100 Refutations: Day 52

The Creation of the Uinal [Excerpt]

This is the song of how the Uinal was created before the world was created, before dawn. […] Before the first awakening of the first world, the Uinal was born. Then, he began to walk, all on his own, in the company of his maternal grandmother, of his maternal aunt, of his sister-in-law. And the women said, “What shall we say, when we come upon tracks on the road?” In this way, they spoke, before man existed. While they walked along together. Then they arrived there, at the East, and found tracks upon the road. “Who has tread here?” they asked themselves. “We shall measure these tracks with our own feet,” they added. And they measured God’s footsteps, which is why they called the count of the world’s cycle Lahca 12 Oc (the day: young sun, son and nephew of moon). The measurement was taken when they’d gathered their feet precisely so, and then they left, from the East.


Unknown Mayan poet

According to Abraham Arias-Larreta in Literaturas Aborigenes de America (1976), “The Mayan Uinal was a period of 20 days, each of them with a different name. The Mayan year, or Haab, was composed of 18 Uinales and a final period of 5 days, the Xma Kaba Kin, nameless days.”

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V.

Lina M. Ferreira C.-V. earned MFAs in creative nonfiction writing and literary translation from The University of Iowa. She is the author of Drown Sever Sing from Anomalous Press and Don’t Come Back from Mad River Books, as well as editor, with Sarah Viren, of the forthcoming anthology Essaying the Americas. Her fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation work has been featured in journals including Bellingham ReviewChicago ReviewFourth GenreBrevityPoets & Writers, and The Sunday Rumpus, among others. She won Best of the Net and Iron Horse Review’s Discovered Voices Award, has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, and is a Rona Jaffe fellow. She moved from Colombia to China to Columbus, Ohio to Richmond, Virginia, where she works as an assistant professor for Virginia Commonwealth University. Visit www.linawritesessays.com.

English translation copyright (c) Lina M. Ferreira C.-V., 2018.