieces as soon as they tried to help it stand up. To make matters worse, a few rain drops were enough for the body to melt entirely. This is when the gods asked the most skilled sculptor among them for help. Wood was used as a raw material. And this is how, finally the first men came to be.

They came into being, they multiplied, they had daughters, they had sons, these manikins, woodcarvings. But there was nothing in their hearts and nothing in their minds, no memory of their mason and builder. They just went and walked wherever they wanted. Now they did not remember the Heart of Sky.

Still there was no one to worship the gods and praise the world they had created which did not satisfy the lords of the sky. They decided to doom the humanity by sending a great flood upon them. Then Tearing Jaguar came and teared their bodies to pieces. Then Crushing Jaguar came and ate their flesh.

It is said that monkeys are the only descendants of those miserable first people. They were left here by the gods as a symbol.

And this is why monkeys look like humans. They are what is left of what came before, an experiment in human design.

Eventually only the fourth and last effort resulted in a success. A material, which helped to form an ideal human body was water mixed with… corn.

 

Spoczywające w ciszy pod niebem morze istniało na świecie od zawsze. Ten był jednak mroczny i pusty i nie odpowiadał on bogom, którzy pragnęli by ich imiona zostały zapamiętane po wsze czasy. Dlatego też stworzyli ziemię, na której wypiętrzyli pasma górskie i wykopali koryta rzek.

Gdy dzieło było gotowe sprowadzili na ziemię zwierzęta. Na niebie pojawiły się ptaki. Góry i lasy wypełniły się dzikimi stworzeniami. Ale pumy, jaguary czy jelenie nie potrafiły nawet ze sobą rozmawiać, a co dopiero wychwalać bogów, swoich stwórców. Beczały, wyły, skrzeczały i szczekały, ale wypowiedzenie choć jednego z boskim imion przekraczało ich możliwości. Dotychczasowy efekt pracy bogów daleki był od doskonałości.

Poczęli więc eksperymentować dalej. Wpierw użyli ziemi i błota by stworzyć pierwsze ludzkie ciało. Jak można się domyślić próba była z góry skazana na niepowodzenie. Ciało rozpadło się na drobne kawałki gdy tylko spróbowano postawić je na nogi. Na domiar złego wystarczyło parę kropel deszczu, by rozpuściło się całkowicie. Wtedy bogowie poprosili o pomoc najwybitniejszego rzeźbiarza z nich wszystkich. Jako materiał wykorzystano drewno. Tak oto powstali pierwsi ludzie.

Zostali  powołani  do  życia,  rozmnażali  się;  miały  córki,miały  synów  te  kukły,  drewniane  stworzenia.  Ale  w  ich  sercach  nie  istniało  nic  i  pustka  była  w  ich  umysłach,  nie  było tam  pamięci  dla  budowniczego  i  rzeźbiarza.  Po  prostu  chodzili i  spacerowali,  gdzie  chcieli.  Teraz  już  nie  pamiętali  o  Sercu Nieba.

Wciąż nie miał kto oddawać czci bogom i wychwalać stworzonego przez nich świata, a to nie mogło zadowolić panów niebios. Zesłali więc na ziemię ogromną powódź. Nadszedł też Szarpiący Jaguar, który rozdarł ich ciała. Po nim nadszedł Miażdżący Jaguar, który pożarł ich mięso.

Powiada się, że potomkami nieszczęśników, pierwszych ludzi są małpy, które pozostawiono na ziemi jako symbol.

Właśnie dlatego wyglądają jak ludzie: są śladem ludzkiego tworu, ludzkiego zamysłu – zwykłe kukły, zwykłe drewniane stworzenia.

Dopiero czwarta i ostatnia próba zakończyła się sukcesem. Mieszanką, która pozwoliła uformować człowieka idealnego była zmieszana z wodą… kukurydza.

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The story of human creation comes from Popol Vuh, a source of myths and historical facts about the Maya. It is based on a manuscript of a Dominican friar Francisco Ximenez. / Opowieść o stworzeniu człowieka pochodzi z Popol Vuh, źródła mitów i faktów o Majach. Dzieło spisane zostało na podstawie notatek dominikańskiego zakonnika Franscisco Ximeneza.

Pieces of art I am showing here were created by Fernando Castro Pacheco (26 January 1918 – 8 August 2013) Mexican painter, sculptor, illustrator and teacher. He has become most known though from  his murals, which vividly depict soul and history of the Mexican people.

They can be admired in El Palacio de Gobierno, inside a historical center of Merida, where I will come back in my next post.

Dzieła które pokazuję są dziełem Fernando Castro Pacheco (26 stycznia 1918 – 8 sierpnia 2013) meksykańskiego malarza, rzeźbiarza, ilustratora oraz nauczyciela, który najbardziej znany jest jednak ze swoich murali, które w pełni oddają ducha oraz historię mieszkańców Meksyku.

Można je zobaczyć w El Palacio de Gobierno, w historycznym centrum Meridy, do której wrócimy w następnym poście.

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*murals presented in  this post are my photos

**The quotes come from “Popol Vuh – The Definitive Edition of the Mayan Book” by Dennis Tedlock

*przedstawione murale to zdjęcia mojego autorstwa.

**Cytaty pochodzą z “Popol Vuh – Księga Majów o początkach życia oraz chwale bogów i władców” autorstwa Dennisa Tedlocka przetłuczonej na język polski przez Izabelę Szybilską.

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46 thoughts on “Merida. Man of Corn / Człowiek z kukurydzy

  1. This is a good a story of creation. It’s as valid as any other that I’ve ever heard.
    I’m going to search the artist when I leave here. The first image you show looks fantastic!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The story of the Flood is considered by many as a fairy tale in the Bible. Yet, as your story again indicates, it is a universal story that can be found in almost any ancient culture around the globe. Thank you for another inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed Peter, it is quite amazing how the stories share similar details whatever religion we would look at. I also know there are other planets where there is only an endless ocean of water. Who says Earth wasn’t like that in the past?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Genesis story gives a parallel yet a much different view of God. We see intention, order, wisdom, compassion, relationship, promise, covenant, protection. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. It was formless and void and the Spirit of God brooded over the waters. The God separated the light from the darkness and day 1 ended we a nod of satisfaction from God. This is good. On the second day God separated the sky from the water. Breathable atmosphere. Thumbs up! Day 3 dry land and plants. We’re almost there! Day 4 sun, moon and stars to create time and seasons. Great! Day 5 fish and birds. Very cool ! Day 6 man and animals. Now THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!! God said let’s make man in our image and the Lord God made man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. And God gave man authority over all creation to steward and manage wisely everything He made. God saw it was not good for man to be alone so he had Adam name all the animals and Adam saw that all the animals had a mate but there was none found for him. So God performed the first surgery. Under a deep sleep God removed a rib from Adam and formed a just the right compliment for Adam. When Adam woke to see his mate he shouted KOWABUNGA!!! You are bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh! I will call you Eve!”

    Pretty great start!😊😉👍👌

    Liked by 1 person

      1. All we like sheep have gone astray we have turned every one to his own way but the Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6

        God is the Writer of history. He has permitted free will to walk away from His friendship and so many tweeks and changes have been made to subvert the truth and deny people the true freedom and joy in expecting kindness and goodness from God. The amazing thing is God’s story began long before creation with a plan to rescue us from the curse of rebellion to His Kingdom rule. Throughout the Old Testament in the Bible God says “I’m coming. I will take away your sins and adopt you as sons and daughters.”. Whoever takes His offer of life can enter into friendship with the Author and is transformed into a new creation. Want a second chance, a do-over?
        Whoever is in Christ is a new creation. Old things are passed away. Everything has become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for visiting my The World’s Fare blog. I have enjoyed reading your posts. Merida and Corn caught my eye because I’ve spent time in Merida — and because I have a book out on the history of corn, which originated on the other side of Mexico, in Oaxaca. But yes, by the time the Maya came along, corn (maize) was so common in Mexico that the Maya believed humans were made from it. Because it is so easy to grow, compared to other crops, Maya culture could also be said to be made from corn, because so few people were needed to grow the crop, they had time for architecture, mathematics, and conquest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. That is a very interesting point which I haven’t thought about before. Indeed – Maya might had more time since corn was so fast and easy to grow and that’s why they had it easier to develop such an amazing culture.

      Liked by 1 person

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