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parts of the earth they inhabited, and of the adjoining coun
The sign that most attracts the attention is Bishop Landa says must be read Yax-kin, and that of the seventh month of the Maya calendar. Literally these words mean the "vigorous sun." If, however, we interpret the symbol phonetically, it gives us "the country of the king, which is surrounded by water;" "the kingdom in the midst of water." It will also be noticed that it is placed at the top of the tree, to indicate that that "tree" is the kingdom. Next to it, on the left, is the name Mayach, which indicates that it is the "kingdom of Mayach," which will become plain by the analysis of the symbols. To begin with, is a wing or feather, insignia worn by kings and warriors. Placed here it has a double meaning. It denotes the north, as we will see later on, and also shows that the land is that of the king whose emblem it is. The character stands for ahau, the word for king, and we have already
'The adjoining map (Plate IV.) was constructed by Professor J. W. Spencer according to his own original researches and geological studies in the island of Cuba and in Central America, aided by the deep-sea soundings made in 1878 by Commander Bartlett of the United States steamship Blake. It can be therefore accepted as perfectly accurate. During a short stay in Belize, British Honduras, Commander Bartlett honored me with a visit. Speaking of his work of triangulation and deep-sea soundings in the Caribbean Sea, he mentioned the existence of very profound valleys covered by its waters, revealed by the sound. I informed him that I had become cognizant of that fact, having found it mentioned by the author of that ancient Maya book known to-day as Troano MS. If my memory serves me right, I showed him the maps drawn by the writer of that ancient book, and made on a map in my copy of Bowditch's Navigation an approximate tracing of the submerged valleys in the Caribbean Sea, in explanation of the Maya maps, showing why they symbolized said sea by the figure of an animal resembling a deer-which may have been the reason why they called the country U-luumil ceh, the "land of the deer."
seen that this o, luumil, is the symbol for "land near, in, O or surrounded by water," as the Empire of Mayach (the peninsula of Yucatan and Central America are certainly surrounded by water), on the north by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. The symbol then reads Luumil ahau, the "King's country," the "kingdom."
But how do you make your rendering accord with the meaning given to the character by Bishop Landa? I fancy I hear our learned Americanists asking; and I answer, In a very simple manner, knowing as I do the genius of the Maya people and their language.
The ancient armorial escutcheon of the country still exists on the western façade of the "sanctuary" at Uxmal, and in the bas-reliefs carved on the memorial monu
ment of Prince Coh at Chichen. The emblem represented on said escutcheon scarcely needs explanation. It is easily read U-luumil kin, the "Land of the Sun."
The kings of Mayach, like those
of Egypt, Chaldea, India, China, Peru,
etc., took upon themselves the title of "Children of the Sun," and, in a boasting spirit, that of "the Strong, the Vigorous Sun." Kin is the Maya word for sun. But kin is also the title of the highpriest of the sun. As in Egypt and many other civilized countries, so in Mayach, the king was, at the same time, chief of the state and of the religion, as in our times the Queen in England, the Czar in Russia, the Sultan in Turkey, etc. The title Yax-kin may therefore have been applied, among the Mayas, to the king and to the kingdom;