The Mayan Legend of the Alux


Alux is the Mayan word given to mythological Mayan spirits found in the Yucatan Peninsula.  Aluxes or Aluxob are believed to be small dwarf-like creatures, no higher than your knee, dressed in traditional Mayan clothes. They live in the Mayan jungles and forest and near milpas where Mayan farmers grow their crops The description of these little creatures and the types of tricks they play is very similar to the Irish leprechaun, and similarly to them they are playful and mischievous and love to play practical jokes.  They are believed to mirror the dark or light essence of a person and communicate in a manner that can frighten a human or can bring joy and loving protection.  If they are treated well they look after your crops and your home and your family,  but if they are treated badly they can also cause bad luck.   Mayan people make offerings to them before they venture into the forest or start their milpa farming to bring good luck.


Some Mayans believe that Aluxes are called into being when a farmer builds a little house on his property, usually in a milpa (maize) field . Thus begins the seven year cycle.  For seven years, the alux will help the corn grow, summon rain and patrol the fields at night, whistling to scare off predators or crop thieves. At the end of seven years, the farmer must close the windows and doors of the little house, sealing the alux inside, but if this is not done, the alux will run wild and start playing tricks on people.


The word duende, which is the Spanish word for a supernatural goblin-like creature, is sometimes used to describe the alux.  Some think that the Mayan belief in the aluxes began through interactions with the Spanish or pirates during the 16th century. Pirates of that era were often from the British Isles, where many people believed in fairies.


However, the Mayans maintain that the alux are the spirits of their ancestors, or the spirits of the land itself.


One thought on “The Mayan Legend of the Alux

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