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The 'Ahau (also known as the Mayan gods or "Ajaw" in modernized Maya orthography) are a race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who have been worshipped by the Mayans of Southern Mexico and northern Central America from 1800 BC to the 16th century AD.[1]

Most of the Ahau dwell in the Upperworld, a small "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth; an inter-dimensional nexus between Upperworld and Earth exists at Tulan-Ziuva, "the Place of the Seven Caves," somewhere near the ancient city of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula. Very little is known about Upperworld other than it appears to be built upon a small planetary object enclosed on all four sides by the bodies of four giant iguanas. Xibalba, the Maya underworld, is also connected to Earth via an interdimensional nexus near the modern-day city of Coban, Alta Verapaz Department, Guatemala. The Ahau are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the wind god is known as "Kukulkan" in the Yucatec Maya language and as "Gucumatz" in the K'iche' language. Worship of the Ahau was largely supplanted by Christianity in the late 1500's, although elements of the indigenous population still actively invoke their traditional gods today.[1]

The precise origin of the Ahau, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to ancient myths, the Sky Father Hunab Ku emerged out of primordial nothingness and created the "Heart of Heaven," which he then used to create the first generation of Maya gods, including his son, the sun god Itzamna Kauil. The Maya believed that these gods lived in a universe where nothing existed except for the sky and the sea, and soon began using their divine powers to cause mountains, lakes, rivers, and fields to rise from the seabed. At the suggestion of Kukulkan, the gods then created the first mortals out of maize flour. Hunab Ku eventually ceded many of his responsibilities to Itzamna, such as the duty of watching over their mortal worshippers. In approximately 1000 AD, Itzamna met with his fellow Godheads to discuss the threat posed by the extraterrestrial Celestials.[2]

Beginning in the late 13th century AD, upon the rise and spread of the Aztec culture in the Valley of Mexico and surrounding areas, many worshippers of the Ahau fell under the control of the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs, who worshipped the rival pantheon known as the Teteoh. This caused tensions to escalte between the two pantheons, and their frequent clashes often led to confusion among their human worshippers, who began to attribute the acts of certain Ahau to their Teteoh counterparts (and vice versa).[1]

In modern times, after most of the Asgardian gods were killed by the Celestials, Thor traveled to Upperworld to obtain the life energies needed to resurrect the Norse panthon, which Itzamna readily supplied him.[3] Shortly after, the death god Ahpuch, ruler of the Xibalban city of Mitnal, became dissatisfied with the lack of new souls in his realm and allied with five death gods from other pantheons to combine their power and merge their respective netherworlds. However, their ritual released Demogorge the God-Eater, who consumed the death gods before being persuaded to retreat by a team of gods led by Thor.[4] Later, when the mad Pharaoh Akhenaten was rendered nearly omnipotent and omniscient by the "Heart of the Infinite," Hunab Ku was among the sky fathers summoned to the Council of Godheads to address the threat. The Egyptian god Horus, who was most familiar with Akhenaten, used the Eye of Ra to spy on him, but Akhenaten detected them and destroyed Hunab Ku as well as several other of the assembled Godheads. However, the mad Titan Thanos later obtained the Heart of the Infinte, traveled back in time and prevented Akhenaten from gaining its power, thus diverging Hunab Ku's death to an alternate reality.[5]

Computer scientist Professor Benjamin Rabin used a computational system composed of abstract symbols resembling Mayan glyphs to contact the mischief god Wayep during a period when the dimensional barriers separating Xibalba from the Earth realm were weakened (the "Uayep Cycle"). Wayep besieged Manhattan with a mystical blizzard and offered Rabin the powers of a Kuhul Ajaw ("Divine Lord") if he sacrificed a man and woman in his name. However, Rabin's attempts to sacrifice a woman to complete the ritual were thwarted by Spider-Man (Peter Parker), and Wayep was force to return to Xibalba.[6]

Mayan Rule

In 2012, the Mayapan, a group of Mayan gods once mistaken for the Ahau began to return, stealing life forces from powerful beings such as She-Hulk, Lyra, and members of Alpha Flight in order to resurrect themselves, but they were driven back by the efforts of the Red Hulk and Alpha Flight.[7]

Powers and Abilities

Powers

Superhuman Strength: All members of the Ahau pantheon possess some degree of superhuman strength. However, on average, they're somewhat weaker than some other pantheons, such as the Asgardians or Olympians, the average male Aboriginal god is able to lift about 25 tons while the average goddess is able to lift about 20 tons.[1]

Superhuman Speed: Each member of the pantheon is able to run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human specimen, though the upper limit of the speed varies between members.[1]

Superhuman Stamina: The musculature of the Ahau is much more efficient than that of a human being. Their muscles produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activities than those of humans. The average Aboriginal god and goddess can exert themselves at peak capacity for roughly 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in their blood begins to impair them.[1]

Superhuman Durability: The skin, bone and muscle tissues of the gods are much tougher and more resistant to physical injury than the bodies of humans. The average Ahau and goddess is capable of withstanding falls from great heights, exposure to temperature extremes, great impacts and high caliber bullets without sustaining injury.[1]

Superhumanly Dense Tissue: The density of an Ahau bodily tissues is about twice that of a human being, contributing somewhat to their great strength. As a result, they’re actually much heavier than they appear to be.[1]

Regenerative Healing Factor: It is possible for the Ahau to sustain injury. If injured, their extremely efficient metabolisms enable them to rapidly heal damaged bodily tissue much more extensively than a human is capable of. The average god or goddess, however, is unable to regenerate missing limbs or organs.[1]

Immortality: The Ahau are functionally immortal in the sense that they cease to age upon reaching adulthood and are immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t die. It is possible for them to sustain injuries, such as being incinerated for instance, that can cause their physical deaths. It's possible, however, for a number of gods working together to resurrect a deceased member if his or her life essence is beyond resurrection.[1]

Superhuman Agility: All members of the Ahau pantheon possess agility, balance and bodily coordination beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human specimen.[1]

Superhuman Reflexes: The reflexes of an Ahau are also enhanced to superhuman levels.[1]

Shapeshifting: Most Ahau are highly skilled metamorphs and can shift all portions of their bodies into the shapes of animals, inanimate objects, other humanoid beings, etc. While this common among the various pantheons, the Aboriginal gods are more adapt at it than most others.[1]

Mystical Energies: Many Ahau also possess additional superhuman abilities that are magical in nature. A common example of this is to be able to open magical gateways to other realms or dimensions. A few of them, however, are more advanced. The Ahau God of Lightning, Chac is capable of creating powerful storms and can control lightning itself.[1]

Miscellaneous


Cultural Traits: It is not uncommon for various members of the Ahau pantheon to adopt inhuman forms. Ahpuch, the god of death for instance, has the appearance of a living skeleton while Wayep, the god of mischief, often adopts the appearance of a large bat-like creature.[1]
Representatives: Ah Puch, Buluc Chatbán, Camazotz, Chaac, Kukulkan, Hunab Ku, Itzamna, Ixchel, Wayep

Notes

Trivia

  • "Ahau" is the Mayan word for "lord." It does not appear in Mayan mythology as the name of the Mayan gods. The Mexican gods were worshipped by both the Aztecs and the Mayans.

See Also

Links and References

Footnotes

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