Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Do you believe in Leprechauns’ or Goblins? What about an Alux?

Continuing on my Yucatan blogs, I decided to tell you a little about the Mayan Alux (pronounced Al oosh).  Which, once again, if you are visiting the Mayan Riviera and/or Cozumel, Mexico, you might want to keep the following information in mind.

The origin of the Alux myth has been debated for quite a while. Some scholars believe they have European origins form the 16th Century, others debate that it has a pre-Columbian origin, let them battle it out themselves.
I on the other hand, have heard one origin story straight form the modern Mayan people that involved a witch, a king and the beautiful, striking Pyramid of the Magician, also known as the Pyramid of the Dwarf at the archaeological site of Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico.

First though, I will tell you a little about the Alux. The Alux is a kind of goblin/leprechaun that is widely known among the Maya people in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Nearly every one I spoke to there believes in them and most locals have a story to tell about them.  An Alux is a small being about 2ft tall that has magical powers, they can be invisible to the eye, or they can also assume any animal that they wish, like a large snake, bees or even a jaguar.  The Alux mainly protect the crop fields of the locals, but also are know to protect all of the archaeological sites at night. But most of all, they like to play tricks on unsuspecting passerby’s, some can nice but sometimes they can be quite mean and even scary.
Now, the legend/myth I heard about the Alux; there was once a witch that lived in Uxmal, she unfortunately could not have children.  One day, while walking through the jungle, she found a turtle’s egg and through her magic, impregnated it.  From the magical egg, a small being was born; the first Alux came to be. 
One day, after a few years, the Alux approached the King of Uxmal demanding that he wanted to be King of Uxmal.  The King laughed at the Alux, but just to amuse himself, he told the Alux, “We will hold a three part challenge, whoever wins, will be the King of Uxmal!”

The first challenge was to guess the number of leaves on their sacred tree, the Yaxche.  The Alux, having magical powers, guess the exact number of leaves, the King, did not.

The second challenge involved making a statue of oneself and placing them through a series of tests.  The King made a rough statue made of wood, the Alux, made one out of stone.  The first test was striking the statue, which both of the statues passed. The second test was to place them in the middle of a fire.  Of course, the Alux’s statue made of stone survived and the Kings’ statue burnt to the ground.

To be continued...

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