Thanks for making this thread Skyfloating. I knew of a few dwarf legends but I had no idea there were so many around the world. Your thread made me
dig up more detail about the legend of Uxmal located in Mexico. Native American legend says a dwarf built the pyramid at Uxmal in one night. An
article on Uxmal said John Lloyd Stephens picked up the legend first hand back in 1840. I was able to find scans of his book that describe the story.
Since the scans are difficult to navigate through I decided to type it out quoting it in this post.
House of the Dwarf or Pyramid of the Magician - Uxmal, pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Yucatan, Mexico
This sketch of Uxmal was taken from John Lloyd Stephen's book, "Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas and the Yucatan" published in
Incidents of travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan
John Lloyd Stephens, published in 1841
Ruins of Uxmal
House of the Dwarf-An Indian legend
“The Indians regard these ruins with superstitious reverence. They will not go near them at night, and they have the old story that immense treasure
is hidden among them. Each of the buildings has its name given to it by the Indians. This is called the Casa del Anano, or House of the Dwarf, and it
is consecrated by a wild legend, which, as I sat in the doorway, I received from the lips of an Indian, as follows:
There was an old woman who lived in a hut on the very spot now occupied by the structure on which this building is perched, and opposite the Casa del
Gobernador [House of the Governor], who went mourning that she had no children. In her distress she one day took an egg, covered it with a cloth, and
laid it away carefully in one corner of the hut. Everyday she went to look at it, until one morning she found the egg hatched, and a criatura, or
creature, or baby, born. The old woman was delighted, and called it her son, provided it with a nurse, took good care of it, so that in one year it
walked and talked like a man; and then it stopped growing. The old woman was more delighted than ever, and she said he would be a great lord or king.
One day she told him to go to the house of the gobernador and challenge him to a trial of strength. The dwarf tried to beg off, but the old woman
insisted, and he went. The guard admitted him, and he flung his challenge at the gobernador. The latter smiled, and told him to lift a stone of three
arrobas, or seventy-five pounds, at which the little fellow cried and returned to his mother, who sent him back to say that if the gobernador lifted
it first, he would afterward. The gobernador lifted it, and the dwarf immediately did the same. The gobernador then tried him with other feats of
strength, and the dwarf regularly did whatever was done by the gobernador. At length, indignant at being matched by a dwarf, the gobernador told him
that, unless he made a house in one night higher than any in the place, he would kill him. The poor dwarf again returned crying to his mother, who
bade him not to be disheartened, and the next morning he awoke and found himself in this lofty building. The gobernador, seeing it from the door of
his palace, was astonished, and sent for the dwarf, and told him to collect two bundles of eogoiol, a wood of a very hard species, with one of which
he, the gobernador, would beat the dwarf over the head, and afterward the dwarf should beat him with the other. The dwarf again returned crying to his
mother; but the latter told him not to be afraid, and put on the crown of his head a tortillita de trigo, a small thin cake of wheat flour. The trial
was made in the presence of all the great men in the city. The gobernador broke the whole of his bundle over the dwarf’s head without hurting the
little fellow in the least. He then tried to avoid the trial on his own head, but he had given his word in the presence of his officers, and was
obliged to submit. The second blow of the dwarf broke his scull to pieces, and all the spectators hailed the victor as their new gobernador. The old
woman then died; but at the Indian village of Mani, seventeen leagues distant, there is a deep well, from which opens a cave that leads under the
ground an immense distance to Merida. In this cave, on the bank of a stream, under the shade of a large tree, sits an old woman with a serpent by her
side, who sells water in small quantities, not for money, but only for a criatura or a baby to give the serpent to eat; and this old woman is the
mother of the dwarf."
So it seems the under ground dweller isn’t the dwarf but it is his mother who seems to be the source of magic. I’ve noticed a great deal of
importance to this female figure in Mesoamercan lore.