highland Maya – miscellany


Q>eqc^i> (in Watemala)

p. 74 Q>eq

"His hairy chest is plated with iron that resists bullets,

his knees and elbows are bent backwards ..."

p. 113 souls

c^>ol ‘heart; spirit carried by women during the full moon’

mu ‘shadow’ – "one that becomes the shadow after death."

"A severe fright can shake a mu loose. If this happens, the person has to find it and bring it back or ... will fall ill".

mu-hel "This spirit can come in a dream ..."

"the one that haunts."

mu-siq>eh ‘breath’

p. 115 mu during vigil for the dead

"Because the mu remains in the house for three days ...,

a glass of water is set out to appease the restless shadow, in case it is thirsty. {cf. [Bauddha] water-offering to preta}

After three days,

an elderly man or woman catches the mu in a piece of pottery.

While burning copal pom,

the elder takes the mu to the cemetery where he or she tells the shadow to stay there, not to show its face to the family, and not to come back to scare the children."

p. 125 c^>ol-winq (‘heart-person’)

"powerful people who live deep in the jungle ...

They never die. They are extremely old, although they do not age ...

They have ... the power of telepathy and levitation.

Ch’olwiinq speak numerous languages and

they are pale skinned.

They can move stones simply by whistling."

"Ch’olwiinq eat raw meat ..."

"When Ch’olwiinq are in the bush, they are completely nude".

Hilary E. Kahn : Seeing and Being Seen. U of TX Pr, Austin, 2006.


Kic^e` of Momostenango

annual rites



time of year

antient Maya deity


"foliated" cross

Lent & Holy Week



Monkey Dance at World-Tree –

["A rope running from east to west crosses the vertical axis of the "tree" and permits the spirit-animals to descend from the roof ... to the dance ground ..." (Santiago’s festival)]

(every other year)


"hidden body is a flowering cross ... as a cigar-smoking old man"

Holy Week

God L


Dance of Tzulab (x-tzul ‘centipede’) is led by

Holy Week

p. 259, n. 29 volcano Gag-xanul (Annals of the Cakchiquel-s)


2 men dressed in rags "dressed in rags ... They manipulate stuffed weasels (called sacbin rather than cux in Momos) during the dance".


p. 212 the twins, in "ragged clothes ... performed the dance of the cux" (Popol Vuh)

Garrett W. Cook : Renewing the Maya World. U of TX Pr, 2000.


highland C^iapas

coati-impersonation as buffoonry




"A woman performed as the coati impersonator (c^iik) during the ... Carnaval in hacaba`. She ... wore ... straw hat trimmed with turkey feathers. She ... lassoed dancers ... When she succeeded in capturing a man, ... the Priest married them in a mock wedding ceremony, after announcing, "Tonight I will marry you, and tomorrow night I will divorce you!"" {cf. S`i>a temporary marriages}


"Coati impersonators appear also at fiestas in X-Cacal ... and Socotz (northwestern British Honduras ...) ... as clowns ... who can make an audience laugh, doing amusing stunts and imitations of the pisote [coati]".



"to the Maya of Yucatan ‘chic’ is apparently both ‘buffoon’ and ‘coati’".

pp. 183-184 the 9 comedies listed in the Motul Dictionary

Maya comedy


ah con cutz

Sponger / Parasite

ah con cum


ah pakal cacau


ah can che caan

Footstool of Heaven

ah con ic


ah con tzatzam

Vendor of Snares

ah cuch uitz

King of the Mountain

ah cakal chil mo

White-Beaked Macaw

ah cakal hol paal

Small White-Haired Boy

Victoria Reifler Bricker : Ritual Humor in Highland Chiapas. U of TX Pr, Austin, 1973.