The Mayan Legend of the Hummingbird

Our store has been honoring the chuparosa (Hummingbird) for as long as I can remember. We sell hummingbird products as a perfume, spiritual cleansing water, pheromones, soap as well as in our own original hummingbird candle. So why is the hummingbird so popular in the Mexican culture?

Chuparosa - Hummingbird

The symbolism and legend of the chuparosa date back to the Mayan civilization. The Mayan religion involved several aspects of nature, animal spirits, astronomy and rituals. The Mayans worshipped the chuparosa and were fascinated with the beauty of the bird’s feathers, the birds speed and how the bird’s physicality contrasted with the bird’s fragility.

Like the complexity of a rose, so beautiful yet it is surrounded by thorns. The Mayans noticed that because the bird was born so delicate and light, the chuparosa could approach most flowers without moving a single feather on its body. The Mayans admired how the bird’s feathers glowed in the sun like drops of rain and how this glow reflected all the colors of the universe. In Mayan folklore,

The beauty of this bird symbolized pure love and the fragility of one’s heart. The Mayans were very protective of the hummingbird and believed that if a man tried to capture a hummingbird to adorn himself with the hummingbird feathers, he would be punished by the Gods. In addition, Mayan men were not allowed to cage or touch hummingbirds. According to the Mayan legend, to capture or kill a hummingbird would bring bad luck to one’s love life.

The legend also claims that the chuparosa carried the love thoughts of men and to see one meant that a person was ready to open his or her heart to love. The legend of the hummingbird lives on and is celebrated to this day in the Mexican culture. In the Mexican tradition, if you spot a chuparosa anywhere, someone you love or desire to be part of your life is thinking of you. The hummingbird Mayan legend is over four thousand years old.

View our Chuparosa products here


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  1. A lot of the description here is about a love bird, in the form of a Humming Bird. However the War God of the Mayans was Huitzilopochtli, the WAR GOD. Can you explain that? Why was such a tiny bird thought of in such terms? The Humming bird is so tiny but it seems to have magical powers, and can hover in such a way that you cannot see it’s wings, see it move with the effort.

    1. In a German book about Mayan legends, I read that the hummingbird is a symbol of the war god. (I guess because he needs to move very cautiously, too.)

      But I also heard from a local that when you see a hummingbird, the soul of an ancestor is visiting you.

      These myths do not contradict each other, since one is about a symbol and the other about getting visited by a real bird.

      Thinking about it as someone with an eagle in his flag, now I wonder what it means when you get visited by an eagle.