Index  Previous  Next 

p. 75

II. Chapter 8

Then they went, each one carrying his blowgun, and went down in the direction of Xibalba. They descended the steps quickly and passed between several streams and ravines. They passed among some birds and these birds were called Molay. 1

They also passed over a river of corruption, and over a river of blood, where they would be destroyed, so the people of Xibalba thought; but they did not touch it with their feet, instead they crossed it on their blowguns.

They went on from there, and came to a crossway of four roads. They knew very well which were the roads to Xibalba; the black road, the white road, the red road, and the green road. So, then, they sent an animal called Xan. 2 It was to go to gather information which they wanted. "Sting them, one by one; first sting the one seated in the first place and then sting all of them, since this is the part you must play: to suck the blood of the men on the roads," they said to the mosquito.

"Very well," answered the mosquito. And immediately it flew on to the dark road and went directly toward the wooden men which were seated first and covered with ornaments. It stung the first, but this one said nothing; then

p. 76

it stung the next one, it stung the second, who was seated, but this one said nothing, either.

After that it stung the third; the third of those seated was Hun-Camé. "Ah!" he exclaimed when it stung him. "What is this, Hun-Camé? What is it that has stung you? Do you not know who has stung you? "said the fourth one of the lords, who were seated. 3

"What is the matter, Vucub-Camé? What has stung you?" said the fifth.

"Ah! Ah!" then said Xiquiripat. And Vucub-Camé asked him, "What has stung you?" and when they stung the sixth who was seated [he cried], "Ah!"

p. 77

"What is this, Cuchumaquic?" asked Xiquiripat. "What is it that has stung you?" And the seventh one seated said "Ah" when he was stung.

"What is the matter, Ahalpuh?" said Cuchumaquic. "What has stung you?" And when it stung him, the eighth of those seated said, "Ah!"

"What is the matter, Ahalcaná?" said Ahalpuh. "What has stung you?" And when he was stung the ninth of those seated said "Ah!"

"What is this, Chamiabac? "said Ahalcaná. "What has stung you?" And when the tenth of those seated was stung, he said "Ah!"

"What is the matter, Chamiaholom?" said Chamiabac. "What has stung you?" And when the eleventh of those seated was stung he said, "Ah!"

"What happened?" said Chamiaholom. "What has stung you?" And when the twelfth of those seated was stung, he said "Alas!"

"What is this, Patán?" they said. "What has stung you?" And the thirteenth of those seated said "Alas!" when he was stung.

"What is the matter, Quicxic?" said Patán. "What has stung you?" And the fourteenth of those seated when he was stung said "Alas!"

"What has stung you, Quicrixcac?" said Quicré.

In this way they told their names, as they all said them one to the other. 4 So they made themselves known 5 by telling their names, calling each chief, one by one. And in this manner each of those seated in his comer told his name.

Not a single one of the names was missed. All told their names when Hunahpú puffed out a hair of his leg, which was what had stung them. It was really not a mosquito

p. 78

which stung them which went for Hunahpú and Xbalanqué to hear the names of all of them.

They [the youths] continued on their way and arrived where the Lords of Xibalba were.

"Greet the lord, the one who is seated,' said one in order to deceive them.

"That is not a lord. it is nothing more than a wooden figure," they said, and went on. Immediately they began to greet them:

"Hail, Hun-Camé! Hail, Vucub-Camé! Hail, Xiquiripat! Hail, Cuchumaquic! Hail, Ahalpuh! Hail, Ahalcaná! Hail, Chamiabac! Hail, Chamiaholom! Hail, Quicxic! Hail, Patán! Hail, Quicré! Hail, Quicrixcac!" they said coming before them. And looking in their faces, they spoke the name of all, without missing the name of a single one of them.

But what the lords wished was that they should not discover their names.

"Sit here," they said, hoping that they would sit in the seat [which they indicated].

"That is not a seat for us; it is only a hot stone," said Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, and they [the Lords of Xibalba] could not overcome them.

"Very well, go to that house," the lords said. And they [the youths] went on and entered the House of Gloom. And neither there were they overcome.


78:1 p. 217 Molay and its derivatives in Maya mean "together," "flock," "herd," derived from mol, "to gather." The text possibly refers here to the large flocks of birds which are still to be found in the tropical woods and fields of Guatemala.

78:2 Mosquito. The same ally of Hunahpú and Xbalanqué who made a hole in the water jar of Xmucané.

78:3 Brasseur de Bourbourg corrected the text of this passage, which in the original manuscript reads as follows: ¿Naqui Hun-Camé, naquila mi-x-i tiouic? ¿Xah i na qu'i chila mi x-i tionic? x-cha chic u cah culel.

78:4 In the list of the Lords of Xibalba given here, some names appear which differ from those in Chapter 1 of this Part II, while others are omitted altogether. It is true that between one and another of these episodes a generation in time has elapsed and these changes are natural. Or is this still another version of these histories? The following are the new names: Quicxic (bloody wing), Quicrixcac (bloody claw), Quicré (teeth covered with blood). In the composition of all of these names, the word quic (blood) very appropriately appears.

78:5 X qui cut u vach, literally, "they showed their faces."

Next: II. Chapter 9