Four Creations: An Epic Story of the Chiapas Mayas
Four Creations is a collection of seventy-four stories told to Gary H. Gossen by Tzotzil Maya storytellers in San Juan Chamula, Mexico. Spanning four ... Show synopsis Four Creations is a collection of seventy-four stories told to Gary H. Gossen by Tzotzil Maya storytellers in San Juan Chamula, Mexico. Spanning four cycles of creations, destructions, and restorations from the dawn of cosmic order to the present era, this epic history reveals a distinctly Maya vision of the universe, grand in scope yet leavened with local humor, irony, and the Tzotzil narrators' own critical commentaries. Four Creations includes mythic accounts of modern history, such as the Wars of Independence, the Mexican Revolution, and the current Protestant evangelical movement. Given in both transcribed Tzotzil and English translations, the texts are enlivened by more than one hundred Maya Indian drawings and by Gossen's extensive ethnographic and historical notes based on his conversations with the narrators and more than thirty-five years of study. Miguel Leon-Portilla's Foreword situates Four Creations within the broader context of Mesoamerican culture and traditions, while the Afterword by Jan Rus relates this work to recent events in modern-day Chamula.