graphic system in use in Mexico and Guatemala, and Father Sahagún, writing in the sixteenth century, says that he was informed of the ancient things of New Spain directly by the Indians, and adds that "all the information that I obtained, they made known to me by means of their paintings."

The influence of the Bible is evident in the description of the creation, although this does not succeed in taking away the indigenous flavor of the Quiché book. Commenting on the edition of the Popol Vuh by Brasseur de Bourbourg, Adolf Bandelier observed in 1881 that the first sentences appear to be transcriptions of the Book of Genesis and are not aboriginally American. He argues that in the epoch in which the Popol Vuh was written the Indians of Guatemala were already under the influence of the paintings, books, and chants which the Spanish missionaries used to instruct them in Christianity. The native author expressly declares, in the Preamble of this work, that he is writing under Christianity. The editor of the Spanish translation of the French text of Brasseur de Bourbourg has carefully noted the concordance of its first chapter with the Book of Genesis. Max Müller had previously (1878) referred to certain similarities between the Popol Vuh and the Old Testament, but although admitting that there was Biblical influence in this book, he believes that it must be recognized that its content was a true product of the intellectual soil of America.

The Popol Vuh was also the book of prophecies and the oracle of the kings and lords, according to a reference which the author of the Manuscript makes In another passage, where he states that the kings "knew if there would be war and everything was clear before their eyes; they saw if there would be death and hunger, if there would be strife. They well knew that there was a place where it could be seen, that there was a book which they called Popol Vuh." And in the final paragraph, the Quiché chronicler adds with a melancholic accent that what he has said in his work is all that has been preserved of the ancient Quiché, "because no longer can be seen [the book of the Popol Vuh] which the kings had in olden times, for it has disappeared."

Concerning the time in which the Manuscript was composed, there are two important facts in the document itself which make it possible to determine its date approximately. The first is the visit that the Bishop of Guatemala made to the city of Utatlán, or Gumarcaah, which place, as one reads in the Manuscript itself was blessed by Bishop Francisco Marroquín. Ximénez says that Bishop Marroquín gave Utatlán the name of Santa Cruz del Quiché "when in the year 1539 he was at that Court and, blessing the place he fixed and raised the standard of the Faith."

The second important fact mentioned above is found in the final chapter of the Manuscript, which contains the succession of the kings and lords of the Quiché. In it, Tecún and Tepepul, the sons of the kings burned by Alvarado in 1524, are named as the thirteenth generation of kings, and Don Juan Rojas and Don Juan Cortés, the sons of Tecún and Tepepul, are named as the last successors to the dignity, and as of the fourteenth generation of kings. The latter Quiché lords were still living in the middle of the sixteenth century. The Oidor Zorita, previously mentioned, lived in Guatemala from 1553 to 1557, as a member of the Royal Audience, and he says that he traveled through the province several times as inspector and that he met "those, who were at one time Lords of Utatlán, [are] as poor and miserable as the poorest Indian of the village, and their wives made the tortillas for their meal ... and they carried water and wood for their houses...."As this change in the situation of the last Quiché kings is not recorded in the Popol Vuh, there is ground for believing that the composition of the Manuscript of Chichicastenango had been finished before November 22, 1558.

3. The Author of the Popol Vuh

The manuscript of Chichicastenango is an anonymous document. Father Ximénez, who had the original manuscript in his hands, and transcribed and translated it into Spanish, left no indication whatever of its author. The terms which Ximénez employed in referring to this document lead one to think that he believed there had been various authors, or compilers, of the

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