ohhh and also, Naufus my friend has a show in Paris at the moment, try to make it if you are in the area.
It is a delightfully wicked piece of Mayan Myth
fan fiction. Just amazing. I can see the tags and abbreviations in those
fan fiction forums now. The actual art piece is a 14 ft wood block
print of the log in the story. He said it took him ages carving the wood
while he was in Amsterdam.
Here is the piece:
am the creator of the mountains," said Zipacná, as I tried to
discreetly take glances at his naked body in the river. I was sitting on
the edge, also naked, my toes playing with the water below. You might
imagine that I was annoyed about his bragging about being the “creator
of the mountains” but, well, who doesn’t like an arrogant boy. Besides I
also had my talents. I was thinking about these things, when I saw four
hundred youths passing by. I guessed that they were four hundred
because Zipacná and I had played counting games for a long time now.
These consisted mostly of guessing impossibly large groups of things,
like flocks of birds, a school of fish, or corn in a bowl. If we were
able to, we would verify our guesses and whoever lost would have to do
the other person’s chores. We had played these games for so long that it
had become second nature to guess numbers.
As the young men
passed by, we saw that of them carried a part of an absurdly long log.
We put some clothes on, went up to one of the young men and asked what
he was doing. “Its only this big log, that me and my brothers just
felled”, he replied, slurring his words.
“You and your
brothers?!” I asked, “Are you from some kind of cult?” The young man,
without taking his eyes off the road ahead, said “No man, we really are
Zipacná seemed by now really uninterested and said he
was going home. The young men were pretty cute. They looked like
variations on the same person yet each unique. It made me think of
kindergarten and making paper cutouts of snowflakes. The teacher had
explained to us that “if you look under a microscope each snowflake that
falls from the sky is as unique as each of you.”
I walked with
the young men, but I noticed that they were looking tired and had become
slow. They said to me "this log is so damn heavy, we wish we could lift
it and carry it on our shoulders." "I will carry it" I replied, "where
does it have to go? What do you want it for?" The young men, almost in
unison answered, "We cut it to use it as the support beam of our new
house". "All right," I answered and took the pole from them, lifting it
up and put it over one shoulder. The young men gasped in horror as they
saw me carry the pole as though it was a broomstick. Of course my
intention was not to show off my strength but to maybe score some points
But they didn’t live that close by and after some
time we arrived at the construction site I felt sticky from the sweat
and the dust. "Now stay with us, Naufús,” they said, "do you have a
mother or a father?” "I have neither," I answered. "Then stay with us
for the moment if you can, we need help building this house. We can pay
you.” "Okay," I answered with a smile, imagining that if one out of ten
is game, - then I've got myself a good party.
Days passed. We
worked hard preparing everything to build up the house. But I found the
brothers odd, they almost always talked in unison and it became
annoying. I even stopped flirting with them, and was thinking of going
back home to Zipacná.
One morning as I went into the woods to
get another log, the four hundred brothers gathered and said "How shall
we kill this boy? Because it is not good what he has done lifting the
log alone and doing all these impossible things. He is a monster, even
if he behaves like a flirty girl, he is still dangerous to have around.
Plus we don’t have any money to pay him. Can you imagine what he would
do to us? Let us ask him to dig a deep pit and push him into it.” But
when they went to get me, they found me asleep at the edge of the woods
with an axe in my hands. I guess I looked threatening, because the young
men, increasingly anxious, went ahead and dug the hole themselves.
There were so many of them that by the time I woke up from my nap the
hole was finished.
“Naufús, could you please go down to take out
some of the loose earth and carry it up here?” I was getting tired at
all their requests, they sounded like a swarming cloud of mosquitos. I
went to the edge of the hole, stooped down to see the bottom of it and
said “guys, I can’t see the bottom of the hole, I can’t go down there!
Besides I think its deep enou“, they pushed me in. Falling down that
hole seemed endless; occasionally my head or feet would slam against the
edges, but the dirt was soft like brown velvet, which was the greatest
thing for when I landed at the bottom, I had not hurt myself.
took me a minute or two to come back to my senses, but when I did, I
heard the young men dragging something heavy above. I could see the tip
of the pole getting bigger on the edge of the hole. I anxiously dug at
the walls of the pit, clumps of earth falling easily, as I dug in a
panic. But when the pole fell down into the bottom I could see the
natural intelligence of my action: I had dug a side chamber that
protected me as the large tree trunk fell into the pit. Outside, the
brothers heaved with excitement "we crushed him! But sh, let no one
speak! Let us wait until we hear his dying screams." I was indeed
screaming, but not from pain, but from hysteria. "Oh! How well we have
succeeded in this! Now he is dying!" said the boys. "What did that crazy
guy want with us anyway?” the four hundred boys joked around, teasing
each other as to which of them had been my favorite.
the joy that seems so strangely familiar to lynch mobs; they said: "Now
we must make our chicha and build our house! But we should be wary and
make sure that the day after tomorrow the ants come out of the earth
carrying bits of his body. This will be our real proof that he has
From my pit I could hear everything the boys said. And
later, on the second day, multitudes of ants came, coming and going and
gathering under the log. At the mere sight of them I rushed to painfully
pull out from my body what ever I could and was happy to see that some
ants carried my hair in their mouths and others carried my whole
fingernails up the edges of the pole to the surface. When the boys saw
this, they said, "That faggot has now perished! Look how the ants have
gathered, how they have come in hordes, some bringing his hair and
others his fingernails. Look what we have done!" So they spoke to each
Nonetheless, I was very much alive. I continued to pull
out my hair and gnaw off my fingernails to give them to the ants. And so
the four hundred boys believed that I was dead, and on the third day
they began with what sounded like a huge party, celebrating my death.
But by night everything fell silent. Sensing that the men were now
wasted and unconscious, I lifted the huge pole from the bottom. It was
harder than I expected. When I crawled out of that pit I knew no mercy
and took the pole into my arms like a baseball bat and killed them all.
Not even one or two amongst the four hundred were saved. I, who had
tried to be friendly and had never meant to be a threat to any one,
killed them. But as I stood there afterwards with the pole at my feet,
exhausted, and covered in their blood, I saw their bodies lighting up
like fireflies. Their bellies seemed swollen with sunlight, and this
swelling increased, detaching itself from them. The lights floated
around me, examining me, entering my mouth, exploring each internal
organ and bone fiber inside of me. I felt my body easing up, filled with
calm and contentment. The lights poured out of my skin, nose, ass,
bellybutton and ears. The lights went up into the sky, becoming the
group of stars called the Motz in the Quiche language, also known as the
Pleiades constellation in English. I walked back home as dawn came,
feeling renewed and somehow happy to have a new story to tell to