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Chronicle of Nakuk Pech

Documentos de Tierras de Chicxulub, 1542. A history of the town and of the conquest of the country, written by Nakuk Pech, about 1562; a survey of the town lands by several members of the Pech family, testified to Feb. 7, 1542; a partial list of the Spanish conquerors; a portion of an account by another member of the Pech family, and a further statement by Nakuk Pech. In all, a testament to post conquest thought.

The writer, Nakuk Pech, baptized Pablo Pech, must have been between sixty and seventy years of age when he drew up his chronicle inasmuch as he mentions occurrences, as late as 1562, and also speaks of himself as an adult in 1519. He belonged to a noble family, the Pechs of Cumkal, who are mentioned by Sanchez Aguilar (born in Valladolid, Yucatan, in 1555, Pedro Sanchez de Aguilar was the grandson of one of the first Spanish colonists of the province; his mother held an encomienda in the town of Tixualahtun, while two brothers were encomenderos in the towns of Tizimin and Tihosuco) as hereditary batabs, or independent chiefs. They appear to have given their names to the province on the west coast called Kin Pech, or Campech, known to the English as Campeachy, and to that of Ceh Pech, in which the city of Ho, afterwards called Merida, was situated.

He states that he was the son of Ak Kom Pech, in baptism Martin Pech, and the grandson of Ah Tunal Pech, while the head of the house of Pech seems to have been Ah Naum Pech, baptized Don Francisco de Montejo Pech.

Pech always uses as the name of his town Chac Xulub Chen, which means “the well of the great horns,” probably because some huge antlers were found there, or were set up to mark the spot. His chronicle follows.

The fifth division of the 11th Ahau Katun was placed when the Spaniards arrived and settled the city of Merida; it was during the 9th Ahau that Christianity was introduced; the year in which first came our lords the Spaniards here to this land was the year 1511.

I, who am Nakuk Pech, of the first hidalgos conquistadores here in this land in the district Maxtunil, I am placed in the first town in the district Chac Xulub Chen. As thus it is given me to guard by my lord Ah Naum Pech, I wish to compose carefully the history and chronicle of the district of Chac Xulub Chen here, my first command, the town having two districts, Chichinica and, here, Chac Xulub Chen.

My name was Nakuk Pech before I was baptized, son of Ah Kom Pech, Don Martin Pech, of the town of Xul Kum Chel; thus we were given the districts to guard by our lord Ah Naum Pech from the town Mutul, and I was promoted to guard the district Chac Xulub Chen; when our lords, the Spaniards, did not pass nor come here to this land Yucatan, I was then governor here in this town, here in this land, Chac Xulub Chen. When our lord, the Señor Adelantado came here to this province in the year 1519, I was head chief; when the Spaniards came here to the land of Maxtunil we received them with loving attention; we also first gave them tribute and respect, and then we gave to eat to the Spanish captains; he who was called Adelantado came here to Maxtunil to the dwelling of Nachi May; then we went to see that they should be given pleasures; they did not even enter the towns, not even visited the towns; they were here in this land for three months, being placed here in the district of Maxtunil; then they departed and went to begin a seaport, the seaport Ɔilam, and remained there three years and a half.

They were there when my father went to make delivery to them; he called the Adelantado returned here to this land; the maid servant named Ixkakuk was presented to them by my father to give them food and wait upon them; and they were there when they were attacked by the Cupuls; and they departed, and went to live at Ecab Kantanenkin, as is called the land where they settled; they were there when they were attacked by those of Ecab, and they departed and arrived at Cauaca, which they entered, and passed to the town Ɔekom, as the town is called; they passed it and arrived at the town Tixcuumcuuc, so-called; and they departed from there and arrived at the town called Tinuum; and then they all set out in search of Chichen Itza, so-called; there they asked the King of the town to meet them, and the people said to them; “There is a King, O Lord,” they said, “there is a King, Cocom Aun Pech, King Pech, Namox Chel, King Chel, of Ɔiɔantun; foreign warrior, rest in these houses,” they said to them, by the Captain Cupul. They departed from Chichen Itza and arrived with King Ixcuat Cocom of Ake; “Lords, you cannot go, you will lose yourselves,” was said to them by the King Ixcuat Cocom, and they turned back again, and went and arrived at Cauaca for the second time, and they reached the seaport called Catzun, where they marched by the sea, and went and returned to Ɔelebnae, as it is called, where they first settled when they first came to this land.

They remained in Chanpatun six years, when they went forth to Campeche; he, called the Adelantado, the first Spaniard, passed here to this land; they were at Campeche when they asked tribute; according to orders by the chiefs to all the villages there was tribute. They passed on by the sea (asking) for tribute to be brought to them. Then I went with my companions Ah Macan Pech and his younger brother Ixkil Ytzam Pech, the king of the town Cumkal, and my father, who was in the town Xulcumcheel; these were my companions when I went back for the tribute; they saw it; also Nachi May accompanied us, because he knew that he (the Adelantado), did not know the language; because they first stayed at his house when they came, and for this reason they spoke to him to accompany them when they went after the tribute, because he was a friend to the Spaniards when it (the tribute) was delivered to the captains; from them we received coats and cloaks and shoes and rosaries and hats, and had much pleasure from the captains; we left when the Spaniards had ended giving these gifts; already we had our clothes when we arrived, the coats and cloaks (we) Ixkil Ytzam Pech of Conkal, our companions Ah Macan Pech of YaxKukul, and my father Ah Kom Pech, who were the greatest of us.

And I Nakuk Pech by name was head chief when they first delivered tribute, when we went to Campech to deliver tribute, and we came back when the Spaniards coming on the road from Campech came to the towns to dwell at Ichcanzihoo, the city of Merida; and when it was heard that the Spaniards were coming on the road from Campech we went to give them gifts, and I went the second time to deliver tribute. And I Nakuk Pech of this district of Chac Xulub Chen, and Ah Macom Pech of the district Yan Kukul, and Ixkil Ytzam Pech the head chief of Conkal, and also I Nakuk Pech, chief here in the town Chac Xulub Chen, entered into giving gifts to them a second time at Ɔibikal, and they wished an abundance a second time, and they were given gifts, pheasants, and honey, and sweet food at Ɔibilkal, when they came to settle at Merida; Don Francisco de Montejo, first Captain General, first came here to this land, to Merida, with Don Francisco de Bracamonte and Francisco Tamayo and Juan de Pacheco and Perarberes; these captains came in the year 1541.

In the year when these captains who commanded came to Merida to settle, then I, Ix Nakuk Pech, was chief, and when the Spaniards came to Merida, I paid tribute to the conquerors at Merida, as I was then chief here in the district Chac Xulub Chen, Roderigo Alvarez being Secretary in the year 1542.
When the Adelantado made the distribution of towns to the conquerors by the captains, and the Secretary Roderigo Alvarez wrote out the list of tributes according to each division of the towns, all my companions and kinsmen paid tribute, sufficient tribute according to the division of tribute to the Spaniards which the Adelantado made by the captains, and the Secretary Roderigo Alvarez, in the first year the Spaniards came to Merida; and I, Nakuk Pech, was taken and given to Don Julian Doncel the Encomendero, the first lord of the town Chac Xulub Chen, the first Encomendero, and my hand was given him by the captain Don Francisco de Montejo, and I was given for a chief to Don Julian Doncel, in his hand, and I began to take tribute for the holy fathers.

And I, Nakuk Pech, was thus chief when Alvarez, the first Alcalde Mayor, came to this province Yucatan, to Merida, and when Alvara de Carvayor was Alcalde Mayor; and when the Auditor Thomas Lopez came I was chief, and I was called Ix Nakuk Pech, and when I entered the water and received baptism, I was called Don Pablo Pech; and I ceased to be called Nakuk Pech; we first chiefs were created hidalgos by the captains when possession was first taken of this province, and we first paid tribute to the foreigners, and possession was given to us by God and the ruling king; and our descendants are hidalgos, and all our sons, until the time shall come when the world shall end; and we chiefs were rulers in this land when there was no Holy Church in the districts, and before the Spaniards began to march over the country, or to congregate together in order to worship; and formerly, when the men were not Christians, I ruled wholly the men, and when I received Christianity I, Nakuk Pech, I was a chief; and I received the Holy Oils and the Holy Faith in order that I might teach it to all my subjects; and I was also the first to receive the rod of the justicia, because I went to aid the Word of God and our great Lord the ruling king; then our Lord, the Auditor Don Thomas Lopez, was the first who divided the tribute of the chiefs according to the towns they occupied; and when the tribute was satisfactorily finished by the governorship of the Auditor Don Thomas Lopez, I gave my rod to my son Don Pedro Pech, in the year 1552.

This was the number of the year when I received the rod from my father, Nakuk Pech, Don Pablo Pech and of Ursula Pech, here in this town of Chac Xulub Chen, to serve God and our great ruler, the reigning king, in order that I may govern the town at this place Chac Xulub Chen.

The first descendants of Macan Pech and of Ah Kom Pech, of Xulkum Chel, came to their towns with their priests and chiefs, to the town of Yaxkukul, to Xulkum Chel and to Maxtunil; they came back with their companions to this town; they came also with their priests and chiefs and ministers back to their rulers, when they came to the town Yaxkukul; and we, also, when we arrived at this town of Chac Xulub Chen. When we settled here they appointed me, Nakuk Pech, by my father, Ah Kom Pech, son of Ah Tunal Pech, first descendant of Maxtunil, to govern this town.

When the Spaniards came to the towns of this land there were no Indians who had a will to pay tribute to the first Spaniards; therefore the first Spaniards made an account of what towns were to be given to be governed. I, Nakuk Pech, I first received the town here, in the district Chac Xulub Chen, when first they came with orders to take it, with the chiefs, and captains and priests, whose names are Ah Kul Matu and (Ah) Kul Che; and the first priests arrived, the priest Cocom, the priest Tacu; and the captains arrived, the captain Nachan Cen and the captain Xuluc, as their names were, the captains who commanded when they came to this land Maxtunil, with the priest Chuc and his captains, to take possession; thus they found the town here, Chac Xulub Chen, when came the soldiers and ensigns, Ensign Kan, Ensign Xuluc, Ensign Pot, Ensign May, Ensign Ek, such were the names of the ensigns, the names of those I commanded as chief when I, Nakuk Pech, came to this town Chac Xulub Chen; thus my mind was strengthened when these things happened, and when I came here to settle here in the land and district Chac Xulub Chen.

I, Nakuk Pech, came here by (order of) the governor that I should strengthen the town Chac Xulub Chen; then among old men there was no sign that the Spaniards would come here to this land, nor was the village of Chac Xulub Chen strengthened then; it was when they heard the account, when the Spaniards came to the city of Merida and Christianity was received by the men of the province of Ceh Pech. I finished by gathering together all the town of Chac Xulub Chen, I, Don Pablo Pech, and my father, Don Martin Pech, Conquistador of Xulkum Cheel.

When the war against the Spaniards began we spread out our forces together with them, and went with my father, Ah Macan Pech, of the first lineage of Yaxkukul, and Ixkil Yɔam Pech, of the first lineage of Cumkal, and I went after them to the war; then began the obligation of tribute to our rulers for the Spanish governors in the town; when we went to the war there was pinole and tuce to drink, because they were disgusted with the Christians; for six months we and my companions followed the Christians in their misfortunes; my father was then governed by the regidors, who saw that all that I write in my information truly happened, everything, in order that it may be known by my family, my sons, in the hereafter, until the end of the world, for my title and evidence given me by our Lord God and our great lord, the reigning king; I have no tribute nor do I pay tribute, nor will my sons nor my daughters pay tribute, because our Lord God released me from it in the fear of my heart; before I had seen the face of the Spaniards I had been given willingness that I should deliver myself and all my town into the hands of the Spaniards, in order that they might be inhabited by the captains, the Adelantado and the first conquistadores who came here to this land, Yucatan; and the year the first foreigners came here to the land of the Cupuls was the year 1511.

In former times no one saw Spanish foreigners, not until Jeronimo de Aguilar was captured by the natives of Cozumel; then first the whole of the country became known, because all the country was marched over; but because the whole of the land was not made use of I spoke of it before the king, when there went before the king Ah Macan Pech, Don Pedro Pech, and his followers, and the first of his lineage, and all his chiefs after him; they went after him to honor the king, that he might see the faces of his servants; then fifty of the principal men went afterwards to the lord the ruling king, to obey him at table, far off in Spain, and those remained to obey before the ruling King; then the ruler said that all should pay tribute and all their sons, even we the Pechs of the first lineage in this land, and the first lineage of the Cupuls; then it was said, there is a great province, and many men and things in the land, and an account shall be made of it before our great king, and now they shall come to fix the limits of the land for our beloved king. Thus the land was discovered by Aguilar, who was eaten by Ah Naum Ah Pat at Cuzamil in the year 1517. In this year the katun ended, and then ended the placing of the town stone, for at each twentieth stone they came to place the town stones, formerly, when the Spaniards had not yet come to Cuzamil, to this land; since the Spaniards came, it has ceased to be done.
In the year 1519 first came the Spaniards here to Cuzamil, for the third time, Fernando de Cortes and Espoblaco Lara. On the 28th of February, there came to Cuzamil for the first time those who knew to speak the true words. In this year the eaters of anonas first arrived at Chichen, and then for the first time Chichen Itza became known to the great Spaniards, (and) to Don Francisco de Montejo, Adelantado, the governor, when they were posted at Chichen Ytza.
In the year 1521, on the 13th day of August, the territory of Mexico was taken by the Spaniards. The third attack on the same Spaniards took place by all the towns here in the town of Cupul, when they asked Ah Ceh Pech about the killing at Zalibna, and his companion-king Cen Pot of Tixkokhoch of the province of Ticanto, with the priest Ich Kak Mo of Itzmal the companion of Holtun Ake. The year in which the Spaniards arrived at Chichen Itza for the second time to settle at Chichen Itza was that when arrived the captain Don Francisco de Montejo, the just one, leader of the Cupuls. They arrived at the town twenty years after they arrived at Chichen Ytza (the first time), where they were called eaters of anonas, biters of anonas.
In the year 1542, the Spaniards settled the territory of Merida; the first speaker, the companion priest Kinich Kakmo and the king of the Tutulxiu of the capital Mani humbled their heads, and the first families were settled; then first they came under tribute the third time (the Spaniards) came to this land, and they established themselves permanently, and stopped here. The first time when they came here to Chichen Itza they began to eat anonas; never before had anonas been eaten, and when the Spaniards ate them they were called anona-eaters; the second time they came to Chichen they stopped at the house of the Captain Cupul; the third time they arrived they settled permanently, in the year 1542 they settled permanently in the territory of Merida, the 13th Kan being the year-bearer, according to the Maya reckoning.
In the year 1543 the Spaniards went north of the Chels to procure Maya men for servants because there were no men for servants at Merida; they came to procure men for servants for their bidding; when they reached Popce the tribute was increased by those from Merida, when those who command arrived at Popce, and they went on to Tikom, and the Spaniards remained at that time in Tikom more than twenty days before they departed.
In the year 1544 the Spanish Captain Asiesa was posted in Cauaca, and the chiefs were gathered together from Cauaca for the tribute, and they gave in Cauca honey, pheasants and maize; then they placed in prison the priest Caamal from Sisal, and asked for an account of all the towns; one year he was kept by them in prison; he then served as guide to the Spaniards when they came to Valladolid, and this priest Kamal of Sisal entered as chief at Valladolid, and was called Don Juan Caamal de la Cruz, because he spoke very truthfully; he first introduced the cross in Cauaca, and he was listened to by the Spaniards, and for this he entered as chief at Sisal, and being chief a long time he died. He was also guide to the Spaniards when they went to war with Tixkochnah; and when the Spaniards had been posted one year in Cauaca, they went forth and came to Valladolid on purpose to see the men the chief Kamal had placed in prison.
In the year 1545 the Spaniards were posted at Valladolid, and in this year Christianity began by the fathers of the order of San Francisco in the port of Champoton; there first came the fathers having in their hands the Redeemer Jesus Christ by name, that they might teach the serving men; and first they came to the port of Champutun to the west of this province called here Ichcansiho, then to Merida, the town Ichcansiho as it is called. These are the names of the fathers who began Christianity in this country Yucatan, Fr. Juan de la Puerta, and Fr. Luis de Villarpando, and Fr. Diego de Becal, and Fr. Juan de Guerrero, and Fr. Merchol de Benavente, these began Christianity in the west of this country, before Christianity came here to Cupul; afterwards the trumpet of Christianity came here, as I was saying, and it began here at Cupul.
In the year 1546 there was a conjuration in the highlands of the country; on the 9th of November there had been peace for four months, and it occurred on the 9th day of November of the year 1546 that there was war after four months: it began and continued for one year among the men, when they were gathered together for the second time for the tribute of wax; when the war began it took place that the conjurors came from the west to deceive the people and to set in order the war; the conjuror Cunul and Ah Camal came from the west and killed the Spaniards and two sons of the Spaniards, scholars at Mena; they died at Chamax, where they wished to remain; then came to Valladolid all the Spaniards who were well when the war broke out, and then began the massacre; the conjuror Camal Tipakan, of Pakam, killed Surusano over against Nicte; at the towns one night the Spaniards were slain because the people fell sick in their hands and feet; there was then for a day and a night war in all the towns.
In the year 1547 a ship was destroyed by Ex Box at Ecab; then the Spaniards went to make him fear, and made war against Box of Ecab, son of Ek Box.
In the year 1548 the father Ermitanyo came to Valladolid to begin Christianity.
In the year 1550 there was a general reunion of the towns and their dependencies at Mani.
In the year 1551 the father guardian, Fr. Fernando Guerrero, came from Valladolid to Sisal and he baptized the people and introduced Christianity here into all the territory of Valladolid west of the Chels; they came from Ecab, they came from Cozumel, they came from the north, they came from the south, and also he began the building of the monastery Valladolid-Sisal.
In the year 1552 the fathers settled here; in this year they came to teach and sing here at Sisal, they came from the west to teach and sing mass vespers with the singing of the organ and flute, and the canto llano, which never before did we know here.
In the year 1553 the Auditor, Don Thomas Lopez arrived here in this land of Yucatan from Castilla, and he arrived as a messenger from our great ruler, the reigning king of Castilla, to protect us against the hand of the Spaniards here. He put a stop to our being burned by the Spaniards, he put a stop to our being bitten by dogs, he introduced the appointing of chiefs in each village by the giving of the baton; he also adjusted the tribute for the third time, the tribute introduced by the Spaniards, mantles, wax, pheasants, maize, buckets, salt, peppers, broad beans, narrow beans, jars, pots, vases, all for tribute to our Spanish rulers, which we paid before the Auditor had given his attention to these things. At this time occurred the capture of the priest Chuuc by Ah Macan Pech when we left Sisal, because he wished the priest Chuc to be captured, as he had prevented the capture of Ah Ceh Pech here in Cupul; afterwards the priest Pech, Macan Pech with the servants of Macan Pech and his captains, came here to this town of Yaxkukul.

From the year 1519 when the Spaniards came here to the town of Conah Itza, here in this land, Yucatan, I have set forth the days, the months and the years as above stated, I, Don Pablo Pech, the son of Don Martin Pech of Xul Kum Cheel, conquistador, here at Maxtunil and Chac Xulub Chen; since we received the Spaniards with good will and heart, nor did we make war upon them, Don Juan de Montejo, Adelantado, and the rest of the captains, as their names are in the book; we also first received Christianity, we the conquistadores, Don Martin son of Don Fernando Pech, Don Pablo Pech son of Don Martin Pech, on the 13th day of the month of October, 1518; all my subjects received baptism in Maxtunil; they were baptized by the first bishop to the Maya people, Don Francisco Toral; and when he baptized us our father the bishop showed the images of the saints to all the villages, images of Saint Peter and St. Paul, and St. John and St. Louis, and St. Antony, and St. Michael, and St. Francis, and St. Alonzo, and St. Augustin and St. Sebastian, and St. Diego; and they desired the oils, and he who was called Peter took the oils.

Such is the chronicle of everything I have collected for the books, in order that the people might know it, whoever wished to know it, as had decreed it from the beginning our great lord God who governs the universe. It is the declaration of how the Spaniards came to this land, here to this country; by the will of the lord, the ruling God, also by the orders of our lord Don Juan de Montejo, and Don Francisco de Montejo, who first came here to this land, and gave orders that churches should be built in the plastered villages, in the outlying districts, and a town house and a temple for our great ruler, and also a public house for travelers.

Thus also said our great father, Ah Naum Pech, Don Francisco de Montejo Pech, and Don Juan Pech, as were their names when they were baptized by the fathers; and as the Adelantado, the Captain, those who came here to this land Yocol Peten, but called Yucatan by the first Spaniards, as they the Spaniards, clearly relate. When our lord the Spaniards said that we are to live eternally with God, and when the Maya men heard the names, then spoke Naum Pech to those he commanded, with suavity:—“Know ye, there comes to the town the one God, to the country the true God, the sign of the true God; go ye to live with Him, joyfully receive Him, do not war against Him, and if they have not to eat or drink give them maize, fowls, pheasants, honey, beans to eat, that Christianity may enter and that we may be servants of God;” thus they wished it, and they did not make war, but rose up and went to aid the Spaniards in the conquest and marched together with the foreigners.

Thus also Nachi Cocom, who dwelt in the chief town of Zututa in the province Chichen Itza, that called Chichen Itza, and Ah Cahuot Cocom, aiding the word of God and our great King, delivered up their standards and banners for the sake of our great King, for the conquest, and received the Adelantado and the father the priest in their towns, nor did they make war, but abstained from all injury, and laid out churches and town-houses for their followers.

And Naɔi Mabun Chan settled in the district, and understood that the eternal life had come to his village, and wished that to God truly would be delivered the Catzins and Chuls in the district of Mani, and the Tutulxiu, and the Chels in the East, and the (middle) Tan Cupuls and in Campeche Naɔacab Canul; thus this earth was given by God to be redeemed, this land Zacuholpatal Zacmutixtun; and Tunal Pech of Mutul settled here in this town.

And Ah Naum Pech called the youths and said to him—“Know ye, that on the day called 1 Ymix it will dawn, there will come from the eastern lands bearded men with the sign of the only God to this land; go to receive them with true pleasure;” therefore they went and marched under the trees, under the branches, and they arrived at the house of Naɔay Cab, of Canul at Campech and said:—“He, your guest, is now coming, Ah Naɔa Cab of Canul, receive him promptly.” Thus they said when the ships appeared in the port of Campeche, when they saw the banners waving, the white standard, and they came, when he had cast anchor, to the Adelantado, and were asked in Castilian by the Christians, and the Adelantado, whether they had been baptized; but they did not know his language, and replied: “We do not understand the words;” so they said, and thus they named this land here Yucatan, (which was known to us as) the land of the wild turkey, the land of the deer.

Thus then the captains and our lord the Adelantado Don Francisco de Montejo went on; and they made much cloth and thread to cut into clothing for the horses, as they wished to go to the town of Mani, to the Tutulxiu. When they came to Yiba they held a talk in Yiba; they arrived at Nohcacab coming out of Becal; thus the Spaniards passed and arrived at Mani, to Tutulxiu, and then were appointed the chief Ikeb, the chief Caixicum and the chief Chuc to go to invite Ah Cuat Cocom. They were at first taken and placed in a cave by his followers: then their eyes were put out in that great cave of weasels, and there was not one who did not have his eyes put out in the cave of weasels; their eyes were put out and they were given the road to go groping to the Adelantado at Mani; and thus returned those who were cast out of the town of Cuat Cocom. Then Ah Naum Pech rose up with both of them and came to Ah Cuat Cocom; when they arrived, he said to Ah Naum Pech that he had not seen nor heard of it; he said he had gone to Chichen Itza, and he came promptly to the towns with the Pechs, and they arrived at Mani to deliver up promptly (the offenders); and the Cocom said he had not witnessed what had happened in his village, and he would give permission that they should be taken who had done it.

Then Ah Pech came to the towns in order to see the people governed in them; the Spaniards also came, but on account of the massacre of the foreigners by the people, they passed on and went to Ah Batum Pech of Chel, whom they saw, and passed on, and went to Maxtunil, to Nachi May and Ah Macan Pech; they then returned to their lands to the towns they governed at Yaxkukul; Don Pablo Pech, Ah Macan Pech, was governor of all the district to the west, nor did his captains at all give up their spirits; soon I was appointed to guard the territory Chac Xulub Chen, because the serving men were at war on account of the labor given them, and by taking them the will of God was fulfilled in the towns.
Such is the complete history of how passed the Spaniards and how the first fathers were received, and the names of the first conquerors I shall set forth according to the register, because this is composed in order that it may be known how the conquest occurred, and in what manner they labored here, under the trees, under the branches under the bushes, in those years and months; and what the people and their sons found to eat; for from two to three years they labored in the distribution of the towns, by our rulers the Spaniards; they also labored in the measuring of the towns, and the measuring of the forests of the towns by the Auditor Tomas Lopez, holding in his hand the Cedula of our great lord the king, that forests should be cut by whoever settled. When there were no towns we were natives here of official houses, Naum Pech being governor of all, nor at that time had the Spaniards come here to establish Christianity in this land; but when the day came that their arrival took place, when the Spaniards came to this land Yucatan, we received them with a friendly heart, and Christianity was introduced into this land, and we were appointed to guard the villages, when as yet there was no church; and now they have ceased building official houses or villages.

Thus I began to relate how the conquest took place and how many sufferings we underwent with our lords, the Spaniards, from the natives who were not willing to deliver themselves to God; thus I recount what I heard concerning the town Maxtunil.

We did not settle there, but descended to the town Chac Xulub Chen, and when the Holy Church was finished in Cumtal, we measured its sides and took possession so that our children should remain there from the beginning until the end of the world, so that the natives should not obstruct us, nor enchant by the throwing of stones anything which had been given us by God and our lord through the fear of our hearts; for this our great lord the ruling king gave us the authority; and when the church was prepared in which to worship our lord and God, and the public house to the east of the church and the temple of our great king and the residence.

I also built my house of stone to the north of the church. And that the natives may not in the future say that it belongs to them, for this I show forth the occurrences as I did them with my father, I, Don Pablo Pech, Ah Macan Pech, and my father Don Martin Pech, Ah Com Pech, my lord Señor Don Ambrosio Pech, his native name being Op Pech, and Ixil Yzam Pech, and Don Esteban Pech, Ah Culub Pech.

We received the royal commissions to measure the forests. The license was given by our great monarch the ruling king through our lord the first auditor, Tomas Lopez, that he should give us years ago his order that the uncultivated fields should be measured wherever they are, here back of the town, that we may know where the boundaries of our lands pass in order that parents and children may maintain them and give food to the Encomenderos. Therefore I swear before the people that this information is true, that they may have it in sight so that no uncultivated field shall entrench upon another uncultivated field; for this reason I set forth the truth.

The first Encomendero here in Chac Xulub Chen was Don Julian Doncel, who ordered the chiefs that they should go to place the marks of the limits of their forest lands here back of the towns they governed, and thus they were led to measure the boundaries of their lands and the forests toward the East, the South and the West, for the benefit of all who dwell therein; because already Christianity was established in this land of Chac Xulub Chen with our holy lord Santiago the patron who guards the town of Don Pablo Pech.

Source: Brinton’s Library of Aboriginal Literature, No. 1, The Maya Chronicles. Edited by Daniel G. Brinton

Categories: Maya Maya History Maya Society

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The Orly

As Fray Bernardino de Sahagún observed: the Mexicans “are held to be barbarians and of very little worth; in truth, however, in matters of culture and refinement, they are a step ahead of other nations." We explore the history and legacy of the Nahua and Maya civilizations, both of which challenge our preconceptions.