persona : Wuqub No'j (gen. 11)
With Kuwatepech, Wuqub' No'j forms the 11th generation of the Kaweq family, part of the K'iche' community.
Kuwatepech y Wuqub' No'j son los señores undécimos del linaje Kaweq.
La etimología náhuatl indica una larga historia de contacto entre el pueblo k'iche' y el imperio mexica. Como así observa Allen Christenson (2004: nota 853, página 277), "Wuqub' No'j (Seven Thoughts) reigned ca. 1500-1523. This is a day on the traditional 260 day calendar, and is likely the day on which this lord was born. His reign was marked by continued war with the Cakchiquels. In the year 1514, two wars were fought, the first at the river Sotzil and the second at Mukche. The Quiché Magistrate of War (Q'alel Achi) died in the latter conflict and many prisoners were taken. Carmack identifies this lord with Ahpop Tuh, the father of Yaxonkik who was soundly defeated in battle with the Cakchiquels in 1517 (Carmack 1981, 138). The Annals of the Cakchiquels claims that 'during this year our fathers and grandfathers destroyed the Quichés once again; they exterminated them as if by lightning' (Recinos and Goetz 1953, 114).
In his day, the Quichés also came into closer contact with the Aztecs of Central Mexico. In 1501, the Aztec king Ahuitzotl sent 'merchants and officials' to the court of Cumarcah, likely to demand tribute and/or vassalage. The Quichés ordered them out of their territory (Fuentes y Guzmán 1932-33, 6, 47). Apparently Vucub Noh did not feel as comfortable in his position by 1510, for in that year the Quichés began to pay tribute to the Aztec lord Moctezuma in the form of quetzal feathers, gold, precious stones, cacao, and cloth. These payments continued until the fall of the Aztec empire to the Spaniards (Recinos 1957, 84; Carmack and Mondloch 1983, 142).
These ties were strengthened by marriage ties. According to the Buenabaj Pictorials, recently discovered by Carmack in the Momostenango area, 'the lord Quiché... wed two of the daughters of Mendectzum [Moctezuma] called Malintzin' (Carmack 1973, 371). In 1512, Moctezuma sent an emissary named Witzitzil to warn the Quichés of the arrival of the Spaniards along the Mexican Gulf Coast. He warned them to prepare to defend themselves (Recinos 1957, 84-85). In 1519, a plague broke out at Iximche: 'First they became ill of a cough, they suffered from nosebleeds and illness of the bladder. It was truly terrible, the number of dead there were in that period.... Little by little, heavy shadows and black night enveloped our fathers and grandfathers and us also, oh, my sons! when the plague raged' (Recinos and Goetz 1953, 115).
The plague lasted at least until 1521 and, although Quiché records do not mention it, it is likely that it spread throughout the Guatemalan highlands. Edmonson suggests that this may have been an epidemic of smallpox, a disease brought by the early Spanish explorers (Edmonson 1965, 5).
A similar plague struck Yucatán in 1516: 'A pestilence seized them, characterized by great pustules, which rotted their bodies with
a great stench, so that the limbs fell to pieces in four or five days' (Landa 1941, 42).
Perhaps in order to present a united front against the Spanish threat, Vucub Noh negotiated peace with the Cakchiquel lord Belehe Qat in 1522, ending the protracted war that had raged between the two nations since the time of Lord Quicab (Recinos and Goetz 1953, 118). This cessation of hostilities did not, however, prevent the Cakchiquels from allying themselves with the invading Spaniards against the Quichés.