Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts eBook

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Others have considered god B as the first parent and lord of the heavens, Itzamna who has a mythologic importance analogous to that of Kukulcan.  Itzamna is also held to be the god of creation and founder of civilization and accordingly seems to be not very remotely allied to the god Kukulcan.  Others again, for example Brasseur de Bourbourg and Seler, have interpreted the figure of god B to represent the fourfold god of the cardinal points and rain-god Chac, a counterpart of the Aztec rain-god Tlaloc.  The fact that this god-figure is so frequently connected with the serpent and the bird is strongly in favor of the correctness of the supposition, that we should see in god B a figure corresponding to the Kukulcan of tradition.  Thus we see the god represented once with the body of a serpent and with a bird near by (Cort. 10b), while B’s hieroglyph appears both times in the text.  God B is also pictured elsewhere repeatedly with a serpent body, thus for example on Dr. 35b, 36a.  On pages 4-6 of the Codex Cortesianus he is pictured six times and each time in connection with a serpent.

The accounts we have received concerning the mythology of the Maya peoples are very meagre and owing to the uncertainty respecting the origin of the Maya manuscripts, it cannot even be determined which of these accounts are applicable to the Maya manuscripts, or, indeed, whether they are applicable at all.  For it is by no means positively proved that these manuscripts did not originate in regions of Maya culture, regarding which we have received no accounts at all.  As our present purpose is purely that of description and determination, it remains quite unimportant which of these recorded figures of gods shall be regarded as god B.

God B is nearly allied to, but in no wise identical with, the deity with the large ornamented nose, designated by K, who will be discussed farther on.  God K is an independent deity designated by a special hieroglyph, but like C he stands in an unknown relation to God B (for details see K).

Finally it should be mentioned, that god B never appears with death symbols.  He is clearly a deity of life and creation, in contrast to the powers of death and destruction.

His day seems to be Ik (aspiration, breath, life). (Compare Foerstemann, Die Tagegoetter der Mayas, Globus, Vol. 73, No. 10).

C. The God with the Ornamented Face.

[Illustration:  Figs. 11-16]

This is one of the most remarkable and most difficult figures of the Maya manuscripts, and shows, at the same time, how imperfect must be the information we have received in regard to the Maya mythology, since from the frequency of his representations he is obviously one of the most important deities and yet can be identified with none of the representations of gods handed down to us.  His hieroglyph is definitely determined (Figs. 11, 12).  The circular design in front of

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