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I am a student currently enrolled in AP Spanish Literature, and we recently read "Chac Mool" by Carlos Fuentes. My teacher instructed us that "chac" does refer to the Mayan god of rain and thunder. Does anyone have the source which details why it's not the same "chac"?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 2 March 2006.

The answer's a bit late in coming, but it boils down to just like in English, Mayan languages have their homonyms and heteronyms too. chac (more phonemically chak) in Classic Maya can mean a number of things, such as "red", "great", "rain", Chaak (the rain deity), or the verb "to tie up". There are some differences in the length of the vowel sound which distinguish some of these so a few are not really homonyms, but quite often this is overlooked when they are written. It's further complicated when you consider that there is a /ch'/ sound which contrasts with /ch/ as well, and so ch'ak ("cut, decapitate") is different again (but sometimes written the same as) chak (or chac). Le Plongeon's coinage was based on the "red/great" meaning, not the others. --cjllw | TALK 09:26, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Chacmool meeting[edit]

I took this bit out. It's irrelevant and really non-notable however well meant:

Each conference has a central theme, with the 2007 Chacmool Conference dealing with food and beverages, with sessions dealing with micro-botanical (ie phytoliths), and macro-botanical (seeds, etc) evidence for such things as consumption and cultivation, as well as such things as starch residue analysis. The conference is hosted by the Chacmool Archaeological Asociation, which is a student run archaeology club, and staffed by student volunteers. The conference is an excellent way to network within the archaeolgical community at large, and a great way for students to become associated within the field, as amateur student papers are presented side-by-side with professional ones. The previous conference can be found here:

Neale Monks 20:41, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


Due to the position of the body and the tray, it makes me think it was used for cutting of heads. The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 03:56, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Why not a collection plate? These are temples, right? -- (talk) 20:52, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, I am baffled as to this "purpose" issue. As a former (circa 1996) student of Mesoamerican Archaeology, my understanding is that the chacmools served a central role in collecting the excised hearts of sacrificial victims. Am I completely discombobulated? Or are there political "downplaying" motivations involved? Can't help wonder why the article glosses this entirely over Ex0pos (talk) 09:27, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure, with what I know of later Meso-American cultures, that the 'collection plate' idea is probably correct. I would surmise that it is probably for the placement of a human heart proceeding ritual sacrifice. Both the Maya and Aztec who proceeded the Toltec practiced human sacrifice by removing the still-beating heart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:21, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

I also heard on a tourist trip to Yucatan / Chichen Itza that the tray he holds is used for receiving a cut-out heart. But if someone had a good source disputing that, fine. However, don't call it a "collection plate," that makes it sound like the phrase "collection plate" in the sense of modern churches. I don't think the Mayans were independent citizens carrying around currency that they would donate! :) Estephan500 (talk) 06:08, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I have read/heard that assertion as well, but I have never seen a primary source/eyewitness account of it, only speculation. :: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Revision to "Discovery"[edit]

The revision to this article, while sorely needed, resulted in a section that had formerly been correct and made it wrong. I restored much of the original, which either I had written (or Le Plongeon's biographer, Larry Desmond, had written). I also corrected the chain of events of how the statue got to DF, using Desmond's biography. What got cut was the definition of chacmool as "red paw of jaguar." Many people have translated it thus, but the word was coined by Le Plongeon who was very specific in his definition. In conversations I've had with Yucatec Maya speakers, they translate it as "Red paw," "Lightning paw," and "Red Jaguar." CoyoteMan31 (talk) 19:27, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for that, I had it in mind to go back and look at that but hadn't gotten around to it... all the best, Simon Burchell (talk) 09:57, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I appreciate all the hard work you've done. This article, and others you have touched, have been improved by your efforts. CoyoteMan31 (talk) 14:17, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Your source isn't explicity named in the refs - is it ths? Simon Burchell (talk) 20:08, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Yes. I thought it was in the references, but I guess not.CoyoteMan31 (talk) 21:54, 27 August 2013 (UTC)