Animal Figures in the Maya Codices
by Alfred M. Tozzer and Glover M. Allen
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Transcriber's Note

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

The following codes are used for characters that are not able to be represented in the text format used for this version of the book.

ă a with breve [c] open o c.] open o with dot under h h with stroke p p with dot under q q with circumflex š s with caron [vs.] s with caron and dot under ṭ t with dot under [ts.] ts with dot under [] Dagger [] Double dagger


VOL. IV.—No. 3.







It has been thought desirable, for the advancement of the study of Maya hieroglyphs, that the interpretation of the conventionalized animal figures, which so frequently occur in the Maya codices, should be undertaken. The Peabody Museum Committee on Central American Research therefore requested Dr. A. M. Tozzer to prepare a paper on the subject, and to secure the valuable cooperation of Dr. Glover M. Allen, a zoologist familiar with the animals of Mexico and Central America, to aid in the identification of the various species of animals which under varying forms are used in connection with the glyphs.

While it is possible that some of the determinations given in this paper may require further confirmation, it is evident that the combined studies of Dr. Tozzer and Dr. Allen cannot fail to be useful to students of the Maya hieroglyphic writing.



The vowels and consonants have their continental sounds with the following exceptions:—

ă like u in hut ai like i in island k (Beltran's c) ordinary palatal k q (Beltran's k) velar k c.] (Beltran's [c]) ts explosive or fortis [c] (Beltran's tz) ts non-explosive š (Beltran's x) like sh in hush (Beltran's ch) like ch in church [ts.] (Beltran's ch) ch explosive p (Beltran's pp) p explosive t (Beltran's th) t explosive


Plate. 1. Mollusca: Fasciolaria gigantea, Oliva. 2. Insecta: Honey bee (Melipona). 3. Insecta and Myriapoda. 4. Arachnoidea, Arachnida, Crustacea. 5. Myriapoda, Pisces. 6. Pisces. 7. Amphibia. 8. Amphibia, Reptilia. 9. Reptilia: Rattlesnake (Crotalus). 10. Reptilia: Serpents. 11. Reptilia: Serpents. 12. Reptilia: Iguana, Lizards. 13. Reptilia: Crocodile 14. Reptilia: Turtles. 15. Aves: Herons, Frigate-bird. 16. Aves: Ocellated Turkey (Agriocharis ocellata). 17. Aves: King Vulture (Sarcorhamphus papa). 18. Aves: King Vulture (S. papa), Black Vulture (Catharista urubu). 19. Aves: Vultures. 20. Aves: Harpy Eagle (Thrasaetos harpyia). 21. Aves: Yucatan Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus mayensis). 22. Aves: Yucatan Horned Ow[TN-1] (B. v. mayensis). 23. Aves: Yucatan Screech Owl (Otus choliba thompsoni). 24. Aves: Quetzal (Pharomacrus mocinno). 25. Aves: Blue Macaw (Ara militaris). 26. Aves: Parrots, Turkeys. 27. Aves: Miscellaneous. 28. Various animals. 29. Mammalia: Armadillo and miscellaneous. 30. Mammalia: Deer, Hare. 31. Mammalia: Yucatan Deer (Odocoileus yucatanensis). 32. Mammalia: Yucatan Peccary (Tayassu angulatum yucatanense), Yucatan Deer (O. yucatanensis). 33. Mammalia: Yucatan Peccary (T. a. yucatanense). 34. Mammalia: Jaguar, Puma. 35. Mammalia: Jaguar, Coyote, Bear. 36, 37. Mammalia: Dog (Canis). 38. Mammalia: Leaf-nosed Bat (Vampyrus or Phyllostomus). 39. Mammalia: Monkey (Cebus) and miscellaneous.


FIG. 1. Top of Altar T, Copan (Mandslay,[TN-2] I. Pl. 95) 320

2. Pottery whistle from Uloa Valley, Honduras, representing a vulture. Peabody Museum Memoirs. I. No. 4, fig. 15 332

3. } 4. } Glyphs of Maya month Moan showing moan-bird 5. } characteristics 339 6. }

7. Quetzal from the bas-relief of the Temple of the Cross, Palenque 341

8. } 9. } Glyphs for Maya month Kankin (Ribs of dogs) 364 10. }

11. } 12. } 13. } Glyphs for Maya month Zotz (Bats) 365 14. }

15. Pottery whistle from Uloa Valley, Honduras (Peabody Museum Memoirs, I, No. 4, fig. 14), representing an ape 366

16. } 17. } 18. } Glyphs for Maya day Chuen 367 19. }

20. } 21. } 22. } Glyphs of God C. (Schellhas, Peabody Museum Papers, IV, 368 23. } No. 1) 24. }


The various peoples inhabiting Mexico and Central America in early pre-Columbian times were accustomed to record various events, especially in regard to their calendar and the religious ceremonials in relation to it, on long strips of skin or bark. These were usually painted on both sides and folded together like a screen. Several of these codices are still in existence from the Nahua and Zapotec areas in Mexico, but only three have come down to us from the Maya region which is included in the peninsula of Yucatan, the states of Tabasco and Chiapas in Mexico, and portions of Guatemala and Honduras. These three manuscripts are the Dresden Codex in the Royal Public Library at Dresden, the Tro-Cortesianus (formerly considered to have been two, the Troano and the Cortesianus) in the National Archaeological Museum at Madrid, and the Peresianus in the National Library at Paris. These pre-Columbian manuscripts have all been published in facsimile. (See bibliography.)

These remains of a once extensive literature show evidence not only of considerable intellectual attainments on the part of their authors but also of a high degree of artistic skill in the drawings and hieroglyphics. The frequent occurrence in these manuscripts of representations of animals showing various degrees of elaboration and conventionalization has led us to undertake the task of identifying these figures as far as possible and studying the uses and significance of the several species, a field practically untouched.[284-*] Foerstemann in his various commentaries on the Maya codices (1902, 1903, 1906), Brinton (1895), and deRosny[TN-3] (1876) have only commented briefly upon this side of the study of the manuscripts. Seler (1904a) and some others have written short papers on special animals. During the preparation of this paper there has appeared a brief account by Stempell (1908) of the animals in the Maya codices. The author has, however, omitted a number of species and, as we believe, misidentified others. In making our identifications we have given the reasons for our determinations in some detail and have stated the characteristics employed to denote the several species.

We have not limited ourselves entirely to the Maya manuscripts as we have drawn upon the vast amount of material available in the stone carvings, the stucco figures, and the frescoes found throughout the Maya area. This material has by no means been exhausted in the present paper. In addition to the figures from the Maya codices and a comparatively few from other sources in the Maya region, we have introduced for comparison in a number of cases figures from a few of the ancient manuscripts of the Nahuas and the Zapotecs to the north. The calendar of these two peoples is fundamentally the same as that of the Mayas. The year is made up in the same way being composed of eighteen months of twenty days each with five days additional at the end of the year. There is therefore a more or less close connection as regards subject matter in all the pre-Columbian codices of Mexico and Central America but the manner of presentation differs among the different peoples of this region.


[284-*] The first two parts of Dr. Seler's Treatise, "Die Tierbilder der mexikanischen und der Maya-Handschriften" published in the Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie, Vol. 41, have appeared during the time when this paper was passing through the press. The most excellent and exhaustive treatment by Dr. Seler would seem to render the present paper unnecessary. It has seemed best, however, to continue with its publication inasmuch as its field is narrower and more space is devoted to the Maya side of the question to the exclusion of the Mexican. Dr. Seler, on the other hand, while by no means neglecting the Maya, has spent more time in explaining the Mexican figures.



Before taking up the different animals in the codices it may be well to consider some of the more common ways in which the figures occur and their connection with the surrounding figures.

MANNER OF REPRESENTATION. The entire body of the animal may be represented realistically or the head alone may be shown. The animal head is frequently attached to a human body. The animal may appear conventionalized to a greater or less extent and the head in turn may change in the same way until only a single characteristic of the animal remains by which to identify it as, for example, the spots of the jaguar or the feathering around the eye of the macaw. In the case of the glyphs, a term employed to designate the regular and usually square characters appearing in lines or columns throughout the codices and inscriptions, we find both the realistic drawing and that where conventionalism has come in.

THE TONALAMATL. The Maya codices are made up, for the most part, of the records of the sacred period of two hundred and sixty days, a period called in Nahuatl, tonalamatl, and other numerical calculations. The tonalamatl was used for purposes of divination in order to find out whether good or bad fortune was in store for an individual. It is not necessary at this place to go into the different means taken to record this period of time or its methods of use. It may be well, however, to explain the usual distribution of the pictures in the codices, including those of animals, in connection with the representation of the tonalamatl. A normal period is shown in Dresden 6c-7c. A column of five day signs occurs in the middle of 6c with a single red dot over it. To the right of this column stretches a horizontal line of numbers consisting of alternate groups of black and red lines and dots. Under each pair of red and black numbers there is usually a human form and over each pair a group of four glyphs belonging to the figure below. Schellhas (1904) has classified the various figures of gods appearing in these vignettes of the tonalamatl and lettered them. References throughout the paper will be made to the gods by letters and the reader is referred to Schellhas' paper. Animal figures often take the place of these gods as in the second picture in Dresden 7c where the screech owl is shown with human body. The greater number of animal figures in the codices occur in some connection with these tonalamatls.

MYTHOLOGICAL ANIMALS. Where figures are shown with human body and animal head standing alone in the place usually occupied by one of the various deities in the tonalamatl, there can be little doubt that they have a mythological meaning and are to be taken, either as gods themselves, or as representing certain of the gods. All of the animals are by no means shown in this position. The screech owl, or Moan bird (as in Dresden 10a) appears most frequently in this way. The king vulture (Dresden 8a), the dog (Dresden 7a), and the parrot (Dresden 40b) come next in descending importance. The animals represented as copulating (as in Dresden 13c) might also be considered as mythological animals as well as the full drawings of the jaguar (Dresden 8a) and the other animals when they occur alone in the regular vignette of the tonalamatl. The four priests in Dresden 25a-28a should also be regarded as representing, in all probability, the dog as a mythological animal. The idea of worshipping animals as gods in themselves is strengthened by noting the ease with which the Maya people worshipped the horse which was left behind by Cortes in his march from Mexico across to Honduras (Villagutierre, 1701, pp. 100-101).

ASTRONOMICAL IDEAS. Animals frequently have a part to play in relation to the constellations. Throughout the codices and, to a less degree, in the stone carvings, we find what have usually been considered to be glyphs for several of the constellations. Numerous calculations in the codices make it clear that the Mayas had a good knowledge of astronomy. These glyphs are usually oblong in shape and three or more are arranged together end to end. We have called these the constellation bands. Various attempts have been made to identify these signs of the various constellations. Animals frequently are pictured below these bands. The dog with fire brands in his paws and often attached to his tail is shown in several places coming head downward from one of these bands (as in Dresden 36a). The peccary is also shown in the same position although the fire brands do not appear (Dresden 68a). A figure with macaw head occurs once standing beneath one of these bands with fire brands in his hands (Dresden 40b). The serpent (as in Dresden 36a), the lizard-crocodile-like animal in Dresden 74, the turtle (Tro-Cortesianus 71a), the vulture (Dresden 38b), the turkey (Tro-Cortesianus 10b), and the deer (Tro-Cortesianus 47a) all appear in connection with these constellation bands. It is impossible at this time to decide upon the part these various animals play in relation to distinct constellations. In addition to the animals named, several of the gods, especially god B, are found below these bands. One of these signs, the one identified by Foerstemann as standing for Saturn, is composed of the head of the crocodile more or less conventionalized.

Foerstemann (1902, p. 27) identifies the turtle with the summer solstice and the snail as the animal associated with the winter solstice. There does not seem to be any one animal used in connection with any one of the cardinal points. In Tro-Cortesianus 88c the dog seems to be associated with the north as shown by the glyph which is ordinarily regarded as connected with that direction, the ape with the west, and an unidentifiable bird sitting on a Cimi (death) sign with the south. The east is connected in this place with a human figure. It should be stated, however, that it is not absolutely certain that the usual assignment of the cardinal points, each to its special direction, is correct. The signs for the east and west as well as those for the north and south may be reversed. With the exception of the assignment of the offering-glyphs to the various cardinal points which will be discussed later (p. 290) this is almost the only case where a clear relation can be made out between the various animals and the signs for the four directions. There is no definite relation as is seen, for example, in the Vaticanus 3773, 17, 18 where the quetzal is noted perched on the tree of the east, the eagle on that of the north, the humming bird on that of the west, and the jaguar on the tree of the south.

COPULATION. The conception, the period of pregnancy, the infant baptism, and possibly, the naming of children are shown in both the Tro-Cortesianus (91-95) and the Dresden (13-23). Animals are frequently shown copulating with various gods or with one another. In Dresden 13c, the deer and god M and the vulture and the dog; in 19c, the vulture and a woman; in Tro-Cortesianus 91d, a god and a woman; and in 92d, an armadillo and a deer both with female figures. These animals probably represent in some way the totems of the man or woman in question and are shown in place of the human figure. The Lacandones, a Maya people, show at the present time the remains of a totemic system (Tozzer, 1907, pp. 40-42). The deer (Ke) gens is found at the present time. In the greater number of cases where copulation is shown a god and a female figure are pictured. The presentation of the new-born children by women with bird head-dresses, also occurring in this same section of both manuscripts, is discussed later (p. 291).

ANIMAL SACRIFICES. Various ceremonials occurring at intervals throughout the Maya year which included sacrifices to the gods, evidently took up a large part of the time of the people. Animals composed by far the major part of the gifts made to the gods. This was especially true in regard to the ceremonies occurring at the beginning of each year. According to the Maya calendar there were four days only which could come at the beginning of the year and these came in succession. Landa (1864, pp. 210-233), the first Bishop of Yucatan, gives a minute description of the rites of the four years which were named according to the initial day. He also relates the manner in which the various animals are employed as offerings in these rites and also in others taking place at the beginning of the various months.[289-*]

The rites which took place at the beginning and the end of the year are shown in Dresden 25-28 and in Tro-Cortesianus 34-37. The dog, the deer, and the turkey are the most important of the animals shown as being offered to the gods in this connection. It will not be necessary to consider these animals in detail at this place as they are each taken up later.

OFFERINGS SHOWN BY GLYPHS. It is, however, in another connection than that just considered that the animals are shown as offerings far more frequently throughout the Maya manuscripts. In the ceremonies of the four years, the animals and birds are, for the most part, represented entire and purely as pictures. Offerings are also shown in the form of glyphs. These may occur in connection with the figures of the gods or in the lines of hieroglyphs above the pictures. When they are used in the former relation they are usually shown as resting in a bowl or dish (Dresden 35a). It frequently happens that when a god is making an offering represented by the entire animal or a glyph of the animal in the main picture, there is a corresponding glyph of the offering above in the line of hieroglyphics (Dresden 23b).

The fish, iguana, turkey, deer and possibly the lizard are the usual animals shown as glyphs in this connection. The frigate bird occurs once in the Dresden (35a) and once in the Tro-Cortesianus (34a) as an offering. The dog, curiously enough, does not seem to be represented by an offering-glyph although he has a glyph of his own when appearing in other connections. The iguana and fish are shown entire although drawn very small; the head is the only part usually shown of the turkey and the haunch of venison of the deer. The head and feet of the lizard, as has been noted, may also be shown by a glyph. The turkey and iguana glyphs are very often found with a Kan sign indicating an offering of maize and bread as well as that of the animal. In connection with glyphs showing various offerings of food, there is one which occurs especially in the Tro-Cortesianus (as in 106a). This shows a row of points themselves running to a point over a Kan sign. This, as will be pointed out later (p. 318) may also represent an iguana. The jar containing a representation of the honey comb (as in Tro-Cortesianus 107b) might come in here in the consideration of the offering-glyphs.

In many instances the common offerings shown by glyphs are found associated with the signs for the four cardinal points but there does not seem to be any strict uniformity as to the special offering associated with each direction. In Dresden 29b, the lizard glyph is found in the same group with the sign commonly assigned to the east, the turkey with the south, the iguana with the west, and the fish with the north while in Dresden 29c, the deer is associated with the east, the fish with the south, the iguana with the west, and the turkey with the north. The iguana is usually found with the sign for the west and the fish with that of the south. The others vary greatly in the assignment of the various directions.

Schellhas (1904, p. 17) considers that the fish, the lizard, "the sprouting kernel of maize or (according to Foerstemann, parts of a mammal, game)" and a vulture's head are symbols of the four elements. The head which Schellhas interprets as that of the vulture is certainly the head of a turkey. He remarks that these signs of the four elements appear with god B in the Dresden manuscript. Other gods, as he also notes, are found with these four offering-glyphs. There seems to be a fifth glyph, however, (as in Dresden 29b) which we have interpreted as that of a lizard.

ANIMALS AS RAIN BEARERS. Various animals are associated with the rain and water. The serpent is most frequently represented in this connection. Snails, fish, the turtle, and the frog, as well as the lizard-crocodile figure in Dresden 74 are naturally found associated with water. The vulture-headed figure in Dresden 38b and the vulture as a bird in Tro-Cortesianus 10a both appear in the rain. The peccary (Dresden 68a), and the turkey (Tro-Cortesianus 10b) appear associated with the rain as well as with the constellation bands. The scorpion (Tro-Cortesianus 7a) encloses the rain within its legs.

The connection of an old female figure occurring in many places in the codices with the rain will be discussed later (p. 316) when considering the serpent. It remains at this place to comment upon the woman in Tro-Cortesianus 30b from whose breasts water is flowing. She is represented as having animal figures seated on her two outstretched hands and on her right foot together with another animal at her side. God B sits on her left foot. This picture immediately recalls representations in the Mexican codices where the various parts of the body of a god are associated with various day signs, ten of which have animal names. In the Maya picture, a jaguar is shown on the right hand, a peccary on the left, a dog on the right foot, and a rabbit beside the body at her right. The peccary is not represented among the Nahua day signs but the other three are found, namely the oceolotl (jaguar), itzcuintli (dog), and tochtli (rabbit).

ANIMAL HEAD-DRESSES. Animal figures appear perhaps most frequently as head-dresses of the various gods in the codices. Here, as elsewhere, from all that can be made out, the religious character is uppermost as in addition to being a decoration, they undoubtedly have some religious signification. Birds occur by far most commonly in this connection. Both male and female figures seems to have these head-dresses. The same bird is often found as the head-dress of several different gods as, for example, the turkey which appears with gods A, B, C, E, and N. The vulture, on the other hand, when used as a head-dress for male figures, appears exclusively with god F. The whole bird is seldom represented on the head-dress of the male figures. It is usually only the head and a part of the body of the bird which forms but a portion of the whole head-covering. Landa (1864, p. 148)[292-*] notes the dress of the leader in the rites. He wears a jacket of red feathers worked with other feathers and from it hang long plumes. He also wears a feather head-dress.

Entire birds appear as the sole head-covering only in connection with female figures and then only in one section of the Dresden (16-18) and a parallel passage in the Tro-Cortesianus (94-95). In both these places the conception and the bearing of children are shown together with their baptism. The bird above the head of each female figure seems to be a badge of office, possibly the totems which are held by the women and given to the children. The parrot, quetzal, vulture, screech owl and the horned owl appear in this connection. It is to be noted that the birds associated with these women are not really represented as head-dresses at all. They are quite different from the head decoration composed of a bird's head and feathers seen in other parts of the manuscripts. In the Dresden especially, these birds above the women's heads are shown in almost every case standing with the claws clasping the necklace at the back of the neck. Landa (1864, pp. 144-154) gives an interesting account of the method of baptising children. He also states (p. 304)[292-[+]] that in the month Yaxkin an old woman brought the little girls to the general feast. This old woman was dressed in a garment of feathers. It was understood that this devoted old woman was not permitted to become intoxicated[293-*] lest she should lose in the road the plume of her office.

The serpent appears as a head-dress exclusively with female figures and then usually when the woman is in the act of offering something or is associated with water or rain. The centipede occurs only with god D. Quadrupeds are employed as head-dresses only very seldom. The head of a deer is, in three places, used as a part of the head decoration of god M and the head of a jaguar appears in two places only.

SECULAR OCCUPATIONS. Animals appear frequently in scenes showing various occupations. These, although appearing at first sight as secular, have to do with the religion of the people and they show in every case acts undertaken in behalf of the deities. It is almost exclusively in the Tro-Cortesianus that these religious-secular occupations are shown.

Hunting scenes occur in one section of this codex (38-49). The whole aim of the hunt in these pages is to obtain animals for sacrifice. In almost every case the various animals are shown as being captured alive, either in a pitfall or a trap of the "jerk-up" type. This was undoubtedly in order that the animal might be killed the moment it was offered to the gods by having its heart cut out. Deer are most commonly represented in this hunting section although peccaries and armadillos also appear. Fishing is shown in one place at least (Dresden 33a).

The practice of agriculture is shown in Tro-Cortesianus 24-28. The sprouting grain is represented as being eaten by a vulture and a jaguar. Certain gods in this section which relates to the planting of maize are shown as being attacked by vultures and blow-flies. Another occupation of the natives depicted in the Tro-Cortesianus (103-112) is apiculture. This, again, has clearly some religious significance. Pottery-making is shown in the same manuscript (95-101). It is, however, a purely religious ceremony. The renewal of the incense-burners is shown. Animals occur very infrequently in this section. The quetzal and two vultures are noted seated on top of an oven-like covering under which is the head of god C, probably representing the idol. There are several other occupations shown in this codex such as weaving (79c) and the gathering of the sap of the rubber tree (102b), but as animals do not occur in any connection with these operations, it is not necessary to dwell upon them.

ANIMAL GLYPHS. It remains finally to speak of the various animals which are represented in glyph form as well as drawn in full in the pictures proper. The creatures pictured in the codices are often accompanied by their glyphs which appear in the lines of signs directly above. In many cases, the animal pictured below is not represented by its glyph above and, vice versa, the animal glyph may appear without its picture below. The same is seen also in connection with the representation of the gods and their glyphs. Both the picture and the glyph usually appear but either may appear alone. Many times when the glyph, either of a god or an animal, is shown with no accompanying picture, the reason seems to be that there is no room for the latter on account of the numerical calculations which take up all the space.

There are some animals in the codices which are represented by glyphs very frequently. Among these are the screech owl (the Moan, the bird of death), which has several different glyphs by which it is recognized, the dog which, in addition to its own glyph, may be represented by the day sign Oc, the king vulture, the turtle, the bee (if we consider the day sign Cauac stands for this insect), and the centipede. Among the animals whose glyphs only seldom appear may be mentioned the macaw, the peccary, the tree-toad (god P), the quetzal, and the jaguar. The glyph for the black vulture (Tro-Cortesianus 26c), the ape (Tro-Cortesianus 88c), the deer (Peresianus 10), the eagle (Tro-Cortesianus 107c), and the serpent (Tro-Cortesianus 106c) seem to appear but once. It might also be well to mention in this place the glyphs for various molluscs which are used not to represent the shell but to give the value of zero to the numerical calculations.

In the inscriptions glyphs frequently occur which represent animals either showing the whole body or simply the head. In the eastern facade of the Monjas at Chichen Itza there are glyphs for both the king and the black vulture and the peccary. The macaw and the turtle seem also to be represented by glyphs in the inscriptions. The Tun period glyph shows vulture-like characteristics and the Uinal period glyph certainly resembles the lizard. The glyphs representing the various animal offerings have already been discussed under a special heading (p. 289).


[289-*] p. 162. "Las mugeres no usavan destos derrammamientos, aunque eran harto santeras; mas de todas las cosas que aver podian que son aves del cielo, animales de la tierra, o pescados de la agua, siempre les embadurnavan los rostros al demonio con la sangre dellos."

p. 164. "Y otras cosas que tenian ofrecian; a algunos animales les sacavan el corazon y lo ofrecian, a otros enteros, unos vivos, otros muertos, unos crudos, otros guisados.... Que sin las fiestas en las quales, para la solemnidad de ellas, se secrificavan animales, tambien por alguna tribulacion o necessidad."

p. 254. "Tenian buscados todos animales y savandijas del campo que podian aver y en la tierra avia, y con ellos se juntavan en el patio del templo en el qual se ponian los Chaques.... Sacavan con liberalidad los coracones a las aves y animales, y echavanlos a quemar en el fuego; y sino podian aver los animales grandes como tigres, leones o largartos, hazian los coracones de su encienso, y si los matavan trayanles los coracones para aquel fuego."

[292-*] "Vestido salia con un jaco de pluma colorado y labrado de otras plumas de colores, y que le cuelgan de los estremos otras plumas largas y una como coroza en la cabeca de las mesmas plumas."

[292-[+]] "Y a las ninas se les dava una vieja, vestida de un habito de plumas, que las traia alli y por esto la llamavan Ixmol, la allegadera.... Aquella devota vieja allegaria con que se emborachava en casa por no perder la pluma del officio en el camino."

[293-*] "Intoxication was obligatory with the men in many of the religious rites. This is reported by the early Spanish historians and is the case at the present time among the Lacandones." (See Tozzer, 1907, p. 136.)



In the descriptions of the animals which follow the general plan will be to consider first the identification purely from a zoological point of view, and, secondly, the connection and, wherever possible, the meaning of the use of the various animal figures wherever they occur.


FASCIOLARIA GIGANTEA. Representations of this marine shell are found in several places in the codices. It is the only large Fusus-like species on the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico, and, indeed, is the largest known American shell. It is therefore not strange that it should have attracted the attention of the Mayas and found a place in their writings. Several figures are shown that represent Fasciolaria (Pl. 1, figs. 1-9). One in the Codex Vaticanus 3773 (Pl. 1, fig. 3) in common with those shown in Pl. 1, figs. 2, 6, 9, has the spire represented by segments of successively smaller size. The species of Fasciolaria occurring on the Yucatan and adjacent coasts is characterized by numerous prominent bosses or projections on its later whorls, and these, too, appear in conventionalized form in most of the representations. In Pl. 1, fig. 2, the second whorl, and in figs. 6, 9, the third whorl is shown with three stout tubercles in side view, corresponding to those found in this region of the shell. Figs. 7, 8 (Pl. 1) are glyphs representing the same species, but as in fig. 4, the spire is omitted, though the knobs are present. Round spots of color are evidently intended by the markings on the shells shown in figs. 3, 5, 6 (Pl. 1). Fig. 5, shows a further modification of the spire, which here is made like the head of a serpent.

The Mollusca in the codices are not always associated with the water although this is usually the case. God N (Pl. 1, fig. 1) sitting with the shell around his body is represented as in the rain and the shells in Pl. 1, figs. 4, 6, appear under water. The snail (Maya, šot) is considered by the Nahuas as the symbol of birth and death. The first idea is well brought out in Pl. 1, fig. 2, where the human figure is emerging from a shell. The same idea among the Mayas is seen in Pl. 1, fig. 1, where god N is coming from a shell. As god N is usually associated with the end of the year, we may have here the complementary idea of death associated with the shell. The same meaning is brought out in the Bologna Codex (Pl. 1, fig. 3) where the shell is decorated with flint points, the symbol of death. As the tortoise is often identified with the summer solstice, as previously pointed out, so the snail is associated with the winter solstice.

Foerstemann's identification of the head-dress of god D (Dresden 5c), god A (Dresden 9c, 13a), and god E (Dresden 11c) as representing snails is not clear. Stempell (1908, p. 739) also follows the same course thinking that the knob-like prominences represent the stalked eyes of snails. This seems quite unlikely as such representations are usually short and occur in too widely dissimilar connections. Moreover, there are sometimes three of these instead of but a single pair (Dresden 14a). A similar attempt has been made by Brinton to identify the head-dress of the death god (god A) as the snail. The head-dress in Dresden 13a and 13b associated with god A looks far more like the head and upper jaw of some mammal.

OLIVA. A univalve shell frequently represented is of an oval shape, pointed at each end, with a longitudinal lip and a short spire at one extremity. This is doubtless a species of Oliva, a marine shell. Mr. Charles W. Johnson informs us that O. reticulata is the species occurring on the Yucatan shores, while O. splendidula is found in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Representations of this shell are shown in Pl. 1, figs. 10-12. In figs. 10, 11, the lip and spire are apparent but in fig. 12 the lip only is seen as a white fissure against the general dark background. An earthenware vessel representing a tapir (Pl. 28, fig. 1) shows a string of Oliva shells about the animal's neck and similar strings very often decorate the belts worn by the personages represented on the stelae of Copan.

The shell in the codices is found in most cases to represent zero in the Maya numerical calculations. Just as a bar has the meaning five, and a dot one, so the shell often has the signification of zero. This is seen especially in the numeration by position in the codices (Pl. 1, figs. 7, 8, 10-14).

OTHER MOLLUSCA. In addition to the species just described at least two or three others occur in the Nuttall Codex, but so conventionalized that it is out of the question to hazard a guess at their identity. One (Pl. 1, figs. 16, 17) is a bivalve with long pointed shell, another (Pl. 1, figs. 18-20) is rounder with conventionalized scroll-like markings. Figs. 21, 22 (Pl. 1) may be a side view of the closed bivalve shown in figs. 16, 17, or possibly a species of cowry. In like manner, fig. 13 is probably a side view of the mollusc shown in fig. 14, for it is seen that in each case the figure showing the two opened valves has a bipartite extended foot, whereas that of the single valve is simple. This doubling of the single median foot of the bivalve may be an artistic necessity for the sake of balance, or perhaps represents both foot and siphon at the same end. Figs. 23, 24 (Pl. 1) seem to represent molluscs still further reduced and conventionalized. These molluscs from the Nuttall Codex (Pl. 1, figs. 15-24) are almost all found represented in the blue water, whereas those which stand for zero in the Maya codices have no immediate association with either water or rain.


THE HONEY BEE (Melipona). A portion of the Tro-Cortesianus appears to treat of apiculture, as previously noted, or, at all events, contains numerous figures of bees, some of which are shown in Pl. 2. As stated by Stempell (1908, p. 735) this is doubtless a species of Melipona, probably M. fulvipes or domestica. It is well known that this bee was kept by the ancient Mexicans, and what appear to be improvised hives are shown in Pl. 2, figs. 7, 10, where the combs are noted depending from the ceiling or walls. These combs are seen to be composed of cells roughly four-sided for the most part, though in fig. 11 several hexagonal cells are present in the mass of comb held by the black god, M. Darwin, in his Origin of Species, has called attention to the form of the comb built by this bee, and considers its irregular cells of from three to six sides intermediate in their degree of perfection between those of the bumble bee (Bombus) and the honey bee of Europe (Apis mellifica). The Caban form in connnection[TN-4] with the hive in fig. 10 may have some phonetic signifiance[TN-5] as kab is honey in Maya. This sign occurs very frequently in the pages devoted to apiculture.

The figures of the bees in the codex show a number of interesting variations. In figs. 1-3, 5, 11, the insect is less conventionalized than in figs. 4, 6 (Pl. 2). The hairy feet are well indicated as well as the segmented body and a single pair of wings. All the figures show an anterodorsal view so that, on account of the size of the first pair of legs, only the tops of the second pair appear in Pl. 2, figs. 1, 3, 5. In fig. 2, however, two pairs are seen, and in figs. 4, 6, the anthropomorphic tendency is further shown by providing the insect with two pairs of limbs each with four or five digits, and a conventionalized face, eyes and mouth. In Pl. 2, fig. 1, the bee is represented without mouthparts but antennae only. This may indicate a drone or a queen bee that takes no active part in the work of gathering honey or making comb. Fig. 2 is perhaps the least reduced of any of the figures and shows the worker bee with antennae and mouthparts.

The so-called "cloud balls" of the day sign Cauac (Pl. 2, fig. 8) may represent the honey comb. Cauac is usually supposed to have some connection with lightening[TN-6] and thunder although Valentini agrees with the authors in associating Cauac with the bees and honey. The Cauac-like forms in Pl. 2, figs. 7, 10, have been described above as hives. The representation of legs in the full drawing of a bee as four large limbs, an anterior and a posterior pair, coupled with the method of drawing the insect as seen from above and in front, may have led to its final expression by an X-shaped mark shown in connection with the hives (Pl. 2, figs. 7, 10). The X is also seen in the day sign Cauac.

Apiculture was common among the various peoples of Central America and Mexico. Las Casas speaks of hives of bees and Gomara states that the bees were small and the honey rather bitter. Clavigero (Vol. 1, p. 68)[300-*] mentions six varieties of bees which were found in Mexico;—the first is the same as the common bee of Europe, the second differs from the first only in having no sting and is the bee of Yucatan and Chiapas which makes the fine clear honey of aromatic flavor. The third species resembles in its form the winged ants but is smaller than the common bee and without a sting. The fourth is a yellow bee, smaller than the common one but, like it, furnished with a sting. The fifth is a small bee without a sting which constructs hives of an orbicular form in subterranean cavities and the honey is sour and somewhat bitter. The Tlalpipiolli, which is the sixth species, is black and yellow, of the size of the common bee, but has no sting.

The natives of the country at the present time often cultivate hives of bees in logs which they hollow out for this purpose and keep in a specially constructed shelter. It is, however, rather the ceremonial side of apiculture that is the interesting feature and this is clearly emphasized in the Tro-Cortesianus. The section in this manuscript (80b, 103-112), as has been noted, is taken up almost exclusively with the culture of the bee and in all probability represents a definite religious ceremony or series of rites which are connected intimately with bees and honey. Landa (1864, p. 292)[300-[+]] states that in the month Tzoz the natives prepare for a ceremony in behalf of the bees which takes place in the following month, Tzec. In the month Mol another fiesta is undertaken in behalf of these insects so that the gods may provide an abundance of flowers for the bees (Landa, 1864, p. 306).[301-*]

It seems clear therefore that we have represented in the pages of the Tro-Cortesianus referred to, the rites carried out in this connection. The more or less realistic drawings of the bees (Pl. 2, figs. 1-6, 9) represent the god of the bees and to him offerings of food and incense are being made. Pl. 2, fig. 11, shows the war god (M) with his eagle head-dress offering a mass of honey in the comb to the god of the bees.

Curiously enough the bee does not seem to be represented in the Dresden Codex. Foerstemann's identification of the head-dress of the goddess in Dresden 9a as a bee does not seem to us to be correct.

In addition to the bees, there occurs in the Nuttall Codex 4 (Pl. 3, fig. 4) a curious representation of an insect with a pointed beak-like structure and a spine at the posterior extremity of its human-like body. It is engaged in apparent conflict with a man and may represent a hornet.

BLOW-FLY (Sarcophaga). Two figures in the Tro-Cortesianus (Pl. 3, figs. 1, 2) are of special interest since they appear to have been frequently regarded as picturing snakes attacking men. These are thick-bodied sinuous creatures distinguished by the curious conformation of the mouth and by a lateral row of dots that may represent the metameric spiracles or, as commonly, a demarcation between dorsal and ventral surfaces. That these are maggots of a blow-fly (Sarcophaga) there can be little doubt, not only on account of their mouth parts which are similar to those of the agave maggot (see later) but also because of their relation to God F whom they are devouring. The latter in fig. 1 is doubtless dead as shown by the closed eye and it is the habit of the blow-fly to deposit its eggs in the nasal cavity of dead animals as well as elsewhere on the body. The fact that in each case a maggot is attacking the god's nose may indicate that this habit was known to the artist who, consequently, shows the larvae in this position. In Pl. 3, fig. 2, the god's eye is not closed but his passive attitude while the maggot devours his hand and nose does not indicate that he is in full possession of his strength. In addition to the blow-fly, a screw-fly (Chrysomyia) lays its eggs on the bodies of animals, often on persons sleeping, and these may hatch almost at once into small maggots that penetrate the skin. It may be, therefore, that the larvae here considered belong to this genus.

In addition to god F, in Tro-Cortesianus 24d, there is another representation of the same god being attacked by a vulture. This bird is evidently eating his nose. In this case the god is shown with the closed eye as in 27d. In Tro-Cortesianus 25d the fly seems to be attacking the mouth of god F. From the fact that no other god is ever found in this connection it may be suggested that there may be some relation between god F as a god of human sacrifice and the fact that his dead body is being eaten by blow-flies and vultures. A portion of the body of the person sacrificed was usually eaten by those taking part in the ceremony.

LEPIDOPTEROUS INSECTS. In Tro-Cortesianus 28c (Pl. 3, fig. 3) is shown a second insect larva with curiously formed mouth parts. It is represented as attacking agave which is springing from the ground as shown by the Caban signs in the codex. Hough (1908, p. 591) has shown this to be the larva of Acentrocneme kollari Felder, "called by the Mexicans guson, and in Nahuatl mescuillin." This grub, he says, is white, about an inch long, and tunnels the fleshy leaves of the agave. It is greatly prized as an article of food for "gusones to this day are collected in April, boiled, wrapped in the epidermis of the agave, sold on the streets of Mexico, and are eaten with avidity. To all appearances they are nourishing and palatable, and it is said that connoisseurs prefer them to oysters or swallows' nests." Hough believes "that the discovery of the sap-yielding quality of the agave was through search for these larvae."

In the Nuttall Codex occur numerous representations of insects, some of which appear to represent butterflies or moths (Pl. 3, figs. 5-8) but these are quite unidentifiable. That shown in fig. 6 is colored blue in the original, while the others are of various colors. Possibly the round markings on the wings in figs. 5, 8, represent the ocelli on the wings of certain species of moths. In this connection, too, it is interesting to compare the conventionalized butterfly with its single eye and pointed antennae from the Aubin manuscript (Pl. 3, fig. 9) with one drawn on the same plan from the Nuttall Codex (Pl. 3, fig. 8).


Representations of a centipede (probably a species of Scolopendra) occur in the Dresden Codex and in several others examined. That shown in Pl. 5, fig. 1, from the Vaticanus 3773, is perhaps the least conventionalized.[303-*] This figure appears partly to encircle a temple, behind which the major portion of its length is hidden and hence is not here shown. The bipartite structure coming from the animal's head doubtless represents the mouthparts, and at its base on either side arise antennae. The first pair only of legs is shown with a pinching claw, possibly intended as a conventionalized hand, while the rest are simple. The plumes decorating the posterior extremity are of course extraneous and represent the tail of the quetzal or trogon.

In the Dresden Codex, god D constantly appears in connection with a head-dress from which depends a centipede, greatly reduced and conventionalized. Two forms of this centipede are shown in Pl. 3, figs. 15, 18. The body appears to consist of four or five segments each with its pair of ambulatory appendages (though there may not always be the same number of each) terminated by a circular segment with a conventionalized three-knobbed structure, apparently corresponding to the portion that bears the quetzal plume in Pl. 5, fig. 1. The outline of the head in Pl. 3, fig. 15, is shown in dotted line but by solid line in fig. 18. One of the antennae appears to be omitted from the former figure, also, but both are present in the latter. The insect-like head is made on much the same plan as that of the bee (Pl. 2, fig. 11), the facial portion divided by a median line into a right and a left half with a small triangle below for a mouth. The eyes, however, instead of being circular like those of the bee are made as narrow elongated projections extending inward from the dorsal margin of the facial disc.

The glyphs for god D in Dresden 7b (Pl. 3, fig. 11), Dresden 7c, and Dresden 14b (Pl. 3, fig. 12) undoubtedly show three forms of the sign for god D, only one of which (fig. 12) is given by Schellhas (1904, p. 22) among the signs of this god. In each of these cases the centipede head surrounded by dots is shown in connection with the main part of the glyph. In Dresden 44b (Pl. 3, fig. 13) there is a glyph which seems to show the same centipede head although it has no connection with god D in the place where it is found. In Dresden 27 (Pl. 3, fig. 14), moreover, still another variant of the glyph for god D seems to occur. This shows a prefix clearly representing the centipede and the "moon sign" is the main part of the glyph. Directly beside this in the codex is found the Ahau-like sign for god D and god D himself is represented in the middle section of the page.

The association of god D with the centipede may be explained by the fact that as this god is regarded as the Moon or Night god, so the centipede is an animal which frequents dark places. Another point in this connection may be made if we consider the head of the centipede in the head-dress and in the glyphs as representing the day sign Akbal (Pl. 3, fig. 10) as Akbal in Maya means night. It must be admitted, however, that the head might represent the day sign Chuen almost as well as Akbal. The centipede is connected with death and destruction in the same way as the owl. Both are shown in Vaticanus 3773, 13, associated with the "house of drought."


With one possible exception no crustaceans were found depicted in the Maya codices, but we have introduced figures of two from the Nuttall Codex. The first of these (Pl. 4, fig. 5) is probably a crayfish, perhaps Cambarus montezumae. It seems unlikely that the so-called Spanish lobster (Palinurus) can be intended or the powerful spined antennae would have been shown. It is interesting to note that the stalked eyes are clearly pictured. The second example seems to be a crab (Pl. 4, fig. 6). Two large chelae of nearly equal size are simply drawn and four rounded projections at the top of the figure appear to represent the walking legs. Its rotund form and subequal chelae suggest the land crab, Geocarcinus, but exact determination is of course impossible. What is certainly a large crab, perhaps of the same species, is shown in Tro-Cortesianus 88c (Pl. 36, fig. 1) in connection with a dog whose feet it seems about to pinch with its two large chelae. The shell is ornamented in a conventionalized way as if with scales.


In Codex Borbonicus 9 (Pl. 4, fig. 4) there is represented a stout-bodied form of spider with two sharply pointed chelicerae projecting from the conventionalized mouth. These characteristics together with the absence of any web, suggest a large predacious species, probably the tarantula (Tarantula sp.) which is common in Mexico. The acute powers of observation shown by the artist are evinced in this figure since he draws the spider correctly with eight legs instead of the six or ten sometimes seen in drawings by our own illustrators.


The scorpion (Maya, sinaan) figures prominently in the Tro-Cortesianus, two drawings from which are shown (Pl. 4, figs. 1, 2). As here conventionalized, the jointed appendages are represented as composed of an indefinite number of round segments. The large chelate pedipalps are also prominently figured but the smaller walking legs are commonly omitted. In Pl. 4, fig. 1, however, there is a pair of posterior chelate appendages which are probably added to give a more anthropoid cast to the figure. The slight projections along the sides of the body in Pl. 4, fig. 2, probably do not represent the legs. In another drawing (Tro-Cortesianus 44b) these are also present but further reduced so as not to exceed the heavy fringe of spines surrounding the body. In Pl. 4, fig. 1, the fringe alone appears. The formidable nature of the scorpion is of course due to the poisonous sting at the tip of the attenuated abdomen or "tail." In the Maya pictures this portion is usually shown as a grasping organ. Thus in fig. 1 it is similar to the chela and holds a cord by which a deer has been caught. In fig. 2 the "tail" is terminated by a hand. The same thing is seen in Tro-Cortesianus 44b where the hand seizes a cord by which a deer is snared. The scorpion is represented in the drawings with a conventionalized face that is very characteristic. The facial disc is divided into three parts by a median area of straight or irregular lateral boundaries ending anteriorly in two in-turned scrolls suggesting the alae of the nose. A circular eye is present in each of the lateral divisions of the face while from the oral region projects a forked tongue.

It is of course hazardous to attempt a specific identification of these figures but, as pointed out by Stempell (1908, p. 739), there are two large scorpions in Yucatan (Centruroides margaritatus and C. gracilis) which are probably the species pictured in the codices.

The representations of the scorpion in the Tro-Cortesianus are almost always associated with scenes of the hunt. As the deer is caught in a trap so Foerstemann considers that Pl. 4, fig. 1, shows a trap with five appliances, the "tail" one alone being effective. Brinton (1895, p. 75) notes that the Mayas applied the term sinaan ek, "scorpion stars" to a certain constellation and suggests that it was derived from the Spaniards. There is certainly some association between the scorpion and water as, in Tro-Cortesianus 7a, the fore and hind legs of the animal enclose a body of water. The scorpion "tail" alone appears in Tro-Cortesianus 31a and 82a as the tail of a god. Its significance is difficult to make out. Destruction is indicated by the scorpion in the Aubin manuscript as suggested by Seler (1900-1901, p. 71).

In the Nuttall Codex there is a remarkably beautiful conventionalization of a scorpion (Pl. 4, fig. 3) in which the tripartite nature of the head is still preserved though it is so reduced as to resemble the calyx of a flower. The "tail", as elsewhere, and the legs are present.


Figures of fish (Maya kai) occur commonly in the Maya codices in various connections as well as in the stone carvings, but none of these seems certainly identifiable. Among the representations, however, there are clearly several species. One (Pl. 5, figs. 2, 6, 7-9; Pl. 6, fig. 9) has a single dorsal fin, powerful teeth, and a generally ferocious aspect and may represent some large predacious variety, perhaps a tunny. The distinct operculum in most of the figures would preclude their representing a shark. Other figures picture similar fish without the prominent teeth (Pl. 5, fig. 4, 5; Pl. 6, figs. 2, 6, 10, 13). In two cases the scales are diagramatically shown by straight or crescentric lines (Pl. 5, fig. 4, 8). A third species of fish is shown provided with two dorsal fins (Pl. 6, figs. 3, 11; Pl. 7, fig. 6, the last an excellent stone carving). Others (Pl. 6, figs. 7, 14-17) represent fishes without dorsal fins, one of which (fig. 7) from its length may be an eel, possibly Muraena.

In the Nuttall Codex occurs a remarkable fish with an unmistakable wing arising just behind the head nearly at the dorsal line. While this may represent a flying fish (Exocetus), the head is so bird-like that the whole may be merely a combination figure.

Of frequent occurrence in the Dresden is a glyph, two modifications of which are here shown (Pl. 6, figs. 4, 5). Stempell suggests that the vertical lines on the posterior portion of such figures may be gill slits and that hence they may represent sharks in which these orifices are without an operculum.

As with the molluscs, so with the fish, we naturally find them usually associated with the water. This may be seen especially well in the Nuttall Codex. In Dresden 33a (Pl. 6, fig. 13) the fish is clearly associated with the operation of fishing as two figures are seated on the edge of a body of water in the act of casting a net. An eel is shown in the water under god B in Dresden 65b (Pl. 6, fig. 7) and fish are shown just below the claws of a crocodile in text figure 1. In Dresden 44a god B holds a fish in his hands. As will be pointed out later (p. 314) this god is frequently associated with water. In Dresden 44c a fish appears between god B and an unidentifiable deity. In the Maya codices the greater number of representations of fish are in connection with sacrifice. In Dresden 27 (Pl. 6, fig. 6) the fish is pictured resting on two Kan signs, the symbol of maize or bread, and these in turn on a flat bowl. In Dresden 29b (Pl. 5, fig. 9) the fish is represented between the red and black numbers of the tonalamatl. Here again the fish is shown as an offering.

In two cases only do we find the fish used as a part of the head-dress and in each case the fish is graphically shown as held in the mouth of a heron. One of these is in the Dresden Codex 36b (Pl. 5, fig. 3) and one in the stone carving of the Temple of the Cross at Palenque (Pl. 15, fig. 5). Fish are often represented on the stone carvings as feeding upon a water plant. This is seen in the border at the bottom of the Lower Chamber of the Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza (Pl. 5, figs. 2, 4; Pl. 6, fig. 2). In several instances at Copan fish are shown as forming the sides of the Great Cycle glyph at the beginning of an Initial Series (Pl. 6, figs. 14-17). It has often been suggested that as the word fish in Maya is kai (usually written cay), there may be some phonetic significance here, combining the fish, kai, with the usually drum-like sign for stone, tun, making kai tun or katun. This is the term usually given not to the Great Cycle but to the period composed of twenty tuns and is probably derived from kal meaning twenty and tun, a stone.


FROGS. Figures undoubtedly representing frogs (Maya mutš or uo) or toads are found in several places in the codices and in the stone carvings, but it is quite impossible to refer them definitely to any of the numerous species occurring in Central America, if, indeed, the artists had any one species in mind. In the Tro-Cortesianus frogs are not uncommon. In 31a there are four (Pl. 7, fig. 1) with water coming from their mouths. They are characterized by their stout tailless bodies, flattened heads and toothless mouths. In 101d (Pl. 7, figs. 2, 3) there are two, the first painted blue with spots of darker blue and the second white and represented as broken in two in the middle. The signs of death above the latter clearly show that a dead animal is indicated. Pl. 7, fig. 6, shows the end of Altar O from Copan on which a frog and a fish are pictured, the former in dorsal view, the latter in lateral aspect. The peculiar pointed snout of this frog is similar to that of the frog shown in Pl. 7, fig. 7, also in dorsal view. A somewhat similar creature (Pl. 29, fig. 6) we have included and though it may represent an opossum it has little to distinguish it from the figures of frogs.[309-*]

God B in Tro-Cortesianus 12b should be associated with the frog. His legs are those of a frog and he appears as if swimming in the water. Frog in Maya is Uo which is also the name of the second month of the Maya year. The first day of this month, according to Landa, corresponds to August 5 of our year and this is the height of the rainy season in the Maya region. The sign for Uo does not, however, resemble a frog in any way. The frog above one of the figures in the Lower Chamber of the Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza (Pl. 7, fig. 7) has clearly some relation to the name or totem of the warrior. The Nahua custom is seen here.

Toads are probably intended in Pl. 7, figs. 4, 5. In these the great breadth of the head and mouth together with the short inflated body combine to produce a very toad-like appearance. It is not unlikely that they represent the huge marine toad, Bufo marinus, common from southern Mexico to Brazil and in the West Indies. There seems to be no distinction in the treatment of frogs and toads in the codices.

TREE-TOAD (Hyla eximia). Of great interest are the figures in Tro-Cortesianus 26a and b (Pl. 8, figs. 1, 3), showing a god with expanded finger tips and characterized further by the presence of two parallel black stripes from the hinder and lower margins of the eye respectively. The knob-like finger tips at once suggest one of the tree-toads, and the presence of the two lines seems to indicate Hyla eximia as the species represented. In this tree-toad there is a long black lateral line running posteriorly from the tympanum and above it a shorter line just as in the drawings. It appears to be a common species in the valley of Mexico though but little seems to have been written of its habits. At the beginning of the rainy season it repairs to pools of water to breed and is then very noticeable from its loud voice. No doubt its importance in the Maya economy was from its conspicuousness at the beginning of the rainy period. This fact is brought out more strongly when we consider that these gods representing the tree-toad are associated with agriculture and the sowing of grain at the beginning of the rainy season. Foerstemann (1902, p. 35) identifies these figures as god F. They are quite unlike the usual representation of this god and are clearly god P as Schellhas (1904, p. 39) indicates. It is interesting to note that the two black lines behind the eye are also seen in the other gods shown in Tro-Cortesianus 26a and b although the knob-like finger tips are lacking. The glyph for this tree-toad god is recognized in the fifth place at the top of the same page (Pl. 8, fig. 2) by the same two black lines under and behind the eye.


SERPENT. It would be impossible in the present paper to enter into any lengthy discussion of the use of the serpent (Maya kan) in Mexico and Central America. It seems to be one of the main elements in the religion and consequently in the art of the Mayas and Mexican peoples. It is represented again and again in many forms and varied combinations. It underlies the whole general trend of Maya art. The serpent is often associated with feathers. The culture hero of the Nahuas, Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent) corresponds to a similar god among the Mayas, Kukulcan (also meaning feathered serpent). The feathers of the quetzal are the ones commonly used in connection with the serpent.

Any attempt at identification of the species represented is beset by grave difficulties for so conventionalized have the figures often become that, except in the case of the rattlesnake with its rattles, there are no characteristic marks by which the species may be known. It is natural to suppose that the species used for artistic purposes would be those that are most noteworthy because of their size, coloring, or venomous qualities. No doubt a number of harmless species were also used in the religious ceremonies.[311-*] Such may be those used as hair ornaments in many of the figures (Pl. 8, figs. 7-13, 15) and in which no indication of a rattle is to be seen. The fierce eye of these reptiles is shown by means of an exaggerated overhanging brow occasionally embellished by recurved crests (Pl. 8, figs. 10, 11, 13, 15). These crests are sometimes shown as two or three stalked knobs (Pl. 10, fig. 7) that Stempell was misled into identifying as the eyes of snails. Various heads of snakes usually with fangs exposed and tongue protruding are pictured in Pl. 8, figs. 4, 6; Pl. 9, figs. 2, 4-6: one snake with a spiny back is shown in Pl. 8, fig. 5, but obviously it represents merely the artist's endeavor to present as terrifying a creature as possible.

Various types of rattlesnakes are shown in Pl. 9. The presence of the rattle is of course the characteristic, and this portion alone is likewise used, in one case, at least, as a glyph (Pl. 9, fig. 7). It cannot be denied, however, that some or most of the snakes in which no rattles appear, are nevertheless intended for rattlers. It may have been that the figures were so well understood that the addition of rattles in the drawings was quite unnecessary. This, however, is quite conjectural. The species of rattlesnake is probably Crotalus basiliscus or C. terrificus of southern Mexico and adjacent regions, not C. horridus or adamanteus as supposed by Stempell since these two species are confined to the United States. Among the figures shown on Pl. 9, it is noteworthy that five of the rattlesnakes show no fangs. Some are spotted, but in a wholly arbitrary manner. Three are unmarked. One is shown coiled about the base of a tree (Pl. 9, fig. 5), another coiled ready to strike though the rattle is pictured trailing on the ground instead of being held erect in the center of the coil as usually is done (Pl. 9, fig. 9). A rattlesnake is shown held in the hand of a man in Pl. 9, fig. 8.

In Pl. 10, fig. 1, is shown a rattle-less snake with prominent fang, coiled about the top of an altar which may represent a tree or bush. From the latter fact, it might be concluded that it was a tree or bush-inhabiting species, possibly the deadly "bush-master" (Lachesis lanceolatus). Other figures (Pl. 10, figs. 3, 7; Pl. 11, figs. 1, 2) are introduced here as examples of the curious head ornamentation frequently found in the drawings. The two first are merely serpents with the jaws extended to the utmost, and with a characteristic head decoration. The last is provided with an elaborate crest. The size and markings of the two serpents shown in Pl. 11, as well as their want of rattles suggest that they may represent some species of large Boidae as Loxocemus bicolor or Boa (sp?).

After having commented upon the various serpents occurring in the codices and in several other places, we will now take up the manner and connection in which the various figures occur. We shall pass over completely the use of the "serpent column" at Chichen Itza, the importance of the serpent motive in the development of the masked panel as worked out by Spinden, and the countless representations of the plumed serpent in the whole field of Maya design and decoration. In the single Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza, the feathered serpent occurs in the round as a column decoration supporting the portico, as carved on the wooden lintel at the entrance to the Painted Chamber, again and again on the frescoes of this room,[313-*] in the Lower Chamber as dividing the bas-relief into zones or panels, and, finally, as the center of the whole composition of this bas-relief. It will be seen, therefore, that it will be necessary in a short paper, to limit ourselves to the representations of the serpent in the Maya codices.

The serpent is most frequently associated with god B. Schellhas (1904, p. 17), Fewkes (1894), Foerstemann (1906), and Thomas (1882), seem to agree that god B is to be identified as Kukulcan, the most important of the deities of the Mayas and, as pointed out before, appearing in the Nahua mythology, as Quetzalcoatl, and in the Quiche myths as Gucumatz. It was also noted that the name means both in Maya and in Nahuatl, the "feathered serpent" or the "bird serpent." Other authorities consider god B as Itzamna, another of the main gods of the Mayas. Seler interprets god B as the counterpart of the Nahua rain god, Tlaloc. It is certain that when god B and the serpent are associated together water and rain are usually indicated. God H, "the Chicchan god," also has some relation to the serpent. As pointed out by Schellhas (1904, pp. 28-30), this god often appears characterized by a skin-spot or a scale of the serpent on his temple of the same shape as the hieroglyph of the day Chicchan (serpent). The glyph belonging to this deity also shows the Chicchan sign as its distinguishing mark. Similar signs appear on the body of the serpent in many places, as in Tro-Cortesianus 30a (Pl. 11, fig. 1).

We have already noted that the serpent, god B, and water are frequently shown together, so the serpent also appears associated with water and rain, when no figure of god B is present. From this connection, it can be argued that there is some relation between the serpent and the coming of the rains. These facts would give strength to the theory that god B is to be identified as a rain god. In Dresden 33a, 35a, god B is seated on the open jaws of a serpent, while the body of the reptile encloses a blue field evidently signifying water. The number nineteen appears on this blue color. It will be noted that there are nineteen spots on the serpents in Pl. 11, figs. 1, 2. In Tro-Cortesianus 3a-6a, corresponding scenes seem to be shown. The body of the serpent encloses water, and here the number eighteen appears in each case. God B occurs always in front of the serpent and his head appears as the head of the reptile in the first instance. In Dresden 35a, 36a, the head of god B is pictured as the head of the serpent in the midst of the water. In Dresden 37b (Pl. 10, fig. 8), B is holding a snake in the water.

Water appears in connection with the serpent and god B in many places in the Tro-Cortesianus. In 9, god B is pictured pouring water from a jar, a common method of showing the idea of rain in the codices. In 12b, B again is shown perhaps representing a frog, and behind him a serpent. The reptiles in 13b-18b, are all associated with the idea of rain, the turtle and frog also appearing in this section. In 30a (Pl. 11, fig. 1), god B and a female figure are both pouring water from a jar, as they stand on the body of a serpent. In 32a, the black god (L) is seen in the rain, and a serpent is near, while in 32b and 33b (Pl. 9, fig. 1), the serpent forms the belt of god L, and a female figure and water are seen in both cases. The blue color of the snake and of god B in 31b (Pl. 11, fig. 2) may also suggest water.

God B also occurs in connection with the serpent in Dresden 42a (Pl. 8, fig. 14), where the god is seated on the reptile, in Tro-Cortesianus, 10b, where the head of the same god is the head of the snake, and in Tro-Cortesianus 19a, where god B again and god A are each seated on the open jaws of a serpent.

The astronomical role of the serpent is noted in Dresden 56b, 57b (Pl. 10, fig. 3), Tro-Cortesianus 5b, 12b, 15b, and 67b, where the snake is shown in connection with a line of constellation signs, the kin or sun sign prominent in most of the drawings. In the "battle of the constellations" in Dresden 60, the serpent appears forming a sort of altar, the seat of a figure which is supported by another figure. A serpent head also appears at the foot of the latter figure.

That the serpent appears associated with the idea of time seems clear from the fact of the long number series in Dresden 61, 62 (Pl. 10, fig. 7), and 69, which are shown in the spaces made by the winding of the serpents' bodies. In Tro-Cortesianus 13a-16a, four large reptiles appear in connection with the lines of day signs.

The study of the serpent used as a head-dress is interesting. As noted previously, quite a different kind of snake seems to be represented when used in this connection. Two other points come out in this investigation, namely, that it is only with female figures that the serpent is employed as a head-dress, and in far the greater number of cases the women are shown, either in the act of offering something, or of pouring water from a jar. The usual type of serpent head-dress is seen in Dresden 9c (Pl. 8, fig. 11), 15b (Pl. 8, fig. 12), 18a (Pl. 8, fig. 13), 22b (Pl. 8, fig. 10), and 23b (Pl. 8, fig. 8). In the first case, the offering is a jicara or gourd of some sacred drink (baltše?), in the second and third examples, the dish is clearly shown, but the offering is unidentifiable, in the fourth case, maize (a Kan sign), and in the last, a fish resting on a dish. In Dresden 20a (Pl. 8, fig. 15), a woman with serpent head-dress is seen associated with the Moan-headed figure, possibly in the act of offering it as a sacrifice.

In Dresden 39b (Pl. 8, fig. 7), 43b (Pl. 8, fig. 9), and 70, a similar serpent head-dress is shown on a female figure in the act of pouring water from a jar. In Tro-Cortesianus, the serpent head-dresses differ in type only, and in two out of the four cases where they appear, water is shown flowing from the breasts (30b) of the female figure or from the mouth (32b). The woman thus represented in connection with the water is god I, the water goddess of Schellhas. She is, as he notes (1904, p. 31) usually the figure of an old woman. "Evidently, we have here the personification of water in its quality of destroyer, a goddess of floods and cloud-bursts." We are not at all sure that we have here a distinct god as similar female figures with serpent head-dresses occur frequently in the Dresden Codex with no suggestion of water. The failure to find any distinct glyph for this goddess seems to strengthen the view of not considering her as a separate deity. Finally, in our consideration of head-dresses, the serpent is to be seen in Tro-Cortesianus 79c on the head of the first woman who is weaving. Possibly, a conventionalized serpent forms the head covering of the second figure who is represented as dead.

The serpent in Dresden 26c-28c (Pl. 10, fig. 1) coiled around the altar which rises from a Tun sign is not easily explained. In 25c, the altar is replaced by god B and in the former cases, the reptiles may stand for this god with whom they are often associated.[316-*] The serpent seems closely connected with the idea of offerings as the body of a snake is shown in several instances as the support of the jar containing the various gifts in Tro-Cortesianus 34a, 34b, 35a, 35b, 36a, 36b, and possibly 52c (Pl. 9, fig. 3).

Finally the serpent is to be noted in a number of miscellaneous connections:—in Dresden 36b (Pl. 19, fig. 11), as being attacked by a black vulture,[317-*] in Tro-Cortesianus 40b (Pl. 9, fig. 4) a rattlesnake is biting the foot of one of the hunters, and in Tro-Cortesianus 66b, where the serpent has a human head and arm coming from its open jaws. This is a very frequent method of representing the serpent in the Maya stone carvings. In Tro-Cortesianus 60c, 100d (Pl. 9, fig. 8), twice, 106a, and 111b, the rattlesnake is shown as a sprinkler for the holy water in the hand (in the first, second and fourth examples) of god D. Landa (1864, p. 150)[317-[+]] describes in the ceremony of the baptism of children, that the leader of the rite wore on his head a kind of mitre embroidered with plumage in some manner and in his hand a small holy-water sprinkler of wood, carved skillfully, of which the filaments were the tails of serpents, similar to serpents with rattles.

In spite of the importance of the serpent in the manuscripts and stone carvings, it never seems to appear as a separate deity. With one exception, no glyph is to be found representing this reptile as is the case with many of the animals. Tro-Cortesianus 106c (Pl. 9, fig. 7) is this exception showing the rattles of a snake which are found in the line of glyphs above two of the bees. No serpent appears in the picture.

The Nahuatl day, Couatl, has the signification serpent, as suggested before, in discussing the meaning of the name Quetzalcoatl or Quetzalcouatl. This day sign occurs throughout the Mexican manuscripts as the head of a serpent (Pl. 8, figs. 4, 6; Pl. 9, fig. 2; Pl. 10, figs. 2, 4-6).

IGUANA. Of the lizards represented, the iguana (Maya hu) is the most striking, and is readily identified on account of the prominent spines along the back. As noted by Stempell, there are two or three species of large lizards in Central America commonly called iguana, and it is probable that the one here considered is the Ctenosaura acanthura of Yucatan or Iguana tuberculata of South and Central America.

In the manuscripts the iguana is almost exclusively represented as an offering (Pl. 12, figs. 1-6). It is usually found on top of the Kan sign, meaning maize or bread,[318-*] and this, in turn, resting in a bowl (Pl. 12, figs. 3, 4, 6). Landa (1864, p. 230)[318-[+]] gives a pleasing confirmation of this offering of an iguana with bread. It is possible that the object shown in Tro-Cortesianus 12b (Pl. 12, fig. 13) may be the conventionalized representation of this lizard. It must be admitted that this interpretation is very doubtful. The triangular points suggest the lizard, but the pointed character of the sign as a whole in no way resembles the back of this reptile. It is found associated with three Kan signs. In Cakchiquel, a dialect of the Maya stock, K'an, according to Guzman and Brinton (1893, p. 24) is the name applied to the female of the iguana or the lizard, and this is believed to be the original sense of the Maya term. It may also be noted that the Nahua day sign Cuetzpalin, meaning lizard, is the one which corresponds with the Maya day Kan. Pl. 12, figs. 10, 12, 14, show representations of the day corresponding to Cuetzpalin in the Aubin and Nuttall codices. These show a stout spineless species with a short thick tail and may be the Gila monster (Heloderma horridum), a large and somewhat poisonous species having much these proportions.

Further offerings are shown in Pl. 12, figs. 7, 8. These seem to be the heads and forefeet of lizards, but, from the shape of the head, perhaps not of iguanas.

In Stela D of Copan, the Uinal period glyph seems to be represented by a spineless lizard covered with scales (Pl. 12, fig. 9). Frog-like characteristics also appear. This stone monument is remarkable from the fact that the glyphs are all more or less realistic representations of human and animal forms. It should be noted that there certainly seems to be some connection between the Uinal period glyph and the lizard. Pl. 13, fig. 9, represents a Uinal glyph from the Temple of the Foliated Cross at Palenque and the lizard form is clearly seen in the eyebrow and the upper jaw. Compare also Pl. 13, fig. 11, and Pl. 28, fig. 3. A collection of glyphs of this period shows clearly the lizard-like character of the face.

That some connection existed between the lizard and the idea of rain seems clear from a reference in the Relacion de la Ciudad de Merida (1900, p. 51).[319-*] Finally the lizard is shown in Dresden 3a (Pl. 12, fig. 11) directly in front of god H beside the scene of human sacrifice.

CROCODILE. The text figure (1) shows a dorsal view of a crocodile (Maya, ayin) carved on the top of Altar T at Copan. The general form is considerably conventionalized with limbs elongated and provided with human hands and long toes. The protuberances of the back are roughly shown by oval markings, which are here continued on the legs. The large scales of the ventral surfaces also appear at the sides of the body, and along the posterior edges of the limbs. The tail is shortened and bifurcate. The most interesting portion, however, is the head. The snout is distinctly pinched in at the base, though broadened again distally. In the alligator the snout is broad and tapers but little. As in other representations of the crocodile, the lower jaw does not appear, and even in this dorsal view the artist seems to have deemed it necessary to show the row of teeth as if in side view, or as though they projected laterally from the mouth. What may represent ears or ear plugs are shown one on each side behind the eyes. There are few other examples of full drawings of the crocodile in the Maya writings. Dresden 74 shows an animal which has been considered to represent a crocodile or alligator but it seems to have more of the characteristics of a lizard.

Figures of a crocodile (Crocodilus americanus) are frequent in the Nuttall Codex, where there is one large figure of the entire animal (Pl. 13, fig. 8), making its way along under water. It is shown with numerous dorsal spines, a long tail, and powerful claws. Curiously, however, it has no lower jaw and the same is true of the numerous glyphs representing the head of the animal. This is so pronounced a characteristic, that it may be doubted if the open-mouthed head and the single limb shown in Pl. 13, fig. 2, really picture the same animal, though otherwise apparently referable to the crocodile. In the various glyphs showing the head of this species, the prominent, elongate eyebrow and the absence of the lower jaw are noteworthy points, while the teeth may vary in number from three to six.

The glyphs (Pl. 13, figs. 1, 3-7) represent the Nahua day sign Cipactli corresponding to the Maya day Imix. In the band of constellation signs in Dresden 52b (Pl. 13, fig. 10), there occurs a single figure with a long curled eyebrow and lacking the lower jaw. In the upper jaw three teeth are indicated. A comparison of this figure with the glyphs in the Nuttall Codex seems to leave little doubt that it represents a crocodile. This is the sign which Foerstemann (1906, p. 206) interprets as standing for Saturn. Pl. 13, fig. 12, is certainly the same sign as it stands in relatively the same position in the constellation band on Dresden 53a. It represents the highly conventionalized head of a crocodile. On Stela 10 from Piedras Negras (Maler, 1901-1903, Pl. 19) the same glyph is seen.

The range of the alligator in North America does not extend to Yucatan, hence the crocodile, which does occur there, is taken as the original of all these figures. There is nothing in the latter that would distinguish it from the alligator.

TURTLES. Representations of the turtle (Maya, ak) are not uncommon among the Mayas. At Uxmal there is a ruined building called Casa de las Tortugas on which at intervals around the cornice there are carvings of turtles. Turtles of at least two species occur in the Tro-Cortesianus. With one exception, they seem to be limited to this codex. That shown on Pl. 14, figs. 1-3, 5, is a large species with the dorsal scutes represented by large diamond-shaped pieces. There is little that might be considered distinctive about these turtles, although one (Pl. 14, fig. 5) has the anterior paddles much larger than the posterior, indicating a sea turtle. What is doubtless the same turtle is pictured in several places in the Nuttall Codex. In one of the figures in the latter manuscript, the shell is shown apparently in use as a shield (Pl. 14, fig. 4). This would indicate one of the large sea turtles, and there is not much doubt that either the Loggerhead turtle (Thalassochelys cephalo) or the Hawksbill (Chelone imbricata) is here intended.

Quite another species is that shown in Pl. 14, fig. 6. That this is a freshwater turtle is plainly indicated by the parasitic leeches that are noted fastened by their round sucking-discs to the sides of its body. The long neck, pointed snout, and apparent limitation of the dorsal spinous scutes to the central area of the back may indicate the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) or possibly a species of the genus Cinosternum (probably C. leucostomum). It is hardly likely that it is one of the true soft-shelled turtles (Trionyx), as the range of that genus is not known to include Mexico. The turtle from Nuttall 43 (Pl. 14, fig. 11) may belong to the same species as its scutes seem rather few, or it may be that the view shown here is of the ventral side and that the scales indicate the small plastron of one of the sea turtles.

The turtle appears alone as one of the figures in the tonalamatl in several cases in the Tro-Cortesianus, 13a, 17a (Pl. 14, fig. 3), 72b (Pl. 14, fig. 6). It is found associated with the toad appearing in the rain in Tro-Cortesianus 17b (Pl. 14, fig. 2) and alone in the rain in 13a. In Tro-Cortesianus 81c (Pl. 14, fig. 5), it appears in front of an unidentifiable god.

Schellhas has called the turtle an animal symbolical of the lightning basing his opinion, as Brinton (1895, p. 74) tells us, on Dresden 40b where a human figure with animal head is holding two torches in his hands. This figure does not seem to us to represent a turtle, as is commonly supposed, but a parrot, as will be pointed out later (p. 343). Foerstemann (1902, p. 27) identifies the turtle with the summer solstice, as has been noted before, explaining that the animal is slow of motion, and is taken to represent the time when the sun seems to stand still. He bases his theory (1904, p. 423) in part on the fact that the sign for the Maya month Kayab, which is the month in which the summer solstice occurs, shows the face of the turtle (Pl. 14, fig. 10). This undoubtedly is correct, but he seems to us wrong in classing as turtles the figure in Dresden 40b (Pl. 25, fig. 1) with its accompanying glyph (Pl. 25, fig. 6).

The turtle is found in connection with two sun (kin) signs beneath a constellation band in Tro-Cortesianus 71a. Resting upon his body are three Cauac signs. The single representation of the turtle in the Dresden Codex is on page 49 (Pl. 14, fig. 12) where a god is pictured with a turtle's head. The heavy sharp beak indicates that he represents one of the sea turtles previously mentioned. He is shown transfixed by a spear and corresponds to the other figures in the lower parts of pp. 46-50. These all have some connection with the Venus period which is considered in these pages.[323-*]

A number of glyphs representing the turtle are found throughout the codices (Pl. 14, figs. 7-10). They are all characterized by the heavy beak. It may be noted that these glyphs are virtually the same as the sign for the first a in Landa's alphabet. As the turtle is called ak or aak in Maya, the reason is clear for the selection of this sign for an a sound. These turtle glyphs often occur alone; one, however, (Pl. 14, fig. 7) is found in connection with the swimming turtle in Tro-Cortesianus 17a (Pl. 14, fig. 3). Figs. 7-9 agree in having the small scrolls at the posterior end of the eye. The head shown in Pl. 14, fig. 10, has quite a different eye, though otherwise similar. Its resemblance to the glyph on Pl. 25, fig. 9, is marked and suggests the parrot. Schellhas (1904, p. 44) gives in his fig. 64, a glyph for the turtle which seems clearly to be a glyph for the parrot (Pl. 25, fig. 7).


HERONS (Ardea herodias; Hydranassa tricolor ruficollis). Only a few water birds are shown in the Maya works. Several are found, however, that seem to picture herons (Pl. 15, figs. 1-7). The best of these (fig. 5), a carving from the west side panel of the Temple of the Cross at Palenque shows a crested heron standing on one foot and holding in its bill a fish. A second figure (Pl. 15, fig. 1) is from the stucco ornament from the Palace, House B, at Palenque. It is less carefully executed, but seems to be a long-necked bird with a crest and outspread wings curiously conventionalized. In the Nuttall Codex there is another unmistakable heron (Pl. 15, fig. 4) with the same general characteristics, though the crest is less prominent, here represented as a series of erectile feathers separated at their tips. This elongation of the crest seems to be carried still farther in what seems to be the head and neck of a heron from Dresden 37b (Pl. 15, fig. 3) with erectile feathers at intervals along its length.

The heron is seldom employed as a head-dress. In the Lower Chamber of the Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza, one of the warriors wears a bird head-dress (Pl. 15, fig. 2), which from the length of the bill is probably made from a heron's head, though the crest seems greatly exaggerated. The bas-relief on which this is found is strongly Nahua in feeling and execution. This head covering may indicate, according to the Nahua fashion, the tribe to which the warrior belongs. Again in Dresden 36a (Pl. 15, fig. 7), a man is shown wearing as a head-dress the head and neck of a heron that holds in its bill a fish. This head resembles very closely that of the heron in fig. 1. What appears to be a similar head is shown in Pl. 15, fig. 6. It is interesting to note that the heron with a fish (Pl. 15, fig. 5) from Palenque also forms a part of a complicated head-dress.

It is, of course, uncertain to which of the several herons occurring in Central America these representations refer. Possibly the Great Blue heron (Ardea herodias) or the Louisiana heron (Hydranassa tricolor ruficollis) is intended. It seems not unlikely also, that one of the white egrets may be shown as their crests are fairly conspicuous.

FRIGATE-BIRD (Fregata aquila). We have included here two figures (Pl. 15, figs. 8, 9) that undoubtedly represent a single species of bird. It is characterized by a deeply forked tail and long beak, which has part way on its length, a circular object surrounded by a circle of dots. It seems still problematical what this object may be. In one figure (fig. 9), the beak is strongly hooked, in the other (fig. 8) it is straight, but as the latter is plainly a much more carelessly made drawing, we may infer that the hooked bill is more nearly correct. This would exclude the Terns (Sterna), to which Stempell has referred the figures. It seems probable that the frigate-bird (Fregata aquila) is the species intended, as this is not only a large conspicuous form on these coasts, but it has a long and strongly hooked beak and forked tail. The length of the beak would probably exclude from consideration, the swallow-tailed kite that also occurs in the region.

Both these birds are pictured, evidently as an offering or sacrifice. It is very seldom that the whole bird is represented in this connection, and still more infrequent to find anything but the turkey, which is the usual bird of sacrifice. The figure from the Dresden Codex (Pl. 15, fig. 9) rests upon the usual bowl or jar, that from the Tro-Cortesianus (Pl. 15, fig. 8) is pictured upon a grotesque animal head, three Kan signs and these upon the jar.

In the Tro-Cortesianus 20c, 21c, there occur several representations of man-like forms with very peculiar heads. The latter are each provided with a beak-like projection, on which appears the circle surrounded by dots noted above in connection with the frigate-bird. Brinton concludes that this mystic symbol is a representation of the curious knob on the bill of the male white pelican, and therefore identifies these curious figures as pelicans. Stempell follows Brinton in this, but considers that they are the brown pelican (P. fuscus), since the white pelican is rare or casual, as far south as Yucatan. Unfortunately, however, for this supposition, the brown pelican lacks the curious knob that Brinton believed to be represented by the circle of dots. Moreover, this same sign occurs on the drawings of the bills of the frigate-bird and the ocellated turkey, and is evidently not of specific significance. To our minds it is doubtful if the figures under discussion are birds at all, and we are unable to assign them a name with any degree of confidence. A peculiar glyph occurs in connection with them which may be an aid to their ultimate identification. Brinton calls the glyph the "fish and oyster sign."

OCELLATED TURKEY (Agriocharis ocellata). This turkey (Maya kuc.]) is an important species in the Maya economy, and is seen frequently in the manuscripts. This is a smaller bird than the more northern true turkey (Meleagris) and is characterized by the presence of curious erect knobs on the top of the naked head. These are shown in conventionalized form in the various figures (Pl. 16), and afford a ready means of identification. On the bill of the bird shown in Tro-Cortesianus 10b (Pl. 16, fig. 2) occurs again the curious symbol, a circle surrounded by dots, previously noted under the frigate-bird and pelican. It probably has some special significance. Other figures of ocellated turkeys show but little in addition to the points just discussed. One shown in Pl. 16, fig. 7, from Codex Vaticanus 3773, however, has a circular ring about the eye and the wattles are indicated as projections merely. In fig. 13, they are apparently shown as stalked knobs found elsewhere in connection with serpent head ornaments. It is only the head in this latter figure, which is considered in this interpretation.

In the Nuttall Codex, there frequently occur representations of a bird that was evidently used for sacrificial purposes. It is shown with erectile head feathers and a ring of circular marks about the eye (Pl. 26, figs. 12, 14; Pl. 27, figs. 2-3) or with concentric circles (Pl. 27, fig. 1). These figures are not surely identifiable, but probably represent this turkey. Possibly they are the chachalaca (Ortalis vetula pallidiventris), a gallinaceous bird, commonly kept in semi-domestication in Mexico, whose bare eye ring and slightly erectile head feathers may be represented by the drawings. It is probable that this turkey is the bird represented frequently in the Maya codices as a bird of sacrifice. The head alone usually appears in this connection, among other places, in Dresden 34a (Pl. 16, fig. 10), 41c (fig. 14), 29c (fig. 16), 28c (fig. 17), and in Tro-Cortesianus 12b (Pl. 16, fig. 11), 105b (fig. 12), 107b (fig. 15). In several of these places the head is represented as resting on one or more Kan signs, again meaning bread, as well as on the vessel or jar. In Dresden 26c (Pl. 16, fig. 9), the whole turkey is pictured as an offering, as in the preceding case noted in Dresden 35a (Pl. 15, fig. 9). The whole bird as an offering may also appear in Tro-Cortesianus 4a (Pl. 16, fig. 4) corresponding to the offering of venison and iguana on the following pages. This representation of the entire bird is very rare although the fish, when used as an offering, is always represented as a whole and the iguana is in most cases when used in the same connection. Landa (1864, p. 222)[327-*] confirms the offering of the heads of birds with bread.

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