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Ixim'ché

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Ixim'ché, (Ixim= Maize Cheé=Tree) Ramón or Brossimium Alicastrum) was the Capitol city of the Kak'chikél people, it was founded in the Guatemala Central Highlands on 1470 AD by Juntoh and Vukubatz, strong allies of the K'iché' king Q'uikab the Great, that was Main Temple remainsoverruled and told to the Kak'chik'el people to abandon Chaiviar, and go to the Ratzamut mountains, (3,075 Mt. High), where they founded Ix'imché and become the worst enemies of the K'iché. They also carried wars against the Tzu'tu'hils, and occupied the north shore of Lake Atitlán. Their territory, was from Sololá to Guatemala departaments. They conquered Mixco Viejo, the Poko'mam capitol.

Main BallcourtThe Popol Vuh refers to them in this way: "the speech of the Kak'chik'el is different, because the name of their god was different when they came from there, from Tulán-Zuyva. Tzotzihá Chimalcán was the name of their god, and today they speak a different tongue; and also from their god the families of Ahpozotzil and Ahpoxá,  as they are called, took their names". Popol Vuh, Part III, Chapter 9.

The ceremonial centre is isolated by ravines in 3 sides, and an artificial creek separates it from the common people houses. It has 4 largeCampo de Pelota principal and 2 small levelled Plazas, each main group has at least 2 temples,  along with Palaces for nobles, there are 2 ball courts, the largest is 40 mt. long and  7 mt. wide, the zoomorphic shaped markers where found nearby the structure 24.  The site was preserved by the Spaniards, due to their alliance against the K'iché's,

The first Colonial Capitol of Guatemala was established, on 1527, 3 Km to the north in Tecpán (90 Km west from Guatemala City). The Tlaxcaltec indians that came with them, called Ixim'ché, Tecpán Quauhtemalan (Place of the trees), that's where the name Guatemala originated. Ixim'ché was destroyed when the Kak'chik'el revealed against  the conquerors, forcing them to live Tecpán and go to the second Guatemala's Capitol, Ciudad Vieja near Antigua Guatemala, 14 years later. There is a museum with Ceramics, Jade and Sculptures; the site is open daily from 9 to 5.

 Today's Iximché's, significance is derived from its role as a field for different kinds of social and religious interactions. Traces of a spiritual relationship to this place can be dated back to the colonial period and today Maya from all over Guatemala go there to perform ceremonies. The place has also become a focal point of identity constructions for locals, Pan Mayan activists and the nation itself.

Francisco Hernandez Arana, wrote the "
Annals of the Kak'
chik'els" or  "Memorial from Sololá", which contains the history of the Kak'chik'el  nation, that coincides with the Popol Vuh, in several aspects, being the main difference, that in the Popol Vuh, they came beyond the sea, from Tulan in the east, and in the Annals, they came beyond the sea, from Tulan in the west. TheBall Court 1 text is about the origins of the Kak'chik'el Maya Culture, and narrates from the Pre-Columbian history up to 1604. The book was written by Francisco Hernández Arana Xahilá, in  1559, Grandson of a Kak'chik'el King, (Maybe Balam), and completed by his grandson Francisco Díaz, It was discovered at the end of the 17th century in Sololá, near Lake Atitlán. Charles Etienne Brasseur de Bourbourg traslated it into French in 1855,  Juan Gavarrete, translated this version into Spanish in 1873, and Daniel G. Brinton, translated the French version into English in 1885.  An excellent study of the Post classic Highlands and Classic Maya Texts is in this Mesoweb Report (PDF file) . Other books from the Guatemala Highlands includes: Título de los Señores de Totonicapán, Títulos de la Casa Izquin-Nehaib, Título de los indios de Santa Clara La Laguna, Testamento de Xpantzay.
 

 

     

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Last updated 28/01/2011 17:07:35 -0500
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