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p. 139



4 Ahau was the name of the katun when occurred the birth of Pauahs, when the rulers descended. 2

Thirteen katuns they reigned; thus they were named while they ruled.

4 Ahau was the name of the katun when they descended; the great descent and the little descent they were called. 3

Thirteen katuns they reigned. So they were called. While they were settled, thirteen were their settlements. 4

4 Ahau was the katun when they sought and discovered Chichen Itzá. There it was that miraculous things were performed for them by their lords. Four divisions they were, when the four divisions of the nation, as they were called, went forth. From Kincolahpeten in the east one division went forth. From Nacocob in the north one division came forth. But one division came forth from Holtun Zuyua in the west. One division came forth from Four-peaked Mountain, Nine Mountains is the name of the land. 5 /
p.78 C

p. 140

4 Ahau was the katun when the four divisions were called <together>. The four divisions of the nation, they were called, when they descended. They became lords when they descended upon Chichen Itzá. The Itzá were they then called.

Thirteen katuns they ruled, and then came the treachery by Hunac Ceel. Their town was abandoned and they went into the heart of the forest to Tan-xuluc-mul, 1 as it is called.

4 Ahau was the katun when their souls cried out!

Thirteen katuns they ruled in their misery!

8 Ahau was the katun when occurred the arrival of the remainder of the Itzá, as they were called. They arrived, and there their reign endured in Chakanputun.

13 Ahau was the katun when they founded the town of Mayapan, the Maya men, as they were called.

8 Ahau was when their town was abandoned and they were scattered throughout the entire district. In the sixth katun after they were dispersed, then they ceased to be called Maya. 2

11 Ahau was the name of the katun when the Maya men ceased to be called Maya. They were called Christians; their entire province <became subject> to St. Peter and the reigning King <of Spain>. 3


139:1 The following is a chant or song rather than an actual chronicle, and the events recorded are not set in chronological order. Nevertheless it has usually been included with the Maya chronicles because its content is largely historical. It emphasizes the fact already noted, that most of the historical events recorded by the Maya occurred either in a Katun 4 Ahau or a Katun 8 Ahau. Besides the translations already cited. Tozzer has also translated this passage (Tozzer 1920, p. 131).

139:2 Part of the text here is corrupt: paua haen cuh u yahauoob, and has been changed to pauah emci u yahauoob, to obtain the reading given above. For the Pauah or Pauahtun, see page 110, note  4. Chichen Itzá was once ruled by Chac-xib-chac, a name associated with Pauahtun. Cf. page 67.

Mr. T. A. Willard has made a study of this important passage and translates it: "In 4 Ahau, the name of the katun, were born (again) those who had been destroyed by water (i.e. the flood or the rain)." The word cuh may be intended for cah, the town which was destroyed; pa could mean to destroy, and ha, water, either flood or rain. We know that the old Maya era with which the Initial Series dates began was a day 4 Ahau, and we have seen both from the creation story in Chapter X and from page 74 of the Dresden Codex that according to the Maya the world was once destroyed by water.

139:3 "In former times they called the East Cenial (¢e-emal), the Little Descent, and the West Nohenial (noh-emal), the Great Descent. The reason they give for this is that on the east of this land a few people descended, and on the west a great many; and with that syllable they understand little or much, to the east and the west; and that few people came from one direction and many from another." Lizana 1893, ff. 3 and 4, apud Brinton 1882, page 182.

139:4 There was a tradition that Yucatan was divided into thirteen provinces or divisions in ancient times. Cf. Avendaño apud Appendix D.

139:5 Like the typical Nahua tribe, the Maya nation was composed of four main divisions. As we shall see in the next chronicle, when Mayapan was destroyed, the head-chief Tutul Xiu went out with his chiefs and with the "four divisions of the nation." It is not impossible that the system was a Nahua innovation. Here it is suggested that this method of organization was the result of the amalgamation of four different peoples into one nation.

The places of origin are not fully identified. We have discussed Zuyua on page 88, note  1. Holtun may mean a stone gate. For "Nine Mountains, see page 64, note  3. Kincolah-peten is mentioned on page 132.

140:1 Avendaño reports a pond named Tan-xuluc-mul a short distance west of Lake Peten. Above it towered a high hill crowned by a ruined building in which a noted idol was said to be worshipped. This would indicate that some of the Itzá at least migrated to Tayasal at this time (Means 1917, p. 128).

140:2 The reference here is to the destruction of Mayapan in Katun 8 Ahau. Counting this katun as the first, 11 Ahau, the katun of the actual Spanish conquest, was the sixth.

140:3 R. B. Weitzel considers the preceding a presentation of the Nahua penetration of the peninsula of Yucatan, and if we are to consider the so-called arrival of Kukulcan (perhaps the introduction of the Quetzalcoatl cult) a Nahua intrusion, some support for this opinion will be found in the prophecy for Katun 4 Ahau on page 161.

His suggestion that a folk-song of this kind is the original form of a Maya chronicle is not unreasonable. It is indeed possible that the other chronicles were later compilations made from the material found in such songs. The prophecies would also furnish historical data. Such a hypothesis would explain the long sequences of katuns in the chronicles for which there are no historical entries (Weitzel 1931, p. 323).

Next: XXI: The Third Chronicle