The Codex Telleriano-Remensis, produced in sixteenth century Mexico on European paper, is one of the finest surviving examples of Aztec manuscript painting. Its Latinized name comes from Charles-Maurice Le Tellier, archbishop of Reims, who had possession of the manuscript in the late 17th century; the Codex is held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. The Codex Telleriano-Remensis is divided into three sections; the first section, spanning the first seven pages, describes the 365-day solar calendar, called the xiuhpohualli. The second section, spanning pages 8 to 24, is a tonalamatl, describing the 260-day tonalpohualli calendar; the third section is a history, itself divided into two sections. Pages 25 to 28 are an account of migrations during the 12th and 13th centuries, while the remaining pages of the codex record historical events, such as the ascensions and deaths of rulers, battles and eclipses, from the 14th century to the 16th century, including events of early Colonial Mexico.
In 1995, a reproduction of the Codex Telleriano-Remensis made from films was published by the University of Texas, with commentary by Eloise Quiñones Keber. During the process of photographing and re-binding the manuscript for this publication, two pages were accidentally swapped, appear as such in the facsimile: page 13, with Tecziztecatl on the recto and Nahui Ehecatl on the verso. Bibliothèque nationale de France link. Loubat edition of the Codex Telleriano Remensis. Loubat edition commentary
Mayahuel is the female deity associated with the maguey plant among cultures of central Mexico in the Postclassic era of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican chronology, in particular of the Aztec cultures. As the personification of the maguey plant, Mayahuel is part of a complex of interrelated maternal and fertility goddesses in Aztec religion and is connected with notions of fecundity and nourishment. Maguey is a flowering plant of the genus Agave, native to parts of southwestern modern United States and Mexico; the depictions of Mayahuel in the Codex Borgia and the Codex Borbonicus show the deity perched upon a maguey planet. The deity's positioning in both illustrations, as well as the same blue pigment used to depict her body and the body of the maguey plant on Page 8 of the Codex Borbonicus, give the sense that she and the plant are one. Furthermore, the Codex Borbonicus displays Mayahuel as holding what looks like rope spun from the maguey plant fibers. Rope was only one of the many products extracted from the maguey plant.
Products extracted from the maguey plant were used extensively across highlands and southeastern Mesoamerica, with the thorns used in ritual bloodletting ceremonies and fibers extracted from the leaves worked into ropes, netting and cloth. Yet the maguey product most well-known and celebrated by the Aztecs is the alcoholic beverage octli, or named pulque, produced from the fermented sap of the maguey plant and used prominently in many public ceremonies and on other ritual occasions. By extension, Mayahuel is often shown in contexts associated with pulque. Although some secondary sources describe her as a "pulque goddess," she remains most associated with the plant as the source, rather than pulque as the end product
Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. The Aztecs were Nahuatl-speaking groups living in central Mexico and much of their mythology is similar to that of other Mesoamerican cultures. According to legend, the various groups who were to become the Aztecs arrived from the north into the Anahuac valley around Lake Texcoco; the location of this valley and lake of destination is clear – it is the heart of modern Mexico City – but little can be known with certainty about the origin of the Aztec. There are different accounts of their origin. In the myth the ancestors of the Mexica/Aztec came from a place in the north called Aztlan, the last of seven nahuatlacas to make the journey southward, hence their name "Azteca." Other accounts cite their origin at Tamoanchan. The Mexica/Aztec were said to be guided by their god Huitzilopochtli, meaning "Left-handed Hummingbird" or "Hummingbird from the South." At an island in Lake Texcoco, they saw an eagle holding a rattlesnake in its talons, perched on a nopal cactus.
This vision fulfilled a prophecy telling them. The Aztecs built their city of Tenochtitlan on that site, building a great artificial island, which today is in the center of Mexico City; this legendary vision is pictured on the Coat of Arms of Mexico. According to legend, when the Mexicans arrived in the Anahuac valley around Lake Texcoco, they were considered by the other groups as the least civilized of all, but the Mexica/Aztec decided to learn, they took all they could from other people from the ancient Toltec. To the Aztec, the Toltec were the originators of all culture. Aztec legends identify the Toltecs and the cult of Quetzalcoatl with the legendary city of Tollan, which they identified with the more ancient Teotihuacan; because the Aztec adopted and combined several traditions with their own earlier traditions, they had several creation myths. One of these, the Five Suns describes four great ages preceding the present world, each of which ended in a catastrophe, "were named in function of the force or divine element that violently put an end to each one of them".
Coatlicue was the mother of Centzon Huitznahua, her sons, Coyolxauhqui, her daughter. She found a ball filled with feathers and placed it in her waistband, becoming pregnant with Huitzilopochtli, her other children became suspicious as to the identity of the father and vowed to kill their mother. She gave birth on Mount Coatepec, pursued by her children, but the newborn Huitzilopochtli defeated most of his brothers, who became the stars, he killed his half-sister Coyolxauhqui by tearing out her heart using a Xiuhcoatl and throwing her body down the mountain. This was said to inspire the Aztecs to rip the hearts out of their victims and throw their bodies down the sides of the temple dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, who represents the sun chasing away the stars at dawn. Our age, the fifth age, or fifth creation, began in the ancient city of Teotihuacan. According to the myth, all the gods had gathered to create a new age. Although the world and the sun had been created, it would only be through their sacrifice that the sun would be set into motion and time as well as history could begin.
The most handsome and strongest of the gods, was supposed to sacrifice himself but when it came time to self-immolate, he could not jump into the fire. Instead, Nanahuatl the smallest and humblest of the gods, covered in boils, sacrificed himself first and jumped into the flames; the sun was set into motion with his sacrifice and time began. Humiliated by Nanahuatl's sacrifice, Tecuciztecatl became the moon. Water deities god of rain and lightning and thunder, he is a fertility god Chalchiuhtlicue, goddess of water, rivers, streams, horizontal waters and baptism. Huixtocihuatl, goddess of salt Opochtli, god of fishing and birdcatchers, discoverer of the harpoon and net Atlahua, god of water, a fisherman and archer Fire deities Xiuhtecuhtli, god of fire and time Chantico, goddess of firebox and volcanoes Xolotl, god of death, associated with Venus as the Evening Star Death deities Mictlantecuhtli, god of the dead, ruler of the Underworld Mictecacihuatl, goddess of the dead, ruler of the Underworld Xolotl, god of death, associated with Venus as the Evening Star Sky deities Tezcatlipoca, god of providence, the darkness and the invisible, lord of the night, ruler of the North.
Xipe-Totec, god of force, lord of ruler of the East. Quetzalcoatl, god of the life, the light and wisdom, lord of the winds and the day, ruler of the West. Huitzilopochtli, god of the war, lord of ruler of the South. Xolotl, god of death, associated with Venus as the Evening Star Ehecatl, god of wind Tlaloc, god of rain and lightning and thunder, he is a fertility god Coyolxauhqui and leader of the Centzonhuitznahua, associated with the moon Meztli, goddess of moon Tonatiuh, god of sun Centzonmimixcoa, 400 gods of the northern stars Centzonhuitznahua, 400 gods of the southern stars Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, god of the morning star Lords of the Night Xiuhtecuhtli, god of fire and time Tezcatlipoca, god of providence, the darkness and the invisible, lord of the night, ruler of the North. Piltzintecuhtli, god of the visions,associated with Mercury (the planet that
Pulque, or octli, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant. It is traditional to central Mexico, it has the color of somewhat viscous consistency and a sour yeast-like taste. The drink's history extends far back into the Mesoamerican period, when it was considered sacred, its use was limited to certain classes of people. After the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, the drink became its consumption rose; the consumption of pulque reached its peak in the late 19th century. In the 20th century, the drink fell into decline because of competition from beer, which became more prevalent with the arrival of European immigrants. There are some efforts to revive the drink's popularity through tourism. Pulque is a milk-colored, somewhat viscous liquid, it is made by fermenting the sap of certain types of maguey plants. In contrast, mezcal is made from the cooked heart of certain agave plants, tequila, a variety of mezcal, is made all or from the blue agave. About six varieties of maguey are best used for the production of pulque.
The name pulque is derived from Nahuatl. The original name of the drink was iztāc octli, the term pulque was mistakenly derived by the Spanish from the octli poliuhqui, which meant "spoiled pulque"; the maguey plant called a "century plant" in English, is native to Mexico. It grows best in the cold, dry climates of the rocky central highlands to the north and east of Mexico City in the states of Hidalgo and Tlaxcala. Maguey has been cultivated at least since 200 CE in Tula and Teotihuacan, wild plants have been exploited for far longer; the plant has had a number of uses. Fibers can be extracted from the thick leaves to make rope or fabric, its thorns can be used as needles or punches and the membrane covering the leaves can be used as paper or for cooking; the name maguey was given by the Spanish. This is still its common name in Spanish, with Agave being its scientific technical name; the Nahuatl name of the plant is metl. The manufacturing process of pulque is complex and required the death of the maguey plant.
As the plant nears maturity, the center begins to swell and elongate as the plant gathers stored sugar to send up a single flower stalk, which may reach up to 20 feet in height. However, plants destined for pulque production have this flower stalk cut off, leaving a depressed surface 12-18 inches in diameter. In this center, the maguey sap, known as aguamiel, collects, it takes a maguey plant 12 years to mature enough to produce the sap for pulque. Pulque has been drunk for at least 1,000 years, its origins are the subject of various stories and myths. Most involve the goddess of the maguey, it was thought. Other deities, such as the Centzon Totochtin are associated with it, by representing the drink's effects, are the children of Mayahuel. Another version involving Mayahuel has her as a mortal woman who discovered how to collect aguamiel but someone named Pantecatl discovered how to make pulque. According to another story, pulque was discovered by the Tlacuache, who used his human-like hands to dig into the maguey and extract the fermenting juice.
He became the first drunk. Tlacuache was thought to set the course of rivers; the rivers he set were straight except when he was drunk. They follow Tlacuache's meandering path from cantina to cantina. Another account traces the discovery of aguamiel to the Toltec Empire, when a noble named Papantzin was trying to get the emperor to marry his daughter Xochitl, he sent her to the capital with an offering of aguamiel, honey of the agave plant. The emperor and princess wed, their son was named Meconetzin. In other versions of the story, Xochitl is credited with discovering pulque; the maguey was one of the most important plants in ancient Mexico. It had a privileged place in religious rituals and the Mesoamerican economy. Pulque appears in a number of graphic representations from pre-colonial times, beginning with stone carvings from about 200 CE; the first major work involving pulque is a large mural called the "Pulque Drinkers", unearthed in 1968 at the pyramid of Cholula, Puebla. The most means of the discovery of aguamiel and fermented pulque was from the observation of rodents who gnaw and scratch at the plant to drink the seeping sap.
Fermentation of the aguamiel can take place within the plant itself. For the indigenous peoples of the central highlands of Mexico, the imbibing of pulque was done only by certain people, under certain conditions, it was a ritual drink, consumed during certain festivals, such as that of the goddess Mayahuel, the god Mixcoatl. It was drunk by priests and sacrificial victims, to increase the priests' enthusiasm and to ease the suffering of the victim. There are many references in Aztec codices, such as the Borbonicus Codex, of pulque's use by nobility and priesthood to celebrate victories. Among commoners, it was permitted only to the pregnant women. Production of pulque was ritualized and the brewers were superstitious, they would abstain from sex during the fermentation period because they believed that sexual intercourse would sour the process. After the Conquest, pulque lost its sacred character, both indigenous and Spanish people began to drink it; the Spanish made no laws regarding its use.
It became a lucrative source of tax revenue, but by 1672, public drunkenness had become en
Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives or stories that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. The main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans. Stories of everyday human beings, although of leaders of some type, are contained in legends, as opposed to myths. Myths are endorsed by rulers and priests or priestesses, are linked to religion or spirituality. In fact, many societies group their myths and history together, considering myths and legends to be true accounts of their remote past. In particular, creation myths take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its form. Other myths explain how a society's customs and taboos were established and sanctified. There is a complex relationship between recital of myths and enactment of rituals; the study of myth began in ancient history. Rival classes of the Greek myths by Euhemerus and Sallustius were developed by the Neoplatonists and revived by Renaissance mythographers.
Today, the study of myth continues in a wide variety of academic fields, including folklore studies and psychology. The term mythology may either refer to the study of myths in general, or a body of myths regarding a particular subject; the academic comparisons of bodies of myth is known as comparative mythology. Since the term myth is used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be political: many adherents of religions view their religion's stories as true and therefore object to the stories being characterised as myths. Scholars now speak of Christian mythology, Jewish mythology, Islamic mythology, Hindu mythology, so forth. Traditionally, Western scholarship, with its Judaeo-Christian heritage, has viewed narratives in the Abrahamic religions as being the province of theology rather than mythology. Labelling all religious narratives as myths can be thought of as treating different traditions with parity. Definitions of myth to some extent vary by scholar.
Finnish folklorist Lauri Honko offers a cited definition: Myth, a story of the gods, a religious account of the beginning of the world, the creation, fundamental events, the exemplary deeds of the gods as a result of which the world and culture were created together with all parts thereof and given their order, which still obtains. A myth expresses and confirms society's religious values and norms, it provides a pattern of behavior to be imitated, testifies to the efficacy of ritual with its practical ends and establishes the sanctity of cult. Scholars in other fields use the term myth in varied ways. In a broad sense, the word can refer to any traditional story, popular misconception or imaginary entity. However, while myth and other folklore genres may overlap, myth is thought to differ from genres such as legend and folktale in that neither are considered to be sacred narratives; some kinds of folktales, such as fairy stories, are not considered true by anyone, may be seen as distinct from myths for this reason.
Main characters in myths are gods, demigods or supernatural humans, while legends feature humans as their main characters. However, many exceptions or combinations exist, as in the Iliad and Aeneid. Moreover, as stories spread between cultures or as faiths change, myths can come to be considered folktales, their divine characters recast as either as humans or demihumans such as giants and faeries. Conversely and literary material may acquire mythological qualities over time. For example, the Matter of Britain and the Matter of France, seem distantly to originate in historical events of the fifth and eighth-centuries and became mythologised over the following centuries. In colloquial use, the word myth can be used of a collectively held belief that has no basis in fact, or any false story; this usage, pejorative, arose from labeling the religious myths and beliefs of other cultures as incorrect, but it has spread to cover non-religious beliefs as well. However, as used by folklorists and academics in other relevant fields, such as anthropology, the term myth has no implication whether the narrative may be understood as true or otherwise.
In present use, mythology refers to the collected myths of a group of people, but may mean the study of such myths. For example, Greek mythology, Roman mythology and Hittite mythology all describe the body of myths retold among those cultures. Folklorist Alan Dundes defines myth as a sacred narrative that explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form. Dundes classified a sacred narrative as "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society". Anthropologist Bruce Lincoln defines myth as "ideology in narrative form." The compilation or description of myths is sometimes known as mythography, a term which can be used of a scholarly anthology of myths. Key mythographers in the Classical tradition include Ovid, whose tellings of myths have been profoundingly influential.
In Aztec mythology, Itztlacoliuhqui is the god of frost. He represents matter in its lifeless state; the Nahuatl name Itztlacoliuhqui is translated into English as "Curved Obsidian Blade". J. Richard Andrews contends that this is a mistranslation, that the correct interpretation is "Everything Has Become Bent by Means of Coldness", or "Plant-Killer-Frost". In the Aztec calendar, Itztlacoliuhqui is the lord of the thirteen days from 1 Lizard to 13 Vulture; the preceding thirteen days are ruled over by Patecatl, the following thirteen by Tlazolteotl. The creation of this god appeared in the Aztec myth of creation. Tonatiuh, the Sun god, demanded sacrifice from the other gods before he will move. Enraged at his arrogance, the god of dawn and the planet Venus, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, shoots an arrow at the Sun. However, the dart misses its mark, the Sun throws his own back at the morning star, piercing the Lord of Dawn through the head. At this moment, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli is transformed into the god of obsidian stone and coldness, Itztlacoliuhqui.
Itztlacoliuhqui is a part of a holy trinity of birth and death. He takes the place of death in this particular trinity. Birth is taken by life by Itzpapalotl, Itztlacoliuhqui's female counterpart. Itztlacoliuhqui's iconography depicts a straw broom in his hand, symbolizing the function of this wintry death deity as the cleaner of the way for new life to emerge thereafter. Februus Deities and personifications of seasons List of death deities J. Richard. Introduction to Classical Nahuatl. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press
Lophophora williamsii or peyote is a small, spineless cactus with psychoactive alkaloids mescaline. Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Nahuatl, or Aztec, peyōtl, meaning "glisten" or "glistening". Other sources translate the Nahuatl word as "Divine Messenger". Peyote is native to southwestern Texas, it is found in the Chihuahuan Desert and in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí among scrub. It flowers from March to May, sometimes as late as September; the flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers. Known for its psychoactive properties when ingested, peyote is used worldwide, having a long history of ritualistic and medicinal use by indigenous North Americans. Peyote contains the hallucinogen mescaline; the various species of the genus Lophophora grow low to the ground and they form groups with numerous, crowded shoots. The blue-green, yellow-green or sometimes reddish-green shoots are flattened spheres with sunken shoot tips, they can reach diameters of 4 to 12 cm. There are significant, vertical ribs consisting of low and rounded or hump-like bumps.
From the cusp areoles arises a tuft of yellowish or whitish woolly hairs. Spines are absent. Flowers are pink or white to yellowish, sometimes reddish, they open during the day, are from 1 to 2.4 cm long, reach a diameter from 1 to 2.2 cm. The cactus produces flowers sporadically; the club-shaped to elongated, fleshy fruits are less rosy colored. At maturity, they are dry; the fruits do not burst open on their own and they are between 1.5 and 2 cm long. They contain pear-shaped seeds that are 1 to 1.5 mm long and 1 mm wide. The seeds require humid conditions to germinate. Peyote contains a large spectrum of phenethylamine alkaloids; the principal one is mescaline for which the content of Lophophora williamsii is about 0.4% fresh and 3–6% dried. Peyote is slow growing. Cultivated specimens grow faster, sometimes taking less than three years to go from seedling to mature flowering adult. More rapid growth can be achieved by grafting peyote onto mature San Pedro root stock; the top of the above-ground part of the cactus, the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons.
These are cut above the roots and sometimes dried. When done properly, the top of the root forms the root does not rot; when poor harvesting techniques are used, the entire plant dies. In South Texas, peyote grows but has been over-harvested, to the point that the state has listed it as an endangered species; the buttons are chewed, or boiled in water to produce a psychoactive tea. Peyote is bitter and most people are nauseated before they feel the onset of the psychoactive effects. L. williamsii is native to southern North America distributed in Mexico. In the United States it grows in Southern Texas. In Mexico it grows in the states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas in the north to San Luis Potosi and Zacatecas, it is found at elevations of 100–1,500 m and exceptionally up to 1,900 m in the Chihuahuan desert, but is present in the more mild climate of Tamaulipas. Its habitat is in desert scrub thorn scrub in Tamaulipas, it is common near limestone hills. When used for its psychoactive properties, common doses for pure mescaline range from 200 to 400 mg.
This translates to a dose of 10 to 20 g of dried peyote buttons of average potency. The effects last about 10 to 12 hours. Peyote is reported to trigger rich auditory effects. In addition to psychoactive use, some Native American tribes use the plant in the belief it may have curative properties, they employ peyote to treat such varied ailments as toothache, pain in childbirth, breast pain, skin diseases, diabetes and blindness. The US Dispensatory lists peyote under the name Anhalonium, states it can be used in various preparations for neurasthenia and asthma. Peyote contains an alkaloid called peyocactin, it is now called hordenine. Peyote poisoning has been a concern in California. In 2005 researchers used radiocarbon dating and alkaloid analysis to study two specimens of peyote buttons found in archaeological digs from a site called Shumla Cave No. 5 on the Rio Grande in Texas. The results dated the specimens to between 3780 and 3660 BCE. Alkaloid extraction yielded 2% of the alkaloids including mescaline in both samples.
This indicates that native North Americans were to have used peyote since at least five-and-a-half thousand years ago. Specimens from a burial cave in west central Coahuila, Mexico have been analyzed and dated to 810 to 1070 CE. From earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by indigenous peoples, such as the Huichol of northern Mexico and by various Native American tribes, native to or relocated to the Southern Plains states of present-day Oklahoma and Texas, its usage was recorded among various Southwestern Athabaskan-language tribal groups. The Tonkawa, the Mescalero, Lipan Apache were the source or first practitioners of peyote religion in the regions north of present-day Mexico, they were the principal group to introduce peyote to newly arrived migrants, such as the Comanche and Kiowa from the Northern Plains. The religious and healing uses of peyote may date back over 2,000 years. Under the auspices of what came to be