THINGS I'VE LEARNED ABOUT THE MAYANS IN MY KAQCHIKEL CLASS

  1. Once upon a time there was a single Mayan language. Now known as protomaya, the mother of all Mayan languages.
    In Guatemala, there are now 22 Mayan languages.
  2. Etymology of Kaqchikel (The language of the Kaqchikel people):
    Kaq = red. Chi = mouth/language. Kel = parrot (reference to the parrot that flew onto the cane of the founder of the Kaqchikel capital, Iximché. Mayans are always interpreting nature and looking for signs from the universe. Legend has it that when the parrot flew onto the cane, the two founders stopped walking, placed the cane in the ground, and the cane sprouted roots.)
  3. The cosmic cross. In reference to the 4 cardinal points and the 4 colors of corn in the Popol Vuh. In Mayan ceremonies, candles are always arranged in this manner.
    East = red = sunrise. South = yellow = air. West = black = night. North = white = heart of the water.
  4. The cosmic cross also references body parts and the skin colors of the people of Guatemala.
    Red = blood / Xinkas. Black = hair / Garifunas. White = teeth, bones, joints / Ladinos. Yellow = skin (according to the Mayan text Popol Vuh) / Mayans
  5. Guatemala is called Iximuleu or the land of corn
  6. The most spoken Mayan languages in Guatemala are
    1. Mam 2. Quiche 3. Kaqchikel 4. Q'eqchi. Of all of these, Quiche is the most pure, the one that has been least influenced by Spanish. For this reason, Quiche is the best tool (language wise) to truly understand ancient Mayan culture.
  7. 1 era = 400 years. One era is called a B'aktun.
    2012 was the end of the 12th B'aktun and the beginning of the 13th.
  8. The stela in Quiriwa is a log of all the B'aktun