Mayan Languages: Stone Mason

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by Patgat, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Patgat New Member

    Can somebody tell me what is the word for "Stone Mason" in Maya language?
  2. Foygl Member

    You have to realize that there is no single Maya language. Today there are more than thirty living Maya languages, so you will have to be a bit more specific, and tell us in exactly which Maya language, you wish the translation.

    I have checked the few Maya dictionaries I have gotten (on Ch'ol, Cholón, Itza', K'iche', Mam, Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Yukatek) using keywords such as "mason" and "stone" in English, and "piedra," "mampostero," "(pica)pedrero," "cantero" and even "masón" in Spanish. I was only able to find one translation in any of the dictionaries, and that was in a dictionary on K'iche' called "English - K'iche' Dictionary" written by Allen J. Christenson. It gives "mason, bricklayer" as "yakal ja." And it derives from the words "yak" meaning "to arise, to raise, to build, to hold up, to erect" and "ja" which means "house, building."
  3. Patgat New Member


    In fact i'm looking for any one of theses Maya Language the word we represents the best the mason who cut stones for Maya temples.
    For instance does "yakal ja" realy represents the masson who cut stones for temples or only for "individual houses".
    Best regards.
  4. Foygl Member

    I'd say that "yakal ja" would denote a person who cuts stone - both for individual houses, temples and other constructions, but it is only guesswork. You should note that you had no special status in the Mayan cities, if you were merely a mason. Those who had a special status - except for the royalty, of course - were the carvers (and also the scribes) who carved the Mayan glyphs on the monuments, the temples, etc. after they had been built.
    I have looked into some of my other books on Classical Maya and the Mayan writing system, and I still haven't been able to find any references to masons - neither in the Latin orthography nor in the Mayan writing system. However, several references and translations of "scraper," "scribe," "carver" and words alike occur, including in the Mayan writing system.
  5. Patgat New Member

    Thank you very much for your answer.
  6. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay
    Have you checked the Cordemex?
  7. Al3 New Member

    In yucatec maya:
    Mason: Meen pak' (It literally translates "maker of walls")
    Stone: Tuunich

    I think you can omit the word "stone" (tuunich) since all masons at least here in the yucatan (current and ancient masons) are supossed to work with stone among other materials. Besides the word "pak'" implies he is working with the materials walls are made of, such as stone (tuunich):
    In Yucatec maya a house build with stone, mortar, cement, bricks etc. is called Pak'il naj (house of "walls") and a house made with grass, hay, is called su'ukil naj (house of grass, hut. su'uk = grass, hay)


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