[Flood Myths IMAGE]

Last Updated:Wednesday, February 21st, 1996

Central American Flood Myths

Toltec (Mexico):

One of the _Tezcatlipocas_ (sons of the original dual god) transformed himself into the Sun and created the first humans to show up his brothers. The other gods, angry at his audacity, had Quetzalcoatl destroy the people, which he did with a flood. The people became fish. [Kramer]


The gods used a flood to destroy the wooden people, an early imperfect version of humanity. [Tedlock]

The Feathered Serpent first created man from mud. These creatures were a failure; they couldn't see, they dissolved when it rained, etc. So the god broke them up and tried again. This time he made men out of wood. They were better than the mud-men. They could walk and talk; they had many children, built many houses, but they had no minds nor souls nor hearts. The Feathered Serpent was disappointed with what he had created, so he sent a great flood to cleanse the earth of his mistake. (from the Popol-Vuh)

Totonac (eastern Mexico):

A man, warned by God, survived the flood in a tree he had hollowed out. After the deluge, he was hungry and built a fire. God smelled the smoke and sent buzzard down to investigate, but buzzard stayed to eat the dead animals, and God condemned him to eat only rotten flesh thereafter. God told Saint Michael to go down, and Saint Michael reversed the man's face and hind parts and turned him into a monkey. [Horcasitas, in Dundes]


A man clearing fields found the trees regrown overnight. He found that his grandmother Nakawe did this, and she told him that he was working in vain because a flood was coming. Per her instructions, he built a box and survived the flood with corn, beans, fire, and a black bitch. After the flood, he would return home from work to find meals prepared. He spied one day and found that the bitch took off her skin and became a woman to do the work. He threw her skin into the fire and bathed her in nixtamal water. They repopulated the earth. [Horcasitas, in Dundes]
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