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The OG 'Batman' Was An Ancient Zapotec-Mayan God Named Camazotz, or "Death Bat"

Culture & Community By O. DELGADO50241 views
The OG 'Batman' Was An Ancient Zapotec-Mayan God Named Camazotz, or "Death Bat"

Camazotz, the "death bat"

Way before we started arguing about who should play Batman in the next trilogy, the ancient Maya worshipped Camazotz, a demon-turned-god with the body of a man and the head of a bat.

Not only was the original Joker Latino, but it turns out the original Batman was an ancient Mesoamerican deity named Camazotz, or "death bat" in Kʼiche', a cave-dwelling demon-god with the body of a man and the head of a bat.

The worship of Camazotz originated around 200 B.C. among the Zapotec of Oaxaca, Mexico, who believed that the bat god represented night, death, and sacrifice.

Camazotz was eventually adopted into the pantheon of the K'iche' Maya of Guatemala and Honduras, who recorded legends of the bat god in their literature. 

In the Popol Vuh, an ancient text that recounts the mythological history of the K'iche', Camazotz descends from the realm of the gods to decapitate an early, evil version of humans.  Later, he counsels the hero twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué during their journey in the underworld, before one of his henchmen decapitates Hunahpú's and delivers his head to the gods to use as a ball in their next ballgame.  (Don't worry, Hunahpú gets his head back.)

Unsurprisingly, in Mayan culture, the bat god is also associated with death.

For Batman's 75 Anniversary, Warner Brothers reached out to 30 artists from Mexico and asked them to participate in the exhibition "BATMAN A TRAVÉS DE LA CREATIVIDAD MEXICANA," "Batman Through The Lens of Mexican Creativity."

Christian Pacheco, owner of Kimbal, a Yucatán-based design studio, decided to take Batman back to his Mesoamerican roots, remolding his traditional disguise with Mayan motifs.  

Here are some photos of the work in progress and finished product from Kimbal's gallery:

Sources:

Batman Existed In Mesoamerican Mythology And His Name Was Camazotz; Ancient-Origins.net

Meet Camazotz; the Ancient Mayan 'Batman god'; Curiosmos.com

 

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