Cultural Bytes | Interactive Language Program

Mayan Legends

Mayan Legends

Mayan Legends
Photo by kermit nicou on Unsplash

Welcome back to our Byte Blog! Continuing our Spanish learning journey with ViLaCa we will see time and time again all the fascinating topics our students will be learning! Last week our students learned about a legend from Mexico. The legends of the Nahual originate from the Mayan culture. Check out last week’s blog, An Animal from the Legends to learn more! Mayan Legends

This week our students will learn about a legend that originates from El Salvador. The stories of the Cuyancúa or Cuyancuat are typically told in the municipality of Izalco, in the department of Sonsonate.  The oral tradition of these legends tells of a mythical being that is of great size with a strange appearance.  The lower half of its body is shaped like a snake and the upper half is shaped like a pig! This being announces the arrival of rain and according to those who claimed to have seen this beast, at times it travels in a group. Mayan Legends

“The lower half of its body is shaped like a snake and the upper half is shaped like a pig!

Mayan Legends

The origins of the Cuyancúa are unknown but it is known that it stems from the legends of Mayan culture. The Mayas covered more than three hundred thousand kilometers of the American continent. More specific regions such as southern Mexico, Belize, northern Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Maya folklore is found throughout these regions. The Cuyancúa is known to be a strange being, it appears at night and is not seen by human beings, yet there are claims that people have seen this being. Locals say that this being has the power to predict or call storms, can command streams, rivers, and water in general. Its resting place is in beautiful streams where buds form. This is how you know of its presence.

Legends say that at dusk, north of Izalco, a squawk or screech was heard which was followed by strong shaking from underground which caused families to panic. Locals locked themselves in the safety of their homes. Sounds like that are typically heard near the rivers and streams. The Cuyancúa drags itself in search of food. Those who hear the sounds leave their fate to God and simply listen to what the animal announces. Those who have stayed up late claim to have seen the animal. It was so frightening for them that they were rendered unconscious and were not able to speak. This strange beast is feared for its appearance and power to control water. Mayan legends are found throughout regions of Latin America. Last week it was a Mayan legend from Mexico and this week it was from El Salvador. Where would it be next?

l From the Legend

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