Ancient Mayans Digitized

eleven gods

Interactive Popol Vuh Reading View

For coding the reading view for the PopolVuh, we used XSLT to turn the XML markup of the Popol Vuh into readable and styled HTML. Regex was then used to insert links to every major god character name, each of which was linked to the godography. An iframe element labeled "Gods" was used to set the _parent in the godography and the attribute target="Gods" was added to the god name links to make the interactivity functional.

Click here to view the XSLT code used to generate this reading view on Github.



THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF THE ANCIENT TRADITIONS of this place called Quiché. HERE we shall write. We shall begin to tell the ancient stories of the beginning, the origin of all that was done in the citadel of Quiché, among the people of the Quiché nation. Here we shall gather the manifestation, the declaration, the account of the sowing and the dawning by the Framer and the Shaper, She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, as they are called; along with Hunahpu Possum and Hunahpu Coyote, Great White Peccary and Coati, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, Heart of Lake and Heart of Sea, Creator of the Green Earth and Creator of the Blue Sky, as they are called. These collectively are evoked and given expression as the Midwife and the Patriarch, whose names are Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, the Protector and the Shelterer, Twice Midwife and Twice Patriarch, as they are called in Quiché traditions. They gave voice to all things and accomplished their purpose in purity of being and in truth. This account we shall now write under the law of God and Christianity. We shall bring it forth because there is no longer the means whereby the Popol Vuh may be seen, the means of seeing clearly that had come from across the sea—the account of our obscurity, and the means of seeing life clearly, as it is said. The original book exists that was written anciently, but its witnesses and those who ponder it hide their faces. Great is its performance and its account of the completion and germination of all the sky and earth—its four corners and its four sides. All then was measured and staked out into four divisions, doubling over and stretching the measuring cords of the womb of sky and the womb of earth. Thus were established the four corners, the four sides, as it is said, by the Framer and the Shaper, the Mother and the Father of life and all creation, the giver of breath and the giver of heart, they who give birth and give heart to the light everlasting, the child of light born of woman and the son of light born of man, they who are compassionate and wise in all things—all that exists in the sky and on the earth, in the lakes and in the sea.


THIS IS THE ACCOUNT of when all is still silent and placid. All is silent and calm. Hushed and empty is the womb of the sky. THESE, then, are the first words, the first speech. There is not yet one person, one animal, bird, fish, crab, tree, rock, hollow, canyon, meadow, or forest. All alone the sky exists. The face of the earth has not yet appeared. Alone lies the expanse of the sea, along with the womb of all the sky. There is not yet anything gathered together. All is at rest. Nothing stirs. All is languid, at rest in the sky. There is not yet anything standing erect. Only the expanse of the water, only the tranquil sea lies alone. There is not yet anything that might exist. All lies placid and silent in the darkness, in the night. All alone are the Framer and the Shaper, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, They Who Have Borne Children and They Who Have Begotten Sons. Luminous they are in the water, wrapped in quetzal feathers and cotinga feathers. Thus they are called Quetzal Serpent. In their essence, they are great sages, great possessors of knowledge. Thus surely there is the sky. There is also Heart of Sky, which is said to be the name of the god.


THEN came his word. Heart of Sky arrived here with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent in the darkness, in the night. He spoke with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent. They talked together then. They thought and they pondered. They reached an accord, bringing together their words and their thoughts. Then they gave birth, heartening one another. Beneath the light, they gave birth to humanity. Then they arranged for the germination and creation of the trees and the bushes, the germination of all life and creation, in the darkness and in the night, by Heart of Sky, who is called Huracan. First is Thunderbolt Huracan, second is Youngest Thunderbolt, and third is Sudden Thunderbolt. These three together are Heart of Sky. Then they came together with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent. Together they conceived light and life: “How shall it be sown? When shall there be a dawn for anyone? Who shall be a provider? Who shall be a sustainer? “Then be it so. You are conceived. May the water be taken away, emptied out, so that the plate of the earth may be created—may it be gathered and become level. Then may it be sown; then may dawn the sky and the earth. There can be no worship, no reverence given by what we have framed and what we have shaped, until humanity has been created, until people have been made,” they said. Then the earth was created by them. Merely their word brought about the creation of it. In order to create the earth, they said, “Earth,” and immediately it was created. Just like a cloud, like a mist, was the creation and formation of it. Then they called forth the mountains from the water. Straightaway the great mountains came to be. It was merely their spirit essence, their miraculous power, that brought about the conception of the mountains and the valleys. Straightaway were created cypress groves and pine forests to cover the face of the earth. Thus Quetzal Serpent rejoiced: “It is good that you have come, Heart of Sky—you, Huracan, and you as well, Youngest Thunderbolt and Sudden Thunderbolt. That which we have framed and shaped shall turn out well,” they said. First the earth was created, the mountains and the valleys. The waterways were divided, their branches coursing among the mountains. Thus the waters were divided, revealing the great mountains. For thus was the creation of the earth, created then by Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth, as they are called. They were the first to conceive it. The sky was set apart. The earth also was set apart within the waters. Thus was conceived the successful completion of the work when they thought and when they pondered.


THEN were conceived the animals of the mountains, the guardians of the forest, and all that populate the mountains—the deer and the birds, the puma and the jaguar, the serpent and the rattlesnake, the pit viper and the guardian of the bushes. She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons then asked: “Shall it be merely solitary, merely silent beneath the trees and the bushes? It is well that there shall be guardians for them,” they said. Thus they considered and spoke together, and immediately were created the deer and the birds. Having done this, they then provided homes for the deer and the birds: “You, deer, will sleep along the courses of rivers and in the canyons. Here you will be in the meadows and in the orchards. In the forests you shall multiply. You will walk on all fours, and thus you will be able to stand,” they were told. Then they established the homes of the birds, both small and great. “You, birds, you will make your homes and your houses in the tops of trees, and in the tops of bushes. There you will multiply and increase in numbers in the branches of the trees and the bushes,” the deer and the birds were told. When this had been done, all of them received their places to sleep and their places to rest. Homes were provided for the animals on the earth by She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons. Thus all was completed for the deer and the birds.


THEN it was said to the deer and the birds by the Framer and the Shaper, She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons: “Speak! Call! Don't moan or cry out. Speak to one another, each according to your kind, according to your group,” they were told—the deer, the birds, the pumas, the jaguars, and the serpents. “Speak therefore our names. Worship us, for we are your Mother and your Father. Say this, therefore: ‘Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt, Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth, Framer and Shaper, She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons.’ Speak! Call upon us! Worship us!” they were told. But they did not succeed. They did not speak like people. They only squawked and chattered and roared. Their speech was unrecognizable, for each cried out in a different way. When they heard this, the Framer and the Shaper said, “Their speech did not turn out well.” And again they said to each other: “They were not able to speak our names. We are their Framer and their Shaper. This is not good,” said She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons to each other. They were therefore told: “You shall be replaced because you were not successful. You could not speak. We have therefore changed our word. Your food and your sustenance, your sleeping places and your places to rest, that which belonged to you, shall be in the canyons and the forests. “Nevertheless, because you have not been able to worship us or call upon us, there will yet be someone else who may be a worshiper. We shall now make one who will give honor. Your calling will merely be to have your flesh eaten. Thus be it so. This must be your service,” they were told. Thus were commanded the animals, both small and great, that were upon the face of the earth. Then they wanted to test again their fate. They wanted to make another attempt. They wanted to try again to arrange for those who would worship them. The speech of the animals could not be understood. Because of the way they were made, they were not successful. Therefore their flesh was brought low. They were made to serve. The animals that were on the face of the earth were eaten and killed.


THUS there was another attempt to frame and shape man by the Framer and the Shaper, by She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons: “Let us try again before the first sowing, before the dawn approaches. Let us make a provider, a sustainer for us. How shall we then be called upon so that we are remembered upon the face of the earth? We have already made a first attempt with what we have framed and what we have shaped. But we were not successful in being worshiped or in being revered by them. Thus, let us try again to make one who will honor us, who will respect us; one who will be a provider and a sustainer,” they said. Then was the framing, the making of it. Of earth and mud was its flesh composed. But they saw that it was still not good. It merely came undone and crumbled. It merely became sodden and mushy. It merely fell apart and dissolved. Its head was not set apart properly. Its face could only look in one direction. Its face was hidden. Neither could it look about. At first it spoke, but without knowledge. Straightaway it would merely dissolve in water, for it was not strong. Then said the Framer and the Shaper: “We have made a mistake; thus let this be merely a mistake. It cannot walk, neither can it multiply. Then let it be so. Let it be merely left behind as a thing of no importance,” they said. Therefore they undid it. They toppled what they had framed, what they had shaped. Then they said again: “How then will we truly make that which may succeed and bear fruit; that will worship us and that will call upon us?” they asked. Then they thought again: “We shall merely tell Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, Hunahpu Possum and Hunahpu Coyote, ‘Try again a divination, a shaping,’” said the Framer and the Shaper to each other. Then they called upon Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, and in this manner were the seers addressed: “Grandmother of Day, Grandmother of Light!” In this way, they were addressed by the Framer and the Shaper, for these are the names of Xpiyacoc and Xmucane.


HURACAN, along with Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, then spoke to the Master of Days and the Mistress of Shaping, they who are seers: “It shall be found; it shall be discovered how we are to create shaped and framed people who will be our providers and sustainers. May we be called upon, and may we be remembered. For it is with words that we are sustained, O Midwife and Patriarch, our Grandmother and our Grandfather, Xpiyacoc and Xmucane. Thus may it be spoken. May it be sown. May it dawn so that we are called upon and supported, so that we are remembered by framed and shaped people, by effigies and forms of people. Hearken and let it be so. “Reveal your names, Hunahpu Possum and Hunahpu Coyote, Great She Who Has Borne Children and Great He Who Has Begotten Sons, Great Peccary and Great Coati, Jeweler and Worker in Precious Stones, Sculptor and Wood Worker, Creator of the Green Earth and Creator of the Blue Sky, Incense Maker and Master Artist, Grandmother of Day and Grandmother of Light. Thus shall you all be called by that which we shall frame and shape. Cast grains of maize and tz'ite to divine how what we shall make will come out when we grind and chisel out its mouth and face in wood,” so it was said to the Masters of Days. Thus began the divination ceremony, the casting of grains of maize and of tz'ite, the revelation of days and of shaping. Then spoke the one Grandmother and the one Grandfather to them. For this was the Grandfather, the Master of the Tz'ite, Xpiyacoc by name. And this was the Grandmother, the Mistress of Days and Mistress of Shaping who is at the foot, who is called Xmucane. Thus they began to speak, to carry out their divination ceremony: “May it be discovered. May it be found. Say it! Our ears hear you. Speak! Tell it! May the tree be found that is to be carved and chiseled out by the Framer and the Shaper. If this is to be the provider and the sustainer, then may it now be sown that the dawn may come. You, grains of maize, and you, tz'ite; you, days, and you, the shaping—you are called, you are summoned.” Thus it was said to the grains of maize and the tz'ite, to the days and the shaping. “Bring it to a conclusion, O Heart of Sky. Do not punish them further. Do not cause any more suffering for Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent,” they said. Then they spoke straight to the point: “May these effigies of wood come out well. May they speak. May they communicate there upon the face of the earth. May it be so,” they said. And when they had spoken, straightaway the effigies of carved wood were made. They had the appearance of people and spoke like people as well. They populated the whole face of the earth. The effigies of carved wood began to multiply, bearing daughters and sons. Nevertheless, they still did not possess their hearts nor their minds. They did not remember their Framer or their Shaper. They walked without purpose. They crawled on their hands and knees and did not remember Heart of Sky. Thus they were weighed in the balance. They were merely an experiment, an attempt at people. At first they spoke, but their faces were all dried up. Their legs and arms were not filled out. They had no blood or blood flow within them. They had no sweat or oil. Their cheeks were dry, and their faces were masks. Their legs and arms were stiff. Their bodies were rigid. Thus they were not capable of understanding before their Framer and their Shaper, those who had given them birth and given them hearts. They were the first numerous people who have lived here upon the face of the earth.


THEN came the end of the effigies carved of wood, for they were ruined, crushed, and killed. A flood was planned by Heart of Sky that came down upon the heads of the effigies carved of wood. The body of man had been carved of tz'ite wood by the Framer and the Shaper. The body of woman consisted of reeds according to the desire of the Framer and the Shaper. But they were not capable of understanding and did not speak before their Framer and their Shaper, their makers and their creators. Thus they were killed in the flood. There came a great resin down from the sky. There came the ones called Chiselers of Faces, who gouged out their eyes. There came Death Knives, which cut off their heads. There came Crouching Jaguar, who ate their flesh. There came Striking Jaguar, who struck them. They smashed their bones and their tendons. Their bones were ground up. They were broken into pieces. Their faces were ground up because they proved to be incapable of understanding before the face of their mother and the face of their father, Heart of Sky, Huracan by name. Thus they caused the face of the earth to be darkened, and there fell a black rain, a rain that fell both day and night. The small and the great animals came in upon them. Their faces were crushed by the trees and the stones. They were spoken to by all their maize grinders and their cooking griddles, their plates and their pots, their dogs and their grinding stones. However many things they had, all of them crushed their faces. Their dogs and their turkeys said to them: “Pain you have caused us. You ate us. Therefore it will be you that we will eat now.” Then the grinding stones said this to them: “We were ground upon by you. Every day, every day, in the evening and at dawn, always you did holi, holi, huki, huki on our faces. This was our service for you who were the first people. But this day you shall feel our strength. We shall grind you like maize. We shall grind up your flesh,” said their grinding stones to them. Then their dogs said this to them: “Why was it that you didn’t give us our food? All we did was look at you, and you chased us away. You threw us out. You raised sticks against us to beat us while you ate. Thus you have spoken to us. We could not speak; therefore we received nothing from you. How could you not have understood this? You did understand. We were forgotten because of you. This day, therefore, you shall try the teeth that are in our mouths. We shall eat you,” said the dogs to them. Thus their faces were crushed. Then spoke also their griddles and their pots to them: “Pain you have caused us. Our mouths and our faces are sooty. You were forever throwing us upon the fire and burning us. Although we felt no pain, you now shall try it. We shall burn you,” said all of their pots. Thus their faces were all crushed. The stones of the hearth flattened them. They would come out from the fire, landing on their heads and causing them pain. They fled. They hurried away. They wanted to climb up on top of the houses, but the houses would fall apart beneath them and they were thrown off. They wanted to climb up to the tops of the trees, but the trees would not support them. They wanted to hide in caves, but the mouths of the caves closed up before their faces. Thus the framed people, the shaped people, were undone. They were demolished and overthrown as people. The mouths and the faces of all of them were ruined and crushed. It is said that the spider monkeys that are in the forest today are descendents of these people. This was their heritage because their flesh was merely wood when it was created by the Framer and the Shaper. Therefore the spider monkeys appear like people, descendents of one generation of framed and shaped people. But they were only effigies carved of wood.


WHILE the face of the earth was only a little brightened, before there was a sun, there was one who puffed himself up named Seven Macaw. There was a sky and an earth, but the faces of the sun and moon were dim. He therefore declared himself to be the bright sign for those who were drowned in the flood. He was like an enchanted person in his essence. “I am great. I dwell above the heads of the people who have been framed and shaped. I am their sun. I am also their light. And I am also their moon. “Then be it so. Great is my brightness. By the brilliance of my silver and gold I light the walkways and pathways of the people. “My eyes sparkle with glittering blue/green jewels. My teeth as well are jade stones, as brilliant as the face of the sky. This, my beak, shines brightly far into the distance like the moon. “My throne is gold and silver. When I go forth from my throne, I brighten the face of the earth. “Thus I am the sun. I am the moon as well for those who are born in the light, those who are begotten in the light. “Then be it so. My vision reaches far,” said Seven Macaw. Now Seven Macaw was not truly the sun, but he puffed himself up in this way because of his plumage and his gold and his silver. His vision did not reach beyond where he sat. It did not really reach everywhere beneath the sky. Thus Seven Macaw puffed himself up in the days and months before the faces of the sun, moon, and stars could truly be seen. He desired only greatness and transcendence before the light of the sun and moon were revealed in their clarity. This was in the era when the flood was made because of the effigies of carved wood. Now we shall tell how Seven Macaw died; how he was defeated at the time when people were made by the Framer and the Shaper.


THIS is the beginning of his defeat. This is the shaking of the day of Seven Macaw by the twins, named Hunahpu and Xbalanque. They were simply gods. As a result they saw evil in this prideful one who acted according to his own desires before the face of Heart of Sky. Thus the boys said: “Good shall never come of this. People will never be able to live here on the face of the earth. Thus we will try to shoot him with our blowguns. When he flies over his food, we will shoot him, thus causing him to be afflicted. Then his jade, his gold and silver, his jewels, his glittering things, and all things over which he keeps vigil, will come to an end. “May it be done thus, for people cannot be created where only gold and silver are glory. Then be it so,” said the boys. And each one shouldered his blowgun. Now this Seven Macaw had two sons. His firstborn was Zipacna, and his secondborn was Cabracan. Chimalmat was the name of their mother, the wife of Seven Macaw. Zipacna was he that sustained the great mountains—Chigag, Hunahpu, Peculya, Xcanul, Macamob, and Huliznab. These are the names of the mountains that existed at the time of the dawn. In a single night, they were created by Zipacna. Cabracan was he who would shake the mountains, both small and great, causing them to tremble. But it was only the pride of the sons of Seven Macaw: “This is what I am. I am the sun!” said Seven Macaw. “This is what I am. I am the maker of the earth!” said Zipacna. “And I am he who fells the sky and causes the earth to tumble down!” said Cabracan. Now these, the children of Seven Macaw, received their greatness from their father. The boys, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, therefore saw evil in them before the creation of our first mother and our first father. Thus the boys planned their deaths and their loss.


THIS, then, is the blowgun shooting of Seven Macaw by the twins. We shall now tell the story of the defeat of each of the prideful ones. This is Seven Macaw and a great nance tree. This, then, is the food of Seven Macaw. Each day he would rise up to the top of the tree to knock down some of the fruit of the nance tree, and it is there that he was seen by Hunahpu and Xbalanque. The twins watched for him beneath the tree, hidden in its leaves. At length Seven Macaw perched on the nance tree to feed and was shot by them. Hunahpu directed a pellet straight from his blowgun into his jaw. Seven Macaw cried out, sailing over the top of the tree and landing on the ground. Quickly, Hunahpu ran out to grab him. But instead Seven Macaw tore off the arm of Hunahpu. He wrenched it back, bending it back at the shoulder until it was torn free from Hunahpu. Still, it was good what they did. This first episode will not result in their defeat by Seven Macaw, even though he took away the arm of Hunahpu. So then Seven Macaw went to his home, holding his jaw in his palms. “What have you got there?” asked Chimalmat, the wife of Seven Macaw. “What is it?” “Two demons shot me. My jaw was dislocated by them, and now my teeth torment me with pain. This I have brought to hang over the fire. It will dangle over the fire until they come to take it back again. Truly they are demons,” said Seven Macaw as he hung the arm of Hunahpu. Then Hunahpu and Xbalanque planned again. They went to speak to the one Grandfather, whose hair was now truly white, and also the one Grandmother, who was now truly humble. They were people who now walked bent over with age. Great White Peccary was the name of the Grandfather, and Great White Coati was the name of the Grandmother. The boys then spoke to the Grandmother and the Grandfather: “We would like you to accompany us to retrieve our arm from Seven Macaw. We will just follow along behind you. You will say to him, ‘Suffer these our grandsons that accompany us. Their mother and father are dead, thus they follow along there behind us. We provide for them by removing worms from teeth, which is our profession.’ Thus Seven Macaw will see us merely as children, even while we are giving you our instructions,” said the twins. “Very well,” they said. Thus they came to where Seven Macaw was seated on the edge of his throne. The Grandmother and the Grandfather passed below the home of the lord while the twins played behind them. Now Seven Macaw was crying out because of his teeth. When he saw the Grandfather and Grandmother journeying together, he asked them: “From where do you come, our grandfather?” he asked. “We are just making a living, thou lord,” they replied. “How do you make your living? Are not those your children that accompany you?” “They are not, thou lord. These are our grandsons. But surely we take pity on them and give them a portion. We give them our scraps, thou lord,” said the Grandmother and the Grandfather. The lord was by then nearly finished off because of the pain in his teeth. Therefore it was with great effort that he spoke again: “I beg of you, take pity on me. What medicines would you make? With what medicines would you cure?” asked the lord. “We would merely remove worms from teeth, cure eye ailments, and set bones, thou lord,” they replied. “Very well. Cure then my teeth, for truly they ache constantly, and I can no longer bear it. I cannot sleep because of them, and the same goes for my eyes. Two demons shot me with a blowgun, and since then I have not been able to eat because of it. Thus take pity on me, for my jaw and my teeth cause me anguish.” “Very well, thou lord. It is a worm that causes the pain. We will merely replace them. Thy teeth will have to come out.” “It is perhaps not a good thing that my teeth come out, for it is only because of them that I am lord. My teeth, along with my eyes, are my finery.” “We shall replace them then with this ground bone.” But instead of ground bone, they were mere white grains of maize that were to be placed. “Very well then, take them out. Help me,” he said therefore. So then the teeth of Seven Macaw were taken out. As a substitute they placed mere white grains of maize, mere shiny white grains of maize, and immediately his face fell. No longer did he appear as a lord. At length all of the brilliant blue/green jewels in his mouth were removed. Then the eyes of Seven Macaw were treated. His eyes were plucked, thus completely removing the precious metal from them. He surely felt no pain. He just stared instead. Thus the basis for his pride was completely taken away according to the plans of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. When at length Seven Macaw died, Hunahpu retrieved his arm. Then also Chimalmat died, the wife of Seven Macaw. Thus the wealth of Seven Macaw was lost, for the healers took it away—the jewels, the precious stones, and all that which had made him proud here upon the face of the earth. It was truly the enchanted Grandmother and the enchanted Grandfather that did it. Then the boys retrieved their arm and implanted it back into its socket, making it whole again. They had desired the death of Seven Macaw, and they were able to do it. For they saw pride as evil and went to do these things according to the word of Heart of Sky.


THESE now are the deeds of Zipacna, the firstborn son of Seven Macaw. “I am the maker of mountains,” said Zipacna. Now this Zipacna was bathing on the banks of a river when there passed by four hundred boys, dragging a tree to be used as a supporting beam for their hut. These four hundred were walking along, having cut down a great tree for a lintel. Zipacna therefore came to the four hundred boys and asked them: “What are you doing, boys?” “It’s just this tree; we cannot lift it to our shoulders to carry it.” “I will carry it on my shoulders. Where does it go? What use does it have in your hearts?” “It is to be the lintel for our hut.” “Very well,” he said therefore. Thus he carried it on his shoulders up to the doorway of the hut of the four hundred boys. “Stay with us, boy. Do you have a mother or a father?” “There is no one,” he replied. “Surely we beseech you then to help us, for tomorrow another tree will be raised as a supporting beam for our hut.” “Fine,” he said again. Then the four hundred boys made their plans: “This boy, what will we do to him? We will kill him. For it is not good what he does, just lifting the tree all by himself. Let us therefore dig a great hole, and then we shall abandon him there. We will say to him, ‘Go dig out the earth from the bottom of the hole.’ And when he is bent over down there in the hole, we will hurl down the great tree, and thus he will die there in the hole,” said the four hundred boys. And so they dug a great hole that went down very deep. Then they sent for Zipacna: “We entrust you to go now to dig in the ground, for we are not able to do it,” he was told. “Very well,” he replied. Thus he went down into the hole. “Call when you have finished digging up the earth, for you must go down deep,” he was told. “Fine,” he replied. Then he began to dig in the hole. But this hole was to be his own salvation. He had learned that he was to be killed, and therefore he had dug a branching hole to one side. It was in this secondary hole that he was saved. “How far are you into it?” he was asked by the four hundred boys. “I am digging it quickly. When I shall call up to you there, then the digging will have been successfully completed,” called Zipacna from the hole. But he did not dig his own tomb there at the bottom of the hole; rather he dug the means for his own salvation. Therefore, when Zipacna called up, he had already saved himself there inside the hole: “Come and take the earth away—the dirt that I have dug up from the hole. Truly deep have I dug down. Can you not hear my call? Your voices just echo away as if you were a long way off when I hear them,” said Zipacna from his hole. Thus he was already sheltered when he called up from inside the hole. The boys then dragged over the great tree and hurled it down into the hole. “He is no more. He does not speak. When he cries out, we will know that he shall be dead,” they whispered to each other. For they each hid their purpose when they hurled down the tree. So when he spoke he cried out with a loud voice, he called out one more word when they dropped down the tree. “Aha, we have succeeded! Truly good! We have done it to him. He died. What kind of omen would it have been if he had persisted in carrying out his deeds, his work? Then he might have become first among us, placing himself over us, even us the four hundred boys,” they said. And so they rejoiced: “For three days we will merely make sweet drink. And when three days have passed, we will drink to our dwelling, to our hut, even us the four hundred boys!” they said. “Tomorrow and the next day we will see if ants don’t come forth from the ground when he begins to stink and decompose. Then will our hearts be comforted, when we will drink our sweet drink,” they said. But Zipacna heard this down there in the hole when they said this. And on the second day, the ants assembled themselves. They walked about. They swarmed beneath the tree. Everywhere they carried in their teeth the hair as well as the nails of Zipacna. Now when the boys saw this, they said to each other: “The demon is finished. Look at the ants. They have gathered together. They have assembled here, and everywhere they carry his hair in their teeth. Surely they can be seen carrying his nails. We have done it at last,” they said to each other. But Zipacna was still alive. He had merely cut the hair off his own head and gnawed off his own nails to give to the ants. Thus the four hundred boys thought that he had died. On the third day, they started in on their sweet drink. All the boys became drunk. All four hundred boys thus were drunk and didn’t feel anything when Zipacna collapsed their hut down upon their heads. As a result, all of them were finished, struck down every one of them. Not even one or two of the four hundred boys were saved. Such was the death of these four hundred boys at the hands of Zipacna, the son of Seven Macaw. It is said that they became the constellation known as the Pleiades, but perhaps this is merely a fable. Now we will tell the story of the defeat of Zipacna by the twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque.


THIS now is the overthrow and death of Zipacna. He was defeated by the twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, whose hearts were offended by the deaths of the four hundred boys at the hands of Zipacna. Now this Zipacna would spend each day wandering in search of his food, only fish and crabs, which he looked for in the rivers. By night, however, he would carry mountains on his back. Thus Hunahpu and Xbalanque transformed for him a great crab. For this purpose, they used a bromelia flower, the kind of bromeliad that may be picked in the forests, to make the open claws. For its shell and backside, they used a hollowed-out stone. This shell they placed at the bottom of a cave below a great mountain. Meauan was the name of this mountain where he was defeated. When the boys came, they found Zipacna by the river: “Where are you going, boy?” they asked Zipacna. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m just searching for my food,” replied Zipacna. “What is your food?” “Only fish and crabs, but I haven’t found any yet. It has been two days since I have eaten, and now I cannot bear the hunger,” said Zipacna to Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “There is a crab there below the canyon. It is truly a great crab. Why don’t you try your luck with it?” asked Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “Perhaps you will be able to eat it. It merely bit us when we tried to catch it, so we are afraid of it. But he will not go away and you could catch it.” “Take pity on me. Guide me there, boys,” said Zipacna. “We do not want to. Just go along yourself. There is no way that you will get lost if you just follow the course of the river until you reach the base of the great mountain. There it will be, situated below the canyon. Just go along over there,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “Please take pity on me. I will never find it, boys. You go first as my guides. I know where there are many birds that you could shoot with your blowguns,” said Zipacna. He humbled himself before them, promising to reward them. He wept before them. “Perhaps you will not be able to catch it. Then you would return like we did. Because not only were we not able to eat it, but it would straightaway bite us. We went in there headfirst on our stomachs, but it became frightened. A little later we went in lying on our backs, but we couldn’t find it again. Thus it would be good if you went in lying on your back,” he was told. “Very well,” replied Zipacna. Thus they left, accompanied by Zipacna. At length they arrived below the canyon where the crab was placed, its surface bright red there at the base of the canyon. This was their deception. “That’s good,” rejoiced Zipacna. He wanted to put it straight in his mouth because he was truly famished and wanted to eat it. He just wanted to go in headfirst on his stomach. But the crab climbed high up, and Zipacna came back out. “Didn’t you get it?” he was asked. “No. It climbed high up and after awhile I couldn’t find it again. Perhaps it would be good then if I went in again lying on my back,” he said therefore. Then he went back in again lying on his back. He went all the way in until only his kneecaps showed outside. Thus he was completely swallowed up. The mountain then settled down onto his chest so that he could not turn over again. Zipacna became stone. Thus was the defeat of Zipacna at the hands of the boys, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Such is the ancient account of the first son of Seven Macaw, the Maker of Mountains, as he was called, who was defeated beneath the mountain called Meauan. It was merely enchantment by which this second prideful one was defeated. Now we shall tell the tale of another.


THE third prideful one was the second son of Seven Macaw, Cabracan by name. “I am the wrecker of mountains,” said he. It was simply because of Hunahpu and Xbalanque that Cabracan was defeated. Then Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt spoke to Hunahpu and Xbalanque, saying: “According to my word, the second son of Seven Macaw must also be defeated. For it is not good what they have done upon the earth. They surpass the sun in greatness and importance, and this is not as it should be. Thus, lure him away there to the East, where the sun rises,” said Huracan to the twins. “Very well, thou lord. It has always been thus, that we do not approve of him. For he is not lifted up where thou art, thou Heart of Sky,” the boys replied when they received the word of Huracan. Now this Cabracan occupied himself as a wrecker of mountains. He would simply tap his foot a little on the surface of the earth, and straightaway mountains, both small and great, would tumble down. Then he was met by the twins: “Where are you going, boy?” they asked Cabracan. “I’m not going anywhere. I am merely a feller of mountains. I will wreck them as long as there is sun and light,” he said when he spoke to them. Then Cabracan spoke again to Hunahpu and Xbalanque: “Where have you come from? I do not know your faces. What are your names?” asked Cabracan. “We have no names. We have just been blowgunning and trapping in the mountains. We are just poor orphans, for there is nothing that is ours, boy. We just wander in the mountains, both small and great. There is one great mountain that we saw that keeps growing until truly high it ascends. It simply rises up, far above the peaks of all the mountains. We could not catch even one or two birds before its face. Is it really true that you fell all mountains, boy?” asked Hunahpu and Xbalanque of Cabracan. “Is it true that you saw this mountain of which you speak? Where is it? You shall surely see that I will fell it. Where did you see it?” “There it is in the East, where the sun rises,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “Good. You lead the way,” the twins were told. “No, you just take the middle place between us, one on your left and one on your right hand. We have our blowguns, and if there are any birds, we will shoot them,” they said. They rejoiced that they could practice their shooting. But there were no clay pellets in their blowguns. When they shot them, they merely blew at the birds. Thus Cabracan was amazed. Then the boys used a twist drill to make their fire, upon which they roasted the birds. They covered the skin of one of the birds with quicklime until it was coated with white earth. “We will give this to him when he becomes ravenous with hunger. When he savors the aroma of our birds, he will be defeated. We will put earth on its skin. We will cook it in earth. In the same way, therefore, he himself will be buried in the earth. This must be if the great sage, the one to be framed and shaped, is to be sown and to have his dawn,” the boys said. “Cabracan shall desire with all his heart to eat what we will cook. This shall be the desire of the heart of Cabracan,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque to each other. Then they roasted the birds until they had been cooked to a golden brown. They would drip with fat from their skins and give off a fragrant aroma. Thus Cabracan desired to be fed. His mouth watered. He just gulped and drooled saliva and spittle because of the fragrance of the birds. Thus he begged of them: “What is it that you are eating? Its aroma is truly delicious to smell. Give me a little,” he said therefore. Then they gave to Cabracan a bird, and this was his defeat. When he had finished the bird, they went on their way again until they arrived in the East. There they came to the great mountain. But by now the legs and arms of Cabracan had become weak. Never again would he be strong because of the earth coated on the skin of the bird he had eaten. He could no longer do anything to the mountains. He did not succeed in causing them to fall apart. Then the boys tied him up. They tied his hands behind his back. The boys were mindful to make sure that his hands were well bound. They also tied his ankles together. Then they hurled him down into the earth and buried him. Thus Cabracan was defeated at the hands of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Innumerable were their deeds here on the face of the earth. Now we shall tell of the birth of Hunahpu and Xbalanque, having first given the account of the defeat of Seven Macaw along with Zipacna and Cabracan here upon the earth.


WE shall now name the name of the father of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. We shall retell it. We shall merely repeat the tale, the account of the engendering of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. But we shall tell only the half of it, the smallest part of the tale of their father.


THIS, therefore, is the account of they whose names are One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. For thus they are called. It was in the darkness, in the night, when One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu were born to Xpiyacoc and Xmucane. Now this One Hunahpu had two children, both sons. One Batz was the name of his firstborn, and One Chouen was the name of his secondborn. The name of their mother was Xbaquiyalo. Thus she was called, the wife of One Hunahpu. But Seven Hunahpu had no wife. He was merely a companion, merely secondary. By his nature, he was like a servant to One Hunahpu. They were great thinkers, for great was their knowledge. They were seers here upon the face of the earth. They were good by their nature, and in their birth as well. They revealed their talents to One Batz and One Chouen, the sons of One Hunahpu. Thus One Batz and One Chouen became flautists and singers, writers and sculptors, jade workers and precious metalsmiths. As for One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu, they would merely play dice and ball everyday. The four of them would pair off to oppose each other. When they gathered together to play in the ballcourt, the Falcon would arrive to watch over them. This Falcon was the messenger of Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt. The face of the earth was not far for him. Nor was Xibalba far for him. In an instant, he could return again to the sky with Huracan. Thus they tarried here upon the earth. By then the mother of One Batz and One Chouen had died. Now it was on the path leading to Xibalba where they played ball. Thus the lords of Xibalba, One Death and Seven Death, heard them: “What is happening on the surface of the earth? They are just stomping about and shouting. May they be summoned here therefore. They shall come to play ball, and we shall defeat them. They have simply failed to honor us. They have neither honor nor respect. Certainly they act arrogantly here over our heads,” said therefore all those of Xibalba. Then they whose names were One Death and Seven Death gathered all of their thoughts. These, therefore, were the great judges, all of them lords. Each was given his task and his dominion by One Death and Seven Death: These are the lords named Flying Scab and Gathered Blood. Their task is to sicken people in their blood. These, then, are the lords Pus Demon and Jaundice Demon. Their dominion is to swell people up until pus oozes from the skin of their legs, and the skin of their faces becomes yellow with jaundice, as it is said. Thus this is the dominion of Pus Demon and Jaundice Demon. These, then, are the lords Bone Staff and Skull Staff, the staff bearers of Xibalba. Their staffs are mere bones. These staff bearers are they who skeletize people until they are truly bones and skulls. As a result, they would die having received only emaciated bones, bloated with starvation. These are they whose names are Bone Staff and Skull Staff. These, then, are the lords whose names are Sweepings Demon and Stabbings Demon. Their task is simply to overtake people if they abandon sweepings and trash in back or in front of their houses. These would be overtaken and stabbed by them until they fall face down upon the earth and die. This, therefore, is the dominion of Sweepings Demon and Stabbings Demon, as they are called. These, then, are they whose names are Lord Wing and Packstrap. Their dominion is the people who die on the road as a result of sudden death, as it is called. Blood would come to their mouths, and they would die vomiting blood. Each one has his task, the burden he carries on his shoulders. They would simply wear out the necks and the hearts of these people so that they die on the road. They would cause this to happen outside. When people go out walking, they would come upon them. This, then, is the dominion of Wing and Packstrap. These, therefore, gathered together their thoughts when One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu were persecuted and harassed. For the Xibalbans desired the gaming things of One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu—their leathers, their yokes, their arm protectors, their headdresses, and their face masks—the finery of One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. Now we shall tell of their journey to Xibalba. One Batz and One Chouen, the sons of One Hunahpu, remained behind. Their mother had died. Later One Batz and One Chouen will be defeated by Hunahpu and Xbalanque.


THEN was the arrival of the messengers of One Death and Seven Death: “Go you war councilors to summon One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. Tell them when you arrive, ‘Thus say the lords: They must come, say the lords to you. They must come here to play ball with us that we may be invigorated by them. Truly we are amazed greatly at them. Thus they must come, say the lords. May they bring hither their implements—their yokes, their arm protectors, and their rubber ball as well. Thus say the lords,’ tell them when you arrive there,” the messengers were told. These messengers were the owls—Arrow Owl, One Leg Owl, Macaw Owl, and Skull Owl—for so the messengers of Xibalba were called. This Arrow Owl was like the arrow, piercing. This One Leg Owl merely had one leg, but there were his wings. This Macaw Owl had a red back, and there were also his wings. Now this Skull Owl only had a skull with no legs; there were merely wings. The burden of these four messengers was to be the war councilors. Thus they arrived there from Xibalba. They arrived suddenly, perching atop the ballcourt. One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu were playing ball at the court that was called Honor and Respect at Carchah when they came. The owls, therefore, alighted atop the ballcourt, where they delivered in order the words of One Death and Seven Death, Pus Demon and Jaundice Demon, Bone Staff and Skull Staff, Flying Scab and Gathered Blood, Sweepings Demon and Stabbings Demon, Wing and Packstrap. For these are the names of all the lords. Thus the owls repeated their words. “Are these not the words of the lords One Death and Seven Death?” “Those are the words that they said,” replied the owls. “We shall surely be your companions. ‘You shall bring all the gaming things,’ say the lords.” “Very well. But wait for us while we leave instructions behind with our mother,” they said. Thus they went to their home to speak to their mother, for their father had died: “We must surely go, our mother. The messengers of the lord have just arrived to take us. ‘They must come,’ we were told. Thus the summoners have spoken. But this, our rubber ball, shall remain behind,” they said. Then they went to tie it up above the house. “We will surely return to use it again. Until then, merely play the flute and sing, write and carve.” In this way One Batz and One Chouen were instructed. “Thus you shall warm our home, and you shall warm the heart of your grandmother.” But their mother, Xmucane, wept bitterly. “We must go, but we will not die. Do not grieve,” said One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu as they left.


THEN went One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu, guided by the messengers as they descended along the path to Xibalba. They went down steep steps until they came out again upon the banks of turbulent river canyons. Trembling Canyon and Murmuring Canyon were the names of the canyons that they passed through. They also passed through turbulent rivers. They passed through Scorpion River, where there were innumerable scorpions. But they were not stung. Then they arrived at Blood River. They were able to pass through it because they did not drink from it. Then they arrived at Pus River, which was nothing but a river of pus. Neither were they defeated here but simply passed through it as well. At length they arrived at a crossroads, and it was here at the four crossing roads that they were defeated. One was Red Road and another was Black Road; White Road was one while another was Yellow Road. Thus there were four roads. Now this, the black road said: “Me! Take me, for I am the lord’s road.” Thus spoke the road. But it was there that they were defeated. They started then on the road to Xibalba. At last they arrived at the council place of the lords of Xibalba, and there again they were defeated. They who were seated first in order were mere effigies of carved wood, adorned by the Xibalbans. It was these, then, that they greeted: “Morning, One Death,” they said to the first effigy. “Morning, Seven Death,” they said again to the carved wood. Thus they did not prevail. Instead, the lords of Xibalba roared with laughter. They merely roared with laughter, all the lords, because they had completely prevailed. In their hearts, they had defeated One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. And after they had laughed, One Death and Seven Death spoke: “It is good that you have come. Tomorrow you shall put to use your yokes and your arm protectors,” they were told. “Sit down on our bench,” they were told. But the bench that they were offered was nothing but a very hot stone, and they were burned when they sat on it. Truly they spun around on top of it. Neither did they find relief. Truly they leaped up when their seats were burned. Thus the Xibalbans laughed again. They laughed until their insides hurt and their chests became cramped from their laughter. All the lords of Xibalba grabbed themselves and rolled around in their laughter. “Now just go to the house. Someone will come to deliver your torch and your cigars there at the sleeping place,” they were told. Thus they arrived in the House of Darkness. There was nothing but darkness inside that house. Then the Xibalbans gathered their thoughts: “Tomorrow we will merely sacrifice them. They only have to make a mistake and straightaway they will die by means of our gaming things that we use to play ball,” said the Xibalbans to each other. For their ball was merely a round blade. White Dagger was the name of the ball of Xibalba. Their ball was sharp, shattered bones pierced through the ball of Xibalba. Thus One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu entered into the House of Darkness. At length one came to give them their torch, which was already lit. It had been sent by One Death and Seven Death, along with cigars for each of them which had also already been lit. These, then, were sent by the lords to One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. They were seated cross-legged there in the darkness when the courier arrived to give to them their torch and their cigars. The torch was brightly burning when it arrived, and with it were lit each one of the cigars: “These are to be returned at dawn. They are not to be used up. Instead, they are to be collected again intact. Thus say the lords to you,” they were told. Therefore they were defeated. For they used up the torch as well as the cigars that had been given to them. Xibalba is crowded with trials, for there are many kinds of trials there. The first of these is the House of Darkness, where nothing but darkness exists within. The second is named Shivering House, for its interior is thick with frost. A howling wind clatters there. An icy wind whistles through its interior. The third is named Jaguar House, where there are nothing but jaguars inside. They bare their teeth, crowding one another, gnashing and snapping their teeth together. They are captive jaguars within the house. The fourth trial is named Bat House, for there are none but bats inside. In this house they squeak. They shriek as they fly about in the house, for they are captive bats and cannot come out. The fifth, then, is named Blade House, for there are only blades inside—row upon row of alternating blades that would clash and clatter there in the house. Thus there are many trials in Xibalba. One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu did not enter into them. These are merely the names of each of the houses of trial. Thus One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu came out and appeared before One Death and Seven Death: “Where are my cigars and my torch that were given to you last night?” they were asked. “We finished them off, O lord.” “Very well then, now your day is at an end. You are to die.” Thus they were lost. They were broken as well. “Here your faces shall be hidden, for you are to be sacrificed,” said One Death and Seven Death. Then they were sacrificed and buried. It was at the place named Crushing Ballcourt that they were buried. The head of One Hunahpu was cut off, while the rest of his body was buried with his younger brother. “Place his head in the midst of the tree that is planted by the road,” said One Death and Seven Death. Now when they went to place his head in the midst of the tree, the tree bore fruit. The tree had never borne fruit until the head of One Hunahpu was placed in it. This was the tree that we now call the calabash. It is said to be the head of One Hunahpu. One Death and Seven Death marveled at the fruit of the tree, for its round fruit was everywhere. Neither could the head of One Hunahpu be seen clearly, for his face had become identical in appearance with the calabashes. This was seen by all Xibalba when they came to look at it. In their hearts, they perceived the greatness of the essence of that tree, for it was accomplished immediately when the head of One Hunahpu entered into its midst. Thus the Xibalbans spoke one to another, “Let no one cut the fruit, nor enter beneath the tree,” they said. Thus they restricted themselves. All the Xibalbans restrained themselves. For the head of One Hunahpu was no longer clear, having become identical with the fruit of the tree whose name is the calabash. Great is the account of it. Now a maiden heard of it. Thus we shall now tell of her arrival there.


THIS, therefore, is the account of a maiden, the daughter of the lord named Gathered Blood. A MAIDEN, the daughter of a lord, had heard of it. Gathered Blood was the name of her father, while the name of the maiden was Lady Blood. When she heard the account of the fruit of the tree as told by her father, she was amazed by the tale: “Can I not come to know it by seeing the tree that has been spoken of? I hear that its fruit is truly delicious,” she said. Thus she went alone beneath the tree that was planted at Crushing Ballcourt: “Ah! What is the fruit of this tree? Is not the fruit borne by this tree delicious? I would not die. I would not be lost. Would it be heard if I were to pick one?” asked the maiden. Then spoke the skull there in the midst of the tree: “What is it that you desire of this? It is merely a skull, a round thing placed in the branches of trees,” said the head of One Hunahpu when it spoke to the maiden. “You do not desire it,” she was told. “But I do desire it,” said the maiden. “Very well then, stretch out hither your right hand so that I may see it,” said the skull. “Very well,” said the maiden. And so she stretched upward her right hand before the face of the skull. Then the skull squeezed out some of its saliva, directed toward the hand of the maiden. When she saw this, she immediately examined her hand. But the saliva from the skull was not in her hand. “My saliva, my spittle, is merely a sign that I have given to you. This head of mine no longer functions, for it is merely a skull that cannot work. The head of a truly great lord has good flesh upon his face. But when he dies, the people become frightened because of his bones. In like manner, his son is like his saliva, his spittle. He is his essence. If his son becomes a lord, or a sage, or a master of speech, then nothing will have been lost. He will go on, and once more become complete. The face of the lord will not be extinguished nor will it be ruined. The warrior, the sage, the master of speech will remain in the form of his daughters and his sons. “Thus may it be so, as I have done to you. Climb, therefore, up there to the face of the earth. You will not die, for you have entered into a promise. Thus be it so,” said the skull of One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu. Now in this they merely carried out the thoughts and words of Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt. Thus the maiden returned again to her home, having been given many instructions. Straightaway her children were created in her womb by the mere saliva. Thus was the creation of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Now when the maiden had arrived at her home and six moons were completed, she was noticed by her father, Gathered Blood by name.


THEN the maiden was discovered by her father, for he saw that she was now with child. Thus all the lords, One Death and Seven Death along with Gathered Blood, gathered their thoughts: “This my daughter is with child, O lords. It is merely the result of her fornication,” said Gathered Blood when he met with the lords. “Very well then. Question her about this, and when she doesn’t tell, she will be sacrificed. She will go far away to be sacrificed.” “Very well, ye lords,” he replied. He therefore questioned his daughter: “Who is responsible for the child that is in your womb, my daughter?” he asked. “I have no child, my father,” she replied. “I have not known the face of any man.” “Very well then. It is true that you are a fornicator.” “Sacrifice her, you war councilors,” the four owls were told. “Then bring back her heart inside a bowl so that the lords may examine it this day.” And so they went, carrying the bowl and lifting up the maiden in their talons. They took with them the White Dagger, the instrument of her sacrifice. “You will not succeed in killing me, you messengers, for this that is in my womb was merely created and is not the result of fornication. Rather it is the result of my admiration for the head of One Hunahpu which is at Crushing Ballcourt. Thus do not sacrifice me, you messengers,” said the maiden when she spoke. “But what shall we give as a substitute for your heart? For we were told by your father, ‘Bring hither her heart so that the lords may examine it and be satisfied with its form. Bring hither the bowl quickly, and place her heart inside it.’ Were we not told this? Therefore, what will we put in the bowl? For above all else, we do not want you to die,” said the messengers. “Very well. The heart will not be theirs. At the same time, your homes will no longer be here. No longer will you lure people by force to their deaths. Only the true fornicator will be subject to One Death and Seven Death. Mere croton tree sap will be theirs henceforth. Thus be it so. It will be this that you shall burn before their faces. It will not be this, the heart, that you will burn before their faces. Thus be it so. Take what the tree produces,” said the maiden. Then the red secretions of the tree were collected in the bowl. There it congealed and became round. The red tree, therefore, oozed forth the substitute for her heart. The sap of the red tree was thus like blood when it came out. It was the substitute for her blood. Thus she collected the sap, the secretion of the red tree. Its surface became like bright red blood in the bowl when the maiden cut open the tree called the Sacrifice Red Tree. She named this “blood,” and blood croton it is still called. “There on the face of the earth you will be esteemed, for it is become yours,” she said therefore to the owls. “Very well then, you maiden. We shall go then upward to hide you. But first we shall give the substitute for your heart before the faces of the lords,” said the messengers. And so they arrived before the faces of the lords, who were all awaiting them expectantly. “Was it not successful?” asked One Death. “It was successful, O lords. This is surely her heart here in the bottom of the bowl.” “Very well. I would see it therefore,” said One Death. Then he lifted it up with his fingers, dripping with blood from its surface. It was bright red with blood. “Stir well the face of the fire and place it over the fire,” said One Death. Then they dried it over the fire, while the Xibalbans savored its fragrance. They all rose up to lean over it, for truly delicious was the smell of the blood to them. Now while they were bent over, the owls went to guide the maiden up to the hole leading above the earth. Then the guides returned back down again. Thus the lords of Xibalba were defeated, for the maiden had tricked them all.


THIS, therefore, is the mother of One Batz and One Chouen. Then arrived the woman, Lady Blood by name, who came to the mother of One Batz and One Chouen. Her children were still in her womb, however, it wasn’t long before the birth of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. So then the woman came to the Grandmother. She said to the Grandmother: “I have come, thou lady,” she said when she arrived there with the Grandmother. “I am thy daughter-in-law and thy child, thou lady.” “From where have you come? Do my children yet exist? Did they not die in Xibalba? Only these two are left as their sign and their word. One Batz and One Chouen are their names. If you see that you have come, go back the same way,” the maiden was told by the Grandmother. “But it is true that I am thy daughter-in-law. These are surely his. These that I am carrying belong to One Hunahpu. One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu are alive. They are not dead. That which they have done is merely a manifestation of their light, thou mother-in-law. Thus you shall see it. You shall see his face in these that I am carrying,” she told the Grandmother. Now One Batz and One Chouen gloried in these things: Only the flute and song did they do. Only writing and carving was their work every day. And so they comforted the heart of the Grandmother. Thus the Grandmother spoke to her: “I do not want you. You are not my daughter-in-law. It is merely the result of your fornication that is in your womb. You are a deceiver. My children that you spoke of have died,” the Grandmother said again. “They are truly his, I say to you.” “Very well then, I hear you that you are my daughter-in-law,” the maiden was told. “Go then to get food that these may eat. Go and harvest a great netful of maize and return with it. Then you will surely be my daughter-in-law, just as you have said.” “Very well,” she replied. Then she went to the maizefield that belonged to One Batz and One Chouen, along the path that had been cleared by them. The maiden thus started out and arrived there at the maizefield. But there was only a single ear of maize in the field. There was not even one or two or three more. Although there was maize there, it was but a single ear that had been produced. Then the heart of the maiden sank: “See, I am a sinner! I am a debtor! Where shall I obtain the netful of food that is asked for?” she asked. Thus she called upon the guardians of the food: “Come, arise. Come, stand up Lady of the Day Toh, and Lady of the Day Canil, Lady Cacao and Lady of the Day Tzi, you the guardians of the food of One Batz and One Chouen,” said the maiden. Then she took hold of the cornsilk, the cornsilk atop the ear of ripe maize, and pulled it upward. She did not pick the ear of maize, but it multiplied there in the net until the great net overflowed. Then when the maiden returned, the animals carried the net for her as she returned. But when she arrived and saw her grandmother, they gave back her pack frame, and she perspired as if she had carried it. Now when the Grandmother saw the food, the great netful, she said: “Where did you come by this food? From where was it stolen? I will surely go to see if you have finished off the maize plant and brought it all here,” said the Grandmother. Thus she went to see the maize plant. But there was the single ear of maize still on the maize plant, and it was clear where the net had been placed beneath it. The Grandmother thus rushed back to her home and said to the maiden: “This is but a sign that you are in truth my daughter-in-law. I will surely watch your deeds, for they that are to be my grandchildren are enchanted already,” the maiden was told.


NOW we shall relate the tale of the birth of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. THIS, therefore, is the account of their birth that we shall tell. When the day arrived, the maiden Lady Blood gave birth. The Grandmother did not see it when they were born, for these two arose suddenly. Hunahpu and Xbalanque were their names. They arose in the mountains, but when they were taken into the house they did not sleep: “Take them away and abandon them, for truly shrill are their mouths,” said the Grandmother. Thus they were placed on an anthill, and there they slept blissfully. Then they were taken out again and placed on a thornbush. This was done by One Batz and One Chouen, for they would have had them die there on the anthill and on the thornbush. They wanted this because of the treachery and jealousy of One Batz and One Chouen. Thus at first their younger brothers were not accepted in the house. They were not known. Therefore they just grew up in the mountains. Now One Batz and One Chouen were great flautists and singers. They had grown in greatness. They had passed through great affliction and misfortune, and thus they had become great. They were sages. They were not only flautists and singers, but they had also become writers and carvers. Everything they did was successful for them. For they knew of the circumstances of their birth, and certainly they were ingenious. They were the substitutes for their father who had gone to Xibalba and had died. Thus One Batz and One Chouen were great sages. In their hearts, they knew everything from the first, even before their younger brothers were created. But nothing ever came of these enchanted abilities because of their envy. The abuses born in their hearts merely fell upon their own backs and nothing came of them. Thus they were ignored by Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who went out every day to hunt with their blowguns. They were not loved by their grandmother, nor by One Batz and One Chouen. Nor were they given any food. When meals were prepared for them, One Batz and One Chouen would eat it all before they returned. But they did not become enraged or angry. They tolerated it, for they knew their own nature, and this was a light by which they could see. Thus when they returned each day, One Batz and One Chouen would take away their birds and eat them. They did not give anything to the twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. One Batz and One Chouen merely played the flute and sang. Then one day Hunahpu and Xbalanque returned without bringing any birds. The Grandmother was enraged because of this: “What is the reason that you have not brought any more birds?” Hunahpu and Xbalanque were asked. “This is why, our grandmother. Our birds are just stuck up in the top of the tree,” they said. “There is no way to climb to the top of the tree to reach them, our grandmother. Therefore we would like our older brothers to go with us to bring down the birds,” they said. “Very well,” said their older brothers. “We will go with you at dawn.” Thus they were defeated. The two of them had planned for the defeat of One Batz and One Chouen: “We shall merely overturn their nature. This is the essence of our words. Thus be it so, for great is the affliction that they have caused us. If it had been according to their desires, we, their younger brothers, would have died and been lost. In their hearts, we are looked upon as slaves, as if we worked for them. Instead, we shall make of them an example,” they said one to another. Thus they went there below the tree whose name is Yellow Tree, in company with their older brothers. As they went, they began to shoot with their blowguns, for there were innumerable birds in the top of the tree singing riotously. Their older brothers marvelled at this when they saw the birds. But not one of these birds that they saw fell down beneath the tree: “Our birds do not fall down here. Just go and bring them down,” they said to their older brothers. “Very well,” they said. And they climbed up to the top of the tree. But the tree began to grow larger. It swelled in size. Thus when they wanted to come back down, One Batz and One Chouen couldn’t climb down from the top of the tree. They therefore called down from the top of the tree: “What can we say, our younger brothers? Take pity on us. This tree is truly frightening to see, our younger brothers,” they called down from the top of the tree. Thus Hunahpu and Xbalanque called back to them: “Loosen your loincloths and retie the long end below your bellies. Pull out the tail end behind you. Then you will be able to walk freely,” they were told by their younger brothers. “Fine,” they said. And so they pulled out the ends of their loincloths, and these immediately became tails. They appeared just like spider monkeys. Thus they went up into the tops of the trees there in the small mountains and the great mountains. They went out into the forests, howling and chattering loudly in the branches of the trees. Thus was the defeat of One Batz and One Chouen at the hands of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. It was merely by their enchantments that it was done. Now when they arrived back at their home, they spoke with their grandmother and mother: “Our grandmother, something has happened to our older brothers. Their faces have changed. They go about like animals now,” they said. “If you have done something to your older brothers, you will cause me misery and anguish. Let this not be what you have done to your older brothers, my grandsons,” said the Grandmother to Hunahpu and Xbalanque. They replied then to their grandmother: “Do not grieve, our grandmother. You shall see again the faces of our older brothers. They will come back. But this is a test for you, our grandmother. Please do not laugh, for we will test their fate,” they said. Thus they began to play the flute. They played “Hunahpu Spider Monkey” on the flute.


THEN they began to sing, to play the flute, and to play the drum. And when they had taken up their flute and their drum, the Grandmother sat down with them as well. Thus they played the flute, calling them with the music. In song they called out their names, with the music whose name is “Hunahpu Spider Monkey.” Then arrived One Batz and One Chouen, dancing as they came. But when the Grandmother looked at them, she saw their ugly faces and laughed, for she could not contain her laughter. Therefore they immediately went away. Their faces could not be seen anymore, for they had gone back into the forest. “What now will you do, our grandmother? We shall try it four times in all. Only three times more we shall call them with flute music and song. But you must truly contain your laughter when we try it again,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Then they played the flute again, and again they came dancing in the middle of the house patio. Animatedly they did it, tempting their grandmother to laughter. Thus immediately the Grandmother began to laugh again. For the faces of the spider monkeys were truly funny. They were paunchy and naked below their chests. And when they came, she laughed a great deal, which made them depart again into the mountains. “Surely, what more can we do, our grandmother? This third time we shall try it again,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Thus they played the flute again, and again they came dancing. But this time the Grandmother was able to contain well her laughter. They therefore scampered on the wall. Their mouths were very red, and their faces were foolish. Their mouths were puckered and bushy. Their faces were silly, and they snorted at them. Now when she saw this, the Grandmother again burst out laughing. Never again were their faces seen because of the laughter of their grandmother. “But this once more, our grandmother, we shall call upon them.” Thus for the fourth time they played their flutes again, but this time they did not come back. Instead they remained out in the forest. Thus they spoke to their grandmother: “We tried, our grandmother, and at first they came back. We have tried to call them back again. But do not grieve. We are your grandsons, and we are here. Just love our mother, O grandmother. “Our older brothers will be remembered. Thus be it so. They were given names and also given titles. One Batz and One Chouen shall be called upon,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. And since that time they have been called upon by the flautists and the singers. The ancient ones also called upon them, they who were the writers and the carvers. A long time ago, they became animals. They became spider monkeys because of their pride, for they had abused their younger brothers according to the dictates of their hearts. Thus they were ruined. One Batz and One Chouen were lost, becoming animals. Thus their community and their home is now among the flautists and the singers. For great were their accomplishments when they dwelt with their grandmother and their mother.


THEN they began again to accomplish their deeds, to manifest themselves before the face of their grandmother and before the face of their mother. First they worked the maizefield: “We are going to farm the maizefield, our grandmother and our mother,” they said. “We are the substitutes for our older brothers,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Thus they took up their axes and their hoes, carrying them on their shoulders. Each of them also shouldered his blowgun and departed their home, having first left instructions with their grandmother to bring their food: “At midday come to give us our food, grandmother,” they said. “Very well then, my grandsons,” said their grandmother. Then they arrived there to farm the maizefield. They merely stuck the hoe into the ground, and it truly began to plow the earth. All by itself the hoe did the plowing for them. As for the axe, they just stuck it into the fork of a tree, and by its own strength it would fell it. Thus the one axe chopped and felled all the trees and bushes, feverishly working to cut down the trees all by itself. Now this, the hoe, would break up countless stalks and briars. Just the one hoe would clear countless mountains, both small and great, as it went. Then they gave instructions to an animal, Turtle Dove by name. Hunahpu and Xbalanque placed it atop a great stump and spoke to it: “When you see our grandmother coming to bring our food, immediately cry out that she has arrived. Then we will take up the hoe and the axe.” “Very well,” said the Turtle Dove. Thus they merely hunted with their blowguns. They didn’t truly farm the maize. And when the Turtle Dove cried out, they came quickly, the one taking up the hoe while the other one took up the axe. They would then put field debris on their heads and rub dirt on their hands. The one would dirty his face as if he had truly farmed the maizefield, while the other one would scatter wood chips on his head as if he had truly been cutting down trees. In this way they were seen by the Grandmother, and thus they were given to eat. They did not truly farm the maize, and so it was unmerited that she went to give them their food. And when they returned home they would say, “We are truly tired, our grandmother.” And they would rub and stretch their legs and arms in front of their grandmother to deceive her. But on the second day, they arrived at the maizefield to find that all the trees and bushes had been raised up again. All the stalks and briars had again fastened themselves together. “Who is playing tricks on us?” they asked therefore. Now it was all the animals, both great and small, that had done it—the puma and the jaguar, the deer and the rabbit, the fox and the coyote, the peccary and the coati, the small birds and the great birds. These had done it. In a single night they did it. Thus they began again to farm the maize. Again the earth was broken up. The trees were cut down. There they gathered their thoughts, over by the cut trees and the broken ground: “We will just watch over our maizefield tonight, and thus we will discover whatever it was that has done this,” they said when they gathered together their thoughts. So when they returned to the house, they said: “Someone perhaps has been playing tricks on us, our grandmother. When we arrived a while ago at our maizefield, we found that it had become a great field of grass and a great forest once again,” they said to their grandmother and their mother. “Therefore we shall go back and watch over it by night. For it is not good what has been done to us,” they said. Thus they concealed themselves. They went out again to cut down the trees, and then they hid themselves there, taking cover. At length all the animals gathered together, coming together as one. All the small and great animals arrived in the very heart of the night, chattering as they came. And this was their speech: “Arise trees; arise bushes,” they said when they came. Thus they congregated beneath the trees and the bushes, emerging where they could be seen before their faces. The first of these were the puma and the jaguar. The boys wanted to grab them, but they would not give themselves up. Then emerged the deer and the rabbit. They grabbed them by their tails, but these just broke off, leaving the tail of the deer behind in their hands along with the tail of the rabbit. Thus they still have shortened tails. Neither would these give themselves up—the fox or the coyote, the peccary or the coati. All the animals just passed on by in front of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Thus their hearts were troubled because they weren’t able to catch any of them. But one more came along behind all the rest. He scurried when he came, and they netted him. They snared the rat in a net. They caught him and squeezed him behind the head. According to their desire, they strangled him and burned his tail over a fire. Because they did this to the tail of the rat, their tails still do not have hair on them. And their eyes are the way they are because the boys, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, strangled him. “I must not die by your hands. Your task is not to be maize farmers. But there is something that is yours,” said the rat. “Where is that which is ours? Speak then,” the boys said to the rat. “Will you first let me go?” asked the rat. “My word is here in my belly. I will tell it to you if you first give me a little food.” “We will give you your food later, but tell us first,” he was told. “Very well then. It is what belonged to your fathers, One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu by name, who died in Xibalba. They left behind their gaming things hanging above the house—their yokes, their arm protectors, and their rubber ball as well. Your grandmother did not show these to you, for it was because of them that your fathers died.” “Is it not true? Do you truly know this?” the boys asked the rat. Thus they rejoiced in their hearts when they heard from the rat the news about the rubber ball. This, therefore, was given to the rat as his food—grains of maize, squash seeds, chili peppers, beans, pataxte, and cacao. “These, then, are yours. If anything has been swept out with the trash and has become exposed, then it is yours. You shall gnaw on it,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque to the rat. “Very well then, boys. But what will I say if your grandmother sees you?” he asked. “Don’t be disheartened,” they said to the rat. “We are here. We know what to say to our grandmother. We will lift you up onto the corner of the house to fetch them. Straightaway you will go up to where the things are hanging. We will be able to see it in the rafters of the house, reflected in our sauce.” Thus Hunahpu and Xbalanque gathered their thoughts and instructed him all night. And when it was truly midday, they arrived.


THE rat they carried could not be seen clearly when they arrived. While one went into the house, the other went around to the corner of the house and immediately lifted up the rat. Then they asked their mother for their food: “Just prepare for us a bite to eat,” they said. We desire chili sauce, our grandmother.” Thus their bite was prepared, and a plate of sauce was placed before them. But this was just a trick they were playing on their grandmother and their mother. They drained the water jug dry: “We are truly thirsty. Bring us something to drink,” they said to their grandmother. “All right,” she replied. Thus she left, leaving them behind to eat. But it was not true that they were hungry. It was merely a deception so that they could see the rat reflected in their chili sauce. There the rat was, behind the rubber ball where it hung above the house. This they saw reflected in their chili sauce. Then they sent forth a mosquito. The mosquito is an insect similar to a small biting fly. It went to the river and pierced the front of the Grandmother’s jug. Thus the water that she had raised leaked out from the front of the jug. Try as she might, the face of the jug would not be sealed. “What is our grandmother doing? We are gasping for water. We are parched with thirst!” they said to their mother. Thus they sent her away. Then the rat clawed at the ropes that held the rubber ball from the thatch roof above the house until it fell, along with the yokes, the arm protectors, and the leathers. They carried them away and hid them along the road leading to the ballcourt. Then they went back to where their grandmother was at the river, and there they found their grandmother and mother busily trying to seal the face of the jug. Thus they arrived at the river, each carrying his blowgun: “What have you been doing? Our hearts became weary, so we came,” they said. “Look at the front of my jug. It cannot be sealed off,” replied their grandmother. Immediately then they sealed it, and together they returned once more, leading the way before their grandmother. Thus was the discovery of this rubber ball.


AND so they went rejoicing as ballplayers to the ballcourt. For a long time they played ball there alone, sweeping clear the ballcourt of their father. Then the lords of Xibalba heard it: “Someone has begun to play again over our heads. Have they no shame, stomping about up there? Did not One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu die when they desired to puff themselves up before us? Go then to summon them here once again,” said One Death and Seven Death, along with all the lords. “Summon them here,” they said to their messengers. “Tell them, ‘They must come, say the lords. Here we shall play ball with them. In seven days, we will play, say the lords.’ Tell them this when you arrive there,” the messengers were told. Thus they came along the great cleared pathway, the road that led to the home of the boys. The messengers pursued them into the home of the Grandmother, but the boys were still playing ball when the messengers of Xibalba arrived. “The lords say, ‘They must surely come,’” said the messengers of Xibalba. Then the messengers of Xibalba set the date: “In seven days, they will be expected.” Such was the word left with Xmucane. “Very well then,” replied the Grandmother. “They shall go as summoned, you messengers.” Thus the messengers returned again, leaving the Grandmother heartbroken: “How shall I tell my grandsons of their summons? Were these not truly from Xibalba? They are just like the messengers who arrived in the past when their fathers went away to die,” said the Grandmother. Thus she wept bitterly in the house alone. Then a louse fell down on her. It itched, so she picked it up and put it in her hand. The louse scuttled as it went along. “My grandchild,” she asked the louse, “would you like me to send you to summon my grandsons at the ballcourt?” Thus he left as a summoner with this message: “Messengers have arrived with your grandmother saying that you are to come. The messengers of Xibalba declare, ‘In seven days you are to come,’ says your grandmother.” Such was the message given to the louse. And so he went, scuttling along the way. Now sitting in the road was a youthful toad by the name of Tamazul. “Where are you going?” asked the toad of the louse. “I am going to give the boys a message that is in my belly,” said the louse to Tamazul. “Very well then, but I see that you are not going very fast,” the toad said to the louse. “Wouldn’t you like me to swallow you? Then you would see how fast I could go. We would get there quickly.” “Very well,” said the louse to the toad. Thus he was licked up by the toad, who went hopping along his way. But he did not go fast. Presently, he was met by a great snake whose name was White Life. “Where are you going, boy Tamazul?” asked White Life. “I am a messenger with a message in my belly,” said the toad to the snake. “But I see that you aren’t going very fast. Perhaps I would arrive there more quickly,” said the snake to the toad. “Go right ahead,” he was told. Thus the toad was swallowed up by White Life. The snake, then, received his food and they still swallow toads today. Now this snake went quickly along his way. Then again the snake was met by the falcon, a great bird. And the snake was swallowed by the falcon. Then he arrived atop the ballcourt. Thus the hawk received his food, so that he still eats snakes in the mountains. When the falcon arrived, he alighted atop the edge of the ballcourt while Hunahpu and Xbalanque were rejoicing and playing ball. Then the falcon cried out: “Wak-ko! Wak-ko!” was the cry of the falcon. “What is that which is crying out? To our blowguns!” they said.


SO then they shot the falcon. The pellet from the blowgun buried itself straight into his eye, knocking him down. Thus he fell, and they went out to grab him and question him: “Why have you come?” they asked the falcon. “I have a message in my belly. But surely you must first cure my eye, and then I will tell it,” said the falcon. “Very well then,” they replied. So they took off a little of the surface of their rubber ball and put it in the face of the falcon. This they called Sliced Rubber. Immediately he was cured by them, making good again the sight of the falcon. “Tell it then,” they said to the falcon. Thus he vomited the great snake. “Speak!” they said again to the snake. “All right,” he replied. And so he vomited the toad. “What is your errand? Speak!” the toad was told. “My message is here in my belly,” said again the toad. Then he tried to throw up, but he did not vomit. His mouth just drooled. He tried, but nothing did he vomit. Thus the boys wished to beat him. “You are a deceiver,” he was told. Then they squashed his rear end with their feet, crushing the bones of his backside with their feet. Again he tried, but he just salivated at the mouth. So they pried open the mouth of the toad. It was pried open wide by the boys. They searched in his mouth and found that the louse was merely stuck in front of the toad’s teeth. He was just in his mouth. He hadn’t really been swallowed. It was merely as if he had been swallowed. Thus the toad was defeated. As a result, it is not obvious what food was given to him. He could not go fast; thus he merely became spoil for the snake. “Speak!” the louse was told. Thus he spoke his word: “The Grandmother says to you boys, ‘Go and summon them. Messengers have arrived from Xibalba, the messengers of One Death and Seven Death. ‘In seven days they will come here to play ball with us. They must bring their gaming things—the rubber ball, yokes, arm protectors, and leathers. They will liven up this place, say the lords.’ ‘This is their word that has come,’ says your grandmother. ‘Thus you must come,’ the Grandmother truly says. Your grandmother weeps. She calls out that you must come.” “Is it not true?” they asked in their hearts when they heard this. And immediately they returned to advise their grandmother.


“SURELY we must go, our grandmother. But first we will advise you. This is the sign of our word that we will leave behind. Each of us shall first plant an ear of unripe maize in the center of the house. If they dry up, this is a sign of our death. ‘They have died,’ you will say when they dry up. If then they sprout again, ‘They are alive,’ you will say, our grandmother and our mother. This is the sign of our word that is left with you,” they said. Thus Hunahpu planted one, and Xbalanque planted another in the house. They did not plant them in the mountains or in fertile ground. It was merely in dry ground, in the middle of the interior of their home, that they planted them. Then they left, each with his blowgun, and descended to Xibalba. They quickly went down the steps, passing through various river canyons. They passed through the midst of many birds. “Flocks” was the name of the birds. And again they passed over Pus River and Blood River. In their hearts, the Xibalbans had intended these as traps. But they were not troubled. They just passed over them, floating on their blowguns. When they came to the four crossroads, they already knew the roads of Xibalba— the Black Road, the White Road, the Red Road, and the Blue/Green Road. Then they sent an insect named Mosquito. They sent him on ahead to obtain for them what he could hear: “You shall bite each one of them in turn. Bite the first one seated there and then keep on biting them until you have finished biting all of them. It will be truly yours then to suck the blood of people on the road,” the mosquito was told. “Very well then,” said the mosquito. So then he went along the Black Road until he alighted behind the effigies of carved wood. The first ones were all dressed up. He bit the first one, but there was no response. Then he bit the second one seated there, but he did not speak either. Next he bit the third one seated there, who was One Death—“Ouch!” said each one when he was bitten. “What?” was their reply: “Ow!” said One Death. “What, One Death? What is it?” “I am being bitten!” “It’s just . . . Ow! What was that? Now I am being bitten!” said the fourth one seated there. “What, Seven Death? What is it?” “I am being bitten!” Next, the one seated fifth said, “Ow! Ow!” “Flying Scab,” asked Seven Death, “what is it?” “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the sixth one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” “What, Gathered Blood? What is it?” asked Flying Scab. “I am being bitten!” he said. Next, the seventh one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” he said. “What, Pus Demon? What is it?” asked Gathered Blood. “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the eighth one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” he said. “What, Jaundice Demon? What is it?” asked Pus Demon. “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the ninth one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” he said. “What, Bone Staff? What is it?” asked Jaundice Demon. “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the tenth one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” “What, Skull Staff? What is it?” asked Bone Staff. “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the eleventh one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” he said next. “What, Wing? What is it?” asked Skull Staff. “I am being bitten!” he said. Next, the twelfth one seated there was bitten. “Ow!” he said. “What, Packstrap? What is it?” asked Wing. “I am being bitten!” Next was bitten the thirteenth one seated there. “Ow!” “What, Bloody Teeth? What is it?” asked Packstrap. “I am being bitten!” he said. Then the fourteenth seated one was bitten. “Ow!” “What, Bloody Claws? What is it?” asked Bloody Teeth. “I am being bitten!” he said. Thus their names were named. Each of them revealed the name of the other. Each of the individuals in order of their rank had his name revealed by the one who sat next to him. Not one of their names was missed until all of the names were named when they were bitten by a hair that Hunahpu had plucked from the front of his knee. It wasn’t really a mosquito that had bitten them. And so Hunahpu and Xbalanque heard the names of all of them. Thus they came to where the Xibalbans were. “Hail these lords who are seated there,” said a tempter. “These are not lords. These are merely effigies carved of wood,” they said. Then they hailed each one of them: “Morning, One Death. Morning, Seven Death. Morning, Flying Scab. Morning, Gathered Blood. Morning, Pus Demon. Morning, Jaundice Demon. Morning, Bone Staff. Morning, Skull Staff. Morning, Wing. Morning, Packstrap. Morning, Bloody Teeth. Morning, Bloody Claws,” they said when they arrived there. All of them had their faces revealed, for all of their names were named. Not one of their names was missed. When they were called upon, they gave the names of each one without leaving any of them out. “Sit down here,” they were told, for it was desired that they sit on top of the bench. But they didn’t want to: “This isn’t a bench for us. It is merely a heated stone,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Thus they were not defeated. “Very well then, just go into that house,” they were told. So then they entered into the House of Darkness. But they were not defeated there either. In their hearts, the Xibalbans ordained that they would be defeated there in this, the first of the trials of Xibalba. Thus they entered first into the House of Darkness. There the messenger of One Death gave to them a torch, already burning, and a cigar for each of them. And the messenger said when he arrived: “Thus says the lord: ‘Here is their torch. It must be given back at dawn along with the cigars. They must return them.’” “Very well,” they replied. But they didn’t light the torch. They just placed the red tail feather of a macaw on it as a substitute for flame. Thus the night watchmen saw it as if it were burning. As for the cigars, they just put fireflies on their tips. All night they would glow brilliantly because of them. “We have defeated them,” said the night watchmen. But the torch was not used up, for it was only an illusion. Neither did the cigars have anything burning on them. It was merely an illusion as well. Thus they returned them whole to the lords: “What becomes of them? Where did they come from? Who begat them? Who gave them birth? Truly our hearts are troubled, for it is not good what they are doing to us. Their appearance as well as their nature are unique,” they said one to another. Then they summoned all of the lords: “Let us play ball, boys,” they were told. But first they were questioned by One Death and Seven Death: “Where did you really come from? Would you tell us, boys?” they were asked by the Xibalbans. “We must have come from somewhere, but we don’t know.” Only this they said. They told them nothing. “Very well then. We will just go and play ball, boys,” the Xibalbans said to them. “Fine,” they replied. “Here is our rubber ball that we will use,” said the Xibalbans. “No, we will use ours,” said the boys. “Not so. We will use this one that is ours,” said again the Xibalbans. “Very well,” said the boys. “It appears to be a skull, but it is merely drawn on the ball,” said the Xibalbans. “It is not. It is a skull we tell you,” said the boys. “Not so,” replied the Xibalbans. “Very well then,” said Hunahpu. Thus the Xibalbans threw down their rubber ball, which landed before the yoke of Hunahpu. And when the Xibalbans saw this, the White Dagger came out of their rubber ball. It clashed about over the ground of the entire ballcourt, threatening the boys. “What is that?” asked Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “You just want death for us. Did we not answer your summons when your messenger came? Have pity on us. We will just go, then,” said the boys to them. It was their desire that the boys would straightaway die there because of the blade. They were to have been defeated. But it was not so. It was the Xibalbans who were now defeated by the boys. “Don’t go, boys. We will just play with your ball,” the boys were told. “Very well then,” they replied. Thus they took out their rubber ball, and it was thrown down. Then their prizes were chosen: “What will we win?” the Xibalbans asked. “Surely it is your choice,” the boys said. “Our prize shall be merely four bowls of flowers,” said the Xibalbans. “Very well. What kinds of flowers?” the boys asked the Xibalbans. “One bowl of red petals, one bowl of white petals, one bowl of yellow petals, and one bowl of the large ones,” said the Xibalbans. “Very well,” replied the boys. So then the ball was dropped into play. They were equal in strength, but the boys made many plays with the ball for they played with all their hearts. At last, the boys gave themselves up to be defeated, and the Xibalbans thus rejoiced at their defeat: “We have done well. We have already defeated them at the first attempt,” said the Xibalbans. “Where shall they go to get the flowers?” they asked in their hearts. “You will give to us the flowers as our prize early in the morning,” the boys Hunahpu and Xbalanque were told by the Xibalbans. “Very well. We will play ball again early in the morning,” they said. Then they made their plans together. Thus the boys entered into Blade House, the second trial of Xibalba. Here it was desired that they would be sliced apart by the blades. They were to have died quickly in their hearts. But they did not die. They spoke to the blades, instructing them in this way: “Yours shall be the flesh of animals,” they said to the blades. Thus they stopped moving. As one they all lowered the points of their blades. And while they were passing the night in Blade House, they called out to all the ants: “Cutting ants, conquering ants, come! Go and get flower blossoms as prizes for the lords.” “Very well,” they said. Then the ants went to get flowers from the garden of One Death and Seven Death. Now the Xibalbans had previously instructed the guardians of their flowers: “Look after our flowers with all vigilance. Do not allow them to be stolen. For by these we have defeated the boys. What if they were able to obtain these as our prize? Thus do not sleep all night.” “Very well,” they said then. But the guardians of the garden did not notice anything. They would just cry out aimlessly in the branches of the trees. They just toddled along through the garden repeating their song: “Shpurpuwek, shpurpuwek,” said the one when he called. “Puhuyu, puhuyu,” said the other, the whippoorwill by name, when he called. These two were the guardians of the garden of One Death and Seven Death. They didn’t notice the ants stealing that which they were guarding. They swarmed and thronged, carrying away the flowers. They went to cut down flowers from the tops of trees, gathering them together with those from below the trees. All this they did while the guardians were crying out, not noticing that their tails and wings were being gnawed on as well. The flowers were thus loosened until they fell down to be gathered up. The four bowls were thus quickly filled with their flowers. By dawn they had all been collected. Then the messengers arrived to summon them: “‘Come!’ says the lord. ‘May they straightaway bring hither our prize,’” the boys were told. “Very well,” they answered. For they had collected the flowers into the four bowls. Thus they went, arriving before the lords. Now the lords received the flowers with woeful faces. Thus the Xibalbans were defeated. The boys had just sent ants, and in one night they had collected the flowers in the bowls. Thus the Xibalbans all turned pale. Their faces were pallid because of the flowers. And so they summoned the flower guardians: “For what reason have you allowed our flowers to be stolen? These flowers that you see are ours,” the guardians were told. “We noticed nothing, O lords. But our tails have surely suffered for it,” they replied. Then their mouths were split open as punishment for allowing that which they were guarding to be stolen. Thus One Death and Seven Death were defeated by Hunahpu and Xbalanque. And this is the reason why the mouths of whippoorwills gape wide open to this day. Then the ball was dropped into play again, but the game was even. And when they had finished playing ball, they planned together once more: “At dawn again,” said the Xibalbans. “Very well,” said the boys when they had finished.


AND so they now entered the House of Cold. The cold here was immeasurable. The interior of the House of Cold was thick with hail. But straightaway the boys caused the cold to dissipate. They did it in. They ruined and destroyed the cold. Thus they did not die, but rather were alive when it dawned again. The Xibalbans had wanted them to die there, but this was not to be. Instead they were just fine when the dawn came. So then their guardians came again to summon them. “What is this? Haven’t they died?” asked the lords of Xibalba. And again they marveled at the deeds of the boys, Hunahpu and Xbalanque.


NEXT they entered into Jaguar House, which was crowded inside with jaguars: “Do not eat us. We will give you what is yours,” the jaguars were told. Then they scattered bones before the beasts, who voraciously crunched them. The hearts of the night watchmen found this sweet, saying, “They are finished. They have given themselves up. They have eaten their hearts, and now these are their skeletons that are being gnawed upon.” But they didn’t die. They were just fine when they came out again from Jaguar House. “What kind of people are these? Where have they come from?” asked all the Xibalbans.


NEXT they went into the fire, for there was a House of Fire. There was nothing but fire inside. But they were not burned. They were to have been roasted and set aflame. Instead they were just fine when dawn came. It had been desired that they would straightaway die when they passed through there, but it was not so. Thus all the Xibalbans lost heart as a result.


NEXT they were put inside Bat House, which had only bats inside. It was a house of death bats. These were great beasts with snouts like blades that they used as murderous weapons. When they arrived there, they were to be finished off. They had to crawl inside their blowguns to sleep so that they would not be eaten there in this house. Nevertheless, it was because of a single death bat that they gave themselves up in defeat. It came swooping down. But this was merely a way to manifest themselves when it occured. Thus they pleaded for wisdom all that night as the bats made a din with their flapping wings. “Keeleetz! Keeleetz!” they said all night long. At length things quieted a little, and the bats became motionless. Thus one of the boys crawled to the end of his blowgun. Xbalanque said, “Hunahpu, do you see the dawn yet?” “I will go and see for certain if has happened,” he replied. Hunahpu truly wanted to look out of the mouth of his blowgun to see the dawn. But when he did so, his head was cut off by the death bat, leaving the greater part of his body behind. “What? Hasn’t it dawned yet?” asked Xbalanque. But Hunahpu did not move. “What is going on? Hunahpu wouldn’t have left. What then has he done?” But nothing moved; only the rustling of wings was heard. Thus Xbalanque was ashamed: “Alas, we have given in already,” he said. At the word of One Death and Seven Death, the head was placed atop the ballcourt. Thus all the Xibalbans rejoiced because of the head of Hunahpu. Then Xbalanque summoned all of the animals—the coati and the peccary, and all the animals both small and great—while it was still dark, early in the morning. He then entreated them for their food: “I send each of you to bring the food that belongs to you,” said Xbalanque to them. “Very well,” they said. Then they all went to obtain what was theirs. When they returned they were many. One brought back rotten things, another brought leaves, another brought stones, and yet another brought dirt. Thus the animals, both small and great, each brought their various foods. Now after many had come, the coati arrived last of all bringing a chilacayote squash. She came rolling it along with her nose. This was to be transformed into the head of Hunahpu. Immediately its eyes were carved upon it. Numerous sages came down from the sky. For Heart of Sky, he who is Huracan, appeared here. He arrived here in Bat House. But the face wasn’t completed successfully in time. Only its beautiful covering had appeared. It only had the ability to speak by the time the horizon of the sky began to redden, for it was about to dawn. “Blacken it again with soot, old man,” the possum was told. “Fine,” replied the Grandfather. And he blackened the sky with soot until it was dark again. Four times the Grandfather blackened it with soot. Thus today people say, “The possum blackens it with soot.” Finally the sky succeeded in turning red, and then blue when it began its existence. “Is it not good?” Hunahpu was asked. “Yes, it is good,” he replied. For his head was well supported. It became just like a true head. Then they planned a deception; they took counsel together: “Don’t play ball. Just look threatening. I will surely be the one to accomplish it,” said Xbalanque to him. Then he instructed a rabbit: “Be there at the head of the ballcourt in the tomato patch,” the rabbit was told by Xbalanque. “And when the rubber ball comes your way, hop away until I accomplish my task,” the rabbit was told. Thus he was given his instructions there in the night. And when it dawned, the both of them were well.


SO the ball was again dropped into play. The head of Hunahpu was first placed atop the ballcourt. “We have already triumphed. You are finished. You gave in, so give it up,” they were told. But Hunahpu just called out: “Strike the head as if it were a rubber ball,” they were told. “No harm will come to us now, for we are holding our own.” Thus the lords of Xibalba threw down the ball where it was met by Xbalanque. The ball landed before his yoke and bounced away. It sailed clear over the ballcourt. It just bounced once, then twice, landing in the tomatoes. Then the rabbit came out, hopping along. All the Xibalbans thus went after him. The Xibalbans all went after the rabbit, shouting and rushing about. Thus the twins were able to retrieve the head of Hunahpu, replacing it where the chilacayote squash had been. They then placed the chilacayote squash on the ballcourt, while the true head of Hunahpu was his once more. Therefore they both rejoiced again. While the Xibalbans were out searching for their rubber ball, the twins retrieved it from the tomato patch. And when they had done so, they called out: “Come on! We found our rubber ball!” they said. Thus they were carrying the round ball when the Xibalbans returned. “What was it that we saw?” they asked. And so they began again to play ball, both teams making equal plays until at last Xbalanque struck the chilacayote squash, strewing it all over the ballcourt. Thus its seeds were scattered before them. “What is this that has been brought here? Where is he that brought it?” asked the Xibalbans. Thus the lords of Xibalba were defeated by Hunahpu and Xbalanque. They had passed through great affliction, but despite everything that had been done to them, they did not die.


THIS, then, is the memorial to the deaths of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. We shall now tell it in memory of their death. What they had planned to do, they had done despite all their afflictions and misfortunes. Thus they did not die in the trials of Xibalba. Neither were they defeated by all the ravenous beasts that lived there. And then they summoned two seers. Visionary persons they were. The names of these sages were Descended and Ascended: “The lords of Xibalba may inquire of you concerning our death. They are even now putting together their thoughts on the matter, because we have not yet died. We have not been defeated. We confounded their trials. Nor have the animals seized us. This, therefore, is the sign that is in our hearts. Heated stones will be the means by which our murder will be accomplished. Thus when all Xibalba has gathered together to determine how to ensure our death, this shall be the idea that you will propose. If you are asked about our death when we are burned, this is what you shall tell them, you, Descended and you, Ascended, if they should speak to you about it: “‘Wouldn’t it perhaps be good if we scatter their bones in the canyon?’ “Then you are to say, ‘This would not be good, for they would merely arise again to new life.’ “Then they will say to you, ‘Perhaps it would be good to merely hang them in the top of a tree?’ “You will then reply, ‘Certainly that would not be good, for you would see their faces before you.’ “Then the third time they will say, ‘Would it be a good thing if we merely scatter their bones in the course of the river?’ “If then you are asked this, you will reply, ‘It is good that they should die. And it would be good if their bones were ground upon the face of a stone like finely ground maize flour. Each one of them should be ground separately. Then these should be scattered there in the course of the river. They should be sprinkled on the river that winds among the small and great mountains.’ “This, then, is what you will say. Thus will be made manifest what we have said to you in counsel,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. For when they had thus counseled them, they already knew of their death. The Xibalbans were even then putting together the great heated stones in the form of a pit oven, placing large hot coals within it. Then came the messengers of One Death and Seven Death to accompany them: “The lords say to us: ‘May they come! Bring them so that they may see what we have cooked up for them.’ This is the word of the lords unto you, boys,” they were told. “Very well,” they replied. Thus they went quickly to the mouth of the pit oven. There the Xibalbans wanted to force them into playing with them: “Let us jump over this our sweet drink. Four times each of us will go across it, boys,” they were told by One Death. “You cannot trick us with this. Do we not already know the means of our death, O lords? You shall surely see it,” they said. Then they turned to face one another, spread out their arms and together they went into the pit oven. Thus both of them died there. Then all the Xibalbans rejoiced at this. They contentedly shouted and whistled: “We have defeated them. None too soon have they given themselves up,” they said. Then they summoned Descended and Ascended, with whom word had been left by the boys. And the Xibalbans divined of them what was to be done with their bones. Thus according to their word, the bones were ground up and strewn along the course of the river. But they did not go far away; they just straightaway sank there beneath the water. And when they appeared again, it was as chosen boys, for thus they had become.


ON the fifth day they appeared again. People saw them in the river, for the two of them appeared like people-fish. Now when their faces were seen by the Xibalbans, they made a search for them in the rivers. And on the very next day, they appeared again as two poor orphans. They wore rags in front and rags on their backs. Rags were thus all they had to cover themselves. But they did not act according to their appearance when they were seen by the Xibalbans. For they did the Dance of the Whippoorwill and the Dance of the Weasel. They danced the Armadillo and the Centipede. They danced the Injury, for many marvels they did then. They set fire to a house as if it were truly burning, then immediately recreated it again as the Xibalbans watched with admiration. Then again they sacrificed themselves. One of them would die, surely throwing himself down in death. Then having been killed, he would immediately be revived. And the Xibalbans simply watched them while they did it. Now all of this was merely the groundwork for the defeat of the Xibalbans at their hands.


AT length the news of their dances came to the ears of the lords One Death and Seven Death. And when they had heard of it, they said: “Who are these two poor orphans? Is it truly delightful? Is it true that their dancing and all that they do is beautiful?” For the lords were delighted with the account when they heard it. Thus they entreated their messengers to summon them to come: “Say this to them: ‘May they come so that we may watch them, for we marvel at them,’ say the lords.” Thus the messengers went to the dancers and repeated the words of the lords to them. “We don’t want to, for in truth we are timid. We would be ashamed to enter into such a lordly house! Our faces are truly ugly, and our eyes are just wide in poverty. Don’t they see that we are merely dancers? What then would we say to our fellow orphans? We have responsibilities. They also desire our dances, for they revive their faces with us. It is not right that we should do the same with the lords. Therefore we do not want to do this, O messengers,” said Hunahpu and Xbalanque. But they were pestered, threatened with misfortune and pain. And so they went with apprehension, for they didn’t want to be going any too soon. Many times they had to be prodded because they just walked along slowly, making little progress, while the messengers who brought them led the way to the lords.


AT length they arrived before the lords. They pretended to be humble, prostrating themselves when they came. They humbled themselves, stooping over and bowing. They hid themselves with rags, giving the appearance that they were truly just poor orphans when they arrived. Then they were asked where their home mountain was and who their people were. They were also asked about their mother and their father: “Where do you come from?” they were asked. “We do not know, O lord. Neither do we know the faces of our mother or our father. We were still small when they died,” they just said. They didn’t tell them anything. “Very well then. On with the spectacle. What do you want us to give you as payment?” they were asked. “We don’t want anything. Truly we are frightened,” they said again to the lord. “Do not be afraid or timid. Dance! First you will do that dance in which you sacrifice yourselves. Then burn down my home. Do everything that you know. We would watch this, for it was the desire of our hearts that you be summoned. Because you are poor orphans, we will pay whatever you ask as your price,” they were told. Thus they began their songs and their dances, and all the Xibalbans came until the place was overflowing with spectators. They danced everything. They danced the Weasel. They danced the Whippoorwill. They danced the Armadillo. Then the lord spoke to them: “Sacrifice my dog, then revive him again,” they were told. “All right,” they replied. So they sacrificed his dog and then revived him once more. The dog was truly happy when they revived him. He vigorously wagged his tail when they brought him back to life. Then the lord spoke again to them: “Now you must surely burn my home,” they were told. So then they burned the home of the lord. The house was overflowing with all the lords, yet none were burned. Immediately it was restored again. Thus the home of One Death was not lost after all. All the lords marveled, therefore, and greatly rejoiced at their dances. The lord thus spoke again to them: “Now kill a person. Sacrifice him, but not so that he really dies,” they were told. “Very well,” they said. So they grabbed a person and sacrificed him. They extracted the heart of one of them and placed it before the lords. Now One Death and Seven Death marveled at this, for immediately that person was revived again by them. When he had been revived, his heart greatly rejoiced. And again the lords marveled at it: “Now sacrifice yourselves. We would see this. Truly it is the desire of our hearts that you dance,” said again the lords. “Very well then, O lord,” they replied. So then they sacrificed themselves. Hunahpu was sacrificed by Xbalanque. Each of his legs and arms was severed. His head was cut off and placed far away. His heart was dug out and placed on a leaf. Now all these lords of Xibalba were drunk at the sight, as Xbalanque went on dancing. “Arise!” he said, and immediately he was brought back to life again. Now the lords rejoiced greatly. One Death and Seven Death rejoiced as if they were the ones doing it. They were so involved that it was as if they themselves were dancing.


FOR it was the desire of the lords to abandon their hearts to the dances of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Then came the words of One Death and Seven Death: “Do it to us! Sacrifice us!” they said. “Sacrifice us in the same way,” said One Death and Seven Death to Hunahpu and Xbalanque. “Very well then. Surely you will be revived. Are you not death? For we are here to gladden you, O lords, along with your vassals and your servants,” they said therefore to the lords. The first to be sacrificed was the very head of all the lords, One Death by name, the lord of Xibalba. He was dead then, this One Death. Next they grabbed Seven Death. But they didn’t revive them. Thus the Xibalbans took to their heels when they saw that the lords had died. Their hearts were now taken from their chests. Both of them had been torn open as punishment for what they had done. Straightaway the one lord was executed and not revived. The other lord had then begged humbly, weeping before the dancers. He would not accept it, for he had become disoriented: “Take pity on me,” he said in his regret. Then all of their vassals and servants fled into the great canyon. They packed themselves into the great ravine until they were piled up one on top of the other. Then innumerable ants swarmed into the canyon, as if they had been driven there. And when the ants came, the Xibalbans all bowed themselves down, giving themselves up. They approached begging humbly and weeping. For the lords of Xibalba were defeated. It was just a miracle, for the boys had transformed themselves before them. And then they declared their names. They revealed their names before all Xibalba.


“HEAR our names! We shall now declare them. We shall also declare the names of our fathers to you. We are they whose names are Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Our fathers are they who you killed, One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu by name. We are the avengers of the misfortune and affliction of our fathers. For this reason, we have endured all the tribulations that you have caused us. Thus we shall now destroy you all. We will kill you, for none among you shall now be saved,” they were told. Then all Xibalba begged humbly, weeping. “Take pity on us, you, Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Truly we have wronged your fathers that you have named—they who are buried at Crushing Ballcourt,” they said. “Very well. Here then is our word that we declare to you. Hearken all you of Xibalba; for never again will you or your posterity be great. Your offerings also will never again be great. They will henceforth be reduced to croton sap. No longer will clean blood be yours. Unto you will be given only worn-out griddles and pots, only flimsy and brittle things. “You shall surely eat only the creatures of the grass and the creatures of the wastelands. No longer will you be given the children of the light, those begotten in the light. Only things of no importance will fall before you. “Only the sinner and the malevolent, the wretch and the molester who clearly have sinned, will be given to you. No longer will you be able to seize suddenly just any person. You will be called upon only over the sap of the croton,” they were told, all they of Xibalba. Thus began their devastation, the ruin of their being called upon in worship. Their glory was not great in the past, for they wanted only conflict with the people of ancient times. Surely they were not true gods. Their names merely inspired fear, for their faces were evil. They were strife makers, traitors, and tempters to sin and violence. They were also masters of deception, of the black view and the white view. They were called masters of harm and vexation. Fundamentally their faces were hidden. Thus their greatness and glory were destroyed. Never again would their dominion become great. This was the accomplishment of Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Now at the same time, the Grandmother was weeping, crying out before the ears of unripe maize that had been left planted. They had sprouted, but then they dried up when they were burned in the pit oven. Then the ears of maize had sprouted once again, and the Grandmother had burned copal incense before them as a memorial. The heart of their grandmother rejoiced when the maize sprouted a second time. Thus they were deified by their grandmother. She named it Center House, Center Ancestral Plot, Revitalized Maize, and Leveled Earth. She named it Center House and Center Harvest for it was in the very center of the interior of their home where they had planted the ears of maize. She named it Leveled Earth and Revitalized Maize for it was upon level ground that the ears of maize had been planted. She named it Revitalized Maize because the maize had sprouted again. These names were given by Xmucane to what Hunahpu and Xbalanque had left planted. This was a memorial to them by their grandmother. Now their fathers, One Hunahpu and Seven Hunahpu, had died long ago. They now went, therefore, to see the face of their father there at Xibalba. Their father spoke to them when Xibalba was defeated.


HERE now is the adornment of their father by them, along with the adornment of Seven Hunahpu. For they went to adorn them at Crushing Ballcourt. They merely wanted his face to be restored. Thus they asked him to name everything—his mouth, his nose, and his eyes. He was able to recover the first name, but then little more was said. He did not say the corresponding names for that which is above the mouth. Still, this had been said, and thus they honored him. Thus the heart of their father was left behind at Crushing Ballcourt. His sons then said to him: “Here you will be called upon. It shall be so.” Thus his heart was comforted. “The child who is born in the light, and the son who is begotten in the light shall go out to you first. They shall worship you first. Your name shall not be forgotten. Thus be it so,” they said to their father when they comforted his heart. “We are merely the avengers of your death and your loss, for the affliction and misfortune that were done to you.” Thus was their counsel when they had defeated all Xibalba. Then they arose as the central lights. They arose straight into the sky. One of them arose as the sun, and the other as the moon. Thus the womb of the sky was illuminated over the face of the earth, for they came to dwell in the sky. The four hundred boys who had died at the hands of Zipacna also rose up to become their companions. They became a constellation of the sky.


THIS, then, is the beginning of the conception of humanity, when that which would become the flesh of mankind was sought. Then spoke they who are called She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, the Framer and the Shaper, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent: “The dawn approaches, and our work is not successfully completed. A provider and a sustainer have yet to appear—a child of light, a son of light. Humanity has yet to appear to populate the face of the earth,” they said. Thus they gathered together and joined their thoughts in the darkness, in the night. They searched and they sifted. Here they thought and they pondered. Their thoughts came forth bright and clear. They discovered and established that which would become the flesh of humanity. This took place just a little before the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars above the heads of the Framer and the Shaper.


IT was from within the places called Paxil and Cayala that the yellow ears of ripe maize and the white ears of ripe maize came. THESE were the names of the animals that obtained their food—fox and coyote, parakeet and raven. Four, then, were the animals that revealed to them the yellow ears of maize and the white ears of maize. They came from Paxil and pointed out the path to get there. Thus was found the food that would become the flesh of the newly framed and shaped people. Water was their blood. It became the blood of humanity. The ears of maize entered into their flesh by means of She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons. Thus they rejoiced over the discovery of that excellent mountain that was filled with delicious things, crowded with yellow ears of maize and white ears of maize. It was crowded as well with pataxte and chocolate, with countless zapotes and anonas, with jocotes and nances, with matasanos and honey. From within the places called Paxil and Cayala came the sweetest foods in the citadel. All the small foods and great foods were there, along with the small and great cultivated fields. The path was thus revealed by the animals. The yellow ears of maize and the white ears of maize were then ground fine with nine grindings by Xmucane. Food entered their flesh, along with water to give them strength. Thus was created the fatness of their arms. The yellowness of humanity came to be when they were made by they who are called She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, by Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent. Thus their frame and shape were given expression by our first Mother and our first Father. Their flesh was merely yellow ears of maize and white ears of maize. Mere food were the legs and arms of humanity, of our first fathers. And so there were four who were made, and mere food was their flesh.


THESE are the names of the first people who were framed and shaped: the first person was Balam Quitze, the second was Balam Acab, the third was Mahucutah, and the fourth was Iqui Balam. These, then, were the names of our first mothers and fathers.


IT is said that they were merely given frame and shape. They had no mother. They had no father. They were merely lone men, as we would say. No woman gave them birth. Nor were they begotten by the Framer or the Shaper, by She Who Has Borne Children or He Who Has Begotten Sons. Their frame and shape were merely brought about by the miraculous power and the spirit essence of the Framer and the Shaper, of She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, of Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent. Thus their countenances appeared like people. People they came to be. They were able to speak and converse. They were able to look and listen. They were able to walk and hold things with their hands. They were excellent and chosen people. Their faces were manly in appearance. They had their breath, therefore they became. They were able to see as well, for straightaway their vision came to them. Perfect was their sight, and perfect was their knowledge of everything beneath the sky. If they gazed about them, looking intently, they beheld that which was in the sky and that which was upon the earth. Instantly they were able to behold everything. They did not have to walk to see all that existed beneath the sky. They merely saw it from wherever they were. Thus their knowledge became full. Their vision passed beyond the trees and the rocks, beyond the lakes and the seas, beyond the mountains and the valleys. Truly they were very esteemed people, these Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam.


THEN the Framer and the Shaper asked them: “What is the nature of your existence? Do you know it? Do you not look and listen? Are not your speech and your walk good? Behold now, therefore, and see that which is beneath the sky. Are not the mountains clear? Do you not see the valleys? Try it then,” they were told. Thus their vision of everything beneath the sky was completed, and they gave thanks to the Framer and the Shaper: “Truly we thank you doubly, triply that we were created, that we were given our mouths and our faces. We are able to speak and to listen. We are able to ponder and to move about. We know much, for we have learned that which is far and near. We have seen the great and the small, all that exists in the sky and on the earth. We thank you, therefore, that we were created, that we were given frame and shape. We became because of you, our Grandmother, and you, our Grandfather,” they said when they gave thanks for their frame and shape. Their knowledge of everything that they saw was complete—the four corners and the four sides, that which is within the sky and that which is within the earth. But this did not sound good to the Framer and the Shaper: “It is not good what they have said, they that we have framed and shaped. They said, ‘We have learned everything, great and small.’”


THUS their knowledge was taken back by She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons: “What now can be done to them so that their vision reaches only nearby, so that only a little of the face of the earth can be seen by them? For it is not good what they say. Is not their existence merely framed, merely shaped? It is a mistake that they have become like gods. “But if they do not multiply or are increased, when will the first planting be? When will it dawn? If they do not increase, when will it be so? Therefore we will merely undo them a little now. That is what is wanted, because it is not good what we have found out. Their works will merely be equated with ours. Their knowledge will extend to the furthest reaches, and they will see everything.” Thus spoke Heart of Sky and Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt and Sudden Thunderbolt, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, the Framer and the Shaper, as they are called. Thus they remade the essence of that which they had framed and shaped.


THEIR eyes were merely blurred by Heart of Sky. They were blinded like breath upon the face of a mirror. Thus their eyes were blinded. They could see only nearby; things were clear to them only where they were. Thus their knowledge was lost. The wisdom of the first four people was lost there at their foundation, at their beginning. Thus were the framing and the shaping of our first grandfathers and fathers by Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth. Then their companions, their wives, also came to be. It was the gods alone who conceived them as well. As if it were in their sleep they received them. The women were truly beautiful who were with Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. Thus when the men were brought to life, their wives truly came to be as well. At once their hearts rejoiced because of their mates. These, then, are the names of their wives: Cahapaluna was the name of the wife of Balam Quitze. Chomiha was the name of the wife of Balam Acab. Tzununiha was the name of the wife of Mahucutah. Caquixaha was the name of the wife of Iqui Balam. These, therefore, were the names of their wives, they who came to be our rulers. These were they who multiplied the nations both small and great. This, therefore, was our foundation, we the Quiché people. There were many who came to be bloodletters and sacrificers. There are no longer merely four now, but four were the mothers of the Quiché people. Each of the people had different names when they multiplied there in the East. Truly these became the names of the people— Sovereign, Ballplayer, Masker, and Sun Lord. These are the titles of the people. It was there in the East that they multiplied. The beginning of the Tamub and the Ilocab is known. As one they came from there in the East. Balam Quitze was the grandfather, the father of nine great houses of the Cavecs. Balam Acab was the grandfather, the father of nine great houses of the Nihaibs. Mahucutah was the grandfather, the father of four great houses of Ahau Quichés. Thus there were three divisions of lineages that existed. The names of their grandfathers and their fathers were not forgotten—they who multiplied and proliferated there in the East. The Tamub and the Ilocab came as well, along with the thirteen allied nations, the thirteen houses: The Rabinals, the Cakchiquels, and the Ah Tziquinahas; as well as the Zacahs and the Lamacs, the Cumatz and the Tuhalhas, the Uchabahas and the Ah Chumilahas, along with the Ah Quibahas and the Ah Batenahas, the Acul Vinacs and the Balamihas, the Can Chahels and the Balam Colobs. Of these we shall speak only of the nations that became great among the allied nations. They who became great we shall declare. There were many others that came out of the citadel after them, each one of them a division. We have not written their names, but they also multiplied there in the East. Many people arrived in darkness in the days of their increase, for the sun was yet to be born. There was no light in the days of their increase. They were all as one, crowded together as they walked there in the East. There was no one to provide for their sustenance. They would merely lift up their faces to the sky, for they did not know where to go. This they did for a long time there among the magueys; among the black people and the white people, the people of many appearances and many tongues. They were destitute in their existence at the edge of the sky’s foundation. And there were mountain people. They were hidden, and without homes. Only among the small mountains and the great mountains did they go. It is as if they were lacking in direction, as they used to say. It is said that in those days they quarreled with the mountain people. There they looked for the coming forth of the sun, when they had one common language. They did not yet call upon wood or stone. They remembered the word of the Framer and the Shaper, of Heart of Sky and Heart of Earth, it was said. They would merely plead for their heartening, their sowing and their dawning. These were people of esteemed words, of esteem, of honor, and of respect. They would lift up their faces to the sky as they pleaded for their daughters and their sons: “Alas, you, Framer, and you, Shaper: Behold us! Hear us! Do not abandon us. Do not allow us to be overthrown. You are the god in the sky and on the earth, you, Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth. May our sign, our word, be given for as long as there is sun and light. Then may it be sown, may it dawn. May there be true life-giving roads and pathways. Give us steadfast light that our nation be made steadfast. May the light be favorable that our nation may be favored. May our lives be favored so that all creation may be favored as well. Give this to us, you, Huracan, Youngest Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt, Youngest Nanavac and Sudden Nanavac, Falcon and Hunahpu, Sovereign and Quetzal Serpent, She Who Has Borne Children and He Who Has Begotten Sons, Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, Grandmother of Day and Grandmother of Light. Then may it be sown. Then may it dawn,” they said. Then they fasted and cried out in prayer. They fixed their eyes firmly on their dawn, looking there to the East. They watched closely for the Morning Star, the Great Star that gives its light at the birth of the sun. They looked to the womb of the sky and the womb of the earth, to the pathways of framed and shaped people. Then spoke Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam: “We shall surely await the dawn,” they said. They were great sages and wise men, bloodletters and honorers, as they are called. There did not exist then wood or stone to watch over our first mothers and fathers. They were therefore weary in their hearts as they awaited the dawn. There were many nations then, there with the Yaqui people, the bloodletters and sacrificers. “Let us go and search, to look for one who may protect us. We may find one before whom we may speak. For here we only feign existence and there is not a guardian for us,” said therefore Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. They heard news of a citadel and there they went.


THIS, then, is the name of the mountain that they went to. Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam, along with the Tamub and the Ilocab, arrived at Tulan Zuyva. Seven Caves and Seven Canyons was the name of the citadel. There they arrived to obtain their gods.


THEY arrived there at Tulan, all of them. Innumerable people they were when they arrived. They walked in crowds when the gods came out to them in succession. First among them were Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam, who rejoiced: “We have found that for which we have searched,” they said. The god named Tohil went out first, carried in his pack frame by Balam Quitze. Then went out the god named Auilix, carried by Balam Acab. Next was Hacavitz, the name of the god received by Mahucutah. Nicacah Tacah was the name of the god received by Iqui Balam. Together with the Quiché people, the Tamub also received Tohil. This is the name of the god received by the grandfathers and fathers of the Tamub, as these lords are known today. Third, then, were the Ilocab: Tohil was also the name of the god received by the grandfathers and fathers of the Ilocab, as these lords are known today.


THUS was the naming of the three Quichés. But in this they freed themselves because it was the same god’s name, Tohil Quiché, for all of them. It was Tohil for the Tamub as well as for the Ilocab. There was only one name for god among them. Therefore the three groups of Quichés were not divided. Three were they who were truly great in their nature: Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Then all the nations entered therein—the Rabinals, the Cakchiquels, and the Ah Tziquinahas, along with the Yaqui people, as they are called today. It was there that the languages of the nations were changed. Their languages came to be different. They did not hear each other clearly when they came from Tulan, thus they split apart. They came in crowds from the East. They were alike in the hides that they wore as coverings, for their dress was very poor. They had nothing of their own, but they were enchanted people in their essence when they came from Tulan Zuyva, the Seven Caves and the Seven Canyons, as they are called in the ancient account. They did not have fire, only Tohil. This was the god of the nations when fire was first created. It was not clear how it was created, for the fire was already burning when Balam Quitze and Balam Acab saw it. “Alas, fire has not come to be ours. We shall die of cold,” they said. Then Tohil spoke: “Do not mourn. The fire shall be yours again should you lose it. I have spoken,” Tohil said to them. “Are you not truly god? You are our provider and strengthener. You are our god.” they said when they gave thanks. And Tohil replied: “Very well, I am truly your god. Then be it so. I am your lord. Then be it so,” the bloodletters and sacrificers were told by Tohil. This therefore was the glory of the nations, and they rejoiced because of their fire.


THEN it began to rain while the fire of the nations burned brightly. Hail fell thickly on the heads of all the nations and their fire went out because of the hail. Thus their fire came to nought. Then Balam Quitze and Balam Acab pleaded again for their fire: “O Tohil, truly the cold has finished us,” they said to Tohil. “Very well. Do not mourn,” said Tohil. Then he brought forth fire. He twist drilled inside his shoe. Thus Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam rejoiced as they warmed themselves. But the fire of the nations was extinguished and the cold had nearly finished them. Thus they came to plead for fire from Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. They could no longer bear it because of the cold and the hail. They shuddered and trembled. There was no life in them because of the shivering of their legs and their arms. Neither could they hold on to anything when they arrived: “Truly we are not ashamed to come before you to ask for just a little bit of your fire,” they said when they arrived. But they were not welcomed, and the nations cursed in their hearts. For now the language of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam was different. “Alas, is our language now abandoned? What have we done? We are lost. Where were we deceived? We had but one language when we came from Tulan. We had but one origin and creation. It is not good what we have done,” said all the nations beneath the trees and beneath the bushes. Then a person revealed himself before Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. This messenger from Xibalba said to them: “Truly Tohil is your god. He is your provider. He is also the substitute and remembrance of your Framer and your Shaper. Do not give, therefore, fire to the nations unless they first give something to Tohil in return. It is not to you that they shall give. Rather your desire must be to go before Tohil. Ask him what they shall give in return for the fire,” said the person from Xibalba. He had wings like the wings of a bat. “I am a messenger from your Framer and your Shaper,” said the person from Xibalba. Thus they rejoiced. Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz became great in their hearts when the person from Xibalba spoke to them. Then suddenly he disappeared before their faces, although he was not destroyed. Then the nations arrived. The cold had nearly finished them. It was thick with hail, with dark storms, and with hoar frost. The cold was too much to be conceived. All the nations covered themselves up, bending over, and crawling on their hands and knees because of the cold when they arrived before Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. They were greatly troubled in their hearts. Sorrowful were their mouths and their faces.


THUS they arrived as thieves before the faces of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. “Truly, will you not take pity on us? We shall only ask for a small bit of your fire. Has it not been discovered? Has it not been found? Were we not of the same home? We were of the same mountain when you were framed and when you were shaped. Take pity therefore on us,” they said. “What then will you give to us if we were to take pity on you?” they asked. “Very well then, we will give precious metal to you,” the nations replied. “We do not want precious metal,” said Balam Quitze and Balam Acab. “What then do you truly want? We plead of you,” said therefore the nations. “Very well, we will first inquire of Tohil, then we shall tell you,” they were told. Then they asked Tohil: “What are the nations to give, O Tohil?” asked Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. “They have come to ask for your fire.” “Very well then. This is what you will say: ‘Do they not want to give the breast beneath their shoulders and their armpits? Do they not desire in their hearts to embrace me—I, Tohil? If they do not want this, then I will not give to them their fire, says Tohil,’ you will say to them. ‘It will have a beginning, but it will not be today that they will give the breast below their shoulders and their armpits, he says to you.’ This is what you will say.” This is what Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam were told. Thus they spoke the word of Tohil to the nations. “Very well then. The breast shall be given. It is good that we are to embrace him,” they replied. In this way they responded, accepting the word of Tohil. Thus they were never again to increase. “Fine,” they said straightaway. Thus they received fire and they were warmed. There was only one group that stole away the fire from within the smoke. This was the Zotzilaha. Chamal Can is the name of the god of the Cakchiquels. His image was merely that of a bat. They passed by in the smoke, moving stealthily as they passed. Thus when they arrived to take the fire, the Cakchiquels did not ask for it. They did not give themselves up in defeat as all the nations had done who were defeated. Thus the nations gave their breasts beneath their shoulders and beneath their armpits. This, then, was the breast-giving spoken of by Tohil—all the nations were to be sacrificed before him. Their hearts were to be carved out from beneath their shoulders and armpits. This thing had not heretofore been attempted. Thus Tohil foresaw the seizure of glory and majesty by Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. Now when they came from Tulan Zuyva, they did not eat. They fasted continuously. Yet they fixed their eyes on the dawn, looking steadfastly for the coming forth of the sun. They occupied themselves in looking for the Great Star, called Icoquih, which appears first before the birth of the sun. The face of this Green Morning Star always appears at the coming forth of the sun. When they were there at the place called Tulan Zuyva, their gods came to them. But it was surely not then that they received their ultimate glory or their lordship. Rather it was where the great nations and the small nations were conquered and humiliated when they were sacrificed before the face of Tohil. They gave their blood, which flowed from the shoulders and the armpits of all the people. Straightaway at Tulan came the glory and the great knowledge that was theirs. It was in the darkness, in the night as well, that they accomplished it. Thus they came. They were pulled up like weeds as they came out from there, leaving the East behind. “This is not our home. Surely let us go to see where we shall begin,” said Tohil. He truly spoke to Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. “You shall first give thanks. You shall carry out your responsibilities first by piercing your ears. You shall prick your elbows. This shall be your petition, your way of giving thanks before the face of god.” “Very well,” they said. Then they pierced their ears. They wept as they sang of their coming from Tulan. They wept within their hearts as they came, weeping for Tulan: “Alas, it is not here that we shall see the dawn, when the sun will be born to illuminate the face of the earth,” they said as they came. They merely stayed on the road. The people of each of the nations remained sleeping and resting together on the road. Yet always they looked for the star, the sign of the sun, the sign of the dawn in their hearts when they came from the East. They were truly united as they made their journey here, passing through Honor and Respect, as it is said today.


THEN they arrived atop a mountain. All the Quiché people gathered together, along with the nations. There they all came and counseled one with another. The mountain today is called Chi Pixab. This is the name of the mountain. Here they gathered together and here they gave to one another their names: “I am this: I am a Quiché person.” “You, then, are this: Tamub your name shall come to be,” the Tamub were told. Then the Ilocab were addressed: “You are Ilocab. This is the name that shall come to be yours. We, the three Quichés, will not be lost, for our word is one,” they said when their names were given.


Then the Cakchiquels were given their name. Cakchiquels came to be their name. Also Rabinals came to be the name of that people. And Ah Tziquinahas was the name by which that people are known today. These, then, were the names of they who spoke together. It was there that they came to await the dawn. They would look for the first appearance of the star that precedes the face of the sun when it is born. “We came from there, but we were split apart,” they said among themselves. This is what preoccupied their hearts as they passed through their great afflictions. They did not have food or sustenance. They would only sniff the bottoms of their staffs to feel as if they were eating. But they did not eat when they came. It was not clear how they passed over the sea to come here. It was as if there were no sea that they had to pass over. They merely passed over on the tops of stones for there were stones on the sand. Thus they named it “Lined Up Stones”; and “Piled up Sand” was also its name. Over these they made their passage here from within the sea. The water divided itself and through it they made their passage here. They were preoccupied in their hearts when they took counsel together, for they had no food. They would drink only atole made of maize grains which they had borne to the top of the mountain named Chi Pixab. They had carried only Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Thus Balam Quitze observed a great fast along with his wife, named Cahapaluna; the same also did Balam Acab with his wife, named Chomiha; along with Mahucutah, who observed a great fast with his wife, named Tzununiha; and also Iqui Balam and Caquixaha, which was the name of his wife. Thus they fasted in the darkness, in the night. Great was their sorrow when they were atop the mountain which is called Chi Pixab today. Then spoke the gods there.


THEN spoke Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz to Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam: “We must go now. We must rise up. For we are not meant to be here. Place us in hiding, for does not the dawn now approach? Would you not be pitiable if we should become the spoils of warriors? Make for us a place that we may be with you, O bloodletters and sacrificers, and place each of us there,” they said when they spoke to them. “Very well. Let us arise and search in the forests,” they all said. Then each of them took his god to be carried on his back. Auilix was taken into a canyon named Hidden Canyon, a great canyon in the forest. Pa Auilix is its name today. There he was left. He was left in the canyon by Balam Acab. He was the first to be left. Then Hacavitz was left on top of a great fire house. Hacavitz is the name of the mountain today. This they made their citadel, and this was where the god’s dwelling came to be. Hacavitz it was called. Mahucutah did not leave his god behind, therefore. This was the second god that was hidden by them. It was not in the forest that Hacavitz dwelt, but rather it was on a cleared mountain where Hacavitz was hidden. Then came Balam Quitze. He arrived there in the great forest to hide Tohil. Pa Tohil is the name of this great mountain today. Then they named the hidden canyon Healing Tohil. It was crowded with snakes as well as jaguars, rattlesnakes and pit vipers. There in the forest they were, hidden by the bloodletters and sacrificers. They were as one, Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. As one they awaited the dawn there on top of the mountain called Hacavitz. Nearby was the god of the Tamub, along with the god of the Ilocab. Amac Tan was the name of the place where the god of the Tamub was. There it dawned. Amac Uquincat was the name of the place where the Ilocab dawned. The god of the Ilocab was there on a nearby mountain. There all the Rabinals, the Cakchiquels, and the Ah Tziquinahas, all the small nations and the great nations, arose as one. There was but one dawn. As one they awaited the coming forth of the Great Star, named Icoquih. “First it will come forth before the face of the sun. Then it shall dawn,” they said. They were as one, Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. They did not sleep. They did not rest. Greatly did they weep in their hearts, in their bowels, for the dawn and for clarity. They came there surely as penitents, in great sorrow and great humility. They trembled because of the afflictions that they had passed through. “Our coming has not been sweet. Alas! Would that we could behold the birth of the sun. What have we done? We were united in our mountains, but our natures have been changed,” they said. They spoke a great deal among themselves concerning their sorrow, their humility, and their fervent prayers. Thus they spoke, for their hearts had yet to be comforted in the dawn. But these, the gods, were comforted in the canyons and the forests. They were placed in bromelia flowers and hanging moss rather than on altars. Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz spoke from the first. Great was their day, their breath, and their spirit, above all the gods of the nations. Manifold were their spirit essences, their pathways, and their victorious means of chilling and frightening the very existence and hearts of the nations. Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam gave comfort to the gods. They were not unhappy, nor did they bear ill will in their hearts for the gods that they had carried. These they had carried when they came from Tulan Zuyva, there in the East. But they were in the forest. There was the place of dawning on Pa Tohil, Pa Auilix, and Pa Hacavitz, as they are called today. It was there that our grandfathers and fathers were sown, when they dawned. Now we shall tell of the dawning and the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars.


THIS therefore is the dawn, the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars. GREATLY they rejoiced, Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam, when they saw the Morning Star. It came forth glittering before the face of the sun. Then they unwrapped their copal incense, for the sun was to come forth. They unwrapped it with victory in their hearts. There were three types of incense that they burned as a means of expressing the gratitude in their hearts: Mixtam Incense was the name of the copal incense carried by Balam Quitze. Caviztan Incense was the name of the copal incense carried by Balam Acab. And Cabavil Incense, as it is called, was carried by Mahucutah. These three were the copal incenses that they burned, waving their censers toward the rising sun. They wept bitterly as they waved their censers, burning the sacred copal incense before they saw and witnessed the birth of the sun. And when the sun came forth, all the small animals and great animals rejoiced. They came up from the rivers and from the canyons. They were there on the mountain peak. As one they turned their faces toward the coming forth of the sun. Then the pumas and the jaguars cried out. The first bird to sing was the parrot, as it is called. All the animals truly rejoiced. The eagles and the white vultures, all the small and great birds, spread their wings. The bloodletters and sacrificers were kneeling. They greatly rejoiced along with the bloodletters and sacrificers of the Tamub and the Ilocab, along with the Rabinals and the Cakchiquels, the Ah Tziquinahas and the Tuhalhas, the Uchabahas and the Quibahas, the Ah Batenas and the Yaqui Tepeus. However many nations there are today, innumerable people, they all had but one dawn. Then also the face of the earth was dried by the sun. Like a person was the sun when he revealed himself. Hot was his face and thus he dried the surface of the earth. Before the sun had come forth the face of the earth was wet; it was soggy prior to the coming forth of the sun. But when the sun ascended upward, he was like a person. His heat could not be endured. This was but his self-revelation when he was born. What is left is but a mirror. What appears now is not the true sun, according to their account. Then straightaway Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz became stone, along with the sacred images of the puma and the jaguar, the rattlesnake and the pit viper. Zaqui Coxol took them and hid himself in the trees. When the sun, moon, and stars appeared, they all turned to stone. Perhaps we would not be alive today because of the vicious animals—the puma and the jaguar, the rattlesnake and the pit viper, as well as Zaqui Coxol. It would not be our day if the sun had not come forth and turned the first animals to stone. Great was the joy in the hearts of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam when it dawned. There were not many people then. There were only a few on top of the mountain of Hacavitz. There they dawned and there they burned incense, waving their censers toward the coming forth of the sun. This was their mountain, their plain. There came they who are named Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. There they multiplied on the top of the mountain that was to become their citadel. There it was that the sun, moon, and stars truly appeared. Everything on the face of the earth and beneath the sky had its dawn and became clear. Thus began their song called Our Burial. Their hearts and bowels wept as they sang. And this is what they said in their song: “Alas we were lost! At Tulan we split ourselves apart. We left behind our older brothers and our younger brothers. Where did they see the sun? Where were they when it dawned?” This they sang concerning the bloodletters and sacrificers of the Yaqui people. Tohil is the god of the Yaqui people, who they call Yolcuat Quitzalcuat. “We were separated there at Tulan Zuyva. We left them to come here. But we were complete before we came here.” This they said among themselves when they remembered their older brothers and their younger brothers, the Yaqui people. These dawned there in Mexico, as it is called today. Thus surely a portion of them remained there in the East, they whose names are Tepeu and Oliman. “We left them behind,” they said. Thus they were greatly troubled in their hearts there on top of Hacavitz. The Tamub and the Ilocab felt the same. They whose name was Amac Tan were merely in the forest when the bloodletters and sacrificers of the Tamub dawned with their god. Tohil is the sole name for the god of the three groups of Quiché people. This is also the name for the god of the Rabinals. Only a little bit different is his name: One Toh being the name of the god of the Rabinals. They say it this way because of their desire to make it one with the language of the Quichés. There the language of the Cakchiquels was changed, for when they came from Tulan Zuyva, the name of their god was Chimalcan. This was the god received by the Bat House people. Along with their god, this lineage also received their titles: Ahpo Zotzil and Ahpo Xahil they are called. This god changed their speech when he was received there at Tulan. It was a stone that was the cause of the change in their speech when they came from Tulan in the darkness. Yet all the nations were sown as one when the names of the gods were given to each of the groups. We shall now tell of their residence, their sojourn there on the top of the mountain. They were as one, the four of them—Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. Their hearts cried out to Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz, who were amidst the bromelia flowers and the hanging moss.


THESE, then, are the burnings and the offerings placed beneath Tohil when they went before the faces of Tohil and Auilix. They went there to see them and to worship them. They gave thanks before them for the dawn. They knelt humbly with heads bowed low before the stones there in the forest. It was only the revelation of the god’s spirit essence that spoke when the bloodletters and sacrificers arrived before the face of Tohil. What they carried was not great, nor were their burnt offerings. It was only pine resin, the remnants of pitch, along with pericón flowers that they burned before the face of their god. Then spoke Tohil. It was only his spirit essence that gave knowledge to the bloodletters and sacrificers. Then the gods spoke: “It is here that our mountain and our plain shall be. We have come to be yours. Great is our day. Great as well is our birth, because of all your people and all the nations. We shall surely be your companions then, your citadel. We shall give to you your knowledge. Do not reveal us before the nations when they come up to us. For truly they shall become many. Thus do not let them set traps for us. But give to us the children of the grasses and the fallen grain. Bring to us a little of the blood of the female deer and the female bird. Take pity on us. Set the skins of the deer aside and watch over them. These shall be a means of concealing identity. The deer will become the means by which you shall deceive them. These will surely be our substitutes before the faces of the nations. When you are asked, ‘Where is Tohil?’ It will be this deerskin bundle that you shall show them. But do not reveal yourselves. Do this now and your existence shall become great. You shall conquer all the nations. They must bring to you their blood. Their flowing blood shall be brought before our faces. Let them come to us and embrace us. They are ours now,” said Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. The gods would appear as boys when they were seen, when offerings were burned before their faces. Thus they began to seek out the offspring of birds and deer which were taken and offered by the bloodletters and the sacrificers. They would find the birds and the young deer, and go to place their blood in the mouths of the stones. Tohil and Auilix drank this therefore. It was the bloody drink of the gods. Straightaway, then, the stones spoke when the bloodletters and sacrificers came to give their burnt offerings. They did the same before the deerskin bundles. They would burn pine resin, pericón flowers, and stevia flowers. There was a deer skin bundle for each of them on the tops of the mountains. The dwellings and the homes of our ancestors were not in the sun. They walked only in the mountains. And this is what they would eat: Only hornet larvae, only wasp larvae, only bee larvae would they seek. At first they did not have good food or water. The pathway leading to their homes was not clear. Nor was it clear where their wives dwelt. The other nations were crowded together. All of them would unite, joining together with one another. They would raise a din there on the roads. Their paths were clear. But it was not clear where Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam were. When they would see the nations passing by on the roads, they would cry out on the peaks of mountains. They would cry out with the call of the coyote and the call of the fox. They would make the call of the puma and the jaguar. And when the nations heard this there was great discussion about it: “This is merely the cry of the coyote and of the fox,” said the nations. “It is merely the puma and the jaguar,” the nations said. The nations did not realize that these were people. It was merely a way of deceiving the nations that this was done. It was not the desire of their hearts to truly frighten them. Thus they would make the call of a puma or jaguar, and then when they would see one or two people out walking, it would be their desire to destroy them. Each day they arrived at their homes with their wives bearing only hornet larvae, wasp larvae, and bee larvae. And each day also they went before Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz, saying in their hearts: “We give merely the blood of deer and birds to Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. We merely prick our ears and our elbows. We plead for our strength and our endurance to Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Who shall be responsible for the death of the nations? Shall we kill them only one at a time?” This they said to each other when they went before Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Then they pierced their ears and their elbows before the faces of their gods. They scooped up their blood and rubbed it inside the mouths of the stones. Yet they had not truly become stones. Each of them appeared as young boys when they came. They rejoiced for the blood of the bloodletters and sacrificers. Then came the sign of their deeds: “Conquer many lands. This is your authority. It came from Tulan when you brought us here,” they were told. Then was given the breast at the place called Pa Zilizib. And behind it came blood, a rain of their blood as an offering for Tohil, along with Auilix and Hacavitz.


THIS is the beginning of the abduction of people from the nations by Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. THEN also was the killing of the nations. They were taken in this way: Only one would go out walking, or two would go out walking. It was not clear how they were taken. Then they would be taken to be sacrificed before the faces of Tohil and Auilix. Afterward their blood and skulls would be placed on the road. Thus the nations would say, “a jaguar ate them.” This they would say because only the tracks of a jaguar were left behind. They would not reveal themselves. Many were abducted from the nations until, after a long time, the nations came to their senses: “Perhaps Tohil and Auilix have come after us. We shall merely seek out the bloodletters and the sacrificers. Let us follow their footprints when they go to their homes,” the nations all said when they planned among themselves. Thus they began to follow the footprints of the bloodletters and the sacrificers. But they were not clear. They were only deer tracks and jaguar tracks that they would see. Their footprints were not clear. Nowhere was it clear where the tracks began. Their footprints were just like the pawprints of animals. It was merely confusion for them. Neither was the pathway clear. None of the nations could see, because there would form clouds, there would form dark rain, there would form mud, and there would form drizzling rain. Thus they would weary their hearts searching. They would mourn, for great was the essence of Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Thus this was done for a long time atop the mountain on the borders of the nations. They would kill them when the abductions began. These were murderous assaults when they would seize the people of the nations on the roads. They would then sacrifice them before the faces of Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. Thus the boys were preserved there on the top of the mountain. Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz had the appearance of three boys when they went out walking. These were the spirit essences of the stones. There was a river where they would bathe along the banks as a way of revealing themselves. And this was what gave it its name: “Bath of Tohil” became the name of the river. Many times the nations would see them, but then suddenly they would vanish. When the people of the nations saw this, they would report where Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam could be found. Thus the nations plotted how to kill them.


ABOVE all else, the nations desired to plan for the defeat of Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. All the bloodletters and sacrificers spoke before the nations. They assembled themselves together, summoning all of them. Not one group, nor two groups, were left behind. All of them gathered together, summoning one another. Then they gathered their thoughts. They spoke, asking one another: “What would ensure the defeat of the Cavec Quiché people? For the children of our mothers, and the sons of our men are finished. It is not clear how they caused the loss of these people. But if these abductions continue we shall be finished. If Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz are to become great and glorious, then Tohil shall come to be our god. But we shall be preeminent. They will not succeed in defeating us. Are our people not many? And these, the Cavec, are there not but few of them?” This they asked when they all came together. Then some of them spoke before the nations: “Who, perhaps, are they that bathe by the banks of the river each day? If they are Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz, then we shall surely defeat them first. Thus shall begin the defeat of the bloodletters and the sacrificers,” they said. Then they inquired: “How then will we defeat them?” they asked. “This shall be our means of defeating them: Because the boys appear at the river, let two maidens go there that are truly chosen. They should be the fairest of maidens. Thus may they be objects of desire for them,” they said. “Very well then. We shall search for two of the best maidens,” they said. And so they sought among their daughters for the truly fairest of maidens. Then they instructed these maidens: “Go, our daughters, to wash clothes at the river. If, then, you see the three boys, undress yourselves before their faces. And if their hearts should desire you, then you shall offer yourselves to them. When they shall say to you, ‘we shall come unto you,’ then you shall say, ‘yes,’ when you are petitioned. When they ask, ‘Where do you come from? Whose daughters are you?’ then you shall reply: ‘We are the daughters of lords.’ Then they will give something to you if they should desire you. And if so, then you shall surely give yourselves to them. If you do not give yourselves to them, then we will kill you. But our hearts will be content when you bring their sign here. This therefore will be a sign to our hearts that they have come unto you.” Thus said the lords when they instructed the maidens. These, then, were the names of the two: Lady Lust and Lady Weeping. There were two of them. Lady Lust and Lady Weeping were their names. These were sent there to the river, to the Bath of Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz. This was the plan of all of these nations.


THEN they went. They were adorned in finery, and truly they appeared beautiful when they went there to the place where Tohil bathes. They carried their wash on their heads as they went. Thus the lords rejoiced because of their two daughters that they had sent there. And when they arrived at the river, they began to wash. Each of them undressed herself and got down on her hands and knees before the stones. Then Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz came together. They arrived there on the bank of the river. But they paid little attention to the two maidens that were washing. Straightaway therefore the maidens were ashamed when Tohil arrived. Tohil did not desire the two maidens. Then they inquired: “Where do you come from?” they asked the two maidens. “What do you want by coming here to the bank of our river?” they were asked. “We were sent here by the lords, therefore we came. ‘Go to see the faces of Tohil and speak with them,’ the lords said to us. ‘Thus may you receive a sign that you truly saw their faces,’ we were told.” This is what the two maidens said when they explained their mission. This, then, had been the desire of the nations—that the maidens be violated by the spirit essence of Tohil. Thus said Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz when they spoke to Lady Lust and Lady Weeping (the names of the two maidens): “It is good that you should take the sign of our word with you. You shall wait for it and give it to the lords,” they were told. Thus they counseled with the bloodletters and sacrificers. They spoke with Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam: “Paint three robes, writing upon them your essence. They shall be taken to the nations by means of the two maidens who are washing. Give these to them,” Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah were told.


THUS the three of them painted. First, Balam Quitze painted the image of what came to be a jaguar. He painted it on the face of the robe. Next Balam Acab painted the image of an eagle. Then Mahucutah painted hornets all over it. Everywhere he painted the images of wasps on the face of the robe. Thus the three of them finished their paintings. Three forms they painted on the robes and gave them to Lady Lust and Lady Weeping, as they are called. Then said Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah: “This is the sign of your word. You shall go before the faces of the lords and say: ‘Truly Tohil spoke to us,’ you shall say. ‘This, then, is the sign we have brought,’ you shall say to them. Then they will wear the robes that you will give to them.” In this way were the maidens instructed. So then they returned, carrying the painted robes. And when they arrived, straightaway the lords rejoiced when they saw their faces and that which was draped across their arms. Thus the maidens were entreated: “Did you not see the face of Tohil?” they were asked. “We did see him,” replied Lady Lust and Lady Weeping. “Very well then. Where is the sign that you have brought? Is it not true?” the lords asked. For the lords felt it was the sign of their disgrace. Thus the maidens untied the painted robes. Everywhere there were jaguars, everywhere eagles, and everywhere hornets and wasps. The paintings inside the robes shone brightly. Thus they desired the faces of the robes and put them on about them. The image of the jaguar did nothing at first around the lord. Then another lord put on the second painted robe with the image of the eagle. The lord felt good inside it. He turned about before them. He opened up his robe before them all. Then another lord put on the third painted robe with the hornets and wasps inside. And when he put it around him he was stung by the hornets and wasps. He could not bear it; he could not endure the stinging insects. Thus he cried out because of the painted images of the insects within the robe. This was the painting of Mahucutah, the third of the paintings. And thus they were defeated. Then the lords rebuked the maidens, they who were named Lady Lust and Lady Weeping: “What are these robes that you have brought here? Where did you go to get them? You are deceivers.” Thus the maidens were asked when they were rebuked. Thus all of the nations were defeated by Tohil. They had desired that Tohil would get gratification from Lady Lust and Lady Weeping. But these, then, became seductresses. They came to be temptations to the heart of the nations. Thus the nations did not achieve the defeat of the enchanted people—Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah. Then all the nations considered again: “How can we do it? Truly great their natures have come to be,” they said. Then they gathered their thoughts: “We shall merely pursue them and kill them. We shall arm ourselves with arrows and with shields. Are we not many? There shall not be even one or two left of them,” they said when they gathered their thoughts. Thus all the nations armed themselves. They were crowded with killers when all the nations gathered. They were killers. Now Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam were on the top of the mountain Hacavitz. This was the name of the mountain where they were. Thus their sons were established on the top of the mountain. They were not many then. They were certainly not as numerous at first as the people from the nations. They occupied only a small part of the mountain top. Thus the nations plotted to kill them. They all gathered together. They arrived, all of them having been summoned.


THUS all the nations gathered together. They were all armed with arrows and shields. Their precious metal adornments were innumerable. All of the lords and warriors were beautiful in their appearance. But in fact they were mere boasters, all of them. Truly they would all come to be enslaved. “This Tohil, he is a god. We also shall worship him. But we shall capture him,” they said among themselves. But Tohil learned of it, and so too did Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah. They heard what was being planned. They did not sleep, nor did they rest. Thus all the warriors had adorned themselves. They rose up in the night with confidence in their hearts. But although they went out, they did not reach their destination. All the warriors merely slept in the road. Then was their defeat by Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah. They merely slept in the road, completely senseless. All of them were exhausted with sleep. Then they began to have their eyebrows plucked, along with their whiskers. The precious metal was untied from their clothing, as well as from their headdresses and their necklaces. The precious metal was taken from the necks of their staffs. This was a punishment upon their faces, and a plucking as well. This was done as a sign of the greatness of the Quiché people. And when they arose, straightaway they reached for their headdresses and the necks of their staffs. But now there was no precious metal on the necks of their staffs, nor on their headdresses. “Who has taken us? By whom were we plucked? Where did they who stole our precious metal come from?” all the warriors asked. “Perhaps it was those deceivers that abduct people. But they will not succeed in frightening us. Surely we shall invade their citadel. We shall see again the face of our precious metal and once more make it ours,” said all the nations. But this was merely boasting. Thus the hearts of the bloodletters and sacrificers were comforted on the top of the mountain. Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam merely exercised their wisdom. Then Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam considered. They made a palisade around the edge of their citadel. They placed wooden planks and pointed stakes about their citadel. Then they made effigies that looked just like people. They arranged these on top of the palisade, arming them with shields and with arrows. They placed headdresses with precious metal on their heads. They adorned these effigies of mere carved wood with the precious metal of the nations that they had taken on the road. With these they encircled the citadel. Then also they entreated Tohil with their thoughts: “What if we should die? What if we are defeated?” they asked. Thus their hearts wept before the face of Tohil. “Do not mourn. I am. You shall use these against them. Do not fear.” Thus he spoke to Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam. And they were given the hornets and wasps. So they went out to gather them, and they returned bearing them. And these they placed inside four great gourds, which they positioned in four places around the edge of the citadel. The hornets and wasps were closed up within the great gourds. They used these as weapons against the nations. The citadel was being spied upon, watched in ambush, scrutinized as a target by the messengers of the nations. “There are not so many,” they said. And then they saw the effigies of carved wood which were motionless, carrying their arrows and their shields. They appeared to be true people. Like killers they appeared to be when the nations saw them. All the nations rejoiced then, for they did not see many of them. But there were crowds of people from the nations. Their people had countless warriors, killers, and murderers that had come against Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah, who were on top of the mountain named Hacavitz. We shall now speak of this invasion.


THERE they were, Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam, united on top of the mountain with their wives and their children. Then came the warriors and the killers. There were not merely sixteen thousand or twenty-four thousand from the nations that encircled the citadel. They yelled, armed with their arrows and shields. They would cry out, clamoring, hustling about, shouting their mockery, and whistling. But the bloodletters and sacrificers went inside beneath their citadel, fearing nothing. They merely looked to the palisade at the edge of their citadel as they gathered together with their wives and their children. Thus they were reassured, and the words of the nations were sweet to them. Then the warriors ascended a little way up the face of the mountain. But it was only a little way, for they did not reach the entrance to the citadel. And then they opened the four gourds that were in the citadel, and out flew the hornets and the wasps. They were like clouds of smoke when they came out of each of the gourds. The warriors were thus finished off because of the insects. They landed on their eyes and on their noses; on their mouths, on their legs, and on their arms. Wherever they were, the hornets and wasps went to catch them. Wherever they were, these went to swarm around them. Everwhere there were hornets and wasps. They would swarm around them stinging their eyes. There were great numbers of insects around each of the people. Thus they became disoriented because of the hornets and the wasps. Neither could they now grasp their arrows or their shields. They hunched over with their faces to their knees on the surface of the ground. They were scattered. They fell senseless before the face of the mountain. Then they were struck with arrows and chopped with axes, although they were only pieces of dry wood that Balam Quitze and Balam Acab used on them. Their wives also came upon them as killers. Thus only a portion of them were able to return. Only a few people from the nations were able to escape. At first they tried to flee, but when they were caught they were finished off. They were killed. And it was not just a few of the people who died. And of those that did not die, the insects came upon them and tormented their hearts. They were no longer able to wage war. They did not take up their arrows or their shields again. Thus all the nations were humiliated and begged humbly before the faces of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah: “Pity us. Do not kill us,” they said. “Very well then. Certainly you shall become obedient. You shall be servants as long as there is sun and light,” they were told. Thus was the defeat of all the nations because of our first mothers and our first fathers. It was done on the top of the mountain Hacavitz, as it is called today. This was the beginning. There they multiplied and became many. They had daughters and they had sons on top of Hacavitz. They rejoiced then, for they had defeated all the nations there on top of the mountain. Thus they had done this. They had surely defeated the nations, indeed all the nations. Thus their hearts were reassured. They spoke to their sons as the time approached when they would die. For they truly desired to die. Now we shall tell of this also, of the deaths of they who are called Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam.


THEY sensed their impending death and disappearance. Thus they gave instructions to their sons. They were not ill, nor did they groan from sickness, nor did they breathe with difficulty. Yet they left behind their word with their sons. These, then, are the names of the sons: Balam Quitze had two sons. Co Caib was the name of the firstborn, and Co Cavib was the name of the secondborn. These were the sons of Balam Quitze, the grandfather and father of the Cavecs. Balam Acab of the Nihaibs also had two sons. Co Acul was the name of his first son, and Co Acutec was the name of his second son. Mahucutah had only one son, whose name was Co Ahau. These three had sons, but Iqui Balam had no sons. These, then, were the names of their sons, who were true bloodletters and sacrificers. The four of them were united as they sang of the pain in their hearts. Their hearts wept within their song. Our Burial was the name of the song that they sang. And these were the instructions that they gave to their sons: “You, our sons, we shall go but we shall also return again. Words of light and counsels of light we give to you.” And then they spoke to their wives: “You have come here from a far away mountain, you, our wives,” they said. Then they were counseled: “We go to our people. Our Lord Deer is now established, mirrored in the sky. We shall thus return, for our work is accomplished, and our day is now finished. Remember us. Do not forget us. Do not sweep us away. You shall surely see your homes and your mountains where you will settle. Thus let it be so. Go therefore, go to see the place from whence we came.” This was the counsel they were given. Then they left behind the sign of the existence of Balam Quitze: “This is the token of my memory that I shall leave with you. This is your glory. These are my instructions, the result of what I have pondered,” he said when he left behind the sign of his existence. Bundled Glory, it was called. Its contents were not clear for it was truly bundled. They did not unwrap it, nor was its stitching clear. No one had seen it when it was bundled. This, then, was their counsel when they disappeared there atop the mountain Hacavitz. They were not buried by their wives, nor their children. Neither was their disappearance clear when they vanished. But their counsel was clear. Thus the Bundle came to be precious to them as a memorial to their father. Straightaway they burned offerings before it as a memorial to their father. Thus the people were established by the lords following this beginning by Balam Quitze, the grandfather and father of the Cavecs. His sons, named Co Caib and Co Cavib, were not lost. Thus were the deaths of our four grandfathers and fathers when they disappeared, when they left their sons there on top of the mountain Hacavitz. These sons tarried there. But the day of all the nations had fallen, and they were humiliated and lacking in power. The people had become numerous by then, and all of them gathered together each day to remember their father. The Bundle was precious to them. They did not open it. It remained bundled. Bundled Glory they called it when it existed. They also named it their Wrapping. It had been left behind by their fathers as the true sign of their existence. Thus was the disappearance and end of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam, the first people who came from across the sea in the East. Anciently they came here. They died in their old age, they who were called bloodletters and sacrificers.


THEN they remembered in their hearts the journey they were to make there to the East. They remembered the instructions given by their fathers who had died long ago. The nations had since given wives to them, thus becoming their fathers-in-law. Thus the three of them had married women. And they said when they left: “We go to the East from where our fathers came.” Thus said the three sons when they began their journey. Co Caib was the name of the first, the son of Balam Quitze of the Cavecs. Co Acutec was the name of the son of Balam Acab of the Nihaibs. Co Ahau was the name of the other, the son of Mahucutah of the Ahau Quichés. These, then, were the names of the three who went across the sea. They had wisdom and knowledge. They were more than ordinary people in their nature. They left behind their counsel to all their older brothers, and their younger brothers. They rejoiced when they left: “We will not die. We will return,” they said when the three of them left. Thus they passed over the sea, arriving there in the East. They went there to receive their lordship. This, then, is the name of the lord, the lord of the East, when they arrived:


THEN they arrived before the face of the lord, whose name was Nacxit. He was the only judge over a great dominion. He then gave to them the signs and symbols of their lordship. Thus they received the signs of office for the Ah Pop, and the Ah Pop of the Reception House. They received the signs of their glory and lordship that pertained to the offices of Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House. These, then, are the names of the tokens of their glory and lordship: Canopy and throne, Bone flute and drum, Shining Black Powder and Yellow Stone, Puma Paws and Jaguar Paws, Head and Hooves of the Deer, Arm Band and Snailshell Rattle, Tobacco Gourd and Food Bowl, Macaw Feathers and Snowy Egret Feathers. All these they brought when they returned. They also brought the writings of Tulan from the other side of the sea. These were the writings, as they were called, that contained the many things with which they had been invested.


And when they arrived there atop their citadel called Hacavitz, they gathered all the Tamub and Ilocab together. All the nations rejoiced when Co Caib, Co Acutec, and Co Ahau arrived. These alone received the lordship of the nations. The Rabinals, the Cakchiquels, and the Ah Tziquinahas rejoiced when the sign of the greatness of their lordship was revealed to them. Great then would become the essence of the nations. For their lordship was not truly complete when they were at Hacavitz. When they were on top of the mountain the only people there were those who had come from the East. But now there were many of them. By then the wives of Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, and Mahucutah had died. Then they left, they abandoned their mountain and searched for another mountain to settle. They settled innumerable mountains, giving each of them honorific epithets and names. Our first mothers and fathers gathered together and became strong, according to what the ancient people say. Thus they abandoned their first citadel, called Hacavitz. Thus they arrived, they founded a new citadel called Chi Quix. Here they spent a great deal of time atop this unified citadel group. They had daughters and sons when they were there. Although they were on four mountains, there was only one name for the entire citadel. They gave away their daughters in marriage to their sons. They gave away their daughters merely as an act of compassion, as gifts without payment in return. They did only that which was good. Then they passed through each division of the citadel. These were the names of the mountains of Chi Quix where they tarried: Chi Chac, Humetaha, Culba, and Cavinal. Then they investigated the mountains near their citadel. They looked for a mountain on which to dwell, for they had become numerous. They who had received lordship in the East were now dead. They who had come to the peaks of each citadel had become aged grandfathers. But they were not content. They passed through numerous afflictions and misfortunes until at last they discovered the citadel of the grandfathers and the fathers. This therefore was the name of the citadel that they came to:


CHI IZMACHI, then, was the name of the mountain on which they dwelt as their citadel. There they settled and tested their glory. They ground their lime plaster and their whitewash in the fourth generation of lords. It is said that Co Nache and Beleheb Queh ruled then, along with the Lord Magistrate. It was there at Chi Izmachi that Lord Co Tuha and Iztayul ruled as Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House. Under them it came to be a very fine citadel. Only three great houses were built there at Chi Izmachi, not the twenty-four great houses of today. Yet there were three great houses: Just one great house of the Cavecs; Just one great house over the Nihaibs; And just one of the Ahau Quichés. There were only two swollen great houses, one each for the two lineage divisions at Chi Izmachi. Their hearts were united. There were no bad feelings or anger, only steadfast lordship. There was no contention or disturbance. There was only purity and a tranquil sense of community in their hearts. There was no envy or jealousy. Yet their glory was still meager. They had not pulled together, nor had they become great. They attempted to strengthen their defenses there at Chi Izmachi. This act was surely a sign of their sovereignty. It was surely a sign of their glory, as well as their greatness. However this was seen by the Ilocab, who fomented war. They desired that Lord Co Tuha be murdered. They desired that there be but one lord over them. Thus the Ilocab wished to convince Lord Iztayul to murder him. But this plot against Lord Co Tuha did not succeed. Their envy merely fell on their own backs. This first attempt by the Ilocab to kill the lord failed. Yet it was the foundation of strife and the clamor for war. Thus the Ilocab made a first attempt at invading the citadel, coming as killers. It was their desire that the Quichés be destroyed. They wished to exercise lordship in their own hearts. But when they came to seize it they were captured and despoiled, and few of them were ever set free again. Then began the sacrifices. The Ilocab were sacrificed before the face of the god as payment for their offenses against Lord Co Tuha. Thus many were taken into captivity and enslaved. They became servants. They merely gave themselves up in defeat as a result of their clamor for war against the lord as well as his canyon-citadel. They had desired in their hearts to ruin and mock the lordship of the Quichés. But this was not accomplished. Thus they commenced to sacrifice these people before the face of the god. Then they built their war defenses, and this was the beginning of the fortification of the citadel at Chi Izmachi. Thus they began to lay the foundation of their glory, because the sovereignty of the Quiché lord was surely great. Everywhere there were enchanted lords. None came to humiliate or mock them. They were but workers of greatness. There they put down roots at Chi Izmachi, and there also their bloodletting god increased in greatness. And all the nations, the small and the great, became afraid. They witnessed the arrival of captive people to be sacrificed and killed by the glory and sovereignty of Lord Co Tuha and Lord Iztayul, in alliance with the Nihaib and Ahau Quichés. There were only three divisions of lineages there at the citadel named Chi Izmachi. And yet again they began to feast and to drink to their daughters. They who were called the Three Great Houses gathered together to celebrate. They would drink their drinks and eat their food, and this alone was the bride price for their sisters and their daughters. There was only joy in their hearts when they feasted within their great houses: “We give only our thanks and our gratitude as a sign of our agreement; as a sign of our word regarding the boys and girls born of their mothers,” they said. They gave one another honorific titles, and gave names to their lineages, their seven nations, their fortified cities. “We have intermarried, we the Cavecs, we the Nihaibs, and we the Ahau Quichés,” they said. These three lineages, and these three great houses, dwelt a long time there at Chi Izmachi. But then they looked for and found another citadel. And so they abandoned the peak of Chi Izmachi.


THUS they rose up again and came to the citadel that the Quichés would call Cumarcah. The lord Co Tuha, along with Cucumatz and all the lords, came there. There had been five moves and five generations of people since the beginning of the light, the beginning of the nations, the beginning of life and creation. There they built many homes. They also built houses for the gods at the center, on the highest point of the citadel. Thus they came and began to be great in their lordship. They were many now, crowded together. They planned their great houses. They gathered together. And yet they were also divided because there began to be contention. They began to envy each other regarding the bride price for their sisters and their daughters. For it was no longer merely food and drink that they demanded. This, then, was the root of their division. They turned on each other, desecrating the bones and the skulls of the dead. They became infuriated with one another and split apart. Thus there came to be nine lineage divisions because of this contention over the sisters and the daughters. Therefore, when lordship was conceived, twenty-four great houses came to be. When they arrived in ancient times at the top of their citadel, they completed twenty-four great houses there in the citadel of Cumarcah. This citadel was blessed by the lord bishop after it was left abandoned. They were advanced in rank, differentiated by their benches and their cushions. They were set apart, each according to their glory. Each of the lords of the nine lineages was distinguished by rank: Nine lords of the Cavecs; Nine lords of the Nihaibs; Four lords of the Ahau Quichés; And two of the Ahau Zaquics. Thus they came to be numerous. Many there were behind each of the lords. From the beginning they were the heads of numerous vassals and servants. Each of the lineages of lords became crowded. We shall now give the titles of each of the lords and of each of their great houses:


THESE, then, are the titles of the lords over the Cavecs. The first lords are: Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House; Ah Tohil and Ah Cucumatz; Great Steward of the Cavecs and Councilor of the Stacks; Emissary of the Deer House, Councilor in the Ballcourt of Punishment, and Mother of the Reception House. THESE, then, are the lords over the Cavecs. There are nine lords for each of the great houses and these shall now be shown:


THESE, then, are the lords over the Nihaibs. The first lords are: Lord Magistrate and Lord Herald; Magistrate of the Reception House and Great Reception House; Mother of the Reception House and Great Steward of the Nihaibs; Auilix, Yacolatam (Corner of the Reed Mat) Zaclatol, and Great Emissary of the Sprout Giver. Nine, then, were the lords of the Nihaibs.


THESE, then, are the titles of the lords of the Ahau Quichés: Herald Person and Lord Emissary; Great Lord Steward of the Ahau [Quichés] and Lord Hacavitz. These are the four lords over the Ahau Quichés. These are the great houses.


THERE are also two lineages of Zaquic lords: Maize Flower House and Magistrate of the Zaquics. There is only one house for the two lords.


THUS were established the twenty-four lords as well as the twenty-four great houses. Then their glory and their sovereignty were increased in Quiché. The grandeur and importance of the Quichés was glorified and made sovereign. Then as well the canyon-citadel was whitewashed and plastered. The nations came there, the small and the great. Thus the lord who made Quiché great has his name. Then were created their glory and their sovereignty. Then they created the homes of their gods, as well as the homes of the lords. But they themselves did not do it, nor did they work to build their homes or the homes of their gods. Instead it was their vassals and their servants, who had become numerous. They did not need to lure them, or abduct them, or carry them off by force, for they truly belonged to each one of the lords. This place also came to be crowded with the lords’ older brothers and younger brothers. The lords were ever-solicitous, each of them receiving numerous petitions. They were truly beloved. Great was the authority of the lords. The birthdays of the lords were honored and respected by their vassals and servants. Thus they multiplied there in the canyon-citadel. Yet they were still not as many as those who fell under submission from among the nations. Even when war came upon their canyon and their citadel, they were glorified because of the spirit essence of their lords, Lord Cucumatz and Lord Co Tuha. Cucumatz became a truly enchanted lord. In one transformation he would rise up into the sky, and in another transformation he would go down to Xibalba. In another transformation he would be a serpent, truly becoming a serpent. In another transformation he would make himself into an eagle; and in another transformation into a jaguar. Truly his appearance would be that of an eagle and of a jaguar. In another transformation he would become a pool of blood. Mere pooled blood he would become. Truly he was an enchanted lord in his essence. Thus all the lords were frightened before his face. Tales about him were quickly spread abroad and all the lords of the nations heard of the nature of this enchanted lord. This, then, was the beginning of the increase of the Quichés. Lord Cucumatz founded the grandeur of his descendents. The faces of his grandchildren and his sons were not lost in his heart. He did not do this so that he would be the sole lord. But his nature was enchanted and thus he toppled all the lords of the nations. This he did merely to reveal himself. Yet because of it, he became the head of the nations. The enchanted lord named Cucumatz was of the fourth generation of lords. He alone was both Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House. He left behind his heritage for his descendents. For they became glorious, and sovereigns as well. And then they begat sons, even their own sons, making them numerous. Thus were begotten Tepepul and Iztayul. These exercised true lordship. They were the fifth generation of lords that came to be. They begat sons as well, each a generation of lords.


THESE, then, are the names of the sixth generation of lords. There were two great and glorious lords: Quicab was the name of the first lord, and Cauizimah was the name of the other. These accomplished a great many deeds. They made the Quichés great, for their essence was truly enchanted. They broke apart and shattered the canyons and the citadels of the small nations and the great nations. Anciently these citadels were close together: The mountain of the Cakchiquels was where Chuvila is today. The mountain of the Rabinals was Pa Maca. The mountain of the Caocs was Zaccabaha. The citadels, then, of the Zaculeus were Chuvi Miquina, Xelahu, Chuva Tzac, and Tzoloh Che. These all paid homage to Quicab. They had made war, but they were broken apart. The canyons and citadels of the Rabinals, the Cakchiquels, and the Zaculeus were shattered. All the nations collapsed and were split apart. Yet for a great while Quicab’s warriors persisted. There were not then even one or two groups among the nations that did not bring their tribute. Their citadels fell, and they brought tribute before Quicab and Cauizimah. These lords invaded the lineages, who were bled and shot while bound to wooden posts. Their day came to nothing, nor did they ever have descendents. It was merely arrows that were the means of shattering the citadels. Straightaway the mouth of the earth would be split open and thunder would shatter the stones. Thus the nations would suddenly become frightened and make offerings before the Pine Resin Tree. This has become a sign for the citadels, for today there is a mountain of stones, only a few of which were not cut cleanly as if cut by an axe. It is there in the plain called Petatayub where it may be clearly seen by all the people who pass by it. This is the sign of the war prowess of Quicab. He was not killed, nor was he defeated. He was truly a warrior, and he received tribute from all the nations. Then all of the lords planned, sending blockaders around the canyons and around the citadels, all the fallen citadels of the nations.


THUS the sentinels went forth as lookouts against enemy warriors. They became the lineage of watchmen, guardians of the mountains: “If the nations come again, these will be the guardians,” it was said. Then all the lords gathered their thoughts and sent out their orders: “They shall be as our stockade, as the representatives of our lineage, as our fortress. They shall become our palisade, the expression of our anger, our prowess in war,” said all the lords. Then the orders were sent out to each of the lineages who were to oppose the enemy warriors. They instructed all of them who were to be sent as guardians of their mountain nations: “Go, for these are our mountains now. Do not fear. If there are still warriors that attack you or kill you, come at once to notify us and we shall go and kill them.” Thus spoke Quicab, along with the Magistrate and the Herald by way of instruction. And so they went to “put the notch of the arrow to the center of the bowstring,” as it is said. Thus the grandfathers and fathers came to be separated. All the Quiché people were placed, each of them, on a mountain as guardians. They were guardians of arrows and bowstrings. They went as guardians against war. Thus they did not have a single dawn, nor did they have a single god. They went out to blockade all the citadels: Ah Uuila and Ah Chulimal, Zaqui Ya and Xahbaquieh, Chi Temah and Vahxalahuh, Along with Ah Cabracan, Chabi Cac, and Chi Hunahpu, With Ah Maca and Ah Xay Abah, Ah Zaccabaha and Ah Ziyaha, Ah Miquina and Ah Xelahuh. These went forth as war sentinels to the plains and to the mountains. They were guardians of the earth. They were sent out by Quicab and Cauizimah, the Ah Pop and the Ah Pop of the Reception House, as well as by the Magistrate and the Herald. Four lords sent them out to act as sentinels against the warriors. Quicab and Cauizimah were the names of the two lords over the Cavecs; Quema was the name of the lord over the Nihaibs; Achac Iboy, then, was the name of the lord over the Ahau Quichés. These, then, were the names of the lords that sent out messengers and envoys. They left their vassals and their servants on the mountains, on each one of the mountains. And soon after they left, they began to bring back female captives and male captives, who were presented before Quicab, Cauizimah, the Magistrate, and the Herald. They made war with the notch of the arrow and the center of the bowstring, taking female captives and male captives. These envoys came to be warlike then. Thus they were given gifts. They were increased. The lords provided for them when they came to deliver all of their female captives and male captives. Thus the lords Ah Pop, Ah Pop of the Reception House, Magistrate, and Herald gathered their thoughts. Then they made a proclamation: “We shall ennoble they who are truly first among these lineages who have carried the burden of being watchmen.” “I am the Ah Pop.” “I am the Ah Pop of the Reception House.” “The emblems of office of the Ah Pop shall now become yours. You shall be adorned as Lord Magistrates and as Magistrates,” said all the lords when they gathered their thoughts. The Tamub and the Ilocab did the same. The three groups of the Quichés were united. Thus they ennobled them, giving them their titles. This, then, was their consensus. But it was not there that they ennobled them. There was a designated mountain on which the first vassals and servants were ennobled. Thus all of them were summoned from each of their mountains. They gathered together as one. THE names of the mountain where they were ennobled were Xe Balax and Xe Camac. This was the edict that was given. There at Chulimal it was done.


THESE, then, were their titles, their nobility, and the tokens of their office: Twenty magistrates and twenty ah pops, who were raised to nobility by the Ah Pop and the Ah Pop of the Reception House, as well as by the Magistrate and the Herald. Thus all of the magistrates and ah pops received their offices. Eleven Great Stewards, Magistrates of the Lords, Magistrates of the Zaquics, Military Magistrates, Military Ah Pops, Military Palisade Masters, and Military Border Masters. These were the titles of the men who were elevated in rank. They were also named to their seats and to their cushions. These were the first among the vassals and servants of the Quiché people. They were their watchers and their listeners, the notch of the arrow and the center of the bowstring. They encircled the Quichés as their stockade, their enclosure, their fortress, and their palisade. The Tamub and the Ilocab did likewise. They also ennobled and gave titles to the first among their vassals and their servants on each of the mountains. This therefore was the foundation for the magistrates and ah pops who are assigned to each of the mountains today. This is also the order in which they go out behind the Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House, and behind the Magistrate and Herald.


We shall now tell the names of the houses of the gods. These houses were simply named after the gods themselves: Great Temple of Tohil was the name of the temple that served as the house of Tohil of the Cavecs. Auilix was the name of the temple that served as the house of Auilix of the Nihaibs. And Hacavitz was the name of the temple that served as the house of the god of the Ahau Quichés. Maize Flower House may surely be seen; Sacrifice House is its other name. These were great temples wherein were the stone gods. There all the lords of the Quichés worshiped. All the nations worshiped there as well. The nations would enter therein to burn offerings before Tohil first. Then they would worship the Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House. They would come to give their quetzal feathers and their tribute before the lords—each in turn they would give provisions and sustenance to the Ah Pop and the Ah Pop of the Reception House, the great lords who had brought down their citadels. Cucumatz and Co Tuha were enchanted people and enchanted lords. Quicab and Cauizimah were also enchanted lords. They knew if there would be war. It was clear before their faces. They saw if there would be death, if there would be hunger. They surely knew if there would be strife. There was an instrument of sight—there was a book. Popol Vuh was their name for it. But it was not only because of this that they were lords. They were great in their essence. Great as well were their fasts. In order to venerate their temples and venerate their sovereignty, they fasted for long periods of time, and sacrificed before the faces of their gods. And this was their method of fasting: For nine score days they would fast, and for nine they would sacrifice and burn offerings. Then for thirteen score days they would observe a fast and for thirteen they would sacrifice and burn offerings before the face of Tohil, as well as before the faces of the other gods. They would eat only zapotes, matasanos, and jocotes. They would not eat food made from maize. If they were to sacrifice for seventeen score days, then they would fast for seventeen. Nor did they eat maize. Truly great was the performance of their sacred obligations. This was the sign of their essence. Neither would they sleep with their women. They would merely provide for each other, fasting in the houses of the gods. Each day they would merely worship, merely burn offerings, and merely offer sacrifices. They were there in the darkness and at dawn, weeping in their hearts and in their bowels, pleading for the light and the lives of their vassals and servants. They would lift up their faces to the sky for their lordship. This, then, is their pleading before the faces of their gods. This is the crying out of their hearts:


“YEA, pleasing is the day, you, Huracan, and you, Heart of Sky and Earth, you who give abundance and new life, and you who give daughters and sons. Be at peace, scatter your abundance and new life. May life and creation be given. May my daughters and my sons be multiplied and created, that they may provide for you, sustain you, and call upon you on the roads, on the cleared pathways, along the courses of the rivers, in the canyons, beneath the trees and the bushes. Give, then, their daughters and their sons. May there be no fault, confinement, shame, or misfortune. May no deceiver come behind them or before them. May they not fall or be wounded. May they not be dishonored or condemned. May they not fall below the road or above the road. May they not be stricken or have impediments placed behind them or before them. May you place them on green roads and on green pathways. May they not be blamed or confined. Do not hide yourselves from them nor curse them. May their existence be favored, so that they may be providers and sustainers to you, to your mouths and to your faces, you, Heart of Sky and you, Heart of Earth, you, Bundled Glory, and you as well Tohil, Auilix, and Hacavitz, Womb of Sky and Womb of Earth, the Four Sides and the Four Corners. May there be only light, only security within your mouths and before your faces, O gods.” Thus it was that the lords fasted during the nine score days, the thirteen score days, and the seventeen score days as well. They fasted often, crying out in their hearts on behalf of their vassals and servants, as well as on behalf of all their women and children. Thus each of the lords carried out his obligations. This was their way of showing veneration for their lordship. This was the lordship of the Ah Pop, the Ah Pop of the Reception House, the Magistrate, and the Herald. They would go in, two by two in succession, to bear responsibility for the nations and all the Quiché people. In unity went forth the foundation of their word, and the foundation of their provision and sustenance. The root of the word went forth as well from the Tamub and the Ilocab, along with that of the Rabinals and the Cakchiquels, the Ah Tziquinahas, the Tuhalahas, and the Uchabahas. In unity they would go forth to bear the burden of the Quichés. For this was done for all. They did not merely exercise their lordship. They did not merely receive gifts, nor were they merely provided for or sustained; nor did they merely receive food and drink. All this was not without purpose. They did not achieve their lordship, their glory, or their sovereignty by deception or theft. They did not merely crush the canyons and the citadels of the small nations and the great nations. Great was the price that the nations gave in return. They sent jade and precious metal, the size of four fingers across and even the size of a fist across with the thumb extended. They sent precious gems and glittering stones. They sent as well cotinga feathers, oriole feathers, and the feathers of red birds. The tribute of all the nations thus came before the faces of the enchanted lords Cucumatz and Co Tuha; and also before the faces of Quicab and Cauizimah, the Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House, Magistrate and Herald. It was no small thing that they did. Nor was it merely a few of the nations that were brought down. Many groups of nations came with their tribute for the Quichés. The lords had suffered affliction, but they overcame. Their glory did not come quickly, for it was not until Cucumatz that the greatness of their lordship began. We shall now give, then, the sequence of the lords’ generations, along with the names of all the lords.


THESE are the generations and the house divisions of lordship, of all who had their dawn: Balam Quitze, Balam Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui Balam were the first of our grandfathers and fathers when the sun appeared, along with the moon and stars. These, then, are the generations and the house divisions of lordship. We shall truly begin here at the roots. The lords acceded in pairs, each generation of lords succeeding their grandfathers and the lords of the citadel, even each and every one of the lords. Here, then, shall appear the face of each of the lords, even each and every one of the lords of the Quichés:


BALAM Quitze was the founder of the Cavecs. Co Caib was the second generation after Balam Quitze. Balam Co Nache, who initiated the office of Ah Popol, was the third generation. Co Tuha and Iztayub were the fourth generation. Cucumatz and Co Tuha were the foundation for the enchanted lords. They were the fifth generation. Tepepul and Iztayul were, then, the sixth house division. Quicab and Cauizimah were the seventh succession of lords, who attained the pinnacle of enchantment. Tepepul and Iztayub were the eighth generation. Tecum and Tepepul were the ninth generation. Vahxaqui Cam and Quicab were the tenth generation of lords. Vucub Noh and Cauatepech were the eleventh house division of lords. Oxib Quieh and Beleheb Tzi were the twelfth generation of lords. These exercised lordship when Donadiu arrived. They were hung by the Castilian people. Tecum and Tepepul paid tribute before the faces of the Castilian people. These had been begotten as the thirteenth generation of lords. Don Juan de Rojas and Don Juan Cortes were the fourteenth generation of lords, begotten sons of Tecum and Tepepul.


THESE are the generations, the house divisions of lordship, for the Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House over the Cavec Quichés. We shall now name the great houses of each of the lords of the lineages after the Ah Pop and Ah Pop of the Reception House. These are the nine great houses of the nine lineages of the Cavecs, along with the titles for each of the lords of the great houses: Lord Ah Pop has one great house; Guarded House is the name of this great house. Lord Ah Pop of the Reception House; Bird House is the name of this great house. Great Steward of the Cavecs has one great house. Lord Ah Tohil has one great house. Lord Ah Cucumatz has one great house. Councilor of the Stacks has one great house. Emissary of the Deer House has one great house. Councilor in the Ballcourt of Punishment guards his great house. Tepeu Yaqui has one great house. THESE, then, are the nine lineages of the Cavecs. Numerous are the vassals and servants that pertain to the nine great houses.


THESE, then, are the nine highest of the great houses of the Nihaib. We shall first give the dynasty of lords: They had but one root, planted before the root of the sun and the light of the people. Balam Acab was their first grandfather and father. Co Acul and Co Acutec were the second generation. Co Chahuh and Co Tzibaha were the third generation. Beleheb Queh was the fourth generation. Co Tuha was the fifth generation. Batza was the sixth generation. Iztayul was the seventh generation. Co Tuha headed the eighth house division of lordship. Beleheb Queh was the ninth house division. Quema, as he is called now, was the tenth generation. Lord Co Tuha was the eleventh generation. Don Christoval, as he is called, exercised lordship under the Castilian people. Don Pedro de Robles is the Lord Magistrate today.


THESE, then, are all the lords who follow behind the Lord Magistrate. We shall list now the lords of each of the great houses: Lord Magistrate is the first lord over the Nihaibs. He has one great house. Lord Herald has one great house. Lord Magistrate of the Reception House has one great house. Great Reception House has one great house. Mother of the Reception House has one great house. Great Reception House has one great house. Great Steward of the Nijaibs has one great house. Lord Auilix has one great house. Yacolatam (Corner of the Reed Mat) has one great house. THESE, then, are the names of the great houses over the Nijaibs, of the nine lineages of the Nijaibs, as they are called. There are many lineages among them, each exercising lordship. We have listed the first among these.


THESE, then, are they of the Ahau Quichés: Mahucutah was their grandfather and father. He was the first person. Co Ahau was the name of the second generation lord. Caq Lacan, Co Cozom, Co Mahcun, Vucub Ah, Co Camel, Co Yaba Coh, Vinac, Bam.


These, then, are the lords over the Ahau Quichés. These are their generations and house divisions as well. These are the titles of the lords within each of the great houses. There are only four great houses: Herald Lord is the name of the first lord. He has one great house. Emissary Lord is the second lord. He has one great house. Great Steward Lord is the third lord. He has one great house. Hacavitz, then, is the fourth lord. He has one great house. Thus there are four great houses over the Ahau Quichés.


THESE, then, are the three Great Stewards. They are like the fathers of all the Quiché lords. As one the three stewards gathered together as the givers of birth, the mothers of the word, and the fathers of the word. Great, in a small way, is the essence of these three stewards. THESE are: The Great Steward before the Cavecs; before the Nijaibs is the second Great Steward; and before the Ahau Quichés is the third Great Steward. Thus there are three stewards, one before each of the lineages. But this is the essence of the Quichés, because there is no longer a way of seeing it. It was with the lords at first, but it is now lost. There is only this. All is now completed concerning Quiché, called Santa Cruz.