Do you dare to ignore a mystical creatures´ demand for respect? A fairytale or not, legends say it may be best to honor the Aluxes
How many of you have traveled on the bridge from the Cancun airport to the hotel zone? Or driven beneath it on your way to Cancun? How many of you know that during construction, the bridge collapsed…twice. Was it from faulty construction techniques? Engineering issues? Or was it something more mischievous and dangerous – an alux!
Similar to Irish leprechauns or European gnomes and fairies, Aluxes (pronounced ah-loosh-es) are mysterious and mythical creatures in the Maya culture. Born in a ceremony conducted by a Maya priest, aluxes are believed to protect their owners and their owners´property. When treated well, through offerings of food, honey, corn, and tobacco, aluxes protect fields and property from thieves or others wishing to do harm. These light and agile creatures are rarely seen and when not treated well, can wreak havoc. Stories of aluxes terrorizing children, harassing neglectful owners, and even leading people into the jungle where they become lost for days can be heard all over the Yucatan Peninsula. When property is sold or passed down, it is important for the new owners to continue to make offerings. You may even see small houses or shelters built out of respect for aluxes in some of resorts, hotels and even roads throughout the Yucatan.
Prior to concerts given by Luciano Pavarotti and Sarah Brightman at Chichen Itza, sacred ceremonies and offerings were conducted by Maya priests to please the aluxes. Both concerts went off without a hitch. Then, during preparation for the Elton John concert (also held at Chichen Itza) the stage collapsed and three workers were injured. Later, it was admitted that a ceremonial offering was not made to the aluxes. Some believe the aluxes were to blame for the stage collapse.
As for the Cancun bridge problems, rumor has it, following the second incident with the bridge, a Maya priest was brought in to conduct a sacred ceremony and workers constructed a small house to honor the aluxes, which still stands. The bridge was finished without incident and millions of travelers use the bridge every year, unaware of the mischievous aluxes in their presence.