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a leopard's paw. This is intended for the name of the dead hero, Coh, or Chaacmol, "leopard." The etymon of the last word is Chaac, "thunder," "tempest," hence, "irresistible power; " and mol," the paw of any carnivorous animal." The leopard being the largest and fiercest of the beasts of prey inhabiting the forests of Yucatan and Central America, the Mayas, who, as we have said, named all things by onomatopoeia, called their most famous warrior Chaacmol; that is, "the paw swift like thunder," "the paw with irresistible power like the tempest "-just as the French designate a noted general on the battle-field as "un aigle dans le combat," "un foudre de guerre.
On the panels that adorned the architrave were carved two figures (Plate LIX.), the one a leopard, the other a macaw (Plate LX.), in the acting of licking or eating hearts. The first is the totem of the warrior to whose memory the mausoleum was erected; the other that of his wife, Queen Móo, by whose order it was constructed, and who dedicated it to the memory of her beloved brother and husband. Being portrayed in the act of licking the hearts of their enemies, whom they had vanquished on the battle-field, certainly indicates that the Mayas, although ordinarily not addicted to cannibalism, like many other nations of antiquity sometimes ate the hearts of their conquered foes, in the belief that by so doing they would inherit their valor. This same custom prevails even in our day among various peoples.
The corona of the cornice is adorned with a row of human skulls. Not one is artificially deformed. Evidently the custom of deforming the head was not practised by the ancient Mayas as it was by the inhabitants of the cities of Copan and "An eagle in the battle, 99 66 a thunder in war."
These, therefore, could not have been Mayas as the majority of Americanists assert without adequate proofs. In fact, the sculptures at Chichen show that the Mayas and the peoples that so deformed their heads, whoever they were, were inimical to each other.
At the foot of the balustrades, on each side of the stairs leading to the top of the mausoleum, there were large serpent heads, with open mouth and protruding tongue.
These serpent heads, we know, were totems of the Cans, used in all edifices erected by them, to show that they were built by their order. The tongue protruding from the mouth was the symbol of wisdom among the Mayas. It is often found thus in the portraits of priests, kings, and other exalted personages supposed to be endowed with great wisdom.1 It may, perhaps, have been also a token of respect, as it is even to-day in Thibet.2 (Plate LXI.)
The mausoleum was crowned by a most interesting statue. It was that of a dying leopard with a human head (Plate LXII.), a veritable sphinx; the prototype, may be, of the mysterious Egyptian Sphinx, the most ancient monument in the valley of the Nile. This Maya sphinx, like the leopard in the sculptures, had three deep holes in its back-symbols of the three spear thrusts that caused Prince Coh's death. Thus it has come to the knowledge of succeeding generations that the brave Maya warrior, whom foes could not vanquish in fair fight, was treacherously slain by a cowardly assassin-this assassin his own brother Aac; just as Osiris in Egypt is said to have been murdered by his brother Set, and for the same motive, jealousy.
'See Appendix, note xxi.
2 M. Huc, Recollections of a Journey through Thibet and Tartary, vol. ii., chap. vi., p. 158.