The Creation Story from the Maya-Lenca
When there was nothing in existence, the creator Akú felt the need to become visible and create the universe to house the creation that was to come. There in the emptiness, the creator thought ideas on how to materialize itself, so that it would be visible. First Akú tried to become visible by becoming infinitely cold, but this method did not work.
Then Akú attempted materializing by becoming intensely hot, this method also did not work. Akú then stopped and meditated on other possibilities. Then Akú reached out with opened arms and gently held the heat with one hand and the cold with the other. Then Akú inhaled deeply, in this way breathing the heat through one nostril and the cold through the other. When Akú exhaled, the breath was like a rainbow of many colors. Seeing this, Akú gently gathered the bundles of breath on the hands and arranged them into a luminous ball of threads of all colors. The mixing of hot and cold had created the miraculous threads of light. From the luminous ball of threads Akú made a beautiful tassel and once finished the tassel was suspended in the nothingness. This was the torch that illuminated the first space of the creation and thus Akú became visible by turning into three divine stones that were placed around the luminous tassel, forming the first fire place on which a giant clay pot was placed.
Despite the success in becoming visible, Akú had discovered that neither heat nor cold alone could serve to materialize the creation. Thus it was decided that hot and cold were to be contained together in the primordial brew. As the pot was heated up, the steam that rose from the brew failed to create the universe because there was nothing to hold it, seeing this, Akú made a mountain but this crumbled on itself. After five days of fruitless work, Akú created the four divine beings that were collectively called, Kanel to assist in surveying the measurements of the first square of the universe called Anamerike or Ajkmerike.To create the Kanels, Aku cut one toe and one finger of each hand and foot. The task was so great that an assisting consort was created for each one of them. Together, they celebrated council and after meditating on the task at hand, in unanimity they decided to create a circle of time. To do this they took threads from the luminous tassel and wove a large rope that was then used to survey the space of creation. Each Kanel and consort stood in each corner of the space, holding the rope to maintain perfect dimensions. Then, once the space was measured, the council created the days of time (the calendar). Each member of the council drew threads from the luminous tassel and with great skill they embroidered the symbols of each day on their section of the measuring ropes. Once they had finished, the ropes were divided in sections and each member rolled the rope around their heads. Thus, each day came to existence and each day was used to build the creation until its completion. When the days were completed, five days were added to commemorate the initial days of uncertainty experienced by Akú. When all was completed, the creation had reached many levels and was towering high like a pyramid. The thirteenth level was on top, and this was reserved for Akú, the maker of all. Before taking possession, Akú placed the luminous tassel on a stick of güiscoyol and suddenly the dark void was illuminated. This time, the boiling pot brewed the first clouds, and thus the grand pyramid became alive. This is how time began, this is how the universe was measured and made. This is why we measure our Milpas (cornfields) in a square. Each royal child holds a thread of the sacred ropes of origin.