Here, then, are the doings of Sipakna, first son of Wucub Kak’ix.

“I am the Creator of Mountains,” Sipakna would say. “I raise mountains and move them and play with them.”. Sipakna was bathing on the banks of a river when four hundred boys came by, dragging a log they would use as mother beam for their cabin. Four hundred of them were dragging it, after they cut down a huge tree to support the roof of their cabin.

Then Sipakna came to where the four hundred boys were: “What are you doing, boys?”

“We’re just trying to lift this log and carry it on our shoulders.”

“I’ll lift it. Where does it have to go? What do you want this log for?”

“It’s the mother beam for our cabin.”

“Fine!” he said. Then he dragged it and carried it on his shoulders all the way to the door of the cabin of the four hundred boys.

“You should stay with us, boy. Do you have a mother or father?”

“I don’t,” he answered.

“We would ask you to help us lift another log beam for our cabin tomorrow.”

“All right!” he answered.

Right away the four hundred boys began to ponder:

“This boy, what is there for us to do? We must kill him, because what he does is not right. He lifts a tree all by himself. We’ll dig a big hole and put him in it: ‘Go dig earth out of the hole!’ we’ll tell him. When he’s squatting in the hole, we’ll throw the big log in on top of him. So he will die there, in the hole,” said the four hundred boys.

They quickly began digging a big hole, very deep. Then they sent for Sipakna:

“Will you please help us, dig the earth out of the bottom because we can’t reach it anymore,” they said.

“Fine,” he said then, as he climbed down into the hole.

“Let us know when the earth is dug up, you have to go very deep,” they told him.

“Yes,” he answered. He quickly began digging the hole, but it was just a hole where he could take shelter because he knew they wanted to kill him. So he dug a big hole to the side, he opened a second cave to save himself.

“How far down are you?” the four hundred boys asked him.

“I’m still digging! I’ll call you when I finish digging,” Sipakna answered from the depths of the hole. But he wasn’t digging a hole for his grave, rather another in which to take shelter.

Finally, Sipakna shouted to the boys, when he was already safe inside his cave he called out.

“Come on, take out the loose earth I have dug up. I have really gone down very deep,” said Sipakna. “Can you hear me calling? Your calls, I can only hear echoes of them, as if you were one or two levels up, that’s what I hear,” Sipakna said from the depths.

He was already hiding when he shouted up to them. Meanwhile, the boys dragged the great log and heaved it right down into the bottom of the hole.

“He’s not there, he isn’t speaking,” they whispered amongst themselves. “Let’s hear his death scream!”

They all covered their faces as the log went down. Then they heard a scream, one cry only, when the log hit the bottom.

“Good! It’s done. We’ve done very well with him, he’s dead. Who made him do what he did, who made him work? So be it! In the first place, he messed with us, he came among us, the four hundred boys,” they said. Then it passed, and they were happy.

“Now we can prepare our drink, it will take three days,” they said. “So in three days we’ll drink to our construction, our cabin, we the four hundred boys.

“Tomorrow we’ll come and see him, the proud one, and the day after, also. We’ll see if the ants have gone down into the earth when he starts to stink, when he starts to rot. Only then will our hearts be content, and we will take our drink,” they said.

Sipakna heard all of this from the depths of the hole, everything the boys were saying.

The next day ants were swarming: they streamed, they clustered, they squeezed down under the log; some brought out strands of hair, some bits of Sipakna’s finger and toenails. When the boys saw this, they said: “Aren’t we done with the evil one? Just watch the ants: they stream out unnumbered, they group and regroup! Some carry hair, others pieces of nails. We have defeated him,” they said to each other.

But Sipakna was alive: he had pulled his own hair out of his head, he had torn his nails with his teeth and given them to the ants. Thus the four hundred boys believed he was dead.

After this, their drink was ready. On the third day all the boys got drunk; the four hundred boys were inebriated, they felt nothing when the cabin was brought down on their heads by Sipakna. They were all crushed, not one or two of the four hundred boys survived; they were killed by Sipakna, son of Wucub Kak’ix.

Thus was, then, the death of the four hundred boys. It is said that they became stars: the Pleiades, they are called.

Now we will tell of the defeat of Sipakna by the twins Junajpu and Xbalamke.

What ached the heart of these young gods was the death of the four hundred boys at the hands of Sipakna.

He spent his days searching the banks of the rivers for fish and crab; this was what he ate every day. During the day he skulked about in search of food, during the night he made mountains and moved them.

Junajpu and Xbalamke quickly mocked up a huge crab, very attractive and lifelike: they fashioned it from tillandsia flowers, collected from the forest; the stalks served as the crab’s forelegs, the open flowers as claws. A stone shaped like a shell served to mimic the crab’s crackling carapace.

They placed it at the foot of a cliff, under a great mountain. Me’awan is the name of the mountain where Sipakna was defeated. Then the twins went to find him at the river.

“Where are you going, boy?” they said to Sipakna.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m just looking for my food, young ones,” Sipakna answered.

“What is your food?”

“Just fish, just crab; but I can’t find any here. Two days I haven’t eaten and I’m starving hungry,” Sipakna said to Junajpu and Xbalamke.

“There’s a crab at the bottom of the ravine, a really huge crab; maybe you would like to eat that. It snipped at us when we tried to grab it, so we’re scared of it. If it hasn’t gone away, you can try to catch it,” said Junajpu and Xbalamke.

“Have pity on me! Come and show it to me, kids,” said Sipakna.

“We don’t want to, you go on alone; you won’t get lost, just follow the path by the river and you’ll come to the foot of a great mountain, and when you get there the crab will be making noise at the bottom of the ravine,” said Junajpu and Xbalamke.

“I beg you, have pity on me. Maybe I won’t find it, kids. Come and show me. There are a huge many birds that you can shoot at with your blowpipes, and I know where to find them,” Sipakna said then. His humility seemed to persuade the twins.

“And what if you can’t catch it? Because that’s the only reason we’re going back with you. We won’t try again because it snaps and chops. We crawled in on our bellies and it spotted us right away and moved back, then we wiggled in on our backs and almost reached it. So it’s best if you go in on your back as well,” they said to him.

“That’s very clever!” said Sipakna.

So they went, Sipakna now had company. They went on and reached the bottom of the ravine; there, off to one side, was the crab, its carapace red and white under the cliff, the part that wasn’t hidden.

“How wonderful!” exclaimed Sipakna joyfully. He would have it in his mouth right away, because he truly was dying of hunger; he would have eaten it at once.

He tried to crawl in on his belly, he tried to go in; but the crab climbed away out of reach. So he came back out.

“Didn’t you get it?” they asked him.

“Not yet, it crept up onto the ceiling, I almost grabbed it. Maybe I better push myself in on my back,” he added.

So he went pushing himself inwards on his back, he went all the way in, only his feet were showing, as if he were already swallowed up, and then the great mountain came down on his chest. He was trapped, and he turned into stone. Thus Sipakna was defeated, by the twins Junajpu and Xbalamke.

He who made mountains, the first son of Wuqub Kak’ix, was defeated under a mountain called Me’awan. Only through prodigy was the second of the proud men defeated. Now we will tell another tale.






The third of the proud men was the second son of Wuqub Kak’ix, called Kabraqan. “I am the destroyer of mountains,” he would say. But it was Junajpu and Xbalamke that defeated Kabraqan.

Jun Raqan, Ch’ipi Kaqulja, Raxa Kaqulja, the Heart of Heaven, spoke to Junajpu and Xbalamke and said:

“The second son of Wuqub Kak ‘ix is another who must be defeated. That is our will, because it is not right what they do upon the Earth: they wish to surpass the Sun in greatness, in power, and this must not be so. Persuade him to go towards the place where the Sun will rise,” said Jun Raqan to the twins.

“That is well, great Lord. He must go, what we see is not good. Are you not here, you, your excellency, you, U k’u’x Kaj?” said the twins when they accepted the command of Jun Raqan.

Meanwhile Kabraqan continued shaking mountains. He would stomp his foot upon the earth and great mountains immediately collapsed, and little mountains, because of him. This was when the twins found him.

“Where are you going, boy?” they asked Kabraqan.

“I’m not going anywhere, I’m just throwing down mountains. I will shake them until the Sun rises, and still, then, as long as there is light,” Kabraqan said. Then he asked Junajpu and Xbalamke: “Where do you come from? I don’t know you. What are your names?” 

“We don’t have names, we are just blowpipe shooters, we just set traps for birds in the mountains, we are simply poor. We possess nothing, boy, we only go to the small mountains, only to the great mountains, boy. And so we have seen a huge mountain that grows by instants, it truly raises its head high, rising above all other mountains. But we haven’t been able to catch even one or two birds there. Is it true you can throw down all mountains, boy?” Junajpu and Xbalamke asked.

“Have you really seen that mountain, like you say? Where is it? I must see it, I must throw it down. Where did you see it?”

“That way, then, where the Sun will rise,” answered Junajpu and Xbalamke.

“Good! Guide our way,” he said to the twins.

“No, not just like that. You must go here between us, like this. One of us will go on your left side, another on your right side; because we have our blowpipes and if there are any birds we will shoot them,” said the twins. They happily began to test their blowpipes; but they shot no clay pellets, they shot the birds down each time with their breath alone, which was greatly admired by Kabraqan. 

Then the twins quickly rubbed slender sticks together and made fire, and set the birds there to roast. One of the birds they first rubbed with tizate, a sort of white chalk, they covered the bird with it.

“Because it is a desire from the heart to eat a bite, to eat meat, thus also this desire is in the heart of Kabraqan,” they said between them, Junajpu and Xbalamke. “We will give him this. Let him swallow it when he feels the aroma of our roasting birds! And just as the earth covers this bird through our doing, we will throw him down to the earth, thus, we will bury him in the earth. And as is the Creator, the Shaper, greatly wise, let there come then the sowing and the dawn!” said the twins.

So they roasted the birds, which began to turn golden as they cooked: they dripped, the fat fell from the birds into the fire with a tantalizing fragrance. At this, Kabraqan felt a desire to eat them, his mouth was watering, he kept gulping and swallowing, he drooled and slavered from the fragrance of the birds.

Then he asked: “What is that food of yours? It is truly delicious, the aroma I perceive. Give me a piece,” he said to them.

They gave Kabraqan a bird, and this was his defeat. When he finished eating the bird, they walked on towards the East, where the great mountain was. But by then Kabraqan had no more strength in his feet or his hands; he could do nothing, because of the chalk with which they covered the bird he ate. He did nothing more, he did nothing to the mountain; he did not destroy it, he did not throw it down.

He was quickly tied up by the twins, they tied his arms behind his back, his hands were secured by the twins; they also tied his ankles together and then threw him down and buried him. In this way was Kabraqan defeated. Thus were ended the proud men who mocked the Heart of Heaven, the Creators and the Shapers. Only by Junajpu and Xbalamke was this done… their deeds achieved here on Earth are countless.

Now we will tell of the birth of Junajpu and Xbalamke, having already related the destruction of Wuqub Kak’ix and of Sipakna and of Kabraqan, here upon the Earth.