Ah Mucen Cab, God of Bees and Honey in Mayan Religion

Tulum Temple Grounds
Tulum Temple Grounds. Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty

Name and Etymology

  • Ah Mucen Cab
  • Ah Muzencab
  • Ah Muzen Cab

 

Religion and Culture of Ah Mucen Cab

Maya, Mesoamerica

 

Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Ah Mucen Cab

Ah Mucen Cab generally appears in Mayan art with the wings of a bee, usually outstretched either in the process of landing or taking off. He is related to Colel Cab, a Mayan earth goddess who was also responsible for bees and honey.

 

Some argue that Ah Mucen Cab is also the "Descending God" because he is so consistently portrayed in an upside-down position and because the Descending God's temple is located in Tulum, the center of worship for Ah Mucen Cab.

 

Ah Mucen Cab is God of...

  • Bees
  • Honey
  • Beekeeping
  • Creation

 

Equivalents in Other Cultures

  • Aristaeus: Ancient Greek god of bees
  • Bhramari: Hindu goddess of bees
  • Mellona: Roman goddess of bees

 

Story and Origin of Ah Mucen Cab

Honey was an important part of the diet in most Mesoamerican cultures, as well as a vital trade product, so Ah Mucen Cab was an important deity in the Mayan pantheon. The Mayan word for "honey" was also the same as the word for "world," so the honey god Ah Mucen Cab was also involved with the creation of the world.

 

Worship, Rituals and Temples of Ah Mucen Cab

Images of what archaeologists believe is Ah Mucen Cab appear throughout the ruins of Tulum. Here Ah Mucen Cab appears as a "descending" god, with outstretched wings as he comes in for a landing. Archaeologists believe that Ah Mucen Cab was the patron of Tulum and that the region produced a lot of honey. Some honeys are toxic and produce psychoactive effects.

It's possible that consumption of such honey were integrated into worship of Ah Mucen Cab.