Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 50 pages of information about Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts.

In the head of god K we recognize the ornament so common in the temple ruins of Central America—­the so-called “elephant’s trunk.”  The peculiar, conventionalized face, with the projecting proboscis-shaped nose, which is applied chiefly to the corners of temple walls, displays unquestionably the features of god K. The significance of god K in this architectural relation is unknown.  Some connection with his character as the deity of a star and with his astronomic qualities may, however, be assumed, since, as we know, the temple structures of Central America are always placed with reference to the cardinal points.

L. The Old, Black God.

[Illustration:  Fig. 44]

God L’s features are those of an old man with sunken, toothless mouth.  His hieroglyph is Fig. 44, which is characterized by the black face.

God L, who is also black, must not be confounded with M whose description follows.  L is represented and designated by his hieroglyph in the accompanying text, in Dr. 14b and 14c and Dr. 46b; the figure has the characteristic black face.  He appears entirely black in Dr. 7a.  The hieroglyph alone occurs in Dr. 21b and 24 (third vertical line in the first passage) with a variation, namely without the Ymix-sign before the head.  This deity does not occur in the Madrid and Paris manuscripts.

The significance of god L does not appear from the few pictures, which are given of him.  In Dr. 46b the god is pictured armed and in warlike attitude.  Both in Dr. 14b and 14c he wears a bird on his head and has a Kan in his hand.

According to Foerstemann, his day is Akbal, darkness, night.

Cyrus Thomas (Aids to the Study of the Maya Codices, in the 6th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1888, p. 358) thinks he is the god Ekchuah, who has come down to us as a black deity.  God M seems, however, to correspond to Ekchuah (see the description of M).

M. The Black God with the Red Lips.

[Illustration:  Figs. 45-48]

God M’s hieroglyph is Figs. 45, 46; it seems to represent an eye rimmed with black, though the figure of the god himself displays an entirely different drawing of the eye (see Fig. 47).

The god is found in the Dresden manuscript only three times, namely in Dr. 16b (with a bone in his hand) in picture and sign, in Dr. 13c grouped with an animal, without the hieroglyph, and in Dr. 43a (with his sign) while finally his hieroglyph alone appears in Dr. 56 (top, left) in a group and of a somewhat different form.

On the other hand, god M appears with special frequency in the Madrid manuscript, which treats of this deity with great fullness of detail.  While he is represented in the Dresden manuscript (16b) with his body striped black and white, and on p. 43a entirely white, he is always entirely black in the Codex Troano.  His other distinguishing marks are the following: 

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Representation of Deities of the Maya Manuscripts from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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