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Also known as BACAB, BECABS, CHAOB

Four Gods of Holding Up The Sky

These are the four Gods of the Cardinal Points of the Compass. As the Maya didn't have any cardinals or compasses, just think of them as giant entities who hold up the four corners of the sky. These are the deities to point you in the right direction. They will also help with color co-ordination.

According to some, the BACABS were originally one deity named BACAB, the son of ITZAMNA and IXCHEL. For some reason he was not satisfied with being a single god and split himself into four separate entities. We don't know why. Perhaps he did it for tax reasons.

Now his four spiritual subsidiaries stand at the four corners of the world and make sure that directions always point to where they're supposed to. Their names and attributes are as follows:
CAN-TZICNAL is North and likes White.
HOZANEK is South and prefers Yellow.
HOBNIL is East and favors Red.
ZAC-CIMI is West and is keen on Black.

Unlike the Greek ATLAS, these splendid lads prop up the heavens without a whisper of complaint. They also find the time to advise on future events and give weather forecasts. Overall, a big thumbs-up to the BACABS. But watch out for the AH-MUZEN-CAB bees.

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Article last updated on 01 May 2013
Authors: Peter J Allen and Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.

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Godchecker's article on Bacabs is based on material from ancient texts, original references and our own research. We strive for accuracy and update regularly with new information. If you spot a mistake please contact us and we'll try to fix it.

Suggested further reading...
Location : Mesoamerica
Gender : Male
Type : Deity
Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present
Pronunciation : Coming soon
Alternative names : BACAB, BECABS, CHAOB
Popularity index : 903

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