When Xtabay died, her tomb was surrounded by fragrant scents and flowers, one of which stood out the most: the Xtabentún flower that gave off a sweet smell, as sweet as this woman was in life. , Despite her promiscuous nature and the resulting ill treatment by her community, Xkeban helped those around her, which ultimately made her worthy of being transformed into the xtabentún flower. Según cuenta la leyenda, en un pueblo vivían dos hermosas hermanas, Xtabay quien era conocida por todos como una mujer pecaminosa, que disfrutaba del placer carnal y compartía su cuerpo y belleza a cuan hombre se le acercase; por otro lado, estaba Utz-Colel, quien al igual de bella, era amada por todos por su aparente dulzura y buen portar. When Xtabay died, her tomb was surrounded by fragrant scents and flowers, one of which stood out the most: the Xtabentún flower that gave off a sweet smell, as sweet as this woman was in life.  Once they have sex, Xtabay transforms into a poisonous serpent to devour them.  The ceiba tree is considered to connect both the heavens and underworld.  The homeless and poor who Xkeban helped during her life held a funeral for her and a mysterious, sweet-fragranced flower grew around her grave. The moral of the legend is that virtue is within the heart and treatment of those less fortunate, not only in celibacy and actions.  This flower is used for a liqueur of the same name. Despite her ill treatment, Xkeban tended to the poor, sick, and animals in need. , "Notes upon the ethnography of southern Mexico: expedition of 1901", "The influences of some Mexican folklore and beliefs on Mexican life", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xtabay&oldid=989828103, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from August 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 07:43. Once she throws her victim over a cliff, she then rips out their heart.  Legends similar to La Llorona include La Malinche and La Xtabay. , The Xtabay is known for her long black hair falling past her shoulders that she combs with the spines of the tzacam cactus. This is just one of the many legends that recalls the Yucatecan Maya history and culture, blending mythology, anecdote, and of course, gastronomic tradition. , Two equally beautiful women, Xkeban and Utz-colel, lived in a village or pueblo in the Yucatán Peninsula.  Women symbolize purity and are taught not to talk to men by themselves. This gave origin to the legend of Xtabay, “ix” meaning “woman” and “tabay” meaning “spirit”. According to legend, there were many sightings of Xtabay in this area. It has a sweet fragrance and found in hedges, and it was said that flower seeks shelter in the hedges because it is defenseless just as Xkeban felt defenseless when she was a human.  Xkeban had a warm heart whereas Utz-colel had a cold heart. , There are many similarities to the legend of La Llorona, a ghost who is said to wander Mexico searching for her children and luring away any living children she comes across. Xtabay will wait under a tree to lure and then throw her victim over a cliff. , Xtabay is said to wear a white dress, have large black eyes, and long black hair down to her ankles that she uses to attract men who are out late at night. As revenge, Utz-Colel returned from eternity imitating the sweetness of her sister, seducing the men and travelers who ventured along the roads of the Mayab at night.  In the Yucatán peninsula, the word Xtabay illustrates undesirable behavior in women and men, and the legend is used by mothers and grandmother to use the legend to teach good behaviors to their children.  One of the most accepted versions of the myth comes from the book, Diez Leyendas Mayas (1998), written by Jesus Azcorra Alejos. You can also put it into your coffee. In Yucatán we serve it straight, with ice and honey, or simply chilled. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Similar a una sirena, la Xtabay se desliza flotando entre las espinas puntiagudas de un grandioso árbol: la ceiba. , The legend of Xtabay is part of contemporary Maya culture, as myths influence current beliefs. When you take a sip of this drink, the intoxicating feeling it provokes is similar to what was felt by those who fell in love with the charismatic Xtabay. ES, Your email address will not be published.  The myth also has influence over marriages today, as to prevent infidelity, it is said that Xtabay lures husbands who left their home at night to drink alcohol and seek the attention of other women. The second woman, Utz-Colel “the good” was very appreciated and respected by the villagers, but she had a very rigid interior and was incapable of loving others.  She lures men deep into the forest, leading to the men to become lost and disoriented before she has sex with them. Yucatán; Cuenta una antigua leyenda maya que en un pequeño pueblo vivían dos bellas mujeres hermanas de sangre, una era conocida como la Xkebán que se traducía en mujer pecadora pues se entregaba constantemente a los placeres de la carne, de modo que la gente honrada del lugar sentía repugnancia hacia ella. Esta entrada también está disponible en:  The people of the village planned to exile Xkeban, but they decided to allow her to remain in order to further humiliate her.  Throughout all of the versions, the La Llorona figure is known as "the white lady" because she wears white. , The theme of death is continuous with all of the different versions of the myth of the Xtabay. In contrast to Xkeban, Utz-colel was cold-hearted and believed she was superior to those around her, especially those socially below her.  Mayan culture puts importance on keeping hair long and healthy, however, humid weather and long work days make this difficult, so the working woman's hair is pulled up from the face. It is said that there were two very beautiful women in the same village, the first was named Xtabay, also known as “the sinner” because of her ease in falling in love; she was also known for caring for the sick and vulnerable. , In La Xtabay, the symbolism of the human heart is often repeated throughout the myth, as both Xkeban's and Utz-colel's personalities are described based on the type of "heart" they possessed. Xtabay o Xkeben era bondadosa y socorría a los más necesitados.  She is said to dwell in the forest to lure men to their deaths with her incomparable beauty. Although it is said that she only appears to men who are under the influence of alcohol, there are accounts from men who swear they have seen her on their way home from working in the fields, becoming disoriented and lost and then remembering nothing for several hours. Subscribe me your mailing list, Landscape of the Soul – A Cuban Experience at SoHo Galleries, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window). Xtabay - Leyenda Maya Cuenta la leyenda, que en un pueblo existían dos hermanas que vivían cerca una de la otra, una se llamaba Xtabay y le decían Xkeben (que significa mala mujer) y la otra se llamaba Utz-Colel (mujer limpia, decente.) Izamal is an important religious tourism destinati, Our editor shares her beautiful letter with reflec, A Glimpse Into Maya World View: Turtles and Corn, Come con Soltura o Bajo Presupuesto en Mérida, Sincretismo en la Región Puuc: De Iglesias y Estelas, Yucatán, Mi Inspiración: Paloma van den Akker, Viajes Para Acampar en Familia en Yucatán. , The legend of the Xtabay has influenced music. Xkeban was transformed to this flower, which is known as a xtabentún, which is a species of morning glory. Required fields are marked *.  Xkeban was treated poorly by her community for her promiscuous behavior while Utz-colel was considered virtuous for remaining celibate.  People who look at La Malinche have their necks stuck in the position in which they looked at her and must be cured by a curandero (healer). La Xtabay is a Yucatec Mayan myth about the female demon, Xtabay, who targets men in the Yucatán Peninsula. Today, the nectar is extracted from the Xtabentún flower, and used in the preparation of the honey-anise liqueur of the same name. Se esconde al pie de la más frondosa ceiba, los atrae, los seduce y cruelmente los mata. Leyenda La Xtabay Leyenda del Estado de Campeche Cuenta la leyenda que la mujer Xtabay es una mujer muy bella que suele encantar a los hombres que por las noches se aventuran en los caminos. , The term "Xtab" was used to refer to an ancient Mayan goddess Ixtab, the goddess of suicide by hanging or the gallows.  Utz-colel prayed to evil spirits who fulfilled her desire to become a woman again so that she may too become a beautiful flower in death, but she could not feel love due to being motivated by jealously and rage, which lead to her becoming the demon Xtabay. , Utz-colel haughtily believed that her dead body would smell better than Xkeban's because of her purity, however, her dead body had an unbearable smell. Don’t hesitate to try it. Imagine all t, Mangroves are a living force, a refuge for local f. Yes!  The myth is used by parents and grandparents to mold their children into never going out into night to drink or cheat on their wives. , Utz-colel was known for her purity because she abstained from sexual relations.  Xtabay lures men with seduction, which is against the traditional Mayan culture. , An alternative version of the legend, particularly in Quintana Roo, states that Xtabay is the punisher of drunks, thieves, and violent criminals. , The ceiba tree is a sacred tree of the Mayan people since the belief was that a virtuous person could become a ceiba tree after death. La leyenda de Xtabay.  Even in death, when Utz-colel wanted to experience life again, she was unable to overcome her envy and loveless heart. Yucatán Today is the only magazine and website which takes you by the hand to experience the essence of Yucatán.  Xtabay subverts the traditional meaning of the ceiba tree since she hides behind it to lure victims away. This is one of the exotic dishes of Yucatán.  It has been suggested that Christian colonialists corrupted the original legend by altering the meaning of the ceiba tree from a sacred tree into a place of danger. La Leyenda de la Xtabay. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. One of the most accepted versions of the myth comes from the book, Diez Leyendas Mayas (1998), written by Jesus Azcorra Alejos. Email (required)  Xtabay's hair contrasts the typical hairstyle of Mayan women but represents the culture's ideal of beauty.  The entire pueblo gathered for her funeral, and they put flowers around her grave that disappeared the next day. Learn how your comment data is processed.  Les Baxter's album Voice of the Xtabay by Peruvian soprano Yma Sumac depicts the lure of the xtabay in her music.  La Malinche was said to have three sons by three different men, and she drowned her three lovers, but now is cursed to look for them along the rivers and called to them endlessly. Xtabay (se pronuncia esh-ta-bai): una mujer yucateca fantástica, con cabello largo y oscuro y vestido blanco.  She is described as having beautiful, shining black hair that falls down to her ankles and wearing a white dress.  Xkeban was shamed and humiliated by her community because she did not follow the traditional expectation for woman's behaviour. She is said to dwell in the forest to lure men to their deaths with her incomparable beauty.  If a Mayan woman does not follow these cultural expectations, she can be condemned for her actions.  The townspeople adored Utz-colel because of her celibacy and overlooked her cruelty. She is described as having beautiful, shining black hair that falls down to her ankles and wearing a white dress. These Melipona bees are hard at work to sweeten yo, An aerial view of the ballgame in Ciudad Caucel, o, Izamal is like being on a movie set.  According to Perez' Lexicon of the Mayan Language, the feminine prefix "tab", "taab", and "tabil" translate to "rope intended for some exclusive use. , Several days after Xkeban's death, the townspeople discovered her body surrounded by flowers and being guarded by animals.  Sometimes the women are said to be sisters. La Xtabay is a Yucatec Mayan myth about the female demon, Xtabay, who targets men in the Yucatán Peninsula.  In other versions of the myth, the Xtabay appears in any form or sex that will lure away a person.  Variants of the La Llorona legend are told throughout Mexico and because of the La Llorona figure can be pitied and feared at the same time.  It said in the legend that the ceiba roots are where all the men the Xtabay has taken from earth go and that no one has returned from there. " Ixtab was seen as a benevolent goddess who acted as a psychopomp to whoever hung themselves, leading them to paradise, as suicide was considered an honorable way of dying. If you want to see the monument inspired by this legend, in the northeast part of Mérida, where the streets coming from Polígono 108, Macroplaza, and the road to Chichí Suarez join, there is a glorieta with two 10-meter high female figures, one looking in one direction and the other in the opposite direction, with a ceiba tree between them.
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