Link to enlarge K6042 (Las Bocas - Ceramic Vessel) THE FOUNDATION RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

A Grammar of the Yucatecan Mayan Language
by David & Alejandra Bolles

The Mani Land Treaty of 1557

The Mani land treaty is ranked as the earliest piece of Mayan literature written by Maya in the Latin script. In 1557 various Mayan lords gathered in Mani at the summons of governor Don Francisco de Montejo Xiu to agree on the boundary of lands under the governorship of the lords of Mani.

The document is a long one and so only the introductory remarks are given here to give the reader a look at the style in which the Mayan language was written at the time.

Frauke Johanna Riese has done a very able job in assembling the various parallel texts which are the sources for this document and offering a translation of the reconstructed document. The reader interested in this document should see her work "Indianische Landrechte in Yucatan um die Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts".

MANI 1557
MANI 1557

In the town of Mani on the 15th day of August in the year of 1557.

Tu cahal Mani tu holhunpiz u kinil u Agosto ichil yaabil de mil quinientos y cinquenta y siete años.

The account of the distribution of the forest by the nobles and the head chief Don Francisco de Montejo Xiu, governor here in the big town of Mani, with the rest of the governors who are written below.

U kahlay thoxic u kaax tumenoob al mehenoob yetel halach uinic Don Francisco de Montejo Xiu, gobernador uay ti noh cah Mani lae, yetel ix u chayanil gobernadoresoob bay yanil u dzibal lae.

They had gathered to counsel with the head chief and scribe Don Francisco de Montejo Xiu, governor here in the town, with the subjects of Tutul Xiu and the nobles Don Francisco Che, governor of Ticul, Don Francisco Pacab, governor of Oxkutxcab, Don Diego Uz, governor of Tikax, Don Alonso Pacab, governor of Dzaan and Mona, and Don Juan Che, governor of Mama, Don Alonso Xiu, governor of Tikit, and the rest of the governors who are the subjects of Mani and its patriarchs.

U hunmolcinahubaob ti multumut icnal halach uinic yetel escribano Don Francisco de Montejo Xiu, gobernador uay ti cah lae, yetel tu cuchcabal Tutul Xiu yetel al mehenoob Don Francisco Che, gobernador Ticul, Don Francisco Pacab, gobernador Oxkutzcab, Don Diego Uz, gobernador Tikax, Don Alonso Pacab, gobernador Dzaan yetel Mona, yetel Don Juan Che, gobernador Mama, Don Alonso Xiu, gobernador Tikit, yeteloob ix u chayanoob gobernadoresoob yanoob tu cuchcabal Manie yetel u chunthanoob.

They gathered together so that they could counsel on the agreement of where they should place the corners, where they should place the crosses of the boundaries of the forest of the fields of each of the villages of the subjects.

Ti hunmoloob ca u multumtahoob yanil unah tu thanoob u xoticoob yetel u dzaicoob u xukiloob u dzaicoob u cruzil u xul u hol u kaaxil u coloob u cahaloob u cuchteeloob hunhuntzuciloob.

For this reason the boundaries of the lands of the Canul and the Acanceh and the Coh and the Cuzuma and the Zotuta and the subjects of the Cacal and the Hunacti, Peto, Calotmul, and Tzuccacab have been set down.

Lay tun u chun u chicilbezicoob u xul u luumoob Ah Canuloob yetel Ah Acancehoob yetel Ah Cohoob yetel Ah Cuzumaob yetel Ah Zututaob yetel u cuchcabal Ah Cacaloob yetel Ah Hunactiob, Petu, Calotmul, Tzuccacab.

After they had thought about it they declared that it is necessary that the chiefs of each of the town of the governors should gather here in the town. After they arrived here in the middle of the town of Mani it was arranged that the leaders be taken around two by two so that they could see the boundaries of the forest and the land.

Dzocaan tun u tumticoob ca yalahoob yanil unah u yemzicoob u batabil cahal gobernadoresoob taloob ti hunhuntzuc ti cahe. Ca tacoob uay chumuc cah Manie lae ca utzac u cħaicoob cacatul u chunthanoob tu pachoob ca utzac u yilicoob u xotol u chi kaax, u chi luum lae.

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