Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mayan Animal Hieroglyphic Glyphs of Amphibians

Mayan Animal  Hieroglyphic Glyphs of Amphibians

Frogs. Figures undoubtedly representing frogs (Maya mutš or uo) or toads are found in several places in the codices[309] and in the stone carvings, but it is quite impossible to refer them definitely to any of the numerous species occurring in Central America, if, indeed, the artists had any one species in mind. In the Tro-Cortesianus frogs are not uncommon. In 31a there are four , fig. 1) with water coming from their mouths. They are characterized by their stout tailless bodies, flattened heads and toothless mouths. In 101d ( figs. 2, 3) there are two, the first painted blue with spots of darker blue and the second white and represented as broken in two in the middle. The signs of death above the latter clearly show that a dead animal is indicated. , fig. 6, shows the end of Altar O from Copan on which a frog and a fish are pictured, the former in dorsal view, the latter in lateral aspect. The peculiar pointed snout of this frog is similar to that of the frog shown in  fig. 7, also in dorsal view. A somewhat similar creature (, fig. 6) we have included and though it may represent an opossum it has little to distinguish it from the figures of frogs.
God B in Tro-Cortesianus 12b should be associated with the frog. His legs are those of a frog and he appears as if swimming in the water. Frog in Maya is Uo which is also the name of the second month of the Maya year. The first day of this month, according to Landa, corresponds to August 5 of our year and this is the height of the rainy season in the Maya region. The sign for Uo does not, however, resemble a frog in any way. The frog above one of the figures in the Lower Chamber of the Temple of the Tigers at Chichen Itza (, fig. 7) has clearly some relation to the name or totem of the warrior. The Nahua custom is seen here.
Toads are probably intended in 7, figs. 4, 5. In these the great breadth of the head and mouth together with the short inflated body combine to produce a very toad-like appearance. It is not unlikely that they represent the huge marine toad, Bufo marinus, common from southern Mexico to Brazil and in the West Indies. There seems to be no distinction in the treatment of frogs and toads in the codices.0]
Tree-toad (Hyla eximia). Of great interest are the figures in Tro-Cortesianus 26a and b (, figs. 1, 3), showing a god with expanded finger tips and characterized further by the presence of two parallel black stripes from the hinder and lower margins of the eye respectively. The knob-like finger tips at once suggest one of the tree-toads, and the presence of the two lines seems to indicate Hyla eximia as the species represented. In this tree-toad there is a long black lateral line running posteriorly from the tympanum and above it a shorter line just as in the drawings. It appears to be a common species in the valley of Mexico though but little seems to have been written of its habits. At the beginning of the rainy season it repairs to pools of water to breed and is then very noticeable from its loud voice. No doubt its importance in the Maya economy was from its conspicuousness at the beginning of the rainy period. This fact is brought out more strongly when we consider that these gods representing the tree-toad are associated with agriculture and the sowing of grain at the beginning of the rainy season. Förstemann (1902, p. 35) identifies these figures as god F. They are quite unlike the usual representation of this god and are clearly god P as Schellhas (1904, p. 39) indicates. It is interesting to note that the two black lines behind the eye are also seen in the other gods shown in Tro-Cortesianus 26a and b although the knob-like finger tips are lacking. The glyph for this tree-toad god is recognized in the fifth place at the top of the same page (, fig. 2) by the same two black lines under and behind the eye.