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Rig Veda Americanus

Sacred Songs of the Ancient Mexicans, with a Gloss in Nahuatl

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Author: Various Authors
Language: Nahuatl
Wordcount: 15,842 / 62 pg
LoC Categories: PN, E, BL
Downloads: 3,102
Added to site: 2005.02.12 9592
Genre: Poetry

The desirability of preserving and publishing these texts seems to me to be manifest. They reveal to us the undoubtedly authentic spirit of the ancient religion; they show us the language in its most archaic form; they preserve references to various mythical cycli of importance to the historian; and they illustrate the alterations in the spoken tongue adopted in the esoteric dialect of the priesthood. Such considerations will, I trust, attract the attention of scholars to these fragments of a lost literature.

Show Excerpt

in feathers, my captives.
Youths from the south, arrayed in feathers, my captives, I deliver them up, I deliver them up, arrayed in feathers, my captives.
The god enters, the Huitznahuac, he descends as an example, he shines forth, he shines forth, descending as an example.
Adorned like us he enters as a god, he descends as an example, he shines forth, he shines forth, descending as an example.


There is no Gloss to this hymn, but its signification seems clear. _Huitznahuac_ was a name applied to several edifices in the great temple at Tenochtitlan, as we are informed at length by Sahagun. The word is a locative from _huitznahua_. This term means "magicians from the south" or "diviners with thorns," and was applied in the Quetzalcoatl mythical cyclus to the legendary enemies of Huitzilopochtli, whom he is said to have destroyed as soon as he was born. (See my discussion of this myth in _Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society_ for 1887.) Appar



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