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Title: Notes on Certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts - Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-82, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1884, pages 3-66
Author: Thomas, Cyrus, 1825-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Notes on Certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts - Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-82, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1884, pages 3-66" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at

Transcriber's Note

This book was originally published as a part of:

Powell, J. W. 1884 Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1881-'82. pp. 3-66. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C.

The index included in this version of the book was extracted from the
overall volume index.

A number of typographical errors and inconsistencies have been maintained
in this version of this book. Typographical errors have been marked with
a [TN-#], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the
end of the text. A list of words that have been inconsistently spelled is
found at the end of the present text.

Tables II and XV were lists printed in four columns. The contents have been
rearranged by month in this version.








  Tableau des Bacab                                                7
  Plate 43 of the Borgian Codex                                   23
  Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex                                 30
  Symbols of the cardinal points                                  36


  PLATE   I.--Fac-simile of the Tableau des Bacab                  7
         II.--The Tableau des Bacab restored                      12
        III.--Fac-simile of Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex       32
         IV.--Copy of Plates 65 and 66 of the Vatican Codex B     56

  FIG. 1.--The four cardinal symbols                               8
       2.--Scheme of the Tableau des Bacab                        13
       3.--Copy from Plates 18 and 19, Codex Peresianus           19
       4.--Copy of Plate 43, Borgian Codex                        24
       5.--Copy of Plates 51 and 52, Vatican Codex, B             27
       6.--Scheme of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex                    34
       7.--Symbols of the four cardinal points                    36
       8.--Calendar wheel, as given by Duran                      44
       9.--Calendar wheel, from book of Chilan Balam              59
      10.--Engraved shells                                        61

[Illustration: PL. I





Having recently come into possession of Leon de Rosny's late work
entitled "_Les Documents ecrits de l'Antiquite Americaine_,"[1] I find
in it a photo-lithographic copy of two plates (or rather one plate, for
the two are but parts of one) of the Maya Manuscript known as the _Codex
Cortesianus_. This plate (I shall speak of the two as one) is of so much
importance in the study of the Central American symbols and calendar
systems that I deem it worthy of special notice; more particularly so as
it furnishes a connecting link between the Maya and Mexican symbols and

This plate (Nos. 8 and 9 in Rosny's work), is entitled by Rosny
"_Tableau des Bacab_" or "Plate of the Bacabs," he supposing it to be a
representation of the gods of the four cardinal points, an opinion I
believe to be well founded.

As will be seen by reference to our Plate No. 1, which is an exact copy
from Rosny's work, this page consists of three divisions: _First_, an
inner quadrilateral space, in which there are a kind of cross or sacred
tree; two sitting figures, one of which is a female, and six characters.
_Second_, a narrow space or belt forming a border to the inner area,
from which it is separated by a single line; it is separated from the
outer space by a double line. This space contains the characters for the
twenty days of the Maya month, but not arranged in consecutive order.
_Third_, an outer and larger space containing several figures and
numerous characters, the latter chiefly those representing the Maya
days. This area consists of two distinct parts, one part containing day
characters, grouped together at the four corners, and connected by rows
of dots running from one group to the other along the outer border; the
other part consisting of four groups of figures, one group opposite each
of the four sides. In each of the four compartments containing these
last-mentioned groups, there is one of the four characters shown in Fig.
1 (_a_ _b_ _c_ _d_), which, in my "Study of the Manuscript Troano," I
have concluded represent the four cardinal points, a conclusion also
reached independently by Rosny and Schultz Sellack.[TN-1]

Before entering upon the discussion of this plate I will insert here
Rosny's comment, that the reader may have an opportunity of comparing
his view of its signification with the opinion I shall advance.

     I intend to close this report with some observations on the
     criticisms which have been written since the publication of my
     "Essay on the Decipherment of the Hieratic Writings," as much,
     regarding the first data, for which we are indebted to Diego de
     Landa, as that of the method to follow in order to realize new
     progress in the interpretation of the Katounic texts. I will be
     permitted, however, before approaching this discussion, to say a
     word on two leaves of the _Codex Cortesianus_, which not only
     confirm several of my former lectures, but which furnish us
     probably a more than ordinarily interesting document relative to
     the religious history of ancient Yucatan.

     The two leaves require to be presented synoptically, as I have done
     in reproducing them on the plate [8 and 9[2]], for it is evident
     that they form together one single representation.

     This picture presents four divisions, in the middle of which is
     seen a representation of the sacred tree; beneath are the figures
     of two personages seated on the ground and placed facing the
     katounes, among which the sign of the day _Ik_ is repeated three
     times on the right side and once with two other signs on the left
     side. The central image is surrounded by a sort of framing in which
     have been traced the twenty cyclic characters of the calendar. Some
     of these characters would not be recognizable if one possessed only
     the data of Landa, but they are henceforth easy to read, for I have
     had occasion to determine, after a certain fashion, the value of
     the greater part of them in a former publication.

     These characters are traced in the following order, commencing, for
     example, with Muluc and continuing from left to right: 6, 2, 18,
     13, 17, 14, 5, 1, 16, 12, 8, 4, 20, 15, 11, 7, 19, 3, 9, 10. * * *

     In the four compartments of the Tablet appear the same cyclic signs
     again in two series. I will not stop to dwell upon them, not having
     discovered the system of their arrangement.

     Besides these cyclic signs no other katounes are found on the
     Tablet, except four groups which have attracted my attention since
     the beginning of my studies, and which I have presented, not
     without some hesitation, as serving to note the four cardinal
     points. I do not consider my first attempt at interpretation as
     definitely demonstrated, but it seems to me that it acquires by the
     study of the pages in question of the _Codex Cortesianus_, a new
     probability of exactitude.

     These four katounic groups are here in fact arranged in the
     following manner:

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--The four cardinal symbols.]

     Now, not only do these groups include, as I have explained, several
     of the phonetic elements of Maya words known to designate the four
     cardinal points, but they occupy, besides, the place which is
     necessary to them in the arrangement (orientation), to wit:

     S             N
     o             o
     u             r
     t             t
     h             h
     .             .

     I have said, moreover, in my _Essay_, that certain characteristic
     symbols of the gods of the four cardinal points (the _Bacab_) are
     found placed beside the katounic groups, which occcpy[TN-2] me at
     this moment, in a manner which gives a new confirmation of my

     On Plates 23, 24, 25, and 26 of the _Codex Cortesianus_, where the
     same groups and symbols are seen reproduced of which I have just
     spoken, the hierogrammat has drawn four figures identical in shape
     and dress. These four figures represent the "god of the long nose."
     Beside the first, who holds in his hand a flaming torch, appears a
     series of katounes, at the head of which is the sign _Kan_ (symbol
     of the south), and above, a defaced group. Beside the second, who
     holds a flaming torch inverted, is the sign _Muluc_ (symbol of the
     east), and above, the group which I have interpreted as east. At
     the side of the third, who carries in the left hand the burning
     torch inverted and a scepter (symbol of Bacabs), is the sign _Ix_
     (symbol of the north), and above, the group which I have translated
     as north. Finally, beside the fourth, who carries in his left hand
     the flaming torch inverted and a hatchet in the right hand, is the
     sign _Cauac_ (symbol of the west), and above, not the entire group,
     which I have translated as west, but the first sign of this group,
     and also an animal characteristic of the Occident, which has been
     identified with the armadillo. I have some doubts upon the subject
     of this animal, but its affinity with the qualification of the west
     appears to me at least very probable.

We see from this quotation, that Rosny was unable to give any
explanation of the day characters, dots, and L-shaped symbols in the
outer space; also that he was unable to suggest any reason for the
peculiar arrangement of the day symbols in the intermediate circle or
quadrilateral. His suggestions are limited to the four characters placed
opposite the four sides, and which, he believes, and I think correctly,
to be the symbols of the four cardinal points. Whether his conclusion as
to the points they respectively refer to be correct or not, is one of
the questions I propose to discuss in this paper. But before entering
upon this, the most important question regarding the plate, I desire
first to offer what I believe will be admitted to be a correct
explanation of the object and uses of the day symbols, dots, &c., in the
outer space, and the intermediate circle of day characters.

If we examine carefully the day characters and large black dots in the
outer space we shall find that all taken together really form but _one
continuous line_, making one outward and two inward bends or loops at
each corner.

For example, commencing with _Cauac_ (No. 31) (see scheme of the plate,
Fig. 2), on the right side, and running upward toward the top along the
row of dots next the right-hand margin, we reach the character _Chuen_
(No. 32); just above is _Eb_ (No. 33); then running inward toward the
center, along the row of dots to _Kan_ (No. 34); then upward to
_Chicchan_ (No. 35); then outward along the row of dots toward the
outer corner to _Caban_ (No. 36); then to the left to _Ezanab_ (No. 37);
then inward to _Oc_ (No. 38); then to the left to _Chuen_ (No. 39);
outward to _Akbal_ (No. 40), and so on around.

Before proceeding further it is necessary that I introduce here a Maya
calendar, in order that my next point may be clearly understood. To
simplify this as far as possible, I give first a table for a single
_Cauac_ year, in two forms, one as the ordinary counting-house calendar
(Table I), the other a simple continuous list of days (Table II), but in
this latter case only for thirteen months, just what is necessary to
complete the circuit of our plate.

As explained in my former paper[3], although there were twenty days in
each Maya month, each day with its own particular name, and always
following each other in the same order, so that each month would begin
with the same day the year commenced with, yet it was the custom to
number the days up to 13 and then commence again with 1, 2, 3, and so
on, thus dividing the year into weeks of thirteen days each.

For a full explanation of this complicated calendar system I must refer
the reader to my former paper. But at present we shall need only an
understanding of the tables here given. I shall, as I proceed, refer to
Table I, leaving the reader who prefers to do so to refer to the list of
days marked Table II, as they are precisely the same thing, only
differing in form.

TABLE I.--_Maya calendar for one year_

  Nos. of     |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  the months. | 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18
  Cauac       | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3
  Ahau        | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4
  Ymix        | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5
  Ik          | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6
  Akbal       | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
  Kan         | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
  Chicchan    | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9
  Cimi        | 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10
  Manik       | 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11
  Lamat       |10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12
  Muluc       |11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13
  Oc          |12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1
  Chuen       |13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2
  Eb          | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3
  Been        | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4
  Ix          | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5
  Men         | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6
  Cib         | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
  Caban       | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
  Ezanab      | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9


  1ST MONTH.         2D MONTH.          3D MONTH.        4TH MONTH.
   1. _Cauac._        8. Cauac.          2. Cauac.        9. Cauac.
   2. Ahau.           9. Ahau.           3. Ahau.        10. Ahau.
   3. Imix.[TN-3]    10. Ymix.           4. Ymix.        11. Ymix.
   4. Ik.            11. Ik.             5. Ik.          12. Ik.
   5. Akbal.         12. Akbal.          6. Akbal.       13. _Akbal._
   6. Kan.           13. _Kan._          7. Kan.          1. _Kan._
   7. Chicchan.       1. _Chicchan._     8. Chicchan.     2. Chicchan.
   8. Cimi.           2. Cimi.           9. Cimi.         3. Cimi.
   9. Manik.          3. Manik.         10. Manik.        4. Manik.
  10. Lamat.          4. Lamat.         11. Lamat.        5. Lamat.
  11. Muluc.          5. Muluc.         12. Muluc.        6. Muluc.
  12. Oc.             6. Oc.            13. _Oc._         7. Oc.
  13. _Chuen._        7. Chuen.          1. _Chuen._      8. Chuen.
   1. _Eb._           8. Eb.             2. Eb.           9. Eb.
   2. Been.           9. Been.           3. Been.        10. Been.
   3. Ix.            10. Ix.             4. Ix.          11. Ix.
   4. Men.           11. Men.            5. Men.         12. Men.
   5. Cib.           12. Cib.            6. Cib.         13. _Cib._
   6. Caban.         13. _Caban._        7. Caban.        1. _Caban._
   7. Ezanab.         1. _Ezanab._       8. Ezanab.       2. Ezanab.

  5TH MONTH.         6TH MONTH.         7TH MONTH.       8TH MONTH.
   3. Cauac.         10. Cauac.          4. Cauac.       11. Cauac.
   4. Ahau.          11. Ahau.           5. Ahau.        12. Ahau.
   5. Ymix.          12. Ymix.           6. Ymix.        13. _Ymix._
   6. Ik.            13. _Ik._           7. Ik.           1. _Ik._
   7. Akbal.          1. _Akbal._        8. Akbal.        2. Akbal.
   8. Kan.            2. Kan.            9. Kan.          3. Kan.
   9. Chicchan.       3. Chicchan.      10. Chicchan.     4. Chicchan.
  10. Cimi.           4. Cimi.          11. Cimi.         5. Cimi.
  11. Manik.          5. Manik.         12. Manik.        6. Manik.
  12. Lamat.          6. Lamat.         13. _Lamat._      7. Lamat.
  13. _Muluc._        7. Muluc.          1. _Muluc._      8. Muluc.
   1. _Oc._           8. Oc.             2. Oc.           9. Oc.
   2. Chuen.          9. Chuen.          3. Chuen.       10. Chuen.
   3. Eb.            10. Eb.             4. Eb.          11. Eb.
   4. Been.          11. Been.           5. Been.        12. Been.
   5. Ix.            12. Ix.             6. Ix.          13. _Ix._
   6. Men.           13. _Men._          7. Men.          1. _Men._
   7. Cib.            1. _Cib._          8. Cib.          2. Cib.
   8. Caban.          2. Caban.          9. Caban.        3. Caban.
   9. Ezanab.         3. Ezanab.        10. Ezanab.       4. Ezanab.

  9TH MONTH.         10TH MONTH.        11TH MONTH.      12TH MONTH.
   5. Cauac.         12. Cauac.          6. Cauac.       13. _Cauac._
   6. Ahau.          13. _Ahau._         7. Ahau.         1. _Ahau._
   7. Ymix.           1. _Ymix._         8. Ymix.         2. Ymix.
   8. Ik.             2. Ik.             9. Ik.           3. Ik.
   9. Akbal.          3. Akbal.         10. Akbal.        4. Akbal.
  10. Kan.            4. Kan.           11. Kan.          5. Kan.
  11. Chicchan.       5. Chicchan.      12. Chicchan.     6. Chicchan.
  12. Cimi.           6. Cimi.          13. _Cimi._       7. Cimi.
  13. _Manik._        7. Manik.          1. _Manik._      8. Manik.
   1. _Lamat._        8. Lamat.          2. Lamat.        9. Lamat.
   2. Muluc.          9. Muluc.          3. Muluc.       10. Muluc.
   3. Oc.            10. Oc.             4. Oc.          11. Oc.
   4. Chuen.         11. Chuen.          5. Chuen.       12. Chuen.
   5. Eb.            12. Eb.             6. Eb.          13. _Eb._
   6. Been.          13. _Been._         7. Been.         1. _Been._
   7. Ix.             1. _Ix._           8. Ix.           2. Ix.
   8. Men.            2. Men.            9. Men.          3. Men.
   9. Cib.            3. Cib.           10. Cib.          4. Cib.
  10. Caban.          4. Caban.         11. Caban.        5. Caban.
  11. Ezanab.         5. Ezanab.        12. Ezanab.       6. Ezanab.

   7. Cauac.
   8. Ahau.
   9. Ymix.
  10. Ik.
  11. Akbal.
  12. Kan.
  13. _Chicchan._
   1. _Cimi._
   2. Manik.
   3. Lamat.
   4. Muluc.
   5. Oc.
   6. Chuen.
   7. Eb.
   8. Been.
   9. Ix.
  10. Men.
  11. Cib.
  12. Caban.
  13. _Ezanab._

Now, let us follow around this outer circle comparing it with our
calendar (Table I), or list of days (Table II), which, as before stated,
are for the Cauac year only.

As this is a Cauac year, we must commence with the Cauac character No.
31, on the right border. Immediately to the left of this character and
almost in contact with it we see a single small dot. We take for granted
that this denotes 1 and that we are to begin with 1 _Cauac_. This
corresponds with the first day of the first month, that is, the top
number of the left-hand column of numbers in Table I or the first day in
Table II. Turning to the plate we run up the line of dots to the
character for _Chuen_ (No. 32); immediately to the left of this we see
two little bars and three dots [Illustration: Three dots over two bars]
or 13.

Turning again to our table and running down the column of the first
month to the number 13 we find that it is _Chuen_, which is followed by
1 _Eb_. Turning again to the plate we observe that the character
immediately above Chuen[TN-4] is _Eb_.,[TN-5] and that it has adjoining
it below a single dot, or 1. Running from thence down the line of dots
toward the center we reach _Kan_, immediately above which is the
character for 13. Turning again to our table and starting with the 1
opposite _Eb_ and running to the bottom of the column which ends with 7
and passing to 8 at the top of the second column, and running down this
to 13, or following down our list of days (Table II), we find it to be
_Kan_, which is followed by 1 _Chicchan_. On the plate we see the
character for _Chicchan_ (No. 35) immediately above that of _Kan_ (No.
34), with a single small dot touching it above. Running from this upward
along the row of large dots toward the outer corner we next reach the
character for _Caban_ (No. 36), adjoining which we see the numeral
character for 13.

[Illustration: PL. II


Running our eye down the second column of the table, from 1 opposite
_Chicchan_ to 13, we find it is opposite _Caban_, thus agreeing with
what we find in the plate.

This will enable the reader to follow up the names and numbers on the
table as I will now give them from _Caban_ (No. 36), in the manner above
shown, remembering that the movement on the plate is around the circle
toward the left, that is, up the right side, toward the left on the top,
down the left side, &c., and that, on the tables, after one column is
completed we take the next to the right.

From _Caban_ (No. 36) we go next to _Ezanab_ No. 37 (the single dot is
here effaced); then down the row of dots to _Oc_, No. 38, over which is
the numeral for 13; then to _Chuen_, No. 39, immediately to the left
(the single dot is dimly outlined immediately above it); then up the row
of large dots to _Akbal_ No. 40 (the numeral character for 13 is
immediately to the right); then to _Kan_ No. 1, immediately to the left
(the single dot adjoins it on the right); then to the left along the
border row of dots to _Cib_ No. 2, in the upper left-hand corner,
immediately under which we find the numeral character for 13.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--Scheme of the Tableau des Bacab.]

Without following this further, I will now give a scheme or plan of the
plate (Fig. 2), adding the names of the effaced characters, which the
table enables us to do by following it out in the manner explained. I
also give in Plate II another figure of the plate of the Cortesian
Codex, with the effaced characters inserted, and the interchange of
_Caban_ and _Eb_ which will be hereafter explained. This plate
corresponds with the plan or scheme shown in Fig. 2.[4]

In this we commence with Kan, numbered 1, in the top row, moving thence
toward the left as already indicated, following the course shown by the

By this time the reader, if he has studied the plate with care, has
probably encountered one difficulty in the way of the explanation given;
that there are usually _twelve_ large dots instead of _eleven_, as there
should be, between the day signs; as, for example, between Kan No. 1 and
Cib No. 2, in the upper row. This I am unable to explain, except on the
supposition that the artist included but one of the day signs in the
count, or that it was not the intention to be very exact in this
respect. The fact that the number of dots in a row is not always the
same, there being in some cases as many as thirteen, and in others but
eleven, renders the letter supposition probable. In the scheme the
number of dots in the lines is given as nearly as possible as on the

As there are four different series of years in the Maya calendar, the
Cauac years, Kan years, Muluc years, and Ix years, it is necessary that
we have four different tables, similar to that given for the Cauac
years, to represent them, or to combine all in one table.

As I have adopted in my former work[5] a scheme of combining them I will
insert it here (Table III).

TABLE III.--_Condensed Maya Calendar._

  Cauac    |Kan      |Muluc    |Ix       | 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9|10|11|12|13
  column.  |column.  |column.  |column.  |14|15|16|17|18|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  Cauac.   |Kan.     |Muluc.   |Ix.      | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
  Ahau.    |Chicchan.|Oc.      |Men.     | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
  Ymix.    |Cimi.    |Chuen.   |Cib.     | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9
  Ik.      |Manik.   |Eb.      |Caban.   | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10
  Akbal.   |Lamat.   |Ben.     |Ezanab.  | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11
  Kan.     |Muluc.   |Ix.      |Cauac.   | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12
  Chicchan.|Oc.      |Men.     |Ahau.    | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13
  Cimi.    |Chuen.   |Cib.     |Ymix.    | 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1
  Manik.   |Eb.      |Caban.   |Ik.      | 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2
  Lamat.   |Ben.     |Ezanab.  |Akbal.   |10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3
  Muluc.   |Ix.      |Cauac.   |Kan.     |11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4
  Oc.      |Men.     |Ahau.    |Chicchan.|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5
  Chuen.   |Cib.     |Ymix.    |Cimi.    |13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6
  Eb.      |Caban.   |Ik.      |Manik.   | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
  Ben.     |Ezanab.  |Akbal.   |Lamat.   | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
  Ix.      |Cauac.   |Kan.     |Muluc.   | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9
  Men.     |Ahau.    |Chicchan.|Oc.      | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10
  Cib.     |Ymix.    |Cimi.    |Chuen.   | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11
  Caban.   |Ik.      |Manik.   |Eb.      | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12
  Ezanab.  |Akbal.   |Lamat.   |Ben.     | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13

But I must request the reader to refer to that work for an explanation
of the method of using it.

By using the different columns in this table, viz, the Cauac column, the
Kan column, the Muluc column, and the Ix column, in the same way as we
have that of the previous Table No. I, we shall find that the plate is
intended to apply in the same way to each of the four years.[6] A
further correspondence will also be found in the fact that the thirteen
figure columns of our table just complete the circuit of the plate, and
that for the other months (or rather weeks) we commence again at the
first, just as the table.

For the Kan years we commence on our scheme (Fig. 2) or the plate (No.
II) at Kan No. 1, at the top, and moving around to the left, as shown,
we end the thirteenth column of the calendar (13 Akbal) with Akbal No.
40. For the Muluc years we commence with Muluc No. 11, of the left side
of the scheme, and end with Lamat No. 10. For the Ix years we begin with
Ix No. 21, at the bottom, and end with Been No. 20. For the Cauac years
we begin with Cauac No. 31, at the right side, and end with Ezanab No.

By following this plan we will find that the characters and numerals in
the plate agree in every case with the names and numbers of the days in
the table, showing that I have properly interpreted this part of the
plate. It is impossible that there should be such exact agreement if I
were wrong in my interpretation.

This, it seems to me, will show beyond controversy the respective
quarters to which the different years are assigned in the plate--Kan to
the top, where this year begins; Muluc to the left; Ix to the bottom,
and Cauac to the right hand; and, as a consequence, that the top is the
east; left, north; bottom, west, and right hand, south. But this is a
point to be discussed hereafter.

Our next step is to ascertain the object in view in placing the
twenty-day characters around the inner space in the order we find them.
Here I confess we shall encounter greater difficulty in arriving at a
satisfactory explanation; still, I think we shall be able to show one
object in view in this singular arrangement, although we fall short of a
complete interpretation.

If we commence with Ymix, in the upper line of the quadrilateral, and
move around it to the left, as heretofore, noting the days in each side
in the order they come on the plate, we find them to be as follows:

In the top line: Ymix, Chicchan, Muluc, Been, Eb.

Left column: Cimi, Ik, Oc, Ix, Ezanab.

Bottom line: Akbal, Manik, Chuen, Men, Cauac.

Right column (upward): Kan, Lamat, Caban, Ahau, Cib.

Now let us take the twenty days, in the order they stand in the
calendar, commencing with Kan, writing them in four columns, placing
one name in each in succession, thus:

  Kan.        Chicchan.   Cimi.       Manik.
  Lamat.      Muluc.      Oc.         Chuen.
  Eb.         Been.       Ix.         Men.
  Cib.        Caban.      Ezanab.     Cauac.
  Ahau.       Ymix.       Ik.         Akbal.

If we commence with any other day the groups will contain respectively
the same days, as, for example, if we begin with Ymix as here shown
(Table IV).

As I am inclined to believe the author of the plate adopted this order I
shall use and refer to this table in speaking of these groups.


     1.         2.         3.          4.
  Ymix.       Ik.        Akbal.      Kan.
  Chicchan.   Cimi.      Manik.      Lamat.
  Muluc.      Oc.        Chuen.      Eb.
  Been.       Ix.        Men.        Cib.
  Caban.      Ezanab.    Cauac.      Ahau.

Examining the five names in the third column we find they are the same
as those in the bottom line of the quadrilateral of the plate, and also
in the same order. Those of the second column are the same as those in
the left column of the plate, though not precisely in the same order;
those in the first column the same as those in the top line of the
plate, except that in our column we have Caban in place of Eb; and those
in the fourth column the same as those in the right column of the plate,
except that in our column we have Eb instead of Caban. I am satisfied,
therefore, that the artist who made the plate has transposed the
characters Eb and Caban; that in place of Eb, the left-hand character of
the upper line, there should be Caban, and in place of Caban, the middle
character of the right column, there should be Eb, and have made this
change in my scheme (Fig. 2) and in Plate II.

This, I admit, has the appearance of making an arbitrary change to suit
a theory; but besides the strong evidence in favor of this change shown
by the arrangement of the days in four columns just given, I propose to
present other testimony.

That the characters here interpreted _Eb_ and _Caban_ are the same as
those given by Landa, and in the Manuscript Troano we have positive
evidence in the tortous[TN-6] line in the outer space, of which we have
already given an explanation. Hence there is no escape from the
difficulty by supposing the artist had reversed the characters in their
reference to the names. Either he has reversed them as to place, or we
are mistaken in our supposition as to how the four groups were

If we turn, now, to the Manuscript Troano, and examine the day columns,
comparing them with these four groups as I have corrected them by this
single transposition, I think we shall find one clue at least to the
object of the arrangement we observe on this plate. As but few are
likely to have the Manuscript at hand, I will refer to Chapter VII of my
work (_A Study of the Manuscript Troano_), where a large number of these
day columns are given. In making the comparison I ask the reader to use
my scheme (Fig. 2). Commencing with the first column on page 165, we
find it to be Manik, Cauac, Chuen, Akbal, Men, precisely the same days
as in the bottom line. The next two on the same page are first Akbal,
Muluc, Men, Ymix, Manik, and second, Ben, Cauac, Chicchan, Chuen, Caban,
taken alternately from the bottom and top lines of the quadrilateral.

On the lower part of the same page (165) is another column with the
following days, Ahau, Oc, Eb, Ik, Kan, Ix, Cib, Cimi, Lamat, taken
alternately from the right and left sides of the plate as given in our
scheme. But there are only nine names in the column, when the order in
which they are taken would seem to require ten. By examining the plate
(IV) in the Manuscript the reader will see that there are indications
that one at the top has been obliterated. By examining the right and
left columns of our scheme we see that the omitted one is Ezanab. By
counting the intervals between the days, as explained in my work, we
find them to be alternately two and ten, and that by this rule the
missing day is Ezanab. The reader will notice in these examples that Eb
and Caban belong to the positions I have given them in my scheme (Fig.

Turning to page 166 we find the first column (from "second division,"
Plate IV) to be Kan, Cib, Lamat, Ahau, Eb, the same days as in the right
column of our scheme. The second column, Cauac, Chuen, Akbal, Men,
Manik, the same as the lower line of the scheme. The first column on
page 167 has the same days as the right column of the plate, as
corrected in my scheme and our Plate II. The second column of this page
presents a new combination. We have so far found the names of a day
column all in a single group or line of our plate, or taken alternately
from opposite sides; here we find them taken alternately from each of
the four sides of the quadrilateral moving around to the left in the
order I have heretofore explained. The days in this column are Caban,
Ik, Manik, Eb, Caban. One is taken from the upper line (as corrected),
then one from the left side, next from the bottom line, then from the
right side (as corrected), and then the same from the top line.

It is unnecessary for me to give more examples, as the reader can make
the comparison for himself; and he will, as I believe, find my theory

The only real objection I can see to my explanation of the arrangement
of the days in this circle is the fact that it necessitates the
transposition of two characters, but it is not unreasonable to suppose
that the artist may have made this one mistake.

Fortunately we find on Plates 18 and 19 of the Codex Peresianus[1][TN-7]
what appears to be a complete confirmation of the theory here advanced.

This is a kind of tabular arrangement of certain days, with accompanying
numbers, as shown in our Fig. 3, which is an exact copy of those
portions of Plates 18 and 19 of the Codex Peresianus, to which I refer.

I also give in Table V the names of the days and the numbers
corresponding with the symbols and characters of Fig. 3. In this table
the erased days and obliterated numerals are restored, these being in
italics to distinguish them from those on the plate.


  _10. Kan._         8. Cib.         6. Lamat.      4. Ahau.     2. Eb.
  _10. Lamat._       8. Ahau.        6. Eb.         4. Kan.      2. Cib.
  _10. Eb._          8. Kan.         6. Cib.        4. Lamat.    2. Ahau.
  _10. Cib._         8. Lamat.       6. Ahau.       4. Eb.       2. Kan.
  _10. Ahau._        8. Eb.          6. Kan.        4. Cib.      2. Lamat.

   13. _Kan._      _11. Cib._        9. Lamat.      7. Ahau.     5. Eb.
   13. _Lamat._    _11. Ahau._       9. Eb.         7. Kan.      5. Cib.
   13. _Eb._       _11. Kan._        9. Cib.        7. Lamat.    5. Ahau.
   13. _Cib._      _11. Lamat._      9. Ahau.       7. Eb.       5. Kan.
   13. _Ahau._     _11. Eb._         9. Kan.        7. Cib.      5. Lamat.

    3. Kan.          1. _Cib._      _12. Lamat._
    3. Lamat.        1. _Ahau._     _12. Eb._
    3. Eb.           1. _Kan._      _12. Cib._
    3. Cib.          1. _Lamat._    _12. Ahau._
    3. Ahau.         1. _Eb._       _12. Kan._

An inspection of this table shows us that the five days repeated in each
column are the same as those on the right of the quadrilateral of our
scheme (Fig. 2), and are exactly in the order obtained by arranging the
days of the month in four columns in the manner heretofore shown. (See
column 4, Table IV.)

If I am correct in my supposition, we then have one clue to, if not a
full explanation of, the method of obtaining the day columns in the
Manuscript Troano.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--Copy from Plates 18 and 19, Codex Peresianus.]

Not this only, for this table of the Codex Peresianus furnishes us also
the explanation of the red numerals found over the day columns in the
Manuscript Troano. Take, for example, Plate XIX, first or upper
division, given also in my Study of The Manuscript Troano, p. 176, here
the number is IV, corresponding with column 4 of the above table (V),
where the days are the same and the numeral prefixed to each day is 4.
Plate XXVI (Study Manuscript Troano, p. 177), lower division, the days
are the same and the number over the column is XIII, corresponding with
the sixth column of Table V. This corroborates the opinion I expressed
in my former work, that the number over the column was to be applied to
each day of the column.

Why is the order of the numerals in the extract from the Codex
Peresianus precisely the same as the numbering of the Ahaues? I answer,
because each column, if taken as referring to the four classes of years,
will, when the number of the month is given, determine just the years of
an Ahau; or a fancy of the artist to follow an order considered sacred.

To illustrate, let us take the next to the right-hand column of the
table where the numeral is 1, and let us assume the month to be Pop, or
the 1st. Then we have 1 Cib, 1 Ahau, 1 Kan, 1 Lamat, and 1 Eb of the
first month, and from this data we are to find the years. As there can
be four years found to each of these days, that is a Cauac year with 1
Cib in the first month, a Muluc year with one Cib in the first month, a
Kan year with one Cib in the first month, an Ix year with one Cib in the
first month, a Kan year with one Ahau in the first month, &c., it is
evident that there will be, as the total result, just twenty years.

As I cannot repeat here, without occupying too much space, the method of
finding the years, I must refer the reader to Study Manuscript Troano,
p. 23, _et al._ Hunting them out, by using our Table III, we find them
to be as follows:

          1 _Cib._    1 _Ahau._   1. _Kan._   1. _Lamat._   1 _Eb._[TN-8]
  Years  10 Cauac.   13 Cauac.    9 Cauac.    5 Cauac.      1 Cauac.
  Years   2 Kan.     11 Kan.      1 Kan.     10 Kan.        6 Kan.
  Years   7 Muluc.    3 Muluc.   12 Muluc.    8 Muluc.     11 Muluc.
  Years  12 Ix.       8 Ix.       4 Ix.      13 Ix.         9 Ix.

If we turn now to Table XVII (Study Manuscript Troano p. 44), we will
find that these are precisely the counted years (those in the space
inclosed by the dotted lines) in Ahau number VI.

If we assume the month to be the 11th then the numbers of the Ahaues
will correspond exactly with the numbers of the columns of our Table

As it may be supposed that using the same numeral to any five days of
the twenty in this way will produce a similar result, let us test it by
an example. For this purpose we select the same column of our foregoing
table, No. V--that with the number 1 prefixed--Cib, Ahau, Kan, Lamat,
Eb, but in place of Lamat we insert Cimi. Hunting out the years as
heretofore we find them to be as follows:

          1 _Cib._     1 _Ahau._   1 _Kan._    1 _Cimi._     1 _Eb._
  Years  10 Cauac.    13 Cauac.    9 Cauac.    7 Cauac.      1 Cauac.
  Years   2 Kan[TN-9] 11 Kan.      1 Kan.     12 Kan.        6 Kan.
  Years   7 Muluc.     3 Muluc.   12 Muluc.   10 Muluc.     11 Muluc.
  Years  12 Ix.        8 Ix.       4 Ix.       2 Ix.         9 Ix.

If we try to locate these years in an Ahau in Table XVII (Study
Manuscript Troano p. 44), we shall find it impossible to do so, nor can
we locate them in any table that can be made which has either
twenty-four or twenty years in an Ahau, while on the other hand the
twenty years obtained by using a column of the table from the Codex
Peresianus can be located in some one of the Ahaues obtained by any
division of the Grand Cycle into consecutive groups of twenty-four years
that can be made. It would require too much space to prove this
assertion, but any one who doubts its correctness can test it.

As the extract we have given from the Codex Peresianus relates only to
one of the four groups of days--that on the right of the
quadrilateral--I will supply in the following tables, Nos. VII, VIII,
and IX, the arrangement of the groups of the other three sides; adding
the other (Table VI), also, so as to bring the four together in the
order of the sides of the quadrilateral, commencing with the line on the
right, next the upper one, and so on.

While this is undoubtedly the order in which they are to be taken; which
is the proper one to commence with? is a question yet to be discussed.


  10. Kan.       8. Cib.       6. Lamat.     4. Ahau.      2. Eb.
  10. Lamat.     8. Ahau.      6. Eb.        4. Kan.       2. Cib.
  10. Eb.        8. Kan.       6. Cib.       4. Lamat.     2. Ahau.
  10. Cib.       8. Lamat.     6. Ahau.      4. Eb.        2. Kan.
  10. Ahau.      8. Eb.        6. Kan.       4. Cib.       2. Lamat.

  13. Kan.      11. Cib.       9. Lamat.     7. Ahau.      5. Eb.
  13. Lamat.    11. Ahau.      9. Eb.        7. Kan.       5. Cib.
  13. Eb.       11. Kan.       9. Cib.       7. Lamat.     5. Ahau.
  13. Cib.      11. Lamat.     9. Ahau.      7. Eb.        5. Kan.
  13. Ahau.     11. Eb.        9. Kan.       7. Cib.       5. Lamat.

   3. Kan.       1. Cib.      12. Lamat.
   3. Lamat.     1. Ahau.     12. Eb.
   3. Eb.        1. Kan.      12. Cib.
   3. Cib.       1. Lamat.    12. Ahau.
   3. Ahau.      1. Eb.       12. Kan.


  10. Ymix.      8. Been.      6. Chicchan.  4. Caban.     2. Muluc.
  10. Chicchan.  8. Caban.     6. Muluc.     4. Ymix.      2. Been.
  10. Muluc.     8. Ymix.      6. Been.      4. Chicchan.  2. Caban.
  10. Been.      8. Chicchan.  6. Caban.     4. Muluc.     2. Ymix.
  10. Caban.     8. Muluc.     6. Ymix.      4. Been.      2. Chicchan.

  13. Ymix.     11. Been.      9. Chicchan.  7. Caban.     5. Muluc.
  13. Chicchan. 11. Caban.     9. Muluc.     7. Ymix.      5. Been.
  13. Muluc.    11. Ymix.      9. Been.      7. Chicchan.  5. Caban.
  13. Been.     11. Chicchan.  9. Caban.     7. Muluc.     5. Ymix.
  13. Caban.    11. Muluc.     9. Ymix.      7. Been.      5. Chicchan.

   3. Ymix.      1. Been.     12. Chicchan.
   3. Chicchan.  1. Caban.    12. Muluc.
   3. Muluc.     1. Ymix.     12. Been.
   3. Been.      1. Chicchan. 12. Caban.
   3. Caban.     1. Muluc.    12. Ymix.


  10. Oc.        8. Ik.        6. Ix.        4. Cimi.      2. Ezanab.
  10. Ix.        8. Cimi.      6. Ezanab.    4. Oc.        2. Ik.
  10. Ezanab.    8. Oc.        6. Ik.        4. Ix.        2. Cimi.
  10. Ik.        8. Ix.        6. Cimi.      4. Ezanab.    2. Oc.
  10. Cimi.      8. Ezanab.    6. Oc.        4. Ik.        2. Ix.

  13. Oc.       11. Ik.        9. Ix.        7. Cimi.      5. Ezanab.
  13. Ix.       11. Cimi.      9. Ezanab.    7. Oc.        5. Ik.
  13. Ezanab.   11. Oc.        9. Ik.        7. Ix.        5. Cimi.
  13. Ik.       11. Ix.        9. Cimi.      7. Ezanab.    5. Oc.
  13. Cimi.     11. Ezanab.    9. Oc.        7. Ik.        5. Ix.

   3. Oc.        1. Ik.       12. Ix.
   3. Ix.        1. Cimi.     12. Ezanab.
   3. Ezanab.    1. Oc.       12. Ik.
   3. Ik.        1. Ix.       12. Cimi.
   3. Cimi.      1. Ezanab.   12. Oc.


  10. Men.       8. Manik.     6. Cauac.     4. Chuen.     2. Akbal.
  10. Cauac.     8. Chuen.     6. Akbal.     4. Men.       2. Manik.
  10. Akbal.     8. Men.       6. Manik.     4. Cauac.     2. Chuen.
  10. Manik.     8. Cauac.     6. Chuen.     4. Akbal.     2. Men.
  10. Chuen.     8. Akbal.     6. Men.       4. Manik.     2. Cauac.

  13. Men.      11. Manik.     9. Cauac.     7. Chuen.     5. Akbal.
  13. Cauac.    11. Chuen.     9. Akbal.     7. Men.       5. Manik.
  13. Akbal.    11. Men.       9. Manik.     7. Cauac.     5. Chuen.
  13. Manik.    11. Cauac.     9. Chuen.     7. Akbal.     5. Men.
  13. Chuen.    11. Akbal.     9. Men.       7. Manik.     5. Cauac.

   3. Men.       1. Manik.    12. Cauac.
   3. Cauac.     1. Chuen.    12. Akbal.
   3. Akbal.     1. Men.      12. Manik.
   3. Manik.     1. Cauac.    12. Chuen.
   3. Chuen.     1. Akbal.    12. Men.

There is still another and somewhat probable supposition in regard to
the object of this division of the days of the month into groups of
five, which will obviate one objection to the explanation given in my
former work, viz, the very large number of dates given in the Manuscript
Troano on the supposition that there are four years to each numeral
connected with, the day columns. It is possible that the days of one
group indicate the year intended; that is, whether it is a Cauac, Kan,
Muluc, or Ix year.

For example, column No. 4 (Table IV), or some other, one of the four,
may relate to Kan years; No. 1 to Muluc years; No. 2 to Ix years, and
No. 3 to Cauac years. Assuming this to be correct, then the example
heretofore given, where the days named are 1 Cib, 1 Ahau, 1 Kan, 1
Lamat, and 1 Eb, and the month the first (Pop), would indicate only the
years 7 Muluc, 3 Muluc, 12 Muluc, 8 Muluc, and 11 Muluc. These would all
come in Ahau No. VI, as before, but would indicate that the festival, or
whatever they referred to, occurred but once every four years, in the
first month of the year. Hence if the five days of a column (as of the
Manuscript Troano) are all taken from one side of the quadrilateral of
our scheme they will refer to years of one dominical sign only; if
alternately from opposite sides, then to the years of two dominical
signs, but if taken alternately from the four sides they would refer to
the four classes of years. This will reduce the number of dates in the
Manuscript Troano very considerably from the other supposition, but will
not in any way change the position of the Ahaues in the Grand Cycle.

As one further item of evidence in regard to this method of arranging
the twenty days of the month in four groups or columns, I call attention
to what is found on Plate 32 of the Dresden Codex. Here we find the four
columns of five days each, corresponding precisely with the arrangement
of the Maya days into four groups, as heretofore. I present here the
arrangement as found on this plate:


   _a._         _b._         _c._       _d._
  Manik.      Cib.        Chicchan.   Ix.
  Chuen.      Ahau.       Muluc.      Ezanab.
  Men.        Kan.        Been.       Ik.
  Cauac.      Lamat.      Caban.      Cimi.
  Akbal.      Eb.         Ymix.       Oc.

It will be seen by comparing this grouping with that in Table IV that
column _a_ of this plate contains the same days as column 3 of the
table; column _b_ the same as column 4; column _c_ the same as column 1,
and column _d_ the same as column 2.

But so far have found no entirely satisfactory explanation of the order
given in many of these columns and in three of the sides of the
quadrilateral of the Cortesian plate.

As this discussion is preliminary to a discussion of the assignment of
the symbols of the cardinal points, it becomes necessary, in order to
bring in all the evidence bearing upon the question, to examine certain
points of the Mexican calendar system, as given by various authors and
as exhibited in the Mexican Codices.

If we refer now to Plate 43 of the Borgian Codex, as found in
Kingsborough's "Mexican Antiquities," Vol. III, a photo-engraved copy of
which is presented in our Fig. 4, we shall, as I believe, not only find
additional confirmation of the views I have advanced in reference to the
peculiar arrangement of the days around the quadrilateral in the plate
of the Cortesian Codex, but also strong evidence of a common origin of
the Mexican and Central American calendars.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--Copy of plate 43. Borgian Codex.]

This plate of the Borgian Codex, which is Mexican and not Maya, consists
of four groups, the whole arranged in the form of a square; each group,
also a square, is surrounded by a serpent, the heads of the four
serpents being brought near together at the center, which is indicated
by the figure of the sun. Each of these serpents, as I have heretofore
intimated,[9] probably denotes one of the four-year series of the cycle
of fifty-two years, just as in the Maya cycle we would say "the Cauac
series," "Kan series," etc.[10] The thirteen years of each series, is
denoted by the small circles on the serpents. The four large figures
are, as we shall hereafter see, fanciful representations of certain
ideas held by this people in regard to the four cardinal points, each
probably with its significant color as understood by the artist, and
each probably indicating one of the four-year bearers.

But at present our attention is directed to something else to be found
on this plate. In each of the four spaces and around each of the large
figures we observe five Mexican day symbols connected usually with the
main figure by heavy-waved colored lines. What is the signification of
these day symbols in this connection? Precisely the same, I believe, as
those in the four sides of the quadrilateral in the Codex Cortesianus.
But first I would remark that the waved, colored, connecting lines have
no other signification than to denote the parts of the body to which the
days are here severally assigned; hence, as they have no bearing on the
questions now under discussion, I shall have no occasion to take any
further notice of them.

If we arrange the Mexican days in four columns as we did the Maya, that
is, placing the first name in the first column, the second in the second
column, and so on, following the usual orthography and the order given,
the groups will be as follows:


     1.            2.            3.            4.
  Cipactli.     Ehecatl.      Calli.        Cuetzpalin.
  Coatl.        Miquiztli.    Mazatl.       Tochtli.
  Atl.          Itzquintli.   Ozomatli.     Malinalli.
  Acatl.        Ocelotl.      Quauhtli.     Cozcaquauhtli.
  Ollin.        Tecpatl.      Quiahuitl.    Xochitl.

Or, to give them their English equivalents as we usually find them, as


    1.            2.            3.            4.
  Dragon.       Wind.         House.        Lizard.
  Snake.        Death.        Deer.         Rabbit.
  Water.        Dog.          Monkey.       Grass.
  Cane.         Tiger.        Eagle.        Vulture.
  Movement.     Flint.        Rain.         Flower.

Comparing these columns with the symbols around each one of these large
figures we find that to each one of the latter are assigned the days of
one of these four columns. In the lower left-hand square, to the large
green figure, those in column 1; thus, at the left foot, the Dragon; to
the back of the head, the Snake; to the eye, Cane; in the right hand,
Water; and below the elbow, but connected with the mouth, Ollin or
movement (sometimes translated earthquake). To the yellow figure, in the
lower right-hand square, are applied those of the second column; to the
black figure, in the upper right-hand square, those of the third column;
and to the red figure, in the upper left-hand square, those of the
fourth column. There is therefore scarcely any doubt that this
arrangement is for precisely the same purpose as that in the plate of
the Codex Cortesianus.

As proof that the Mexicans used these combinations in much the same way
as the Maya priests I call attention to the following examples:

On Plate 59, of the same (Borgian) Codex, we find two columns of days,
one on the right and the other on the left, as follows:

  _Left column._      _Right column._
   Tochtli.            Quauhtli.
   Ehecatl.            Atl.
   Cozcaquauhtli.      Calli.
   Itzquintli.         Ollin.
   Cuetzpalin.         Ozomatli.
   Tecpatl.            Coatl.
   Malinalli.          Quiahuitl.
   Miquiztli.          Acatl.
   Xochitl.            Mazatl.
   Ocelotl.            Cipactli.

Comparing these with the names in the four columns (Table XI), we find
that those on the left were taken alternately from columns 4 and 2, and
those on the right alternately from columns 3 and 1. On Plates 61 and 62
we find substantially the same arrangement, or at least the same idea as
the extract from Codex Peresianus, heretofore referred to. On these two
plates (embracing all of 61, and the lower left-hand square of 62) we
find five squares, each one bordered on two sides with the symbol of a
single day repeated thirteen times and accompanied by numeral signs.

Commencing with the square on page 62, where the repeated day symbol is
Cipactli, and reading the line from left to right and up the column, we
find the numbers to be as follows, filling out the effaced ones in the

_Cipactli_, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7 (the symbol being
repeated with each number.)[TN-10]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--Copy of Plates 51 and 52, Vatican Codex B.]

In the next, the lower right-hand square on Plate 61, where the day is
Coatl, the numbers, reading the same way, are as follows (filling out
one effaced one):

_Coatl_, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11.

Taking the lower left-hand square next, the day Atl, and reading in the
same direction, we find the numbers to be as follows (filling out two
effaced groups):

_Atl_, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2.

We take the upper left hand next, reading from left to right and up:

_Acatl_, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6.

Lastly, the upper right-hand square, reading the same way as the last.

_Ollin_, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10.

We have only to turn to our abridged calendar (Table III) to find this
explained. If we take the Ix column and select every fourth day, to wit,
Ix, Ezanab, Ik, Cimi, and Oc, and read the line of numbers opposite
each, we shall find them corresponding precisely with those mentioned
here. For instance, those opposite _Ix_ the same as those opposite
_Cipactli_, &c.

We further notice that these five names, _Cipactli_, _Coatl_, _Atl_,
_Acatl_, and _Ollin_, or, to use the English names, Dragon, Snake,
Water, Cane, and Movement, are precisely those of column 1 of the
arrangement of the Mexican days as heretofore given (Table XI).

On plates 13-17 of the Vatican Codex, B, Kingsborough, Vol. III, we find
precisely the same arrangement as that just described, and where the
numerals are so distinct that there can be no doubt in regard to any of
them. The days are exactly the same--Cipactli, Coatl, Atl, Acatl, and
Ollin--and in the same order, but the plates are to be taken in the
reverse, order, commencing with 17, and the columns and lines are to be
read thus: Commencing at the bottom at the right hand, upward to the
top, and then along the line toward the left.

On Plate 58 of the Borgian Codex we find six lines of days with five in
each line. Five out of these six lines are composed of the five days
just named, simply varied as to the respective positions they occupy in
the line, but maintaining the same order.

On Plate 17, same Codex, we see two lines corresponding with the first
and second columns of the arrangement of the days heretofore given.

But without further reference to these smaller or isolated groups, we
have conclusive proof of this method of arranging the days among the
Mexicans, in three extended series--one found on Plates 49-56 of the
Vatican Codex B; one on Plates 31-38 of the Borgian Codex, and another
on Plates 1-8 of the Bologna Codex.

I give here the arrangement found in the first, which is precisely the
same as that of the Borgian Codex, except that this is to be read from
the left to the right, and that of the Borgian Codex from the right to
the left, both commencing with the bottom line (numbered 5 in the
following list):

A photo-engraved copy of one plate of the former is also given in Fig.
5, as it furnishes proof that the days and the order in which they
follow each other are the same as I have given them.

For the benefit of English readers the list is given in the English
equivalents of the Mexican names.[11]


  1. Water.      Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.
  2. Movement.   Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.
  3. Snake.      Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.
  4. Cane.       Tiger.[12]  Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.
  5. Dragon.     Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.

  1. Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.
  2. Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.      Death.
  3. Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.
  4. Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.
  5. Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.

  1. Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.       House.
  2. Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.        Monkey.
  3. Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.      Rain.
  4. House.      Lizard.     Snake.      Death.      Deer.
  5. Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.

  1. Lizard.     Snake.      Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.
  2. Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.
  3. Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.       House.      Lizard.
  4. Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.
  5. Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.      Rain.       Flower.

  1. Water.      Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.
  2. Movement.   Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.
  3. Snake.      Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.
  4. Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.
  5. Dragon.     Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.

  1. Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.
  2. Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.      Death.
  3. Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.
  4. Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.
  5. Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.

  1. Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.       House.
  2. Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.        Monkey.
  3. Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.      Rain.
  4. House.      Lizard.     Snake.      Death.      Deer.
  5. Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.

  1. Lizard.     Snake.      Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.
  2. Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.
  3. Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.       House.      Lizard.
  4. Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.
  5. Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.      Rain.       Flower.

  1. Water.      Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.
  2. Movement.   Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.
  3. Snake.      Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.
  4. Cane.       Tiger.      Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.
  5. Dragon.     Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.

  1. Tiger.[13]  Eagle.      Vulture.    Movement.   Flint.
  2. Wind.       House.      Lizard.     Snake.      Death.
  3. Dog.        Monkey.     Grass.      Cane.       Tiger.
  4. Flint.      Rain.       Flower.     Dragon.     Wind.
  5. Death.      Deer.       Rabbit.     Water.      Dog.

  1. Rain.       Flower.
  2. Deer.       Rabbit.
  3. Eagle.      Vulture.
  4. House.      Lizard.
  5. Monkey.     Grass.

If we examine the columns of this list, we see that each one contains
the days of some one of the four columns of the arrangement heretofore
given; not always in precisely the same order, but the same days.

Without stopping to attempt a further explanation of this calendar or
_Tonalamatl_, which is not within the scope of our present purpose, I
merely remark that it is evidently a representation of the Mexican
"cycle of two hundred and sixty days," or thirteen months, the common
multiple of 4, 5, 13, and 20, and hence a cycle, at the completion of
which the day, numeral, &c. (except the month), will be the same as at
the beginning.


[1] Published in 1882, as a memoir of the Société d'Ethnographie of

[2] Rosny says by mistake "Planche VII-VIII."

[3] A study of the Manuscript Troano.

[4] As the reduction of the cut prevents the insertion of the names of
the days, letters have been substituted for them in the quadrilateral or
inner ring as follows:

_In the top line._--Ymix, _a_; Chicchan, _b_; Muluc, _c_; Been, _d_, and
Caban, _e_.

_In the left column._--Cimi, _f_; Ik, _g_; Oc, _h_; Ix, _i_, and Ezanab,

_In the bottom line._--Akbal, _k_; Manik, _l_; Chuen, _m_; Men, _n_, and
Cauac, _o_.

_In the right column._--Kan, _p_; Lamat, _q_; Eb, _r_; Ahau, _s_, and
Cib, _t_.

[5] Study of the Manuscript Troano, p. 11.

[6] It is worthy of note that the numerals on the plate apply only to
the years 1 Cauac, 1 Kan, 1 Muluc, and 1 Ix, the first years of an
Indication or week of years.

[1][TN-7] _Manuscrit dit Mexicain No. 2._--The Bureau of Ethnology has
had the good fortune to obtain a copy of Duruy's photographic
reproduction of this Manuscript, of which, according to Leclerc
(Bibliotheca Americana), only ten copies were issued, though Brasseur in
his Bibliotheque Mexico-Guatémalienne (p. 95) affirms that the edition
consisted of fifty copies. The full title is as follows: "_Manuscrit dit
Mexicain No. 2 de la Bibliothèque Imperiale Photographie (sans
reduction). Par ordre de S. E. M. Duruy, Ministre de l'Instruction
publique, President de la Commission scientifique du Mexique._ Paris,

Rosny has given a _fac-simile_ copy from the two plates here referred to
in Plate XVI of his _Essai sur le Dechiffrement de l'Ecriture

[8] An illustration can be seen, on pp. 36-40, Study Manuscript Troano.

[9] Study Manuscript Troano, p. 86.

[10] Possibly each serpent represents one indication of thirteen years,
but the proper answer to this question is not important in the present

[11] In order to accommodate the list to the paging it is divided into
sections, the second section to follow to the right of the first; the
third to the right of the second, and so on to the last, as though
extended continuously to the right. Those numbered 1 would then form one
continuous transverse line, as would also those numbered 2,3, 4 and 5

[12] In the original, _Deer_, certainly an error.

[13] In the original, _Deer_.


As a connecting link between the particular topic now under discussion
and the consideration of the symbols of the cardinal points, I wish to
refer to one plate of the Fejervary Codex, to wit, Plate 44, a
_fac-simile_ of which is presented in Plate III:

A little careful inspection of this plate will suffice to convince the
reader that it was gotten up upon the same plan and for the same purpose
as the "Tableau des Bacab," or plate copied from the Codex Cortesianus,
which is reproduced in our Plate I.

The sacred tree or cross, which is represented but once in that plate,
and that in the central area, is here shown four times--once in each of
the four outer spaces opposite the four sides of the inner area.

It is true we do not find here the intermediate ring (or quadrilateral),
of clays, but these are not wanting, for the four groups, corresponding
with those on the four sides of the quadrilateral, are here found at the
four corners wedged in between the colored loops, one group of five at
each corner. The chief marked resemblance is to be found in the outer
looped line, in which the day characters are connected by rows of dots.
But here the lines and loops, although almost precisely in the form, and
relation, to each other as in the plate of the Cortesian Codex, are
variously and brightly colored, and the rows of dots are inclosed by
lateral lines.

Now for the proof that it is designed for the same purpose as the looped
line on the other plate. But it is necessary that I present first, in a
tabular form, a Mexican calendar (Table XIV) similar to the condensed
Maya calendar heretofore given.

I also give, immediately following, a list of Mexican days for thirteen
months, the number necessary to make the circuit of the plate, just as
the list of Maya days heretofore given. In this case I have used the
English equivalents of the Mexican words for the benefit of English

TABLE XIV.--Condensed Mexican calendar.

         |      |       |      |       _Numbers of the months._
         |      |       |      |______________________________________
  Tochtli|Acatl |Tecpatl|Calli |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
   years.|years.| years.|years.| 1| 2| 3| 4| 5| 6| 7| 8| 9|10|11|12|13
         |      |       |      |14|15|16|17|18|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
    [ 1] | [ 6] | [11]  | [16] | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
    [ 2] | [ 7] | [12]  | [17] | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
    [ 3] | [ 8] | [13]  | [18] | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9
    [ 4] | [ 9] | [14]  | [19] | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10
    [ 5] | [10] | [15]  | [20] | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11
    [ 6] | [11] | [16]  | [ 1] | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12
    [ 7] | [12] | [17]  | [ 2] | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13
    [ 8] | [13] | [18]  | [ 3] | 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1
    [ 9] | [14] | [19]  | [ 4] | 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2
    [10] | [15] | [20]  | [ 5] |10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3
    [11] | [16] | [ 1]  | [ 6] |11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4
    [12] | [17] | [ 2]  | [ 7] |12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5
    [13] | [18] | [ 3]  | [ 8] |13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6
    [14] | [19] | [ 4]  | [ 9] | 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7
    [15] | [20] | [ 5]  | [10] | 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8
    [16] | [ 1] | [ 6]  | [11] | 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9
    [17] | [ 2] | [ 7]  | [12] | 4|11| 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10
    [18] | [ 3] | [ 8]  | [13] | 5|12| 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11
    [19] | [ 4] | [ 9]  | [14] | 6|13| 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12
    [20] | [ 5] | [10]  | [15] | 7| 1| 8| 2| 9| 3|10| 4|11| 5|12| 6|13

  [ 1] Cozcaquauhtli.                 [11] Miquiztli.
  [ 2] Ollin.                         [12] Mazatl.
  [ 3] Tecpatl.                       [13] Tochtli.
  [ 4] Quiahuitl.                     [14] Atl.
  [ 5] Xochitl.                       [15] Itzcuintli.
  [ 6] Cipactli.                      [16] Ozomatli.
  [ 7] Ehecatl.                       [17] Malinalli.
  [ 8] Calli.                         [18] Acatl.
  [ 9] Cuetzpalin.                    [19] Ocelotl.
  [10] Coatl.                         [20] Quauhtli.

This calendar begins the year _Acatl_ with Cipactli to correspond with
what I believe to have been the plan on which the Fejervary plate was
made; this, as will be seen, does not agree with what is generally
supposed to have been the usual method. The following table of days can
be used for either year, but commences as the Acatl years in the
preceding calendar.

[Illustration: PL. III Fac-simile of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex.]


[The dark lines indicate the points where the months end.][TN-11]

    1. Dragon.       8. Dragon.        2. Dragon.        9. Dragon.
    2. Wind.         9. Wind.          3. Wind.         10. Wind.
    3. House.       10. House          4. House.        11. House.
    4. Lizard.      11. Lizard.        5. Lizard.       12. Lizard.
    5. Snake.       12. Snake.         6. Snake.        13. Snake.
    6. Death.       13. Death.         7. Death          1. Death.
    7. Deer.         1. Deer.          8. Deer.          2. Deer.
    8. Rabbit.       2. Rabbit.        9. Rabbit.        3. Rabbit.
    9. Water.        3. Water.        10. Water.         4. Water.
   10. Dog.          4. Dog.          11. Dog.           5. Dog.
   11. Monkey.       5. Monkey.       12. Monkey.        6. Monkey.
   12. Grass.        6. Grass.        13. Grass.         7. Grass.
   13. Cane.         7. Cane.          1. Cane.          8. Cane.
    1. Tiger.        8. Tiger.         2. Tiger.         9. Tiger.
    2. Eagle.        9. Eagle.         3. Eagle.        10. Eagle.
    3. Vulture.     10. Vulture.       4. Vulture.      11. Vulture.
    4. Movement.    11. Movement.      5. Movement.     12. Movement.
    5. Flint.       12. Flint.         6. Flint.        13. Flint.
    6. Rain.        13. Rain.          7. Rain.          1. Rain.
   [7. Flower.]     [1. Flower.]      [8. Flower.]      [2. Flower.]

    3. Dragon.      10. Dragon.        4. Dragon.       11. Dragon.
    4. Wind.        11. Wind.          5. Wind.         12. Wind.
    5. House.       12. House.         6. House.        13. House.
    6. Lizard.      13. Lizard.        7. Lizard.        1. Lizard.
    7. Snake.        1. Snake.         8. Snake.         2. Snake.
    8. Death.        2. Death.         9. Death.         3. Death.
    9. Deer.         3. Deer.         10. Deer.          4. Deer.
   10. Rabbit.       4. Rabbit.       11. Rabbit.        5. Rabbit.
   11. Water.        5. Water.        12. Water.         6. Water.
   12. Dog.          6. Dog.          13. Dog.           7. Dog.
   13. Monkey        7. Monkey         1. Monkey.        8. Monkey.
    1. Grass.        8. Grass.         2. Grass.         9. Grass.
    2. Cane.         9. Cane.          3. Cane.         10. Cane.
    3. Tiger.       10. Tiger.         4. Tiger.        11. Tiger.
    4. Eagle.       11. Eagle.         5. Eagle.        12. Eagle.
    5. Vulture.     12. Vulture.       6. Vulture.      13. Vulture.
    6. Movement.    13. Movement.      7. Movement.      1. Movement.
    7. Flint.        1. Flint.         8. Flint.         2. Flint.
    8. Rain.         2. Rain.          9. Rain.          3. Rain.
   [9. Flower.]     [3. Flower.]     [10. Flower.]      [4. Flower.]

    5. Dragon.      12. Dragon.        6. Dragon.       13. Dragon.
    6. Wind.        13. Wind.          7. Wind.          1. Wind.
    7. House.        1. House.         8. House.         2. House.
    8. Lizard.       2. Lizard.        9. Lizard.        3. Lizard.
    9. Snake.        3. Snake.        10. Snake.         4. Snake.
   10. Death.        4. Death.        11. Death          5. Death.
   11. Deer.         5. Deer.         12. Deer.          6. Deer.
   12. Rabbit.       6. Rabbit.       13. Rabbit.        7. Rabbit.
   13. Water.        7. Water.         1. Water.         8. Water.
    1. Dog.          8. Dog.           2. Dog.           9. Dog.
    2. Monkey.       9. Monkey.        3. Monkey.       10. Monkey.
    3. Grass.       10. Grass.         4. Grass.        11. Grass.
    4. Cane.        11. Cane.          5. Cane.         12. Cane.
    5. Tiger.       12. Tiger.         6. Tiger.        13. Tiger.
    6. Eagle.       13. Eagle.         7. Eagle.         1. Eagle.
    7. Vulture.      1. Vulture.       8. Vulture.       2. Vulture.
    8. Movement.     2. Movement.      9. Movement.      3. Movement.
    9. Flint.        3. Flint.        10. Flint.         4. Flint.
   10. Rain.         4. Rain.         11. Rain.          5. Rain.
  [11. Flower.]     [5. Flower.]     [12. Flower.]      [6. Flower.]

    7. Dragon.
    6. Wind.
    9. House.
   10. Lizard.
   11. Snake.
   12. Death.
   13. Deer.
    1. Rabbit.
    2. Water.
    3. Dog.
    4. Monkey.
    5. Grass.
    6. Cane.
    7. Tiger.
    8. Eagle.
    9. Vulture.
   10. Movement.
   11. Flint.
   12. Rain.
   13. Flower.

Although the Mexican equivalents of these names may be inferred from
what has already been given, I will insert the Mexican and English names
of the twenty days here, opposite each other.


  _Mex._     _Eng._        _Mex._     _Eng._
   Cipactli (Dragon).       Ozomatli (Monkey).
   Ehecatl (Wind).          Malinalli (Grass).
   Calli (House).           Acatl (Cane).
   Cuetzpalin (Lizard).     Ocelotl (Tiger).
   Coatl (Snake).           Quauhtli (Eagle).
   Miquiztli (Death).       Cozcaquauhtli (Vulture).
   Mazatl (Deer).           Ollin (Movement).
   Tochtli (Rabbit).        Tecpatl (Flint).
   Atl (Water).             Quiahuitl (Rain).
   Itzcuintli (Dog).        Xochitl (Flower).

Examining the looped line, Plate III, we notice at each of the outer and
inner bends one of the day symbols. (In the plate of the Cortesian Codex
there are two.) We therefore take for granted that this is the _first_
day of the week, or indication of _thirteen days_, hence we should
commence with Cipactli (or Dragon). This we find at the upper right hand
corner of the inner square or right base of the large red loop. Judging
from the direction of the birds' heads and other facts heretofore noted,
we presume the direction in which we are to move is around toward the
left. Counting the day symbol as one, and each of the twelve dots up the
red line as one day, we come to the symbol in the upper right-hand
corner of the loop as the first day of the next week. This we find is
Ocelotl (Tiger), just as we find it to be in the calendar table and list
of days. Moving along the upper red line to the corner at the left we
find the next character is Mazatl (or Deer), agreeing exactly with the
calendar and list. Moving down the left red line to the inner corner we
come to the symbol for Xochitl (or Flower), also agreeing with the
calendar and list. Proceeding from thence up the white line we reach
next the symbol for the day Acatl (Cane) in the red circle surrounded by
a yellow line. Here we see a marked distinction between this and the
other day symbols we have named, a distinction which applies only to the
four at the corners--the four year symbols--_Acatl_, _Tecpatl_, _Calli_,
and _Tochtli_.

In order that the reader may compare the names in this looped line with
the calendar, I present here a scheme of it similar to that given of
the plate from the Cortesian Codex. The explanation given of the other
will enable him to make the comparison without further aid.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--Scheme of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex.]

The numbers in the little circles at the corners and loops replace the
days of the original as follows: 1, Cipactli; 2, Ocelotl; 3, Mazatl; 4,
Xochitl; 5, Acatl; 6, Miquiztli; 7, Quiahuitl; 8, Malinalli; 9, Coatl;
10, Tecpatl; 14, Ozomatli; 12, Cuetzpalin; 13, Ollin; 14, Itzcuintli;
15, Calli; 16, Cozcaquauhtli; 17, Atl; 18, Echecatl;[TN-12] 19, Quauhtli;
20, Tochtli.

As before stated, the four groups of five day symbols are found wedged
in between the loops at the corners.

In the upper left-hand corner we see the following: Cipactli, Acatl,
Coatl, Ollin, and Atl (or, to give the English equivalents in the same
order, Dragon, Cane, Snake, Movement, and Water), the same as those of
column 1 of Tables XI and XII. In the lower left-hand corner, Ehecatl,
Itzcuintli, Tecpatl, Miquiztli, and Ocelotl (Wind, Dog, Flint, Death,
and Tiger), the same as column 2; in the lower right-hand corner,
Quauhtli, Calli, Ozomatli, Quiahuitl, and Mazatl (Eagle, House, Monkey,
Rain, and Deer), the same as column 3; and in the upper right-hand
corner, Tochtli, Cozcaquauhtli, Cuetzpalin, Malinalli, and Xochitl
(Rabbit, Vulture, Lizard, Grass, Flower), the same as column 4. But the
arrangement of the days in the respective columns, as in the "Table of
the Bacabs," varies from that obtained by placing the days of the month
in four groups, as heretofore explained.

Turning again to the plate of the Cortesian Codex, as shown in our Plate
2,[TN-13] I call attention first to the heavy black L-shaped figures. I
presume from the number--eighteen--and the fact that they are found in
the line of weeks they are symbols of, or denote the months, but am
unable to suggest any explanation of their use in this connection. I
find nothing to correspond with them in either of the plates of the
Mexican Codices referred to.


We are now prepared to enter upon the discussion of the symbols of the
cardinal points, of which figures have already been given in connection
with the quotations from Rosny's work (Fig. 1), but as I shall have
occasion to refer to them very frequently I again present them in Fig.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--Symbols of the cardinal points.]

As it is conceded by all who have discussed this subject, that _a_ and
_c_ must be assigned to the east and west or equatorial points, the only
dispute being as to which should be referred to the east and which to
the west, it follows that the others must be referred to the polar
points. As each one of the four areas or compartments contains one of
these symbols--the top or upper compartment _a_, the left-hand _b_, the
bottom _c_, and the right-hand _d_--we naturally infer that the other
figures in these compartments have some reference to the cardinal points
with which they are respectively associated.

I think that Rosny is correct in assuming that this plate places these
symbols in their proper positions, and hence that if we can determine
one with satisfactory certainty this will determine the rest. If their
correct positions are given anywhere it would seem that it would be
here, in what is evidently a general calendar table or possibly a
calendar wheel.

I have already discussed the question of the assignment of the cardinal
symbols to some extent in my former work,[14] and will take for granted
that the reader is familiar with what is there stated.

That one of the two characters _a_ and _c_ (Fig. 7), denotes the _east_
or sunrise and the other _west_ or sunset, may, I think, be safely
assumed from what is given in the work mentioned, and from the evidence
presented by Rosny,[15] and Schultz-Sellack.[16] But which, east and
which west is the rock on which the deductions have been, so far, split
asunder; Rosny and Schultz-Sellack maintaining that _a_ is west and _c_
east, and I that _a_ is east and _c_ west. If we admit that they are
correctly placed on this plate it necessitates the admission on my part
that I have been incorrect in my reference of two of them. If _a_ is
east then I have reversed those denoting north and south; if it is west,
then I was correct as to those denoting north and south, but have
reversed those indicating east and west.

Without at present stating the result of my re-examination of this
subject I shall enter at once upon the discussion, leaving this to
appear as we proceed.

It is well known that each of the dominical days or year-bearers
(_Cuch-haab_, as they were termed by the Mayas), Kan, Muluc, Ix, and
Cauac, was referred to one of the four cardinal points. Our first step,
therefore, is to determine the points to which these days were
respectively assigned.

I have given in my former paper[17] my reasons for believing that Cauac
was referred to the south, Kan to the east, Muluc to the north, and Ix
to the west, from which I quote the following as a basis for further

"Landa, Cogulludo, and Perez tell us that each of the four dominical
days was referred by the Indians to one of the four cardinal points. As
the statements of these three authorities appear at first sight to
conflict with each other, let us see if we can bring them into harmony
without resorting to a violent construction of the language used. Perez'
statement is clear and distinct, and as it was made by one thoroughly
conversant with the manners and customs of the natives, and also with
all the older authorities, it is doubtless correct.

"He says, 'The Indians made a little wheel in which they placed the
initial days of the year. _Kan_ at the _east_, _Muluc_ at the _north_,
_Gix_ or _Hix_ at the _west_, and _Cauac_ at the _south_, to be counted
in the same order.'

"The statement of Cogulludo, which agrees substantially with this, is as
follows: 'They fixed the first year at the east, to which they gave the
name _Cuch-haab;_ the second at the west, and called it _Hiix;_ the the
third at the south, named _Cauac_, and the fourth, _Muluc_, at the

"Turning now to Landa's work (_Relac. de las Cosas_, §§ XXXIV), we are
somewhat surprised to find the following language: 'The first of these
dominical letters is _Kan_. * * * They placed this on the south, side.
* * * The second letter is _Muluc_, which is placed on the eastern side.
* * * The third of these letters is _Yx_, * * * and it signified the
northern side. The fourth letter is _Cauac_, which is assigned to
the-western side.'

"This, as we see, places Kan at the south, Muluc at the east, Ix at the
north, and Cauac at the west, conflicting directly with the statements
made by Cogulludo and Perez. If we turn now to the description of the
four feasts as given by Landa, and heretofore quoted, I think we shall
find an explanation of this difference. From his account of the feast at
the commencement of the Kan year (the intercalated days of the Cauac
year) we learn that first they made an idol called _Kan-u-uayeyab_,
which they bore to the heap of stones on the south side of the Village;
next they made a statue of the god _Bolon-Zacab_, which they placed in
the house of the elected chief, or chief chosen for the occasion. This
done they returned to the idol on the southern stone heap, where certain
religious ceremonies were performed, after which they returned with the
idol to the house, where they placed it _vis-a-vis_ with the other, just
as we see in the lower division of Plates XX-XXIII of the Manuscript
Troano. Here they kept constant vigil until the unlucky days
(_Uayeyab-haab_) had expired and the new Kan year appeared; then they
took the statue of _Bolon-Zacab_ to the temple and the other idol to the
heap of stones at the _east_ side of the village, where it was to remain
during the year, doubtless intended as a constant reminder to the common
people of what year was passing.

"Similar transfers were made at the commencement of the other years; at
that of Muluc, first to the east, then to the house, and then to its
final resting place on the _north_ side; of Ix, first to the north, then
to the _west_; of Cauac, first to the west, then to the _south_.

"This movement agrees precisely with the order given by Perez; the final
resting places of their idols for the year being the cardinal points of
the dominical days where he fixes them; that is, Kan at the _east_,
Muluc at the _north_, Ix at the _west_, and Cauac at the _south_. There
is, therefore, no real disagreement between these authorities on this

Most of the modern authors who have touched upon this topic, although in
some cases apparently at sea, without any fixed opinion on the subject,
are disposed to follow Landa's statement, without comparing it with his
account of the supplemental days, and appear to rely upon it rather than
upon the statements of Cogulludo and Perez; and hence they refer Kan to
the south, Muluc to the east, Ix to the north, and Cauac to the west.

Brasseur, in his _Histoire des Nations civilisées du Mexique et de
l'Amérique Centrale_,[18] assigns Kan to the east, Muluc to the north,
Hix to the west, and Cauac to the south. But in his supplement to
_Études sur le Manuscrit Troano_,[19] and in his note to Landa's
_Relacion_,[20] refers Kan to the south, Muluc to the east, Ix to the
north, and Cauac to the west, although afterwards, in the same work, in
a note to Perez' _Cronologia_, he quotes Cogulludo's statement without
explanation or objection.

Dr. Brinton, in his _Myths of the New World_,[21] places these dominical
days at the same points to which I have assigned them--Kan at the east,
&c.--although referring in a note at the same place to the very page of
Landa's _Relacion_, where they are assigned as given by Rosny. In a
subsequent work, _Hero Myths_, referring to the same passage in Landa,
and with Cogulludo's work before him, he assigns them to the same points
as Rosny--Kan to the south, &c.--yet without any reference whatever to
his former expressed opinion.

Schultz-Sellack, in an article entitled _Die Amerikanischen Gotter der
vier Weltrichtungen und ihre Tempel in Palanque_, in the _Zeitschrift
für Ethnologie_ for 1879,[22] comes to the same conclusion as Rosny.

Rosny's opinion on this subject has already been quoted.[23]

From these facts it is evident that the assignment of the dominical days
to their respective cardinal points has not as yet been satisfactorily
determined, but that the tendency at the present day is to follow
Landa's simple statement rather than Cogulludo and Perez. This is
caused, I presume, in part, by the fact that certain colors--yellow,
red, white, and black--were also referred to the cardinal points, and
because it is supposed that among the Maya nations yellow was
appropriated to Kan, red to Muluc, white to Ix, and black to Cauac; and
as the first appears to be more appropriate to the south, red to the
east or sunrise, white to the north or region of snow, and black to the
west or sunset, therefore this is the correct assignment.

But there is nothing given to show that this was the reason for the
selection or reference of these colors by the inhabitants of Central

This brings another factor into the discussion and widens the field of
our investigation; and as but little, save the terms applied to or
connected with the dominical days, is to be found in regard to the Maya
custom in this respect, we are forced to refer to the Mexican custom as
the next best evidence. But it is proper to state first that the chief,
and, so far as I am aware, the only, authority for the reference of the
colors named to the four Maya days, is found in the names applied to
them by Landa.[24]

According to this writer, the other names applied to the _Bacab_ of Kan,
were _Hobnil_, _Kanil-Bacab_, _Kan-Pauahtun_, and _Kan-Xib-Chac;_ to
that of Muluc, _Canzienal_, _Chacal-Bacab_, _Chac-Pauahtun_, and
_Chac-Xib-Chac;_ to that of Ix, _Zac-Ziui_, _Zacal-Bacab_,
_Zac-Pauahtun_, and _Zac-Xib-Chac;_ and to that of Cauac, _Hozen-Ek_,
_Ekel-Bacab_, _Ek-Pauahtun_, and _Ek-Xib-Chac_. As _Kan_ or _Kanil_ of
the first signifies _yellow_, _Chac_ or _Chacal_ of the second signifies
_red_, _Zac_ or _Zacal_, of the third _white_, and _Ek_ or _Ekel_, of
the fourth _black_, it has been assumed, and, I think, correctly, that
these colors were usually referred to these days, or rather to the
cardinal points indicated, respectively, by these day symbols. If there
is any other authority for this conclusion in the works of the earlier
writers, I have so far been unable to find it.

If the figures in our plate are properly and distinctly colored in the
original Codex Cortesianus, this might form one aid in settling this
point, but, as we shall hereafter see, the colors really afford very
little assistance, as they are varied for different purposes.

Rosny gives us no information on this point, hence our discussion must
proceed without this knowledge, as we have no opportunity of referring
to the original. I may remark that it is the opinion of the artist, Mr.
Holmes, from an inspection of the photograph, that the plate was at
least partially colored.

M. de Charencey, who has studied with much care the custom of
identifying colors with the cardinal points in both the New and Old
World, believes that in Mexico and Central America the original system
was to refer yellow to the east, black to the north, white to the west,
and red to the south.[25]

When we turn to the Mexican system we find the data greatly increased,
but, unfortunately, the difficulties and confusion are increased in like
proportion. Here we have not only the four dominical days and the four
colors, but also the four ages, four elements, and four seasons, all
bearing some relation in this system to the four cardinal points. It
will be necessary, therefore, for us to carry along with us these
several ideas in our attempt to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion on
this complicated and mystified subject.

Before referring to the codices I will present the conclusions of the
principal authorities who have devoted any attention to this question.
Sahagun says, "The names that they gave to the four parts of the earth
are these: Vitzlampa, the south; Tlapcopcopa, the east; Mictlampa, the
north; Coatlampa, the west. The names of the figures dedicated to these
parts are these: Tochtli, the rabbit, was dedicated to Vitzlampi, the
south; Acatl, the cane, to the east; Tecpatl, the flint, to the north;
Calli, the house, to the west; * * * * and at the end of fifty-two years
the count came back to _Cetochtliacatl_, which is the figure of the
reed, dedicated to the east, which they called _Tlapcopcopa_ and
_Tlavilcopa_, nearly towards the fire or the sun. Tecpatl, which is the
figure of a flint, was dedicated to Mictlampa, nearly towards hell,
because they believed that the dead went towards the north. For which
reason, in the superstition which represented the dead as covered with
mantas (cloths) and their bodies bound, they made them sit with their
faces turned toward the north, or Mictlampa. The fourth figure was the
house, and was dedicated to the west, which they called Cioatlampa,
which is nearly toward the house of the women, for they held the opinion
that the dead women, who are goddesses, live in the west, and that the
dead men, who are in the house of the sun, guide him from the east with
rejoicings every day, until they arrive at midday, and that the defunct
women, whom they regard as goddesses, and call Cioapipiltin, come out
from the west to receive him at midday and carry him with rejoicing to
the west."[26]

Veytia's statement in regard to the same subject is as follows:

"The symbols, then, which were used in the aforesaid monarchies for the
numeration of their years were these four: Tecpatl, that signifies
flint; Calli, the house; Tochtli, the rabbit; and Acatl, the reed. * * *
The material signification of the names are those just given, but the
allegories that they wished to set forth by them are the four elements,
which they understood to be the origin of all composite matter, and into
which all things could be resolved.

"They gave to fire the first place, as the most noble of all, and
symbolized it by the flint. * * * By the hieroglyphic of 'the house'
they represent the element earth, and gave it the second place in their
initial characters.

"By the rabbit they symbolized the air, * * * and represented it in
various ways, among which was the sign of the holy cross. * * *

"Finally the fourth initial character, which is the reed, which is the
proper meaning of the word Acatl, is the hieroglyphic of the element

At page 48: "It is to be noted that most of the old calendars--those of
the cycles as well as those of years and months, which they used to form
in circles and squares, ran from the right to the left, in the way the
orientals write and not as we are accustomed to form such figures.

* * * But they did not maintain this order in the figures that they
painted and used as hieroglyphics in them, but placed them some looking
to one side and some to the other."

Gemelli Carreri[28] writes as follows in regard to the Mexican calendar

"A snake turned itself round into a circle and in the body of the
serpent there were four divisions. The first denoted the south, in that
language call'd _Uutzlampa_, whose hieroglyphick was a rabbit in a blew
field, which they called _Tochtli_. Lower was the part that signify'd
the east, called _Tlacopa_ or _Tlahuilcopa_, denoted by a cane in a red
field, call'd _Acatl_. The hieroglyphick of the north, or Micolampa,
was a sword pointed with flint, call'd _Tecpatl_, in a yellow field.
That of the west or _Sihuatlampa_, was a house in a green field, and
called _Cagli_. * * *

"These four divisions were the beginning of the four terms that made up
the age. Between every two on the inside of the snake were twelve small
divisions, among which the four first names or figures were successively
distributed, giving every one its number to thirteen, which was the
number of years that composed an indication; the like was done in the
second indication with the same names from one to thirteen, and so in
the third and fourth, till they finished the circle of fifty-two years.
* * * From what has been said above, there arise several doubts; the
first is, why they begin to reckon-their years from the south; the
second, why they made use of the four figures, of a rabbit, a cane, a
flint, and a house."

He then goes on to state that the Mexicans believed the sun or light
first appeared in the south, and that hell or inferno was in the north;
then adds the following:

"Having found this analogy between the age and the year, they would
carry the similitude or proportions on further, and, as in the year
there are four seasons, so they would adapt the like to the age, and
accordingly they appointed _Tochtli_ for its beginning in the south, as
it were, the spring and youth of the sun's age; _Acatl_ for the summer,
_Tecpatl_ for the autumn, and _Cagli_ for his old age or winter.

"These figures so disposed were also the hieroglyphicks of the elements,
which is the second doubt; for _Tochtli_ was dedicated to _Tevacayohua_,
god of earth; _Acatl_ to _Tlalocatetuhtli_, god of water; _Tecpatl_ to
_Chetzahcoatl_, god of air; and _Cagli_ to _Xiuhtecuhil_, god of
fire. * * *

"The days _Cipactli_, _Michitzli_, _Ozomatli_, and _Cozcaquauhtli_ are
companions to--that is, in all respects follow--the order of the four
figures that denote the years of an age, viz, _Tochtli_, _Acatl_,
_Tecpatl_, and _Cagli_, to signify that every year whose symbol is
_Tochtli_ will have _Cipactli_ for the first day of the month; that
whose symbol or distinctive mark is _Acatl_ will have _Michitzli_ for
the first of the month; _Tecpatl_ will have _Ozomatli_, and _Cagli_ will
have _Cozcaquauhtli_."

Clavigero[29] agrees with Gemelli in reference to the correspondence of
the year symbols with the first days of the years, and inserts the
following remark in a note:

"Cav. Boturini says that the year of the rabbet began uniformly with the
day of the rabbet, the year of the cane with the day of the cane, &c.,
and never with the days which we have mentioned; but we ought to give
more faith to Siguenza, who was certainly better informed in Mexican
antiquity. The system of this gentleman is fantastical and full of

From this statement we infer that Siguenza held the same opinion on this
point as Clavigero and Gemelli.

Boturini[30] gives the following arrangement of the "symbols of the four
parts or angles of the world," comparing it with that of Gemelli.

       "Gemelli.               "Boturini.

  1. Tochtli = South.     1. Tecpatl = South.
  2. Acatl   = East.      2. Calli   = East.
  3. Tecpatl = North.     3. Tochtli = North.
  4. Calli   = West."     4. Acatl   = West."


       "Gemelli.               "Boturini.

  1. Tochtli = Earth.     1. Tecpatl = Fire.
  2. Acatl   = Water.     2. Calli   = Earth.
  3. Tecpatl = Air.       3. Tochtli = Air.
  4. Calli   = Fire."     4. Acatl   = Water."

Herrera speaks only of the year symbols and colors, and, although he
does not directly connect them, indicates his understanding in regard
thereto by the order in which he mentions them:[31]

"They divided the year into four signs, being four figures, the one of a
house, another of a rabbit, the third of a cane, the fourth of a flint,
and by them they reckoned the year as it passed on, saying, such a thing
happened at so many houses or at so many flints of such a wheel or
rotation, because their life being as it were an age, contained four
weeks of years consisting of thirteen, so that the whole made up
fifty-two years. They painted a sun in the middle from which issued four
lines or branches in a cross to the circumference of the wheel, and they
turned so that they divided it into four parts, and the circumference
and each of them moved with its branch of the same color; which were
four, _Green_, _Blue_, _Red_, and _Yellow_; and each of those parts had
thirteen subdivisions with the sign of a house, a rabbit, a cane, or a

From this statement I presume his arrangement would be as follows:

  Calli   -- Green.
  Tochtli -- Blue.
  Acatl   -- Red.
  Tecpatl -- Yellow.

Still, this is at best but a supposition. It is evident that he had
before him or referred to a wheel similar to that figured by Duran in
his _Historia de las Indias_, as his description agrees with it in every
respect, except as to the arrangement of the colors.

According to Duran[32] "The circle was divided into four parts, each
part containing thirteen years, the first part pertaining to the east,
the second to the north, the third to the west, and the fourth to the
south. The first part, which pertained to the east, was called the
thirteen years of the _Cane_, and in each house of the thirteen was
painted a cane, and the number of the corresponding year. * * * The
second part applied to the north, in which were other thirteen houses
(divisions), called the thirteen houses of the _Flint_, and there were
also painted in each one a flint and the number of the year. * * * The
third part, that which appertained to the west, was called the thirteen
_Houses_; there were also painted in this thirteen little houses, and
joined to each the number of the year. * * * In the fourth and last part
were other thirteen years called the thirteen houses of the _Rabbit_,
and in each of these houses were also likewise painted the head of a
rabbit, and joined to it a number."

[Illustration: FIG. 8--Calendar wheel from Duran.]

The plate or figure accompanying this statement[33] is a wheel in the
form shown in Fig. 8, the quadrant _a_ green, with thirteen figures of
the cane in it; _b_ red, with thirteen figures of the flint in it; _c_
yellow with thirteen figures of the house in it, and _d_ blue, with
thirteen figures of the rabbit's head in it, each figure with its
appropriate numeral. At the top is the word "Oriente," at the left
"Norte," at the bottom "Occidente," and at the right "Sur."

Although this figure was evidently made by this author or for him, it
expresses his understanding of the assignment of the years and
arrangement of the colors as ascertained from the data accessible to

His arrangement will therefore be as follows:

  Acatl   -- East  -- Green.
  Tecpatl -- North -- Red.
  Calli   -- West  -- Yellow.
  Tochtli -- South -- Blue.

We find the same idea frequently expressed in the codices now
accessible, as, for example, the Borgian and the Vatican B, though the
colors do not often correspond with Duran's arrangement.

Shultz-Sellack,[34][TN-14] in his article heretofore quoted, arranges the
colors in connection with the dominical days in the Maya system as

  Kan   -- South -- Yellow.
  Muluc -- East  -- Red.
  Ix    -- North -- White.
  Cauac -- West  -- Black.

He does not appear to be so clear in reference to the Mexican system, in
fact he seems to avoid the question of the assignment of the year
symbols. His arrangement, as far as I can understand it, is as follows:

  --? Quetzalcoatl    -- South -- Wind  -- Yellow.
  --? Huitzilopuchtli -- East  -- Fire  -- Red.
  --? Tezcatlipoca    -- North -- Water -- White.
  --? Tlaloc          -- West  -- Earth -- Black.

Orozco y Berra[35] gives his preference to the opinion of Sahagun, which
has already been quoted, and which is the same as that held by

The most thorough and extensive discussion of this subject which has so
far been made, is by Dr. D. Alfredo Chavero, in the _Anales del Museo
Nacional de Mexico_.[37]

According to this author, who had access not only to the older as well
as more recent authorities usually referred to, but also to the
manuscript of Fabrigat and the Codex Chimalpopoca or Quauhtitlan, the
order of the year symbols or year bearers--Tecpatl, Calli, Acatl, and
Tochtli--varied "_segun les[TN-15] pueblos_," the Toltecs commencing the
cycle with _Tecpatl_, those of Teotihuacan with _Calli_, those of
Tezcuco with _Acatl_, and the Mexicans with _Tochtli_.[38] He also
shows that the relation and order of the four ages or creations and
elements in regard to the cardinal points, are by no means uniform, not
only in the Spanish and early authorities, but in the codices and
monuments (supposing his interpretation to be correct).

His arrangement, as derived from the leading codices, is as follows:

  Tochtli -- South -- Earth.
  Acatl   -- East  -- Water.
  Tecpatl -- North -- Fire.
  Calli   -- West  -- Air.

In order that the various views may be seen at a glance, I give here a
tabulated _résumé_:



  1. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- Fire.
  2. Calli   -- House  -- Earth.
  3. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- Air.
  4. Acatl   -- Cane   -- Water.


  1. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- South.
  2. Acatl   -- Cane   -- East. "Toward the fire or sun."
  3. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- North. "Nearly towards hell."
  4. Calli   -- House  -- West. "Towards the house of women."


  1. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- South -- Blue   -- Earth -- Cipactli.
  2. Acatl   -- Cane   -- East  -- Red    -- Water -- Michiztli.
  3. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- North -- Yellow -- Air   -- Ozomatli.
  4. Calli   -- House  -- West  -- Green  -- Fire  -- Cozcaquauhtli.


  1. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- South -- Fire.
  2. Calli   -- House  -- East  -- Earth.
  3. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- North -- Air.
  4. Acatl   -- Cane   -- West  -- Water.


  Calli   -- House  -- Green.
  Tochtli -- Rabbit -- Blue.
  Acatl   -- Cane   -- Red.
  Tecpatl -- Flint  -- Yellow.


  1. Acatl   -- Cane   -- East  -- Green.
  2. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- North -- Red.
  3. Calli   -- House  -- West  -- Yellow.
  4. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- South -- Blue.


  1. -- ? -- Quetzalcoatl    -- South -- Wind  -- Yellow.
  2. -- ? -- Huitzilopuchtli -- East  -- Fire  -- Red.
  3. -- ? -- Tezcatlipoca    -- North -- Water -- White.
  4. -- ? -- Tlaloc          -- West  -- Earth -- Black.


  1. -- ? -- East  -- Yellow.
  2. -- ? -- North -- Black.
  3. -- ? -- West  -- White.
  4. -- ? -- South -- Red.[39]

  _Orozco y Berra._

  1. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- South -- Air.
  2. Acatl   -- Cane   -- East  -- Water.
  3. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- North -- Fire.
  4. Calli   -- House  -- West  -- Earth.


  1. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- South -- Earth.
  2. Acatl   -- Cane   -- East  -- Water.
  3. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- North -- Fire.
  4. Calli   -- House  -- West  -- Air.

Judging from the differences shown in these lists, we are forced to the
conclusion that no entirely satisfactory result has been reached in
reference to the assignment of the different symbols to the cardinal
points; still a careful analysis will bring out the fact that there is a
strong prevalency of opinion on one or two points among the earlier
authorities. In order that this may be seen I present here a list in a
different form from the preceding.


  Sahagun          -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Gemelli          -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Duran            -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Orozco y Berra   -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Chavero          -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Torquemada       -- South -- East  -- North   -- West.
  Boturini         -- North -- West  -- South   -- East.


                     _South_ --_East_  --_North_ --_West._
  Gemelli          -- Blue   -- Red    -- Yellow -- Green.
  Duran            -- Blue   -- Green  -- Red    -- Yellow.
  Charencey[40]    -- Red    -- Yellow -- Black  -- White.
  Schultz-Sellack  -- Yellow -- Red    -- White  -- Black.


                     _South_--_East_ --_North_  --_West._
  Gemelli          -- Earth -- Water -- Air[41] -- Fire.
  Boturini         -- Fire  -- Earth -- Air     -- Water.
  Schultz-Sellack  -- Air   -- Fire  -- Water   -- Earth.
  Chavero          -- Earth -- Water -- Fire    -- Air.


  Veytia           -- Air   -- Water -- Fire    -- Earth.
  Gemelli          -- Earth -- Water -- Air     -- Fire.
  Boturini         -- Air   -- Water -- Fire    -- Earth.
  Chavero          -- Earth -- Water -- Fire    -- Air.
  Orozco y Berra   -- Air   -- Water -- Fire    -- Earth.

As will be seen from this list, there is entire uniformity in the
assignment of the years or year symbols to the cardinal points, with the
single exception of Boturini. As this author's views in regard to the
calendar are so radically different from all other authorities as to
induce the belief that it applies to some other than the Aztec or true
Mexican calendar we will probably be justified in eliminating his
opinion from the discussion.

Omitting this author, we have entire uniformity among the authorities
named in regard to the reference of the years to the cardinal points, as

_Tochtli_ to the _south_; _Acatl_ to the _east_; _Tecpatl_ to the
_north_, and _Calli_ to the _west_.

The reference of the colors and the elements to the cardinal points is
too varied to afford us any assistance in arriving at a conclusion in
this respect. In the assignment of the elements to the years we find
that, water is referred by all the authorities named to _Acatl_, and
fire by all but one (Gemelli), to _Tecpatl_.

One thing more must be mentioned before we appeal directly to the
codices. As the groups of five days, so often heretofore referred to,
were assigned to the cardinal points, it is proper to notice here what
is said on this point. So far, I have found it referred to only in the
Exposition of the Vatican Codex and by Schultz-Sellack in the article
before cited.

As the latter refers to them by numbers only, I give here a list of the
Mexican days, with numbers corresponding with the positions they
severally hold in their regular order.

  _First column._  _Second column._    _Third column._  _Fourth column._

  1. Cipactli.      2. Ehecatl.          3. Calli.        4. Cuetzpalin.
  5. Coatl.         6. Miquitzli.[TN-16] 7. Mazatl.       8. Tochtli.
  9. Atl.           10. Itzquintli.     11. Ozomatli.    12. Malinalli.
  13. Acatl.        14. Ocelotl.        15. Quauhtli.    16. Cozcaquauhtli.
  17. Ollin.        18. Tecpatl.        19. Quiahuitl.   20. Xochitl.

Using the numbers only, 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17 will denote the first
column; 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 the second, &c.

Schultz-Sellack states that:

  4, 8, 12, 16, 20 were assigned to the south.
  1, 5, 9, 13, 17, to the east.
  2, 6, 10, 14, 18, to the north.
  3, 7, 11, 15, 19, to the west.

But, as he only quotes from the explanation of the Vatican Codex as
given by Kingsborough,[42] will present here the statement of this

"Thus they commenced reckoning from the sign of One Cane. For example:
One Cane, two, three, &c., proceeding to thirteen; for, in the same way,
as we have calculations in our repertories by which to find what sign
rules over each of the seven-days of the week, so the natives of that
country had thirteen signs for the thirteen days of their week; and this
will be better understood by an example. To signify the first day of the
world, they painted a figure like the moon, surrounded with splendor,
which is emblematical of the deliberation which they say their god held
respecting the creation, because the first day after the commencement of
time began with the second figure, which was One Cane. Accordingly,
completing their reckoning of a cycle at the sign of Two Canes, they
counted an Age, which is a period of fifty-two years, because, on
account of the bissextile years which necessarily fell in this sign of
the Cane, it occurred at the expiration of every period of fifty-two
years. Their third sign was a certain figure which we shall presently
see, resembling a serpent or viper, by which they intended to signify
the poverty and labors which men suffer in this life. Their fourth sign
represented an earthquake, which they called Nahuolin, because they say
that in that sign, the sun was created. Their fifth sign was Water, for,
according to their account, abundance was given to them in that sign.
[The five days Cipactli, Acatl, Coatl, Ollin, Atl.] These five signs
they placed in the upper part, which they called Tlacpac, that is to
say, the east. They placed five other signs at the south, which they
named Uitzlan, which means a place of thorns--the first of which was a
flower, emblematical of the shortness of life, which passes away
quickly, like a blossom or flower. The second was a certain very green
herb, in like manner denoting the shortness of life, which is as grass.
The third sign was a lizard, to show that the life of man, besides being
brief, is destitute, and replete with the ills of nakedness and cold,
and with other miseries. The fourth was a certain very cruel species of
bird which inhabits that country. The fifth sign was a rabbit, because
they say that in this sign their food was created, and accordingly they
believed that it presided over drunken revels. [Xochitl, Malinalli,
Cuetzpalin, Cozcaquauhtli, Tochtli.] They placed five other signs at the
west, which region they called Tetziuatlan. The first was a deer, by
which they indicated the diligence of mankind in seeking the necessaries
of life for their sustenance. The second sign was a shower of rain
falling from the skies, by which they signified pleasure and worldly
content. The third sign was an ape, denoting leisure time. The fourth
was a house, meaning repose and tranquillity. The fifth was an eagle,
the symbol of freedom and dexterity. [Mazatl, Quiahuitl, Ozomatli,
Calli, Quauhtli.] At the north, which they call Teutletlapan, which
signifies the place of the gods, they placed the other five signs which
were wanting to complete the twenty. The first was a tiger, which is a
very ferocious animal, and accordingly they considered the echo of the
voice as a bad omen and the most unlucky of any, because they say that
it has reference to that sign. The second was a skull or death, by which
they signified that death commenced with the first existence of mankind.
The third sign was a razor or stone knife, by which are meant the wars
and dissensions of the world; they call it Tequepatl. The fourth sign is
the head of a cane, which signifies the devil, who takes souls to hell.
The fifth and last of all the twenty signs was a winged head, by which
they represented the wind, indicative of the variety of worldly
affairs." [Ocelotl, Miquiztli, Tecpatl, Itzquintli, Ehecatl.]

According, therefore, to this author the first column was assigned to
the East, the second to the North, the third to the West, and the
fourth to the South. He also says that the counting of the years began
with 1 Cane.[43]

Turning now to Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex (our Plate III), we
notice that the symbols of the days of the first column are wedged in
between the loops of the upper left-hand corner, and that here we also
find the symbol of the year-bearer, _Acatl_, in the red circle at the
outer extremity of the loop. Here, then, according to the expounder of
the Vatican Codex, is the east, and this agrees also with all the other
authorities except Boturini. As these day symbols are between the red
and yellow loops, the next point to be determined is to which of the two
they belong.

This is a very important point, the determination of which must have a
strong bearing on our decision as to the cardinal points. As it is here
that the apparently strongest evidence against my conclusion is to be
found, it is necessary that I explain somewhat fully my reasons for
deciding against this apparent evidence.

If we take for granted that the day columns relate to the large angular
loops, then the column in the upper right-hand corner would seem to
belong to the top or red loop and not to the one on the right; and the
column in the upper left-hand corner to the left or yellow loop and not
to that at the top, and so on. This I concede is a natural inference
which it is necessary to outweigh by stronger evidence.

In the first place it is necessary to bear in mind that although the
sides of the plate, that is to say the large loops, are spoken of as
facing the cardinal points, yet it is possible the artist intended that
the corner or round loops should indicate the cardinal points, as here
are found the days assigned to these quarters.

Even admitting that the large angular loops indicate the cardinal
points, we must suppose the figures of one corner, either those at the
right or left, belong respectively to them. As the symbols of the
year-bearers Acatl, Tecpatl, Calli, and Tochtli have peculiar marks of
distinction, we are justified in believing that this distinction is for
the purpose of signifying the quarter to which they belong. Examining
carefully the bird on the symbol for Acatl in the upper left-hand corner
loop, we find that it can be identified only with that on the tree in
the top or red angular loop. It is true the identification in the other
cases is not so certain, but in this case there can be very little
doubt, as the green top-knot, the peculiar beak, and green feathers are
sufficient of themselves to connect the upper left-hand white loop and
figures of this corner with the top red loop and figures embraced in it.

Studying the plate carefully and also our scheme of it--Fig. 6--we
observe that Cipactli is found at the right base of the red loop,
Miquitzli[TN-17] at the right base of the yellow loop (the center of the
plate being considered the point of observation), Ozomatli at the right
base of the blue loop, and Cozcaquauhtli at the right base of the green
loop (but in this case it can be determined only by the order, not by
the figure). These are the four days, as is well known, on which the
Mexican years begin.

I take for granted, therefore, that the year _Acatl_ or Cane applies to
the top or red loop. This, I am aware, necessitates commencing the year
with 1 Cipactli, thus apparently contradicting the statement of Gemelli
that the Tochtli year began with Cipactli. But it must be borne in mind
that this author expressly proceeds upon the theory that the counting of
the years began in the south with Tochtli. If the count began with 1
Cane, as both the expounder of the Vatican Codex and Duran affirm,
Cipactli would be the first day of this year, as it appears evident from
the day lists in the Codices that the first year of all the systems
commenced with this day. That Acatl was assigned to the east is affirmed
by all authorities save Boturini, and this agrees very well with the
plate now under consideration. There is one statement made by the
expounder of the Vatican Codex which not only enables us to understand
his confused explanation, but indicates clearly the kind of painting he
had in view, and tends to confirm the opinion here advanced.

He says that "to signify the first day of the world they painted a
figure like the moon," &c. Let us guess this to be Cipactli, as nothing
of the kind named is to be found. The next figure was a cane; their
third figure was a serpent; their fourth, earthquake (Ollin); their
fifth, water. "These five signs they placed in the _upper part_, which
they called _Tlacpac_, that is to say, the _east_." That he does not
mean that these days followed each other consecutively in counting time
must be admitted. That he saw them placed in this order in some painting
may be inferred with positive certainty. It is also apparent that they
are the five days of the first column in the arrangement of the Mexican
days shown in Table No. XI, though not in the order there given, which
is as follows:

  Dragon, Snake, Water, Cane, Movement.

The order in which they are placed by this author is this:

  Dragon? Cane, Serpent, Movement, Water.

Which, by referring to page 35, we find to be precisely the same as that
of the five days wedged in between the loops in the _upper_ left-hand
corner of Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex; thus agreeing in order and
position with this author's statement. Duran, as we have seen, also
places the east at the top. The same thing is true in regard to the
calendar wheel from the book of Chilan Balam hereafter shown.

Accordingly, I conclude that the top of this plate--the red loop--will
be east; the left-hand or yellow loop, north; the bottom or blue loop,
west, and the right-hand or green loop, south. This also brings the year
Acatl to the east, Tecpatl to the north, Calli to the west, and Tochtli
to the south. As the commencement was afterwards changed to Tochtli, as
we are informed by Chavero (and as appears to be the case in the Borgian
Codex), it would begin at the south, just as stated by Gemelli and other
early writers, who probably refer to the system in vogue at the time of
the conquest.

Shultz-Sellack[TN-18] alludes to this plate in his article heretofore
quoted, but considers the red loop the south, notwithstanding his
assignment of red among the Aztecs to the east. He was led to this
conclusion, I presume, by two facts: First, the close proximity of the
fourth column of days to this red loop, and second, the figure of the
sun at the foot of the tree or cross, the sun of the first creation
having made its appearance, according to Mexican mythology, in the
south. But it is far more likely that the artist intended here to be
true to known phenomena rather than to a tradition which was in
contradiction to them. The presence of this figure _above_ the horizon
is, I think, one of the strongest possible proofs that this part of the
plate denotes the east.

According to Gemelli[44] the south was denoted by a "blue field," and
the symbol Tochtli; east by a red field, and the symbol Acatl; the north
by a "yellow field," and the symbol Tecpatl, and the west by a "green
field," and the symbol Calli. In this plate we have precisely the colors
he mentions, red in the east, and yellow in the north, but green is at
the south, and blue at the west.

Sahagun remarks[45] that "at the end of fifty-two years the count came
back to _Cetochtliacatl_ (one-Rabbit-Cane), which is the figure of the
reed dedicated to the east, which they called _Tlapcopcopa_ and
_Tlavilcopa_, nearly towards the fire or sun."[46]

This language is peculiar and important, and indicates that he had a
Mexican painting similar to the plate now under discussion before him,
in which the year symbols were at the _corners_ instead of at the
_sides_. On this supposition only can we understand his use of the term
"_Cetochtli-acatl_," and the expression "nearly towards the fire," &c.
His use of the term "fire" in this connection undoubtedly indicates red.
His language is therefore in entire harmony with what we find on this

According to Gemelli and Chavero the element _earth_ was assigned to the
south; in this plate, in the right space inclosed by the green loop, we
see the great open jaws representing the earth out of which the tree
arises. From a careful examination of this figure, so frequently found
in this and other Mexican Codices, I am convinced it is used as the
symbol of the grave and of the earth. The presence of this symbol and of
the figure of death in this space, as also the figures of the gods of
death and the under world in the corresponding space of the Cortesian
plate, strongly inclined me for a time to believe that this should be
considered the north, as in the Aztec superstitions one class of the
dead was located in that region; but a more thorough study leads me to
the conclusion that these figures are intended to represent the earth
and to symbolize the fact that here is to be found the point where the
old cycle ends and the new begins. I will refer to this again when I
return to the description of the Cortesian plate.

All the authorities, except Boturini, refer the year Tecpatl or Flint to
the north, which agrees with the theory I am advancing, and in the lower
left-hand corner we find in the red circle the figure of a flint, which
according to my arrangement applies to the north, represented by the
yellow loop.

How, then, are we to account for the presence of this symbol on the head
of the right figure in the red or eastern loop? Veytia says, "They (the
Mexicans) gave to fire the first place as the most noble of all (the
elements), and symbolized it by the flint." This I acknowledge presents
a difficulty that I am unable to account for only on the supposition
that this author has misinterpreted his authorities, for no one so far
as I can find gives the "sun" or "age of fire" as the first, the only
difference in this respect being as to whether the "sun of water" or the
"sun of earth" was first. This difference I am inclined to believe
(though without a thorough examination of the subject) arises chiefly
from a variation of the cardinal point with which they commence the
count, those starting at the south commencing with the element earth,
those beginning at the east with water.[47] Not that the authors
themselves always indicated these points, but that a proper
interpretation of the original authorities would have resulted in this
conclusion, supposing a proper adjustment of the different calendar
systems of the Nahua nations to have been made. I think it quite
probable that the artist who painted this plate, of the Fejervary Codex
believed the first "sun" or "age" should be assigned to the east, and
that here the flint indicates origin, first creative power or that out
of which the first creation issued, an idea which I believe is consonant
with Nahua traditions. I may as well state here as elsewhere that
notwithstanding the statement made by Gemelli and others that it was the
belief or tradition of the Mexicans that the sun first appeared in the
south, I am somewhat skeptical on this point.

Such a tradition might be possible in an extreme northern country, but
it is impossible to conceive how it would have originated in a tropical

The calendar and religious observances were the great and all-absorbing
topics of the Nahua nations, and hence it is to these, and especially
the first, that we must look for an explanation of their paintings and
sculpture, and not so much to the traditions given by the old Spanish

Finally, the assignment of the year symbols to the four points at which
we find them was not, as these early authors supposed, because of their
significance, but because in forming the circle of the days they fell at
these points. This fact is so apparent from the plates of the Codices
that it seems to me to forbid any other conclusion.

In the bottom, blue loop, which we call the west, we see two female
figures, one of them with cross-bones on her dress. This agrees
precisely with the statement of Sahagun heretofore given, to wit, "for
they held the opinion that the dead women, who are goddesses, live in
the west, and that the dead men, who are in the house of the sun, guide
him from the east with rejoicings every day, until they arrive at
midday, and that the defunct women, whom they regard as goddesses and
call _Cioapipiltin_, come out from the west to receive him at midday (or
south?), and carry him with rejoicing to the west." Before comparing
with the plate of the Cortesian Codex, we call attention to some other
plates of the Mexican Codices, in order to see how far our
interpretation of the plates of the Fejervary Codex will be borne out.

Turning now to Plates 65 and 66 of the Vatican Codes B[48] (shown in our
Plate IV), we observe four trees (or crosses) each with an individual
clasping the trunk. One of these individuals is red, the other white,
with slender red stripes and with the face black, another green, and the
other black. On the top of each tree, except the one at the right, is a
bird; on the right tree, or rather broad-leaved tropical plant, which is
clasped by the black individual, is the figure of the tiger or rabbit.
As these are probably intended to represent the seasons (spring, summer,
&c.), the ages, or the years, and consequently the cardinal points, let
us see with what parts of the plate of the Fejervary Codex they
respectively correspond.

By turning back to page 50 the reader will see that the days of the
first column, viz, Cipactli, Coatl, &c., or numbers 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 were
referred to the east, the second column 2, 6, 8, 12, 16 to the north,
&c. Each of the four trees has below it, in a line, five day characters.
Below the fourth one are Xochitl, Malinalli, Cuetzpalin, Cozcaquauhtli,
and Tochtli, precisely those of the fourth column, and which, in
accordance with our interpretation of the Fejervary Codex, are assigned
to the south.

Referring to the first or left-hand of these four groups, we observe
that the clasping figure is red, and that the days in the line
underneath are 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, those of the east, agreeing in all
respects with our interpretation of the Fejervary plate.

[Illustration: PL. IV



The days below the second group, with the white and red striped
individual, are 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, indicating the north, and those below
the third, with the green individual, 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, denoting the

So far the agreement with our theory of the other plate is perfect, but
in this case we have taken the figures from the left to the right, this
being, as we have seen in the _Tonalamatl_, or table of days, copied
from this Codex, the direction in which they are to be read when in a

We notice also that the bird over the first tree, although differing in
some respects from it, is the same as that in the top or red loop of the
other plate, and that over the third tree the same as that in the blue
or bottom loop, agreeing also in this respect.

From these facts we understand that the black figure is sometimes at
least assigned to the south.

I am fully aware of the difficulties to be met with in attempting to
carry out this assignment of colors, in explanation of other plates of
this and other Codices, nor do I believe colors can be relied upon. They
form some aid in the few plates of general application to the calendar,
and where there are reasons, as in the cases given, to suppose the
cardinal points will be indicated in some regular order. The same thing
is true also in regard to the Manuscript Troano. For example, if we
suppose character _a_ of Fig. 7 to denote the east, _b_ north, _c_ west,
and _d_ south, we shall find them arranged in the following different

   ______                   ______
  |      |    abcd cdab    |      |
  | c  b |                 | c  a |
  |      |                 |      |
  | d  a |                 | d  b |
  |______|                 |______|

   ______                   ______
  |      |                 |      |
  | a  d |                 | c  d |
  |      |                 |      |
  | c  b |                 | a  b |
  |______|                 |______|

Combine with these colors and other distinctive marks, then vary them in
proportion, and we should have an endless variety, just as we see in the
Mexican Codices. We can only hope to solve the problem, therefore, by
selecting, after careful study, those plates which appear to have the
symbols arranged in their normal order.

Turning to plate 43 of the Borgian Codex, we find it impossible to make
it agree, either with the plate of the Fejervary Codex or the Vatican
Codex. Here we find the days 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 associated with the green
figure in the lower left-hand square; 2, 6, 10, 14, 18 with the yellow
figure in the lower right-hand square; 3, 7, 11, 15, and 19 with the
black figure in the upper right-hand square, and 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 with
the red figure in the upper left-hand square. What adds to the
difficulty is the fact that the symbol of the _Cane_ accompanies the
black figure, thus apparently indicating that this denotes the year
Acatl. That these groups are to be taken in the same order as those of
Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex, that is around to the left, opposite
the sun's course, is evident from the days and also from Plate 9 of this
(Borgian) Codex, where the twenty days of the month are placed in a

In this latter the order of the four years is indicated by the first
days of the years, viz, _Cipactli_, _Miquiztli_, _Ozomatli_, and
_Cozcaquauhtli_ placed in blue circles at the corners in the following

  |Ozomatli.             Miquiztli.|
  |                                |
  |Cozcaquauhtli.        Cipactli. |

In the lower right-hand corner of Plate 4, same Codex, is a square with
the four quadrants very distinctly colored and arranged thus:

  |Yellow.      Green.|
  |                   |
  | Blue.        Red. |

and a large red circle in the center, on the body of what is evidently
intended as a symbol of _Cipactli_. As this appears to be a figure of
general application, we presume that it commences with _Cipactli_, the
day on which the cycles began. As the four names of the days with which
the years began probably show, as arranged in the above square, their
respective positions in the calendar wheel, I infer that, in their
normal arrangement, _Cipactli_ corresponded with the red, _Miquiztli_
with the green, _Ozomatli_ with the yellow, and _Cozcaquauhtli_ with the
blue. This brings the colors in precise accordance with those on the
cross in the lower right-hand square of Plate 43; and if we suppose the
black figure to correspond with the blue it brings the colors in the
same order, but the day groups are shifted around one point to the left.
It is probable therefore that this plate, like a number of others in the
same Codex, is intended to denote the relation of colors and day groups
to each other in some other than the first or normal year, or possibly
to the seasons or the four Indications of the cycle.

But be this as it may, I do not think the difficulty in reconciling the
arrangement of the colors and days in this Codex will warrant the
rejection of our explanation of the plates of the other codices. That
Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex is one of general application must be
admitted, as is also the "Table of the Bacabs" from the Cortesian Codex;
and if the true assignment to the cardinal points is made anywhere it
will certainly be in these. Turning now to the latter, as shown in our
Plate II, where the erased characters are restored, we note the
following facts, and then with some general remarks conclude our paper,
as we have no intention of entering upon a general discussion of the
Mexican Calendar, which would be necessary if we undertook to explain
fully even the plates of the codices we have referred to.

As before remarked, the Cortesian plate is arranged upon the same plan
as that of the Fejervary Codex, evidently based upon the same theory and
intended for the same purpose. In the latter the four year symbols are
placed in the outer looped line at the four corners, and so
distinguished as to justify us in believing they mark their respective
quadrants. In the former we find the four Maya year-bearers, Cauac, Kan,
Muluc, Ix, in corresponding positions, each distinguished by the numeral
character for 1 (see 31, 1, 11, and 21 in our scheme, Fig. 2), the
first, or the right, corresponding with the green loop and the year
Tochtli; the second, at the top, corresponding with the red loop and the
year Acatl; the third, at the left, corresponding with the yellow loop
and the year Tecpatl, and the fourth, at the bottom, corresponding with
the blue loop and the year Calli. This brings Cauac to the south, Kan to
the east, Muluc to the north, and Ix to the west, and the correspondence
is complete, except as to the colors, which, as we have seen, cannot
possibly be brought into harmony. This view is further sustained by the
fact that the god of death is found on the right of each plate, not for
the purpose of indicating the supposed abode of the dead, but to mark
the point at which the cycles close, which is more fully expressed in
the Cortesian plate by piercing or dividing the body of a victim with a
flint knife[49] marked with the symbol of Ezanab (the last day of the Ix
years) and the symbol of Ymix, with which, in some way not yet
understood, the counting of the cycles began.

In the quotation already made from Sahagun we find the following
statement: "Tecpatl, which is the figure of a flint, was dedicated to
_Mictlampa_, nearly towards hell, because they believed that the dead
went towards the north. For which reason, in the superstition which
represented the dead as covered with mantas (cloths) and their bodies
bound, they made them sit with their faces turned toward the north or

Although he is referring to Mexican customs, yet it is worthy of note
that in this Cortesian plate there is a sitting mummied figure, bound
with cords, in the left space, which, according to my interpretation, is
at the north side.

Since the foregoing was written I have received from Dr. D. G. Brinton
a photo lithograph of the "wheel of the Ah-cuch-haab" found in the book
of Chilan Balam, which he has kindly allowed me to use. This is shown in
Fig. 9.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--Calendar wheel from book of Chilan Balam.]

In this (smaller circle) we see that Kan is placed at the top of the
cross, denominated _Lakin_, or east; Cauac at the right, _Nohol_, or
south; Muluc at the left, _Xaman_, or north; and Hiix at the bottom,
_Chikin_, or west.

Although this shows the marks of Spanish or foreign influence, yet it
affords corroborative evidence of the correctness of the view advanced.
The upper and larger circle is retained only to show that the reading
was around to the left, as in the Cortesian plate.

This result of our investigations, I repeat, forces us to the conclusion
that _a_, Fig. 7, is the symbol for east, as stated in my former work,
_b_ of north, _c_ of west, and _d_ of south.

Among the important results growing out of, and deductions to be drawn
from, my discovery in regard to these two plates, I may mention the

_First._ That the order in which the groups and characters are to be
taken is around to the left, opposite the course of the sun, which
tallies with most of the authorities, and in reference to the Maya
calendar confirms Perez's statement, heretofore mentioned.

_Second._ That the cross, as has been generally supposed, was used among
these nations as a symbol of the cardinal points.

_Third._ It tends to confirm the belief that the bird figures were used
to denote the winds. This fact also enables us to give a signification
to the birds' heads on the engraved shells found in the mounds of the
United States, a full and interesting account of which is given by Mr.
Holmes in a paper published in the Second Annual Report of the Bureau of
Ethnology.[50] Take for example the three shells figured on Plate
LIX--reproduced in our Fig. 10--Nos. 1, 2 and 3. Here is in each case
the four-looped circle corresponding with the four loops of the
Cortesian and Fejervary plates, also with the looped serpent of the
Mexican calendar stone, and the four serpents of Plate 43 of the Borgian
Codex. The four bird heads on each shell are pointed toward the left,
just as on Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex, and Plates 65 and 66 of the
Vatican Codex B, and doubtless have the same signification in the former
as in the latter--the _four winds_, or winds of the four cardinal
points. If this supposition be correct, of which there is scarcely room
for a doubt, it not only confirms Mr. Holmes's suggestions, but also
indicates that the mound builders followed the same custom in this
respect as the Nahua nations, and renders it quite probable that there
was more or less intercourse between the two peoples, which will enable
us to account for the presence in the mounds of certain articles, which
otherwise appear as anomalies.

_Fourth._ Another and more important result is the proof it furnishes of
an intimate relation of the Maya with the Nahua nations. That all the
Central American nations had calendars substantially the same in
principle as the Mexican, is well known. This of itself would indicate a
common origin not so very remote; but when we see two contiguous or
neighboring peoples making use of the same conventional signs of a
complicated nature, down even to the most minute details, and those of a
character not comprehensible by the commonalty, we have proof at least
of a very intimate relation. I cannot attempt in this place to discuss
the question of the identity or non-identity of the Maya, Toltec and
Aztec nations, nor the relations of one to the other, but follow the
usual method, and speak of the three as distinct.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--Engraved shells from mounds.]

If Leon y Gama is correct in is statement,[51] "No todos comenzaban á
contar el circlo por un mismo año; los Toltecos lo empezaban desde
_Tecpatl_; los de Teotihuacan desde _Calli_; los Mexicanos desde
_Tochtli_; y los Tezcocanos desde _Acatl_," and the years began with
_Cipactli_, we are probably justified in concluding that the Fejervary
Codex is a Tezcucan manuscript.

Be this as it may, we have in these two plates the evidence of an
intimate relation between the Maya and Nahua nations, as that of the
Cortesian Codex certainly appertains to the former and the Fejervary as
certainly to the latter.

Which was the original and which the copy is a question of still greater
importance, as its proper determination may have the effect to overturn
certain opinions which have been long entertained and generally conceded
as correct. If an examination should prove that the Mayas have borrowed
from the Nahuas it would result in proving the calendar and sculptures
of the former to be much more recent than has been generally supposed.

It must be admitted that the Mexican or Nahua manuscripts have little or
nothing in them that could have been borrowed from the Maya manuscripts
or inscriptions; hence, if we find in the latter anything belonging to
or found in the former it will indicate that they are borrowed and that
the Mexican are the older.

In addition to the close resemblance of these two plates, the following
facts bearing upon this question are worthy of notice. In the lower part
of Plate 52 of the Dresden Codex we see precisely the same figure as
that used by the Mexicans as the symbol of _Cipactli_.

The chief character of the hieroglyphic, 15 R. (Rau's scheme), of the
Palenque Tablet is a serpent's head (shown correctly only on the stone
in the Smithsonian Museum and in Dr. Rau's photograph), and nearly the
same as the symbol for the same Mexican day. The method of representing
a house in the Maya manuscripts is substantially the same as the Mexican
symbol for _Calli_ (House). The cross on the Palenque Tablet has so many
features in common with those in the blue and red loops of the Fejervary
Codex as to induce the belief that they were derived from the same type.
We see in that of the Tablet the reptile head as at the base of the
cross in the blue loop, the nodes, and probably the bird of that in the
red loop, and the two human figures.

What is perhaps still more significant, is the fact that in this plate
of the Fejervery[TN-19] Codex, and elsewhere in the same Codex, we see
evidences of a transition from pictorial symbols to conventional
characters; for example, the yellow heart-shaped symbol in the lower
left-hand corner of the Fejervary plate which is there used to denote
the day _Ocelotl_ (Tiger). On the other hand we find in the manuscript
Troano for example, on plate III, one of the symbols used in the
_Tonalamatl_ of the Vatican Codex B and in other Mexican codices to
signify water. On Plate XXV* of the same manuscript, under the four
symbols of the cardinal points, we see four figures, one a sitting
figure similar to the middle one with black head, on the left side of
the Cortesian plate; one a spotted dog sitting on what is apparently
part of the carapace of a tortoise; one a monkey, and the other a bird
with a hooked bill. Is it not possible that we have here an indication
of the four days--Dragon, Death, Monkey, Vulture, with which the Mexican
years began?

In all the Maya manuscripts we find the custom of using heads as
symbols, almost, if not quite, as often as in the Mexican codices. Not
only so, but in the former, even in the purely conventional characters,
we see evidences of a desire to turn every one possible into the figure
of a head, a fact still more apparent in the monumental inscriptions.

Turning to the ruins of Copan as represented by Stephens and others, we
find on the altars and elsewhere the same death's-head with huge
incisors so common in Mexico, and on the statues the snake-skin so often
repeated on those of Mexico. Here we find the _Cipactli_ as a huge
crocodile head,[52] also the monkey's head used as a hieroglyphic.[53]

The pendant lip or lolling tongue, which ever it be, of the central
figure of the Mexican calendar stone is found also in the central figure
of the sun tablet of Palenque[54] and a dozen times over in the

The long, elephantine, Tlaloc nose, so often repeated in the Mexican
codices, is even more common and more elaborate in the Maya manuscripts
and sculptures, and, as we learn from a MS. paper by Mr. Gustav Eisen,
lately received by the Smithsonian Institution, has also been found at

Many more points or items of agreement might be pointed out, but these
will suffice to show that one must have borrowed from the other, for it
is impossible that isolated civilizations should have produced such
identical results in details even down to conventional figures. Again we
ask the question, Which was the borrower? We hesitate to accept what
seems to be the legitimate conclusion to be drawn from these facts, as
it compels us to take issue with the view almost universally held. One
thing is apparent, viz, that the Mexican symbols could never have grown
out of the Maya hieroglyphics. That the latter might have grown out of
the former is not impossible.

If we accept the theory that there was a Toltec nation preceding the
advent of the Aztec, which, when broken up and driven out of Mexico,
proceeded southward, where probably colonies from the main stock had
already been planted, we may be able to solve the enigma.

If this people were, as is generally supposed, the leaders in Mexican
and Central American civilization, it is possible that the Aztecs, a
more savage and barbarous people, borrowed their civilization from the
former, and, having less tendency toward development, retained the
original symbols and figures of the former, adding only ornamentation
and details, but not advancing to any great extent toward a written

Some such supposition as this, I believe, is absolutely necessary to
explain the facts mentioned. But even this will compel us to admit that
the monuments of Yucatan and Copan are of much more recent date than has
generally been supposed, and such I am inclined to believe is the fact.
At any rate, I think I may fairly claim, without rendering myself
chargeable with egotism, that my discovery in regard to the two plates
so frequently mentioned will throw some additional light on this vexed

     NOTE.--Since the foregoing was printed, my attention has been
     called by Dr. Brinton to the fact that the passage quoted from
     Sahagun (see pages 41 and 54), as given in Bustamente's edition,
     from which it was taken, is incorrect in combining _Cetochtli_ and
     _Acatl_ into one word, when in fact the first is the end of one
     sentence and the second the commencement of another. I find, by
     reference to the passage as given in Kingsborough, the evidence of
     this erroneous reading. The argument on page 54, so far as based
     upon this incorrect reading, must fall.


[14] Study Manuscript Troano, pp. 69-74.

[15] Les. Doc. Ecrit. l'Antiq. Ameriq.

[16] Zeits. für Ethn., 1879.

[17] Study Manuscript Troano, pp. 68-70.

[18] Vol. III, p. 471.

[19] P. 234.

[20] P. 209.

[21] P. 82.

[22] P. 209.

[23] See also hisDechiff.[TN-20] Ecrit. Hierat., p. 42.

[24] Relacion, p.208.[TN-21]

[25] _Des couleurs consideres comme Symboles des Points de l'Horizon
chez des Peuples du Noveau Monde_, in _Actes de la Societe
Philologique_, tome VI. See also his _Recherches sur les Noms des Points
de l'Espace_, in. _Mem. Acad. Nat. Sci. et Arts et Belles Lettres de
Caen_, 1882.

Since the above was written I have received a copy of his _Ages ou
Soleils_, in which he gives the Mexican custom of assigning the colors
as follows: blue to the south, red to the east, yellow to the north, and
green to the west.--P. 40.

[26] Hist. Gen. de las Cosas de Nueva Espana, tome 2, p. 256.

[27] Hist. Ant. Mex., vol. 1, p. 42.

[28] Churchill's Voyages, vol. IV, pp. 491, 492.

[29] Hist. Mex. Cullen's Transl., I, 292.

[30] _Idea de Una Nueva Historia General de la America Septentrional_,
pp. 54-56.

[31] Hist. Amer. Dec. II, B. 10, Chap. 4. Transl. vol. 3, pp. 221-222.

[32] _Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espana, Mexico_, 1880. Tom. II.,
pp[TN-22] 252-253.

[33] Trat^o. 3º Lam 1ª.

[34] Zeit. für Ethnologie, 1879.

[35] Anales Mus. Mex., I, Entrag. 7, p. 299.

[36] Monarq. Indiana, lib. X, cap. 36.

[37] Tom. 1, Entrag. 7, tom. II, and continued in tom. III.

[38] A fact mentioned by Leon y Gama (Dos Piedras, pt. I, p. 16), and
Veytia (Hist. Antiq. Mej., tom. I, p. 58). See, also, Müller, _Reisen_,
tom. III, p. 65, and Boturini, Idea, p. 125.

[39] I see from Charencey's "_Ages ou Soleils_," just received, that he
concludes the arrangement by the Mexicans was as follows:

  1. Tochtli -- Rabbit -- Blue   -- Earth -- South.
  2. Acatl   -- Cane   -- Red    -- Water -- East.
  3. Tecpatl -- Flint  -- Yellow -- Air   -- North.
  4. Calli   -- House  -- Green  -- Fire  -- West.

[40] See note 39 on page 47.

[41] By "air" in this connection "wind" is really intended.

[42] Kingsborough, vol. VI, pp. 196, 197.

[43] See also Chavero's statement to the same purpose, Anales Mus. Mes.,
tom. 11, entrag. 4, p. 244.

[44] l. c. See also the colored wheel in Kingsborough, Mex. Antiq., Vol.
IV. Copied from one in Boturini's collection, the same as Gemelli's.

[45] l. c.

[46] Y acabados los cincuenta y dos años tornaba la cuenta á
cetochliacatl, que es la caña figura dedicada al oriente que llamaban
tlapcopcopa, y tlavilcopa, casihacia[TN-23] la lumbre, ó al sol.

[47] See the various views presented by Chavero, _Anales Mus. Mex._ Tom.
II Entrag. 2, and authorities referred to by Bancroft, _Native Races_,
II. p. 504, note 3.

[48] Kingsburough,[TN-24] Mex. Antiq., Vol. III.

[49] Dr. Brinton, "The Maya Chronicles," p. 53, informs us that "the
division of the katuns was on the principle of the Belran[TN-25] system
of numeration, as _xel u ca katun_, 'thirty years;' _xel u yox katun_,
'fifty years.' Literally these expressions are, 'dividing the second
katun,' 'dividing the third katun,' _xel_ meaning to cut in pieces, _to
divide as with a knife_." This appears to be the idea intended in the
figure of the Cortesian plate.

[50] P. 281, pl. 69.

[51] Dos Piedras, pt. 1, p. 16.

[52] Travels in Cent. Amer., vol. I, p. 156. Monument _N_, plate. Mr.
Gustav Eisen, in a MS. lately received by and now in possession of the
Smithsonian Institution, also mentions another similar head as found at
Copan. This, he says, is on the side of an altar similar to that
described by Stephens, except that the top wants the hieroglyphics. The
sides have human figures similar to the other; on one of these is the
head of an "Alligator."

[53] Ibid., 2d plate to p. 158.

[54] Stephens' Trav. Cent. Amer. III Frontispiece.

Transcriber's Note

  TN-1    7  Schultz Sellack should read Schultz-Sellack
  TN-2    9  occcpy should read occupy
  TN-3   10  Imix should read Ymix
  TN-4   12  Chuen should read _Chuen_
  TN-5   12  _Eb_., should read _Eb_,
  TN-6   16  tortous should read tortuous
  TN-7   18  Footnote marker 1 and footnote 1 should be numbered 7
  TN-8   20  1. _Kan._   1. _Lamat._ should read 1 _Kan._   1 _Lamat._
  TN-9   20  2 Kan should read 2 Kan.
  TN-10  26  number.) should read number).
  TN-11  32  The underline used to mark the end of the months has been
             replaced with [ ]
  TN-12  35  Echecatl should read Ehecatl
  TN-13  36  Plate 2 should read Plate II
  TN-14  46  Shultz-Sellack should read Schultz-Sellack
  TN-15  46  les should read los
  TN-16  50  Miquitzli should read Miquiztli
  TN-17  52  Miquitzli should read Miquiztli
  TN-18  54  Shultz-Sellack should read Schultz-Sellack
  TN-19  63  Fejervery should read Fejervary
  TN-20  40, fn. 23  hisDechiff should read his Dechiff
  TN-21  40, fn. 24  p.208. should read p. 208.
  TN-22  44, fn. 32  pp should read pp.
  TN-23  54, fn. 46  casihacia should read casi hacia
  TN-24  56, fn. 48  Kingsburough should read Kingsborough
  TN-25  59, fn. 49  Belran should read Beltran

Inconsistent spelling:

  Ben / Been
  Bibliotheque / Bibliothèque
  Michitzli / Michiztli
  Societe / Société
  Vitzlampa / Vitzlampi

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Notes on Certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts - Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-82, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1884, pages 3-66" ***

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