Twin brothers Hun Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu were talented players of the Mayan ball game Pok-ta-Pok. The twins had a wonderful time playing their favorite ball game but were extremely noisy. This continuous noise of the twins irritated the Lords of the underworld, and they decided to summon the twins to their court to chastise them.
The Death Lords of Xibalba, the name of the underworld, tricked the twins into a ball game, and when the twins lost the game, they were killed. As proof of their victory, the Death Lords hung the head of Hun Hunahpu from a tree near the ball field to ensure all the Mayan people knew that they were victorious and no one should anger them.
One day as the underworld goddess Xquic walks by the ball field, she stops to admire a tree bearing the most delicious fruit. Not knowing the tree was inhabited by the spirit of the great warrior named Hunahpu, she looks at the tree and is about to pick one of the delicious fruits.
The reincarnated spirit of Hunahpu spits magical black seeds into the hands of Xquic, and she becomes pregnant.
In Xibalba, the Dark Lords were furious for being tricked and sent a messenger to summon the twins to the underworld.
Knowing the story of how the Dark Lords had tricked their father and uncle, they were ready to take revenge on the Dark Lords of Xibalba. They took their father’s ball with them when they went to the underworld, knowing they would be protected.
The evil lords of the underworld tried to trick them several times by setting magic tasks before them, yet the twins passed every test.
The first test was to greet the lords on their arrival in the underworld, and the lords tried to trick them by disguising themselves amongst wooden statues; however, the twins used a mosquito to bite the lords and knew which were statues and which were lords.
They had to survive a night in the House of Darkness to pass the second test with a torch that remained unburnt until morning. The twins decorated the torch with Macau feathers and attracted fireflies, keeping The House of Darkness lit till morning. Again, they beat the dark lords. The Dark Lords were furious to see they had been outwitted again and challenged the twins to a ball game.
The Dark Lords were determined to kill the twins during the ball game and hid sharp knives in the ball. Discovering the blades in the ball, the twins negotiated with the Dark Lords that they would continue to play the ball game but only if they could use their ball. The famous ball game began, the twins were so good that they managed to win each game against their opponents.
Xibalba was the underworld, and no matter what, the twins knew the evil Dark Lords would eventually kill them. So, the twins hatched a plan to outwit the Dark Lords.
After facing numerous supernatural games invented by the Dark Lords and still winning, the Dark Lords decided that since they were the rulers of the underworld, they made the decisions and ordered the twins to enter the oven. The twins agreed as this was where their master plan would come together. The twins died, and their bodies burnt into ash. Their ashes were thrown into the river.
The boys regenerated into the first catfish in Meso-America and later became human boys. Regenerated and having beaten death, the twins now had divine god-like powers. One of the powers included killing someone and bringing them back to life.
Soon, the Dark Lords heard of the twins’ divine powers and summoned them to reveal their powers over life and death. So, the twins played their final trick, Xbalanque slashed Hunahpu’s head off, killed him, and then brought him back to life. Being impressed by their powers over life and death, the Dark Lords asked them to kill them and bring them back to life.
The Hero twins killed most of the Dark Lords but did not bring them back to life. Seeing their plan, the remaining Dark Lords begged for mercy. The Hero twins demanded that the Lords have no power over the people or demand ritual sacrifices.
These powers impressed the sky gods to such an extent that they made the twins the rulers of the earth.
In the end, the surviving Lords asked for mercy, so the Hero twins spoke their curse. They demanded that Lords have no sacrifices and control over the surface world.
The sky gods were so impressed by the Twins that he made them the rulers of the Earth. Thus. The Hero Twins became the sun and the moon, one ruling the earth by day and one ruling the earth by night.
Their bravery and wits made the twins heroes in the eyes of the gods and the people by destroying the Dark Lords of Xibalba.
This myth ingrained the importance of the ball game into the culture of the Mayan people, and it became a religious symbol of the eternal battle of good versus evil.
The Hero Twins were made divine rulers of the Earth by the gods of the sky, one as the moon and the other as the sun.