The Ancient Mayans and Genius Flute Players

This dancer wears a scaly armadillo mask, plays a flute, and shakes a rattle. From a Late Classic Maya vase in the Chama style, found in the same region as the Great Hollow where Hunahpu and Xbalanque descended into the Xibalba.

An excerpt from the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings:

“And One Monkey and One Artisan were great flautists and singers, and as they grew up they went through great suffering and pain.  It had cost them suffering to become great knowers.  Through it all they became flautists, singers, and writers, carvers.  They did everything well.  They simply knew it when they were born, they simply had genius. ” (trans. Dennis Tedlock)