come down to us which shed light on the history of the races that inhabited the country many centuries before the Spaniards arrived.

Besides the Manuscrito de Chichicastenango, the following are the only original Quiché documents which are preserved:

1. The original manuscript of the Historia Quiché by Don Juan de Torres, dated October 24, 1580, which differs from the manuscript which Fuentes y Guzmán cites and which contains the account of the kings and lords, chiefs of the Great Houses, and of the chinamitales or calpules of the Quiché;

2. The Spanish translation of the Títulos de los antiguos nuestros antepasados, los que ganaron las tierras de Otzoyá, written apparently in 1524 and bearing the signature of Don Pedro de Alvarado;

3. The Spanish translation of the Título de los Señores de Totonicapán, dated 1554; and

4. The Papel del Origen de los Señores included in the Descripcíon de Zapotitlán y Suchitepec, año de 1579.

Despite their brevity, these documents contain interesting accounts of the origin, political organization, and history of the Quiché people, which supplement the information given in the Popol Vuh.

2. The Manuscript of Chichicastenango

The manuscript which Father Francisco Ximénez found in his parish at Chichicastenango ranks highest among the documents composed by the American Indians after they had learned to write their own languages by means of the Latin letters which the Spanish missionaries had taught them. Its author was undoubtedly one of the first students who learned from the friars the marvelous art of phonetic writing. The Quiché chronicler knew that in olden times there was a book which contained the traditions and accounts of his people, and, knowing them perfectly, he had the happy inspiration of recording them.

The author of the Manuscript says that he writes it because now the Popol Vuh, or the original "Book of the People," as Ximénez calls it, is no longer to be seen. We have no facts by which to identify this original book other than those which its unknown author gives. Nevertheless, from the knowledge that we have of the American Indians' system of writing before the Conquest, it seems doubtful that the ancient Quiché book could have been a document of set form and permanent literary composition. Rather one must suppose that it might have been a book of paintings with hieroglyphs which the priests interpreted to the people in order to keep alive in them the knowledge of the origin of their race and the mysteries of their religion.

The Manuscript of Chichicastenango has no title. It begins directly with these words:

"This is the beginning of the old traditions of this place called Quiché. Here we shall write and we shall begin the old tales., the beginning and the origin of all that was done in the town of the Quiché, by the tribes of the Quiché nation."

And two paragraphs farther on the same narrator says:

"This we shall write now within the Law of God and Christianity; we shall bring it to light because now the Popol Vuh as it is called cannot be seen any more, in which was clearly seen the coming from the other side of the sea, and the narration of our obscurity, and our life was dearly seen. The original book written long ago existed; but its sight is hidden from the searcher and the thinker."

"The truth is," says Ximénez, "that such a book never appeared nor has been seen, and thus it is not known if this way of writing was by paintings, as those of Mexico, or by knotting strings, as the Peruvians: you may believe that it was by painting on woven white cloths." This was the

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