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 Muzencab bees.
Bacabs Facts and Figures
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Bacab, Becabs, Chaob
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present
In charge of: Direction
Area of expertise: Direction, Directions
Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 1962
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Article last revised on April 18, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders
References: Coming soon.