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who bears sons, Him who begets sons, whose names are HunAhpu.Vuch, Hun-Ahpu-Utiu, Zaki-Nima-Tzyiz, Tepeu, Gucu. matz, Qux-cho, Qux-palo, Ah raxa lak, Ah-raxa-sel.”
The painphlet is devoted to an analysis of these and other names of the gods of the Kiche pantheon, as contained in the Popol Vuh. Our author takes direct issue with the Abbé Brasseur, who regarded Xibalba as the “ name of an ancient state in the valley of the Usunasinta in Tabasco, the capital of which was Palenque." The original form of the word is stated to be tzibalba, which means painted mole. Dr. Brinton regards Xibalba as the “common term throughout the Maya stock of languages to denote the abode of the spirits of the dead, or Hades, which with them was held to be under the surface of the earth” (p. 26).
The Books of Chilan Balam.17
As alreadv remarked, the Mayas of Yucatan ranked high American civilization at the tiine of the conquest.21 The des. truction of their literature, in 1562, by order of Bishop Lando was keenly felt by the natives. A few books escaped the general conflagration. The principal books now consist of those under the name of “Chilan Balain" which are a reproduction of the syinbols and characters of the ancient books, inade at the time of the conquest and placed in the different villages. They relate principally to ancient chronology, astrology, prophecy, medicine, and later Christian teachings. Their chiel value consists in chronology and an exhibition of native thought. Some of the prophecies are of a striking character. At the
17 The Books of Chilan Balam, the Prophetic and Historic Records of the Mayas of Yucatan. By Daniel G. Brinton, M.D. Philadelphia.
18 The Folk-Lore of Yucatan. By Daniel G. Brinton, M.D. 19 Library of Aboriginal American Literature. No. I. The Maya Chronicles. Ed. ited by Daniel G. Briuton, M.D. Philadelphia. 1882.
20 Contributions tv North Americau Ethnology. Vol. V. Part III. A Study of the Manuscript Troana. By Cyrus Thomas, Ph.D. With an Introduction by D. G. Brinton, M.D. Washington, 1881.
31 For a fuller account see QUARTERLY for Oct. 1883.
close of each of their larger divisons of time, a chilan, or inspired diviner, predicted the character of the epoch about to begin. In the year 1480 the chilan prophesied :
What time the sun shall brightest shine,
The master of the earth shall come to us." In the original this prophecy of Nahau Pech, is written in short, aphoristic sentences. Their prophecies generally foreboded evil, which appeared suited to the temper of the people. None could have conceived the dire event which finally overtook them.
Their calendars consisted of the year being divided into eighteen months, of twenty days each, with five intercalated days, each accompanied by its appropriate sign. Dr. Thomas considers the Codex Troano to be a calendar of the same character with the books of Chilan Balam.
Their folk-lore bears a strong resemblance to that of other American nations. The subject has not yet been well investigated, for the natives have a great hesitancy in imparting any of their superstitions, having learned to be cautious on account of religious persecutions by their masters.
The GUEGUENCE.23 of Central America would exhibit a very narrow strip of land between Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific Ocean. On this strip of land embracing an area one hundred miles long by twenty-five broad, lived the Naluas of Nicaragua, speaking the same language, having the same mythology, religious rules, calendars, manners and customs as the Aztecs, although removed a distance of more than two thousand miles, 24 and “separated by numerous powerful nations, speaking a
22 A katun is a period of 20 years, making 80 years.
23 Aborignal American Literature. No. III. The Güegüence ; a comedy ballet in the Nahuatl-Spanish dialect of Nicaragua. Edited by Daniel G. Brinton, A.M., M.D. Philadelphia. 1883.
24 While this may appear singular, yet the same occurs in Eur.jpe. The Basques of the Pyrenees are related to the Albanians, Turins and Scandinavians, although widely separated. See Pricbard's Celtic Nations, p. 51.
different language, and having a distinct organization." 25 To the north and south of them were the Mangues who had been split into by the early migrations of the Nahuas. Squier says, “ In most places, however, the native language has fallen into disuse, or only a few words, which have also been accepted by the whites, are retained.” 26 On the island of Ometepec, Squier “ procured with great difficulty a few words, and some of their numerals.” 27 Dr. Habel says, " Notwithstanding the greatest efforts, I could not get any information in regard to the language of the natives; they told me it was all forgotten." 28
On coming in contact with the Spaniards a mixed dialect came into vogue, composed of a corrupt Spanish and a broken down Nahuatl, which served as a means of communication between both races. It has been described as an unintelligible jargon. Many of its Spanish elements are ungramınatical, while the interlarded Nalıuatl words and phrases are so mutilated as to be scarcely recognizable.
The Indians of this district were passionately fond of dramatic representations, accompanied by masked actors, dances and songs, and various musical instruments. These took place at certain seasons and epochs of the year, and were generally of a religious character. The music was monotonous, the singing in the minor key, and the motions dull, mechanical, and ungraceful.
The play known as The Güegüence is the only specimen now known of native American comedy:29 It is of comparatively recent origin, and is composed in the jargon already described. Güegüence is a Nahuatl word, from the root hue, old; huehue is " old man”; to this is added tzin, denoting
25 Squiers' States of Central Americu, p. 317. 26 The States of Central America, p. 819.
27 Nicaragua, Vol. II. p. 13. Dr. Branstord's statement (Archeological Researches in Nicaragua, pp. 7, 79) that “Squier found many words of the Aztec language spoken by the Indians of Ometepec," is rather stronger than Squier's words will allow. 28 Sculptures of Santa Lucia Cosumalwhuapa in Guatemala, p. 24.
29 The comedies of Bartholomede Alva, written in Nahoutl, about 1625, drew their plots from Lope de Vega. Alva was a descendant of the native king of Tezcuco.
reverence or affection ; and in the vocative the word becomes huehuentze, meaning, therefore,“ the honored elder," or " the dear old man.” This comedy has not been given of late years. It was sometimes performed at the festival of St. Jerome, Sept. 30. The preparations for it were expensive and elaborate. The rehearsals were given daily, consuming from a period of six to eight months before the public performance.
Of the dramatis personce Güegüence is the principal figure, who wore the most magnificent apparel of any of the performers, although all were gorgeously dressed. His character is a marked type of that peculiar form of humor preferred by the native mind. It was, however, anything but respectable. His indifference to truth, impudence, unscrupulous tricks, and low jokes detract materially from the elament of the comical to those accustomed to a better class of comedy. His two sons, Don Forcico and Don Ambrosio, present the opposites of character. The former follows the example of his father; the latter opposes and exposes their dishonesty. Governor Tastuanes appears in Spanish cosutine ; his character being designed to bring out the ruses of Güegüence. The Aguacil, Secretary and Registrar appear in full official dress, with the insiguia of office. The mutæ personæ consist of the women and a dozen mules.
Dr. Brinton has given the comedy in the original, with an English translation, followed by valuable notes and a glossary, and preceded by a lengthy introduction.
The attempt is not here made to give all of Dr. Brinton's productions, but only some of his recent works bearing on the development of a department of ethnology that must attract more attention and awaken an intelligent interest.
Rev. J. P. MacLean.
Does Civilization Civilize?
The book entitled “ Progress and Poverty,” by Henry George, is a remarkable contribution to social and economic science. It assumes to deal not only with the vexed questions of political science, but with the profoundest problems that lie at the foundation of human society. It is said to have had a wide circulation, not only in our own country, but in England and on the continent. Its remarkable character consists chiefly in its positive tone, and in the certainty that the convictions of the writer, as set forth in the pages of his book, are indisputable truths. To this may be added the extraordinary nature of the assumptions made, and the strange conclusions drawn from ww warranted premises.
There is no reason to doubt the earnestness and sincerity of the writer of this book. It manifests itself upon every page. Nor is there any reason to doubt that his main purpose is a philanthropic one, or to question the genuineness of his sympathy with the masses whose welfare he claims to seek.
Mr. George is a man who has the courage of his convictions. He claims no special consideration except the justice of his cause, and the respect due to the essential merits of his performance. He feels confident of his ground, and challenges criticism to overthrow the structure he has reared upon it. He wields an incisive pen, and his clear and forcible style rarely lays him open to the charge of obscurity or dullness. When he misses his mark his error comes not so much from any detect in his reasoning as from the assuunption of unsound premises, or from the omission of some of the essential factors in the problem ho attempts to solve.
Whatever may be said of the certainty of the teachings of political science-cailed by Mr. Carlyle the dismal science” -no one who knows anything of its scope or its elements, doubts its complexity. But Mr. George cuts his way through this difficulty that lies at the threshold of his inquiry in the following manner :