Quiché book. In the foreword to his principal work, the Dominican chronicler says that he translated the histories of the Indians into the Spanish language from the Quiché tongue in which he found them written "from the time of the Conquest, when (as they say there) they changed their way of writing their histories into our way of writing." And two paragraphs farther on, he repeats the same idea when he says that he determined "to set down and transcribe here all their histories, according to the way they have them written."

Speaking of the accounts composed by the Indians after the Conquest, the Dominican chronicler who wrote the Isagoge Histórica Apologética says:

"The Preaching Father Francisco Ximénez; translated from the Quiché language into Spanish a very old manuscript, without giving the name of the author, and without [giving] the year in which it was written, and it is only known by the manuscript itself that it was written in the village of Santa Cruz of the Quiché, shortly after the conquest of this Kingdom."

The well-known philologist Rudolf Schuller believes that there is basis for attributing the authorship of the Popol Vuh to Diego Reynoso; but he interprets the citations of Ximénez and of the Título de los Señores de Totonicapán differently, and, in my judgment, inaccurately.

It is well to clarify here these points about the person of Diego Reynoso, because they are concerned with one of the few known Indian authors who have left written accounts subsequent to, or contemporary with, the Conquest. Although educated by the Spanish priests, Reynoso never renounced his name and status as that of a noble Quiché Indian and the fact that he never joined any of the Spanish religious orders gives greater validity to his accounts of the ancient times of his nation.

The problem relative to the author of the Popol Vuh must nevertheless remain unsolved; and so long as no new evidence is discovered which will throw light upon the matter, the famous manuscript must be considered as an anonymous account, written by one or more descendants of the Quiché race according to the traditions of their forefathers.

4. The Writings of Father Ximénez

The long and well-spent days of Ximénez' life among the Indians of the interior of Guatemala proved to him how necessary it was for the clergy to have a thorough knowledge of the languages of those places. The Spanish government had ordered that the natives be taught in the Spanish language, but this would have required the establishment of hundreds of village and rural schools which were never founded in the Colonial Period. Therefore, the Indians had to be addressed in their own language and even in the dialect of each regional district. To further the priests' and friars' communications with the Indians for all their material and spiritual needs, Ximénez wrote an excellent grammar of the Quiché language and several religious treatises in the three principal dialects of Guatemala. He showed preference for the Quiché language, which he spoke for more than twenty years and for which he had a very high regard, as is evident in Chapter XXV of Book I of his Historia de la Provincia. Far from being a barbaric language, Quiché, says Ximénez, is so orderly, harmonious, and exact, and so consistent in character with the nature and properties of things, that he became convinced that" this language is the principal one of the world." Our linguistically-minded historian, casting aside all modesty, declares that through diligence and study he came to understand the Quiché language better than anyone else and that not wishing to hide the talent, which God gave to him, he wrote "three volumes in folio, entitled Tesoro de las Lenguas Cacchiquel, Quiché, y Tzutuhil, which are very similar."

In the Tesoro de las Lenguas, Ximénez made a profound study of the structure of the Quiché language, of which he gives an exposition according to the method followed in Latin grammars, accompanied by a vocabulary which contains the roots of the words of the three languages. Brasseur de Bourbourg made good use of this valuable material in writing his Grammaire de la Langue Quichée (Paris, 1862),which contains the chapters written by Ximénez and some

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