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PROPHECY OF CHILAM BALAM - Comparison

Because of the importance of this Mayan prophecy, and in an effort to leave no stone unturned, I offer here other translations of this important document. My source is Alfred M. Tozzer, A MAYA GRAMMAR, with Bibliography and Appraisement of the Works Noted, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Peabody Museum, 1921. A transcript of his book may be obtained from http://www.archive.org/details/mayagrammar09tozzrich as well as other internet sources.

Tozzer offers descriptions of sixteen manuscripts of the Chilam Balam on page 182 to 191. He also offers three partial portions of the Mayan text on page 120. In Tozzer's words:

  • The text is given of the Chumayel version (Chilam Balam de Chumayel, p. 105-107), the Tizimin version (Chilam Balam de Tizimin, Gates reproduction, p. 17, 18), and the Lizana version (Lizana, 1633; ed. 1893, p. 38-39). I have added a reading of the Maya text as interpreted by Martinez Hernandez. The variations in the four versions should be noted, not only in the spellings but in the words themselves. The Chumayel version has frequent interpolations by the author of the copy. The translation of Lizana which, in general, is that followed by Carrillo y Ancona and many others is given in English together with the Spanish text. I have attempted a new translation, following in the main the Martinez text. In a few cases a rendering of portions of the text into English by Martinez is given.
  • It will be noted that there are several passages which still remain far from clear in spite of the different authors who have worked upon them. Lizana's translation, which is very good as a free rendering, does not follow the text at all closely in several places. He has left out many words and particles. This passage is given in order to illustrate some of the difficulties spoken of in the introduction to this section. It should be remembered that these Maya texts are transcribed into the system of writing Maya adopted in this work. The division into syllables is the work of the author.

Franciscan Friar Bernardo de Lizana (1581-1631), who wrote a Historia de Yucatan, had his work published in Valladolid, Spain in 1633. A devout Catholic, he was impressed by the visionary experiences of various Mayan beneficiaries and described these events in the pages of the Dictionary of Our Lady of Izamal and the Spiritual Conquest of Yucat√°n in 1623-24. Refer to my work on modern Marian Apparitions, http://www.world-destiny.org/tocmara.htm, or http://www.world-destiny.org/bbg/Marian Apparitions-PDF.aspx.

Juan Martinez Hernandez, a Mayan historian and scholar, lived and died in Merida, December 31, 1866 to March 14, 1959. Tozzer had much respect for the work of Martinez, as he was known to Mayan scholars. Martinez is famous for his contribution to the so-called GMT (Goodman-Martinez-Thompson) calendar correlation, which brought the Mayan calendar into correlation with European calendars. He also edited works by other Mayan scholars. In 1930 he published the Maya-Spanish portion of the massive Diccionario de Motul.

Tozzer shows Mayan script of the prophecy from Tizimin, Chumayel, Lizana, and Martinez. He shows English translation from himself, Lizana, and Martinez. The Mayan script text is very nearly the same for all four sources. Hence I have tried to coalesce these into one, with notes where they differ. I show the three separate translations reported by Tozzer, Lizana, and Martinez.

Tozzer produces confusion in his attempt to show the separation into syllables. His orthography differs greatly from that used by David Bolles and other recent authors. For example he uses tse instead of che, wil instead of uil, confusion of "k," "q," and "c," and so on. In fact, his notation of the Mayan script is so distorted I had to reconcile with more modern sources, which was not difficult, merely tedious.

I offer comment in a separate paper.

Tozzer page # Maya Text, Tozzer Consensus Tozzer Translation Lizana Translation Martinez Translation
THE PROPHECY OF CHILAM BALAM THE PROPHECY OF CHILAM BALAM    

122

u profesia Chilam Balam tis kayom kabal tsen Mani (1) His prophecy Chilam Balam of singer Cawich Chen of Mani    
oslahun Ahau uheoi wil Qatun walak wil In 13 Ahau its established Katun at this time At the end of the 13th epoch being in power . . . it may be
Itza walak wil Tankahe yum u tsikul hunab the Itzas at this time in Tancah oh Father his sign the only the Itzas (and) Tancah the sign of a

ye Itzas it may be ye citizens Sirs,

qu kanal ulom uaom tse God on high his cross (2) of wood God (who is) on high (will come) the cross will come from heaven (to us) the cross
etsahom ti kahe utsebal u sashal yoqol a demonstration to the world with which day breaks above will show itself to the world with which was lighted will he shown to the world so that be enlightened the

123

kabe yum uts auni the earth, oh Father a long time ago there began the earth, there will be world, Sirs, for a long time there has been
moctamba uts auni fighting with one another a long time ago there began a division political divisions for a long time there has been
zawinal ka talom ti pul tsikul (ku) confusion when we came carrying the sign: among the wills when is brought the sign (in the future) discord
utsmal ah qin winike yum hun awat hun at another time the priest of the men the Father one quarter (of) one before arriving the priests, men a quarter (and) a in that time ye priests of the idols
lubi [wil] u tal a wilikes mute u tippil yetel league so that it comes you will see fame appearing with league you will see appearing quetzal bird

124

uaom tse ahom wil kab hun xaman hun tsikin

his cross of wood illuminate the earth one south one west

the cross illuminate from pole to pole

the Maya cross will illuminate the world in the four cardinal points.
ahom Itzamna Kawil talel u kah illuminate Itzamna Kahwil; he is coming (the worship of) vain gods will cease; he is coming  
ka yum  Itza talel u kah ka sukun your father, Itzas he is coming, your brother, your father, oh, Itzas he is coming your brother they are coming your brothers
ah Tantune kam a wulaob ah mexob place him ahead of others; receive your guests the bearded ones

oh, Tantunites; receive your guests the bearded ones

 
ah liqin kabob ah pulob tu tsikul the east, the villagers the carry his sign (of) the east (who come) to carry the sign  

125

que yum utz ka u tan ku cu talel God the Lord to arrange his word God who may come God (It is) God who comes,  
qiknale talel u kah u tanil u qin in (your) company, he is coming (to bring) order the time (he is) gentle and pious, he is coming the new to establish the day
ka kustale ma a sahtik (uay) yoqol kabe yum again living: you do not fear him above the earth Father, in our life: you have nothing to fear from the earth of resurrection
tets Hunab Qu tsab ti koon uts tun ba you the only God created us good for themselves you (are) the only God (who) created us good  
u tan ku yum yah kanul ka his words, God, Father and the caretaker (of) our (are) the words of God'  

126

pixan hemak bin kamic hats okan ti yole ti kaan soul he who goes to receive very true faith to heaven    
u bin to pats hewak u tsun ka kin winikil. goes ahead but begins our day of men.    
ka wakunto u tsikul kanal ka wakunto ka We extol his sign on high we extol we (Let) us praise his sign on high (let ) us praise it. by  
pakte hele ka wakunto u uaom tse see (it) now we extol his cross of wood seeing and adoring it, we must praise the cross  

numtetah u qesah hoqol hele u hel tu pats

misery it changed discord now restore

falsehood in exchange today will appear against

 
u yatstseel kab etzahom hele the first, tree of the world: a  demonstration now the first tree of the world a demonstration to-day (is made)  

127

ti balkahe la u tsikul Hunab Qu kanal (tal ome) (3)

to the world: this his sign only god on high come, lower

to the world: (there is a) sign of a god on high

 
lae a qultex ah Itzae ka a qulte hele u tsikul all reverence you oh, Itzas and reverence now his sign worship itoh, Itzas we  
quli qu kanale ka kulte to tu hahil reverence on high and reverence with true shall reverence with true with all your
ok olah ka a qulte to ka hahal que good will and adore him our true God now good-will: we shall adore our true God heart or good faith

(yume) okes ta [ba] (uol) u tan hunab qu [yume]

oh, Father: receive his word only God

receive the word (of) the true God

believe the commandments of the only God

tali ti kaan a wah tanule kuskin (3) he came from on high the commandments to invigorate (who) comes from heaven to you speaks: recover  

128

(qa) a wol ah Itzaa ahom

your good-will Itzas illuminate

your will (and be one) of the Itzas will be enlightened

 
wil kab tiob oksikob ti yol itsil u yanal the earth for them cause to enter the spirit within its other those who believe in to come  
Qatun uale Yaqtuba in tan Katun, afterwards believe (in) my words the age: if you care (for what) I say (to you  
ken Chilam Balam ka tin tsolah u tan I am Chilam Balam and I interpreted his word I charge Chilam Balam your interpreter; I say (that which)  
hahal qu tusinile yoqol kabe (yabi) the true God among all above the earth to know I go ordered the true God

 

 
[Licil in binel] hunak tsuk ti kab many portions of the pueblo porque dello sea el naundo sabedor  

(1) This sentence is given a Spanish twist with the insertion of the word de, and de sis in place of tis, in both the Chumayel and Lizana versions.

(2) Tozzer inserts a second his cross in his translation, which is clearly a mistake.

(3) Tozzar states: These two words are difficult to translate. I suggest halmah-t'an, commandments.

Tozzer arbitrarily cuts off the text at this point that does not reconcile with the other versions, and which show further text following Bolles line 44 to line 70. Either he had a defective manuscript, or he made the choice for reason unknown to us. We can see that the final lines are confused. I have indicated where the Bolles version shows other words inserted with use of brackets. I show where Tozzer has extra words with parenthesis.

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