Annals of the Cakchiquels

views updated

Annals of the Cakchiquels

Annals of the Cakchiquels, also called the Memorial of Sololá, are an account of Kaqchikel (Maya) history from their immigration to Guatemala through the Spanish invasion and up to the seventeenth century, compiled by two members of the Xajil royal lineage, Francisco Hernández Arana and Francisco Díaz. Written in Kaqchikel and later translated into French, Spanish, and English, the Annals are assumed to have been written during the sixteenth century. The portion narrating pre-Columbian Kaqchikel history is thought to have been passed along orally for centuries before being recorded in its written form.

The Annals chronicle the Spanish arrival, the accompanying wars, pestilence, social and economic disruption, and finally community restructuring, as told from the indigenous perspective. An important aspect of the Annals is the detailed list of indigenous lineage, births and deaths, land purchases, and church activities.

The pre-invasion part of the document is linguistically and culturally "pure," eschewing loanwords and recording practices out of favor with the Spanish church and civil laws. Although the Annals evince less accommodation than the K'iche' (Quiché) Popol Vuh, it may be argued that the emphasis on lineage status and politics, in both the pre-invasion and post-invasion sections, is partially a response to Spanish policy of awarding cacique privileges: tribute and work levies, as well as land titles.

See alsoChilam Balam; Kaqchikel; Maya, The; Mayan Epigraphy; Popol Vuh.


Daniel G. Brinton, trans., The Annals of the Cakchikels (1885, repr. 1969).

Robert M. Carmack, Quichean Civilization: The Ethnohistoric, Ethnographic, and Archaeological Sources (1973), 47-50.

Additional Bibliography

Contreras R., J. Daniel, and Jorge Luján Muñoz. El Memorial de Sololá y los inicios de la colonización Española en Guatemala. Guatemala: Academia de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala, 2004.

Recinos, Adrián. Memorial de Sololá: Anales de los cakchi-queles. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1950.

                           Judith M. Maxwell IxQ'anil

About this article

Annals of the Cakchiquels

Updated About content Print Article