deidad : Tepew Q'ukumatz
Colop (2011: nota 5, páginas 201-202) observa que "Tepew es una palabra náhuatl que significa 'conquistador' o 'victorioso' y se compone de los términos te- 'gente' y -pew, 'conquistar' (Campbell, 1983), que en este caso es el adjetivo, y Q'ukumatz es el nominal. La expresión ha sido traducida como 'majestad' (Edmonson, 1971: 4) y 'soberana' (D. Tedlock, 1996: 63). En este contexto es una metonimia de Quetzalcóatl. Q'ukumatz es mi escritura porque Recinos lo escribe Gucumatz. Para mayor claridad, Recinos dice: 'es la versión quich'e de Kukulcán, el nombre maya que Quetzalcóatl' (Recinos, 1953: 82) y que significa 'majestuosa serpiente emplumada'". Cita a Lyle Campell, "Préstamos lingüísticos en el Popol Vuh". En Nuevas prespectivas sobre el Popol Vuh, editado por Robert M. Carmack y Francisco Morales Santos. Guatemala: Editorial Piedra Santa, páginas 81-86 y Munro Edmonson, The Book of Counsel: The Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya of Guatemala. Middle American Research Institute. Publicación número 35. New Orleans: Tulane University Press, 1971.
Christenson (2007: notes 19-20, pages 52-53) breaks the terms Tepew and Q'ukumatz into two entities, noting, "Tepew (Sovereign) is one of several words in the Popol Vuh that were borrowed from the central Mexican group of languages, Nahua, variants of which were spoken by both the epi-Toltec and Aztec nations. This word is the Quiché form of the Nahua tepeuh, meaning 'conqueror' or 'majesty' (Campbell 1970, 4). Coto and Basseta record that in the Colonial era, the Quichés recognized the word as referring to 'majesty, dignity, lordship, power.' Tedlock and Recinos translate the word as 'sovereign,' which I prefer to the more descriptive 'majesty' used by Edmonson."
In the note for Q'ukumatz, he remarks: "The male quetzal’s tail feathers were highly prized by Maya royalty for their beauty and size, often reaching three feet in length. The unique coloration of the bird carried profound religious significance for the Maya. Its predominant blue/green feathers represented sky and vegetation, both symbols of life. Its red breast represented fire, the force that quickens life. Kumatz is a general term for “snake” or “serpent.” The serpent was a common Maya symbol for regeneration or rebirth because of its tendency to periodically shed its skin to reveal a newer and brighter one. The combination of an avian lord of the skies with a serpentine lord of the earth and underworld gave this god power over all levels of the Maya universe. He is undoubtedly related to the well-known god Quetzalcoatl (Nahua for “Quetzal Serpent) worshiped by the Aztecs of Central Mexico."Citing: Lyle Campbell, Nahua Loan Words in Quichean Languages, Chicago Linguistic Society (1971) 6: 3-13.
Interestingly, Mayan phonetic accommodations of sounds from Nahuatl, seen here in the yoking together of the deity names, emerges within a long history of graphic writing systems and cultural contact. According to Tedlock (1996: 23), "The writing in Post-classic books, as compared with Classic writing, shows an increased reliance on phonetic signs, including the use of distinctly Mayan signs to spell out words borrowed from Nahua."