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principal protecting genii of the human race among the Chaldeans,1 whose names were: Sed-Alap or Kirub, who was represented as a bull with a human face; Lamas or Nirgal, as a lion with a man's head; Ustur, after the human likeness; and Nattig, with the head of an eagle?
These last were said by Ezekiel to be the four symbolical creatures which supported the throne of Jehovah in his visions by the river Chebar.2
In this connection also may be mentioned the four genii of Amenti, Amset, Hapi, Tesautmutf, and Qabhsenuf, said by the Egyptians to be present before Osiris while presiding in judgment; protecting, by their influence, every soul that entered the realms of the West. It was to these genii that a portion of the intestines, taken from the body of the deceased, was dedicated, and placed in the vase, or canop, which bore their respective heads, as we have already seen. If the name given to these vases by the Egyptians is not of Maya origin, it must be admitted that it is a most remarkable coincidence.
In Mayach, the brains, the charred viscera, and other noble parts, preserved in red oxide of mercury,3 were deposited in stone urns, which were placed with the statues of the deceased, in superb mausolei, where they are found in our day. Landa and several other chroniclers tell us that the Mayas made statues of stone, wood, or clay, according to the wealth of the individual, in the likeness of the deceased, and, after cremating the remains, put the ashes in the head of said statues, which, for the purpose, had been made hollow.
1 F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic and Sorcery, p. 121.
2 Ezekiel, chap. i., verse 10; chap. x., verse 14.
See Appendix, note ix.
See farther on Prince Coh's Mausoleum (Plate lvii.)
Landa, Las Cosas de Yucatan, & xxxiii., p. 193.
In Egypt, likewise, they sculptured on the lid of the coffin, or fastened on it, a cast of the features of the person whose remains it contained.
After clearing from the altar the débris of the roof of the portico, that in falling had not only injured, but so completely buried it that it had escaped the notice of John L. Stephens and others who had visited the spot before us, we found that the atlantes and the bas-reliefs that adorned the upper side and the edges of the table had been brilliantly colored. The pigments used by the Maya artists were of such lasting nature that the colors were actually as bright as when they were laid on; and the vehicle or menstruum in which they were dissolved had deeply penetrated the stone without injuring the surface. Here was the confirmation of a very interesting fact that we had already discovered that the Mayas, like the Hindoos,1 the Chaldees, the Egyptians, and the Greeks, colored their sculptures and statues, and provided them with eyes and nails made of shell. Shall it be said that this is a mere coincidence, or shall we regard it as a custom transmitted from one nation to another; or, again, taught to the rest by the people who introduced among them the sculptor's art?
'Bishop Heber in his Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India, vol. i., p. 386; vol. ii., pp. 430, 525, 530; vol. iii., pp. 48-49. Henry Layard, Nineveh and its Remains, vol. ii., part ii., chap. iii. Eusebius, Præp. et Demons. Evang., lib. iii., chap. xi. See Appendix,
THE state of perfect preservation of the colors again reveals to us several most interesting facts, that come to add the weight of their evidence to the many other proofs we have already adduced, to show that, in remote ages, the Mayas entertained intimate relations with the other civilized nations of Asia, Africa, and Europe. From these we learn that, for instance, yellow was the distinctive color of the royal family, as red was that of nobility; and that blue was used in Mayach, as in Egypt1 and Chaldea, at funerals, in token of mourning, as it still is in Bokhara and other Asiatic countries.
Had the Maya sages, and the ancient philosophers in Chaldea and Egypt, found out what is well known to those who,
'Sir Gardner Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, vol. iii., chap. xvi., p. 442, et passim.
Henry Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, pp. 375–557.