THE BOOK OF CHILAM BALAM OF CHUMAYEL
BY RALPH L. ROYS [1933]

(Chapter) XI "THE RITUAL OF THE ANGELSD"

[Note: additional comments in parenthesis or brackets by me, from the Bolio translation, or added by Roys.]

(THE RITUAL OF THE ANGELS) #fn_384

/Dominus vobiscum/ ended the words of their song when there was neither heaven nor earth. When the world was submerged, when there was neither heaven nor earth, the three-cornered precious stone #fn_385 of grace was born, after the divinity of the ruler was created, #fn_386 when there was no heaven. Then there were born seven tuns, seven katuns, hanging in the heart of the wind, #fn_387 the seven chosen ones. Then, they say, their seven graces #fn_388 stirred also. Seven also were their holy images. #fn_389 While they were still untarnished, occurred the birth of the first precious stone of grace, the first infinite #fn_390 grace, when there was infinite night, when there was no God. Not yet had he received his Godhead. #fn_391 Then he remained alone within the grace, within the night, when there was neither heaven nor earth. Then he departed #fn_392 at the end of the katun, as he could not be born in the first katun. There were his long locks of hair, /adeu ti paramii/; #fn_393 his divinity came to him when he departed.

Thereupon he became man in the second infinite precious stone of grace. Then there arrived in the second katun Alpilcon, as the angel was named when he was born. The second grace was permitted to depart in the second infinite night, when no one was present. Then he received his divinity, alone and through his own effort, when he came to depart. "/O firmar/" he said, when he received his divinity by himself and through his own effort.

Thereupon he departed and went to the third infinite precious stone of grace. Alba Congel was the name of its angel. This was the third grace.

Let me proceed to the fourth infinite precious stone of grace, to the fourth night. Atea Ohe was the name of its angel. The fourth grace was born and began to speak, alone and through his own effort. "Oh god, the ruler! I am after all nothing in myself." These were his words in his concealment, in his divinity within the grace. "Let me still proceed," he said.

Then he went to the fifth infinite precious stone of grace, to the fifth infinite night. The fifth grace was born #fn_394 in the fifth katun. Thereupon he was set up to declare his divinity. Then his angel was born; Decipto was the name of his angel when he was set up. "Since it is so, let me go. Who might I be? I am a god, a ruler, after all," and he declared his divinity all alone. "/A ninite dei sin/," he said when he received his divinity all by himself.

Then he went to the sixth infinite precious stone of grace, to the sixth measured night, to the sixth katun: "Ye gods, ye rulers! Make answer to my words. After all, I am nothing in myself alone."

The seventh grace was born. Conlamil was the name of his angel. "I deliver the things of god to you who are gods. #fn_395 Answer my words. After all, there is no one; no one replies to my words." Thus he spoke as he caused the seventh grace to be born. And there was joy in his heart at the birth of the seventh katun, the seven lights, the seventh measured night (and) the seven infinite (things).

/Abiento bocayento de la zipil na/ #fn_396 /de fente note/. /Sustina gracia, trece mili, uno cargo bende/. The first, the second, the thirteenth unfolding; thirteen banners of the katuns; three, seven, eight thousand. Then God the Father awoke to consciousness alone in person;/ in the three-cornered precious stone of grace he awoke to consciousness, God the Father, as his name was known to be. /Unidad/ and God the Father, these were his names, cleft from the katun for you. There were three generations suddenly augmented in stature when he came. Seven were the generations of his angels. #fn_397 Four times did he first speak. There was one seal #fn_398 in the darkness, one seal on high. "I am the beginning and I shall be the end." Here are his words in their mighty entirety. "/Datate/ here to that which has been received. I am /Unidate/, /I am also Unitata/, I am the Dove, I am /Unitata Anuni/. /Unidad/ cometh." #fn_399

/Nilu/ #fn_400 was the name of the night. This was the first speech of God; this was the first speech of the Father. Of cleansed stone was his precious stone #fn_401 alone in the night. /Etomas/, ăipancas was the name of the wind. Hun Katun was his father. /Otahocanil Aucangel/ was the name of the wind. #fn_402 H(i)eron was the name of the Wind. Xicluto-tu-tanil was the name of the wind. Virtutus was the name of the wind. Joramis was the name of the wind in the second katun. This was what he said when he changed the stone: "/Jaxyonlacalpa/." He covered the name of the holy heaven which our holy Lord, the Father raised up. Bolay #fn_403 was the name of the serpent of the second heaven. He was in the dust at the feet of /Sustinal Gracia/, #fn_404 as he was called. Then Lonmias #fn_405 was formed. The sharp stone was his stone within the night. Zihontun #fn_406 was his stone, when these stones were fixed in their places. Three times they were set at the foot of /Sustinal Gracia/. These stones were born, they were beneath the one stone, the mighty pointed stone, #fn_407 the stone column, the mighty pointed clashing stone. They were manifested all over the world (by) God the Father, the first ruler. In the first katun was born the only son of God; in the second katun, the Father. In the third katun was /Expleo-ucaan/, #fn_408 as he was called, who chastised him named /Chac Opilla/ when he set up the heavens. /Enpileo-u-caan/ #fn_409 was his name. /Expleo/ was his name within the first noose of God. Hebones was the only son of God. (Like) a mirror #fn_410 he was borne astride on the shoulder of his father, on the stone of his father.

Then, it is said, the boldness #fn_411 of the heaven on high was created. This was one grace, one stone; then fire was created, Tixitate was his name, the light of the heavens. Sustinal, they say, was the light from that which lighted the heaven. Acpa, it was, who made the katun after the light originated in the heavens. Alpa-u-manga was his name after it ended.

(These are) the angels #fn_412 of the winds which were set up while he created the star, when the world was not yet lighted, when there was neither heaven nor earth: the Red Pauahtun, the White Pauahtun, the Black Pauahtun, the Yellow Pauahtun. #fn_413

Here was the first heaven where God the Father was set up, grasping in his hand his stone, grasping his /cangel/, grasping his wheel #fn_414 on which are hung the four angels of the winds. Cerpinus was the name of him who, under Orele, measured #fn_415 the land. They were three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He set up the planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, which he said were held in the grasp of the god in heaven when he created them. This was the name of the heaven, cristalino. #fn_416 Here were the Angels. Corpinus was the name of him who held aloft on the palm of his hand the Blessed Father #fn_417 when there was neither heaven nor earth. Inpicco was his name when all the angels were asperged. #fn_418 Baloyo was his name when (the water) was sprinkled. #fn_419 Seros was his name, /Et sepeuas. Laus Deo/.

Below were Chac Bolay Balam #fn_420 and the cacao called /balamtÚ/. #fn_421 Esperas was the name of the sixth heaven; Isperas was the name of the seventh heaven. Then the world was created by God the ruler in the seventh katun, created in the darkness named Espiritu. St. Edendeus (and) St. Eluceo were the saints who witnessed the birth of him who was hidden within the stone, #fn_422 hidden within the night. /Se repite elitun entri de noche/. These were the words said by him who was hidden within the stone, hidden within the night: /Tronas Aleseyo de mundo de gracia. En apedia tejo šipi dia te en pieted gracia. Santo Esuleptun jam estum est gracia. Suplilis el timeo me firme abin finitis gracia, y metis absolutum ti metis de gracia. Abegintis gracia, Edendeo gracia, de fentis de gracia, fenoplis tun gracia. Locom dar yme gracia, tretris u mis gracia. Noši luši de gracia, in pricio de gracia, trese mili uno de cargo, leonte/." #fn_423

One, two, thirteen, one division, thirteen /bakam/ of katuns. Three, seven, eight thousand was the creation of the world, when he who was hidden within the stone, hidden within the night, was born, when there was neither heaven nor earth. Then God the Father spoke alone, by his own efforts, in the darkness that clung like a thrice withered fruit (to the tree). This was the first word of God, when there was neither heaven nor earth, when he came out of the stone and fell into the second stone. Then it was that he declared his divinity. Then resounded eight thousand katuns at the word of the first stone of grace, the first ornamented #fn_424 stone of grace. It was the macaw that warmed it well behind the /acantun/. #fn_425

Who was born when our father descended?

Thou knowest. There was born the first macaw who cast the stones behind the /acantun/. #fn_426 How was the grain of maize born? How, indeed, father?

Thou knowest. The tender green (shoot) was born in heaven.

"/Ciripacte, horca mundo. Ni mompan est noche. Amanena, omonena, apa opa/," (was said) when the wind emerged from the great stone of grace. "/Cipiones ted coruna, pater profecido/," were his words when he arrived at the seventh stratum of the solid rock of grace. #fn_427 "/Bal te piones, ortešipio, reši quenta noche. Hun ebrietate, hun cute profeciado/," were the words of the Angel, Jerupiter. Then the sky was put in its place, /Corporales ti ojales/, by the first pope, the face of the katun, the burden of the Katun 13 Ahau. The face of the sun shall be turned from its course, it shall be turned face down during the reign of the perishable men, the perishable rulers. Five days the sun is eclipsed, and then shall be seen the torch of (Katun) 13 Ahau, a sign given by God that death shall come to the rulers/of this land. Thus it shall come about that the first rulers are driven from their towns. Then Christianity (shall) have come here to the land.

Thus it is that God, our Father, gives a sign when they shall come, because there is no agreement. The descendants (of the former rulers) are dishonored and brought to misery; we are christianized, while they treat us like animals. There is sorrow in the heart of God because of these "suckers." #fn_428

1n the year Fifteen hundred and thirty-nine, 1539, to the east was the door of the House of Don Juan Montejo, #fn_429 to introduce Christianity here to the land of Yucalpeten, Yucatan.

Chilam Balam, the prophet. #fn_430 /

Thus today is not an unlucky day #fn_431 . . . /

This was his name, God the Father, when he came to exist in person, after the creation of the world and the earth. This was then his name. Joshua was his second name. In his third person, his name for the third time was Mesister in Latin, Dei in the vernacular.

FIG. 25--The name and symbols of God. (Chumayel MS.). /

The Red Pauahtun was Utcorusis. The White Pauahtun was Corocalbo. The Black Pauahtun was Corusi-provento. The Yellow Pauahtun was Moses.

No vis.

No va.

Messiah was the name of God before the heavens and the earth were created. Messiah the Christ, was his name. Then he created the Angels. But it was manifested to God that half of the Angels were destined to sin.

The second name of God was Emanuel. To this was added his third name; this then was Jeremiah, his name when there was neither heaven nor earth.

The misspelled Latin and Spanish names may have been taken from some Spanish treatise on astrology or magic. The decoration here is evidently borrowed from some Spanish religious book.

FIG. 26--Death is ruler over all. (Chumayel MS.) /

This picture is probably taken bodily from some Spanish almanac.

Footnotes

#fr_386 The following ritual is an example of the manner in which the Maya superimposed Christian doctrines on their own religious conceptions. An account of what we might call the Americanization of Christianity will be found in Appendix G.

#fr_387 Maya /tun/. This usually means a precious stone, while an ordinary stone or rock is called tunich. /Tun/ also means the pit of a fruit as well as the soft surface limestone of the country. In compound words designating things made of stone we find the same term employed; furthermore /tun/ is the name of the Maya time-period of 365 days. It is important to the interpretation of this chapter to note that among the Maya the Spanish word /gracia/, here literally translated as "grace," is a ritualistic term employed to designate the young maize plant (information supplied by Dr. Redfield). Consequently the "three-cornered precious stone of grace" is doubtless also a liturgical term indicating a grain of corn.

#fr_388 Alternative translation: was declared.

#fr_389 Alternative translation: in the heart of the spirit. /Ik/ may mean either wind, breath or spirit.

#fr_390 Written /grasiail/ in the text.

#fr_391 Written /santoil/ in the text.

#fr_392 Maya /picib/, here translated as though it were /picil/ which means innumerable.

#fr_393 Written /Diosil/ in the text.

#fr_394 Here /buki/ is translated as though it were /luki/, he departed. /Buki/ means to be beaten up, like wax, or as soil is pulverized for cultivation.

#fr_395 Either for the purpose of mystification or to add solemnity to the ritual, this chapter is filled with Spanish and Latin words and names heard in the Christian church service. Here the "long locks of hair" are probably a reference to the corn-silk.

#fr_396 It is possible that this word /zihil/ should be translated as "originated" here, as we can not be sure that the "grace" or maize plant, is personified. The Spanish words for grace and angel often have a Maya suffix. The names of the angels are unfamiliar to the translator, but they are certainly not Maya.

#fr_397 The Maya text: "/Ten kul u ba ku tex ku exe/," is translated as though it read: /Ten kub u bal ku tex ku exe/.

#fr_398 In all this abracadabra only the words, /zipil na/, appear to be Maya and might possibly be translated as "house of sin." The reader is reminded that the sounds of d, f, g and r do not occur in the Maya language. Consequently the remainder appears to be a mixture of corrupted Latin and Spanish, and, it is to be suspected, meant little more to the Maya writer than "eena meena mina mo" does to the American child who recites the formula.

#fr_399 Maya /cangel/, or /canhel/, the genuine Maya "angel," who was probably a wind-spirit. /Cf./ P. 67, note #fn_68.

#fr_400 Maya /óalab/, defined as a seal or mold. Literally it means "that which is pressed down on something." The reference is to the terra cotta stamps or molds employed in decorating pottery, and it is possible that they were also used to stamp certain decorations on the human body.

#fr_401 Of these italicized words, /Anuni/ is the only one which is not intended for Latin or Spanish. Possibly it is either a corrupted Nahuatl form or one taken from the Chol-Tzeltal group of languages.

#fr_402 Possibly a reference to "Egyptian darkness."

#fr_403 From here on, the /tun/ appears to refer to a stela or monument.

#fr_404 Maya /ik/, here translated as wind, also means breath, life and spirit. "/El espÝritu, vida y aliento/." Motul.

#fr_405 /Bolay/, the general name for a beast of prey.

#fr_406 Apparently a corruption of some form of the Latin /sustineo/ and /gracia/, in which case it would probably mean "sustaining grace," or in other words, the maize plant which is our sustenance.

#fr_407 Lonmias may be a corruption of Hieronymus.

#fr_408 Zihontun might be translated as the created stone.

#fr_409 Alternative translation: the red pointed stone.

#fr_410 This mixture of Latin and Maya could be translated: I fill out the heavens.

#fr_411 Possibly the /Cielo Empireo/ is meant.

#fr_412 The Maya carried mirrors, possibly on the back or shoulder.

#fr_413 Alternative translation: the bold one, the mad one, the turbulent one; possibly this is a confused recollection of the story of Lucifer. A Maya legend much resembling the Lucifer story is reported from Yucatan (Relaciones de Yucatan, I, p. 177).

#fr_414 Maya, /cangeles ik/. The reference is evidently to the so-called "angels," one of whom was set on the back of the image of the Red Bacab in the ceremony pertaining to the year ascribed to the east. This "angel" was a sign of good rains and favorable crops. Easterly winds have always been favorably regarded by the Maya, and the translator believes that this cangel (Landa's "angel" and Beltran's "dragon") was a wind-spirit. It probably looked more like a dragon than an angel. As we see here, there were four of them, and the word itself could well be translated as "the four changing ones." Consequently our "angels of the wind" would be originally the "four changing winds." /Cf./ p. 67, note #fn_68.

#fr_415 This passage confirms Baeza's account of the /misa milpera/ (quoted in Brinton 1890, p. 166), in which it is stated that the four Pauahtuns are identical with the winds and the four cardinal points from which they blow. A discussion of the four cardinal points and the deities associated with them will be found in Appendix A.

#fr_416 Maya, /kabalil/, is the primitive Yucatecan potter's wheel, which is only a block of wood on which the pot is turned by the feet of the potter. See Tozzer 1907, Plate 13, fig. 3. In the Codex Cortesianus (pp. 20-21 d), we see a wheel-like ceremonial object held by four bird-headed figures. The pictures illustrate a /tzol-kin/ (or tonalamatl) divided into four parts and beginning with the day 4 Ik (4 Wind).

#fr_417 We find several unexplained references to "measuring the land." /Cf./ p. 65 #page_65.

#fr_418 We find in the Books of Chilam Balam of Ixil and Kaua a diagram on which the earth is enclosed within eleven spheres labeled Luna, Mercurio, Venus, Sol, Marte, Jupiter, Saturno, Firmamento (containing the fixed stars), Christalino, Primer Mobil and Cielo Empireo. It is, of course, the popular idea of Ptolmaic astronomy in vogue at the time, and was not unlike the native conception of thirteen heavens, of which the earth itself counted as the first.

#fr_419 Possible alternative translation: The blessing of the Father, etc.

#fr_420 Sprinkling with a consecrated liquid was an ancient Maya ceremony. Landa 1928, p. 184.

#fr_421 Alternative translation: when they (the angels) were scattered.

#fr_422 /Balam/ is a general term for jaguar, but it can also mean priest. /Chac-bolay/ is /Felis hernandesii goldmani/ Mearns; but it was also the name of a certain evil spirit, and spreading the skin of this jaguar in the market-place was a symbol of war, famine and pestilence (Tizimin, p. 30).

#fr_423 BalamtÚ is the /Theobroma bicolor/ Humb. & Bonpl.

#fr_424 Maya, /u lamay tun/, probably the planted seed corn. The definition of this phrase, "the square stone," symbolizing the twenty years of the katun, has long been accepted. The word for squared, however, is /amay/, not /lamay/, which means sunk out of sight, hidden. /Cf./ Chumayel, p. 163, where we read of the "hell which is sunken within the world."

#fr_425 Little, if any, of this hocus-pocus is Maya, and it is the conjecture of the translator that its source was some itinerant Spanish fortune-teller or astrologer. /Cf./ Aguilar 1900, p. 80. The repetition of the word /gracia/ suggests an incantation to make the corn grow.

#fr_426 Literally, embroidered. Maya: /hun piliz tun de gracia/.

#fr_427 This reference recalls the legend of the divine macaw which brought down from heaven the fire to consume the sacrifice to Kinich Kakmˇ, the sun-god, at Izamal (Cogolludo 1868, 1, p. 319). For an account of the /acantun/, see page 114, note #fn_434.

#fr_428 The text is confused here and the translation a little uncertain.

#fr_429 Probably a fanciful conception of the structure of the maize-kernel.

#fr_430 Possibly this is a reference to the name first given to the Spaniards. They were called "suckers of anonas," because they were seen eating the pond-apple, an insipid fruit not considered edible by the natives.

#fr_431 Here as elsewhere Don Juan de Montejo is confused with his father, Don Francisco, the Spanish conqueror. The door of the old Montejo mansion in Merida faces north, not east, and it is the belief of the translator that this reference is not to the actual house of Montejo, but to the compartment, or so-called "house," of the katun-wheel in which is pictured Katun 11 Ahau, the first katun of the Spanish Conquest in which Montejo ruled the country. The katun-wheel on page 132 of the Chumayel ascribes Katun 11 Ahau to the east.

#fr_432 Written in a different hand. [Chilam Balam, the prophet. #fn_430]

#fr_433 Written in a different hand.