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p. 91

II. Chapter 12

Here is the account of the death of Hunahpú and Xbalanqué. Now we shall tell of the way they died.

Having been forewarned of all the suffering which the [Lords of Xibalba] wished to impose upon them, they did not die of the tortures of Xibalba, nor were they overcome by all the fierce animals which were in Xibalba.

Afterward they sent for two soothsayers who were like prophets; they were called Xulú and Pacam 1 and were diviners, and they said unto them:

"You shall be questioned by the Lords of Xibalba about our deaths, for which they are planning and preparing because of the fact that we have not died, nor have they been able to overcome us, nor have we perished under their torments, nor have the animals attacked us. We have the presentiment in our hearts that they shall kill us by burning us. All the people of Xibalba have assembled, but the truth is, that we shall not die. Here, then, you have our instructions as to what you must say:

"If they should come to consult you about our death and that we may be sacrificed, what shall you say then, Xulú and Pacam? If they ask you: 'Will it not be good to throw their bones into the ravine?' 'No, it would not be

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well,' tell them, 'because they would be brought to life again, afterward!' If they ask you: 'Would it not be good to hang them from the trees?' you shall answer: 'By no means would it be well, because then you shall see their faces again.' And when for the third time they ask you: 'Would it be good to throw their bones into the river?' If you were asked all the above by them, you should answer: 'It would be well if they were to die that way; then it would be well to crush their bones on a grinding stone, as corn meal is ground; let each one be ground [separately]; throw them into the river immediately, there where the spring gushes forth, in order that they may be carried away among all the small and large hills.' Thus you shall answer them when the plan which we have advised you is put into practice," said Hunahpú and Xbalanqué. And when they [the boys] took leave of them, they already knew about their approaching death.

They made then, a great bonfire, a kind of oven; the men of Xibalba made it and filled it with thick branches.

Shortly afterward the messengers arrived who had to accompany [the boys], the messengers of Hun-Camé and Vucub-Camé.

"'Tell them to come. Go and get the boys; go there so that they may know we are going to burn them.' This the lords said, oh, boys!" the messengers exclaimed.

"It is well," they answered. And setting out quickly, they arrived near the bonfire. There [the Lords of Xibalba] wanted to force the boys to play a mocking game with them.

"Let us drink our chicha and fly four times, each one [over the bonfire] boys!" was said to them by Hun-Camé.

"Do not try to deceive us,"[the boys] answered. "Perchance, we do not know about our death, oh lords! and

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that this is what awaits us here? "And embracing each other, face to face, they both stretched out their arms, bent toward the ground and jumped into the bonfire, and thus the two died together.

All those of Xibalba were filled with joy, shouting and whistling they exclaimed: "Now we have overcome them. At last they have given themselves up."

Immediately they called Xulú and Pacam, to whom they [the boys] had given their instructions, and asked them what they must do with their bones, as they [the boys] had foretold. Those of Xibalba then ground their bones and went to cast them into the river. But the bones did not go very far, for settling themselves down at once on the bottom of the river, they were changed back into handsome boys. And when again they showed themselves they really had their same old faces. 2


94:1 p. 221 Xulú, little devils who appear near the rivers, according to Father Barela. Ahxulú is the same as ahquib, "soothsayer." Pacam, "distinguished."

94:2 That is, those of Hunahpú and Xbalanqué.

Next: II. Chapter 13