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

Short Stuff

The following is a collection of short things which come up at various occasions.

The first item is something which Manuela Chan told the co-author (AKB) while they were in a cave together weaving palm leaves into long strips which are then bought by hat makers who sew the strips in a spiral to form straw hats. The weaving is done in the cave because it is more humid there and thus the palm leaf is more pliable. Frequently blue tail flies are buzzing about in the caves. Apparently this comment about the blue tail fly is off the top of Mam Uela's head. However, she was a store of such little pieces, so it is hard to know.

The second item about what the roadrunners are saying is a common ditty. Frequently when the roadrunners are heard someone well repeat the words given here.

The third item about the magpies may also be meant to be a parody of the song of these birds.

The fourth item is a parody of what kettle drums sound like.

The fifth item is just a little joke. As is true of many of the above items, and of Mayan jokes and humor generally, this one is rather crude.

The sixth item is a "Bomba". During the regional dances, called "jaranas" or "vaquerillas" (cow girls) some times the band leader will yell out "Bomba" (bomb) and the person quick with his wits will answer with something. Most of the time these "Bombas" are in Spanish. This is the only Mayan one which has come to our attention, though there are undoubtedly others.

told by Alejandra Kim Bolles
tzicbaltabi tumen Alejandra Kim Bolles
We were in a cave, we are weaving palm leaves. Then entered a little blue tail fly, then my grandmother said like this: Yanoon ich humppel zahcabe, tan'c hithe. Ca oci huntul chan dzindzin, ca tu yalah in chich beya:
I know what that little blue tail fly says. I am going to tell you what it says. It says like this: Tene in uohel baax cu yalic le chan dzindzino. Nin caah in ualic tech bix cu yalic. Cu yalic beya:
(The following lines are chanted)  
Good day woman.
What do you want woman?
I have come to borrow a chile pepper woman.
What do you want it for woman?
So that I can stick it in the ass hole of my grandchild woman.
Buenos dias mam.
Baax a kati mam?
Talen in mahant hundzit ic mam.
Baaxtial tech mam?
Utial in zot tu hol u uit in uabil mam.
told by Martina Yu Chan, Ticul
tzicbaltabi tumen Martina Yu Chan, Ticul
Do you know what the roadrunners say when they begin to sing? They talk like this: A uohel baax cu yalic le bachoob leten cu hoppol u kayoob? Cu thanoob beya:
Your penis is heavy! (You're lazy!)
Your vagina is heavy! (idem)
Your penis is heavy!
Your vagina is heavy!
Let's finish the road! (Let's get married!)
Coox dzocol bel!
Your penis is ugly! (You're ugly!)
However that may be!
Your penis is ugly!
However that may be!
Let's finish the road!
Cex bicac!
Cex bicac!
Coox dzocol bel!
told by Ignacia Ku de Cen, Ticul
tzicbaltabi tumen Ignacia Ku de Cen, Ticul
There was it is said two magpies, very hungry, when they arrived in the middle of a garden. Then they were sunning themselves, then they began to speak, then they said like this: Yan bin catul cħeloob, hach uiihoob. Ca kuchoob chumuc humppel col. Ca tu haykintubaob, ca hoppol u thanoob. Ca tu yalahoob beya:
There really isn't any.
There is.
There is, but moldy.
Hach minaam.
Yan, pero kob.
told by Julio Dzul, Kom Cħeen
tzicbaltabi tumen Julio Dzul, Kom Cħeen
Do you know what that kettle drum says when it begins to play? I will tell you what it says: A uohel baax cu yalic le timbalo lecen cu hoppol u paxe? He in ualic tech baax cu yalic:
Where do I put my penis, where do you put your penis?
Where do I put my penis, where do you put your penis?
Tuux cin dzic in ton, tuux ca dzic a ton?
Tuux cin dzic in ton, tuux ca dzic a ton?
told by Paula Cen, Muna
tzicbaltabi tumen Paula Ku, Muna
Let's go to mass.
I am not going.
Because there is a stick sticking out of the ass hole of my younger sibling.
Coox misa.
Ma tin bin.
Tumen hokaan cħilib tu hol u uit in uidzin.
I am not kissing your mouth because your nostril is wet (your nose is running). Ma tin dzudz a chi tumen cħul u hol a ni.

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