Both for its historical and linguistic merits, the document which is presented in this volume is one of the most important in aboriginal American Literature. Written by a native who had grown to adult years before the whites penetrated to his ancestral home, himself a member of the ruling family of one of the most civilized nations of the continent and intimately acquainted with its traditions, his work displays the language in its pure original form, and also preserves the tribalhistory and a part of the mythology, as they were current before they were in the least affected by European influences.
d with sacred associations.
The most esteemed precious stones were the [c]ual, translated "diamond," and the xit, which was the impure jade or green stone, so much the favorite with the nations of Mexico and Central America. It is frequently mentioned in the Annals of Xahila, among the articles of greatest value.
Engraving both on stone and wood, was a prized art. The word to express it was [c]otoh, and engraved articles are referred to as [c]otonic.
Although stone and wood were the principal materials on which they depended for their manufactures, they were well acquainted with several metals. Gold and silver were classed under the general name puvak, and distinguished as white and yellow; iron and copper were both known as [c]hi[c]h, and distinguished also by their color. The metals formed an important element of their riches, and are constantly referred to as part of the tribute paid to the rulers. They were worked into orn