Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

The annals of the cakchiquels. Notes, 195-200. by Daniel G. Brinton; 1885

Category: Books, The Annals of the Cakchiquels



1. The author begins by stating his purpose in a few lines.

xtinudzibah, future of dzibah, to write, originally to paint.

xeboço, past tense, third person, plural, of the absolute form of
boç, here, as often, used actively. Compare Gram., p. 49.

laqabex, passive of laqabeh, to inhabit, to settle.

huyu taqah, hills and plains, or, the interior and the coast; an
expression meaning the whole country.

que cha, they say, used as the French on dit, indicating that the
writer is reporting the words of another.

ki, an intensive or affirmative particle, thrown in to add strength to
the expression.

ka tata, our fathers, ka mama, our grandfathers and ancestors more
remote than fathers. These terms are to be understood in a general

yx nu qahol, you my sons, or yx ka qahol, you our sons, intimates
that this account was prepared for the family of the writer.

pa Tulan. The prep. pa (before a vowel pan) means in, at, to, and
from. Torresano (MS. Gram.) renders it by the Latin ad, pro,
absque, ab, de, e, ex. Brasseur translates these words “being
still in Tulan,” which does not make sense.

2. qaqavitz, Zactecauh. Both these names of the ancestral heroes
of the Cakchiquels appear to be partly Nahuatl. qaq is “fire,” and
Zak is “white,” both Cakchiquel words, but vitzli, thorn, and
techatl, the stone of sacrifice, are Nahuatl.

chaka palouh, the other side of the sea. The word palouh appears
to be derived from the verb paloh, to lift onesself up, to rise,
referring to the waves.

pe vi, and vi pe; on the use of the particle vi, see Grammar, p.

pa Tulan ru bi huyu, from the country or place called Tulan. The word
huyu usually means hill or mountain; but it is frequently used in the
vague sense of “place,” “locality.”

achij, men, viri, not homines, which latter is vinak.

Xahila, a plural form. The name maybe derived from xahoh, to dance
in the sacred or ceremonial dances; or from ahila, to reckon or

[196]3. chinamit, the sub-gens. On this see the Introduction. The our
referred to include the Xahila, mentioned in the previous paragraph.
These four, the Xahila, the Gekaquch, the Baqahol, and the Cibaki,
formed the tribe; the remaining four, the Caveki, the Ah Queh, the Ah
Pak, and the Ykomagi, were of the same lineage, but not in the

Daqui; the letter d does not occur either in Cakchiquel or Nahuatl.
The foreign aspect of some of these names seems to point to an ancient
influence of some allophyllic tongue.

4. He ca coh, etc. The writer here states that he gives the exact
words of the ancient tradition. He probably wrote the text from some
antique chant, which had been handed down from his ancestors. The
quotation begins at the words Cahi xpe, and continues to near the
close of the next paragraph, where the words xecha can ri
, the above spoke Gagavitz, etc., mark its termination.
This is one of the most obscure passages in the book. The original text
is given by Brasseur among his pièces justificatives, in the appendix
to the first volume of his Hist. du Mexique. A comparison with his
translation will show that in several important constructions I differ
from him.

The mythological references to Tulan, cabouil, the Chay Abah,
Xibilbay, etc., have been discussed in the Introduction. The passage
corresponds to the first chapter of the third book of the Popol Vuh.

Tulan, Tullan; these variations are in the original.

5. The particle tan, with which the paragraph opens, throws the
narrative into the “historical present,” for the sake of greater
vividness. The verb dzak, as at present used, means to make bricks,
etc., out of earth.

xtiho; translated by Brasseur, “the trial was made;” but it is the
imperfect passive of tih, which means “to give to another something to
eat or drink.”

xaki, plural of xak, generic word for leaf.

utiuh, koch; besides these, two other animals are named in the Popol

achak is the general word for excrement, either of men or brutes;
also, refuse, waste products in general.

tiuh tiuh is the name of a small variety of hawk. “El gavilan
.” Guzman, Compendio de Nombres en Lengua Cakchiquel. MS.

mani ca xchao, “and he talked not.” The connective ca, like[197]
navipe, and pe, all three of which may usually be translated by
“and,” is not placed at the beginning of the clause. cha is to speak
in the general sense; hence, chabal, a language. Synonyms of this
are tin cha, I say; tin tzihoh, I speak words, I harangue; tin
, I name, I express myself; and quin ucheex, I tell or say,
especially used in repeating what others have said (Coto,
Vocabulario). These words are of frequent use in the text.

Rubanic chay abah ri dzapal, etc.; this obscure passage was, I
think, entirely misunderstood by Brasseur. The word dzapal is
derived from the neuter form dzape of the active tin dzapih, I
shut up or enclose, and means “that which is shut up,” lo cerrado, and
dzapibal, the active form in the next line, means “that which shuts
up,” i. e., gates or doors. It will be remembered (see ante, p. 26)
that the gates of Iximche were constructed partly of, or ornamented
with, obsidian, and the same is supposed here of the gates of the
mythical city or place of Tulan.

ki-kan; our burden, our tribute. The passage seems to indicate that
they left their former country to escape subjection.

coh qui tzih; the passage may be translated “theirs were the words
which incited us,” i. e., to revolt and to depart.

6. The articles mentioned as paid in the tribute, have been described in
the Introduction (see p. 39).

7. “So spoke the Obsidian Stone,” i. e., the sacred oracle, referred
to as the final arbiter. See anté, p. 26.

“The wood and stone which deceive,” that is, the idols of wood and stone
which they worshiped.

8. This paragraph is obscure, and the numerous erasures in Brasseur’s
translation indicate the difficulty he found in discovering its meaning.

9. cholloh tacaxepeval rikan ceche; Brasseur translates this:
Malheureux etaient les fils et les vassaux des Quiches.” I take
the word tacaxepeval to be the name of the first month in the
Cakchiquel calendar (see anté, p. 29); and colloh means “to divest
ourselves of, to get rid of.”

13. This and the following section describes the efforts of certain
inimical powers, under the guise of birds, to obstruct and deceive the
Cakchiquels. The chahalçivan is a small bird which builds in the rocky
sides of the ravines, and is called by the Spaniards by a literal
translation, “El guarda barranca,” the gully-guard. The tucur is the
owl; this name being apparently an abbreviation of the Nahuatl
tecolotl. The bird called canixt[198] is the Spanish cotorra, a
small species of parrot. (Guzman, Compendio de Nombres, MS.)

On the word labalinic, see Introduction, p. 47.

14. The owl sat on the red tree, the caka chee, whence, as we learn
later, the tribe derived its name, Cakchiquel—a doubtful derivation.

Chee abah, wood and stone; understood to refer to the idols of these

Çaqih, for Cakqih, the spring. Father Coto has the following
under the words: “Estio vel verano, Çakqih; pa çak qih, en el
estio vel verano. Y nota que los que nosotros decimos en saliendo el
verano, o que quando para, estos lo entrinden al contrario; porque
decin, mixel çak qih, mani chic ru qih hab, ya salió el verano, no
ay mas aguero.”

16. The cak chee, red tree, is translated by Father Guzman, “arbol de
carreta.” The legendary derivation of the name Cakchiquel from this is
doubtful. chamey may mean something more than staff; it is applied
to the staff of office, the bâton de commandement carried by the
alguacils, etc.

The whole paragraph is obscure, but seems to describe their leaving the
sandy shore of the sea, passing out of sight of land, then coming in
sight of it again, and going ashore.

17. The word ikan, burden, here as elsewhere, is usually translated by
Brasseur, “tribute.”

18. Ah chay, literally, “master of obsidian.” As this stone was
largely used for arrow heads and other weapons, the expression in this
connection seems to mean “master of arms.” Ah cam, from cam, to
take, seize. Brasseur construes these words as in apposition to vach:
“Whom shall we make our master of arms,” etc.

Etamayom, from the root et, mark, sign; etamah, to know, to be
skilled in an art; etamayom, he who knows (see Grammar, pp. 27, 56).
Brasseur’s rendering, “le Voyant,” is less accurate. See his
translation of this passage in the Hist. du Mexique, Tome II, p. 92.

cokikan; Brasseur gives to this the extraordinary rendering,
“parfumés d’ambre.” But Coto states that it was the term applied to the
loads of roasted maize, which were the principal sustenance of the
natives on their journeys.

19. The narration continues in the words of the ancestral heroes, who
speak in the first person, plural.

[199]Nonovalcat, Xulpit; the first of these names is decidedly Nahuatl,
and recurs in the Maya Chronicles. See Introduction, p. 44. The second
is clearly of Maya origin. These localities are located by Brasseur on
the Laguna de Terminos, near the mouth of the Usumacinta.

20. Having defeated their enemies in the field, the Cakchiquels seized
their boats and ventured an attack on the town, in which they were

Zuyva; this famous name in Aztec mythology, was also familiar to the
Maya tribes. (See The Maya Chronicles, p. 110.) The term ah zuyva
seems here employed as a general term for the Nahuatl-speaking nations.
(See above, p. 44.)

Cac; I do not find this word in any dictionary; perhaps it is for
cadz, a variety of wasp.

“When we asked each other,” etc. Here follow some fragments of legends,
explaining the origin of the names of the tribes. They are quite

Tohohil, from tohoh, to resound in the water and the sky (sonar el
rio y el ayre, Dicc. Cak. Anon.); not clangor armorum, as Brasseur
translates it, but sounds of nature. Tohil was the name of the
principal Quiche divinity, and was supposed by Brasseur and Ximenez to
be an abbreviated form of Tohohil. But I have given reasons for
supposing it to mean “justice,” “equity,” and this legend was devised to
explain it, when its true etymology had become lost. (See my Names of
the Gods in the Kiche Myths
, p. 23.)

Cakix; the bird so called, the Ara macao, of ornithologists, was one
of the totemic signs of the Zotzil families of the Cakchiquels. The
author here intimates that the name Cakchiquel is from cakix and
chi, month, forgetting that he has already derived it from cak chee
(Sec. 16).

Chitaqah; “in the valley.”

quqcumatz; see notes on Sec. 38.

Ahcic amaq; “the town on high,” built on some lofty eminence.

Akahal; the derivation suggested is from akah, a honey-comb or
wasp’s nest.

Çaker. This is an important word in Xahila’s narrative. It is derived
from çak, white; hence, çaker, to become white; also, to dawn, to
become light; metaphorically, of persons to become enlightened or
civilized. The active form, çakericah, means to inform, to acquaint
with, to instruct.

[200]21. Nima coxom, nima chah, Brasseur translates, “great ravines,
enormous oaks;” chăh is oak, chāh, ashes; cox, to strike
fire, to clash stones together. chopiytzel, “the bad place where the
flesh is torn from the body,” referring probably to sharp stones and
thorns. Popo abah, the Council Stone.

Molomu chee, “wood gathered together or piled up.” It is noteworthy
that this, which seems to be the name of a place, means in Cakchiquel
the same as Quauhtemallan, Guatemala, in Nahuatl. Perhaps the Aztec
allies of Alvarado merely translated the Cakchiquel name of the country.
(See Introduction, p. 22, note.)

Xahun chi lol; a difficult phrase, translated by Brasseur, “le dernier
rejeton;” lol is applied to a condition of desertion and silence, as
that of an abandoned mill or village. On halebal, see Introduction, p.

On Zakicoxol, and the conflict with him, see the Introduction, p. 42.

22. Ru chahim; Brasseur translates this phrase, “between the fire and
the ashes,” taking chahim from chāh, ashes. But I take it to be
from the verb chahih, to guard, as later in the paragraph the question
is asked: “Nak rumal tachahih bey?” “Why guardest thou the road?”

xcha ca ok xul; “aprés qu’il eut parlé, il joua sur la flute.”
Brasseur. The Abbé here mistook the preterit of ul to arrive, for the
noun xul, a flute.

ru cux huyu. The ambiguity of the word huyu, here, as often,
offers difficulty in ascertaining the precise sense of the original. It
means mountain or hill, woods or forest, or simply place or locality.
While cux, means literally “heart,” it also has the sense, “soul,
spirit.” (Coto, Vocabulario, MS. s. v. Corazon.) Hence, the phrase
may be translated “the Spirit of the Forest,” or “of the Mountain.”
Brasseur prefers the latter, while I lean to the former.

roqueçam, from the root oc, to enter; applied to garments “that
which is entered,” or put on. Compare our slang expression, “to get into
one’s clothes.”

xahpota, see Introduction, p. 18.

23. Yukuba, to string out; hence, to name seriatim. The last four
names given are clearly Nahuatl, as is also Zuchitan. This indicates
that the Cakchiquels, in their wanderings, had now entered the territory
of the Pipils, of the Pacific slope.

[201]Cholamaq; “the tribe of the Chols,” or “of the corn fields.” The
Chols were a Maya tribe, who lived around Palenque (see Stoll,
Ethnographie der Rep. Guatemala, pp. 89-93), but the reference in the
text is not to them, nor yet to the Mams, as Brasseur thought, but to a
nation speaking a non-Maya tongue.

Vaya vaya ela opa. I have given several reasons for the opinion that
these words are in the Xinca language. See my essay On the Xinca
Indians of Guatemala
, in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical
, 1885.

24. Mem, dumb, silent, incapable of speech. Tin memuh vi, I am dumb,
I keep silence; given in the text as the origin of the nomen gentile,
Mam. The Mams speak a dialect of the Maya, probably scarcely
intelligible to the Cakchiquels. They at present dwell in the
northwestern districts of the Republic of Guatemala. See Stoll,
Ethnographie der Rep. Guatemala, pp. 164-5.

25. Nacxit. On this passage Brasseur builds his theory of the
formation of a great Toltec empire in Central America, about the close
of the eleventh century (Hist. des Nations Civilisèes du
, Tom. II, pp. 101-5). He explains Nacxit as the last two
syllables of Topiltzin Acxitl, a title of Quetzalcoatl. Cinpual
is undoubtedly from the same tongue. Orbal tzam, Bored Nose,
the pendent from the nose being apparently a sign of dignity, as the
pierced ears of the Incas.

vapal abah, “the lintel stone,” here used in the metaphorical sense of
“the corner stone.”

26. The description of the dance of the Pokomams, leads us to suppose
that the author means it was a war dance. The Pokomams dwell at present
in the southeastern part of the Republic of Guatemala.

chicop Çakbim; the savage or barbarian Zakbim. See Introduction, p.

27. Tzaktzuy. Brasseur translates “Château des Citrouilles,” mistaking
tzak for dzak, as he does throughout the passage; tzuy means
also cup or gourd, and the name may be rendered either “the ensnaring
cup,” or “vine.” Possibly it refers to a scene of drunkenness.

ri retal; the sign or mark. Brasseur translates it “limit” or
“landmark” of the Ahquehays. These were one of the noble families of the
Quiche stock.

28. Oronic Cakhay, “the Red House of the Nobles,” said by[202] Brasseur to
be a hill, one league west of the modern village of Rabinal.

Tecpan, “the royal house.” See Introduction, p. 13.

dzumah chi qui cux; Brasseur translates these words, “cuirassés
sur la poitrine,” and says this was the name of the Pokomams (Hist.
, II, p. 126). dzuum is leather or skin, and cux is heart;
but dzumah, and later, xdzumax, is a verb, signifying to lower,
to depress.

“The venison and honey.” This sentence is apparently a gibe or jeer,
addressed by the defenders of Cakhay to Gagavitz after his attack on
their city had been repulsed.

29. Ah queh hay, “those of the deer (skin) houses.”

xakoticen a titil a qana abah. Brasseur translates, “il ne nous
est resté que les vieilles femmes et les pierres dejà hautes.” This
illustrates how far he is from the correct meaning at times. For these
words, see notes to Sec. 41.

30. Xhachatah qui vach. Brasseur gives this literally, “leurs faces
ensuite se divisèrent;” but vach means also “fruit, results,
possessions,” and so I render it.

31. qaq xanul, “the uncoverer of fire.” This is supposed by
Brasseur to be the name of a volcano, and the whole episode to refer to
a pretended miracle. See his Hist. Mexique, Vol. II, pp. 166-7. He
calls the passage “fort difficile,” which it certainly is.

32. Çakchoq. “Brulé à blanc,” is Brasseur’s translation, but I
cannot verify it. No such stone is mentioned in Guzman’s list of
Cakchiquel names of stones. It would seem that there were fourteen chief
performers in the dance of qaq xanul, and that they took the
name of certain stones.

34. Chi qalibal, “at the seat;” but the author chooses to derive it
from qa, hand, which is a doubtful etymology.

35. The episode of Tolgom, his capture and death, is explained by
Brasseur, suo more, as the destruction of the ruler of an independent
tribe on the shores of Lake Atitlan.

chabak Nicnic, the quivering mud, perhaps the quicksand. This
strange name adds to the obscurity of the legend.

cakbatzulu. The punning explanation of this name refers to its
similarity to cak, to place in front of another; also to shoot with
arrows, or to stone. Its real derivation seems to be cakba, from
cakaba, to reveal, disclose, and tzulu, to embrace, sleep
together. (Compare chee tzulu, later on.)

37. His song, i. e., his death song.

[203]Chee tzulu, “the interlaced trees.”

Uchum, the fifth month of the Cakchiquel calendar. See Introduction,
p. 29.

38. Ri tzam tzakbal Tolcom, “throwing the extremities of Tolgom.”
The reference to this festival is too slight to enable us to understand

Chi tulul, “at the zapote trees.”

Qabouil Abah, “the Stone God,” possibly the Chay Abah before referred

Çudzu cumatz; the latter is the generic term for snake, but the
meaning of the prefix is uncertain. Perhaps it should read çuxçu, to
move in spiral lines, as is described in the text. This miraculous form
was one of Gagavitz’s metamorphoses.

Nak ruma tiqui cam, etc. These words of the hero Gagavitz are not
easy to translate. They seem to chide the Cakchiquels for their weakness
in seeking women, and to announce his intention to remain among the

ru chac pe ri necāh coon; perhaps this should be translated,
“the organs of the women have conquered.”

39. Çakeribal, civilization, their becoming civilized. On the meaning
of this word see note to Sec. 20.

abah cuval; the precious stone offered by Bacahol as the price of
royalty, indicates that such carved gems were in high esteem. cuval
is translated by Guzman and others, “diamond;” but it was probably
native jade.

Chuluc balam, literally “tiger piss,” the name of a common medicinal
plant, used in Guatemala as a diuretic (Guzman). In this connection it
either means the totem of a gens, or refers to a magic rite. The former
seems to be indicated by the term chicop (see Introd. p. 39).

xahun chi raxon ru halebal, a punning allusion to the name of the hill
Paraxone. Brasseur translates it “qui possédent l’un et l’autre ces
oiseaux bleus enchanteurs.”

40. The sun had risen, etc. All these expressions are to be understood
metaphorically, with reference to the growing civilization of the

41. The description of the installation of Bacahol as head chief, is
an interesting passage. Unfortunately, several of the terms used are not
found in the dictionaries, at least with any appropriate meaning. Thus,
paz is now applied to the swathing bands of infants; cuçul is the
cradle or bundle in which infants[204] are fastened; while tach I have
not found at all. Guzman gives the expression, titil qana abah, caka
uleuh xak
, with the explanation, “Colores con que ungian los señores,”
and Ah titil, etc., “Señores ungidos de estos colores quando eran
puestos en señorios.” (Compendio de Nombres en Lengua Cakchiquel, MS.,

ququ cot; cot, eagle; quq, the general term for various
species of quetzals, birds with brilliant green plumage. The reference
seems to be to one of the magical metamorphoses of qaqavitz.

42. The difficulties experienced in their first endeavors to adopt a
sedentary and agricultural life are described.

chicop cuch, the “zopilote,” or carrion vulture. Possibly this
refers to a gens so designated.

43. In this paragraph the writer expresses himself with great

ca chimin, etc. As my translation differs considerably from
Brasseur’s, I add his: “En se mariant ils firent l’euvre de la chair
vraiment trop grande. Etant entrés pour se baigner, ils y rompirent leur
nature et gaspillèrent leur semence. Beaucoup y entrèrent dit-on, pour
compléter l’euvre charnelle, on la commit une seconde fois, le jeu s’y
établit absolument, et l’on forniqua par devant et par derrière.”

44. This section offers an important description of the ancient methods
of worship.

caxtoc. See the Introduction, p. 40.

mez, the house cat, but as this animal was not known to the natives
before the Conquest, some other animal must be intended.

holom ocox, “head fungus.” I follow Brasseur in translating this the
maguey thorns, without being able to justify it.

Chay Abah. See Introduction, p. 43.

46. Whitewashing the interior of hollow trees with lime from the
excrements of birds and tigers, sounds so extraordinary that we may
suspect a mythical sense in the paragraph.

chi cohom, from coh, to dance the sacred dances in their
religious rites, “the place of the sacred ceremonies.”

Cay Noh, Two Noh, Cay Batz, Two Batz, named after the days of their
birth. See Introduction, p. 33.

47. The same who came from Tulan. Therefore, from the beginning of the
narrative to the present passage, merely the adult life of one man has

[205]48. On the positions of the qalel and ahuchan, see Introduction,
p. 37.

ret ri Çactecauh, “the sign of Zactecauh.” The precise meaning of this
expression escapes me.

chopiytzel. See Sec. 30 for the occurrence alluded to.

49. Tepeuh is identified by Brasseur with the king Itztayul, of the
Quiches (Hist. Mexique, II, p. 485). He considers it a Nahuatl word,
but I have elsewhere maintained that it is from the Maya-Cakchiquel root
tep, filled up, abundantly supplied. See The Names of the Gods in the
Kiche Myths
, pp. 11, 12. It is a term often applied to their Supreme

52. Cakbrakan, the god of the earthquake. The myths concerning him are
given in the Popol Vuh.

Quite to the far East, literally, “and even to the sunrise.”

badzbal, anything drawn out in threads, gold thread, cotton thread,
etc. If the word is to be construed adjectively, puak badzpal would
mean “worked metal.”

56. Ahpop Xahil, etc.; on the meaning of these titles, see the
Introduction, p. 36-7.

63. Ya cotox ul; cot, to chisel, engrave, originally to cut
into; hence, applied to the deep valleys or cañons which the rivers cut
into the soil.

Ochal or Qabouil Çivan; the latter name means “the god of the
ravine.” The location of this city is unknown, except that it was near
the Pacific. The general position of the Akahals was to the east of the
Cakchiquels. See Brasseur, Hist. Mexique, Tom. II, pp. 502, 530.

64. Meqenalah huyu, a town in the warm district, the tierra
, near the southern or Pacific coast.

chuvi vi te, etc. The translation is doubtful. I follow Brasseur.

66. The names of the four rulers here inserted seem to be of those who
held the power after Citan Qatu. Why the author does not relate any
incidents of their lives is uncertain. Perhaps they did not belong to
his family, and as he was writing rather a family than a national
history, he omitted them for this reason. Compare Sec. 75.

67. The Quiche king, Qikab, is frequently mentioned in the Popol Vuh.
His full name was qaqci-qab, The Many Hands of Fire.

79. They wished that the roads should be free; rambey akan, “la
franchise des chemins.” I do not find the expression in the

83. Mixutzin malo, “the augury is finished.” The malol ixim[206] was the
augur who divined the future by throwing up grains of corn, and
forecasting from the relative positions they assumed on falling. See
Introd., p. 47.

cunum cachak, a term of contempt; literally “their genitals, their

The Ratzamut. See Introd., p. 21.

84. Burning many roads; destroying the houses and crops behind them.

90. hu chuvy, ca chuvy; in the numeral system of the Cakchiquels a
chuvy is 8000, but the expression is frequently, as here, to be taken
figuratively, like our “myriads.”

93. ah-xit, etc. On these titles see the Introduction, pp. 18, 19.

94. Vicaq nu mam, “the leaves or branches of my ancestor,” referring
to the fact that the Cakchiquels were of the same blood as the Akahals.

96. Çaklicahol, etc. This rendering, which is Brasseur’s, I am
unable to verify.

tok relic chic ahauh lahuh noh; perhaps this should read, “then came
the chief Lahuh Noh.” So Brasseur translates it.

102. There were four women, etc. This curious passage is so
differently translated by Brasseur, that I add his rendering:—

“Quatre femmes alors s’étant révetues de cottes de mailles,
ensanglantèrent leurs arcs et prirent part à la bataille; elles
s’étaient accompagnés de quatres jeunes gens et leurs flêches allèrent
frapper au milieu du tapis de Chucuybatzin, lancés qu’ elles étaient par
ces héros…. Le capitaine de bataille exposa ensuite les nudités de ces
femmes devant les murailles des Zotziles et des Xahiles d’ou ces femmes
étaient sorties.”

The future student will decide between these very diverse explanations
of the text.

106. Stopped the messengers of the ruler. The translation is doubtful.

109. The people of Mixco or Mixcu were Pokomams. (See Sec. 85.)

110. The Yaquis of Xivico; the Yaquis were Aztecs. It is the Nahuatl
yaqui, merchants, as it was in this capacity that they first became
known to the tribes of Guatemala.

117. This year, 1511 of our era, appears to have been the first of
official relations between the Aztecs and the tribes of Guatemala.

118. The author speaks of himself for the first time. It may be presumed
that it was one of his earliest recollections.

[207]120. The doves; possibly flights of wild pigeons.

124. Hu may; on the reckoning of time see the Introduction, p. 31.

127. chac, the pestilence. Brasseur translates this “la maladie
syphilitique.” The vowel is long, chaac. It is a word applied to any
eruptive disease, to the whole class of exanthemata. From the symptoms,
I am inclined to believe that it was an epidemic of malignant measles, a
disease very fatal to the natives of Central America.

128. Diego Juan. Why this Spanish name is given, I cannot explain.
Brasseur gets over the difficulty by translating “le pére de Diego
Juan,” but this is not the sense of the original. Of course, tata and
mama are here used in their vague sense, as expressions of courtesy.
See Introduction, p. 35.

144. Pedro de Alvarado, called the Adelantado, a Spanish title
formerly given to a governor of a province, and by his Mexican allies,
Tonatiuh, the Sun or Sun-God, reached the city of Gumarcaah, or
Utlatlan in the early spring of 1524.

147. Were burned alive. “As I knew their evil intentions, and to keep
the people quiet, I burned them, and ordered their city razed to its
foundation,” writes Alvarado to Cortes. Relacion, etc.

400 men. Alvarado writes cuatro mil hombres, “four thousand men.”

148. The palace of Tzupam. Perhaps the palace described by Fuentes.
See Introduction, p. 24. Alvarado speaks of the friendly reception he
met with: “I could not have been more warmly welcomed to the house of my
father.” Otra Relacion, etc. His first visit was for eight days, April
11-19, 1524.

Pa hul, etc. This obscure passage is translated by Brasseur in his MS.
as follows: “Vous avez vu la-bas leur tombeau qui est au milieu des
autres;” whereas, in his Hist. du Mexique, Tom. IV, p. 651, he
translates the whole of this reply of the Cakchiquel king by these
words: “Eh quoi! aurais-je envoyé mes guerriers et mes braves mourir
pour vous et chercher un tombeau à Gumarcaah, si j’avais eu des
intentions si perfides!”

This comparison will illustrate how differently he construed the
passage, and also what excessive license he took with his authorities.

171. The order assigning the Oidor Alonso de Maldonado to take charge of
Guatemala, is dated Oct. 27, 1535, and he arrived there in the following

[208]On his return from Spain, Alvarado landed at Puerto de Caballos, April
4, 1539, and reached the city of Guatemala Sept. 16th of the same year.

“On account of his lineage,” Ruma ru chinamital; the expression is not

173. “Prince of the city,” Ahauh pa tinamit; see Sec. 168. Cahi
Imox and others had returned to settle in Iximche, and their actions had
become suspicious.

173. Francisco de Alvarado was either the uncle or cousin of Don Pedro.

The Adelantado died July 5, 1541, from an injury received while
attacking the stronghold of Nochistlan.

174. This disaster occurred on the night of Sept. 10-11th, 1541.

The mission referred to is mentioned by Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana,
Lib. XIX, Cap. XIV. Pedro de Angulo and his companion reached Guatemala
in 1539.

175. “On account of ashes,” Ruma chah; Brasseur translates this
expression, “á cause de billevesées.”

176. Juan Rogel was one of the “oidores.”

177. Alonso Lopez Cerrato entered upon his duties in Guatemala May 26,

179. Pedro Ramirez de Quiñones. The actor in this attempt was one of the
oidores. Bancroft, who refers to the quarrel between the Governor and
Bishop Marroquin, does not satisfactorily explain it. See his Hist. of
Central America
, Vol. II, pp. 326-7. On Ramirez, see Juarros, Hist.
, Tom. I, pp. 235-6.

181. Antonio Rodriguez de Quezada took possession of the Presidency of
Guatemala Jan. 14, 1554, and retained it till his death in November,
1558; he was succeeded by Pedro Ramirez. (Comp. Juarros, I, p. 255, with
Bancroft, Hist. Cent. Am., II, p. 358, who says 1555.)

181. “There was but little between them,” Xa ca halal qui cohol
; this expression is not clear. There appears to be considerable
vagueness in the writer’s chronology in this passage.

“He did not condemn any one, because he had no time,” Mani xuban ru
qatbaltzih, mani xyaloh
; an ignorant statement, since he held the
Presidency about four years.

The reading of the last sentence is doubtful.

182. Vico was killed in the summer of 1555.

184. The expedition against the Lacandons took place early in 1559.

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