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Clifford C. Richey November 2013
It might be helpful to refer to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/125076415/Uni ers!l"#rehistoric"$epicted"%ign"&!ngu!ge when re!ding this p!per !s it e'pl!ins the use of (orm) Im!ger*) +esture signs) %t!nce) !llusion !nd position !s used in composing gl*phs.
Illustration 2: Color Coded
,his -!*!n gl*ph c!lled the %!.!l gl*ph is thought to be rel!ted to) /! hierogl*phic title for cert!in subsidi!r* lords 0 b!sic!ll* elite court members who were not high rulers of 1ingdoms21 3hether the o er!ll gl*ph w!s !ncientl* iewed in such ! m!nner is ! moot point. 4ttempting to m!tch cert!in fe!tures of ! gl*ph to the phonetics of se er!l !ncient -!*!n di!lects is difficult. 4scert!ining b!sic gesture sign elements is !lso m!de difficult b* some signs h! ing been compounded to cre!te new words !nd phr!ses. If one did not 1now m!n* of the b!sic gesture signs one could di ide ! gl*ph in m!n* different w!*s resulting in m!n* different tr!nsl!tions. ,he depicted sign l!ngu!ge !ppro!ch to the tr!nsl!tion of -!*!n gl*phs m!* be the more !ccur!te !s m!n* of the b!sic signs h! e been document historic!ll*.2 In this p!per we h! e color coded the sign l!ngu!ge elements so th!t we c!n see how the* followed the composition s*stem.5 3e begin with the #rofile (!ce found in the gl*ph !s the l!rgest ! !il!ble entit* from which we wor1 downw!rd to the sm!llest (orm !nd Im!ger*. ,he 6t!n7 (!ce h!s the 4ssoci!tion!l me!ning of) his appearance.4 ,he %t!nce of the (!ce is &eftw!rd. In gesture signing the &eft h!nd is !ssoci!ted with the east while the right h!nd is !ssoci!tes with the west. ,he %h!pe of the 8ose 6!lluding to the 8ostrils) or dual holes7) is in ! 6red7 cur ed %hepherd9s %t!ff (orm. ,his sh!pe is b!sed on the gesture sign for) taken upwards. ,he &ine continues on up to the 6green7 ,op of the :e!d !nd indic!tes the surface or the land. 3h!t is t!1en upw!rds is the ;*e which w!s ! met!phor for the Eye of the Sun, or Venus. <enus !rises before the %un in the e!st !nd w!s therefor) met!phoric!ll*) comp!red to its ;*e. ,he depiction of the ;*e w!s positioned o er th!t p!rt of the (!ce where it !lluded to the !ctu!l ;*e. ,his t*pe of !llusion !llowed the composer to use ! !riet* of different signs th!t could !llude to the !re! bene!th it. In this c!se the ;*e w!s cre!ted from ! %tr!ight &ine th!t indic!ted a surface !nd is 1 http://decipherment.wordpress.com/2015/11/1=/e!rl*"thoughts"on"the"s!.!l"title/
2 ,om1ins) 3illi!m Indi!n %ign &!ngu!ge) $o er #ublic!tions) 8ew >or1) 1=6= 5 http://www.scribd.com/doc/125076415/Uni ers!l"#rehistoric"$epicted"%ign"&!ngu!ge 4 Christenson, Allen J. Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the the Maya: The Great Classic of Central American Spirituality, Translated from the Ori inal Maya Te!t. University of Oklahoma Press, 2007.
p!rt of the the (orm of ! 6blue7 3!ter $rop) ! particle of water) ,he w!ter"p!rticle9s %t!nce is !lso eastward !nd positioned beneath the ground9s surf!ce. ?esting on the @ridge of the 8ose is the (orm of !n 6light t!n7 ;gg which represents) the one who will emerge or be born. His Face, his appearance, Heading eastward, Taken upward, to The surface, The Eye of the Sun, Venus, in !ater "rop, a particle of water, The Egg, the one who will emerge,
Illustration 3: Color Coded 3e now mo e to the !re! th!t !lludes to the ;!r) its orifice or a hole of the e!r th!t is positioned on the side. 4g!in we find the 6red7 %hepherd9s %t!ff sh!ped sign for, taken downwards. ,he 6white7 Aircle th!t me!ns) the one, his location. #elow, ! sm!ll 6bl!c17 Aircle th!t st!nds for) the location, the one, in the darkness. 8e't is the 6blue7 sh!ped sign for) arising, from the 6bl!c17 roof or surface of the &ower :!lf Aircle sign indic!ting) the dark$underside or underworld. ,he underworld sign is co ered ! bit b* the ne't sign segment. Taken downward, The one, his location, #elow, in hole, %n the side, rising, from The surface of
The dark underworld,
8ow we mo e to the ne't l!rgest segment th!t w!s composed in the (orm of !n 4rm !nd :!nd. ,he (orm !nd Im!ger* of 4rms !nd :!nds seems to consistentl* rel!te to their signs h! ing been reser ed !s representing a warrior !nd a steward of the Sun 6in tod!*9s terms) ! %un"priest7. ,he 4rm !nd :!nd !re positioned below !nd to the side of the 6bl!c17 underworld sign. (rom this we le!rn th!t the ;*e of the %un w!s !lso considered ! w!rrior !nd stew!rd of the %un. 3e note the rel!ti e siBe of the :!nd !s comp!red to the 4rm. ,his indic!tes) great. 3e !lso note th!t here !re ,wo Aur ed sections 6the signs for turning7 to the (orm of the 4rm. The rm, the &arge Hand, The !arrior, the 'reat Steward of the Sun, The two Turning, #elow, and %n the side, of the dark underworld.
3e now turn our !ttention to the :!nd. ,he interior of the 6brown7 :!nd is in the (orm of ! $og) ,he $og w!s the 4ssoci!ti e sign for) the one who forewarns or in tod!*9s terms) ! prophet. ,here is ! st*listic 4rm cur ed o er the $og9s :e!d in the %t!nce of protecting the :e!d. ,he $og is headed or (!cing eastward tow!rd the rising %un. The protector sign is $ouble &ined indic!ting) unseen. The "og, The one who forewarns, The one who protects, unseen, Heading east.
,he intern!l ,ot!l (orm is complic!ted but !ppe!rs to be ! 6light blue7 @ird 6flight7 with the (orm of 6d!r1 blue7 ;*es 6Venus7 behind e!ch 3ing 6east and west7.
3ithin the :!nd there !re more signs. Cn the &eft 6the east7 there is the (orm of ! :!nd holding the ;*e in the position of being) abo(e. ,he me!ning of this %t!nce is) held. ,he (orm of the :!nd is Aur ed !nd m!1es the sign for) held as in a bowl. Cn the ?ight )the west* the (orm seems to be th!t of ! profile (!ce) his appearance) !nd the position of the ;*e is lower !nd on the side) th!n the the ;*e on the &eft. ,he 6red7 Undul!ting &ine in the middle indic!tes mo(ement at the center. The Flight of the Eye, in The east and west. +n the East, bo(e, The Hand, The Steward of the Sun, The Eye, Venus, Held as in a #owl. +n the !est, His Face, his appearance, #elow, %n the side.
Illustration 9: The Dead Wasps, Below
Illustration 8: Tentative Forms
(in!ll*) we come to the Im!ger* of ,wo 3!sp :e!ds th!t !re upside down !nd positioned below the rest of the gl*ph. ,he me!ning of the 3!sp":e!ds being upside down is th!t the* !re dead. ,he 3!sp represented the defenders of the nest or in hum!n terms) the communit*. The dead defenders. ,he ,wo :e!ds !re connected or .oined to e!ch other !nd were depicted !s e'!ctl* the s!me. ,hus the* were ! p!ir of w!rriors or the twins. In f!ct the defenders !re more li1e %i!mese ,wins) two defenders in one bod*. ,his w!s ! met!phor m!de b* comp!ring <enus th!t !ppe!rs to be two st!rs but is !ctu!ll* one !nd the s!me st!r. ,he met!phor rel!ted to the c*cle of <enus !ppe!ring in the e!stern s1* in the morning !nd) !t other times) in the western s1* !fter the %un sets. In -!*!n) Du' ;15 6the 3!sp"st!r7 w!s ! n!me used for <enus. ,he 3!sp :e!ds !lso !llude position!ll* to the (eet. ,he 4ssoci!ti e for ! (oot w!s ! w!l1 or ! .ourne*. ,he two 6brown7 (eet point in opposite directions. The ,ourneys. ,here is !lso ! &ine indic!ting) below e!ch C !l which represents all or e(erything in the darkness. Cn e!ch side of the &ine 6the center7 there !re Aur ed !nd ,!pered signs th!t) !s ! compound) me!n arising upwards into the distance. ,he sp!ce between these (orms is in the sh!pe of ! 6green7 <ertic!l ,ri!ngle me!ning ! ertic!l"pl!ce th!t is positioned in the center. ,he %m!ll 6bl!c17 Aircles th!t indic!te) The locations, the ones, in the darkness of the east and west. 4ll the signs !re tied together b* the ,hree 6bl!c17 $ots th!t (orm ,ri!ngles th!t indic!te) female$spirits !s the* !re in the dom!in of the e!rth"fem!le. ,heir %t!nce is) heading upwards. The dead ones, The !asps, the defenders, The twins, Their ,ourneys, #elow, ll, in the darkness, t the center, (ertical$place
arising upwards, Their locations, The ones, +n the darkness. East and west, as Female$spirits, they Head upwards, +nto the distance. The center refers to ! cosmologic!l center. 4 cosmologic!l !nd cultur!l center w!s !n !re! where the subterr!ne!n w!ter of the underworld !rose to the e!rth9s surf!ce c!rr*ing the spirits of the dece!sed w!rrior"priests !long with the w!ter. %uch sites were tre!ted with re erence b* the culture !s it w!s !t such sites th!t their dece!sed members !rose 6considered ! re"birth7 !nd where the* !scended to the s1* to .oin the st!rs.