A record of the katuns and years when the Province of Yucatan was first seized by the foreigners, the white men. It was, they say, in Katun 11 Ahau that they seized the port of Ecab. They came from the east when they arrived. They say they were the first to eat the pond-apple for breakfast, this was the reason they called them the foreigners who ate pond-apples; foreigners who
sucked pond-apples, they were called. 1 This is the name of the householder whom they seized at Ecab, Nacom Balam 2 was his name. He was the first to be seized at Ecab by the first <Spanish> captain, Don Juan /
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It was the year 1513 in Katun 13 Ahau that they seized Campeche. They were there one katun. 4 Ah Kin Camal from Campeche introduced the foreigners into the province here.
It was on August 20th in the year 1541, I have made known the name of the year when Christianity began.
In the year 1519, after seven score and eleven years, occurred the agreement with the foreigners, 5 according to which we paid for the war between the foreigners and the other men here in the towns. It was the captains of the towns <who made war>. It is we who pay for it today.
Today I have written down that in the year 1541 the foreigners first arrived from the east at Ecab, as it was called. In that year occurred their arrival at the port of Ecab, at the village of Nacom Balam, on the first day of the year /
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after the town of Chichen Itzá was depopulated, after the town on the Uxmal side <of the range of hills>, the great town of Uxmal as it is called, 1 was depopulated, as well as Kabah. 2 It was after the towns of Zeye, 3 Pakam, 4 Homtun, at the town of Tix-calom-kin, 5 and Ake, 6 Holtun Ake, were depopulated.
It was after the town of Emal Chac 7 was depopulated, Izamal, 8 where the daughter of the true God, Lord of Heaven, descended, the Queen, the Virgin, the miraculous One. 9 When the ruler said: "The shield of Kinich Kakmo 10 shall descend," he was not declared ruler here. It was she, the miraculous one, the merciful one, who was so declared here. "The rope shall descend, the cord shall descend from heaven. The word shall descend from heaven." There was rejoicing over his reign by the other towns when they said this, but he was not declared their ruler at Emal (Izamal?). 11
Then the great Itzá went <away>. Thirteen four-hundreds were the four-hundreds of their thousands, 12 and fifteen four-hundreds, the four-hundreds of their hundreds, the leading men among them, the heathen Itzá. 13 But many supporters went with them to feed them. Thirteen measures of
corn per head was their quota, and nine measures and three handsful of grain. From many small towns the magicians went with them also. / 1
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They did not wish to join with the foreigners; they did not desire Christianity. They did not wish to pay tribute, did those whose emblems were the bird, the precious stone, the flat precious stone and the jaguar, 2 those with the three magic <emblems>. Four four-hundreds of years and fifteen score years was the end of their lives; 3 then came the end of their lives, because they knew the measure of their days. Complete was the month; complete, the year; complete, the day; complete, the night; complete, the breath of life as it passed also; complete, the blood, when they arrived at their beds, their mats, their thrones. In due measure did they recite the good prayers; in due measure they sought the lucky days, until they saw the good stars enter into their reign; then they kept watch while the reign of the good stars began. Then everything was good.
Then they adhered to <the dictates of> their reason. There was no sin; in the holy faith their lives <were passed>. There was then no sickness; they had then no aching bones; they had then no high fever; they had then no smallpox; they had then no burning chest; they had then no abdominal pains; they had then no consumption; they had then no headache. 4 At that time the course of humanity was orderly. The foreigners made it otherwise when they arrived here. They brought shameful things /
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teacher, no great speaker, no supreme priest, when the change of rulers occurred at their arrival. Lewd were the priests, when they came to be established here by the foreigners. Furthermore they left their descendants here at Tancah (Mayapan). These then received the misfortunes, after the affliction 1 of these foreigners. These, they say, were the Itzá. Three times it was, they say, that the foreigners arrived. It was because of this that we were relieved from paying tribute at the age of sixty, 2 because of the affliction by these men, /
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81:1 Op is a general term for the Annona species today, but it seems likely that at the time of the Conquest, the op or makop was the insipid pond-apple, the fruit of the Annona glabra L. which is of little use for food.
81:2 Cogolludo (Book 2, Chap. 5) states that Nacom Balam was an old man living at a ranch called Coni, near Conil, on the east coast.
81:3 Juan de Montejo was the son of Francisco the younger. The latter arrived at Merida in Katun 11 Ahau.
81:4 Few of the dates mentioned here are correct.
81:5 The agreement with the Spaniards was in 1542 or 1543, and not in 1519. The year 1543 was just seven score and eleven years after a certain year 7 Cauac which fell in 1392, and was employed as the basis of a chronological count for some reason as yet undiscovered (Chilam Balam of Mani apud Codex Perez, p. 127).
81:6 The Spanish Conquest of northern Yucatan was completed and Merida founded early in Katun 11 Ahau, but it was during the previous katun that Montejo first landed on the east coast of Yucatan. The port of Ecab was near Cape Cotoche and eight leagues northwest of Mugeres Island (Relaciones de Yucatan, II, p. 173).
81:7 According to the chronicles, Chichen Itzá was depopulated by Hunac Ceel in a Katun 8 Ahau which was seventeen katuns before Montejo entered Yucatan in a Katun 13 Ahau. In connection with the period of fifteen katuns mentioned here, compare p. 79, note 12, p. 83, note 3, and Appendix H.
81:8 This appears to be the town usually called Zaclactun. In the third Chumayel chronicle and in all the prophecies for Katun 12 Ahau except the two in the Tizimin (see table of references at the end of Appendix D) and the katun-wheel (p. 132), we find the name given as Saclactun Mayapan; and in the other three places it is called Zaclactun or Zaclahtun. It seems likely therefore that Zaclactun was the ancient name of Mayapan. In the latter name the last syllable, -pan, is a Nahuatl word meaning banner. According to Brinton (1882, p. 175) Zaclactun "apparently means 'the place where white pottery is made.'" The present translator is inclined to derive this name from zacal actun, white cave or, according to the Motul dictionary, white stone building.
81:9 Here, as in most of the prophecies for Katun 13 Ahau, Kinchil Coba is given as a place-name. In the Books of Chilam Balam of Kaua and Mani (apud Morley 1920, p. 82 p. 482) this is the name of a personage, and Avendaño (see p. 134, note 5) tells of a statue, probably an idol, at Tayasal named Kinchil Coba. In all likelihood the Kaua version of his name, Ah Kinchil Coba, is the correct one, meaning "the man of Kinchil Coba." Thompson believes that the place, Kinchil Coba, was the city of Cobá, and the writer is inclined to agree with him (Thompson, Pollock, Charlot 1932, p. 6). Of interest is the statement in the Calkini Chronicle that at the town of Kinchil in northwestern Yucatan "there is a stone building, the stone building of the man of Coba, <Ah> Kinchil Coba." "ti yan nocac u nocacil Ah Coba he Kinchil Coba" (Crónica de Calkini, p. 38).
82:1 The Maya text reads: "cib u kaba," but has been corrected to ci bin u kaba and so translated. As the text stands in the original, the translation could be: to the south of the town of Uxmal, Cib was its name, was depopulated.
82:2 This is the only mention in Maya literature of the name of these ruins known to the translator.
82:3 There is a town of this name northeast of Acanceh, and Indians of Ticul who have farms near the ruins of Zayi insist that Zeyé is the correct name of that site.
82:4 Possibly the town of Tepakam northwest of Izamal is meant.
82:5 This name much resembles that of Xcalumkin, also called Holactun, a site noted for its Initial Series date.
82:6 Aké is a well-known ruined city, also a Maya family name. Holtun is difficult to translate; it might mean stone gate or opening in the rock. We read of Holtun Zuyua (p. 74) and Holtun Itzá (p. 146), also of a personage named Holtun Balam (pp. 74 and 147).
82:7 Emal Chac, literally where the Chac (rain-god) descended.
82:8 Written "Etzemal" in the text.
82:9 Nra. Señora de Izamal, the famous Virgin of Izamal.
82:10 An idol at Izamal. See p. 160, note 2.
82:11 Here the worship of the Virgin of Izamal is ascribed to a time before the Spanish Conquest.
82:12 Picil originally meant eight thousand; it was later reduced to a thousand.
82:13 "It is said that the first founders of Chichen Itzá were not idolaters, until Kukulcan, a Mexican captain, entered these provinces. He taught idolatry, as they say it was he who taught it." Rel. de Yucatán, I, p. 270. This statement was made repeatedly by the Indians to the first Spanish settlers.
83:1 A very slight change in the text would make it read: "Many of the daughters of the towns went with them to serve them, also."
83:2 See note 10, p. 66 Chumayel.
83:3 Evidently a belief existed that Maya civilization had lasted four baktuns and fifteen katuns. These four complete baktuns might have been either Baktuns 8, 9, 10 and 11 or Baktuns 7, 8, 9 and 10. The latter alternative would take us back to Spinden's Historical Era, 188.8.131.52.0. (Spinden 1924, p. 160), and put the Spanish Conquest shortly after 184.108.40.206.0., 2 Ahau 8 Zac. (Cf. p. 79, note 12.) In that case the date 220.127.116.11.0. would have fallen about the year 435 A.D.
83:4 The foreign Toltecs no doubt brought disease into the country, just as the Spaniards did at a later date.
83:5 Nacxit was one of the Mexican names of Quetzalcoatl. Xuchit is an archaic form of the Aztec xochitl, which means flower. We are reminded here of the well-known erotic episode in the Quetzalcoatl legend.
83:6 We shall encounter a number of references to these "two-day" or temporary rulers. They are everywhere referred to as upstarts and usurpers. The following statements of the Indians may cast some light on the matter. In answer to the questions of the Spaniards as to the origin of the vaulted stone buildings seen in the country, some of the natives replied that their own ancestors had built them. "Others say that foreign immigrants settled there, and that the natives put an end to them and killed them." (Relaciones de Yucatan, I, p. 197). Cf. p. 93 of the present work.
84:1 It is difficult to understand why the Itzá who had been so long in Yucatan should be called foreigners. Possibly it was because they were still established at Tayasal at the time this passage was written. in any case the Itzá are denounced a number of times in these pages.
84:2 Under the Colonial administration, unmarried youths and old men were exempt from tribute. Probably this was also the case before the Spanish Conquest.
84:3 The confusion of this narrative is probably due to the fact that while the writer was referring ostensibly to the Itzá, he really had the Spaniards in mind. He evidently shares the belief of some of the Spanish writers that the Itzá migrated from northern Yucatan to avoid subjection to the Spaniards, whose coming their prophets had foretold. Cf. Villagutierre 1701, p. 34.