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Photographer's Note

I found this beautiful wood carving of the Mayan God of Creation, Itzamnα in the lobby of the small hotel we stayed at in the small village of El Remate.

Itzamnα was one of the most important deities of Mayan mythology. The ruler of the heavens and of day and night, he was often shown in Mayan art as a pleasant, toothless old man with a large nose. He was also identified as the son of the creator god Hunab Ku.

In various myths, Itzamnα appears as a culture hero who gave the Maya the foundations of civilization. According to legend, he taught them to grow corn, to write, to use calendars, and to practice medicine. He also introduced a system for dividing up the land, and he established rituals for religious worship

Itzamnα is sometimes linked with the sun god Kinich Ahau and the moon goddess Ixchel. The goddess may have been Itzamnα's wife or a female form of his deity. Like Itzamnα, she gave people many useful skills, such as weaving. However, Ixchel had a destructive nature and could cause floods and other violent events, while Itzamnα was always kind and protective toward humans.

Source: The Myth encyclopedia

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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