Index  Previous  Next 

p. 154

IV. Chapter 5

And as they had had a presentiment of their death, they counseled their children. They were not ill, they had neither pain nor agony when they gave their advice to their children.

These are the names of their sons: Balam-Quitzé had two sons, Qocaib the first was called, and Qocavib was the name of the second son of Balam-Quitzé, the grandfather and father of those of Cavec.

And these are the two sons which Balam-Acab begot, here are their names: Qoacul the first of his sons was called, and Qoacutec was the name of the second son of Balam-Acab [the founder] of those of Nihaib. 1

Mahucutah had but one son, who was called Qoahau.

Those three had sons, but Iqui-Balam did not have children. They were really the sacrificers, and these are the names of their sons.

So, then, they bade [their sons] farewell. The four were together and they began to sing, feeling sad in their hearts; and their hearts wept when they sang the camucú, as the song is called which they sang when they bade farewell to their sons.

"Oh, our sons! we are going, we are going away; sane advice and wise counsel we leave you. And you, also, who came from our distant country, oh our wives! they said

p. 155

to their women, and they bade farewell to each one. "We are going back to our town, there already in his place is Our Lord of the stags, 2 to be seen there in the sky. We are going to begin our return, we have completed our mission [here], our days are ended. Think, then, of us, do not erase us [from your memory], nor forget us. You shall see your homes and your mountains again; settle, there, and so let it be! Go on your way and you shall see again the place from which we came."

These words they said when they bade them farewell. Then Balam-Quitzé left the symbol of his being: "This is a remembrance which I leave you. This shall be your power. I take my leave filled with sorrow," he added. Then he left the symbol of his being, the Pizom-Gagal3 as it was called, whose form was invisible because it was wrapped up and could not be unwrapped; the seam did not show because it was not seen when they wrapped it up.

In this way they took their leave and immediately they disappeared there on the summit of the mountain Hacavitz.

They [the four lords] were not buried by their wives nor by their children, because they were not seen when they disappeared. Only their leaving was seen dearly, and therefore the bundle was very dear to them. it was the reminder of their fathers and at once they burned incense before this reminder of their fathers.

And then the lords, who succeeded Balam-Quitzé, begot new generations of men, and this was the beginning of the grandfathers and fathers of those of Cavec; but their sons, those called Qocaib and Qocavib, did not disappear.

In this way the four died, our first grandfathers and fathers; in this way they disappeared, leaving their children on the mountain Hacavitz, there where they have remained.

p. 156

And the people being subdued already, and their grandeur ended, the tribes no longer had power, and all lived to serve daily.

They remembered their fathers; great was the glory of the bundle to them. Never did they unwrap it, but it was always wrapped, and with them. Bundle of Greatness they called it when they extolled and named that which their fathers had left in their care as a symbol of their being.

In this manner, then, came about the disappearance and end of Balam-Quitzé, Balam-Acab, Mahucutah, and Iqui-Balam, the first men who came there from the other side of the sea, where the sun rises. They had been here a long time when they died, being very old, the chiefs and sacrificers, as they were called.


156:1 p. 237 The text calls these two branches of the Quiché family Caviquib and Nihaibab, which are the plurals of Cavec and Nihaib. The third family, that of Ahau Quiché, descended from Mahucutah.

156:2 C'Ahaual Queh. Among the Maya, as well as among the Quiché, the Lord, or owner, of the Stags is a symbol of disappearance and of farewell. In Yucatán, Lord Deer is called Yumilceh. He was the guiding spirit of the Maya when they arrived in Xocné-Ceh, according to the Book of Chilan Balam of Chumayel.

156:3 The bundle, symbol of power and majesty, the mysterious package which the servants of the temple guarded as a symbol of authority and sovereignty. The Título de los Señores de Totonicapán gives some information about this Bundle of Majesty. This document says that when the Quiché left Tulán-Civán, under the command of Balam-Quitzé, "the great father Nacxit gave them a gift called Giron-Gagal." Giron, or quirón, is derived from quira, "unfasten," "unroll," "to preserve" a thing. Farther on the same document says that it was in Hacavitz-Chipal where, for the first time, they p. 238 unwrapped the gift which old Nacxit gave them when they came from the East, and that "this gift was what they feared and respected." The gift was a stone, "the stone of Nacxit, which they used in their incantations." Possibly it was the same stone of slate or obsidian which they called Chay Abah, and which is also mentioned in the Memorial de Sololá, as the symbol of the Divinity, which the Cakchiquel have worshiped from ancient times. Torquemada (Monarquía Indiana, Part 2, Book VI, Chap. XLII) says that the Mexican Indians used a bundle, called Haquimilolli, made of the mantles of the dead gods, in which they wrapped some sticks with green stones and the skins of snakes and jaguars, and that this bundle they venerated as their principal god. The Título de los Señores de Totonicapán says that upon taking leave of their children, Balam-Quitzé pronounced these words: "Keep the precious gift which our father Nacxit gave us; it will be useful to us, because we have not yet found the place in which we are going to settle. Beget sons worthy of the title of Ahpop, Ahpop Camhá, Galel, Ahtzivinak; make sons filled with the fire and majesty which our father Nacxit gave us."

Next: IV. Chapter 6