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Gary H. Gossen

Four Creations of True People:
Tzotzil Maya Account of the Human Experience
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Publication: FOUR CREATIONS: An Epic Story of the Chiapas Mayas, Edited and Translated by Gary H. Gossen

Research Year:  2000
Culture:  Maya
Chronology:  Epi-Classic
Location:  Chiapas, México
Site:  Chamula

FOUR CREATIONS: An Epic Story of the Chiapas Mayas
Edited and Translated by Gary H. Gossen

Map:  Chamula in Chiapas and México, by Gary H. Gossen

Illustrations by Marián López Calixto
Foreword by Miguel León-Portilla
Afterword by Jan Rus

With Contributions by Manuel López Calixto, Marián López Calixto, Xalik López Castellanos, Xalik López Setjol, Mateo Méndez Tzotzek, and Xun Méndez Tzotzek

Excerpt from Foreword:
"Gary Gossen has brought us the words of the Tzotzil sages–a treasure trove of stories both sacred and mundane. It is a literature that has many links with the glorious past of the Mayas and also illuminates a variety of occurrences in the everyday lives of the people today. In the texts one can hear both the voice of an ancient oral tradition and, at other times, a storyteller’s spontaneous recollections of a gamut of happenings."
–Miguel León-Portilla


         Text   1.  Of Our Father Sun in Heaven
         Text   2.  Let Us Make Pathways for the Rivers
         Text   3.  Of How the World Began Long Ago
         Text   4.  About Corn
         Text   5.  About Why We Did Not Receive Our Lord Sun/Christ’s Magical Hoe
         Text   6.  Of What Happened to Rabbit Long Ago
         Text   7.  About Hummingbirds
         Text   8.  Of Our Father Who Died on the Cross
         Text   9.  Of Our Holy Mother in Heaven
         Text 10.  Why the Moon Has Only One Eye
         Text 11.  Of the First People, Who Were Like Gods
         Text 12.  Of When the Earth Darkened for Five Days
         Text 13.  Of Long Ago When the First People Appeared
         Text 14.  About Why Our Lord Sun/Christ Destroyed the First People with a Rain of Boiling Water
         Text 15.  About How the Ancient Ones Ate Their Own Children
         Text 16.  About the Time When We Were Created Long Ago
         Text 17.  About How and Why the First People Perished in a Boiling Rain
         Text 18.  Monkeys Were Still People Long Ago
         Text 19.  His Wife Turned into a Monkey; the Man Became a Squirrel
         Text 20.  About the Boiling Rain

         Text 21.  Of Our Mother Moon and Her Two Sons
         Text 22.  Of Our Father Sun and His Older Brother
         Text 23.  About How the Second People Became Monkeys
         Text 24.  About a Time When Raccoons Were Still People
         Text 25.  Of Olden Days When Weeds Could Speak
         Text 26.  About How Our Lord San Juan Made His Home in Chamula, I
         Text 27.  About How Our Lord San Juan Made His Home in Chamula, II
         Text 28.  The Earth Lord’s Daughter
         Text 29.  Of a Poor, Wretched Woman Who Had No Husband for Herself
         Text 30.  Of a Man Who Went to the Underworld
         Text 31.  Why the Damned Buzzard Has a Red Neck
         Text 32.  Of How the Buzzard Got to Be Like He Is
         Text 33.  Of War and Peace with the Chief of Guatemala
         Text 34.  On the Origin and Nature of Ladinos

         Text 35.  Of the Third People
         Text 36.  About How Rabbit and Deer Got Their Short Tails and Long Ears
         Text 37.  Adventures of Coyote and Rabbit, I: Of the Beeswax Doll and the Corn Thief
         Text 38.  Adventures of Coyote and Rabbit, II: Of Music, Dance, and Fiesta Time
         Text 39.  Kidnapped by a Demon
         Text 40.  Of a Man Who Was Swallowed by a Water Monster
         Text 41.  On the Adventures of Xun beyond the Sea
         Text 42.  Of the Stinking Ladino Woman and Her Dog
         Text 43.  Of the Great Stone Stairway to Heaven

      SECTION 1.
         Text 44.  Of the Earth Lord’s Daughter
         Text 45.  Of a Man Who Sought Riches from the Earth Lords
         Text 46.  Of the Heroes of Bell Cave Who Slew the Demon Pukuj
         Text 47.  Of an Encounter with the Soldier on the Mountain
         Text 48.  About a Man Who Made a Pact with the Demon Pukuj
         Text 49.  Of an Encounter with the Old Red Man, Who Was Actually the Demon Pukuj
         Text 50.  On How the Rabbit Lost His Hat and Got His Long Ears

      SECTION 2.
         Text 51.  Bitten to Death by the Backwards Wailing Man
         Text 52.  On the Lacandon People of Chiapas, Who Are Like Beasts of the Jungle
         Text 53.  About Tenejapanecos, Who Engage in Witchcraft
         Text 54.  Of an Encounter with a Potzlom, the Soul of a Witch
         Text 55.  The Perils of an Animal Soul as Revealed in a Dream
         Text 56.  She Killed Her Animal-Soul Companion and Thus Killed Herself

      SECTION 3.
         Text 57.  Of an Encounter with the Snake-Woman
         Text 58.  Of the Troubles of Men Who Have Turned into Women
         Text 59.  Of an Unfaithful Wife Who Goes to the Grave with Her Lover
         Text 60.  Abducted by a Demon Lover

      SECTION 4.
         Text 61.  Of Drought and Flood
         Text 62.  About the Great Famine
         Text 63.  On How the Old-Timers Became Impoverished, Just Like Their Land
         Text 64.  About How Coyotes Came to Chamula
         Text 65.  Memories of Times Past: Everything We Bought Was a Lot Less Expensive
                         and Coffee Plantation Wages Were Better Back Then . . .
         Text 66.  Accounts from Old Men about Olden Times

      SECTION 5.
         Text 67.  On Cuscat’s War with the Frock-Coat Soldiers of San Cristóbal
         Text 68.  About the Prayer Makers of Long Ago
         Text 69.  An Account of Those Who Followed Pajarito
         Text 70.  About How the Carranza Soldiers Came to Live with Us Forever as Rats
         Text 71.  About How the Old Child and the Mother of Sickness Brought the Fever Epidemic to Chamula
         Text 72.  Of the Time of the Burning of the Saints
         Text 73.  An Account of the Construction of the Highway to Tuxtla Gutiérrez
         Text 74.  An Account of the Protestant Prayer Makers Who Perished by Fire

         Afterword, by Jan Rus

         1.  Central Chiapas, México
         2.  Chamula in Chiapas and México
         3.  A Chamula chart of the universe
         4.  A Chamula chart of the world

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Four Creations of True People:
Tzotzil Maya Account of the Human Experience
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Publication available from University of Oklahoma Press, Norman
ISBN 0-8061-3331-7  (1,134 pages)

Submitted 12/06/2000 by:

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