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p. 190

[e] Paper Concerning the Origin of the Lords

[The following description of the origin of the Quiché lords is found in the document entitled "Descripción de Zapotitlán y Suchitepec," enviada al Rey de España por el Corregidor Juan de Estrada el 22 de noviembre de 1572, the original manuscript of which is in the Latin-American Library of the University of Texas.]

THE FIRST KING that these people of Utatlán had was called Balam Quisé. This king came from the part of the East and brought with him two other brothers, one called Balam Acap, the other called Mahu Cutah. These three were equal in command, and the first ones who populated the land of Rabinal. Balam Quisé, the older brother, had two sons, one called Cocohá and the other Corojón Amac. These two sons of Balam Quisé were the first ones who discovered the province of Utatlán and explored, populated. and subjected it.

Cocohá begat E. This one reigned in the place of his father, who was called Cocohá, and he it was who conquered the land of Robonal and the surrounding country. Corojón Amac, second son of Balam. Quisé, brother of Cocohá, begat Tziquín. This Tziquín and E. were equal in command and they fought by night and they went by night to slay the enemy people, whom they found scattered and careless, and in order to make themselves feared, they appeared before men, by the work of the devil, as jaguars and pumas, and they flew by night through the air, spouting fire from their mouths, and in this way they did great damage, for which they were held in much fear and all the land of Robinal submitted to them. And they made the people understand that they were the sons of Tzacol Pitol, which is to say, that they were the sons of the Maker of all things.

E. [was] the real king, by virtue of being the older brother, and he begat Ah. This one also was a sorcerer and did as his forefathers had done. Tziquín begat Acan, and they were equal in command, the two first cousins between them, and they were great sorcerers.

Ah, the legitimate lord, begat Cocayb and Cocayvim. Cocayb was the heir to the kingdom through his father, and was the first one to make a republic [of his land]. This Cocayb thus subjected the eleven lords left [unconquered] by his ancestors, and he was the first

p. 191

who founded a town. He built and made his royal house and fort at Robinal. This one was the first one who divided the lands and made a captain and governors and captains, and he divided them into heads of wards [calpules]. He was the first one who made laws and established legal rights, and he was the first one who made them pay tribute, each one according to what he had and held, and he, who did not have wherewith to pay tribute, served with his own person or other suitable things.

This Cocayb made his brother Cocaybim general of his land, which [position] is called Ahpop, and he made him equal thus, although he did not recognize [his] right by descent [mayorazgo]. This latter instituted and named nine captains or governors, who governed the town and assisted him, and not one of them who was [still] young could govern, until he became of age, and he was deemed and held as apt, and if he was not [of age], one of those nearest to his family and parentage governed until he was of age.

This Cocabim, the second brother, because of the absence of his brother, who had wandered away from his house, had a son by his sister-in-law, and his brother Cocayb being about to return [from his wanderings] and in view of the penalties, which had been fixed by his law, before he left, that of hanging, and since he had had a son by his brother's wife, the child's grandmother kept him in hiding, and being of age his uncle and step-father gave him the position of his father, to be one of the Ahpop [a principal officer of the kingdom]. in this way the kingdom was bestowed upon this Cocayb without any one else being allowed to govern or to be king.

This Cocayb begat Quehnay and other five sons, which were appointed governors by this king and from then on until the Spaniards came the kings had this name of Quehnay, because it is [regarded] among the natives like Caesar.

From the second brother, who was called Cocaybim, succeeded all those who were called Ahpop until there came a successor, who was called Conaché, grandfather of Don Juan Cortés, who is now living. This Conaché died in the battle which the Adelantado Don Pedro de Alvarado fought on the plains of the town of Quezaltenango, which belongs to the Royal Crown.