The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

September 20, 2013

September 20, 524 CE

Palenque, the Mayan city abandoned to the jungle 1200 years ago, illustrates the jaguar worship of the Mesoamericans. The jaguar is said to represent the dark, in contradistinction to the sun. The beautiful intertwining of this and similar motifs represents the cognitive subtlety of these people who were fully aware of the way things flow together, an appreciation which is currently lost, and so perhaps represents Mayan insights superior to our own. 

One of the early rulers of Palenque, was named K'inich Kan Bʻalam I (September 20, 524 to February 3, 583). It is amazing that we know his name and his birth and deaths dates. The king's name,  
Kan Bʻalam means "snake jaguar." That phrase refers to "any wild animal." The prefatory "K'inich" is the Mayan for "radiant." As in the sun. 

One of the thrones of K'inich Kan Bʻalam was in the form of a jaguar. Are we not all situated atop some unfathomable dark. The radiant part may refer to their awareness of their situation. The Mayan thought about it as long as they could. They understood accuracy in these matters was essential to survival. At some point they lost Palenque to the dark. The jaguar throne was reclaimed by the jaguar forces. If I recall my National Geographic specials, the reason Palenque was abandoned are not clear to modern researchers. 

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