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Carved in the lintel are the names of these personages, represented by their totems—a leopard-head for Coh; and a boar-head as well as a turtle for Aac, this word meaning both boar and turtle in Maya. Aac is pictured within the disk of the sun, his protective deity, which he worshipped, according to mural inscriptions at Uxmal. Full of anger he faces his brother. In his right hand there is a badge ornamented with feathers and flowers. The threatening way in which this is held suggests a concealed weapon. Among the people of Tahiti, eloquent bards went to battle among the warriors, inciting them with glowing words; those orators carried a bunch of green leaves which served to hide a dangerous weapon made from the bone of the sting-ray.1 A fell intent disguised beneath blossoms suggests the treacherous way in which Coh was slain.
The face of Coh, also, expresses anger. With him is the feathered serpent, emblem of royalty, thence of the country, more often represented as a winged serpent protecting Coh. In his left hand he holds his weapons, down; while his right hand clasps his badge of authority, with which he covers his breast as if for protection, and demanding the respect due to his rank.
So in Mayach as in Egypt, and in every place where Maya civilization has penetrated, we find the sun and the serpent inimical to each other. Are we to see in the Egyptian myth of Horus (the sun) killing the serpent Aphophis, by piercing his head with a lance, a tradition of the hostility of the brothers Aac and Coh in Mayach? Both belonged to the
1 Ellis (W.), Polynesian Researches, vol. i., chap. xi., p. 287.
2 Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., chap. xiii., pp. 59, 144, 154.
Can (serpent) dynasty. In Greece we find a reflection of the Egyptian myth in the fable of Apollo (the sun) killing the serpent Python. In the "Mahabharata" Krishna-that is,
HORUS KILLING THE SERPENT APHOPHIS.
the god Vishnu in his eighth avatar-kills the serpent Anantha, the seven-headed, enemy of the gods, when he was wrestling with the goddess Parvati.1
During their captivity in Babylon, the Jews, among other legends of the Chaldees, learned the tradition of the enmity between the woman and the serpent, that Hilkiah, the highpriest, introduced at the beginning of Genesis. The Christians received it from the Jews; and to this day the Church
J. T. Wheeler, Mahabharata, vol. i., "Legends of Krishna."
22 Kings, chap. xxii., verses 8-10; also 2 Chron., chap. xxxiv., verse See Appendix, note xvii.
Genesis, chap. ii., verse 15.
of Rome always pictures the Virgin Mary with a serpent coiled at her feet. So, also, we see the Goddess Maya in Japan. She is represented standing on a rock, the name of which is symbolized by a dragon encircling it with its body, its head resting at her feet. In her hand she holds aloft a branch of the mangrove tree, bearing fruit. This is the totem, or name, of her family, Canchi. The mangrove tree and its fruit are called Canché in the Maya language; that is, "serpent wood," from the appearance of its contorted roots, that resemble snakes. It is well, in this connection, to remember that even at the time of the Spanish Conquest the Maya Empire was called Nohcan, the great serpent, and also beb, the mulberry tree,1 and the authors of the Troano MS. and of the Cortesianus always represented the Maya Empire either as a tree rooted in the South American continent, or as a serpent-sometimes with, sometimes without, wings. In another work I have shown, when speaking of the relation of the tree and the serpent with the country in the middle of the land,' that Yuen-leao-fan, a very ancient commentator on the "Chou-King," says that kan means the trunk of a tree, and tchi are the branches.
Passing between the figures of armed chieftains sculptured on the jambs of the doorway, and seeming like sentinels guarding the entrance of the funeral
wearing a headdress similar to the which formed part of the Pshent
chamber, we notice one crown of Lower Egypt, of the Egyptian mon
archs. We step into the hallowed place with as much reverence as if the body of the dead hero still lay in state within its walls after being prepared for cremation.
Does not the memory of his life, of his exploits in war, of the bitter hatred of his brother Aac, of his death at the hand of the friend of his childhood, still hover there? So, also, that of the love of his sister-wife, Móo, who, we know, ordered the erection of this monument to perpetuate it; of his friends, who shed tears1 for their companion in pleasure, their brave leader in battle, and whose effigies supported the altar on which offerings were made to his manes; of a whole nation that mourned the untimely end of their beloved ruler-he who brought glory, power, and happiness to the people? In so saying, I am but the mouthpiece of the author of that celebrated Maya book, the Troano.
1 Troano MS., part ii., plate xvi., lower compartment.
Ir was with conflicting sentiments of awe and disgust that we contemplated the walls by which we were surrounded. Many before us had visited this apartment, and, by inscribing their names, disfigured what remained of the fresco paintings that once covered those walls from the plinth to the apex of the triangular arch forming the ceiling. Of these we saved,
by making accurate tracings, all that was possible, noting the various colors in each part. The tints were still bright, some even brilliant. It seemed as if we had been transported to one of the royal tombs at Thebes, or to the cave temples in the island of Elephanta,' only here the artists were less trammelled by conventionalities in art. Their designs, freer, truer to nature, more correct in their delineations, particularly of the human body, show that the artists who executed them were masters in the art of drawing. Like the Egyptian, the Chaldee, and the Hindoo artists, the Mayas were little
'Henry Grose, Voyage in the East Indies, chap. vii., p. 95. pendix, note xviii.
* John L. Stephens, Incidents of Travels in Yucatan, vol. ii., p. 311. See Appendix, note xi.