Page:Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx.djvu/74

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xlvi
INTRODUCTION.

seen that this Page74-Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx 1 luumil.jpg, luumil, is the symbol for "land near, in, or surrounded by water," as the Empire of Mayach (the peninsula of Yucatan and Central America are certainly surrounded by water), on the north by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. The symbol then reads Luumil ahau, the "King's country," the "kingdom."

But how do you make your rendering accord with the meaning given to the character by Bishop Landa? I fancy I hear our learned Americanists asking; and I answer. In a very simple manner, knowing as I do the genius of the Maya people and their language.

The ancient armorial escutcheon of the country still exists on

Page74-Queen Moo and the Egyptian Sphinx 2 crest.jpg

the western facade of the "sanctuary" at Uxmal, and in the bas-reliefs carved on the memorial monument of Prince Coh at Chicħen. The emblem represented on said escutcheon scarcely needs explanation. It is easily read U-luumil kin, the "Land of the Sun."

The kings of Mayach, like those of Egypt, Chaldea, India, China, Peru, etc., took upon themselves the title of "Children of the Sun," and, in a boasting spirit, that of "the Strong, the Vigorous Sun." Kin is the Maya word for sun. But kin is also the title of the highpriest of the sun. As in Egypt and many other civilized countries, so in Mayach, the king was, at the same time, chief of the state and of the religion, as in our times the Queen in England, the Czar in Russia, the Sultan in Turkey, etc. The title Yax-kin may therefore have been applied, among the Mayas, to the king and to the kingdom;