Sunday, January 31, 2010


PLATE XX OF THE MANUSCRIPT TROANO (DRESDEN CODEX)Title: A Study of the Manuscript Troano. Author: Cyrus Thomas. Publisher: Classic Textbooks, 1882. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Jan 29, 2008. Length: 794 pages.

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"It was the custom in all the cities of Yucatan that there should be at each of the four entrances of the place—that is to say, the east, west, north, and south—two heaps of stone facing each other, intended for the celebration of two feasts of unlucky days. These feasts took place in the following manner:

"The year of which the dominical letter was Kan the omen was Hobnil, and, according to the belief of the Yucatecs, they both reigned in the region of the south. This year, therefore, they fabricated a hollow image qr figure of baked earth, of the idol which they called Kan-u-Uayeyab, and carried it to the heap of dry stones which was on the south side. They elected a chief from the citizens, at whose house they celebrated the feasts of these days. At this ceremony they made also the statue of another god, named Bolon-Zacab, which they placed in the house of the chief elect, in a spot where every one could approach.

"This done, the nobles, the priest, and the citizens assembled together. They returned, by a road swept and ornamented with arches and foliage, to the two piles of stone, where they found the statue, around which they gathered with much devotion. The priest then perfumed it with fortynine grains of bruised maize mixed with incense. The nobles placed their incense together in the censer of the idol and perfumed it in their turn. The maize mixed with the priest's incense is called zacah, and that which the nobles present is called chahalte. Having incensed the image, they cut off the head of a fowl and presented to it.

"When this was finished they placed the statue on a litter called Kante, and on its shoulders an 'angel' as an omen of water and the good year which they should have. As to these 'angels,' they were frightful in appearance.

"Then they carried the statue, dancing with much gaiety, to the house of the chief, where he found the other statue of Bolon-Zacab. While they were on the way one of them carried to the nobles and the priest a drink composed of four hundred and twenty-five grains of burnt maize, which they called Picula-Kakla, and all partook of it at the same time. Arrived at the chiefs house, they placed the image which they carried, face to face with the statue which was already there, and made many offerings of drinks and viands, of meat and fish. These offerings were afterwards divided among the strangers who were present, and they gave the priest only a leg of venison.

"Others drew blood from themselves by scarifying their ears, and anointed with it a stone which they had as an idol, called Kanal-Acantun.

They modeled a heart from the dough of their bread, and in the same way another loaf, of gourd seeds, which they presented to the idol Kan-u-Uayeyab. It was thus that they guarded this statue and the other during the unfavorable days, perfuming them with their incense and with incense mixed with grains of bruised maize. They believed that if they neglected these ceremonies they would be subject to the calamities which were the result of this year. The unlucky days having passed, they carried the statue of the god Bolon-Zacdb to the temple, and the image of the other to the eastern entrance of the city, in. order to have it for the next year. They left it there, and returning home each one occupied himself with preparations for the celebration of the new year.

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