Xbalanque's marriage : a commentary on the Q'eqchi' myth of sun and moon

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Xbalanque's marriage : a commentary on the Q'eqchi' myth of sun and moon

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Xbalanque's marriage : a commentary on the Q'eqchi' myth of sun and moon
Author: Braakhuis, Hyacinthus Edwinus Maria
Publisher: Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Leiden University
Issue Date: 2010-10-20
Keywords: Cannibalism
Marriage alliance
Abstract: “Xbalanque’s Marriage” examines the Sun and Moon myth of the Q’eqchi’ Mayas from the perspective of marriage alliance and hunting ideology. On the negative side, the relationship between a tapir and the old adoptive mother of Xbalanque and his older brother can be read as the denial of alliance, with the tapir symbolizing antisocial behavior and the old woman incestuous reproduction and paedophiliac cannibalism. The older brother’s abjuration of women has the effect of substituting the transient male brotherhood of hunting bands for a lasting marriage alliance. By contrast, the narrative’s core consists of a tale in which the war chief Xbalanque becomes a hummingbird lover to abduct and marry the daughter of the paramount mountain deity. A central concern of this ‘Hummingbird tale’, and of its many versions elsewhere in Guatemala and Belize, is the ritual alliance to the earth and the acquisition of its products, as personified by the mountain’s daughter. The Q’eqchi’ narrative shows how the dissolution of this alliance sets free the forces of destruction, whereas its reestablishment asserts alliance as a life-giving, cosmic force.
Description: Promotoren: J. Oosten, W. van Beek
With summary in Dutch
Faculty: Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
Citation: Braakhuis, H.E.M., 2010, Doctoral thesis, Leiden University
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/16064

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