Sorcerer Legend in Uxmal Yucatan
Sorcerer Legend in Uxmal Yucatan: The Witch and the Dwarf Sorcerer
Today I want to talk about the legend of the Sorcerer Dwarf. It’s a legend that has held my interest so much that I wrote about it in my book, Arrival of the Gods in Egypt.
In researching the legend, I wrote on page 154 that “I interviewed Santiago Domingez, a modern-day Maya whose family has lived for generations close to the Uxmal Yucatan Mayan ruins. He told me the story, handed down from his grandparents, of the witch. She was lonely. Therefore, she took an egg and hatched out of it a dwarf who became her companion.”
I had heard this story before. Possibly I read it in a guidebook or read it in a book about the Maya. In the stories I had read, there was no mention of the witch being lonely. These stories would just proclaim that this witch decided to hatch a dwarf out of an egg, which sounded like some nonsensical story fabricated by primitive people to make sense of their world.
However, when I heard the story from Santiago, I saw that the legend had a deeper meaning. Santiago said that the witch was lonely and that it was her loneliness that caused her to hatch the dwarf out of the egg. The story became a Creation Story on a par with the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden who was also lonely and had his companion created in an amazing manner.
While in Uxmal Yucatan this December, I talked again with Santiago. It was good to see him. I wanted to make sure that I photographed the correct stone carving of the dwarf when I visited Uxmal last January. He assured me that I had. However, he said that researchers at the Uxmal archeological zone said that the carving his grandparents described as the dwarf was actually supposed to be the king. I told Santiago that I took more stock in the traditions of his grandparents than a modern-day researcher’s opinions. Santiago said that since the dwarf became the king it made sense that the carving of the king could also be the dwarf.
I had good reasons for supporting the long-lasting traditions of Santiago’s traditional grandparents. Last January, when we visited Uxmal, we stayed for the nighttime Sound and Light show. To my great disappointment, there was no mention of the Legend of the Sorcerer Dwarf and the Witch. Instead, they told a fabricated story about young men of one village vying for a Mayan princess’s hand or something along that line.
It was a simple story that had nothing to do with the magnificent Mayan ruins of Uxmal which reverberate with intrinsic mystery because the main pyramid is named the Pyramid of the Sorcerer or as Santiago calls it, “Piramide de Adivino” and there is also a ruin named the Witch’s House.
Santiago said it also made him sad that the traditional legends were not included in the Sound and Light show. I thought so too.
Therefore, since the Mayan culture is important to me, if you’re planning to visit the Mayan ruins in Uxmal Yucatan, I wanted to include the traditional legend behind the Pyramid of the Sorcerer to enhance your enjoyment.
Copyright 2014 Carol Chapman
Thanks for the good info. I visited Uxmal today and had a similar experience with my guide. The king and the dwarf were supposed to be different people and they apparently fought with each other…it was quite confusing. Overall, I think we should take the history crafted by archaeologists with a pinch of salt – after all it is difficult to reconstruct history with < 1% of data from the past.
I am also of the view that the pok-ta-pok game has been poorly interpreted. I cannot understand how any people, let alone the mayans, can play a game that can quickly lead to a hip replacement surgery. A game has to allow for a wide range of athletic movements and must be fun. The current interpretation of the game is certainly not that. So someone missed a few pages somewhere…