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
APPENDIX. [p.643]

Annotations and Corrections to the Codex Ramirez.

1 Tonacatecli, called by Brinton (who follows the classical authorities) Tonacatecutli and his wife Tonacacihuatl. The name Tonacatecutli is supposed to signify Lord of our Existence, and Tonaca Cihuatl to mean Queen of our Existence (Vide Am. Hero Myths, p. 73 and note.)

2 There were two Tezcatlipocas, the red and the black, of whom the myths blended. (Brinton, A.H.M., 73.) The names of these four brothers are differently stated by various authors. Tezcatlipoca-Camaxtli was the spirit of darkness (co. lib., 68). (The shining mirror.) Stone seats were placed around the streets for him to repose on, on which no native ever dared to sit. Clavigero, 1, 244.

His principal image was Teotetl (divine stone), black and shining like marble and richly dressed. He was called by Herrera (III, ii, ch. XV) Tezcaltiputça; by Boturini (p. 11) Tezcatlipoca; by Garcia (IV, 300) Tlezcatipuca; Titlacauan was also one of his common names, meaning "we are his slaves." (A.H.M., 106.)

Of the three names, the one given by Boturini is correct. According to Mendoza (Anales de Museo Mexicano), the meaning of the word is brightness, darkness and smoke, being the silver resplendency of the moon illuminating the darkness of the night, breaking through a smoke-like obscurity.

Brinton (Am. Hero Myths, p. 71), leans to the more generally received interpretation of smoky mirror (from Tezcapoctli), meaning the rising of the mist from the surface of the waters. Tezcatlipoca was the god of gods, compared by Garcia to Jupiter, the supreme invisible essence, "the most sublime figure in the Indian Pantheon’" (Brinton, lib. cit., 69); also the youth, omnipotent, exacting of prayer, creator and disposer of men; the enemy, the worker and night wind. The divine Providence according to Boturini. See note 7.

3 Camaxtli. Also called Teotlamacà zqui (the hieroglyphic of the priests). Tezcatlipoca- Camaxtli the spirit of darkness. (American Hero Myths, Brinton, ch. 3. p. 68.) Tiitlacàhuan, we are thy slaves. (Bot. xi.) (Cf. Note 27).

4 Quatzalcoatl (Bot. 11.) Herrera 3, 3, xiv. Quetzalcoatl (Brinton A.H.M.), passim. Quetzalcohuatl (Bot. 25) hieroglyphic of the Air. Quetzalcoatl (Garcia, IV, vii, 262), was a "white man with a beard, of industry and intelligence, who fled from the tyranny of Huemac (the great hand), King of Tula, and took refuge at Cholulla. He is the spirit of light and culture, ever engaged in a continual warfare with his brother, Tazcatlipoca, the spirit of darkness. (A.H.M.)

Quetzalcoatl (Clavigero, 1, 218), "feathered serpent," god of the air.

Vetancourt (Clav. 1, 250). Coatl, a twin, Quetzalli, a gem.
Queçalcoatl, por otro nombre yagualiecatl. The name was applied to him in his relation to the winds, whose ruler he was, the words Yahualli ecatl, meaning ’"the Wheel of the Winds." Yahualli is from the root yaual or youal, circular or round, and the towers where he was worshiped were of this form. (A.H.M., 121.)

5 Om tecilt. Qy. Ometochtli (two rabbits), the god of wine.

Omiticult. Clavigero 1, 245.

Ometeuctli and omicihuatl, god and goddess residing in heaven, propitious to mortals: Also known as Citlallalonac and Citlalicue.

6 Moyocoya, or more properly moyocoyatzin, is the third person singular of the verb yocoya, to do, with the respectful or reverential termination tzin (A.H.M., 70), meaning "he who acts or does." Ramirez translates it as "the omnipotent" (todo poderoso); Brinton, the determined doer. The title is given him in reference to his demiurgic power.

7 Evidently an error for the terrible war-god, Huitzilopochtli. (Boturini 27; Herrera III, iii, 17, Vitzilipuztli. Lorenzana, I. Huitzilo-potzil.)

In the sixteenth century it was customary to express the same sound indiscriminately by Vi and Hui. (Orozco y Berra. Anales II, i, 71.)

Garcia (IV, 300) Huitzilopuctli answers to Mars. In this author the name occurs most frequently as Vitzilipuctli.

Vchilobos. Clavigero (Cullen 1, 254). Huitzilin, a humming bird. Opochtli, left.

Boturini wrong. The Spaniards, unable to pronounce the name, usually called him Huichilobos. Orozco y Berra (Anales II, 1, p. 71), thinks that of an the forms Vitziliutl is the most correct.

8 (Çipactonal, Boturini 46, the father superior to the son.) Çipastonal and Uxumuco, more properly Çipactonal and Oxomuco. (Oxomozco, Boturini, p. 46), whose names have not been as yet satisfactorily explained. "Tonal is no doubt from tena to shine, and cipactli*** from chipauac, beautiful or clear. (A.H.M., 74. Vide Chavero, Anales, II, 116.)

9 Maize. Maize was the emblem of Centeotl, goddess of cereals, who was the same as Xilomen (from Xilotl, a young grain of maize). She was also the same as Tzazolteotl, the Venus vaga, goddess of impure love. L’Ecriture hieratique Maya par Leon de Rosny, p. 185.

10 Tlalocatecli. Tlaloc was, according to Boturini (p. 72), the second deity and quasi minister of the Divine Providence. Brinton (A.H.M., 75, 123) considers him as the god of darkness; his name being, according to some, wine of the earth. Tlal (tlalli, earth) oc (ocqui), wine of the maguey plant; according to others, dweller on earth, tlalli (the earth) and onac (being).

The name according to Brinton (A.H.M., 123) should be Tlaloctecutli, lord of the wine of the earth.

Garcia (IV, ii, 139, ch. vii) Tlalocatecutli is the god of water; Tlaloc (IV, viii, ii, 143).

Clavigero 1, 251. Tlaloc, god of water; he resided on the highest mountains where the clouds are formed.

11 Chalchiuhcueitl (Boturini 25). La della Saya de Piedras preciosas, hieroglyphic of water; is generally shown with reeds. Probably took her origin among canebrakes. Cf. Venus sprung from the Sea.

Chalchiuitlicue, Chalchihuitlicue, Brinton. (A.H.M. 123, p.75), From Chalchihuitl, jade. Cueitl, skirt, petticoat. Cf. Kilt.

If Tlaloc was the god of water and tropical rains, may not his wife have signified the verdant results from his beneficial showers.

Chalchihuitlicue. Clavigero (tr. Cullen I, 240), goddess of water, 252. The high priest wore the same habit in which they represented her as the goddess of water. Cf. p. 252, for names given by Torquemada and Boturini.

Chalchihuitlique was the goddess of water and companion of Tlaloc. Torquemada calls her Xochiquetzal, and Boturini, Macuixochiquezalli (Clavigero I, 252). According to the Codex Telleriano-Remensis, Chalchiutli saved herself from the [645] deluge. Her name signifies "The woman adorned with a dress of precious stones. According to Sahagun she was the sister of the Tlalocs, the rain gods (Codex Troano, 102).

Chalchiuhtteuh, a modo de Esmeralda. Sandoval, Gram. Mex., 53.

12 Alcançia, literally, a money-jug of earthenware.

13 Hunchback. It was the custom among the Aztec lords to have among their attendants for their diversion hunchbacks, just as the Mediaeval barons had in their train their fools and jesters. The sacred cavern was that of Cincalco.

Quetzalcoatl was followed in his passage of the Sierra Nevada by hunchbacks, who mostly froze to death (A.H.M., 115). These formed part of the suite of the last Montezuma. They were interred with their Caciques. (Herrera ii, 165.) Chalco, seems to be derived from Challi, an emerald. Buschman, 689.

14 Called Çipagli in preceding part of the chapter.

Çipactli (A.H.M., 74, 126). the great fish. Cf. the fish Oannes in the Chaldaean mythology, Dagon of the Philistines and Phoenicians, Pisces of the Syrian and Egyptian Zodiac: supposed to be sun myths, the sun rising out of the East.

Cipoconal and Oxomuco, the first created pair, qy. pisces of the Zodiac, &c. Note 9. Chavero (Anales I, vii, 245) considers Cipactli the first light below the horizon.

Jesus is represented as a fish, because the Messiah in the Talmud is called Dag, i.e., the fish. King’s Gnostic’s and their remains, 138.

15 Tlaltecli, the earth, from tlalli, the earth.

16 The wife of this son was made of the hairs of the divine mother of the four brethren-gods, whose name was Xochiquetzal (Beautiful rose). (A.H.M., 73, 74.)

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