Camazotz

Summary

Camazotz
Night, death, and sacrifice
Camazotz sculpture on display at Museo Popol Vuh
Other namesCama-Zotz
AnimalsBat

In Maya mythology, Camazotz (/kɑːməˈsɒts/ from Mayan /kämäˈsots/) (alternate spellings Cama-Zotz, Sotz, Zotz) is a bat god. Camazotz means "death bat" in the Kʼicheʼ language. In Mesoamerica, the bat is associated with night, death, and sacrifice.[1]

Etymology

Camazotz is formed from the Kʼicheʼ words kame, meaning "death", and sotz', meaning "bat".[2]

Mythology

In the Popol Vuh, Camazotz are the bat-like monsters encountered by the Maya Hero Twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque during their trials in the underworld of Xibalba. The twins had to spend the night in the House of Bats, where they squeezed themselves into their own blowguns in order to defend themselves from the circling bats. Hunahpu stuck his head out of his blowgun to see if the sun had risen and Camazotz immediately snatched off his head and carried it to the ballcourt to be hung up as the ball to be used by the gods in their next ballgame.[3]

In Part IV of the Popol Vuh, a dark messeger from Xibalba, brokers a deal between Lord Tohil and some first tribes of the Mankind, wherein they promise their armpits and their waists (the opening of their breasts in human sacrifice) in exchange for fire. The text is unclear about who exactly the messenger is, but translators tend to agree that this is a Camazotz[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Miller & Taube 1993, 2003, p.44.
  2. ^ Christenson.
  3. ^ Miller & Taube 1993, 2003, p.44. Thompson 1966, p.181. Read & Gonzalez 2000, p.133.
  4. ^ Brock 2018

Bibliography

  • Christenson, Allen J. "Kʼicheʼ" (PDF). English Dictionary and Guide to Pronunciation of the Kʼicheʼ-Maya Alphabet. Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI). Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  • Miller, Mary; Taube, Karl (2003) [1993]. An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya. London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27928-4. OCLC 28801551.
  • Read, Kay Almere; González, Jason (2000). Handbook of Mesoamerican Mythology. Oxford: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-340-0. OCLC 43879188.
  • Thompson, J. Eric S. (June 1966). "Maya Hieroglyphs of the Bat as Metaphorgrams". Man. New Series. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 1 (2): 176–184.
  • Brock, Zoë (11 May 2018). Popol Vuh Part Four. LitCharts LLC.