The Story of Seven Macaw

This was when there was just a trace of early dawn on the face of the earth, there was no sun. But there was one who magnified himself. Seven Macaw is his name. The sky-earth was already there, but the face of the sun-moon was clouded over. Even so, it is said that his light provided a sign for the people who were flooded. he was like a person of genius in his being.

"I am great. My place is now higher than that of the human work, the human design. I am their sun and I am their light, and I am also their months." "So be it: my light is great. I am the walkway and I am the foothold of the people, because my eyes are of metal. My teeth just glitter with jewels, and turquoise as well; they stand out blue with stones like the face of the sky".

There were two boys who were gods, they were the hero twins called Hunaphu and Xbalanque. They decided that Seven Macaw was taking himself too seriously. They planned to shoot him with their blowguns while he ate in a nance tree. Hunaphu shot Seven Macaw, breaking his jaw. When the victim fell from the tree Hunaphu went in to finish him off. Seven Macaw tore off Hunaphu's arm and escaped.

The two boys enlisted the aid of a grandmother and grandfather. The four of them went to Seven Macaw to retrieve Hunaphu's arm. They told Seven Macaw that the boys were their grandchildren, their parents were dead. The grandfather also told Seven Macaw that he 'pulled worms out of teeth' and cured eyes. Seven Macaw was interested, his jaw had been broken and his teeth hurt.

The grandmother and grandfather pulled Seven Macaw's bejeweled teeth and replaced them with white corn.. And when the eyes of Seven Macaw were cured, he was plucked around the eyes, the last of his metal came off. Still he felt no pain; he just looked on while the last of his greatness left him. It was just as Hunaphu and Xbalanque had intended.

When Seven Macaw died, the grandmother and grandfather reattached his arm. "What they did was simply the word of the Heart of the Sky."
From the Popul Vuh of the Quiche Maya

ArchitectureMaya Art
Stela depicting Seven Macaw and Hunaphu

Updated 7/22/2000