I have seen the representation of people kneeling in a peculiar manner, with their right hand resting on the left shoulder sign of respect among the Mayas as among the inhabitants of Egypt in the act of worshiping the mastodon head; but I doubt if this can be said to be idol worship. Can and his family were probably monotheists.
Their skill in architecture and architectural ornamentation did not enable them to build such cities as Mitla and Palenque, and their “picture writing” was a much ruder form of the graphic art than the phonetic system of the Mayas and Quichés. It does not appear that they ever went so far in literary improvement as to adopt this simpler and more complete system for any purpose whatever.
Now the Mayas called LA, that which has existed for ever, the truth par excellence. As to the native name of Babylon it would simply be the city of the infinite truth cah, city; LA, eternal truth. Ana, like Ra, is thought to have signified God in the highest sense. Its etymology seems to be problematic.
Among those described, the most modern, or most of these, are in Yucatan; they belong to the time when the kingdom of the Mayas flourished.
After touching at various places, in one of which they were lucky enough to find and release a Spanish captive named Geronimo de Aguilar, who had been wrecked on the Yucatan coast while on a voyage from the Spanish settlement in Darien and had been taken captive by the Mayas and held for several years. The hospitable Mayas had eaten most of the expedition. There were then but two alive.
In Yucatan the old inhabitants were Mayas, and people using dialects related to theirs were numerous in Tabasco, Chiapa, Guatemala, and the neighboring districts, while all around the country were scattered communities supposed to be of Toltec origin, as their speech could not be classed with these dialects nor with that of the Aztecs.
Before leaving Asia Minor, in order to seek in Egypt the vestiges of the Mayas, I will mention the fact that the names of some of the natives who inhabited of old that part of the Asiatic continent, and many of those of places and cities seem to be of American Maya origin.
To a considerable extent they existed in fragmentary communities, sometimes widely separated. The most important group of related dialects was that which included the speech of the Mayas, Quichés, and Tzendals, which, it is supposed, represented the language of the original civilizers, the Colhuas. Dialects of this family are found on both sides of the great forest.
When I opened Chaacmol’s mausoleum I found, as I have already said, two stone urns, the one near the head containing the remains of brains, that near the chest those of the heart and other viscera. This fact would tend to show again a similar custom among the Mayas and Egyptians, who, besides, placed with the body an empty vase symbol that the deceased had been judged and found righteous.
Very little is known of the Mayas of Afghanistan, except that they call themselves Mayas, and that the names of their tribes and cities are words belonging to the American Maya language. Who can give the etymology of the name Magi, the learned men amongst the Chaldees. We only know that its meaning is the same as Maya in Hindostan: magician, astronomer, learned man.