Captain’s Log star date seven. Today we have encountered one of the first mythical death beings to have no indication of kindness or just behavior. Known as Ah Puch, Kisin, and God A, this Mayan deity is the God of Death, the Underworld, Putrefaction, and Flatulence. We will have to investigate further all his attributes and behaviors before deeming him an outcast in our Kindly Gods of Death Club.
In the Mayan artwork and stories, Kisin has many descriptions for his appearance. He is usually depicted as a dancing skeleton or as a bloated putrefying body with an owl’s head. Decorated in bells, he often wears a death collar/necklace adorned with the eyes (dangling off nerve cords) of the dead. At some points, he was shown to only have a skeleton’s head, but his body featured protruding ribs and sores. He is also seen holding a sacrificial knife in one hand and a cigarette in the other (classy). He is generally shown smirking. *shiver*
Kisin is Lord if the Underworld, ruling mostly over the ninth level of their ‘hell’ which was the worst and merciless floor. He is deeply associated with owls, who hunts at night. It was believed that if a person heard the screech of an owl, someone near by was soon destined to die. He was also connected to caves because they represented the entrances to the underworld.
During the creation of the underworld, Kisin killed the god of sky, but he was soon resurrected. So as punishment, Kisin was sentenced to be trapped in the Underworld as it’s ruler. Out of anger and frustration, Kisin often kicks the pillars in his palace causing earthquakes above. He only escapes at night, when he comes to the surface to find his next victim. To avoid death, people were told to howl and scream in pain. Then, Kisin would think that one of his demons had dealt with the victim first.
His own personal psychopomp was an evil bird that carried messages to him about bad tidings and those meant to die. In the underworld, Kisin would burn some of the souls of those considered evil (probably more for enjoyment then for justice), and turn some of the more evil souls into his own demon pets. For fun, he enjoyed hunting doppelgangers that looked like spider monkeys of men destined to die.
In one myth, Kisin destroys the trees that the rain god Chac plants on the planet (because he is a jerk bully).
So in conclusion, Kisin goes against my whole thesis that death gods are kind and under appreciated. But I still believe he is only one of few that contradict that completely.
More of the God of Flatulence: www.allabouthistory.org/mayan-death-god-faq.htm