The Origin of the Word “Hurricane”

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Hurricane Katrina Image

Hurricane Katrina Image


My friend, Photographer Randy Richards, sent me an email about the origin of the word “hurricane.” So I did a little research. This comes from by Frances Jock:

“There are two possible origins of the word “hurricane.” According to one source, the word “Hurricane” is derived from the Spanish word “huracn.” The origin of which is the Carib term for “God of Evil”. Other sources, however, postulate that the word is derived from the name of the Mayan storm god, “Hurakan.” According to the Popol Vuh, which recounts the Mayan Creation Myth, Huracan (from Mayan Jun Raqan) is the ancient Mayan weather god of wind, storm, and fire. Hurakan is “the one-legged”, and one of three creator deities, collectively called “the Heart of Heaven,” that participates in three attempts at creating humanity first from mud, and then wood. The final and successful creation resulted in the creation of mankind from maize.

The Creation Myth also reveals that Hurakan caused the Great Flood after the first humans angered the gods. According to the myth, he lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters and repeatedly called forth the earth until land came up from beneath the seas. His “one legged” appearance refers to one of his legs having been transformed into a snake. His appearance features a snout-like nose, resembles that of the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. Hurakan can also be spelled Hurrican, Huracan, & Harakan.”

Well, it appears this angry God of wind and storm is snaking into the Gulf as I write, a strong Category 4 hurricane. May he have mercy upon us…

Until next time…