This is the language of Zuyua 1 and the understanding for our lord, Señor Governor Mariscal, 2 who has settled at Tzuc-uaxim to the east of Ichcanziho (Merida). This is the land where his garden and homestead were, where he settled. Then the day will come when his period of office shall end also. The command of the head-chief comes. Vigorous is his command, when he arrives, and red is his garment also.
FIG. 10--The lord of the katun(Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 11--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 12--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
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FIG. 13--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 14--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
over it to drink its blood: it is a green chile-pepper, is the jaguar. This is the language of Zuyua.
FIG. 15--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
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FIG. 16--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 17--The lord of the katun (Chumayel M.S.).
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FIG. 18--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 19--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
FIG. 20--The lord of the katun (Chumayel MS.).
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These are the words. If they are not understood by the chiefs of the towns, ill-omened is the star adorning the night. Frightful is its house. Sad is the havoc 7 in the courtyards of the nobles. Those who die are those who do not understand; those who live will understand it. This competitive test shall hang over the chiefs of the towns; it has been copied so that the severity may be known in which the reign is to end. Their hands are bound before them to a wooden collar. They are pulled along with the cord. They are taken to
the house of the ruler, the first head-chief. This is the end of the chiefs. This shall hang over 1 the unrestrained lewd ones of the day and of the katun. They shall feel anguish when the affairs of the chiefs of the towns shall come to an end. This shall occur on the day when the law of the katun shall come to an end, when Katun 3 Ahau shall terminate. The chiefs of the towns shall be seized because they are lacking in understanding. /
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FIG. 21--''The chiefs of the towns shall be
seized because they are lacking
in understanding'' (Chumayel MS.).
But those who are of the lineage shall come forth before their lord on bended knees in order that their wisdom may be made known. Then their mat 3 is delivered to them and their throne as well. The test is to be seen as it is copied here. Those of the lineage of the first head-chief here in the land are viewed with favor. They shall live on that day, and they shall also receive their first wand of office. Thus are those of the lineage of Maya men established again in the Province of Yucatan. God shall be first, when all things are accomplished here on earth. He is the true ruler, he shall come to demand of us our government, those things which we hold sacred, precious stones, precious beads; and he shall demand the planted wine, the balché. 4 He who has none shall be killed. He who obeys, godly is his action according to the law. But perhaps God will not desire all the things which have been written to come to pass. /
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So, also, these are the nobility, the lineage of the chiefs, who know whence come the men and the rulers of their government. The discretion with which they govern their subjects shall be viewed with favor. Their mat and
FIG. 22--The examining head-chief,
"Son, go and bring the flower 3 of the night to me here." This is what will be said. Then let him go on his knees before the head-chief who demands this of him. "Father, here is the flower of the night for which you ask me; I come with it and with the vile thing of the night. There it is with me." These are his words.
"Then, <my> son, if it is /
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"Then, <my> son, if you have come with them, go and call your companions to me. These are an old man with nine sons and an old woman with nine children." "Father," he says when he replies, "I have come with them. Here they are with me. First they came to me, and then I came to see you."
"Then, <my> son, if they are here with you, go and gather for me stones of the savannah and come with them." He gathers them to his breast when he
comes. "Are you a head-chief? Are you of the lineage of the ruler here in the land?" The language of Zuyua.
This is the flower of the night which is demanded of him: a star in the sky. This is the vile thing of the night: it is the moon. 1 This is the first woman captive and the great álamo tree: it is the town official, 2 named "he who falls to the ground." This is the old man with nine sons who is demanded of him: it is his great toe. This is the old woman demanded of him: it is his thumb. These are the stones of the savannah which are sought for and which his son is to gather to his breast: they are quails. 3
"Also, <my> son, where is the smooth green thing of which you were told? You were not told to look at its face." Here it is with me, father." "Then, <my> son, go and bring to me here the placenta of the sky. When you come from the east, you shall come with something close behind you." "So be it, father," he says.
This is what the smooth green thing is, which is with him when he arrives: it is the rind of a squash. 4 This is the placenta of the sky which is demanded of him: it is moulded copal-gum shaped into thirteen layers. This is what is said to come close behind him: it is the shadow at his back early in the afternoon.
"<My> son, you are a head-chief; you are a ruler also. Go and get me the green beads with which you pray." /
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"<My> son, go and get me your loin-cloth that I may perceive its odor here with the wide spread odor of my loin-cloth, the odor of my mantle, the odor of my censer, 6 the supreme odor at the center of the sky, at the center of the clouds, <also> that which glues together my mouth, it is in a white carved <cup>. <Do this> if you are a head-chief." "Father, I will bring them," he says.
This is the odor of the loin-cloth which he asks for, this is the supreme odor at the center of the sky: it is copal gum set on fire <so that> it burns. This is what first glues together his mouth: it is ground cacao, chocolate.
"Then, <my> son, go bring me the green blood of my daughter, also her head, her entrails, her thigh, and her arm; also that which I told you to enclose in an
unused jar, as well as the green stool of my daughter. Show them to me. It is my desire to see them. I have commissioned you to set them before me, that I may burst into weeping." "So be it, father." He <is to> come with the left ear of a wild bee. Then let him go.
This is the green blood of his daughter for which he asks: it is Maya wine. These are the entrails /
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"Father, here is your daughter whom you put in my care. of whom you speak. You are the father, you are the ruler." This is what his son says to him.
"Oh son, my fellow head-chief, my fellow ruler! You have remembered; it is sufficient. You know; it is sufficient," he says. "This, then, is the blood of my daughter for which I ask you." Thirteen times the blood of his daughter flows, while he weeps for his daughter, lying there in the courtyard. Perchance, then he weeps, while he looks at her, bowed down, while he says: "Oh son!" he says while he weeps, "you are a head-chief. Oh son, you are a ruler also. Oh my fellow head-chief, I will deliver your mat and your throne and your authority to you, son; yours is the government, yours is the authority also, <my> son."
Thus, then, the chiefs of the towns are to obey 4 him when they depart with the first/head-chief, there at the head 5 of the province. Then let them
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"Son, bring me four cardinals 6 which are at the mouth of the cave. They are to be set over 7 the first thing which glues together my mouth. It is to be red, that which I call the crest over the first thing which glues together my mouth, when it shall be brought before me." "It is well, father." What he asks for are little cakes of achiote. 8 This is the crest of which he speaks: it is the froth on the chocolate.
[paragraph continues] This is what first glues together his mouth: it is cacao which has been ground. <The language of> Zuyua.
"Son, bring me the bird of the night and the drilled <stone> of the night, and with them the brains of the sky. Great is my desire to see them here." "It is well, father." What he wants is a stick used to scrape 1 copal gum <from the tree>. This the drilled <stone> of the night for which he asks, a bead of precious stone. The brains of the sky are copal gum. Language of Zuyua.
"Son, bring me the bone of your father whom you buried three years ago. Great is my desire to see it." "It is well, father." This is what he wants, it is cassava baked in a pit. Then let him go and give it to the head-chief.
"Son, bring me an old man whose coat 2 is not buttoned, Homtochac 3 is his name." "It is well, father." What he asks for is a nine-banded armadillo, a female armadillo.
"Son, bring me three segments split from the sky. I desire to eat them." "Even so, father." /
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"Son, bring me a stock of maguey, the thick stalk of the maguey without branches. Do not remove its tip. Also bring with it three strands of ravelled cord." "It is well, father." This is what he asks for, a hog's 4 head baked in a pit. Then he shall go and give it to him. The tip of which he speaks is its tongue, because its tip is fresh and tender. 5
"Son, bring me the hawks 6 of the night for me to eat." It is well, father." What he asks for are chickens, cocks.
"Son, say to the first female captive, called Otlom-cabal, to bring me a basket of blackbirds 7 caught beneath the great álamo tree, heaped up there in the shadow of the álamo." "Even so, father." What he asks for are some black beans that are in the house of the town official, that is, the so-called first female captive and the thing which falls limply to the ground of which he speaks. 8 Language of Zuyua.
"Son, go and catch the jaguar of the cave, so that by means of you it may give savour to my food. I desire to eat the jaguar." "It is well, father." This is the jaguar for which he asks, it is an agouti. 9 The language of Zuyua.
"Son, bring me seven coverings of the fatherless <orphan>. It is my desire to eat them at the time when they should be eaten." "Even so, father." This is what he asks for, it is the pressed <leaves of the> chaya. 10
"Son, bring me the green gallants here. Let them come and dance, that I may look on with pleasure. Let them come with drum and rattle, fan and drum-stick. I am expecting them." 11 "Even so, father." What he asks for is a turkey-cock.
[paragraph continues] The drum is its crop. The rattle is its head. The fan is its tail. The drum-stick is its leg. The language of Zuyua.
"Son, bring me the fanciful desire 1 of the district. I desire /
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"Son, bring me a stone from burned over land, it is burning hot. Bring with it the liquor for me to extinguish it, so it will crack here before me." What he wants is a macal 2 baked in a pit. The liquor to extinguish it is clarified honey. The language of Zuyua.
"Son, bring me the firefly of the night. Its odor shall pass to the north and to the west. Bring with it the beckoning tongue 3 of the jaguar." "It is well, father." What he asks for is a smoking tube filled with tobacco. 4 The beckoning tongue of the jaguar for which he asks is fire.
"Son, bring me your daughter that I may see her. Pale is her face and very beautiful. White are her head-covering and her sash. I greatly desire her." tilt is well, father." What he asks for is a white calabash cup <filled> with atole. The language of Zuyua.
"Son, bring me the thing called zabel. Fragrant is its odor." "Even so, father." This is what he asks for, it is a melon.
"Son, bring me the green curved neck, it is bright green along the back. I desire to eat it." "It is well, father." What he asks for is the neck of a turkey-cock. <Language of> Zuyua.
"Son, bring me a woman with a very white and well rounded calf. Here will I tuck back the skirt from her calf." "It is well, father." He wants a jícama. This is what tucking back the skirt is: it is peeling the skin.
"Son, bring me a very beautiful woman with a very white countenance. I greatly desire her. I will cast down her skirt and her loose dress before me." "It is well, father." This is what he asks for, it is a turkey-hen for him to eat. Casting down her skirt /
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"Son, bring to me here a farmer, an old man. I wish to see his face." "Even so, father." What he asks for is a cucut-macal 5 to eat. <This is> the questionnaire.
"Son, bring me a farmer's wife, an old woman, a dark colored person. She is seven palms across the hips. It is my desire to see her." What he wants is the green fruit of a squash-vine. 6 The language of Zuyua.
The day shall come.
On this day our lord, the first head-chief, trampled them under foot, when he arrived here in the land, in the land of Yucalpeten. 7 He calls the chiefs, and the chiefs shall come. They are called by our lord, the first head-chief. "Are you chieftains?" "We are, <my> lord." These are their words.
"Sons, if you are head-chiefs here in the land," they shall be told, "go and get the winged jaguar, and then come and give it to me to eat. Put his bead collar on him properly, put on his crest properly, and come and give him to me to eat. Go immediately today, and come soon. Sons, I greatly desire to eat him. You are <my> sons, you are head-chiefs." Those who are ignorant shall be sad at heart
and in countenance. They shall say nothing. But those who know shall be cheerful when they go to get the winged jaguar. Then he shall come with it. "Is it you, son?" "It is I, father." "Are you of the lineage, son?" "Indeed I am, father." "Where are your companions, son?" "Father, they are in the forest seeking the jaguar." The jaguar, as they call it, does not exist, /
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88:1 Zuyua is Nahuatl, a mythical place-name associated with the "Seven Caves" believed to be the origin of the Nahuas (Brinton 1882, p. 110).
88:2 Probably Don Carlos de Luna y Arellano, governor of Yucatan from 1604 to 1612. Cogolludo Bk. 8, Chap. 12. His period of office was, however, in Katun 5 Ahau, and not 3 Ahau as stated here.
89:1 This and the other blurred crowned heads in this chapter seem to represent the so-called "ruler" of the katun-prophecies in Chapter XXII. It is of especial interest to find these heads pictured in connection with the present questionnaire, and it suggests that we have here an important ceremony associated with the establishment of a new katun-marker. The crowned head probably represents the glyph Ahau.
89:2 When a katun was half finished, the idol of the succeeding katun was set up and also worshipped (Landa 1929, p. 98).
89:3 Probably a reference to the erotic religious practices of which the early Spanish missionaries complained.
89:4 Lit.: the demand for knowledge or understanding.
89:5 See Appendix E.
89:6 It is not known what sort of a blessing the pagan Maya recited over their ordinary meals. Here the usual Christian benediction is no doubt meant.
90:1 The gum of the copal (Protium copal Engl.) was the principal incense used by the Maya. The thick clouds of smoke may have suggested the convolutions of the brain.
90:2 Lit. let them bind a large house.
90:3 Thil is the Maya measure for the distance between the uprights of a house.
90:4 Mexican rattles were certainly ornamented with rosettes. Cf. Seler 1904, pp. 674, 675 and 700. The Maya word here is lol, which usually means a large blossom.
90:5 Lit. a pierced shoe, which suggests an old Spanish stirrup of the Arab type.
90:6 Our holy mistress (ca cilich colel) is a term usually applied to the Holy Virgin.
91:1 Probably a reference to the thirteen heavens of the Maya cosmos.
91:2 Ceiba schottii Britt. & Baker.
91:3 Alternative translation: odorous food.
91:4 Chop, a red and black lizard. The term is also applied to the dried lizards used by the native doctors.
91:5 Possible alternative translation: tortoises.
91:6 Pachyrhizus erosus (L.) Urban. The Maya name, chicam, appears to be derived from the Nahuatl jícama, and this edible root may have been introduced by the Toltecs.
91:7 Bulcum, a misfortune frequently associated in these pages with swarming flies.
92:1 Alternative translation: There shall be weeping among, etc.
92:2 Prisoners are also portrayed as nude in one of the frescos of the Temple of the Warriors (Morris, Charlot and Morris 1931, Pl. 139).
92:3 Here, as among the Aztecs, the mat and throne are symbols of authority. Believing Cortez to be the returning Quetzalcoatl, Montezuma greeted him with these words: "My royal ancestors have said that you would come to visit your city and that you would sit upon your mat and chair when you returned" (Seler 1923, p. 447).
92:4 An intoxicating drink made of fermented honey and the bark of the Lonchocarpus longistylus Pitt. and used in religious ceremonies.
93:1 This portrayal of the halach-uinic dressed as a Spanish dignitary is probably due to an effort to make it real to the Seventeenth or Eighteenth Century Maya reader, rather than because of ignorance.
93:2 A very similar passage on page 106 states that these usurpers who ruled in Katun 3 Ahau were Itzá (who called themselves "the Zuyua people.") This suggests that our questionnaire was originally a method by which the Xius, a 'West Zuyua people," ousted Itzá chieftains from the towns over which they (the Xius) had gained control. We shall see on page 137 that the Itzá also had a questionnaire of their own.
93:3 Lit.: a large flower.
93:4 Alternative translation: the green weak one.
93:5 Ficus cotinifolia H. B. K. The miter-like head-dress of the Maya chiefs, like those seen on the sculptures of Chichen Itzá, was made of the bark of this tree (Relaciones de Yucatan, I, P. 82).
94:1 We know little of the Maya conception of the moon. It is certain, however, that in their later history they were greatly influenced by the Mexicans among whom the moon was associated with the rabbit, the symbol of drunkenness, and with Tlaçolteotl, the goddess of sinful love.
94:2 Maya, ah-cuch-cab, which could also mean the honey-bearer. The translator believes the town official is meant because he was so subservient before any higher authority.
94:3 The quail is also associated with a stone on page 128.
94:4 Maya, ca, a certain white and striped squash. The Maya word, haan, is variously defined as something made smooth or scrubbed, father-in-law and son-in-law.
94:5 Lit.: nine gods and thirteen fathers, probably the gods of the nine underworlds and the thirteen heavens.
94:6 Written yubak in our text and corrected to yubkak, which means censer.
95:1 The Maya bee-hive is made of the hollow section of a log.
95:2 Balché, the native wine is made by steeping the bark or root of the balché tree (Lonchocarpus longistylus Pitt.) in a mixture of fermenting honey and water.
95:3 The text reads "couoh tun" (lit. tarantula stone) here, but it is assumed that cocoh tun (stone hammer) is meant, and translated accordingly.
95:4 Alternative translation: then ends the speech of the chiefs, etc.
95:5 Cumkal is called "the head of the land" on pages 86 and 126 of the Chumayel, so it is likely that the territory of Ceh Pech is the source of this ritual.
95:6 Chac-¢i¢ib is Cardinalis cardinalis yucatanicus Ridg. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard, 50, p. 141. Its feathers are a cure for yellow fever (Libro del Judío, p. 80).
95:7 The text reads: I am set over, etc. Probably an error.
95:8 Bixa orellana L., the butter-color of commerce.
96:1 Tocabal could mean either "removed" or "burned." In connection with hoyob, a stick for scraping something, the former definition is applied here. It is possible, ho ever, that a spoonlike censer is meant.
96:2 Habon, in the text, is assumed to be a corruption of the Spanish habito. The Maya hobon, hollow, may be intended.
96:3 Hom-toch-ac could mean hollow stiff tortoise-shell.
96:4 Keken originally was a large variety of peccary, but the term was later applied to European swine.
96:5 Ol is a tender tip or sprout. Ak means tongue, also something fresh or tender.
96:6 Coz, Micrastur melanoleucus Viellot. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool Harvard, 50, p. 121.
hum, or pic h: Dives dives Lichtenstein. Pueblo Blackbird. Ibid., 50, p. 141.
96:8 Cf. p. 94, note 2.
96:9 Dasyprocta punctata yucatana Goldman. Mexican agouti, haleu.
96:10 Chay: Jatropha aconitifolia Mill. "They eat the leaves of this tree much as they do cabbages, but they are not as tasty ("Relaciones de Yucatan, I, p. 56).
96:11 Alternative translation: they are useful to me.
97:1 Maya, caz. Probably çaz, something clear, is intended.
97:2 Xanthosoma yucatanse Engl.; also the yam, a European importation.
97:3 The Maya were accustomed to make a furtive signal with the tongue. Motul.
97:4 A reference to puffing tobacco smoke toward the four world-quarters.
97:5 This name is applied to the imported taro, but here probably a form of Xanthosoma is meant (Standley, 1930, p. 224).
97:6 ¢ol. Certain green flattish squashes, good and palatable. Motul.
97:7 Yucalpeten is an attempt to turn Yucatan into a name comprehensible in Maya.
98:1 The frequent mention of the language of Zuyua, a mythical place-name of the Nahua peoples, suggests that this interrogatory once abounded in terms familiar to the Toltec conquerors of Yucatan but not understood by the people of the country. In any case it came eventually to mean only mysterious words which were obscure to all but the ruling class. This example of the questionnaire has no doubt sadly degenerated. Nevertheless the mention of a number of things like the horse, known only to the Maya since the Spanish Conquest, indicates that this interrogatory continued to develop during the colonial period, although the Spanish rulers of the country were entirely unaware of its existence. A discussion of the traditions of caste and chieftainship among the Maya will be found in Appendix E.