Images de page

sponding to our modern captain-general. The repetition of a word is one form of superlative. Hence the word holcan three times repeated would read the "very valiant," the "warrior of warriors," the "warrior par excellence."

The most prominent ornament in the second line represents a series of knots or joints of the bamboo cane. Moc is the generic Maya word for "knot." This bamboo joint or knot is often used as totem of Queen Móo, whose name is the radical or first syllable of the verb moocol, "to knot," and of many other words the meaning of which is "to join," "to tie," etc.

On the same line there are also four circles, and a fish on each side of the series of knots. Cay is the Maya for “fish.” It was the name of the high priest, elder brother of Queen Móo. His totem on the monuments is always a fish. (Plate XXXVI.) Taking each of the circles that accompany the fish as a unit, we have the numerical "four," can, a word that, as we have already seen,' has many meanings in the Maya language. It is, as the English word can, always connected with power and might. In this instance it signifies "to speak," and, by extension, "to testify," particularly if we consider that the word uol, besides circle, also means "to desire," "to wish." The ornament composed of four circles and a fish, then, signifies that Cay, the pontiff, wishes to speak, to testify.

On the third line we again find the circles uol many times repeated, which in this case should be translated "to earnestly desire," "to crave. These circles are separated by reedings, that form, as it were, a kind of frame around the knots in the centre of the second line, to indicate that the action represented by this ornament is directly connected with Ubi supra, p. 93.

the person whose totem said knots are. These reedings are composed of straight lines carved in the stone, and are surrounded by a border.

To cut or carve straight lines in a hard substance with a sharp-pointed tool is expressed by the simple word ppaay, in Maya. Chi is the word for border. The whole ornament, then, gives the word ppaaychi. But payalchi is a "prayer," an "invocation;" and ppaachi is "to make an offering," "to make a vow." The duplication of the ornament indicates the earnestness of the vow, or the fervor with which the offering is made.

The leopards are the totem, hence the name of the hero to whose memory the hall was erected. By these we learn that he was called Coh. As to the shields covered with leopard skin, they are the badges of his profession, which, from the ropes with circles within their open strands, we have already learned was that of a warrior.

Translating this dedication into English, it reads: “Cay, the highpriest, desires to bear witness that Móo has made this offering, earnestly invoking Coh, the warrior of warriors."

Does not this recall to mind the invocations of the two sisters, Isis and Niké, in the book of Lamentations;1 and in that of "Glorifying Osiris in Aquerti"?2

As we are about to enter the funeral chamber, hallowed by the love of the sister-wife, Queen Móo, the beauty of the carvings on the zapote beam that forms the lintel of the doorway calls our attention. (Plates XXXVII.-XXXVIII.) Here is represented the antagonism of the brothers Aac and Coh, that led to the murder of the latter by the former.

1 Translation of Mr. Horrack.

2 Translation of Mr. Pierret.

[graphic][ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »