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Estudios de cultura maya

versión impresa ISSN 0185-2574


VALENCIA RIVERA, Rogelio. K’awiil and the 819 days maya calendar. Estud. cult. maya [online]. 2019, vol.53, pp.103-138. ISSN 0185-2574.

The main goal of this article is to analyze the verbal phrase associated to the dates of the 819 day Maya calendar discovered by Eric S. Thompson in 1943, in order to determine the activities realized during those dates and the main character that undertook them. After an exhaustive analysis, it could be seen that during these dates, an image of one of K’awiil’s manifestations is located on a particular cardinal direction inside the city of the inscription. This manifestation is cuatripartite and one of K’awiil’s wahy, or co-essences.

Besides being associated to K’awiil, this deity is also associated to the lord of the animals, Sip, and to one of the Lords of the Night, G6, which were also described by Thompson. The number of days involved in this ritual cycle might be a combination of the numbers associated to each of the deities combined to create K’awiil’s avatar, as Sip is related to number seven, G6 is associated to the cycle of the nine Lords of the Night, and K’awiil is sometimes associated to number thirteen, all factors of 819. This ceremony, where K’awiil’s image is placed on a certain location, seems to belong to a pilgrimage, or ritual circuit, where each cardinal point of the city is visited every 819 days. This is not the only example of K’awiil’s participation in such cyclic activities, as he was also involved in the Mayan New Year ceremonies. It is very likely that these pilgrimage rituals are related to the K’awiil’s ruling over lightning, which announces the rains, which bring the abundance of food.

Palabras llave : K’awiil; Sip; 819 days calendar; quadripartite advocation; ritual pilgrimage.

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