The Book of the People: POPOL VUH. Part III. Chapter 1-10. Translated by Delia Goetz and Sylvanus Griswold Morley from Adrián Recino’s translationCategory: Books, Popol Vuh
PART III: Chapter 1
Here, then is the beginning of when it was decided to make
man, and when what must enter into the flesh of man was sought.
And the Forefathers, the Creators and Makers, who were called Tepeu and Gucumatz said: “The time of dawn has
come, let the work be finished, and let those who are to nourish and sustain us appear, the
noble sons, the civilized vassals; let man appear, humanity, on the face of the earth.”
Thus they spoke.
They assembled, came together and held council in the darkness and
in the night; then they sought and discussed, and here they reflected and thought. In this
way their decisions came dearly to light and they found and discovered what must enter into
the flesh of man.
It was just before the sun, the moon, and the stars appeared over
the Creators and Makers.
From Paxil, from Cayalá, as they were called, came
the yellow ears of corn and the white ears of corn.
These are the names of the
animals which brought the food: yac (the mountain cat), utiú (the
coyote), quel (a small parrot), and hoh (the crow). These four animals gave
tidings of the yellow ears of corn and the white ears of corn, they told them that they
should go to Paxil and they showed them the road to Paxil.
And thus they found the
food, and this was what went into the flesh of created man, the made man; this was his
blood; of this the blood of man was made. So the corn entered [into the formation of man] by
the work of the Forefathers.
And in this way they were filled with joy, because they
had found a beautiful land, full of pleasures, abundant in ears of yellow corn and ears of
white corn, and abundant also in pataxte and cacao, and in innumerable
zapotes, anonas, jocotes, nantzes, matasanos, and honey.
There was an abundance of delicious food in those villages called Paxil and
There were foods of every kind, small and large foods, small plants
and large plants.
The animals showed them the road. And then grinding the yellow corn
and the white corn, Xmucané made nine drinks, and from this food came the strength
and the flesh, and with it they created the muscles and the strength of man. This the
Forefathers did, Tepeu and Gucumatz, as they were called.
After that they began to
talk about the creation and the making of our first mother and father; of yellow corn and of
white corn they made their flesh; of corn-meal dough they made the arms and the legs of man.
Only dough of corn meal went into the flesh of our first fathers, the four men, who were
III. Chapter 2
THESE ARE THE NAMES OF THE FIRST men who were
created and formed: the first man was Balam-Quitzé, the second, Balam-Acab, the
third, Mahucutah, and the fourth was Iqui- Balam.
These are the names of our first
mothers and fathers.
It is said that they only were made and formed, they had no
mother, they had no father. They were only called men. They were not born of woman, nor were
they begotten by the Creator nor by the Maker, nor by the Forefathers. Only by a miracle, by
means of incantation were they created and made by the Creator, the Maker, the Forefathers,
Tepeu and Gucumatz. And as they had the appearance of men, they were men; they talked,
conversed, saw and heard, walked, grasped things; they were good and handsome men, and their
figure was the figure of a man.
They were endowed with intelligence; they saw and
instantly they could see far, they succeeded in seeing, they succeeded in knowing all that
there is in the world. When they looked, instantly they saw all around them, and they
contemplated in turn the arch of heaven and the round face of the earth.
hidden [in the distance] they saw all, without first having to move; at once they saw the
world, and so, too, from where they were, they saw it.
Great was their wisdom; their
sight reached to the forests, the rocks, the lakes, the seas, the mountains, and the
valleys. In truth, they were admirable men. Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and
Then the Creator and the Maker asked them: “What do you think of
your condition? Do you not see? Do you not hear? Are not your speech and manner of walking
good? Look, then! Contemplate the world, look [and see] if the mountains and the valleys
appear! Try, then, to see!” they said to [the four first men].
they [the four first men] began to see all that was in the world. Then they gave thanks to
the Creator and the Maker: “We really give you thanks, two and three times! We have
been created, we have been given a mouth and a face, we speak, we hear, we think, and walk;
we feel perfectly, and we know what is far and what is near. We also see the large and the
small in the sky and on earth. We give you thanks, then, for having created us, oh, Creator
and Maker! for having given us being, oh, our grandmother! oh, our grandfather!” they
said, giving thanks for their creation and formation.
They were able to know all, and
they examined the four comers, the four points of the arch of the sky and the round face of
But the Creator and the Maker did not hear this with pleasure. “It is
not well what our creatures, our works say; they know all, the large and the small,”
they said. And so the Forefathers held counsel again. “What shall we do with them now?
Let their sight reach only to that which is near; let them see only a little of the face of
the earth! It is not well what they say. Perchance, are they not by nature simple creatures
of our making? Must they also be gods? And if they do not reproduce and multiply when it
will dawn, when the sun rises? And what if they do not multiply?” So they spoke.
“Let us check a little their desires, because it is not well what we see. Must they
perchance be the equals of ourselves, their Makers, who can, see afar, who know all and see
Thus spoke the Heart of Heaven, Huracán, Chipi-Caculhá,
Raxa-Caculhá, Tepeu, Gucumatz, the Forefathers, Xpiyacoc, Xmucané, the Creator
and the Maker. Thus they spoke, and immediately they changed the nature of their works, of
Then the Heart of Heaven blew mist into their eyes, which clouded
their sight as. when a mirror is breathed upon. Their eyes were covered and they could see
only what was close, only that was clear to them.
In this way the wisdom and all the
knowledge of the four men, the origin and beginning [of the Quiché race], were
In this way were created and formed our grandfathers, our fathers, by the
Heart of Heaven, the Heart of Earth.
III. Chapter 3
Then their wives had
being, and their women were made. God himself made them carefully.
And so, during
sleep, they came, truly beautiful, their women, at the side of Balam-Quitzé,
Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam.
There were their women when they awakened, and
instantly their hearts were filled with joy because of their wives.
Here are the
names of their wives: Cahá-Paluna was the name of the wife of Balam-Quitzé;
Chomihá was the wife of Balam-Acab; Tzununihá, the wife of Mahucutah; and
Caquixahá was the name of the wife of Iqui-Balam. These are the names of their wives,
who were distinguished women.
They conceived the men, of the small tribes and of the
large tribes, and were the origin of us; the people of Quiché.
There were many
priests and sacrificers; there were not only four, but those four were the Forefathers of
us, the people of the Quiché.
The names of each one were different when they
multiplied there in the East, and there were many names of the people: Tepeu, Olomán,
Cohah, Quenech, Ahau, as they called those men there in the East, where they multiplied.
The beginning is known, too, of those of Tamub and those of Ilocab who came together from
there in the East.
Balam-Quitzé was the grandfather and the father of the nine
great houses of the Cavec; Balam-Acab was the grandfather and father of the nine great
houses of the Nimhaib; Mahucutah, the grandfather and father of the four great houses of
Three groups of families existed; but they did not forget the
name of their grandfather and father, those who propagated and multiplied there in the
The Tamub and Ilocab also came, and thirteen branches of peoples, the thirteen
of Tecpán, and those of Rabinal, the Cakchiquel, those from Tziquinahá, and
the Zacahá and the Lamaq, Cumatz, Tuhalhá, Uchabahá, those of
Chumilahá, those of Quibahá, of Batenabá, Acul-Vinac, Balamihá,
the Canchahel, and Balam-Colob.
These are only the principal tribes, the branches of
the people which we mention; only of the principal ones shall we speak. Many others came
from each group of the people, but we shall not write their names. They also multiplied
there in the East.
Many men were made and in the darkness they multiplied. Neither
the sun nor the light had yet been made when they multiplied. All lived together, they
existed in great number and walked there in the East.
Nevertheless, they did not
sustain nor maintain [their God]; they only raised their faces to the sky, and they did not
know why they had come so far as they did.
There they were then, in great number, the
black men and the white men, men of many classes, men of many tongues, that it was wonderful
to hear them.
There are generations in the world, there are country people, whose
faces we do not see, who have no homes, they only wander through the small and large
woodlands, like crazy people.
So it is said scornfully of the people of the wood. So
they said there, where they saw the rising of the sun.
The speech of all was the
same. They did not invoke wood nor stone, and they remembered the word of the Creator and
the Maker, the Heart of Heaven, the Heart of Earth.
in this manner they spoke, while
they thought about the coming of the dawn. And they raised their prayers, those worshipers
of the word [of God], loving, obedient. and fearful, raising their faces to the sky when
they asked for daughters and sons:
“Oh thou, Tzacol, Bitol! Look at us, hear us!
Do not leave us, do not forsake us, oh, God, who art in heaven and on earth, Heart of
Heaven, Heart of Earth! Give us our descendants, our succession, as long as the sun shall
move and there shall be light. Let it dawn; let the day come! Give us many good roads, flat
roads! May the people have peace, much peace, and may they be happy; and give us good life
and useful existence! Oh, thou Huracán, Chipi- Caculhá,
Raxá-Caculhá, Chipi-Nanauac, Raxá-Nanauac, Voc, Hunahpú, Tepeu,
Gucumatz, Alom, Qaholom, Xpiyacoc, Xmucané, grandmother of the sun, grandmother of
the light, let there be dawn, and let the light come!”
Thus they spoke while
they saw and invoked the coming of the sun, the arrival of day; and at the same time that
they saw the rising of the sun, they contemplated the Morning Star, the Great Star, which
comes ahead of the sun, that lights up the arch of the sky and the surface of the earth, and
illuminates the steps of the men who had been created and made.
Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam said, “Let us await
the break of day.” So said those great wise men, the enlightened men, the priests and
sacrificers. This they said.
Our first mothers and fathers did not yet have wood nor
stones to keep; but their hearts were tired of waiting for the sun. Already all the tribes
and the Yaqui people, the priests and sacrificers, were very many.
“Let us go,
let us go to search and see if our [tribal] symbols are in safety; if we can find what we
must burn before them. For being as we are, there is no one who watches for us,” said
Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam.
And having heard of a
city, they went there.
Now then, the name of the place where Balam-Quitzé,
Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui- Balam and those of Tamub and Ilocab went was
Tulán-Zuivá, Vucub-Pec, Vucub-Ziván. This was the name of the city
where they went to receive their gods.
So, then, all arrived at Tulán. It was
impossible to count the men who arrived; there were very many and they walked in an orderly
Then was the appearance of their gods; first those of Balam-Quitzé,
Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam who were filled with joy: “At last we have found
that for which we searched!” they said.
And the first that appeared was Tohil,
as this god was called, and Balam-Quitzé put him on his back, in his chest. Instantly
the god called Avilix appeared, and Balam-Acab carried him.
The god called Hacavitz
was carried by Mahucutah; and Iqui-Balam carried the one called Nicahtacah.
together with the people of the Quiché, they also received those of Tamub. And in the
same way Tohil was the name of the god of the Tamub who received the grandfather and father
of the Lords of Tamub, whom we know today.
In the third place were those of Ilocab.
Tohil was also the name of the god who was received by the grandfathers and the fathers of
the lords, whom we also know today.
In this way, the three Quiché [families]
were given their names and they did not separate, because they had a god of the same name,
Tohil of the Quiché, Tohil of the Tamub and [Tohil] of the Ilocab; one only was the
name of the god, and therefore the three Quiché [families] did not separate.
Great indeed was the virtue of the three, Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz.
the people arrived, those from Rabinal, the Cakchiquel, those from Tziquinahá, and
the people who now are called the Yaqui. And there it was that the speech of the tribes
changed; their tongues became different. They could no longer understand each other clearly
after arriving at Tulán. There also they separated, there were some who had to go to
the East, but many came here.
And their clothing was only the skins of animals; they
had no good clothes to put on, the skins of animals were their only dress. They were poor,
they possessed nothing, but they had the nature of extraordinary men.
arrived at Tulán-Zuivá, Vucub-Pec, Vucub-Zivan, the old traditions say that
they had traveled far in order to arrive there.
III. Chapter 5
And they did
not have fire. Only the people of Tohil had it. He was the god of the tribes which first
created fire. It is not known how it was made, because it was already burning when
Balam-Quitzé and Balam-Acab saw it.
“Ah, we have no fire yet! We shall
die of cold,” they said. Then Tohil said to them: “Do not worry! Yours shall be
the lost fire which is talked of. Yours shall be what is spoken of as lost fire,” Tohil
said to them.
“Really? Oh, God, our support, our maintenance, thou, our
God!” they said, returning thanks.
And Tohil answered: “Very well,
certainly I am your God; so shall it be! I am your Lord; so let it be!” Thus it was
told to the priests and sacrificers by Tohil. And in this manner the tribes received fire
and they were joyful because of it.
Instantly a great shower began to fall when the
fire of the tribes was burning. Much hail fell on all the tribes and the fire was put out
because of it, and again the fire was extinguished.
Then Balam-Quitzé and
Balam-Acab again asked Tohil for fire. “Oh, Tohil, we are truly dying of cold!”
they said to Tohil.
“Very well, do not worry,” Tohil answered, and
instantly he made fire, turning about in his shoe.
Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam were at once happy and immediately they became warm.
the fire of the peoples [of Vucamag] had also gone out and they were dying of cold.
immediately they came to ask Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam
for fire. They could no longer bear the cold nor the ice; they were shivering and their
teeth were chattering; they were numb; their legs and hands shook and they could not hold
anything in them, when they came.
“We are not ashamed to come before you, to beg
for a little of your fire,” they said. But they were not well received. And then the
tribes were very sad.
“The speech of Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah,
and Iqui-Balam is different! Oh! We have given up our speech! What have we done? We are
lost. How were we deceived? We had only one speech when we arrived there at Tulán; we
were created and educated in the same way. It is not good what we have done,” said all
the tribes under the trees, under the vines.
Then a man came before
Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam and [this man], who was a
messenger of Xibalba, spoke thus: “This is, in truth, your God; this is your support;
this is, furthermore, the representation, the memory of your Creator and Maker. Do not give
your fire to the tribes until they present offerings to Tohil. It is not necessary that they
give anything to you. Ask Tohil what they should give when they come to receive fire,”
said the man from Xibalba. He had wings like the wings of a bat. “I am sent by your
Creator, your Maker,” said the man of Xibalba.
They were filled with joy then,
and Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz were also gladdened when the man from Xibalba spoke, who
disappeared instantly from their presence.
But the tribes did not perish when they
came, although they were dying of cold. There was much hail, black rain and mist, and
All the tribes were trembling and shivering with cold when they
came where Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam were. Their hearts
were greatly troubled and their mouths and eyes were sad.
In a moment the beggars
came before Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui- Balam and said: “Will
you not have pity on us, we only ask a little of your fire? Perchance, were we not [once]
together and reunited? Did we not have the same home and one country when we were created,
when we were made? Have mercy, then, on us!” they said.
“What will you give
us so that we shall have mercy on you?” they were asked.
“Well, then, we
shall give you money,” the tribes answered.
“We do not want money,”
said Balam-Quitzé and Balam-Acab.
“And what do you want?” [asked the
“We shall ask now” [said Balam-Quitzé].
well, “said the tribes.
“We shall ask Tohil and then we shall tell
you,” they answered.
“What must the tribes give, oh, Tohil! who have come
to ask for your fire?” said Balam- Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and
“Well! Are they willing to give their waist and their armpits? Do
they want me to embrace them? For if they do not want to do that, neither shall I give them
fire,” answered Tohil.
“Tell them that this shall come later, that they do
not have to come now to give me their waist and their armpits. This is what Tohil orders us
to tell you, you will say.” This was the answer to Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab,
Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam.
Then they took Tohil’s message. “Very well, we shall
join you and we shall embrace him,” they [the people] said when they heard and were
told the message from Tohil. And they did not delay in acting. “Good,” they said,
“but may it be soon!” And immediately they received the fire. Then they became
III. Chapter 6
There was nevertheless a tribe who stole the fire in
the smoke; and they were from the house of Zotzil. The god of the Cakchiquel was called
Chamalcán and he had the form of a bat.
When they passed through the
smoke, they went softly and then they seized the fire. The Cakchiquel did not ask for the
fire, because they did not want to give themselves up to be overcome, the way that the other
tribes had been overcome when they offered their breasts and their armpits so that they
would be opened. And this was the opening [of the breasts] about which Tohil had spoken;
that they should sacrifice all the tribes before him, that they should tear out their hearts
from their breasts.
And this had not yet begun when the taking of power and
sovereignty by Balam-Quitzé, Balam.-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam was prophesied by
There in Tulán-Zuivá, whence they had come, they were accustomed
to fast, they observed a perpetual fast while they awaited the coming of dawn and watched
for the rising sun.
They took turns at watching the Great Star called Icoquih,
which rises first before the sun, when the sun rises, the brilliant Icoquih, which was
always before them in the East, when they were there in the place called
Tulán-Zuivá, whence came their god.
It was not here, then, where they
received their power and sovereignty, but there they subdued and subjected the large and
small tribes when they sacrificed them before Tohil, and offered him the blood, the
substance, breasts, and sides of all the men.
In Tulán power came instantly to
them; great was their wisdom in the darkness and in the night.
Then they came, they
pulled up stakes there and left the East. “This is not our home; let us go and see
where we should settle,” Tohil said then.
In truth, he was accustomed to talk to
Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui- Balam: “Give thanks before
setting out; do what is necessary to bleed your ears, prick your elbows, and make your
sacrifices, this shall be your thanks to God.”
“Very well, “they said,
and took blood from their ears. And they wept in their chants because of their departure
from Tulán; their hearts mourned when they left Tulán.
We shall not see the dawn here, when the sun rises and lights the face of the earth,”
they said at leaving. But they left some people on the road which they followed so that they
would keep watch.
Each of the tribes kept getting up to see the star which was the
herald of the sun. This sign of the dawn they carried in their hearts when they came from
the East, and with the same hope they left there, from that great distance, according to
what their songs now say.
III. Chapter 7
They came at last to the top of a
mountain and there all the Quiché people and the tribes were reunited. There they all
held council to make their plans. Today this mountain is called Chi- Pixab, this is the name
of the mountain.
There they reunited and there they extolled themselves: “I am,
I, the people of the Quiché! And thou, Tamub, that shall be thy name.” And to
those from Ilocab they said: “Thou, Ilocab, this shall be thy name. And these three
Quiché [peoples] shall not disappear, our fate is the same,” they said when they
gave them their names.
Then they gave the Cakchiquel their name: Gagchequeleb was
their name. In the same way they named those of Rabinal, which was their name, and they
still have it. And also those of Tziquinahá, as they are called today. Those are the
names which they gave to each other.
There they were come together to await the dawn
and to watch for the coming of the star, which comes just before the sun, when it is about
to rise. “We came from there, but we have separated,” they said to each other.
And their hearts were troubled; they were suffering greatly; they did not have food; they
did not have sustenance; they only smelled the ends of their staffs and thus they imagined
they were eating; but they did not eat when they came.
It is not quite clear,
however, how they crossed the sea; they crossed to this side, as if there were no sea; they
crossed on stones, placed in a row over the sand. For this reason they were called Stones in
a Row, Sand Under the Sea, names given to them when they [the tribes] crossed the sea, the
waters having parted when they passed.
And their hearts were troubled when they
talked together, because they had nothing to eat, only a drink of water and a handful of
corn they had.
There they were, then, assembled on the mountain called Chi-Pixab. And
they had also brought Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz. Balam-Quitzé and his wife
Cahá-Paluna, which was the name of his wife, observed a complete fast. And so did
Balam-Acab and his wife, who was called Chomihá; and Mahucutah and his wife, called
Tzununihá, also observed a complete fast, and Iqui-Balam. with his wife, called
And there were those who fasted in the darkness, and in
the night. Great was their sorrow when they were on the mountain, called Chi-Pixab.
III. Chapter 8
And their gods spoke to them again. Thus Tohil, Avilix, and
Hacavitz spoke to Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam: “Let us
go, let us get up, let us not stay here, take us to a secret place! Already dawn draws near.
Would it not be a disgrace for you if we were imprisoned by our enemies within these walls
where you, the priests and sacrificers. keep us? Put each of us, then. in a safe
place,” they said when they spoke.
“Very well. We shall go on, we shall go
in search of the forests,” all answered.
Immediately after, they took up their
gods and put them on their backs. In this way they carried Avilix to the ravine called
Euabal-Ziván, so named by them, to the large ravine of the forest. now called
Pavilix, and there they left him. In this ravine he was left by Balam-Acab.
left one by one. The first one left was Hacavitz, he was left on a large red pyramid, on the
mountain now called Hacavitz. There they founded their town, there in the place where
the god called Hacavitz, was.
In the same way, Mahucutah left his god, who was the
second one hidden by them.
Hacavitz was not in the forest, but on a hill cleared of
trees, Hacavitz was hidden.
Then Balam-Quitzé came, he came there to the large
forest; Balam-Quitzé came to hide Tohil at the hill which is today called
Patohil. Then they celebrated the hiding of Tohil in the ravine, in his refuge. A
great quantity of snakes, jaguars, vipers, and cantiles were in the forest where they
were hidden by the priests and sacrificers.
Mahucutah. and Iqui-Balam were together; together they awaited the dawn, there on the
mountain, called Hacavitz.
And a short distance away, was the god of the people of
Tamub and of the people of Ilocab.
Amac-Tan, the place is called, where the god of
the Tamub [people] was, and there dawn came to the tribes. The place where those from Ilocab
awaited the dawn was called Amac- Uquincat; there was the god of those of
Ilocab, a short distance from the mountain.
There. too, were all the people of
Rabinal, the Cakchiquel, the Tziquinahá, all the small tribes, and the large tribes.
Together they stayed. awaiting the coming of the dawn and the rising of the large star
called Icoquih, which rises just before the sun, when it dawns, according to the legend.
There they were together, then, Balam-Quitzé. Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and
They did not sleep; they remained standing and great was the anxiety of
their hearts and their stomachs for the coming of dawn and the day. There, too, they felt
shame; they were overcome with great sorrow, great suffering. and they were oppressed with
They had come that far. “Oh. we have come without joy! If only we could
see the rising of the sun! What shall we do now? If we lived in harmony in our country, why
did we leave it?” they said to each other, in the midst of their sadness and
affliction, and with mournful voices.
They talked, but they could not calm their
hearts which were anxious for the coming of the dawn. “The gods are seated in the
ravines, in the forests, they are among the air-plants, among the mosses, not even a seat of
boards were they given,” they said.
First there were Tohil, Avilix, and
Hacavitz. Great was their glory, their strength, and their power over the gods of all the
tribes. Many were their miracles, and countless their journeys, and their pilgrimages in the
midst of the cold; and the hearts of the tribes were filled with fear.
But calm were
the hearts of Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam. With respect to
them [the gods]. They felt no anxiety in their hearts for the gods whom they had received,
and had carried on their backs when they came there from Tulán-Zuivá, from
there in the East.
They were there, then, in the forest, now called Zaquiribal,
Pa-Tohil, P’Avilix, Pa-Hacavitz.
And next came the dawn, and light shone for our
grandparents and our parents.
Now we shall tell of the coming of the dawn and the
appearance of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
III. Chapter 9
is the dawn, and the coming of the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam were very happy when they saw the Morning Star. It
rose first, with shining face, when it came ahead of the sun.
unwrapped the incense which they had brought from the East, and which they had planned to
burn, and then they untied the three gifts which they had planned to offer.
incense which Balam-Quitzé brought was called Mixtán-Pom; the incense which
Balam- Acab brought was called Cavixtán-Pom; and that which Mahucutah brought was
called Cabauil-Pom. The three had their incense and burned it when they began to dance
facing toward the East.
They wept for joy as they danced and burned their incense,
their precious incense. Then they wept because they did not yet behold nor see the
But, then, the sun came up. The small and large animals were happy; and
arose from the banks of the river, in the ravines, and on the tops of the mountains, and all
turned their eyes to where the sun was rising.
Then the puma and the jaguar roared.
But first the bird called Queletzú burst into song. In truth, all the animals were
happy, and the eagle, the white vulture; the small birds and the large birds stretched their
The Priests and the sacrificers were kneeling; great was the joy of the
priests and sacrificers and of the people of Tamub and Ilocab and the people of Rabinal, the
Cakchiquel, those from Tziquinahá, and those from Tuhalhá, Uchabahá,
Quibahá, from Batená, and the Yaqui Tepeu, all those tribes which exist today.
And it was not possible to count the people. The light of dawn fell upon all the tribes at
the same time.
Instantly the surface of the earth was dried by the sun. Like a man
was the sun when it showed itself, and its face glowed when it dried the surface of the
Before the sun rose, damp and muddy was the surface of the earth, before the
sun came up; but then the sun rose, and came up like a man. And its heat was unbearable. It
showed itself when it was born and remained fixed [in the sky] like a mirror. Certainly it
was not the same sun which we see, it is said in their old tales.
afterward Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz were turned to stone, together with the deified beings
the puma, the jaguar, the snake, the cantil, and the hobgoblin. Their arms became
fastened to the trees when the sun, the moon, and the stars appeared. All alike, were
changed into stone. Perhaps we should not be living today because of the voracious animals,
the puma, the jaguar, the snake, and the cantil, as well as the hobgoblin; perhaps
our power would not exist if these first animals had not been turned into stone by the
When the sun arose, the hearts of Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah,
and Iqui-Balam were filled with joy. Great was their joy when it dawned. And there were not
many men at that place; only a few were there on the mountain Hacavitz. There dawn came to
them, there they burned their incense and danced, turning their gaze toward the East, whence
they had come. There were their mountains and their valleys, whence had come
Balam-Quitzé, Balam- Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, as they were called.
it was here where they multiplied, on the mountain, and this was their town; here they were,
too, when the sun, the moon, and the stars appeared, when it dawned and the face of the
earth and the whole world was lighted. Here, too, began their song, which they call
camucú; they sang it, but only the pain in their hearts and their innermost
selves they expressed in their song. “Oh pity us! In Tulán we were lost, we were
separated, and there our older and younger brothers stayed. Ah, we have seen the sun! but
where are they now, that it has dawned?” so said the priests and the sacrificers of the
Because, in truth, the so-called Tohil is the same god of the Yaqui, the one
called Yolcuat- Quitzalcuat.
“We became separated there in Tulán, in
Zuyva, from there we went out together, and there our race was created when we came,”
they said to each other.
Then they remembered their older brothers and their younger
brothers, the Yaqui, to whom dawn came there in the land which today is called Mexico. Part
of the people remained there in the East, those called Tepeu Olimán, who stayed
there, they say.
They felt much grief in their hearts, there in Hacavitz; and sad,
too, were the people from Tamub and Ilocab, who were also there in the forest called
Amac-Tan. Where dawn came to the priests and sacrificers of Tamub and to their god, who also
was Tohil, because one and the same was the name of the god of the three branches of the
Quiché people. And this is also the name of the god of the people of Rabinal, for
there is little difference between that and the name of Huntoh, as the god of the people of
Rabinal is called; for that reason, it is said, they wanted to make their speech the same as
that of the Quiché.
Well, the speech of the Cakchiquel is different, because
the name of their god was different when they came from there, from Tulán-Zuyva.
Tzotzihá Chimalcan was the name of their god, and today they speak a different
tongue; and also from their god the families of Ahpozotzil and Ahpoxa, as they are called,
took their names.
The speech of the god was also changed when they were given their
god there, in Tulán, near the stone; their speech was changed when they came from
Tulán in the darkness. And being together, dawn came to them and the light shone on
all the tribes, in the order of the names of the gods of each of the tribes.
And now we shall tell of their stay and abode there on the mountain, where
the four called Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam were together.
Their hearts mourned for Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz, whom they had placed among the
air-plants and the moss.
We shall tell now how they made the sacrifices at the foot
of the place where they had carried Tohil, when they arrived in the presence of Tohil and
Avilix. They went to see them, to greet them, and also to give them thanks for the arrival
of the dawn. They were in the thicket amidst the stones, there in the woods. And only by
magic art did they speak when the priests and sacrificers came before Tohil. They did not
bring great gifts, only resin, the remains of the gum, called noh, and
pericón, they burned before their gods.
Then Tohil spoke; only by a
miracle he gave counsel to the priests and sacrificers. And they [the gods] spoke and said:
“Truly here shall be our mountains and our valleys. We are yours; great shall be our
lory and numerous our descendents, through the work of all men. Yours are all the tribes and
we, your companions. Care for your town, and we shall give you your learning.
“Do not show us before the tribes when we are angered by the words of their mouths,
or because of their conduct. Neither shall you permit us to fall into a snare. Give us,
instead, the creatures of the woods and of the fields, and also the female deer, and the
female birds. Come and give us a little of your blood, have pity upon us. You may have the
skins of the deer and guard us from those whose eyes have deceived us.
then, [the skin of] the deer shall be our symbol which you shall show before the tribes.
When they ask ‘Where is Tohil?’ show the deerskin before their eyes. Neither shall you
show yourselves. for you shall have other things to do. Great shall be their position; you
shall dominate all the tribes; you shall bring your blood and their substance before us, and
those who come to embrace us, shall be ours also,” thus spoke Tohil, Avilix, and
They had the appearance of youths, when those who came to offer gifts saw
them. Then the persecution of the young of the birds and of the deer began, and the fruit of
the chase was received by the priests and sacrificers. And when they found the young of the
birds and the deer, they went at once to place the blood of the deer and of the birds in the
mouths of the stones, that were Tohil and Avilix.
As soon as the blood had been drunk
by the gods, the stones spoke, when the priests and the sacrificers came, when they came to
bring their offerings. And they did the same before their symbols, burning
pericón and holom-ocox.
The symbols of each one were there where
they had been placed on the top of the mountain.
But they [the priests] did not live
in their houses by day, but walked over the mountains, and ate only the young horseflies,
and the wasps, and the bees which they hunted; they had neither good food nor good drink.
And neither were the roads from their homes known, nor did they know where their wives had