“H” is for Hun Hunahpu, the Maize God

In my imaginings, Hun Hunahpu is the Zeus of the Mesoamerican Olympus. There doesn’t really seem to be one supreme deity, various cultures favored one god over another; but it is undeniable that Hun Hunahpu is a major player of the Popol Vuh.

Without Hun Huahpu , man would languish without nourishment; for it is with his sacrifice and redemption that he brought forth maize, teosinte to native people. Teosinte translates as teo, godly or sacred and cintli which translates as maize= godly corn.

It is this godly corn from which man is fashioned to serve the gods. Ancient teosinte was apparently tri-colored: golden, red and blue. Native people saw the similarities in their own lovely golden bodies, rippled with blue veins and able to release radiant red blood when cut.

This imagery is very rich to me, which is perhaps why I have fetishized Hun Hunahpu, a pagan Savior for New Spain.

“H” is for Hun Hunahpu
watercolor on paper
18 by 11 inches

Clive was (is?) working on a particularly fetching Gawain, I was enchanted by the fair knight’s porcelain skin; this motivated my own pale radiant god. I tried to capture the tri-color palette within the limitations of the Primer palette. I failed to keep it monochrome with only one color. The siren call of  my paint box gets me every time. I did want to capture the veining that  Mesoamericans read as blue, and the golden quality of my god is apparent .

What is also apparent  is the homoerotic nature of the painting. I may make another more chaste version, I may not. I know I wanted the Maize God to look physically and sexually striking  , he is after all a fertility god! The “subtly” placed corn cob may be a bit excessive, but I couldn’t resist the visual pun.

I appreciate the indulgence.

I am finishing up a painting in oil, another bit of male pulchritude, I will present him next week, the gods willing.

Until that time,

take care,


Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

4 thoughts on ““H” is for Hun Hunahpu, the Maize God”

  1. I didn’t notice that special corn cob until you mentioned it. I think it should stay!

    This may not be strictly monochromatic but the subtle palette still works.

    Looking forward to seeing the oil painting!

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