The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923, July 20, 1911, Image 4
VA 1 t Mwwftw ,1w...1lYfcW,rf ." II rWXIifi A r '. r IV ' IVr ? i,t; H N' rmCHEN ITZAJHE HOL tCitjt or THE 1TZAS Br SYIAANUS G. MORLEY mB3 w ONO fcefore the discover of America there flourished In southern Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras a great civilization, which has been call I'd the Maya. It may be said at the outnet without exaggeration that this civilization had reuched a height 'quailed by no other people of the western hemisphere prior to the com ing of the white man In architecture In rculpture, and In printing the Mayas excelled. Their priests were astronomers of no mean ability, hav ing observed nnd recorded without the aid of In struments of precision such as aro known to us the lengths of the Solar and Venus cars, and probably the lengths of the Mercury and Man rears. In addition to this they had developed l calendar K)Htem and perfected a chronology hlch in HOtnn of Its characteristics was supe rior to our own. The the ancient glory of this people bad long line departed when Hernando Cortex first tame In contact with thern on the coast of Yu tatan In 1619 Their star bad set. Their great Mt cities had been abandoned and lay In ruins, ind their country was prostrated by the quar rels of a score or more of petty Independent ibleftnlns, each of whom was waging war on the other. Kven the memory of the older clt Im, of their culture, such as Palenque, Copan sad Qulnlqua, for example, seems to have pass ed from the mind of men, their former existence forgotten. Famine, pestilence and Internecine strife are al Hald to have been contributory mums to the decay and eclipse which overtook this brilliant aboriginal civilization several MBturlcs before the Bpati- Ub first set foot In the new world Probably the largest, am) certainly the most mngnlfi sent, of the ruined cltlef which the Spanish conquer ors found on their arrival In Yucatar was Cblchen Itza, around which even In It isolation there still clus fir a thousand traditions of former sanctity and splun lor. The name Chlcheu Itza la Maya, and means Chi mouth, Chen-wells and Itza. tbe name of the Maya tribe, who lived In the neighbor hood of the place. "The Mouth of the Wells of the lUas" therefore Is the neanlng of the name; nor sould a more appropriate rae have been applied to the place by aay people. The whole peninsula of Yucatan la a vast limestone formation with lit tle or bo surface water. One may travel for Bile and miles and never cross rlvor or brook, r even chance upon a modest spring. Indeed, tbe northern part, where most of the great ruined cities are located, water Is fully 70 feet below the surface of the ground. Tbe modern Inhabitants overcome this difficulty by means t wells and windmills, which afford the only source of water supply during tbe dry sea son ( December to June) excepting what little rain water may have been caught during the rainy months nnd stored in rlHterns. Dut of weHa and windmills the ancient May M knew nothing, and, generally speaking, bad It not been for the great natural reservoirs which nature bod scattered here and there ever the country Yucatan never could have been colonized. These great natural woIIh, or, as the Mayas call them, conotes, are round nil over Yucatan. They are usually about 150 feet In diameter, or sometimes more, and about 70 feet In depth to tbe level of the water. Geologists say that these cenotes are places where the limestone erust, which everywhere covith the surface of Yucatan, has become weakened by the washing of subtcrruncan wators and lias col lapsed of Its own weight, forming great sink holes or natural wolls on a lurge scale. And now It Is clear why tho ancient Inhabitants of Cblchen Itza so named their city. In the course of their wanderings, the general trend of which was northward, tho Itzas, entering Yucatan from the south, finally reached tho two cenotes, around which Chlchen Itza later was built, but which then was probably noth ing but wilderness. Hero the striking contrast afforded by such an abundanco of water In a country do generally parched could not fall to have attracted their attention. The place must have seemed to tho thirsty wanderers a God given site for the location of their now home. lly right of discovery they clnlmed the place, and to the city which grew up around tho cen otes they gave the name of Chlcheu Itza, "Tbe Mouth of tho Wells of tho Itzns." Tho two ccnotoa at Chlchen Itza have been known by the Mayas from time Immemorial as tho Cenoto Grande and the Cenote Sacra, or tho largo Cenoto and tho Sacren Conotu, re spectively. Tho first of theso only In former times was used for tho water supply of the city, the Sacred Cenoto being reserved for re ligious use exclusively. It Is the latter, how ever, and the religious observances held In connection with It, which gave tho city Its holy character. From far and near all over Yucatan, and probably even from polntB more distant, pilgrimages were mado to tho Sacred Cenote. It seems to have been the most holy brine of the Maya people, comparable only In Importance to tho Mohammedan Mecca and the Christian Jerusalem. In time of drought offerings of all kinds were thrown Into It treasures, and In cases of extremity even liv ing human sacrifices. Cblchen Itza today Is somewhat changed In appearance from the time whon pilgrims came from far and near to appease with human sac rifice the wrath of offended deities. Now the city lies burled In a thick Junglo, which has steadily won Its way Into the very heart of the holy place. Colonnades have been over thrown and pyramids covered with trees to tbelr summit; courts have been lost In a tangle of thorn and creepers; and palaces tripped of their sculptured embellishment. Desolation baa spread everywhere In the wake of tbe encroaching vegetation. t wi " - n i riZ3SibSESWBBtBBKB. X vSBSMaSaSM. m iMiesssssaaesjsssjsssBSaassaBBawsri L7saSssvssasasBBsW Hf MXUtlrtJrMrWJMVKLn.lBm v-. 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SsBsssfctJl rHjS M" f 7fVPl CALICO CHCSfAftCtQB WKKMIBP!KKtSfKh l. . rjSBSJ- iimrfgj thouK' :,n earthquake y35BHBBpJBBPgPSSlLBiE MJSSMBIijg&ga. ,""" -y-jfflffi turned and now He pros- VCS Ipl fJ y .- r,MWllll9uf"l-'a)A$rSi trate within a foot of J -- JftK..TJ?l.i'l ' --J lt - -JUtfi'lh-flkV TtrCASmiO QfiCASTJ. To visit the ancient city now, one Jolts for 16 long and weary miles In a two-wheeled cov ered cart drawn by three mules over the rough est kind of a highway Imaginable. This pres ent Inconvenience fortunately Is not to be one of long standing. A new and atralgbt road la about to be built and an automobile service to tbe ruins probably established, which will shorten the present length of the trip from four hours to about half an hour. Now, bow ever, this ride from Cltas, tbe nearest railroad point, seems Interminable. Tbe road, so called by courtesy only, winds through tbe Im penetrable bush, which everywhero in the nat ural state covem northern Yucatan. Through this the creaking cart finds a dubious way mile after mile until every muscle In one's body groans an agonized protest. Finally, when It seems that tho limit of physical endurance has been reached, the cart suddenly lurches around a sharp turn In the road and as If by magic the lofty Castillo flashes Into view, towering high above the plain nnd tbe rest of tbe city In Its lonely magnificence. This Imposing structure, the highest In Yu catan, rises 78 feet abovo the plain. The pyramid on which tho templo stands Is 195 feet long on fach sldo nt tho base and covers ubout an aero of ground. The Castillo would seem to have been the center of tho ancient city, and probably Its chief sanctuary. To tho north lies the Sacred Cenoto und the cuuueway, Just mentioned, loading to It. On tho cast Is a vast group of buildings, colounadcti, courts nnd pyramids. "The City of n Thousand Columns," as somo one has plcturcxqucly described It. Duo west Is tho group of structures known as the Hall Court. To, tho south for half a mile or more, scattered through tho Jungle, are pyramids, courts, temples and palaces. The central lo cation of tho Castillo with reference to all of thoso, as well us Its great size and command ing height, argue strongly that It was the chief sauctuary of the Holy City. Another Interesting group of structures at Chlchen Uza, porhups slightly less sacred In character than tho Cautlllo, Is the so-called "Hall Court," mentioned above as lying Just wost of tho Castillo. This group is composed of two purullol masses of solid masonry, each 272 feet long, 27 foot high and 1C feet wide, pluccd 119 foot apart from each other. Those two groat walls, for Buch thoy really aro, form a court nearly 300 feet long by 119 foot wide. High on the side of each at tho middle point from end to end there Is attached u stone ring four feet in diameter with a hole through It These rings are fastened to their respec tive walls by tenons of stone, and aro so placed that the surface of each Is perpendicu lar to the vertical race of tbe wall. The ar rangement Is very similar to the baskets in our modern game of basket ball, except that at Chlchen Itza the "baskets" have their open ings perpendicular to the ground, while In our game the openings In tbe baskets are parallel with the ground. To make a basket at the Chlchen Itza court a somewhat horizontal throw, as In baseball, was necessary, while nowadays It Is a toss that wins the goal. At the open ends of the court formed by these two walls stand temples, which In effect Inclose tho area, definitely marking Its boun daries. On top of tbe east wall, at Its south ern end, there Is a beautiful temple, which affords a commanding view of the entire court. This has been called "The House of the Tigers," because of a frlese of stalking tigers, which is soulptured la alto-relievo around tbe MJiOfiAMA or r4ujm arcHJCM&t jtza outside of tbe building. Tills temple contains also on the walls of an Interior room, an elab orate mural painting representing an attack by some enemy upon a city, perhaps Chlchen Itza Itself, and Its defense by tbe Inhabitants. Some of tbe poses taken by the combatants In tbe conflict are extremely realistic; such as In the throwing of Javelins, tbe swinging of war clubs, and tbe like. This bit of mural decora tion In The House of The Tigers at Chlchen Itza probably marks the high-water mark of aboriginal painting In the Western Hemi sphere; at least It Is superior to everything else that has survived. The Identification of these two great walls and tbe temples associated with them, aa a ball court, reBts on firm historic foundation. When the Spanish first came to Mexico they found the natives playing a game of ball, which was of sufficient Importance to have a spe cial court or ground set apart for its exclu sive uso. Several of tbe early Spanish writers havo described tbe game 'In 'some detail, and all agree as to Its having played an important part in tbe life of the people. One chronicler has It that the object of the game was to strike tbe ball so that It would pass through the opening In the stone ring above mentioned as an Important feature of tbe Cblchen Itza court. Ho adds that tho feat was one of con siderable doxterlty, since the ball could not bo hit with the bands, but that tho hips or other parts of the body had to be used Instead. This rulo of the gome very materially In creased tho difficulty In making a "Maya baa-, ket;" so much so, in fact, we aro told, that the lucky player making this winning stroke had forfeit to him ns a reward for bis skill all the clothing and ornaments of tbe spectators. At Buch times, the chronicler concludes, tbe spectators wero wont to scatter In all direc tions without loss of time, hoping thus to es capo pnylng tho penalty, but that tbe friends of the lucky player Immediately gave chase and endeavored to exact the full forfeit. Although the uame Ball Court has been giv en to this group of temples-at Chlchen Itza, It should not bo supposed on that account, that this great court was built primarily for sport. Such an explanation of Its fundamental purpose Is Incompatible with any conception which tho American aborigine ever seems to havo entertained. To the Itza people the chief function of their Ball Court was doubtless a religious one. Games played there, If not actually held In connection with religious fes tivals, were at least sufficiently religious in tbelr meaning as to completely overshadow tbe element of sport as we understand the term. That a game was played In which com petition and skill entered In cannot be doubt ed In the face of contemporaneous evidence, and to this extent perhaps tne Mexican Ball Courts wero athletic fields; but It must not be forgotten for a moment that Its true signifi cance was religious, and that the games which were played there probably were held only In connection with religious festivals. It Is not Improbable, however, that the Astecs were brooking away from the religious feature of sport at the time of the Spanish Conquest, but that "The Holy Men of tbe Itzas," as tbe peo ple of Chlchen Itsa are sometimes called In the early manuscripts, had taken any such radical stop Is little short of Inconceivable, so religious In character was the whole Maya civilization. To tbe east of the Castillo lie a great group of courts, pyramids and colonnades, "The City of a Thousand Columns," already mentioned. Here deRolation is wide spret ' It seems as thouK' n earthquake must i ..ve shaken the Itza cupltal at some time. Row after row of col umns have been over turned and now He pros trate within a foot of their original positions. Perhaps a capital or a drum here and there Is broken, but for the most part the stones He Just where they felL In Its entirety this section of the city must have presented an Imposing appearance, being literally a. forest of columns surrounding and connecting the various courts. As to the use of these great colonnades, tradition and his tory are equally silent. Some think that they were the law courts of the ancient city, where Justice was administered and punishment meted out. Others say that they were tbe market places, where the produce of tbe sur rounding country was bought and sold. This latter explanation has one strong recommends tlon In its favor In that the descendants oT tbe builders of the ancient city of Yucatan, the present Maya Indians, still hold tbelr mar kets under the portals surrounding the plazas In the towns and villages throughout the coun try today. South of the Cenote Grande there are a num ber of well-preserved structures, most of them presenting beautifully sculptured facades. To these fanciful names have been given, which probably have little or nothing to do with tbe original uses of the buildings. One large structure, for example, has been called "Tbe Akabtzlb." Tbe name Is Maya and means "The House of the Dark Writing." This build ing was so called, because of the fact that over one of Its Interior doorways there Is a lintel Inscribed with hieroglyphs. This lintel Is bo placed that the hieroglyphics can only be seen by artificial light, hence the name, "The House of the Dark Writing." Nearby Is a round tower, with but one exception the only structure of Its kind In the Maya area. This Is called "The Caraco." Caracol Is the Spanish word for snail, and since the Interior circular corridor and spiral stairway of this structure bear some remote resemblance to the convolutions of a snail shell, the name was applied to the building. Tbe Manjos (Spanish for monastery) Is perhaps the most beautiful building at Chichon Itza. It Is composite, showing three different periods of construction. The above are only a few of the many struc tures at Chichon Itza. But In all directions for several miles the brush Is strewn with ruins. Crumbling walls and Jungle-ridden courts are to be encountered on every side; disintegration so far advanced that these once splendid pal aces and temples are now but little more than shapeless mounds of fallen masonry. Tbe total area covered by ruins which may be assigned to this center of primitive population has been estimated by some as high as ten square miles. That larger Maya cities yet remain to be dis covered now seem highly Improbable so thor oughly has tho general exploration of the area been done. Consequently we may affirm with but little hesitation that "The Holy City of the Itzas" was the largest and most Important of tbe Maya civilization and probably of abor fglnal America as well. WOULD SAVE TOWER Chlcaooans Protest Against Raz ing of Historic Landmark. Great Pile of Masonry Which Bun vlved the Disastrous Fire of 1871 Very Rich In Romance snd Tradition. Chicago. Shall the oldest landmark of tho north side, a spot rich In tradi tion and romance, tho only remaining monument of the time of Chicago's victory In hor' greatest struggle for life, bo profaned by a city's commer cialism and destroyed In tbe name of economy? Shall the silent sentinel of stone, the Ivy-mantled tower where sweet hearts wore wont to meet, where chil dren played and heard wondrous sto ries of other days, bo reduced to shapeless masB of stone and scattered all ovor the city? Is It not possible to preservo th plcturesquo gray tower of tho old Chi cago avenue pumping Htatlon to po terlty to serve as a memorial of ths great fire of 1871? Thcs; are a few of the question! rnlsed by scores of Chlcagoans whe bad read of the plan to tear down thi tower of the Chicago avenue pumplns. station In the interest of municipal economy. This ancient landmark stands at the root or "Millionaire row." North of tho famous old structure are the homes of the rich. Since 1867 the tower has Btood ns a constant re minder of tho permanence of the work of the city's founders. Members of the Chicago Historical society Joined in tho storm of protest against tearing down the tower. They were unanimous in tbe sentiment that ft $m mm rareW II , i f r nBSBBJBBPfiSBBJBBDBJ r$raUg3JKffBBRFB li4sT2y2&jPflH BrSsBBaKlBMs J8BWSH KWS TJgsV 3uflsfi!fnffJ-BSV eH t3Bm1BBttBflBBMBBBBBlEKwSBKallJ kJSpH 'i-JJMfl'lBBj'IHaWitfc&WMSBSBTBBl i'lJBsBijBBHlsBSBrBl jfsVwBH PPwiSaff THE 8IQH FOR LEISURE. Lives there the man who has not sighed for leisure? And lives there the man who In his more sober moments, has not been honestly glsd that be must work? Human nature, which sweetens under toll, sours in leisure. And It Is by no means sure that the fall from Innocence which first brought work Into the world "and all our woe" was not bringing salvation dis guised as labor. Faithfulness will dignify and beautify even drudgery; no matter what ths work Is, provided It Is honest, If It Is done well It commands our Instinctive respect Besides, It we did not all bare to work so hard to keei lire the Jails would have standing room only Chicago Water Tower. this landmark should be preserved and made one of the show places of Chicago. When Chicago began to burn, ths evening of October 8, 1871, terror stricken citizens fled north to the tower In tbe belief that the flro would be confined to a narrow district. The following day tho fire reached tbe tower and roared about Its base, de stroying the machine shop and adja cent buildings. Tho pumping engines wero stopped and the walls of the en gine house began to crumble The roof and floors of the other buildings gave way, but the tower stood firm while tho flames raced northward. Tbe great pile of masonry was pre served when repairs were made, and since that day has been rich In tradi tion and romance, Many stories of the tower deal with the romances of some of the richest sous and daughters of Millionaires' row. An eloping couple Is said to have been married at tbe top of the tower. In the days of old thousands of young men and maidens wandered up the stairway to tbe summit to pligbt their troth. The doors of the tower were locked long ago. Tbe only maglo key that will unlock the door Is In the keeping of the city authorities. Tbe cltv authorities hold now that disintegration has begun and that the tower must go. This theory Is denied by members of tbe Chicago Historical society, who declare that the tower k..H 4...l 4AAAA M m uuiit iu Biiuiu ju,uuu years ana i mat there is no danger of Its crum I bltng for generations. Hundreds of I visitors gaze In awe at the old tower I every day. .- M$jAft,HjaUJJ a t?'iiBi!fxugmiwti'i 'A fir wwwwwps (iiaiaiJ.w'''lWIOfc,'""