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p. 54

II. Chapter 4

Well, then, Hunbatz and Hunchouén were with their mother 1 when the woman called Xquic arrived.

When the woman Xquic came before the mother of Hunbatz and Hunchouén, 2 she carried her sons in her belly and it was not long before Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, as they were called, were to be born.

When the woman came to the old lady, she said to her: "I have come, mother; I am your daughter-in-law and your daughter, mother." She said this when she entered the grandmother's house.

"Where did you come from? Where are my sons? Did they, perchance, not die in Xibalba? Do you not see these two who remain, their descendants and blood, and are called Hunbatz and Hunchouén. Go from here! Get out!" the old lady screamed at the girl.

"Nevertheless, it is true that I am your daughter-in-law; I have been for a long time. I belong to Hun-Hunahpú. They live in what I carry, Hun-Hunahpú and Vucub-Hunahpú are not dead; they will return to show themselves clearly, my mother-in-law. And you shall soon see their image in what I bring to you," she said to the old woman.

Then Hunbatz and Hunchouén became angry. They did

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nothing but play the flute and sing, paint, and sculpture all day long and were the consolation of the old woman.

Then the old woman said:

"I do not wish you to be my daughter-in-law, because what you bear in your womb is fruit of your disgrace. Furthermore, you are an impostor; my sons of whom you speak are already dead."

Presently the grandmother added: "This, that I tell you is the truth; but well, it is all right, you are my daughter-in-law, according to what I have heard. Go, then, bring the food for those who must be fed. Go and gather a large net [full of corn] and return at once, since you are my daughter-in-law, according to what I hear," she said to the girl.

"Very well," the girl replied, and she went at once to the cornfield 3 which Hunbatz and Hunchouén had planted. They had opened the road and the girl took it and so came to the cornfield; but she found only one stalk of corn; there were not two or three, and when she saw that there was only one stalk with an ear on it, the girl became very anxious.

"Ah, sinner that I am, unfortunate me! Where must I go to get a net full of corn 4 as she told me to do?" she exclaimed. Immediately she began to beg Chahal 5 for the food which she had to get and must take back.

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"Xtoh, Xcanil, Xcacau, 6 you who cook the corn; and you, Chahal, guardian of the food of Hunbatz and Hunchouén!" said the girl. And then she seized the beards, the red silk of the ears of corn and pulled them off without picking the ear. Then she arranged the silk in the net like ears of corn and the large net was completely filled.

The girl returned immediately; the animals of the field went along carrying the net, and when they arrived, they went to put the load in a corner of the house, as though she might have carried it. The old woman came and when she saw the corn in the large net she exclaimed:

"Where have you brought all this corn from? Did you, perchance, take all the corn in our field and bring it all in? I shall go at once to see," said the old woman, and she set out on the road to the cornfield. But the one stalk of corn was still standing there, and she saw too where the net had been at the foot of the stalk. 7 The old woman quickly returned to her house and said to the girl:

"This is proof enough that you are really my daughter-in-law. I shall now see your little ones, those whom you carry and who also are to be soothsayers," 8 she said to the girl.


56:1 p. 214 The grandmother of these boys, who also acted as a mother to them.

56:2 In transcribing the Quiché text, Brasseur de Bourbourg omitted several words at this point, thinking, perhaps, that it was unnecessary to repeat them. The complete text is as follows: Arecut e qo ri u chuch Hunbatz, Hunchouén, ta x-ul ri ixoc Xquic u bi. Ta x-ul cut ri ixoc Xquic ruq ri u chuch Hunbatz, Hunchouén.

56:3 p. 215 Milpa, field planted with corn; the same name is also given to a stalk of corn.

56:4 Echá, food, nourishment, particularly corn.

56:5 Guardian of the cornfields.

56:6 Brasseur de Bourbourg interprets these names as follows: Xtoh, goddess of rain; Xcanil, goddess of gram (from ganel, stalk of yellow corn); and Xcacau, goddess of cacao.

56:7 U qolibal cat chuxe. Neither Brasseur de Bourbourg nor Ximénez translated chuxe, "at the foot of"

56:8 E nauinac chic, sages, magicians, or soothsayers in Quiché.

Next: II. Chapter 5