The Story of Tecun Uman
Digital print by Jose Flores. Printed on thick, bright white, textured Fine Art paper with archival pigmented inks. These inks not only provide beautiful vivid color, but are also designed to last 300 years. 13x19in
" The Story of Tecun Uman"
Tecu Uman, was the last ruler and king of the K'iche-Maya people, in the highlands of what is now Guatemala. According to the Kaquchikel annals, he was killed by Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado while waging battle against the Spaniards in the grasslands of El Pinal ( Valley of Olintepeque) on February 20, 1524.
In the middle of November of 1523, the captain Don Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras had been sent on an important mission by Heran Cortes to discover and conquer the lands south of Mexico.
The legends say Tecun Uman entered battle adorned with precious quetzal feathers, and his nawal (animal spirit guide), also a quetzal bird, accompanied him during the battle. In the midst of the fray, both Alvarado and Tecun, warriors from the worlds apart, met face to face, each with weapon in hand. Alavrado was clad in armor and mounted on his warhorse. As horses were not native to the Americas and people of Mesoamerica had no beast of burden of their own, Tecun Uman assumed they were one being and killed Alvarado' s horse ... He quickly realized his error and turned for a second attack but Alavardo's spear pierced through his opponent's chest and into his heart. It was then his nawal, filled with grief, landed on the fallen hero's chest, staining his breast feathers red with blood, and thereafter died. From that day on, all male quetzals bear a scarlet breast and their song has not been heard since. Further, if one is to be placed in captivity, it would die, making the quetzal a symbol of liberty.