Images de page
PDF
ePub

given here in all its details, it would prove most interesting; but the limits assigned to this work do not allow it. Skipping, therefore, over several very curious tableaux, we shall consider the one in which Prince Coh is pictured at the head of his warriors (Plate XLVIII.) in the heat of battle, accompanied and overshadowed by the winged serpent as by an ægis. The genius of Mayach guards him, fights at his side, leads his followers to victory.

This serpent is not the rattlesnake, covered with feathers (Kukulcan), image of the rulers of the country. It is the winged serpent, whose dart is the South American continent. It is the Nohoch Can, the great serpent, protective genius of Mayach, as the uræus, that "winged serpent" with inflated breast, represented standing erect on a sieve, was of Lower Egypt.1

sons.

The sieve was in Egypt emblematic of power and dominion; singular antithesis, indeed, which none of the learned Egyptologists have explained. Still the Egyptian priests never selected an object as symbol without good and sufficient reaThese were made known to initiates only, in the seclusion of the temples. What could have induced them to choose, as emblem of domination and authority, an utensil used solely by slaves and menials, and place, standing erect upon it, the emblem of the genius of Lower Egypt, has never been accounted for in modern times.

In the Maya language we again find the explanation of such seeming mystery. In it the word for sieve is Mayab.

1 Those who consider themselves authorities on Maya antiquities always confound these two serpents, and call them Kukulcan, although they are very distinct symbols.

2 Clement of Alexandria, in Stromata 12, says: "It is requisite to hide in a mystery the wisdom spoken." He had been initiated in the mysteries.

W

[graphic]
« PrécédentContinuer »