Sunday, 25 May 2014

Why I Love Mayan Mythology (explained)

When I saw that the latest Animation Challenge on was to 'kick a ball', a Mayan myth immediately sprung to mind and, with the deadline only a day away, I figured it was worth taking a few hours out of my revision (*cough* *cough*) to turn this relatively mundane challenge into something odd. I created something odd indeed.

I released this with the description "If you don't know Mayan mythology, this probably won't make sense. If you know Mayan mythology, this probably won't make sense. Don't worry - the gods give Hunahpu a replacement head later, and then he steals the real one back. Oh, and that bat guy is a vampire god." While I made this video with the intention of being hard to understand, I thought I'd do a quick run-through of what this myth actually is.

Soooooo long story short, in Mayan myth there were these two heroes called Hunahpu and Xbalanque (and no, I can't pronounce them). They were playing football (or the Mayan equivalent) in their favourite ball court when the underworld gods - the Lords of Xibalba - got annoyed by the racket. They invited the twins to play in the underworld ball court, which was a ruse and designed to kill the twins. However, Hunahpu and Xbalanque (and I still can't pronounce their names) were smart enough to avoid the traps, and so got sent through a series of houses, which were again filled with traps.

The last house was the Bat House, home to Camazotz the vampire god (the bat guy with the black armour in the animation). To avoid the deadly bats that were flying around the house, the twins stuffed themselves inside their blowguns and waited it out until morning. Eventually, Hunahpu made the mistake of popping his head out of his blowgun to see if the sun was up, and his head was snatched off by a bat and taken to Camazotz. What happened next? Well, to add insult to injury, Hunahpu took part in another ball game with the Xibalbans, only this time with his head as the football!

Don't worry, the gods weren't totally evil - they shaped him a replacement head and planned to give it to him as an early birthday present. Xbalanque, being craftier than they, decided enough was enough and stole back Hunahpu's real head and put it back onto his brother's body.

After that long and hopefully-not-boring explanation, here endeth the lesson.

(Not the interior design you'd expect from the Vampire God.)

Avengers Tower episode 2 is finished and should be up on BrickUltra's channel some time this week, and when it is, it'll get posted here too. As for more mythology animations...we'll have to wait and see. Next time, it'd be more than a quick animation meant to seem like it has no narrative XD