Growing up, my brother and I had endless fun climbing Mayan pyramids top to bottom acting out mock sacrifices. This was back in the day when they still permitted you to walk up the ruins. It was a giant playground. Over the years, we have visited the ruins of Uxmal many times. At the center of Uxmal is the structure in this photo which is named “The Pyramid of the Magician.” Most fascinating is the legend behind how this pyramid was built.
The legend tells the story of a dwarf magician. It begins with an old woman who had no children. One day this woman found a very special egg. She covered the egg with a cloth and placed it in the corner of her house. The egg eventually hatched and a little boy lay beside it. The old lady was overjoyed and cared for the child as he grew up. The boy was very intelligent but one day the boy stopped growing. The mother however knew the boy was destined to become a great king regardless of his small stature. So the mother instructed the dwarf to go and challenge the king to prove his strength. After completing several challenges successfully, the king ordered him to construct a building taller than anything else in the city and if he failed, he would be executed. He ran home terrified of the impossible task ahead. To everyone’s surprise, the morning came and the dwarf had completed the task in only one night. What they saw was the pyramid in this photo, taller than anything they had ever seen before. Soon after, the dwarf was declared the new king of Uxmal. That is the legend behind el “Piramide del Adivino.”