Fun_People Archive
5 May
Job Description From the Book of the Jaguar Priest

Date: Thu,  5 May 94 13:53:57 PDT
To: Fun_People
Subject: Job Description From the Book of the Jaguar Priest

Forwarded-by: bostic@vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: (Henry Cate)

This following job description was found in one of the Books of Chilam
Balam [1] written sometime after AD 1593 by the priests of the Classic
and Postclassic Maya civilization. Obviously, the Maya priest corps had
ambitious expectations for new hires, so that only truly outstanding
candidates need apply. I offer this as an example to be used in recruiting
Internet engineering staff and in formulating the requirements for
policy-based routing.  The ennumeration has been added for possible future

 1. To impersonate and invoke the deity.
 2. To offer food and drink to the idols.
 3. To effect the drawing of the pebbles and regulate the calendar.
 4. To read weather and other omens in the clouds.
 5. To study the night sky and interpret the appearance of the
    celestial bodies.
 6. To determine the lucky and unlucky days for various mundane
    activities by the casting of lots.
 7. To perform the numerous rituals of the cup, plate, etc.
 8. To work miracles.
 9. To concoct medicinal herbs into ceremonial drinks.
10. To predict the future.
11. To announce the times for various agricultural and other activities.
12. To insure adequate rainfall.
13. To avert or bring to a timely end famine, drought, epidemics,
    plagues of ants and locusts, earthquakes.
14. To distribute food to the hungry in time of need.
15. To cut the honey from the hives.
16. To determine the compensation to be placed on the crossroad altars.
17. To read from the sacred scriptures the future road of the katun
    [calendar round].
18. To design and supervise the carving of stelae [stone monuments],
    the manufacture of word and clay idols, and the construction of
19. To construct tables of eclipses and heliacal risings of planets
    [such as are found in the Dresden Codex].


1.   Makemson, M.W. The Book of the Jaguar Priest, a translation of the
     Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin, with commentary. Henry Schuman,
     New York, 1951, p. 141.

[=] © 1994 Peter Langston []