GLOSSARY FOR MAYA LORD


TERMS
Ah men—a low-level priest, a medicine man and village teacher
Al holpop—the career professional military leader of a village or city
Balche—an intoxicating drink made from fermented honey and tree bark
Bosun—a non-commissioned leader on a European ship’s crew
Copal—an amber tree sap burned as incense
Dzonot—cenote in Spanish, an open well formed by a cave-in of limestone
Halach Uinic—the leader of a large region
Huipil—a square-cut Maya dress
Ka’ab—mano in Spanish, the stone hand roller used to grind corn
Ka’ah—metate in Spanish, the stone tablet used for grinding corn
Kol—milpa in Spanish, a field
Loin cloth—a length of cloth wound around the waist and between the legs
Mantle—a short cape fastened around the shoulders
Nacom—the elected warlord of a village or city
Pok-to-tok—ball game originated by Maya during classic period (300-900 AD)
Quetzal—a tropical bird with large iridescent feathers
Sache—a road
Tunic—a sleeveless shirt or vest
Uk’eja—atole in Spanish, a mix of water and cornmeal drunk for breakfast
Yache—a ceiba tree, one of the largest in Yucatan, known as the tree of life

GODS
Ah Kinchmayel—family god of the Caan clan
Ah Puch—god of death
Bacab—one of four gods holding up the earth
Chacs—gods of rain
Ek Chuah—god of war
Itzamna—the god of all Maya gods, incorporates certain other gods
Ix Chel—goddess of the moon, childbirth, and medicine
Kinich Ahu—the sun god
Yum Kaax—god of corn or maize

PLACES
Bacalar—the lagoon west of Chetumal
Chetumal—regional capitol of southern Yucatan, ruled by Nachan Caan
Cholua—an Aztec ceremonial center where Cortez ordered a massacre
Cozumel—an island off the east coast of northern Yucatan
Darien—a Spanish settlement in the southern part of Panama
Ecija—birthplace of Jeronimo in Spain
Mexico City—capitol of Mexico; also called Tenochtitlan by the Aztecs
Nito—a city on the coast of Honduras
Palos—birthplace of Gonzalo in Spain
Paynala—birthplace of Dona Marina
Potonchan—city in Tabasco where Cortez fought with the Maya
Tabasco—coastal region immediately west of the Yucatan peninsula
Tlasca—a region near Mexico City
Tulum—a fortress city in northern Yucatan
Uaymil—northern part of the Yucatan peninsula
Veracruz—the coastal town where Cortez landed to invade Mexico City
Xamancann—the second village, where Gonzalo and Jeronimo lived for years
Xoctum—the first village, where some Spaniards were sacrificed
Xtocmo—a village northwest of Chetumal resistant to the halach uinic
Ziyancaan—the southern part of the Yucatan peninsula, ruled by Nachan Caan


                               BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

The following chroniclers and contemporary commentaries about the Maya and New
Spain are among the major sources of background information for this novel:

The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz, a companion of Cortez

Historia de las Indias and Itenerario del Copellano by Fray Bartolome de Las Casas, who
spent many years campaigning for fair treatment of the Indians in New Spain

Yucatan Before and After the Conquest by Friar Diego de Landa, whose burning of native
Maya works has left much of the history of this people forever obscured but whose own book
left one of our best records of their ways

Historia de las Indias and Historia de Mexico by Francisco Lopez de Gormara, chaplain and
official panegyrist to Cortez

Historia General y Natural de las Indias by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, who received
much of his account from a conquistador serving with Montejo and Davila

Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos by Antonio de Herrera

Historia de Yucatan by Diego Lopez de Cogolludo, a Franciscan writing in the second half of
the seventeenth century, translated and republished by Washington Irving


Other particularly useful sources were:

Robert Chamberlain’s The Conquest and Colonization of Yucatan 1517-1550

W. H. Prescott’s The Conquest of Mexico

Juan Francisco Molina Solis’ Historia del Descubrimento y Conquista de Yucatan

Marvin Butterfield’s Jeronimo de Aguilar, Conquistador

Sir Arthur Helps’ Spanish Conquest in America

Hernan Cortes’ Letters From Mexico


The following sources provided helpful background information on Spanish culture
during the period of this story:

Kamen, Henry. The Spanish Inquisition. The New American Library, 1965.

Lea, Henry Charles. A History of the Inquisition in Spain. New York: MacMillan, 1922.

Mariejol, Jean Hippolyte. The Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella. trans. Benjamin Keen.
Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1961.


Especially useful sources for information on the Maya way of life include the following:

The Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization and Maya History and Religion by J. Eric Thompson

The Maya by Michael D. Coe

Maya by Charles Gallencamp

The Maya World by Elizabeth Benson

Everyday Life of the Maya by Ralph Whitlock

The Mysterious Maya by George Stuart     

Maya Enigma by Pierre Ivanoff

The Ancient Maya by Sylvanus Griswold Morley, revised by George Brainerd

I
ncidents of Travel in Yucatan by John L. Stephens

The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel edited by Ralph Roys

The Popul Vuh

“The Political Geography of the Maya” and “Personal Names of the Maya of Yucatan” by
Ralph L. Roys