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p. 138

PART IV: Chapter 1

NOW, THEN, MANY TOWNS WERE BEING founded, one by one, and the different branches of the tribes were being reunited and settled close to the roads, their roads which they had opened.

As for Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, it was not known where they were. But when they saw the tribes that passed on the roads, instantly they began to shout on the mountain-tops, howling like a coyote, screaming like a mountain cat, and imitating the roaring of the puma and the jaguar.

And the tribes seeing these things, as they walked, said: "Their screams are like those of the coyote, of the mountain cat, of the puma, and of the jaguar. They want to appear

p. 139

to the tribes as though they are not men, and they only do this to deceive us, we the people. Their hearts wish something. Surely, they do not frighten us with what they do. They mean something with the roaring of the puma, with the noise of the jaguar which they break into when they see one or two men walking; what they want is to make an end of us."

Every day they [the priests] came to their houses and to their women, carrying only the young of the bumblebees and the wasps, and the honeybees to give to their women.

Every day, too, they came before Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz and said in their hearts: "Here are Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz. We can offer them only the blood of the deer and the birds; we take only blood from our ears and our arms. Let us ask Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz for strength and vigor. What will [the tribes] say about the deaths of the people, which, one by one, we are killing?" they said to one another as they went into the presence of Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz.

Then they punctured their ears and their arms before the divinities; they caught their blood and put it in a vase near the stones. 1 They were not really stones, but each one appeared in the likeness of a youth.

They were happy with the blood of the priests and sacrificers when they arrived with this example of their work.

"Follow their tracks [those of the animals which they sacrificed], there is your salvation!

"From there, from Tulán, whence you brought us," they were told, "came the skin, called Pazilizib, which was given to you, smeared with blood: spill your blood and let this be the offering of Tohil, Avilix, and Hacavitz." 2


139:1 p. 236 X-qui hic u coc pu chi abah. U coc is the gourd or squash, the xicalli in which the Mexicans received the blood of their victims. Pu chi abah, near the stone, or in the mouth of the stone, that is to say, in the stone statues of their gods.

139:2 Despite its incoherency and its obscure meaning, this chapter seems to be the prologue to the destruction of the tribes of Vuc Amag, enemies of the Quiché, whom the priests decided to sacrifice in the way they had learned in the north, as will be seen in the chapters which follow.

Next: IV. Chapter 2