Col Cak replied, "I'll go with you. it is the month of MOL (December ) and we will miss the bee-keepers festival, but I guess it is important to arrive before the rains will be over at our new place."
"Where have you chosen to go, Bo?" asked Tik Xiu.
Bo Chun answered, "We will move to the far side on the east coast, behind the lagoon (Shipstern Lagoon) along the shore just back from the inland sea. Anything to get away from this Lord and his soldiers. It was okay to volunteer workdays for the temple buildings during the dry season, but making my little brother a slave because he refused to obey the Lord and the Ahuoab and leave his milpa at such a critical time was wrong."
"I know," Col replied. "When the Nacom tied him to the post and slashed his genitals that was a bit much."
"Yes," Pol Yiu said, "count me in for the move. I have no stomach for the way they treated your little brother, then tore his heart out of his chest for the Gods. May the Gods strike me dead if I don't believe, but I'm tired of this royal Lord and King stuff. Do this and do that, all the time. They treat us like dogs and tax us more maize than I can save. My father remembers before we had these temples and appointed a King and nobles. Then we voted on a committee and elected the chief every year. It is true the Nacom served for three years but he was still elected and had to work with the elected council. I for one, want to go back to the old ways. Everybody having a vote and changing our leaders every year is the proper way of doing things. I don't want people telling me what to do, it's okay if they ask my opinion and we vote on it, that's fair. This bunch telling us what to do and ordering us about is not my style."
"Careful what you say Pol," said Kal Chan, they won't think anything of making you a prisoner and sacrificing you, to shut you up." Kal looked around at his companions to see if any would betray them to the Lord of Cerros.
Bo stood up, stretching his arms. So! How many of you will come with me at the new moon, bringing your families and tools? We will start a new village on the coast, far away from this bunch of fools here and go back to the old ways of doing things."
Eleven hands shot up. No one abstained. Bo hadn't expected any to abstain, for they were all in danger of their lives meeting like this and he had chosen the people he wanted to lead away to start a new village carefully. This Lord of Cerros was nothing like the previous King and the attempts at coercion, intimidation and bullying would not make them obey him. Even at pain of death!
Kal offered a comment. "At least by leaving at the new moon, we will have time to build houses before it will be necessary to start clearing fields. The rains should be over just after the full moon and the cold weather from the Northers finished."
"I'm not so sure of that," Col replied. "Still, it will give us three or four weeks to clear land and do the burning before we have to plant."
"We better do some irrigation ditches and raise some ridges for planting too, because I hear that land is swampy and flat and might flood." Pol offered.
There was a little more conversation about how they were going to carry enough food, seeds and things and the making of hidden food caches a few miles away, that they could perhaps sneak back to get food if it was necessary. They all knew there would be plenty of fish, lobster and crab to eat, it was just the maize and other plants that would be a problem for a few months. They also knew other groups around Cerros were planning similar moves, but it wasn't safe to talk to anyone outside of the family and everyone present was connected by marriage, or blood in some way.
XAXIA (COROZAL), 1,918 YEARS AGO (78 A.D.)
Mu Loc Chac supposed he had to take the family in, for they were distant relatives of some kind with the same surname as his. There was gossip that there were many more of these immigrants coming from the western mountain highlands speaking this strange language they called Chol. The villages and towns up and down the country were mumbling and grumbling about the migration and influx of the newcomers. It would not be too hard to help this fellow and his family fit in here at Saxia (Corozal) . Truth be known he could stand some help with the camp he had set up for fishing for lobster on the two islands (Caye Caulker and Caye Chapel) south of Quia (south point of Ambergris Caye ) The traders and fishermen from Altun Ha and their camp at Xelchac ( center of the Drowned Cayes 4 miles to the west of Caye Chapel ) were poaching on his territory and some more manpower would help defend the place. He needed to leave somebody on the island full time. The problem would be the mosquitoes. They were much more terrible on the Cayes than here at the town Saxia (Corozal) . Still, beggars could not be choosers and this fellow had nothing now and would never get anything unless he took the offer. He probably would be glad of it, too.
It would be better if he got the fellow out of Saxia anyway, he thought. His talk of building temple buildings, royal families, battles, warriors and that kind of stuff would not be appreciated around the town here. It had been hard enough getting rid of those ruffian soldiers and that ambitious bunch of self proclaimed nobles over in Cerros from the tales they had heard: He for one wanted nothing to do with hereditary families, warrior life and quarrels with other towns. He had his hands full with the milpa here and the fishing on the islands and that took up his whole year. Besides, he liked it better when the council they had, was dominated by sensible men who went trading and the community held elections every year to see who would manage the town. Having a distant government ( like Belmopan today ) that told you what to do and when and then taxed the heck out of you was a stupid way to live. Those traders that had been way over to the Teotihuacan culture (central Mexico) and came back with tales of buildings and parades, sacrifices and royal nobles could keep their ideas to themselves, thank you! Be snorted in disgust at the thought.
He smiled to himself, thinking about the young slave girl he had just acquired. His wife could look after the milpa here, while he went on a trip to the islands and set this immigrant Chol speaking Maya and his family up in camp. Then he would bring back a load of boiled lobster. The slave girl could go on the trip of course, to cook. He grinned in anticipation.
1,520 YEARS AGO (376 A.D.) LORD SMOKING FROG CONQUERS RIO AZUL
Naranjo was closer and easier of access and though we don't know, it would seem that Xunantanich would be subservient to Naranjo. Cahel Pech ( Baking Pot a few miles east of Xunantanich) in turn was subordinate to Xunantanich.
The many city states in northern Belize seem to have never been involved directly in the various battles for geographical supremacy. Life went on here, the same as always. Farming, fishing and trading. Life in northern Belize and also southern Belize in the Toledo District seems to have been more concerned with living and the economics of successful trade. We can say that the Belizean Maya communities with a peak population of about 350,000 survived the seven hundred years of the classic Maya geographic wars unscathed. There probably were local raids and struggles befitting the traditions of the time, but nothing on the scale of the wars in the Peten. Belize was then and still is today, a place of refuge for the immigrant, fleeing war, poverty and oppression.
1,314 YEARS AGO ( 682 A.D.)
There must have been an enormous population in the eastern Peten and even more in the central and western Peten. It is estimated nearly a half a million people lived in the eastern Peten near Belize alone. About 682 A.D., the scion of Shield Skull who had been imposed as ruler on Tikal from Caracol much earlier in history, seems to have adopted, or wrapped himself with some semblance of joining with the hereditary line from Tikal. There was a lot of marriage between rulers in different city groups and the family lines mixed. The rejuvenation of Naranjo began with the arrival of another royal woman from Dos Pilas called Lady Six Sky who married Smoking Squirrel. They were probably first, or second cousins descended from King Flint Sky God. It is believed that Lady Six Sky outlived King Smoking Squirrel of Naranjo and ruled the whole political area for another three katuns. There were no .further historical recording done on stone during this time. Though we know that Lord Hummingbird of Cabel Pech, ( between Benque Viejo and San Ignacio) owed allegiance to Lord Smoking Squirrel over in Naranjo (across the Guatemalan border today).
Naranjo and Tikal joined together in a military alliance between 693 A.D. and 695 A.D. making war four times against their neighbors to keep the area together. In one of these wars, Jaguar Paw Jaguar is recorded as captured to the west of Tikal. It is believed that Lady Six Sky was part of a diplomatic, political effort to solidify control in the area when she moved from Dos Pilas to Naranjo. At any rate, war was simultaneously started from both Tikal and Naranjo in different directions with the intention of subduing surrounding city states. Political fragmentation seems to have started about this time.
War and politics seems to have been about the control of manpower and labor for public construction. The effective area of the time seems to have been a radius of 67 km, about 3400 square kilometers. The same distances are found in northern Belize between city states.
A study of pottery made of clay at Lubaantun from this time compared to pottery from other city states, shows that there must have been established trade routes, or that the skill of pottery was something an artisan carried with him as he went traveling from one place to another.
There was no religion as we would recognize it today. Political leaders, or as today, elected Mayan leaders carried out ceremonies to the Gods as part of the function of their office. There were no priests.
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