Entrance to the Underworld
A new article today in Yahoo talks about the discovery to the entrance to the 'Underworld'. While traveling throughout the state we at Port Wahakaa have heard of a good number of these 'Entrances'. Several ruins around Oaxaca have tunnel complexes underneath them. Over the years we heard stories from the villagers of Arrazola of the tunnel system that is underneath Monte Alban as well. Mitla was formerly a Mixtec ruin supposedly built on an even older Olmec ruin.
The Spanish friars generally translated the word for Christian hell as Mictlan very similar to the name Mitla. The disconnect was that hell for Christians were only for sinners whereas the Mixtecs, Mayans, and Zapotecs believe everyone has to pass through there whether they were good or evil.
Owls were once thought to be the messengers to the gods in the underworld because of their association with caves. The Aztecs regarded owls with fear which culminated into the dreaded nocturnal form changing sorcerer known as Tlacatecolotl, or Owl Man.
Here is Avelino's copal woodcarving of the Owl Man as the Olmecs once knew them.