Haabʼ

The Haabʼ (Mayan pronunciation: [haːɓ]) is part of the Maya calendric system. It was a 365-day calendar used by many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica.

Description

Haabʼ months: names in glyphs[1] in sequence
No.
Seq.
Name of
month
Glyph
examples
glyph meaningNo.
Seq.
Name of
month
Glyph
examples
glyph meaning
1Pop𝋠 Maya months - 0 - Pop.svgmat10Yax𝋠 Maya-months-09-yax.svggreen storm
2Woʼ𝋠 Maya months - 1 - Wo.svgblack conjunction11Sakʼ𝋠 Maya-months-10-sak.svgwhite storm
3Sip𝋠 Maya months - 2 - Sip.svgred conjunction12Keh𝋠 Maya-months-11-kej.svgred storm
4Sotzʼ𝋠 Maya-months-03-sotz'.svgbat13Mak𝋠 Maya-months-12-mak.svgenclosed
5Sek𝋠 Maya months - 4 - Sek.svgdeath14Kʼankʼin𝋠 Maya-months-13-k'ank'in.svgyellow sun
6Xul𝋠 Maya-months-05-xul.svgdog15Muwan𝋠 Maya-months-14-muwan.svgowl
7Yaxkʼin𝋠 Maya months - 6 - Yaxk'in.svgnew sun16Pax𝋠 Maya-months-15-pax.svgplanting time
8Mol𝋠 Maya months - 7 - Mol.svgwater17Kʼayabʼ𝋠 Maya-months-16-k'ayab'.svgturtle
9Chʼen𝋠 Maya-months-08-ch'en.svgblack storm18Kumkʼu𝋠 Maya-months-17-kumk'u.svggranary
    19five unlucky days

The Haabʼ comprises eighteen months of twenty days each, plus an additional period of five days ("nameless days") at the end of the year known as Wayeb' (or Uayeb in 16th-century orthography).

Bricker (1982) estimates that the Haabʼ was first used around 500 BCE with a starting point of the winter solstice.[2]

The Haabʼ month names are most commonly referred to by their names in colonial-era Yucatec (Yukatek). In sequence, these (in the revised orthography[3]) are as seen on the right: Each day in the Haabʼ calendar was identified by a day number within the month followed by the name of the month. Day numbers began with a glyph translated as the "seating of" a named month, which is usually regarded as day 0 of that month, although a minority treat it as day 20 of the month preceding the named month. In the latter case, the seating of Pop is day 5 of Wayebʼ. For the majority, the first day of the year was Seating Pop. This was followed by 1 Pop, 2 Pop ... 19 Pop, Seating Wo, 1 Wo and so on.

Inscriptions on The Temple of the Cross at Palenque shows clearly that the Maya were aware of the true length of the year, even though they did not employ the use of leap days in their system of calculations generally. J. Eric Thompson[4] wrote that the Maya knew of the drift between the Haabʼ and the solar year and that they made "calculations as to the rate at which the error accumulated, but these were merely noted as corrections they were not used to change the calendar."

5 unlucky days

The five nameless days at the end of the calendar, called Wayebʼ, was thought to be a dangerous time. Foster (2002) writes "During Wayeb, portals between the mortal realm and the Underworld dissolved. No boundaries prevented the ill-intending deities from causing disasters." To ward off these evil spirits, the Mayans had customs and rituals they practised during Wayebʼ. For example, the Mayans would not leave their homes and wash their hair.

Notes

  1. ^ Kettunen and Helmke (2005), pp.47–48
  2. ^ Zero Pop actually fell on the same day as the solstice on 12/27/−575, 12/27/−574, 12/27/−573, and 12/26/−572 (astronomical year numbering, Universal Time), if you don't account for the fact that the Maya region is in roughly time zone UT−6. See IMCCE seasons Archived 2012-08-23 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Again, per Kettunen and Helmke (2005)
  4. ^ p.121, J. Eric Thompson, Maya Hieroglyphic Writing. University of Oklahoma Press. (1971)ISBN 0-8061-0958-0

References

Media files used on this page

Maya months - 4 - Sek.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the fifth month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-13-k'ank'in.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the fourteenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs (and from Piedras Negras altar 2 supports glyphs).
11 zac.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
6 xul.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya months - 7 - Mol.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the eighth month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-03-sotz'.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph representing the fourth month in the Maya calendar. Based on Linda Schele's drawings collection. Schele Number: 6210. Inscription from Yaxchilan.
Maya months - 1 - Wo.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the second month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
9 chen.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
7 yaxkin.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya-months-11-kej.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the twelfth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
12 ceh.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
17 kayab.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
2 uo haab.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
10 yax.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya months - 0 - Pop.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the first month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
1 pop.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya-months-12-mak.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the thirteenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
16 pax.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya-months-05-xul.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the sixth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-09-yax.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the tenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-14-muwan.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the fifteenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya months - 2 - Sip.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the third month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
3 sip.png
Glifo del Sip para el calendario Haab
Maya-months-15-pax.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the fifteenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
13 mac.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
8 mol.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
4 zotz.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
18 cumhu.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya-months-17-kumk'u.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the eighteenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-16-k'ayab'.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the seventeenth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya months - 6 - Yaxk'in.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the seventh month of the Maya calendar.

This work is based on John Montgomery

Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
Maya-months-08-ch'en.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the ninth month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
5 tzec.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
14 kankin.png
Glifo del calendario Haab
Maya-months-10-sak.svg
Author/Creator: Biajojo, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Glyph of the eleventh month of the Maya calendar. This work is based on John Montgomery Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs.
15 muan.png
Glifo del calendario Haab