The underworld, also known as the world of death,
had nine parts occupied by Bolontiju,
Lords of the Night.
The underworld was also known as Xibalba. Thirteen was a number
belonging to men; nine belonged to women. Nine Lords of Darkness
ruled over the nine months of pregnancy.
Maya, the middle world was the
earth: The Maya also believed the earth was supported
by 4 Bacabs, related to the 4 points of the compass. and
by 4 Chaques. there were also helpers of Chac, the god
of rain, and by 4 Iques, helpers of Ik, god of wind.
were sometimes portrayed as an armadillo, a tortoise, a crab, and
a snail. The earth sometimes is shown as supported on the back of
a crocodile. Each compass direction had its own color. The center
was blue-green. The north was white, east was red, south was yellow
and the west was black. Each direction had its own tree, bird, and
The ancestral Hero Twins are important in the creation story--the Popul Vuh. One twin
was supposed to become the sun. In some versions he became
Venus, in others, animals. The younger brother climbed on
the roof of a house and became stronger every day.
He climbed higher and higher and eventually
became the sun. His mother was worried and tried to follow him,
but could not go as high. She became the moon and forever follows
the sun The Maya saw no difference between
travel in physical and
spiritual realms. They believed everything was alive and everything,
even time, possessed supernatural powers.