Back to top

Heaven Born Merida and Its Destiny

Heaven Born Merida and Its Destiny
The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel

An English translation of a Mayan history of Yucatan.

January 1986
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
$42.95
319 pages | 7 x 10 | illus. |
ISBN: 
978-0-292-71937-8
Description: 

When the Spaniards conquered the Yucatan Peninsula in the early 1500s, they made a great effort to destroy or Christianize the native cultures flourishing there. That they were in large part unsuccessful is evidenced by the survival of a number of documents written in Maya and preserved and added to by literate Mayas up to the 1830s. The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel is such a document, literally the history of Yucatan written by and for Mayas, and it contains much information not available from Spanish sources because it was part of an underground resistance movement of which the Spanish were largely unaware.

 

Well known to Mayanists, The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel is presented here in Munro S. Edmonson's English translation, extensively annotated. Edmonson reinterprets the book as literature and as history, placing it in chronological order and translating it as poetry. The ritual nature of Mayan history clearly emerges and casts new light on Mexican and Spanish acculturation of the Yucatecan Maya in the post-Classic and colonial periods.

 

 

Centered in the city of Merida, the Chumayel provides the western (Xiu) perspective on Yucatecan history, as Edmonson's earlier book The Ancient Future of the Itza: The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin presented the eastern (Itza) viewpoint. Both document the changing calendar of the colonial period and the continuing vitality of pre-Columbian ritual thought down to the nineteenth century. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the survival of the long-count dating system down to the Baktun Ceremonial of 1618 (12.0.0.0.0). But there are others: the use of rebus writing, the survival of the tun until 1752, graphic if oblique accounts of Mayan ceremonial drama, and the depiction of the Spanish conquest as a long-term inter-Mayan civil war.

 

Contents: 
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Manuscripts
  • Language
  • Science: The Tzol Kin; the Tun; The Hab; The Tikal Calendar; The Mayapan Calendar; The Valladolid Calendar; The Año; The Julian Calendar; The Semana
  • The Arts: Cuisine; Toponymy; Onomastics; Poetry; Drama; Narrative; Myth
  • History: Tenth Century; Thirteenth Century; Fourteenth Century; Fifteenth Century; Sixteenth Century; Seventeenth Century; Eighteenth Century; Nineteenth Century
  • Heaven Born Merida and Its Destiny
  • The Eighth Century
    • 6 Ahau

      • 1. The First Chronicle
    • 4 Ahau
      • 2. The Second Chronicle
  • The Tenth Century
    • 12 Ahau

      • 3. The Third Chronicle
  • The Fifteenth Century
    • 8 Ahau

      • 4. Izamal and Champoton
    • 6 Ahau
      • 5. Uxmal
    • 4 Ahau
      • 6. Chichen Itza
      • 7. The Sermon of Ahau Pech
  • The Sixteenth Century
    • 2 Ahau

      • 8. Cozumel
      • 9. The Sermon of Puc Tun
    • 13 Ahau
      • 10. The Sermon of Xopan Nahuat
      • 11. Coba
    • 11 Ahau
      • 12. The Ceremonial of the May
      • 13. The Sermon of Tzin Yabun
      • 14. The Building of the Pyramids
      • 15. The Ceremonial of the Hab
      • 16. Christianity Reaches Merida
      • 17. The Count of the Katuns
      • 18. Merida Seats the Cycle
      • 19. The New Cycle of Merida
    • 9 Ahau
      • 20. The Birth of the Uinal
      • 21. The Sermon of Kauil Ch’el
      • 22. The Cathedral of Merida
      • 23. The Shield of Yucatan
      • 24. The Inquisition in the East
    • 7 Ahau
      • 25. The Civil War
  • The Seventeenth Century
    • 5 Ahau

      • 26. The Military Orders
      • 27. The War Indemnity
    • 3 Ahau
      • 28. Caesar Augustus
      • 29. The Ceremonial of the Baktun
      • 30. The Language of Zuyua
      • 31. Additional Riddles
      • 32. Astronomical Notes
    • 1 Ahau
      • 33. Caesar Augustus and the Chan War
      • 34. Antonio Martínez
    • 12 Ahau
      • 35. Valladolid Resurgent
    • 10 Ahau
      • 36. Chable
    • 8 Ahau
      • 37. The Annals of Tixkokob
  • The Eighteenth Century
    • 6 Ahau
    • 4 Ahau
      • 38. The Ending of Tribute at Chichen Itza
      • 39. Calendrical Notes
    • 2 Ahau
      • 40. Valladolid
      • 41. The Sevenfold Creation
      • 42. The Sins of the Itza
      • 43. The Sheep and the Goats
      • 44. Notes from Chumayel
  • The Nineteenth Century
    • 13 Ahau

      • 45. Coba
    • 11 Ahau
      • 46. Tizimin
  • Appendix A. Concordance
  • Appendix B. A Ceremonial Circuit
  • Appendix C. The Mayan Calendar
  • Appendix D. Seats and Lords of the Katun
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Author: 

Munro S. Edmonson (1924-2002) was a professor of anthropology at Tulane University. He had an international reputation as an outstanding Mesoamericanist and was the author of numerous books.