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

History of the Mexicans as Told by Their Paintings
Translated and edited by Henry Phillips Jr.
Read before the American Philosophical Society, October 19, 1883
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society XXI:616-651, 1883.
Edited by Alec Christensen

Table of Contents


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

Notes 1-16
Note 17
Note 18
Notes 19-48
Notes 49-62
CHAPTER 8TH. [p.622]

Of what happened after the Sun and Moon were made.

One year after the sun was made, which was the first of the third thirteen after the deluge, Camasale, one of the four gods, went to the eighth heaven, and created four men and one woman for a daughter, so that they should go to war, that there should be hearts for the sun and blood for it to drink; and being made they fell into the water, and then returned to heaven, and as they fell and there ensued no war, the next year, which was the second of the third thirteen, the same Camasale, or as he is sometimes called Mixcoatl, took a rod and struck with it on a rock from which sallied forth forty [623] Chichimecas, 26 and this they say was the beginning of the Chichimecas, which we call Otomis, which in the language of Spain signifies mountaineers, and these, as we shall narrate hereafter, were the inhabitants of this country before the Mexicans came to conquer, and to dwell there and in the eleven years following of this third thirteen, Camasale 27 did penance, taking the thorns of the maguëy and drawing blood from his tongue and ears, and for this reason it is the custom to draw blood from such places with the thorns whenever they supplicate the gods. He did this penance so that his four sons and daughter that he had created in the eighth heaven should descend and slay the Chichimecas, so that the sun should have hearts to eat; and in the eleventh year of the third thirteenth, down came the four sons and the daughter, and placed themselves in some trees whence they fed eagles; and now it was that the Camasale invented the wine of the maguëy and other kinds of wines in which the Chichimecas busied themselves, and knew nothing better than drunkenness; and being in the trees the sons of Camasale, they were seen by the Chichimecas, who went to them, so they descended from the trees, and slew all the Chichimecas, only three escaping; one was called Ximbel, another Mimichil, and the third was the Camasale, the god who had created them, and who transformed himself into a Chichimeca. In the eighth year of the fourth thirteen after the deluge there was a great noise in the heaven from whence there fell a deer with two heads, and Camasale caused it to be caught, and ordered the men who then inhabited Cuitlalavaca, three leagues distant from Mexico, that they should capture that deer and regard it as a god, and they did so, and they gave it for four years to eat of rabbits and vipers and butterflies; and in the eighth year of the fourth thirteen Camasale had a war with some of his adjoining neighbors, and in order to conquer them he took the aforesaid stag and carrying it to them overcame them; and in the second year of the fifth thirteen did this same god Camasale celebrate a festival in heaven, making many fires; and until there was completed the fifth thirteen after the deluge did Camasale keep on continuously making war, and with it he gave nutriment to the sun.

They say, and the paintings likewise show it, that in the first year of the sixth thirteen the Chichimecas waged war against Camasale, and took away his deer, through which he was enabled to be victorious; and the reason why he lost it was that while wandering about the field he fell in with a female relation of Tezcatlipuca, a descendant of the five women whom he had made at the time when he created the 400 men which latter died, but the females remained alive, and this one was descended from them, and bore a son who was known as Ceacalt; 28 and in this thirteen they represent that afterwards when Çeacalt (sic) was a youth he did seven years of penance, wandering alone through the mountains, and drawing blood from himself that the gods might make him a mighty warrior. And in the sixth thirteen after the deluge began, this Çeacalt to wage war, and he was the first lord of Tula whose inhabitants chose him for their chief on [624] account of his valor. This Çeacalt lived until the second year of the ninth thirteen, being lord of Tula, and four years before that time he built a very large temple in Tula, and when he had done it there came to him Tezcatlipuca, who told him, that towards Honduras, in a place which is now called Tlapalla, there was a house built for him, and that there he should betake himself and breathe his last, for that he must go away from Tula, 29 in which town Çeacalt was reverenced as a god; to what Tezcatlipuca said to him, he replied that the heavens and the stars had told him that it was his fate to leave there within four years. And so when these four years were completed, he departed and took with him all the Maceguales of Tula, and left them at the city of Chulula, whence are descended all its inhabitants, and others he left in the province of Cuzcatan, whence descends the present population of that place, and in the very same manner he left behind him in Çempoal others who settled there, and he proceeded on his journey till he reached Tlapala (sic), and on the very day in which he arrived there he fell ill, and on the day following he died. Then Tula remained depopulated, and without a lord nine years.


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