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p. 166

IV. Chapter 9

In this way [the number] of the twenty-four lords was completed and the twenty-four great houses came into being. Thus the grandeur and power of the sons of the Quiché grew, when they built the town of the ravines out of stone and mortar. 1

Then the small tribes and the great tribes came before the king. The Quiché increased when their glory and majesty waxed, when they raised the house of their gods and the house of their lords. But it was not they who worked, or constructed their houses either, or made the house of the gods, for they were [made] by their sons and vassals, who had multiplied.

And they were not cheating them, nor robbing them, nor seizing them by force, because in reality each belonged to the lords, and many of their brothers and relatives 2 had come together and had assembled, to hear the commands of each of the lords.

The lords were really loved and great was their glory; and the sons and the vassals held the birthdays of the lords in great respect 3 when the inhabitants of the country and the city multiplied. 4

But it did not happen that all the tribes delivered themselves up, and neither did the country and towns [the inhabitants

p. 167

of them] fall in battle, but instead they increased, because of the marvels of the lords, King Gucumatz and King Cotuhá. Gucumatz was truly a marvelous king. For seven days he mounted to the skies and for seven days he went down into Xibalba; seven days he changed himself into a snake and really became a serpent; for seven days he changed himself into an eagle; for seven days he became a jaguar; and his appearance was really that of an eagle and a jaguar. Another seven days he changed himself into clotted blood and was only motionless blood.

The nature of this king was really marvelous, and all the other lords were filled with terror before him. Tidings of the wonderful nature of the King were spread and all the lords of the towns heard it. And this was the beginning of the grandeur of the Quiché, when King Gucumatz gave these signs of his power. His sons and his grandsons never forgot him. And he did not do this in order to be an extraordinary king, he did it as a means of dominating all the towns, as a means of showing that only one was called upon to be chief of the people. 5

The generation of the wonderful king called Gucumatz was the fourth generation, and Gucumatz was also the Ahpop and the Ahpop-Camhá.

They left successors and descendants who reigned and ruled, and begot children, and did many things. Tepepul and Iztayul whose reign was the fifth generation of kings 6 were begotten; and in the same way, each of the generations of these lords had succession.


167:1 p. 246 Zivan-tinamit. Gumarcaah also was surrounded by ravines.

167:2 Tzatz naipuch c'atz qui chac x-uxic, literally, "and many were their older and younger brothers."

167:3 Nimatalic xouatal puch u quih r'alaxic ahauab. Here all the translators have been at a loss because of not having read, nor understood, the direct meaning of the words u quih r'alaxic, the day of the birth of a person.

167:4 Ah zivan, Ah tinamit.

167:5 Xa u qutbal rib rumal xere hu qui zic u holom amac, in the original.

167:6 R'oo le ahau x-uxic, in the original.

Next: IV. Chapter 10