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III. Chapter 8

And their gods spoke to them again. Thus Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz spoke to Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam: "Let us go, let us get up, let us not stay here, take us to a secret place! Already dawn draws near. Would it not be a disgrace for you if we were imprisoned by our enemies within these walls where you, the priests and sacrificers. keep us? Put each of us, then. in a safe place," 1 they said when they spoke.

"Very well. We shall go on, we shall go in search of the forests," all answered.

Immediately after, they took up their gods and put them on their backs. In this way they carried Avilix to the ravine called Euabal-Ziván, 2 so named by them, to the large ravine of the forest. now called Pavilix, 3 and there they left him. In this ravine he was left by Balam-Acab.

They were left one by one. The first one left was Hacavitz, he was left on a large red pyramid, 4 on the mountain now called Hacavitz. There they founded their town, there in the place where the god called Hacavitz, was.

In the same way, Mahucutah left his god, who was the second one hidden by them.

Hacavitz was not in the forest, but on a hill cleared of trees, Hacavitz was hidden.

Then Balam-Quitzé came, he came there to the large


forest; Balam-Quitzé came to hide Tohil at the hill which is today called Patohil. Then they celebrated the hiding of Tohil in the ravine, in his refuge. A great quantity of snakes, jaguars, vipers, and cantiles 5 were in the forest where they were hidden by the priests and sacrificers.

Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah. and Iqui-Balam were together; together they awaited the dawn, there on the mountain, called Hacavitz.

And a short distance away, was the god of the people of Tamub and of the people of Ilocab. Amac-Tan, 6 the place is called, where the god of the Tamub [people] was, and there dawn came to the tribes. The place where those from Ilocab awaited the dawn was called Amac-Uquincat7 there was the god of those of Ilocab, a short distance from the mountain.

There. too, were all the people of Rabinal, the Cakchiquel, the Tziquinahá, all the small tribes, and the large tribes. Together they stayed. awaiting the coming of the dawn and the rising of the large star called Icoquih, which rises just before the sun, when it dawns, according to the legend.

There they were together, then, Balam-Quitzé. Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam. They did not sleep; they remained standing and great was the anxiety of their hearts and their stomachs for the coming of dawn and the day. There, too, they felt shame; they were overcome with great sorrow, great suffering. and they were oppressed with pain.

They had come that far. "Oh. we have come without joy! If only we could see the rising of the sun! What shall we do now? If we lived in harmony in our country, why did we leave it?" they said to each other, in the midst of their sadness and affliction, and with mournful voices.

p. 128

They talked, but they could not calm their hearts which were anxious for the coming of the dawn. "The gods are seated in the ravines, in the forests, they are among the air-plants, among the mosses, 8 not even a seat of boards were they given," they said.

p. 129

First there were Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz. Great was their glory, their strength, and their power over the gods of all the tribes. Many were their miracles, and countless their journeys, and their pilgrimages in the midst of the cold; and the hearts of the tribes were filled with fear.

But calm were the hearts of Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam. With respect to them [the gods]. They felt no anxiety in their hearts for the gods whom they had received, and had carried on their backs when they came there from Tulán-Zuivá, from there in the East.

They were there, then, in the forest, now called Zaquiribal, Pa-Tohil, P'Avilix, Pa-Hacavitz. 9

And next came the dawn, and light shone for our grandparents and our parents.

Now we shall tell of the coming of the dawn and the appearance of the sun, the moon, and the stars.


129:1 p. 232 Huhun ta cut y ya vi. The verb ya, yac, is used here in the sense of guarding, to have custody, to insure, Diccionario Cakchiquel.

129:2 Ravine of the hiding place.

129:3 In Avilix.

129:4 Hun nima caq ha, a large mound, painted red, an artificial pyramid such as the Indians constructed as a base for their temples. On some of these the red paint is still preserved. They lived for many years in Hacavitz-Chipal, says the Título de Totonicapán. According to Brasseur de Bourbourg, the mountain Hacavitz is one of those which rises to the north of Rabinal three leagues from the Chixoy River. In the Cuchumatan Mountains, to the cast of the Chixoy River, and at an altitude of 5,900 feet, there is the archaeological site of Chipal which might be the ancient Hacavitz-Chipal.

129:5 Canti, a variety of poisonous serpent, Trigonocephalus specialis. The ancient Indians thought that these serpents were minor gods of their mythology.

129:6 The tribe of Tan, Amagtán in the Título de Totonicapán.

129:7 The name Uquincat might mean "net of gourds," from uqui, a tree p. 233 which produces a fruit resembling the gourd, and cat, "net." The Título de los Señores de Totonicapán mentions this place under the name of Uquín, and adds that together with the tribes of Tamub and Ilocab there were the thirteen tribes called Vucamag-Tecpán.

129:8 Xa pa ec, xa pa atziac e qo vi. Ec is the Tillandsia Species pluribus, a bromeliaceous plant which lives on trees, as was said before. Atziac is another bromeliaceous plant which also grows on trees, and its thick fibres, similar to gray hair, hang to the ground. Its common name in Guatemala is paxte, derived from the Náhuatl word paxtle. An epiphyte Dendropogon usneoides, incorrectly called moss of Florida and Spanish moss in the southern part of the United States.

129:9 The coming of dawn in the mountains of Tohil, of Avilix, and of Hacavitz. The Título de los Señores de Totonicapán says that when the chiefs of the Quiché nation disappeared, their children found themselves, by a miracle, in the mountains where the gods were, and that since that time these mountains are called Zaquiribal-Tohil, Zaquiribal-Avilix, and Zaquiribal-Hacavitz.

Next: III. Chapter 9