Hubert Howe Bancroft, Native Races of the Pacific States

native races of the pacific states

hubert howe bancroft, author of native races of the pacific states

Speaking of Votan, Bancroft says;  “Votan, another mysterious personage, closely resembling Quetzalcoatl in many points, was the supposed founder of the Maya civilization. He is said to have been a descendant of Noah, and to have assisted at the building of the tower of Babel. After the confusion of tongues, he lead a portion of the dispersed people to America.” — Nat. Rac. Pac. States, Vol. 5, p. 27.


Native races of the Pacific States Title Page

Votan asserts that he is a descendant of Imox, of the race of Chan, and derives his origin from Chi vim. “He states that he conducted seven families from Valum Yotan to this continent and as signed lands to them; that he is the third of the Vo- tans; that, having determined to travel until he arrived at the root of heaven, in order to discover his relations the Culebras (Serpents), and make himself known to them, he made four voyages to Chivim; 1 * 2 that he arrived in Spain, and that he went to Rome; that he saw the great house of God building; 143 that he went by the road which his brethren the Culebras had bored; that he marked it, and that he passed by the houses of the thirteen Culebras. He relates that in returning from one of his voyages, he found seven other families of the Tzequil nation, who had 142 Which is expressed by repeating four times from Valum-Votan to Valum-Chivim, from Valum-Chivim to Valum-Votan. Cabrera, Teatro, in Bid s Description, p. 34. Valum-Votan, ou Terre de Votan, serait suivant Ordonez File de Cuba. Mais dans mon dernier voyage, en con- tournant les montagnes qui environnent le plateau eleve” ou est situe Cin- dad-Real de Chiapas, j ai visite de grandes mines qui portent le nom de Valum-Votan, a deux lieues environ du village de Teopixca, situe a 7 1. de Cuidad-Real, et oil Nunez de la Vega dit avoir encore trouve, en 1696, les families du nom de Votan. Brassenr de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. Ixxxviii. 143 Brasseur s account, which is, he says, taken from certain preserved fragments of Ordonez Hist, del Cielo, differs at this point; it reads: il alia a Valum-Chivim, d ou il passa a la grande ville, oil il vit la maison de Dieu, que 1 on etait occupe a batir. This house of God, he remarks in a note, was, suivant Ordonez et Nunez de la Vega, le temple que Salo mon etait occupe a batir a Jerusalem. After this, he goes on, Votan went a la cite antique, oil il vit, de ces propres yeux, les mines d un grand Edifice que les homines avaient erige par le commandement de leur a feul commun, afin de pouvoir par la arriver au ciel. In another note he re marks, Ordonez commentant ce passage y trouve tout naturellement la tour de Babel: mais il s indigne contre ies Babyloniens, de ce qu ils avaient eu la mauvaise foi de dire a Votan que la tour avait ete batie par ordre de leur a ieul commun (Noe): “II faut remarquer ici, dit-il, que les Babyloniens n ont fait que tromper Votan, en lui assurant que la tour avait e”te constmite par ordre de leur ai eul Noe, afin d en faire un chemin pour arriver au ciel: jamais certainement le saint patriarche n eut la moindre part dans la folie arrogante de Nemrod” (Metnoire MS. sur Palenque.} Nunez de la Vega rapporte la meme tradition sur Votan et ses voyages (Constitut. Dioeces, in Praeamb., n. 34). Brasseur de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. IxxxviiL

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, Vol. 5 by Hubert Howe Bancroft

Native Races of the Pacific States of North America Hubert Howe Bancroft

VOTAN THE CULTURE-HERO. 27 the scriptures as an infallible authority upon the many burning questions which continually thrust themselves, as it were, upon the present generation for immediate and fair consideration; nor need his respect for traditions and opinions long held sacred be lessened one iota by such an assertion. It is needless to state that the analogies which Lord Kingsborough finds in America in support of his theory are based upon no sounder foundation. 62 Votan, another mysterious personage, closely re sembling Quetzalcoatl in many points, was the sup posed founder of the Maya civilization. He is said to have been a descendant of Noah and to have as sisted at the building of the Tower of Babel. After the confusion of tongues he led a portion of the dis cs Following are a few points of Lord Kingsborough s elaborate argu ment: How truly surprising it is to find that the Mexicans, who seem to have been quite unacquainted with the doctrines of the migration of the soul and the metempsychosis, should have believed in the incarnation of the only son of their supreme god Tonacatecutle. For Mexican mythol ogy speaking of no other son of that god except Quecalcoatle, who was born of Chimalman the Virgin of Tula, without connection \yith man, and by his breath alone, (by which may be signified his word or his will, announced to Chimalman by word of mouth of the celestial messenger, whom he dispatched to inform her that she should conceive a son,) it must be presumed that Quecalcoatle was his only son. Other arguments might be adduced to show, that the Mexicans believed that Quecalcoatle was both god and man, that he had previously to his incarnation existed from all eternity, that he had created both the world and man, that he descended from heaven to reform the world by penance, that he was born with the perfect use of reason, that he preached a new law, and, being king of Tula, was crucified for the sins of mankind, as is obscurely insinuated by the in terpreter of the Vatican Codex, plainly declared in the traditions of Yuca tan, and mysteriously represented in the Mexican paintings. If the promise of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God be couched in the language of ancient prophecy, it is not improbable that the head of the dragon which forms the crest of three of the female figures (in one of the Mexican pieces of sculpture), as it may also be presumed it did of the fourth when entire, (if it be not a symbol which Chimalman borrowed from her son s name,) was intended to denote that she had been overshadowed by the power of Huitzilopuchtli, whose device, as we are informed by Sahagun in the first chapter of the first book of his History of New Spain, was the head of a dragon. KingsborougWs Mex. Antiq., vol. vi., pp. 507-8. % See, more especially, his elaborate discussion of Quetzalcoatls crucifixion and identity with the Messiah, vol. viii., pp. 5-51. As we have seen in a preceding volume, Quetzalcoatl is compared with the heathen deities of the old world, as well as with the Messiah of the Christians. See vol. iii., chap. vii. 28 ORIGIN OF THE AMERICANS. persed people to America. There he established the kingdom of Xibalba and built the city of Palenque. 63 VOTAN S TRAVELS. 69 The mysterious traveler, Yotan, is once more made to do service for the theorist here. In his somewhat doubtful manuscript, entitled “Proof that I am a Serpent,” Votan asserts that he is a descendant of Imox, of the race of Chan, and derives his origin from Chi vim. “He states that he conducted seven families from Valum Yotan to this continent and as signed lands to them; that he is the third of the Vo- tans; that, having determined to travel until he arrived at the root of heaven, in order to discover his relations the Culebras (Serpents), and make himself known to them, he made four voyages to Chivim; 1 * 2 that he arrived in Spain, and that he went to Rome; that he saw the great house of God building; 143 that he went by the road which his brethren the Culebras had bored; that he marked it, and that he passed by the houses of the thirteen Culebras. He relates that in returning from one of his voyages, he found seven other families of the Tzequil nation, who had 142 Which is expressed by repeating four times from Valum-Votan to Valum-Chivim, from Valum-Chivim to Valum-Votan. Cabrera, Teatro, in Bid s Description, p. 34. Valum-Votan, ou Terre de Votan, serait suivant Ordonez File de Cuba. Mais dans mon dernier voyage, en con- tournant les montagnes qui environnent le plateau eleve” ou est situe Cin- dad-Real de Chiapas, j ai visite de grandes mines qui portent le nom de Valum-Votan, a deux lieues environ du village de Teopixca, situe a 7 1. de Cuidad-Real, et oil Nunez de la Vega dit avoir encore trouve, en 1696, les families du nom de Votan. Brassenr de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. Ixxxviii. 143 Brasseur s account, which is, he says, taken from certain preserved fragments of Ordonez Hist, del Cielo, differs at this point; it reads: il alia a Valum-Chivim, d ou il passa a la grande ville, oil il vit la maison de Dieu, que 1 on etait occupe a batir. This house of God, he remarks in a note, was, suivant Ordonez et Nunez de la Vega, le temple que Salo mon etait occupe a batir a Jerusalem. After this, he goes on, Votan went a la cite antique, oil il vit, de ces propres yeux, les mines d un grand Edifice que les homines avaient erige par le commandement de leur a feul commun, afin de pouvoir par la arriver au ciel. In another note he re marks, Ordonez commentant ce passage y trouve tout naturellement la tour de Babel: mais il s indigne contre ies Babyloniens, de ce qu ils avaient eu la mauvaise foi de dire a Votan que la tour avait ete batie par ordre de leur a ieul commun (Noe): “II faut remarquer ici, dit-il, que les Babyloniens n ont fait que tromper Votan, en lui assurant que la tour avait e”te constmite par ordre de leur ai eul Noe, afin d en faire un chemin pour arriver au ciel: jamais certainement le saint patriarche n eut la moindre part dans la folie arrogante de Nemrod” (Metnoire MS. sur Palenque.} Nunez de la Vega rapporte la meme tradition sur Votan et ses voyages (Constitut. Dioeces, in Praeamb., n. 34). Brasseur de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. IxxxviiL 70 ORIGIN OF THE AMERICANS. joined the first inhabitants, and recognized in them the same origin as his own, that is, of the Culebras. He speaks of the place where they built their first town, which, from its founders, received the name of Tzequil; he affirms the having taught them refine ment of manners in the use of the table, table-cloth, dishes, basins, cups, and napkins; that, in return for these, they taught him the knowledge of God and of his worship; his first ideas of a king and obedi ence to him; and that he was chosen captain of all these united families.” 144 Cabrera supposes Chivim to be the same as Hivim or Givim, which was the name of the country from which the Hivites, descendants of Heth, son of Canaan, were expelled by the Philistines some years before the departure of the Hebrews from Egypt. Some of these settled about the base of Mount Her- mon, and to them belonged Cadmus and his wife Harmonia. It is probably owing to the fable of their transformation into snakes, related by Ovid in his Metamorphoses, that the word Givim in the Phoenician language signifies a snake. 145 Tripoli of 144 Cabrera, Tcatro, in RIG S Description, p. 34. I have followed Ca brera s account because, unfortunately, Ordonez work is not to be had. Brasseur gives a fuller account of Votan s adventures than Cabrera, but he professes to draw his information from fragments of Ordonez writings, and it is impossible to tell whether his extra information is the result of his own imagination or of that of his equally enthusiastic original. The learned Abbe relates that the men with whom Votan conversed concerning the tower of Babel, assured him que cet edifice etait le lieu oil Dieu avait donne a chaque famille un language particulier. II affirme qu a son retour de la ville du temple de Dieu, il retourna une premiere et une seconde fois a examiner tons les souterrains par oil il avait deja passe, et les signes qui s y trouvaient. II dit qu on le fit passer par un chemin souterrain qui tra- versait la terre et se terminait a la racine du ciel. A 1 egard de cette cir- constance, il ajoute que ce chemin n etait autre qu un trou de serpent ou il entra parce qu il etait un serpent. Popol Vuli, p. Ixxxix. See farther, concerning Votan: Carbajal Espinosa, Hist. Mex., torn, i., p. 165; Juar- Antiq., pp. 11-15; Jfncsts Amer. Antiq., pp. 248-9; Urasseur de JJour- bourg, Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, i., pp. 43-5, G8-76; Domencch s Deserts, vol. i., pp. 10-7. This last is merely a literal copy of Tschudi, to whom, how ever, no credit is given. 145 Ordonez tire un argument du mot chivim, qu il ecrit aussi hirim, pour rappeler le chivim du pays des Heveens de la Palestine, d oii il fait sortir les ancetres de Votan. Dans la laugue tzendale, qui etait celle du THE TZENDAL TRADITIONS. 71 Syria, a town in the kingdom of Tyre, was anciently called Chi vim. “Under this supposition, when Vo- tan says he is Culebra, because he is Chivim, he clearly shows, that he is a Hivite originally of Tripoli in Syria, which he calls Yalum Chivim, where he landed, in his voyages to the old continent. Here then, we have his assertion, I am Culebra, because I am Chivim, proved true, by a demonstration as evident, as if he had said, I am a Hivite, native of Tripoli in Syria, which is Valum Chivim, the port of my voyages to the old continent, and belonging to a nation famous for having produced such a hero as Cadmus, who, by his valour and exploits, was worthy of being changed into a Culebra (snake) and placed among the gods ; whose worship, for the glory of my nation and race, I teach to the seven families of the Tzequiles, that I found, on returning from one of my voyages, united to the seven families, inhabitants of the American continent, whom I conducted from Valum Votan, and distributed lands among them.” 146 The most enthusiastic supporter of the Phoenician, or Tynan, theory, is Mr George Jones. This gentle man has devoted the whole of a goodly volume to the subject, in which he not only sustains, but con clusively proves, to his own satisfaction, whatever proposition he pleases. It is of no use to question, he demolishes by anticipation all possible objections; he “will yield to none,” he says, “in the conscien tious belief in the truth of the startling propositions, and the consequent historic conclusions.” The sum of these propositions and conclusions is this: that after the taking of the Tynan capital by Alexander, livre attribue a Votan, la racine du mot chivin pourrait etre chib ou chiib, qui signifie patrie, ou ghib qui veut dire armadille. Brasseurcle Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. Ixxxviii., note. 143 Cabrera, Teatro, in Bio s Description, pp. 47-53. It seems that the supposed Phrenician descent of the Americans has served as an excuse for the tyranny their conquerors exercised over them. Cursed he Canaan ! said Noah, A servant of servants shall he he unto his brethren. Mon- tanus says that it is a mistake to term the Phoenicians descendants of Canaan, for they are a Semitic people. Nieuive Wecreld, p. 25. 72 ORIGIN OF THE AMERICANS. B.C. 332, a remnant of the inhabitants escaped by- sea to the Fortunate Islands, and thence to America. The author does not pretend that they had any posi tive foreknowledge of the existence of a western continent; though he believes “that from their knowledge of astronomy, they may have had the supposition that such might be the case, from the then known globular character of the earth.” But they were mainly indebted for the success of their voyage to the favoring east winds which bore them, in the space of a month straight to the coast of Florida. 147 “There arrived in joyous gladness, and welcomed by all the gifts of nature, like an heir to a sudden fortune, uncertain where to rest, the Tyrians left the shore of Florida and coasted the gulf of Mexico, and so around the peninsula of Yucatan and into the Bay of Honduras ; they thence ascended a river of shelter and safety, and above the rapids of which they selected the site of their first city, now occupied by the ruins, altars, idols, and walls of Copan!” CHAPTER III. THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD OF ABORIGINAL HISTORY. SUBDIVISION OF THE SUBJECT TZENDAL TRADITION OF THE VOTANIC EMPIRE VOTAN S BOOK AND ITS CONTENTS AS REPORTED BY NUNEZ DE LA VEGA, CABRERA, AND ORDONEZ TESTIMONY OF MANNERS AND CUSTOMS, RELIGION, LANGUAGES, AND MONU MENTS OF THE CIVILIZED NATIONS RESPECTING THE PRIMITIVE MAYA PEOPLES THE QUICHE RECORD, OR POPOL VUH CIVIL IZING EFFORTS OF GUCUMATZ AND HIS FOLLOWERS EXPLOITS OF HUNAHPU AND XBALANQUE CONQUEST OF XlBALBA MIGRA TION FROM TULAN ZUIVA, THE SEVEN CAVES MEANING OF THE QUICHE TRADITION NAHUA TRADITIONS THE TOLTECS IN TA- MOANCHAN ACCORDING TO SAHAGUN THE CODEX CHIMALPO- POCA PRE-TOLTEC NATIONS IN MEXICO OLMECS AND XICA- LANCAS THE QUINAMES CHOLULA AND QUETZALCOATL THE TOTONACS TEOTIHUACAN OTOMIS, MIZTECS, ZAPOTECS, AND HUASTECS THE TOLTECS IN HUEHUE TLAPALLAN MIGRATION TO ANAHUAC THE CHICHIMECS IN AMAQUEMECAN ANCIENT HOME OF THE NAHUATLACAS AND AZTECS PRIMITIVE ANNALS OF YUCATAN CONCLUSIONS. In order to render more vivid than it would other wise have been a picture of Nahua and Maya insti tutions as they were found in the sixteenth century, I have devoted one chapter of a preceding volume to an outline view of aboriginal history; to fill in so far as possible its details, is my remaining task. The sketch alluded to will prove convenient here, since it will enable me at various points to refer intelli gibly and yet briefly to events somewhat in advance (156) DIVISION OF THE SUBJECT. 157 of their chronologic order. As has been stated, the sixth century is the most remote period to which we are carried in the annals of Anahuac by traditions sufficiently definite to be considered in a strict sense as historic records. Prior to the sixth century there were doubtless other periods of Nahua greatness, for there is little evidence to indicate that this was the first appearance in Mexico of this progressive people, but previous development cannot be definitely fol lowed in a historical sense although affording oc casional glimpses which supply interesting matter for antiquarian speculation. In the southern regions, where the Maya culture flourished, or what may be considered geographically as Central America, we have seen that the chronologic record is much less extensive and perfect even than in the north, taking us back in an oft-broken line only a few centuries beyond the Conquest. Yet we have caught traditional glimpses far back in the misty past of a mighty aboriginal empire in these tropical lands, of the earlier and grander stages of Maya culture, of Yotan, of Xibalba, of even the early periods of Nahua civiliza tion and power. Palenque, Copan, and their com panions in ruin, the wonderful material monuments of the ancient epoch, proving it to be no mere creation of the imagination, have been described and pictured. With the breaking-up of the Maya empire into sep arate nations at an unknown date, the aboriginal his tory of Central America as a whole ceases, and down to a period closely preceding the Conquest, we have only an occasional event, the memory of which is pre served in the traditions of two or three nations. The history of the Native Races may be most con veniently subdivided as follows; 1st. The Pre-Toltec Period, embracing the semi-mythic traditions of the earliest civilization, extending down to a date al ways preceding the sixth century, but varying in different parts of the territory when the more prop- 158 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD.  Early historic annals of the different nations begin, and including also the few traditions referring to pre-Tol- tec nations north of Tehuantepec. 2d. The Toltec Period, referring like the two following periods to Andhuac alone, and extending down to the eleventh century. 3d. The Chichimec Period, extending from the eleventh century to the formation of the tri-partite alliance between the Aztecs, Acolhuas, and Tepanecs in the fifteenth century. 4th. The Aztec Period, that of Aztec supremacy during the century preced ing the Conquest. 5th. The annals of such Nahua nations outside the limits of the Aztec Empire proper as cannot be conveniently included in the preceding divisions. 6th. Historical traditions of the Wild Tribes of the north. 7th. The Quiche- Cakchiquel nations of Guatemala. 8th. Miscellaneous nations and tribes of Central America. 9th. The Maya na tions of Yucatan. The first division, the Pre-Toltec Period, to which the present chapter is devoted, will include the few vague traditions that seem to point to the cradle of American civilization, to the Votanic empire, to Xi- balba, and to the deeds of the civilizers, or culture- heroes, in Tabasco and Chiapas. Who can estimate the volumes that would be required for a full narra tion of all that actually occurred within this period, had the record been made or preserved ; the develop ment, from germs whose nature is unknown, of Amer ican civilization; the struggles and misfortunes of infant colonies ; the exploits of native heroes ; plots of ambition, glorious success, utter failure; the rise and fall of princes and of empires; wars, triumphs, de feats; oppression and revolt; political combinations and intrigues; religious strife between the fanatic devotees of rival divinities; seasons of plenty and of famine; earthquake, flood, and pestilence a tangled network of events spread over the centuries; to re late all that we may know of it a chapter will suffice. VOTAN AND HIS DEEDS. 159 I have told in another volume the mythic tale of Votan, 1 the culture-hero, how he came to America and apportioned the land among the people. He came by divine command from Valum Chivim by way of Valum Votan, built a great city of Nachan, city of the serpents so called from his own name, for he was of the race of Chan, a Serpent and founded a great empire in the Usumacinta region, which he seems to have ruled over as did his descend ants or followers for many centuries. He was not regarded in the native traditions as the first man in America ; he found the country peopled, as did all the culture-heroes, but by his teachings and by the aid of his companions he firmly established his own ideas of religion and government. So far as his memory was preserved by tradition he was a civilizer, a law -giver, the introducer of the Maya culture, worshiped more over, after his disappearance, as a god. He came by sea from the east, but with the locality whence he started I have nothing to do here; neither is it neces sary to indulge in speculation respecting the four mys terious visits which he paid after his arrival in Amer ica to his original home in the Old World, where it is gravely asserted he was present at the building of Solomon s temple and saw the ruins of the tower of Babel. His reported acts in the New World, whose people he came to civilize, were ; the dividing or ap portioning of the lands among the people; their instruction in the new institutions they were required to adopt; the building of a great city, Nachan, after wards the metropolis of an empire ; the reception of a new band of disciples of his own race, who were al lowed to share in the success already achieved by his enterprise; the subdividing of his empire after its power had become wide-spread in the land into several allied monarchies subordinate in a certain degree to Nachan, among whose capitals were Tulan, Mayapan, and Chiquimula; the construction of a subterranean 1 Vol. iii., p. 450, et seq. 160 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. road or snake hole from the barranca of Zuqui to Tzequil ; the deposit of a great treasure with tapirs as sacred animals in a house of gloom at Huehuetan in Soconusco, protected by guardians called tlapianes, at whose head was a Lady Superior; and finally the writing of a book in which was inscribed a complete record of all he had done, with a defense or proof of his claims to be considered one of the Chanes, or Ser pents. 2 This document is the authority, indirectly, for nearly all that is known from Tzendal sources of Vo- tan and his empire. Francisco Nunez de la Vega, Bishop of Chiapas, claims to have had in his posses sion 3 and to have read this historical tract. He does not describe it, but from his having been able to read the contents, it would seem to have been, if genuine, not the original in hieroglyphics but an interpretation in European letters, although still perhaps in the Tzendal language. Of the contents, besides a general statement of Votan s coming as the first man sent by God to portion out the land, and some of his experi ences in the Old World, this author says nothing- definite. He claims to have had much knowledge of Tzendal antiquity derived from the work mentioned and other native writings, but he feared to perpetuate this knowledge lest it might “confirm more strongly an idolatrous superstition.” He is the only authority for the deposit of the treasure in the Dark House at Huehuetan, without saying expressly that he derived his information from Votan s writings. This treasure, consisting of aboriginal relics, the bishop felt it to be his duty to destroy, and it was publicly burned in 1691. It is not altogether improbable that a genuine Maya document similar to the Manuscript Troano or Dresden Codexf preserved from the early times, may 2 Ordonez states in one part of his work that this record was not writ ten by Votan himself, but by his descendant in the eighth or ninth genera tion. Brasseur de Bourbourg, in Popol Vuh, p. Ixxxvii. 3 Constituciones Dioccsanas del Obispado de Chiappas. Rome, 1702. 4 See vol. ii., pp. 771-4. THE BOOK OF VOTAN. 161 have found a native interpreter at the time of the Conquest, and have escaped in its disguise of Span ish letters the destruction that overtook its com panions. The next notice of this manuscript is found in the writings of Dr Paul Felix Cabrera, 5 who in the last part of the eighteenth century found it in the possession of Don Ramon de Ordonez y Aguiar, a native and resident of Ciudad Real in Chiapas. 6 He describes the document as consisting of “five or six folios of common quarto paper, written in ordinary characters in the Tzendal language, an evident proof of its having been copied from the original in hiero glyphics, shortly after the conquest.” 7 The manu script, according to Cabrera, recounted Votan s ar rival with seven families, to whom he apportioned the lands; his voyages to the Old World; and his reception of the new-comers. Returning from one of his voyages ” he found seven other families of the Tzequil nation, who had joined the first inhabitants, and recognized in them the same origin as his own, that is, of the Culebras. He speaks of the place where they built their first town, which, from its founders, received the name of Tzequil; he affirms the having taught them refinement of manners in the use of the table, table-cloth, etc.; that, in return for these, they taught him the knowledge of God and of his worship; his first ideas of a king and obedi- 5 Teatro Critico Americano, p. 32, et seq. 6 See vol. iv., p. 289. 7 At the top of the first leaf, the two continents are painted in differ ent colours, in two small squares, placed parallel to each other in the angles: the one representing Europe, Asia, and Africa is marked with two large SS; upon the upper arms of two hars drawn from the opposite angles of each square, forming the point of union in the centre; that which in dicates America has two SS placed horizontally on the hars, but I am not certain whether upon the upper or lower bars, but I believe upon the latter. When speaking of the places he had visited on the old continent, he marks them on the margin of each chapter, with an upright S, and those of Ame rica with an horizontal S. Between these squares stands the title of his history “Proof that I am Culebra” (a snake), which title he proves in the body of his work, by saying that he is Culebra, because he is Chivim. Ca brera, Teatro, pp. 33-4. 162 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. ence to him; and that he was chosen captain of all these united families.” Ordonez, at the time of Cabrera s visit, was en gaged in writing his great History of the Heaven and Earth, 8 a work, as the learned Doctor predicts, to be “so perfect in its kind, as will completely aston ish the world.” The manuscript was never published, part of the historical portion was lost, and the re maining fragments or copies of them fell into the hands of Brasseur de Bourbourg, whose writings contain all that is known of their contents; and it must be confessed that from these fragments little or nothing of value has been extracted by the abbe in addition to what Nunez de la Vega and Cabrera had already made known. Ordonez was familiar with the Tzendal lan^ua^e and character, with the o o ancient monuments of his native state, and was zeal ously devoted to antiquarian researches; he had ex cellent opportunities to collect and record such scraps of knowledge as the Tzendal tribes had preserved from the days of their ancestors greatness; 9 but his enthusiasm seems rather to have led him to profitless speculations on the original population of the New World and “its progress from Chaldea immediately after the confusion of tongues.” Even after reject ing the absurd theories and speculations which seem to have constituted the bulk of his writings, one can not help looking with some distrust on the few tradi tional statements respecting Votan not given by other 3 Historia del Cielo y de la Tierra, MS. See vol. iv., p. 289, for addi tional notes respecting this author. 9 Un estudio de inuchos ratos (mas de treinta anos) . . . . acorn paiiado de la constante aplicacion con qne me dedique d entender las frases de que nsaron los Indios en sn primitive gentilismo, principalniente en la historia que de su establecimieuto en esta region que nosotros llamamos America, escribio Votan, la cual consegui, de les mismos Indios (qnienes me la franqueaTon), y sobre todo, la conveniencia que resulta de una prolixa combinacion dc la sitnacion dc aquella ciudad (Palenque), de la disposicion y arquitectnra de sus ediftcios, de la antigiiedad de sus geroglificos, y finalmente de las pro- ducciones de su terreno, con las noticias que, a costa de porfiadas diligen- cias, habia adquirido; crei que me tenian en estado de despertar un sistema nada nuevo, pero olvidado. Ordonez, MS., in Brasseur de Bourbourg, Cartas, p. 7. TZENDAL TRADITIONS. 163 authors, and thinking of possible transformations that may have been effected in Tzendal fables under the pens of two writers like Ordonez and Brasseur, both honest investigators, but of that enthusiastic class of antiquarians who experience few or no difficulties. The few items of information respecting the Yo- tanic period not already mentioned, some of them not in themselves improbable, but few traceable to any very definite native source, are the following : The date of the foundation of the empire, according to Ordonez, was about 1000 B. C. Whether he had any other reason for this supposition than his theory that the building of Solomon s temple, attributed by some writers to that period, took place during Votan s life, is uncertain. The name Tzequiles, applied to Votan s followers by the aborigines, or rather, it would seem, by the first to the second division of the Serpents is said to mean in Tzendal men with petticoats, and to have been applied to the new-comers by reason of their peculiar dress. 10 To them was given, after the permanent establishment of the empire, one of the great kingdoms into which it was divided, with Tulan as their capital city. This kingdom with two others, whose capitals were Mayapan in Yucatan and Chiqui- mula, possibly Copan, in Honduras, were allied with, yet to a certain degree subordinate to, the original em pire whose capital was Nachan, built and ruled by Vo- tan himself and his descendants. The only names which seem to have been applied in the Tzendal traditions to the people and their capital city were Chanes, or Serpents, and Nachan, or City of Serpents; but these names acquire considerable historical importance when it is noted that they are the exact equivalents of Cul- huas and Culhuacan, names which will be found so exasperatingly prevalent in the Nahua traditions of 10 Ordonez, as represented by Cabrera Teatro, p. 96 claims that the name Tzequiles has precisely the same meaning as Nahuatlacas in the Nahua dialect, and he applies the name to a Nahua rather than a Maya people, with much reason as will appear later, although Brasseur is of a contrary opinion. Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, i., p. 70. 164 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. the north. Ordonez claims, however, that the name Quiche, at a later period that of a Guatemalan king dom, was also in these earlier times applied to Votan s empire. 11 Of Votan s death there is no tradition, nor is any thing definite reported of his successors, save, what is perhaps only a conjecture, that their names are re corded in the Tzendal calendar as the names of days, 12 the order being that of their succession. In this case it is necessary to suppose that Yotan had two prede cessors, Igh and Imox; and in fact Brasseur claims to find in one document a statement that Igh brought the first colony to America. 13 Chinax, the last but two of the line, a great soldier, is said to have been put to death by a rival of another nation. 14 Nunez de la Vega notes the existence of a family of Votans in his time, claiming direct descent from the great founder; and Brasseur states that a wild tribe of the region are yet known as Chanes. 15 Such are the vague memories of the Chiapan past so far as they were preserved by the natives of the region, and collected by Europeans. The nature of the traditions themselves, the sources whence they sprang, the medium through which they are given to us, are not such as to inspire great confidence in the accuracy of the details related, although some of the tra ditions are not improbable and were very likely founded on actual occurrences. But whatever value may be 11 Brasseur de Bourbourg, Cartas, p. 10. !2 For list see vol. ii., p. 767. 13 Cartas, p. 71. i* Pineda, Descrip. Chiapas, in Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, torn, iii., pp. 343-6; Brasseur de Bourbourg, Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, i., pp. 95-7. 15 Cabrera, Teatro, p. 30; Brasseur de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, p. cix. ; Carbajal Espinosa, Hist. Mex., torn, i., p. 165; See on Votan and his empire, besides the works that have been mentioned in this chapter, Juairos, Hist. Guat., p. 208; Clavigero, Storia Ant. del Messico, torn, i., pp. 150-1, torn, iv., pp. 15-16; Boturini, Idea, pp. 114-5; Brasseur de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, introd; Id., Esquisses; Id., Palenque; Fontaine s How the World was Peopled,]). 136; Tschudi s Peruvian Antiq., pp. 11-15; Dome- nech s Deserts, vol. i., p. 10, et seq.; Levy, Nicaragua, p. 4; Priest s Amer. Antiq., pp. 248-9; Beaufotfs Mex. Illust., pp. 218-21; Farcy, Discours, in Antiq. Mex., torn, i., div. i., p. 43. THE VOTANIC EMPIRE. 365 attached to their details, the traditions in question have great weight in establishing two general propositions the existence in the remote past of a great and powerful empire in the TJsumacinta region, and a gen eral belief among the subjects of that empire that the beginning of their greatness was due to a hero or demi-god called Yotan. They point clearly to the appearance and growth of a great race, nation, or dy nasty; and they carry us 110 farther. Respecting the questions who or what was Votan, man or mythic creation, populator, colonizer, civilizer, missionary, con queror, foreign or native born? When, how, and whence did he come to the central tierra caliente? Who were the people among whom he wrought his mighty deeds, and what was their past history? we are left to simple conjecture, conjecture of a class which falls without the limits of my present purpose, and to which the first chapter of this volume has been devoted. Doubtless the Votanic was not the first period of American civilization and power, but none earlier is known to us. In addition to the Tzendal traditions there are several other authorities bearing more or less directly on this primitive empire, which I proceed to investigate. In the second volume of this work I have de scribed the physique, character, manners and cus toms, arts, and institutions of the civilized nations of our territory, dividing them into two great families or groups, the Mayas and the Nahuas, “the former the more ancient, the latter the more recent and wide-spread.” The many contrasts observed between the institutions of the northern and southern nations seemed sufficiently marked to outweigh the fre quently recurring resemblances, and to justify me in the opinion there expressed that their culture had either been distinct from the beginning, or what is more probable and for my purpose practically the same thing that it had progressed in different paths 166 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. for a long time previous to the coming of the Span iards. The contrasts observed were attributed to a distinct origin of the two national groups, or, with more probability, to their long separation; while the analogies were to be referred either to unity of origin, to the tendency of humanity to like development under like circumstances, to frequent communication and friction by commerce or war, or still better, to the influence of all these causes combined. The picture presented in the third volume of the myths and languages of the same nations favored the view previously taken. In the religious fancies, di vinities, forms of worship, ideas of a future state, physical, animal, and creation myths, to which the first part of the volume was devoted, the analogies, it is true, seemed somewhat stronger and the con trasts less striking than in the characteristics previ ously portrayed; this was perhaps because the myths of any people point farther back into their past than do the so-called manners and customs; but in the consideration of languages which followed, the con trasts between the two groups came out more dis tinctly marked than at any previous stage of the investigation. A very large proportion of the tongues of the civilized nations were found to belong more or less closely to one or the other of two linguistic fam ilies. Finally, in the fourth volume a study of ma terial relics tended very strongly to confirm the opinion before arrived at respecting the development of Maya and Nahua culture in distinct channels, at least during the historic period. I need not repeat here even en resume the facts exhibited in the pre ceding volumes, nor the lessons that have at different points been drawn from them; but I may briefly mention some general conclusions founded on the preceding matter which bear on my present purpose of historical investigation. First, as already stated, the Maya and Nahua nations have been within tra ditionally historic times practically distinct, although THE MAYAS AND NAHUAS. 167 coming constantly in contact. Second, this fact is directly opposed to the once accepted theory of a civilized people, corning from the far north, gradually moving southward with frequent halts, constantly increasing in power and culture, until the highest point of civilization was reached in Chiapas, Hon duras, and Yucatan, or as many believed in South America. Third, the theory alluded to is rendered altogether untenable by the want of ruins in Cali fornia and the great north-west; by the utter want of resemblance between New Mexican and Mexican monuments; by the failure to discover either Aztec or Maya dialects in the north; and finally by the strong contrasts between the Nahuas and Mayas, both in language and in monuments of antiquity. Fourth, the monuments of the south are not only dif ferent from but much more ancient than those of Ana”- huac, and cannot possibly have been built by the Toltecs after their migration from Anahuac in the eleventh century, even if such a migration took place. Fifth, these monuments, like those of the north, were built by the ancestors of the people found in posses sion of the country at the Conquest, and not by an extinct race or in remote antiquity. 16 Sixth, the cities of Palenque, Ococingo, and Copan, at least, were un occupied when the Spaniards came; the natives of the neighboring region knew nothing of their origin even if they were aware of their existence, and no notice whatever of the existence of such cities appears in the annals of the surrounding civilized nations dur ing the eight or nine centuries preceding the Con quest ; that is, the nation that built Palenque was not one of those found by Europeans in the country, but its greatness had practically departed before the rise of the Quiche, Cakchiquel, and Yucatan powers. Seventh, the many resemblances that have been noted between Nahua and Maya beliefs, institutions, arts, 16 On the Antiquity of Copan, the ruins of Yucatan, and Palenque, see vol. iv., pp. 104, 280-5, 359-62. 168 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. and relics, may be consistently accounted for by the theory that at some period long preceding the sixth century the two peoples were practically one so far as their institutions were concerned, although they are of themselves not sufficient to prove the theory. Eighth, the oldest civilization in America which has left any traces for our consideration, whatever may have been its pre-historic origin, was that in the Usumacinta region represented by the Palenque group of ruins. 17 It is not likely that Americanistes of the present day will disagree materially with the preceding con clusions, especially as they do not positively assert the southern origin of the Nahua peoples or deny their traditional migration from the north. The .gen eral theory alluded to of a great migration from north to south, and the theory of a civilized race of foreign origin extinct long before the Conquest, will find few defenders in view of the results of modern research. It is true that many writers attribute more or less positively the grand ruins of Central America to the Toltecs after their migration southward in the eleventh century; but their decision has been generally reached without even considering the possible existence of any other civilized nation in the annals of American an tiquity. Their studies have shown them that Palen que was not the work of an extinct race, and they have consequently attributed the ruins to the oldest people mentioned in the popular version of American traditional history the Toltecs, and the more nat urally because that people, according to the tradition, had migrated southward. Mr Stephens, who arrived at this conclusion in the manner indicated, admits that from a study of the ruins themselves he would have assigned the foundation of the cities to a much more remote period. 18 17 The monuments of the Mississippi present stronger internal evidence of great antiquity than any others in America, although it hy no means follows that they are older than Palenque and Copan. Vol. iv., p. 790. 18 Yucatan, vol. ii., pp. 454-5. By a careful study of Mr Stephens MONUMENTS AND INSTITUTIONS. 169 Thus the monumental relics of Central America by themselves and by comparisons with other American ruins, point directly to the existence of a great em pire in the Palenque region; and the observed phe nomena of myths, language, and institutions agree perfectly with such a conclusion, which, however, un aided, they could not have established. We may then accept as a reality the Votanic Maya empire on the authority of the native traditions confirmed by the tangible records of ruined cities, and by the condition of the southern civilized nations in the sixteenth cen tury. It is more than probable that Palenque was the capital, as Ordonez believes the Nachan of the Votanic epoch and not improbable that Ococingo, Copan, and some of the older Yucatec cities were the centres of contemporaneous, perhaps allied powers. 19 conclusions, it will appear evident to the reader that he ascribes the Central American ruins to the Toltecs, simply as the oldest nations on the continent of America, of which we have any knowledge, and that he reconciles their condition at the time of his exploration with their recent origin, chiefly by a consideration of the Yucatan ruins, most of which doubtless do not date back to the Votanic empire, and many of which were fitill occupied at the coming of the first Spaniards. 19 Although in the general view, Vol. ii., chap, ii., I have classed the Toltecs among the Nahua nations, it will be noticed that the preceding con clusions of the present chapter are independent of such a classification, and are not necessarily opposed to the theory, held by some, that the cities of Central America were built by the Toltecs before they assumed a promi nent position among the nations of Anahuac. The following notes bear more or less directly on points involved in the preceding text. Mr Tylor, Anahuac, pp. 189-93; Researches, p. 184, believes that the civilization of Mexico and Central America were originally independent although modi fied by contact one with the other, and attributes the Central American cities to a people who flourished long before the Toltecs, and whose descen dants are the Mayas. Yet he favors the climatic theory of the origin and growth of civilization, according to which the culture of the south must have been brought from the Mexican tierra templada. I have no objection to offer to this theory. It is in the Usumacinta region that the Maya civi lization has left its first record both traditional and monumental; and that is sufficient for my present purpose. Orozco y Berra, Geografia, pp. 124-5, etc., concludes from his linguistic researches that the Palenque civilization was much older than the Toltec and distinct from it. Hcll- wald, in Smithsonian JKept., 1866, pp. 340-1, pronounces the Palenque cul ture the oldest in America, with no resemblance to that of the Nahuas. He rejects the theory that the ruins were the work of migrating Toltecs. Palenque will probably some day decide the question of American civiliza tion. It only awaits a Champollion. Charnay, Ruines Amer., p. 439. The ruins in the south have undoubted claims to the highest antiquity. Brad ford s Amer. An tig., p. 199. The Usumacinta seems a kind of central point for the high culture of Central America. Midler, Amerikaniscltc Ur- religionen, p. 456. 170 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. I pass next to the traditions of the Quiche nations as preserved in the Popol Vuh, or National Book, and known to the world through the Spanish translation of Ximenez and the French of Brasseur de Bour- bourg. 20 These traditions, the authenticity and gen eral accuracy of which there is no reason to doubt, constitute a hopelessly entangled network of mythic tales, without chronology, but with apparent although vague references here and there, to actual events in the primitive history of the peoples whose descend ants were the Quiches and Cakchiquels, and with a more continuous account in the closing chapters, of the Quiche annals of a much later period, immediately preceding the Conquest. In the introduction we read : “This is the origin of the ancient history of Quiche. Here we write the annals of the past, the beginning of all that has taken place in the city of Quiche, among the tribes of the Quiche nations. Behold we bring about the manifestation of what was in obscu rity, its first dawning by the will of the Creator and of the Former, of Him who begets and of Him who gives being. Their names are Hunahpu Vuch 1 shooter of the blowpipe at the opossum, Hunahpu Utiu shooter of the blowpipe at the coyote/ Zaki Nirna Tzyiz great white pricker, Tepeu the dom- inator, and Gucumutz the plumed serpent; Heart of the Lakes, Heart of the Sea, Master of the Ver dant Planisphere, Master of the Azure Surface. Thus it is that these also are named, sung, and cele brated the grandmother and the grandfather, whose names are Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, preserver and pro- tectrice ; twice grandmother and twice grandfather, as it is stated in the Quiche annals; concerning whom was related all that they did afterwards in the light of life, in the light of the word, (civilization). Be hold that which we shall write after the word of God, and in Christianity; we shall bring it to light because 20 See vol. iii., pp. 42-4, note 1, for a bibliographical notice of the Popol Vuh. TRADITIONS OF THE QUICHES. 171 the Popol Vuh, the national book, is no longer visible, in which it was clearly seen that we came from be yond the sea the narrative of our life in the land of shadow, and how we saw the light and life/ as it is called. It is the first book, written in olden times; but its view is hidden from him who sees and thinks. Wonderful is its appearance, and the narrative of the time when he (the Creator) finished everything in heaven and on earth.” 21 Then follows an account, which has already been presented in a condensed translation, 22 of a time when all was silent, and there was yet no earth, and no living thing, only the immobility and silence of a boundless sea, on the surface of which floated the Creator and his companion deities named above, in cluding Gucumatz, the plumed serpent. Then the light appeared and the earth with its vegetation was created by Gucumatz and the Dominator at the word of Hurakan, Heart of Heaven, the Thunderbolt. Life and fecundity were given to the animals and birds, who were distributed as guardians of the for ests and mountains, and called upon to speak and praise the names of those that had made them; but the poor animals, after efforts twice repeated, could not obey, and were assigned a position far below that which they had been intended to fill. Two attempts at the creation of intelligent beings followed, both failures. First man was made of earth, and although he could speak, he was intellectually stupid and physically clumsy, unable to stand erect, and soon mingled with the water like a man of mud. He was destroyed by the disgusted creators. The sorcerers, Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, grandmothers of the sun and of the moon, were consulted in the second creation, and the chief of Toltecat is mentioned in addition to the names already given. Lots were cast, all needful precautions were taken, and man was made again of 21 Popol Vuh, pp. 1-5; Ximenez, Hist. Ind. Guat., pp. 4-5. 22 Vol. iii., pp. 44-7. 172 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. wood and pith ; but he lacked intelligence, led a use less life, and forgot the Heart of Heaven. They became numerous on the face of the earth, but the gods were wroth and sent upon them a flood, and a resinous shower from heaven ; their houses refused to cover them, the trees shook them from the branches where they sought shelter, the animals and even the household implements turned against the poor wooden men, reviling and persecuting them, until all were de stroyed, save a few who remained as a memorial in the form of apes. 23 At this point the character of the narrative changes somewhat, and, although an account of a third and final creation of man, given on a subsequent page, 24 should, in the opinion of Brasseur, be introduced here, I proceed with a resume of the Quiche tradition in the order of its arrangement in both the Spanish and French version, devoting a paragraph to each chapter of the French translation. There was sky and earth, but little light; and a man named Vucub Cakix, seven aras, or paroquets, was puffed up with pride and said, “those that were drowned were like supernatural beings; 25 now will I be great above all created beings. I am their sun and their moon; great is my splendor.” He was not the sun, nor did his view reach over the whole earth, but lie was proud of his riches. This was when the flood destroyed the wooden manikins. Now we will tell when Vucub Cakix was defeated and man was made. This is the cause of his destruction by two young men, Hunahpu (or Hunhunahpu) and Xbalanque, little tiger, who were really gods, and thought it not good that Vucub Cakix should swell with pride and offend the Heart of Heaven; and they plotted against his life and wealth. He had two sons, Zipacna and Cabrakan, the earthquake, by his wife Chimalmat. 23 Popol VuJi. pp. 5-31; Ximencz, Hist. Lid. Gnat., pp. 5-14. 24 Popol Vith, p. 195, et seq. 25 Or, as Brasseur translates, the remnant of those that were drowned. etc.

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, Vol. 5 by Hubert Howe Bancroft  (1875)

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, Vol. 5 by Hubert Howe Bancroft

VUCUB CAKIX AND ZIPACNA. 173 Zipacna s work was to roll the great mountains which he made in a night, and which Cabrakan shook at will. The death of the father and son was resolved upon by the two young men. Vucub Cakix was shot by them while eating the fruit called nanze in a tree-top, and his jaw broken, although in revenge he carried home the arm of Hun- ahpu, which he hung over the fire. But an old man and an old woman, Zaki Nim Ak and Zaki Nima Tzyiz divinities already named, in human disguise were induced by the two young men to volunteer their services in curing the jaw of Vucub Cakix, who seems to have been a king, for they found him on his throne howling with pain. They pulled out his broken teeth of precious stones, in which he took great pride, substituting grains of maize; they dimmed his eyes, took away his riches, and recovered the missing arm. Then the king died as did his wife, and the purpose of Hunahpu and Xbalanque was accomplished against him who was proud and regarded not the will of the Heart of Heaven. These are the deeds of Zipacna, son of Vucub Cakix, who claimed to be creator of the mountains. Bathing at the river-side he found four hundred young men striving in vain to carry away a tree which they had cut. Generously he bore the burden for them, and was invited to join their band, being an orphan; but they soon plotted against him, cast ing a tree upon him in a deep pit they had employed him to dig. He cunningly took refuge in a branch gallery, cut off his hair and nails for the ants to carry up to his foes, waited until the four hundred had become intoxicated in their rejoicing at his supposed death, emerged from the pit, and toppled over their house upon them so that not one escaped. But in his turn Zipacna was conquered by Hun ahpu and Xbalanque, who were grieved that the four hundred had perished. Zipacna, bearing the mount ains by night, wandered in the day by the river and 174 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. lived on fish and crabs; by an artificial crab his two foes enticed him in a time of hunger to crawl on all fours into a cavern at the bottom of a ravine, where the mountain, previously mined, fell upon him. Thus perished and was turned to stone, at the foot of Mt Meavan, the self-styled maker of the mount ains, the second who by his pride displeased the deities. One only now remained, Cabrakan. ” It is I who destroy the mountains,” he said; but it was the will of Hurakan, the thunderbolt, that his pride also should be humbled, and the order was given to Hun- ahpu and Xbalanque. They found him at his favor ite employment of overturning the hills, enticed him eastward to exhibit his skill and overthrow a partic ularly high mountain which they claimed to have seen, killed a bird with their blowpipe on the way, and poisoned it with earth before it was given Cabra kan to eat. Thus was his strength destroyed; he failed to move the mountain, was tied, and buried. Thus ends the first of the four divisions of the Po- pol Vuli Next we are to hear something of the birth and family of Hunaphu and Xbalanque. The recital is, however, to be covered with mystery, and only half is to be told of the relation of their father. 27 Xpiyacoc and Xmucane had two sons, Hunlmnahpu and Vukub Hunahpu, the first being as the French translation unintelligibly renders it a sort of double personage. The former had also by his wife Xbakiyalo two sons, Hunbatz and Hunchouen, very wise, great artists, and skillful in all things; the latter never married. All four spent the day in playing at dice and at ball, and Voc, the messenger of Hurakan, came to see them, Voc who remained not far from here nor far from Xibalba. 28 After the death of Xba- 26 pp. 31-67; Ximenez, Hist. Ind. Gnat., pp. 15-29. 27 Xiinenez, p. 20, conveys the idea, however, that it is only from ignor ance that so little is told, and not from a desire to be mysterious. 28 Ximenez renders this word by inttcrno, or hell. No satisfactory meaning can be derived from its etymology. THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. 175 kiyalo, the two played ball, journeying toward Xibalba, having left Hunbatz and Hunchouen behind, and this became known to Hun Came and Vukub Came, monarchs of Xibalba, who called together the council of the empire and sent to summon them or to chal lenge them to a game of ball, that they might be defeated and disgraced. The messengers were owls, four in number; and the players, after a sad parting from their mother, Xmucane, and from the young Hunbatz and Hun chouen, followed them down the steep road to Xi balba from the ball-ground of Nimxob Carchah. 29 Crossing ravines and rivers, including one of blood, they came to the royal palace of Xibalba, and saluted two wooden figures as monarchs, to the great amuse ment of the latter and the assembled princes. Then the brothers were invited to a place on the seat of honor, which proved to be a red-hot stone, and the contortions of the guests when they sat upon it pro voked a new burst of laughter which well-nigh re sulted in apoplexy. Five ordeals are here mentioned as existing in Xibalba, to the first of which only, that of the House of Gloom, 30 were the brothers subjected; then they were sacrificed and their bodies buried together. But the head of Hunhunahpu was hung in a tree, which at once became covered with gourds from which the head could not be distin guished, and it was forbidden to all in Xibalba to approach that tree. But Xquiq, a virgin princess, daughter of Cuch- umaquiq, heard of the tree, and went alone to taste the forbidden fruit. Into her outstretched hand the head of Hunhunahpu spat, and the spittle caused the young girl to conceive, and she returned home, after a promise from the head that no harm should result to her. All this was by the order of Hura- 29 Carchah is the name of an Indian town in Vera Paz. 30 Casa lobrcga, maison, tcncbrctisc. It will be remembered that Votan is said to have established a House of Gloom at Hueliuetan. See p. 160. 176 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. kan. After six months her condition was observed by her father, and in spite of her protestations that she had known no man, the owls, the royal mes sengers, were ordered to sacrifice her and bring back her heart in a vase. She persuaded and bribed the royal officers, however, by the promise of future emoluments, to carry back to the kings the coagu lated sap of the blood-wort instead of her blood and heart, and she escaped;- thus were Hun Came and Vukub Came tricked by this young girl. Xquiq, far advanced in pregnancy, went for pro tection to the place where Xmucane was living with the young Hunbatz and Hunchouen. The old woman was not disposed at first to credit the stranger s tale that she was with child by Hunhun- ahpu, and therefore entitled to protection as a grand daughter at the hands of Xmucane; but by calling upon the gods and gathering a basket of maize where no maize was growing, the young girl proved the justice of her claim, and was received by the great grandmother of her unborn children. The virgin mother brought forth twin sons, and they were named Hunahpu and Xbalanque. From their very birth they were ill-treated. They were turned out of the house by their grandmother for crying, and throughout childhood and youth were abused by Hun batz and Hunchouen, by reason of jealousy. They passed their time shooting birds in the mountains with their blowpipes, while their brothers, great musicians, painters, and sculptors, remained at home singing and playing the flute. But at last Hunbatz and Hun chouen were changed by the young heroes into mon keys. Xmucane was filled Avith sadness, and she was offered the privilege of beholding again the faces of her favorite grandsons, if she could do so without laughing; but their grimaces and antics were too ludi crous; the old lady failed in three interviews to re strain her laughter, and Hunbatz and Hunchouen appeared no more. Hunahpu and Xbalanque became HUNAHPU AND XBALANQUE. 177 in their turn musicians and played the air of hunahpu qoy, the monkey of Hunahpu. 31 The first work undertaken by the twins was the clearing of a milpa or cornfield. It was not very difficult on the first day, for their enchanted tools worked by themselves while the young agricultur ists went hunting, taking care to put dirt on their faces and to pretend to be at work when their grand mother brought their lunch at noon. In the night, however, the wild beasts met and replaced all the trees and shrubbery that the brothers had removed. Hunahpu and Xbalanque watched for them the next night, but in spite of their efforts the beasts all escaped although the deer and rabbit lost their tails except the rat, which was caught in a handkerchief. The rat s life was spared by the youths and in return this animal revealed the glorious deeds of their fathers and uncles, their games at ball, and the existence of a ball of India rubber with other implements of the game which they had left about the house. All of the implements and the ball came into their posses sion with the knowledge of the secret. Joyful at their discovery Hunahpu and Xbalanque went away to play in the ball-ground of their fathers, and the monarchs of Xibalba, Hun Came and Yukub Came, heard them and were angry, and sent messen gers to summon them as their fathers had been sum moned to play at Xibalba. The messengers came to the house of Xmucane, who, filled with alarm, dis patched a louse to carry the summons to her grand sons. On the way the louse consented, to insure greater speed, to be swallowed by a toad, the toad by a serpent, and the serpent by the great bird Voc. On arrival a series of vomitings ensued, until the toad was free; but in spite of his most desperate efforts he could not throw up the louse, who, it seems, had played him a trick, lodged in his gums, and not been 31 A ballet, according to Brasseur, still performed by the natives of Guatemala, clad in wooden masks and peculiar costumes. VOL. V. 12 178 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. swallowed at all. However, the message was de livered, and the players returned home to take leave of their grandmother and mother. Before their de parture they planted each a cane in the middle of the house, the fate of which should depend upon their own, since it would wither at their death. The ball-players set out for Xibalba by the route their fathers had followed, passing the bloody river and the river Papuhya ; but they sent in advance an animal called Xan, with a hair of Hunahpu s leg to prick the kings and princes. Thus they detected the artificial men of wood, and also learned the names of all the princes by their exclamations and mutual in quiries when pricked. On their arrival at court they refused to salute the manikins or to sit upon the red- hot stone; they even passed through the first ordeal in the House of Gloom, thus thrice avoiding the tricks which had been played upon their fathers. The kings were astonished and very angry, and the game of ball was played, and those of Xibalba were beaten. Then Hun Came and Vukub Came required the victors to bring them four bouquets of flowers, or dering the guards of the royal gardens to watch most carefully, and committed Hunahpu and his brother to the House of Lances the second ordeal where the lancers were directed to kill them. Yet a swarm of ants in the brothers service entered easily the royal gardens, the lancers were bribed, and the sons of Xquiq were still victorious. Those of Xibalba turned pale, and the owls, guards of the royal gardens, were punished by having their lips split. Hunahpu and Xbalanque were subjected to the third ordeal in the House of Cold, but warmed by burning pine-cones they were not frozen. So in the fourth and fifth ordeals, since they passed a night in the House of Tigers and in the House of Fire with out suffering injury; but in the House of Bats, al though the occupants did them no harm, Hunahpu s DEATH OF THE TWIN BROTHERS. 179 head was cut off by Camazotz, ruler of bats/ who came from on high. The beheading of Hunahpu was by no means fatal, but after a combination of events utterly unintelligible, including an assemblage of all the animals, achieve ments particularly brilliant by the turtle and rabbit, and another contest at ball-playing, the heroes came out uninjured from all the ordeals to which they were subjected in Xibalba. At last, instructing two sorcerers, Xulu and Pacam, that those of Xibalba had failed because the brutes were not on their side, and directing them also what to do with their bones, Hunahpu and Xbalanque stretched themselves voluntarily face down on a fu neral pile, still in Xibalba, and died together. Their bones were pulverized and thrown into the river, where they sank and were changed into fine young men. On the fifth day they re-appeared, like man-fishes; and on the day following in the form of ragged old men, dancing, burning and restoring houses, killing and restoring each other to life, and performing other wonderful things. They were induced to exhibit their skill before the princes of Xibalba, killing and resuscitating the king s dogf, burning and restoring 1 o O o O O the royal .palace; then a man was made the subject of their art, Hunahpu was cut in pieces and brought to life by Xbalanque. Finally, the rnonarchs of Xi balba wished to experience personally the temporary death; Hun Came, the highest in rank, was first killed, then Vukub Came, but life was not restored to them ; the two shooters of the blow-pipe had avenged the wrongs of their fathers; the monarchs of Xibalba O y had fallen. Having announced their true names and motives, the two brothers pronounced sentence on the princes of Xibalba. Their ball was to appear no more in the favorite game, they were to perform menial service, with only the beasts of the woods as vassals, 180 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. and this was to be their punishment for the wrongs they had done; yet strangely enough, they were to be invoked thereafter as gods, or rather demons, ac cording to Ximenez. The character of the Xibalbans is here described. They were fond of war, of fright- / O ful aspect, ugly as owls, inspiring evil and discord; faithless, hypocritical, and tyrants, they were both black and white, painting their faces, moreover, with divers colors. But their power was ruined and their domination ceased. Meanwhile, the grandmother Xmucane at home watched the growth of the canes, and was filled alternately with grief and joy, as these withered and again became green according to the varying fortunes of the grandsons in Xibalba. 32 Finally, to return to Xibalba, Hunahpu and Xba- lanque rendered the fitting funeral honors to their fathers who had perished there, but who now mounted to heaven and took their places as the sun and moon; and the four hundred young men killed by Zipacna became stars in the skies. Thus ends the second division of the National Book of the Quiches. 33 The first chapter of the third division relates an other and final creation of man from maize, in Paxil, or Cayala, land of divided and stagnant waters, and has already been translated in full in another volume. 3 * According to Brasseur s opinion it should follow the account of the preceding creations, 35 and precede the narrative of the struggle with Xibalba; but was in troduced here at the beginning of the Quiche migra tions intentionally in order to attach the later Quiche 32 The place whence the brothers started to contend against the princes of Xibalba, seems to have been Utatlan in Guatemala see vol. iv., pp. 124-8 for Gumarcaah the Quiche name of that place is said to signify house of old withered canes. Moreover, Torquemada and Las Casas have pre served the tradition that Exbalanqnen (Xbalanque) set out from Utatlan for the conquest of hell. Monarq. Ind., torn, ii., p. 53; Hist. Apologctica, MS., cap. 125. Xibalba doubtless had the signification of the infernal regions in the popular traditions. si Popol Vuh, pp. 68-192; Ximenez, Hist. Ind. Guat., pp. 29-79. 34 See vol. ii., pp. 716-7. 3 * See p. 172. MIGRATION FROM TULAN. 181 nations more closely to the heroic epochs of their his tory. The remaining chapters of the division have also been translated in substance. 36 In them are re lated the adventures of Balani-Quitze, Balam-Agab, Mahucutah, and Iqi-Balam, the product of the final creation by Gucumatz and his companion deities, and the founders of the Quiche nations. The people mul tiplied greatly in a region called the East, and mi grated in search of gods to Tulan-Zuiva, the seven caves, where four gods were assigned to the four leaders; namely, Tohil, Avilix, Hacavitz, and Nicah- tagah. Here their language was changed or divided, and the division into separate nations was established. Suffering from cold and endeavors to obtain fire while they were awaiting the sun, are the points most dwelt upon during their stay in Tulan, and in connection with these troubles the coming of an envoy from Xi- balba is mentioned, 37 which circumstance may indicate that Tulan was in the Xibalban region. But they determined to abandon or were driven from Tulan, and after a tedious journey, including apparently a crossing of the sea, they reached Mt Hacavitz, where at last they beheld the sun. Mt Hacavitz was ap parently in Guatemala, and the events mentioned in the record as having occurred subsequently to the arrival there, although many are of a mythical nature and few can be assigned to any definite epoch, may best be referred to the more modern history of the Quiche -Cakchiquel nations in Guatemala, to be treated in a future chapter. The events preceding the rising of the sun on Mt Hacavitz, are not easily connected with the exploits of Hunahpu and Xbalanque; but to suppose that they follow in chronologic order, and that the traditions in O question reflect vaguely the history of the heroes or tribes that prevailed against Xibalba is at least as consistent as any theory that can be formed. The 36 Vol. iii. , pp. 47-54. 37 Popol Vuh, pp. 221-2. 182 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. chief objection is the implied crossing of the sea dur ing the migration from Tulan, which may be an in terpolation. A lamentation which they chanted on Mt Hacavitz has considerable historical importance. “Alas,” they said, “we were ruined in Tulan, we were separated, and our brothers still remain behind. Truly we have beheld the sun, but they, where are they now that the dawn has appeared? Truly Tohil is the name of the god of the Yaqui nation, who was called Yolcuat Quitzalcuat (Quetzalcoatl) when we parted yonder in Tulan. Behold whence we set out together, behold the common cradle of our race, whence we have come. Then they remembered their brothers far behind them, the nation of the Yaqui whom their dawn enlightened in the countries now O called Mexico. There was also a part of the nation which they left in the east, and Tepeu and Oliman were the places where they remained. ” A Cakchiquel record of what would seem to be the same primitive traditions contained in the Popol Vuh, exists but has never been published. It is only known through an occasional reference or quotation in the writings of Brasseur de Bourbourg. From one of these references 39 we learn that the barbarian Utiu, Jackal, or Coyote, that conducted Gucumatz to Paxil where maize was discovered, was killed by one of the heroes or deities; hence the name Hunahpu Utiu, shooter of the blowpipe at the coyote. The follow ing quotation from the same document refers to the name Tulan, which with its different spellings occurs so perplexingly often in all the primitive traditions of American civilization. “Four persons came from Tulan, from the direction of the rising sun, that is one Tulan. There is another Tulan in Xibalbay and another where the sun sets, and it is there that we came; and in the direction of the setting sun there is another where is the srod: so that there are four <-> 38 Popol Vuh, pp. 245-7; Ximenez, Hist. Ind. Guat., pp. 98-9. 39 Notes to Popol Vuh, pp. Ixxxv, ccliv. MEANING OF THE QUICHE TRADITIONS. 183 Tulans; and it is where the sun sets that we came to Tulan, from the other side of the sea where this Tulan is, and it is there that we were conceived and begot ten by our mothers and our fathers.” 40 Such in a condensed form are the tales that make up the primitive annals of the Quiche nations of Guatemala. We may be very sure that, be they marvelous or common-place, each is founded on an actual occurrence, and has its meaning. That mean ing, so far as details are concerned, has been doubt less in most instances lost. We may only hope to extract from the tenor of the record as a whole, a general idea respecting the nature of the historic events thus vaguely recorded; and even this would be perhaps a hopeless task, were it not for the aid derived from the Tzendal traditions, with monu mental, institutional, and linguistic arguments al ready considered, and the Nahua records yet to be examined. It is not altogether visionary to behold in the successive creations by Gucumatz, the plumed serpent, and his companions, as we have done in the coming of Votan, the introduction or growth of a new civilization, new forms of government or religion, new habits of life in America; even if we cannot admit literally the arrival at a definite time and place of a civ- ilizer, Gucumatz, or hope to reasonably explain each of his actions. It is not necessary to decide whether the new culture was indigenous or of foreign origin; or even to suppose it radically different from any that preceded or were contemporaneous with it. We need not go back to ancient times to see partisans or devotees attach the greatest importance to the slight est differences in government or religion, looking with pity or hatred on all that are indifferent or opposed. Thus in the traditions before us opponents and rivals are pictured as the powers of darkness, while tribes that cling to the freedom of the forests and are slow to accept the blessings of civilized life, 40 /(/., pp. xci-ii. 184 THE PKE-TOLTEC PERIOD. are almost invariably spoken of as brutes. The final creation of man, and the discovery of maize as an essential element in his composition, refer apparently to the introduction among or adoption by the new people or new sect of agriculture as a means of sup port, but possibly to the creation of a high rank of secular or religious rulers. Utm, the Jackal, a bar barian, led Gucumatz and his companions to Paxil Cayala where maize was found, but was killed by the new-comers in the troubles that ensued. Early in the narrative, however, the existence of a rival power, the great empire of Xibalba, almost synonymous with the infernal regions, is explicitly indicated, and a large portion of the Popol Vuh is devoted to the struggle between the two. The princes and nations of Xibalba, symbolized in Vukub Cakix, Zipacna, Cabrakan, Hun Came, and Vukub Came, were nu merous and powerful, but, since the history is written by enemies, they were of course bad. Their chief fault, their unpardonable sin, consisted in being puffed up with pride against the Heart of Heaven, in refusing to accept the views of the new sect. Consequently the nations and chiefs that had arrayed themselves on the side of Gucumatz, represented by Xbalanque and Hunahpu, of several generations, struggle long and desperately to humble their own enemies and those of the supreme god, Hurakan. The oft-repeated struggles are symbolized by games at ball between the rival chiefs. The ball grounds O or halls are battle-fields. The animals of the forests often take a prominent part on one side or the other; that is, the savage tribes are employed as allies. Occasionally men are for some offense or stupidity changed to monkeys, or tribes allied with the self- styled reformers and civilizers prove false to their allegiance and return to the wild freedom of the mountains. It is difficult, if not impossible, to de termine the meaning of that portion of the narrative which recounts the immaculate conception of the CONQUEST OF XIBALBA. 185 princess Xquiq; but Brasseur, not without reason, sees in the birth of Hunahpu and Xbalanque from a Xibalban mother, an indication that the rival nations became more or less mixed by intermarriage. The same author conjectures that the quarrels between the two twins and their elder half-brothers record dissensions that arose between the chiefs of pure and mixed blood. After a long series of wars with vary ing results, symbolized by the repeated games of ball, and the ordeals to which Xbalanque and his brother were successively subjected, the princes of Xibalba were defeated. From the terms in which the victory is described in the tradition, the general impression is conveyed that it was not a conquest involving the destruction of cities and the extermination or enslav ing of the people; but rather the overthrow of a dynasty; the transfer of the supreme power to na tions that formerly occupied subordinate positions. The chief feature in the celebration of the triumph was the apotheosis of the heroes who had fallen during the struggle. After the triumph of Gucumatz followers, the written tradition is practically silent. Of the great ness of the newly constituted empire we know noth ing; the record only re-opens when misfortune has again come upon the nations and they are forced to abandon Tulan for new homes. Neither their defeats nor the names of their conquerors were thought wor thy of a place in the annals of the Quiche nations, afterwards so powerful in Guatemala; yet we can hardly doubt that the princes of Xibalba contributed to their overthrow. Forced to leave Tulan, spoken of as the cradle of their race, they migrated in three divisions, one towards the mountain!? of Guatemala, one towards Mexico, and the third toward the east by way of Tepeu and Oliman, which the Cakchiquel man uscript is said to locate on the boundary of Peten and Yucatan. The Quiche traditions, then, point clearly to, 1st, 186 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. the existence in ancient times of a great empire somewhere in Central America, called Xibalba by its enemies ; 2d, the growth of a rival neighboring power ; 3d, a long struggle extending through several gen erations at least, and resulting in the downfall of the Xibalban kings; 4th, a subsequent scattering, the cause of which is not stated, but was evidently war, civil or foreign, of the formerly victorious nations from Tulan, their chief city or province; 5th, the identification of a portion of the migrating chiefs with the founders of the Quiche-Cakchiquel nations in pos session of Guatemala at the Conquest. The National Book, unaided, would hardly suffice to determine the location of Xibalba, Avhich was very likely the name of a capital city as well as of the empire. Utatlan, in the Guatemalan highlands, is clearly pointed out as the place whence Xbalanque set out for its con quest, and several other names of localities in Guate mala are also mentioned, but it should be noted that the tradition comes through Guatemalan sources, and it is not necessary even to suppose that Utatlan was the centre of the forces that struggled against the powers of darkness. Yet since we know .through Tzendal traditions and monumental relics, of the great Votanic empire of the Chanes, which formerly in cluded the region of Palenque, there can hardly be room for hesitation in identifying the two powers. The description of Paxil Cayala, divided and stagnant waters, “a most excellent . land, full of good things, where the white and yellow maize did abound, also the cacao, where were sapotes and many fruits, and honey; where all was overflowing with the best of food,” agrees at least as well with the Usumacinta region as with* any other in Central America. The very steep descent by which Xbalanque reached Xi balba from Utatlan, corresponds perfectly with the topography of the country towards the Usumacinta. The statement that in the final migration from Tulan to Guatemala, two parties were left behind, one of XIBALBA THE VOTANIC EMPIRE. , 187 which went to Mexico, and the other was left in the east, also seems to point in the same direction. The Cakchiqud Manuscript tells us that there was a Tulan in Xibalba, evidently the one whence the final migra tion took place, arid from the Tzendal tradition through Ordonez we have learned that Tulha, or Tu lan, was one of the great cities of Votan s Empire. Finally there is absolutely nothing in the narrative which points to any other location. Xibalba was then the Empire of the Serpents, to which tradition assigns Votan as a founder; the same name was applied also to its capital city Nachan, prob ably identical with Palenque; and Tulan, or Tulha, the centre of nations which were successively subjects, allies, rivals, and conquerors of the imperial city, may be conjecturally identified with the ruined Ococingo or Copan. Vukub Cakix, the last but two of the Xibalban monarchs ; was” perhaps the same as Chinax who occupied the same position in the Tzendal tra dition and calendar. But who were the followers of Gucurnatz, the nations before whose leaders, Hunah- pu and Xbalanque, the pride of Xibalba was humbled, and to whom the traditions thus far studied have assigned no name? It is most natural to identify them with the Tzequiles, who, according to the tra dition, arrived during Votan s absence, gave his fol lowers new ideas of government and religion, were assigned lands, and became a powerful people with Tulan as their capital. This makes the Tzendal tra dition much more intelligible and complete, and agrees much better with the Quiche record, than the oppo site one adopted without any apparent reason by Brasseur de Bourbourg. According to the Quiche chant of lamentation, one division of the refugees from Tulan went north to Mexico, where they found their dawn/ their greatness. This seems to point toward the Nahua nations, which alone achieved greatness in Mexico during historic times. The tribes which mi grated northward are called, in the Popol Vuh, Yaqui, 188 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. a name which according to Brasseur de Bourbourg, has much the same signification etymologically as Nahuatl, and was commonly applied by the Maya- Quiche peoples of Central America to the Mexi cans. Moreover, their god, Tohil, was called by these Yaqui tribes, even while they were yet in Tulan, Yolcuat Quitzalcuat, while the most prominent of the Nahua divinities is well known to the readers of the preceding volumes to have been Quetzalcoatl. Chanes, the only name given to the subjects of Votan and his successors, is the equivalent of Culhuas, a word which, especially in composition, is of frequent occurrence in all the native tongues. Culhuacan was one of the most celebrated cities of Andhuac, as the Acolhuas were among the most noted peoples. Again Tulan Zuiva is defined as the Seven Caves, in the Nahua tongues Chicomoztoc, which the Aztecs are well known to have claimed as a former home. One of the divinities engaged in the creation, or in the propaga tion of the new doctrines in the region of Xibalba was the chief of Toltecat, another name prominent in all Nahua traditions as that of their most famous nation, the Toltecs; and finally Gucumatz, the great leader of Xibalba s conquerors, was identical, with Quetzalcoatl, since both names signify equally the plumed ser pent, the former in Quiche , the latter in Aztec. These facts seem significant and naturally direct our attention to an examination of the early Nahua re cords. ANNALS OF YUCATAN. 223 Mendieta, Torquemada, Gomara, and others, record the popular tradition of the settlement of Mexico as follows : An old man Iztac Mixcohuatl. by his wife Ilancueitl, in Chicomoztoc, or the Seven Caves, had six sons, Xelhua, Tenuch, Ulmecatl, Xicalancatl, Mixtecatl, and Otomitl. Termch s descendants were the Aztecs; Xelhua gave his name to no nation, but his followers settled at various points in the south east; the others founded the nations which took their names. Mendieta adds that by another wife the same old man had a son named Quetzalcoatl. 85 Pi neda tells us that a nephew of Votan divided the land of Anahuac. 86 According to Arlegui the Toltecs came from the west and divided New Spain between their seven families. 87 I believe I have now given all the important traditions that seem to belong to the pre-Toltec period in Mexico, and I deem it un necessary to refer to the authors who merely give an abridged version of the same accounts, many of them confining themselves to the simple statement that the Toltecs, a very skillful people, came first from the north and settled in the region afterwards known as New Spain. Returning to the south, it only remains to examine briefly the primitive Maya annals of Yucatan, which confirm in a few points those of other peoples, so far as they relate to the great American centre of civil ization in the south. These annals will be given in full elsewhere; a very general view, with especial reference to the points referred to, will suffice here. A prevalent belief among the Mayas at the time of the Conquest was, that the peninsula was settled in ancient times by two races, one from the east, the other from the west. It is not implied that they 85 Mendieta, Hist. Ecles., pp. 145-6; Torquemada, Monarq. Tnd., toni. i., pp. 32-3; Gomara, Conq. Mcx., fol. 299-300; Prichardls Nat, Hist. Wan, vol. ii., p. 514; Brasseur dc Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, pp. xxix.-xxx. *Descrip. Chiapas, in Soc. Mex. Geog., Bolctin, torn, iii., p. 344. 87 Ckrdn. Zacatecas, pp. 6-7. 224 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. came at the same period, bat rather that the migra tion from the east preceded that from the west by many centuries. Lizana tells us that in ancient times the east was called ccnial, or little descent, and the west nohenial, or great descent, believing that these names indicate the comparative numbers of the respective colonies. Lahda and Herrera re cord a tradition that the oldest inhabitants came from the east, the sea being divided to afford them a pas sage. Cogolludo concludes, contrary to the opinion of Lizana, that the colony from the east must have been much more numerous as well as more ancient than the other, because of the universal use of the Maya language and of Maya names of places through out the peninsula a conclusion that carries little weight, since it rests mainly on the assumption that those who came from the west spoke the Aztec lan guage, an assumption for which there is no authority whatever. The personage whose name appears first in the Maya tradition is Zamna, son of the chief deity, who taught the people, invented the hieroglyphic alpha bet, and gave a name to each locality in Yucatan. His role, so far as anything is known of it, was pre cisely the same as that of Votan in Chiapas. Zamna is reported to have lived long in the land and to have been buried at the close of his career at Izamal. During his life he founded Mayapan, standard (or capital) of Maya, Maya being the native name of the country and signifying according to some authori ties land without water a city which was several times ruined and rebuilt after its founder s time. Zamna may be most naturally connected with the traditional migration from the east. Cogolludo, it is true, states that he was at the head of the other colony, and this statement is repeated in one place by Brasseur, but as the Spanish writer directly contra dicts his statement on the same page, not much im portance is to be attached to it. Vague as it is, the ZAMNA S EMPIRE. 225 tradition of Zarnna” and his followers from the east seems identical with that of Yotan. If we suppose that such persons as Zamna and Votan actually had an existence a supposition which like its opposite forms no part of this chapter it would be impossible to determine whether the two were the same, or Zam- n& the companion, disciple, or descendant of Votan; but we may well believe that the period, the empire, the institutions alluded to in the Maya record are the same as those connected with the Votanic or Xibalban traditions. The ancient power whose centre was in Chiapas, Tabasco, and Honduras, extended north eastward into Yucatan as it did north-westward into Anahuac. Ordonez states, as usual without giving his authority, that Mayapan was one of the allied capitals, which with Nachan and Tulan constituted the Votanic empire. The fact that the name of the Gocomes, the most ancient people, or at least the oldest line of kings and nobles, in Yucatan signifies in the Nahua tongue serpents, like the name Chanes applied to Votan s followers, may have some signifi cance, although in the Maya tongue Cocome is also said to mean listener. At an unknown date, but subsequent to that of Zamnd s rule, we find three brothers, the Itzaob, reigning at Chichen over a people called from them the Itzas, as the city also was called thereafter Chi chen Itza. They came from the west, were just and chaste men, and their reign a long and glorious one. One of them, however, having finally left the coun try, the others gave themselves up to immoral prac tices, and were put to death. Notwithstanding the fact that the brothers came, according to the Spanish writers, from the west, there is much reason to sup pose that the nation whose capital was. at Chichen, was an ancient people dating back, to the time of Zam- na”, since the most satisfactory interpretation of the name Itza is that it came from Ytzamna, the more ancient form of the great founder s name. Con- VOL. V. 15 226 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. nected with the three brothers in a manner not clearly defined by the tradition either ruling conjointly with them or more probably coming into power immedi ately after their downfall was Cukulcan, who also came from the west, who was also famous for the purity of his life, and whose teachings in fact were identical with those of Quetzalcoatl among the Nahua peoples. He also is credited with the founding, or re-fon nding of Mayapan, which under his rule became the political centre of the whole country, although Chichen still retained great prominence. Cukulcan having raised the country to a condition of the highest prosperity, finally abandoned Yucatan for some un known motive and returned westward, disappearing at Champoton, or Potonchan, on the coast, where he dwelt for some time and where a temple in his honor was afterwards erected. After his departure the Cocome princes came into power, their capital being still Maya- pan. The identity in character, teachings, and actions between Cukulcan and Quetzalcoatl, suggests the first appearance in Yucatan, at this time, of Nahua tribes or Nahua institutions, corresponding to a cer tain extent with the appearance of the Olmecs and Xicalancas in Anahuac, and indicating that the Na hua influence was exerted during its earliest period of development in the north-east as well as in the north-west. Indeed, Veytia records a tradition to the effect that Yucatan was settled by the Olmecs and Xicalancas driven from Mexico at the coming of the Toltecs; this author justly rejects the latter part of this report, but expresses his belief that bands from these nations did actually settle in the penin sula. When to the analogies already noticed be tween Quetzalcoatl and Cukulcan we add the fact that their names are etymologically identical, both signifying plumed serpent, little reason remains to doubt that the Maya (tradition refers, like the others that have been noticed, to the first coming into prominence of the Nahuas in America. THE TUTUL XIUS IN YUCATAN. 227 The next prominent event in Yucatan history, as it is also the last that has any special bearing upon the period now under consideration, and the most important in that connection, is the arrival of the Tutul Xius. According” to the traditions of the natives as recorded by the Spaniards, this peaceful but highly cultivated people came from the south, perhaps from Chiapas, after wandering for forty years in the unsettled and mountainous portions of the country, and settled near Mayapan. The Cocomes, successors to the Itza brothers and Cukulcan, having at the time governed the country long and prosper ously, received the new-comers kindly and formed an alliance with them, an alliance which continued for a long time until the Cocome kings, becoming tyranni cal, were overthrown by a revolution in which the Tutul Xius were the most prominent actors. It is, however, with their arrival and not with their sub sequent actions that we have to do here. The mere tradition of their arrival after a long migration from the southern highlands would at best furnish only slight grounds for the conjecture of the Spaniards that they came from Chiapas; but another document unknown to the Spanish missionary-authors throws great light upon this people, and invests their appear ance in Yucatan with increased importance. The document referred to is the Maya manuscript trans lated by Pio Perez, first published in Mr Stephens work on Yucatan, and later with the work of Bishop Landa, which begins as follows: “This is the series of katunes elapsed since the four Tutul Xius departed from the house of Nonoual, which was west of Zuina, and came from the land of Tulapan. Four katunes passed after they set out before they arrived here with Holonchan Tepeuh and his companions, before they reached this peninsula; the 8 Ahau had passed, the 6 Ahau, the 4 Ahau, and the 2 Ahau eighty-one years before they arrived in this peninsula, eighty-one years that they spent in their journey from their 228 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. country to this peninsula of Chacnouitan.” Here we find it distinctly stated that this people came from Tulapan, capital of Tula, the very place from which, according to the Quiche record, the Nahua nations migrated, and it is more than likely that Zuina should be Zuiva, defined in the Popol Vuh as the Seven Caves. This, in connection with the Quiche lamen tation over that division of their brothers which they had left in the east, is amply sufficient to identify the Tutul Xius as one of the Nahua tribes that migrated from the original centre. The family of Nonoual seems to have given a name to the tribes that occu pied Tabasco down to the Conquest. This document assumes to give the date of the Tutul Xiu migration, a most important date, since it is also that of the overthrow of Nahua power in Chiapas and its trans fer to Anahuac; but until the Maya system of Ahau katunes 88 shall have been the object of much addi tional research, there is little hope of arriving at an accurate interpretation of the date. Sr Perez gives it as 144 A. D. The Abbe Brasseur, relying on the same document, gives the date repeatedly as 171 A.D.; but in his translation of the document in Landa s work he concluded that it should be 401 A.D., reckoning each Ahau katun as twenty years, and remarking that this date agrees much better than the earlier one with Ixtlilxochitl s chronology. Of the Perez manuscript Mr Gal latin remarks that it contains all we know of the history and chronology of Yucatan. To ascertain dates is out of the question; but it is probable that the events are stated in their respective order. 89 88 See vol. ii., pp. 762-5. Las Casas, Hist. Apologetica, MS., cap. 123; Torquemada, Monarq. Ind., torn, ii., p. 52; Vcijiia, Hist. Ant. Mcj., torn, i., p. 237; Hcrrera, Hist, Gen., dec. iv., lib. x., cap. ii. ; Tcrnaux-Compans. in Nouvclles Annalcs des Voy., 1843, torn, xcvii.., pp. 31-6. Perez, in Landa, Relation, pp. 420-3; Id., in Stephens 1 Yucatan, vol. ii., pp. 4C5-9; Brasseur de Bourbourg, Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, i., pp. 68, 76-80, 126-7; Id., Popol Vuh, pp. Ixxix, clv.-vi.; OVERTHROW OF THE NAHUAS. 229 A Mexican document, known only through Bras- seur de Bourbourg, and by him called the Codex Gondra, furnishes some additional information re specting the overthrow of the Nahua power in Cen tral America, and especially respecting the house of Nonoual alluded to in the Perez document. I quote from the author named as follows : ” The manuscript begins with a description of the twenty wards of the great city of Tollan, or Tulhd, Huey Tollan; but it gives the names of only the first twelve, the trans lator, who apparently attached but little importance to names, having deemed it proper to omit the other eight. The author relates the events that precipi tated the ruin of the throne, occasioned by the mi nority of the last Chane prince, whose guardianship was claimed by two powerful families, one called the Chichimec-Toltecs, and the other the Chichimecs of Nonohualco. The quarrel terminated in the insur rection of the latter and the assassination of the young monarch. But the prince was beloved by the people, and on account of the popular indignation the murderers were forced to flee by night with all their followers. On their departure from Tulha, Xelhua, the chief the Nonohualcos, went to consult the oracle of Culhuacan, [Palenque?] which enjoined him to depart. On the way he did penance for his crime, and after several defeats at the hands of the tribes through whose lands he was forced to pass, he at last founded the kingdom of the Nonohualcos, fixing the capital at Quetzaltepec in the mountains about the country of the Zoques, who were conquered by his successors. The author gives the names of the thirteen princes who occupied the throne after Xelhua with the leading events of their reigns. But while Xelhua was establishing a new empire, leyx- cohuatl, chief of the Toltec party, who had seized upon the power after the death of the young king of Id., Cartas, p. 13; Gallatin, in A mer. Etkno. Soc., Transact., vol. i., pp. 171-3; Orozco y Berra, Geografia, p. 128. 230 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. Tulha, of which he had been the principal cause, was forced after a few years of power to abandon in his turn the capital, with all his followers, to avoid the vengeance of the people. He went into exile with the Toltecs, and the manuscript gives their itinerary as far as Tlachihualtepec, or Cholula, at the time occupied by the Olmecs and Xicalancas, who ruled the whole Aztec plateau.” 9 I have placed before the reader such historical traditions of the civilized nations as seem to bear upon the earliest period of their development. Their exact meaning, so far as details are concerned, is with the aid of existing authorities beyond the reach of the most careful study, and. no attempt has been made to attach a definite significance to each abo riginal tale, or to form from all a symmetrical chron ologic whole; indeed, their interpretation has not been carried so far in many cases as the authorities seemed with considerable plausibility to justify. Taking up one after another the annals of the leading nations as recorded by the best authorities, I have endeavored to point out only the apparent general significance of each. The evidence thus elicited by a separate examination of each witness has pointed with varying force, but with great uniformity of di rection towards the Central or Usumacinta region, not necessarily as the original cradle of American civ ilization, bub as the most ancient home to which it can be traced by traditional, monumental, and linguistic records. In obtaining this evidence there has been no occasion to resort to the sifting process of rejecting all testimony seemingly opposed to a preconceived theory. Almost the only argument against the gen eral tenor of the traditions, monuments, and languages, 90 Brnsseur dc Bourboiirgr, Cartas, pp. 27-8. The abbe seems to have made but little if any use of the Codex Gondra in his subsequent works; although it may be supposed that from it, and indeed from the very portion above quoted, he takes his account of the closing events of the Toltec em pire in Anahuac to be given in a future chapter. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS. 231 has been the prevalent idea among Spanish writers favoring a migration from the north; and the force of this argument has proved to be more apparent than real. Comparison of the records one with another has greatly strengthened the evidence derived from them separately; and the cumulative proof afforded by their successive examination has been deemed suffi cient to confirm the general conclusions of the preced ing pages, which may be expressed as follows: Throughout several centuries preceding the Chris tian era, and perhaps one or two centuries following, there flourished in Central America the great Maya empire of the Chanes, Culhuas, or Serpents, known to its foes as Xibalba, with its centre in Chiapas at or near Palenque, and with several allied capitals in the surrounding region. Its first establishment at a re mote period 91 was attributed by the people to a being called Votan, who was afterwards worshiped as a god. Whether such a person as Votan ever had an actual existence; who, or what he was; whence, or how, or among what people the civilization attributed to him was introduced -we can only form vague conjectures. America was certainly peopled before the Votanic era, and that most likely by civilized as well as savage tribes, but pre- Votanic nations have left absolutely no record. 92 Perhaps the most reasonable conjecture is that the Votanic power was of gradual growth, at first humble and subordinate, but constantly increas ing, overcoming, absorbing, succeeding other powers as others in later times succeeded, absorbed, and over came it. The Votanic institutions can only be known by the traces they may be supposed to have left in those of the later Maya nations. The prevailing lan guage was doubtless either the Maya, the Tzendal, or 91 About 1000 B. C. by Ordonez, and 955 B. C. by the Codex Chimal- popoca, are the only definite dates given for this establishment. 92 Brasseur, Hist. Nat. Civ., torn, i., p. 44, speaks of cyclopean ruins in Central America left by civilized nations preceding or contemporary with those among whom Votan introduced his culture; but this is purely imag inary; there are ruins which may ante-date the epoch in question, but none to which there is any good reason for assigning so great an antiquity. 232 THE PRE-TOLTEC PERIOD. a mother-tongue from which these as well as the Quiche, Cakchiquel, and others of the same linguistic family, have sprung; although it is not unlikely that the empire embraced some nations speaking other languages. From its centre in the Usumacinta region the Votanic power was gradually extended north westward towards Anahuac, where its subjects vaguely appear in tradition as Quinames, or giants. It also penetrated north-eastward into Yucatan, where Zam- na was its reputed founder, and the Cocomes and Itzas probably its subjects. In other regions where its in fluence was doubtless felt it seems to have left no definite traces. Much of our knowledge respecting the original Maya empire is drawn from the traditions of a rival power. It is not quite certain even that any of the ruined temples or palaces in the central region were entirely the work of the ancient people before they came under Nahua influences; the differences noted in the monuments referred to suggest the effects of such influences exerted in different degrees. 93 The Maya empire seems to have been in the height of its prosperity when the rival Nahua power came into prominence, perhaps two or three centuries before Christ. 94 The origin of the new people and of the 93 It may be well to give here the conclusions of M. Viollet-le-Duc, the distinguished French architect, respecting these ruins and their builders, although they carry the matter back to the question of origin, and conse quently beyond the sphere of this chapter. This author s conclusions are professedly based on an examination of material monuments, but were doubtless much affected, like those of other late writers, including myself, by the study of Brasseur s works. The whole continent was peopled with wild tribes of yellow blood from Asia via the north-west at a very remote period. About 1000 B. C., the Culhuas, a mixed race of black and white blood appeared from the east and introduced agriculture and a slight degree of civilization. Soon after the Culhuas, the Nahuas appeared, a white race coming from the north of Eu rope via the Mississippi Valley, Florida, and West Indies, in successive migrations. Palenque was built by the yellow races under a strong influ ence of the Culhuas and a very slight Nahua influence; the cities of Yuca tan were built when the Nahuas had conquered their rivals and the influ ence of the white race had become predominant; Mitla owes its origin to a still more recent period, and was built by a migrating tribe in which the yellow blood seems to have predominated. Viollet-le-Duc, in Charnay, Jluines Amer. 94 A document, for the authenticity of which even Brasseur de Bour- Votan, Maya god, ii., 117, 631-2, 638, 647, 716, 770; iii., 450-4; v., 27-8, 69-70, 159-65, 225, 231, 604-5, 618-9. Votan, Tzendal day, ii., 767. Vows, Nahuas, ii., 309, 431-2. Voyages, to America by Phoenicians, v., 65-8; by Northmen, v., 102-15; by Welshmen, v., 116-8; see also Exploration.

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, Vol. 5 by Hubert Howe Bancroft

The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America, Hubert Howe Bancroft


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