Link to enlarge K6042 (Las Bocas - Ceramic Vessel) THE FOUNDATION RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

Narrative of Some Things of New Spain and of the Great City of Temestitan,1 México.
Written by a Companion of Hernan Cortes, The Anonymous Conqueror.
Edited by Alec Christensen



Chapter   1
Chapter   2
Chapter   3
Chapter   4
Chapter   5
Chapter   6
Chapter   7
Chapter   8
Chapter   9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21
Chapter 22
Chapter 23
Chapter 24


THE grain with which they make their bread is a kind of pea, and there is white, crimson, black, and reddish. Planted, it produces a high cane like a half pike, which gives two or three ears where the grain is, as in Panizo or Panic grass. In order to make bread they take a great olla which they fill with four or five pitchers full of water, and they put fire beneath it until the water boils. Then they take away the fire, and the grain they call Tayul,24 and over it they add a little lime in order to loosen the thin skin which covers it. In two or three hours when it has become cold they wash it well in the river or in the houses with many waters, so that it comes to be perfectly clean of all the lime, and then they mash it on some stones made for this purpose. When it has been mashed they put water with it and [36] make a paste, and so grinding it and mashing it at the same time, they make the bread. They put it to cook in large earthen baking pans a little larger than a sieve, and as they cook the bread they eat it, because it is much better hot than cold. They have another method of preparing, which is to make some balls of this mass which they cover with leaves and put it in a great pot with a little water, and cover it well so that with the heat and with keeping them covered they are cooked. They also cook it in fritters [tamales] with other things which they are accustomed to eat. They raise many great hens like peacocks, very good to eat. There are a great number of quail of four or five species and some of these are like partridges. They have also ducks and drakes of many classes, domestic and wild, from whose plumes they make their garments for wars and festival; they use these feathers for many things because they are of various colors, and every year they take them from the birds. There are also great and little parrots which they [37] have in their houses and whose plumes also are used. They kill for eating a great number of stags and roes, hares and rabbits, which are found in great quantities in these parts. They cultivate a great diversity of plants and garden truck of which they are very fond, and these they eat raw as well as in various cooked dishes. They have one--like a pepper--as a condiment which they call chile and they never eat anything without it. These people live with very little food, as little perhaps as any other people in the world. Only the Lords have a great variety of viands, sauces and vegetable soups, pies and pastries of all the animals which they have, fruits, vegetables, and fish, which are in abundance. They use all of these things, and they are served in plates and soup plates upon mats of palm leaf very beautifully worked which are in all of their houses, as also seats in which they sit, made in various manners but all low, which do not raise them above the ground more than a palm or six inches. The food is brought to [38] the Lords with a towel of cotton so that they may wipe the hands and the mouth. They are served by two or three chief waiters and the Lords eat all they wish; and then what is left over is divided among other Lords, their vassals, who are there in order to make their court to them.

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