|Captain Teancum slays Amalickiah|
His next major accomplishment was the assassination of Amalickiah. Amalickiah was also a Nephite like Teancum but due to political turmoil and ulterior motives to obtain the judgment seat without success he
dissented and started a campaign to ascend to the throne of the Lamanite kingdom through secrecy and murder. Amalickiah’s plan proved to work with the Lamanites and before he knew it with a handful of murders and plots he became the king and waged war on the Nephites by stirring up the hearts of the Lamanites against them. Amalickiah proved to be a formidable opponent to the Nephite Captains (Moroni, Teancum, Lehi and others). At one point in the continuing battles Amalickiah was able to defeat and conquer seven Nephite cities before he ran into Teancum and his elite group of soldiers. After battling all day with Teancum’s forces Amalickiah’s army had been drive back and eventually pitched their tents and slept for the night because of fatigue in fighting all day. It was at this point that Teancum snuck into the Lamanite camp at night with his servant and used his javelin to pierce Amalickiah in the heart killing him immediately. Upon fleeing back to his camp without being noticed Teancum quickly prepared his army for battle with the Lamanites. The next morning the Lamanite army fled back to the city of Mulek for protection.
The last great accomplishment of Teancum was the assassination of Ammoron the brother of Amalickiah. Ammoron was determined to carry on his brother’s war. In frustration of battle Teancum was determined to attempt a similar assassination attempt on Ammoron’s life. He let himself over the city wall of Nephihah at night and crept into Ammoron’s tent and again used a javelin to attempt to pierce his heart this time the blow did not immediately kill and allowed him to cry out and awake his guards and servants. Teancum fled but the
servants were eventually able kill Teancum. His death was greatly mourned by Captain Moroni and Captain Lehi. As can be seen in the above summary Teancum could be one of the most courageous captains or military leaders of all time second to maybe Captain Moroni. It seems odd that such a national hero’s story would disappear with time with not trace of such accomplishments left through myth or traditional stories. Thanks to recent findings by Robert A. Pate, PhD and author of such books as “Mormon Names in Mayan Stone”, “Mormon Key to Maya Code” “Mapping the Book of Mormon “and “Mormon Footprint in Mesoamerica” we may have a traditional story highly influenced by non other than Captain Teancum.
|Tecun Uman Guatemalan National|
the Kaqchikel annals he was killed in battle with Spanish Conquistador Don Pedro de Alvarado while fighting at El Pinal on February 20th 1524. Tecun Uman is remembered for his bravery because he was fighting to protect his people. He was declared Guatemala’s national hero on March 22nd 1960. The legends say Tecún Umán entered battle adorned with precious quetzal feathers, and his nahual (animal spirit guide), also a quetzal bird, accompanied him during the battle. In the midst of the fray, both Alvarado and Tecún, warriors from worlds apart, met face to face, each with weapon in hand. Alvarado was clad in armor and mounted on his warhorse. As horses were not native to the Americas and peoples of Mesoamerica had no beasts of burden of their own, Tecún Umán assumed they were one being and killed Alvarado's horse. (While another version says he merely attacked the horse in an attempt to knock Alvarado down, having no prior illusion that both man and animal to be one and the same.) He quickly realized his error and turned for a second attack but Alvarado's spear pierced through his opponent's chest and into his heart. It was then his nahual, filled with grief, landed on the fallen hero's chest, staining its 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.
It is believed that "Tecún Umán" was more than likely not the ruler's name at all but may have functioned as a sort of title. The earliest recorded appearance of the name is in the Título K'oyoi in which he is referred to as "nima rajpop achij adelantado Tecum umam rey k'iche' don k'iq'ab'." Translated, this phrase means: "great captain-general Tecum, grandson of the K'iche' king Don K'iqab'." Therefore the word "uman" or
"umam" simply means "grandson of" and is not part of Tecún's name at all. It has been suggested that "umam" may have been a reference to his genealogy, or the name may have originally been derived from another title given to the hero, "q'uq'umam", meaning "ancient one of quetzal feathers". According to Dr. Pate,
“The legend of the national hero of Guatemala, Tecun Uman (also written Tecum Umam), is based in part on the history of Teancum. Even the name Te-cum is from Te-an-cum. In Quiché they refer to him as the “Lord of the Banners and Staffs”. Te-an-cum literally means “pole - up high - coat” or “coat up high on a pole”, as in “Title of Liberty.”
|Tecun Uman on Guatemalan Currency|