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History and the Construction of Hierarchy and Ethnicity in the Prehispanic Tarascan State: A Syntagmatic Analysis of th...


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HISTORY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIERARCHY AND ETHNICITY IN THE PREHISPANIC TARASCAN STATE: A SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN By DAVID LOUIS HASKELL A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my wife, Emmy, for her support and encouragement, without which none of this would have been possible. I would also like to express my sin cere gratitude to the members of my supervisory committee. In particular I th ank Dr. Susan Gillespie for her tireless assistance.

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iii TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS..................................................................................................ii LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................v ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... vi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 2 THE TARASCAN EMPIRE AND THE CO NTEXT OF THE PRODUCTION OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN.........................................................................8 Late Prehispanic Tarascan Empire...............................................................................8 Arrival of the Spaniards and th e Onset of the Colonial Era.......................................13 3 A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL LI TERAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN................................................................................15 The RM as Literal History..........................................................................................15 Questioning the Bases of these Assumptions.............................................................19 4 TARASCAN KINGS AS STRANGER-KINGS........................................................25 Stranger-King in Other World Areas..........................................................................25 Construction of Hierarchy..........................................................................................30 Tarascan Stranger-Kings............................................................................................31 Conclusion..................................................................................................................33 5 THE SYNTAGMATIC STRUCTURALIS T ANALYSIS OF NARRATIVE..........35 Processual Structure and Elementary Categories.......................................................35 Syntagmatic Analysis of Narrative.............................................................................37 6 THE SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF TH E RELACI"N DE MICHOACN......42 Arrival of the Chichimecs...........................................................................................42 Career of Taracuri......................................................................................................58 Next Generation of Chichimecs and th e Creation of the Tarascan Empire................84

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iv 7 STRUCTURE, “HISTORY,” AND “ETHNICITY” IN THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN AND ITS RELATION TO THE TARASCAN EMPIRE...............106 Narrative as a Whole: Re versal and Hierarchy.........................................................106 Rethinking “History” and “Ethnicity ” in the Relacin de Michoacn.....................112 APPENDIX CHARACTERS AND DEITIES IN THE RM..........................................116 BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................................................................118 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...........................................................................................123

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v LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Approximate extent of the Protohistoric Tarascan empire.........................................9 2-2 Areas of the Tarascan em pire where different strategi es regarding ethnicity were used........................................................................................................................... 13 6-1 Map of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin and Vicinity........................................................43 6-2 Episodes 1 and 2.......................................................................................................45 6-3 The Genealogy of the Royal Dyna sty, as told in the narrative.................................47 6-4 Episodes 1 through 4................................................................................................50 6-5 Episodes 5 and 6.......................................................................................................53 6-6 Episodes 5 through 9................................................................................................57 6-7 Episodes 10 through 15............................................................................................71 6-8 Episodes 16 through 20............................................................................................83 6-9 Episodes 21 through 26............................................................................................94 6-10 Episodes 27 through 30..........................................................................................102 7-1 Paradigmatic units of the entire narrative..............................................................107

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vi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts HISTORY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIERARCHY AND ETHNICITY IN THE PREHISPANIC TARASCAN STATE: A SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN By David Louis Haskell August 2003 Chair: Susan Gillespie Major Department: Anthropology The late prehispanic Tarascan empire provides a valuable opportunity in Mesoamerica to study the processes of state fo rmation, the role of ethnicity in multiethnic states, and strategies employed by states to ma nipulate ethnic identity in order to preserve stability and the rule of the central governme nt. However, little archaeological work has focused on the Tarascan empire in spite of its promise for yielding significant insights into such processes. The Tarascan empire is instead known primarily through ethnohistoric documents, with the Relacin de Michoacn foremost among them. In particular a section of the Relacin de Michoacn that claims to be a faithful representation of the official state history of the Tarascan empire has been viewed as literal history, “history as it really happened,” and this characterization has not been seriously questioned. This belief in the historical validity of the official hi story contained within the Relacin de Michoacn has led scholars to read the history as it is told in the

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vii document in order to study what they believe are the events and processes of Tarascan State formation and the role of vari ous “ethnic” groups in these events. By not questioning the nature of the doc ument and its contents, these literal interpretations ignore the possibility that the o fficial history of the Relacin de Michoacn represents something other than literal history. Furthermore, if the official history is not literal history, as is genera lly believed, then our understandings of the nature of the Tarascan empire are potent ially fundamentally flawed because of a misunderstanding of what the Relacin de Michoacn represents and what it is telling us. For these reasons our study analyzes the official history of the Relacin de Michoacn using a structuralist method suitable for th e analysis of narrativ es. Such a method provides a more emic understanding of the na ture of the narrative and its fundamental meaning within Tarascan society. Our study sh ows that the history contained within the Relacin de Michoacn was most directly concerned w ith the construction of hierarchy through the actions and sequence of the narrative, as well as the form of the narrative itself. Furthermore, the labels used in th e narrative to name groups do not express what we might recognize as “ethnic identity,” but rather are categ ories that create and convey meanings that carry cosmological significance and form the basis for the construction of hierarchy. It is this construction of hierar chy that is the fundame ntal meaning of the narrative.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Relacin de los ceremonas y ritos y poblacin de la provincia de Mechuacan hecha al Illmo. Sr. D. Antonio de Mendoza, vi rrey y Gobernador de esta Nueva Espaa por S. M. (&) G (commonly referred to as the Relacin de Mi choacn and hereafter abbreviated as the RM) has long been view ed as the preeminent source for both ethnographic and historical information conc erning the prehispanic Tarascan empire. The RM was written in Spanish sometime between the years 1539 and 1541 by an anonymous Spanish friar who was following the directions of Antonio de Mendoza, the Viceroy of New Spain at the time (from 1541 to 1550 according to Seler 1993 [1905]). Warren (1985:328) believes that the documen t was composed by Friar Jernimo de Alcal in the year 1541. The timespan in wh ich the document could have been written places its production about 10 years after the de ath of the last native Tarascan king in 1530 at the hands of Nuo de Guzman and 19 years after that king peacefully allowed a Spanish expedition led by Cristbal de Old to enter the capital city of Tzintzuntzan in 1522 (Warren 1985:50-51). The RM is now located in Madrid in the Bi blioteca del Monsterio de El Escorial. It consists of 140 leaves (or folios) and cont ains 44 color illustrations. A copy of the original document is locate d in the United State Librar y of Congress. The first publication of the RM was in 1869 and was ba sed on the original document located in Madrid, but it did not include the illustrations. A sec ond edition was published in Morelia, Michoacn, and was based on the Library of Congress copy. In 1956 another

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2 edition was published that was based on the original document and included facsimile reproductions of the folios, notes by Jos Tudela, and a preliminary study by Paul Kirchhoff (Glass and Robertson 1975:167-168). An English translation of the RM by Eugene R. Craine and Reginald C. Rei ndorp was published in 1970 and was based on the 1903 Morelia edition (RM 1970:ix). In general, the document describes the culture of the Tarascan people, their practices, government, and religion. The RM originally contained three sections, which the friar who composed the document describe s in the prologue (Kirchhoff 1956:xix; RM 1970:8). The first of the three sections, which contained descriptions of the gods, rituals, and religion of the Tarascans, has been lost. One folio, or page, that describes one of the religious ceremonies or festivals has been found and is believed to be one of the missing pages of the first part of the RM or perhaps a copy. The second section is a history of the creation of the Tarascan empire and contains information such as where the ruling family came from and how they came to found and enlarge the empire through battles, marriages, and alliances. The third section describes Tarascan culture at the time of contact and contains chapters on marriage practices, the priesthood, government officials and their duties, etc., and ends with an account of the coming of the Spaniards and the subsequent events up until and including the death of the last native king. Virtually all interpretation s and reconstructions concer ning the history, functioning, and nature of the prehispanic Tarascan empire and Tarascan culture more generally rely primarily on the RM (see Chapter 2 for a brief background of Tarascan society and the Tarascan empire). In partic ular the second section of the RM, which claims to contain the official state history of the Tarascan empi re, has been utilized extensively to study the

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3 events and processes that caused or led to th e formation of the Tarascan empire. Very briefly summarized (more detail of the story wi ll be given in the section containing the analysis), the history tells of the arrival of a group of people calle d “Chichimecs” at a mountain north of the Lake Ptzcuaro Ba sin in Michoacn, Mexico, the area that becomes the political core of the Tarascan em pire. Due to a conflic t with local peoples, the Chichimecs move into the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Here they interact with the indigenous lake dwellers. Some of these lake dwellers live on islands in the lake and are commonly referred to as Islanders. In tim e a Chichimec leader marries an Islander woman and the marriage produces a child named Taracuri. It is foretold that he will grow up to become king. The Chichimec lead ers are killed, leaving Taracuri and his two cousins to lead the Chichimecs. Through vari ous acts the Chichimecs draw the ire of the lake peoples, and ultimately Taracuri’s cousins are killed. Taracuri, the lone Chichimec leader, marries a woman, but this marriage is unsuccessful and prompts him to marry anot her woman. After this marriage Taracuri finds his long-lost “nephews,” the sons of hi s cousins (while their relation to Taracuri makes the nephews first cousins once removed in our kinship terminology, the document continually refers to them as nephews, and so they will be referred to as such in this thesis). He advises and teaches these nephe ws how to act properly, and in time he sends his younger son to live with them. Together, and under Taracuri’s tu telage, these three youths grow in power. Eventuall y, with Taracuri’s help, they are able to ally themselves with or conquer other towns in the Lake Ptzcuaro area. They ultimately conquer numerous towns outside the immediate area a nd create what has come to be known as the

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4 Tarascan empire. During these conquests Ta racuri dies and leaves his two nephews and son to rule the newly created empire. Interpretations of the RM With the adoption of a literalist pers pective (Burke 1990; see chapter 3) and assuming that much if not all of what is cont ained within this “official history” of the second section of the RM represents “what re ally happened,” various scholars have used this narrative as the basis for the study and description of th e events and processes that gave rise to the Tarascan empire (Kir chhoff 1956; Michelet 1996; Pollard 1993, 1994; Seler 1993). These studies often view the vari ous labels used to denote groups of people as names of ethnic groups, and characterize th e formation of the Tarascan empire as the outcome of ethnic strife or ethnically mo tivated competition over resources (Kirchhoff 1956; Michelet 1996; Pollard 1993, 1994). My structuralist analysis of the RM (which constitutes the major portion of this thesis) reexamines and questions the assumptions that the historical narrative in the RM does indeed constitute literal history. While those who have made this assumption have pointed to various factors to support their claim, I take the opposite argument and address some of those factors by examining their valid ity, as well as the influence of context on the production and telling of the narrative. I suggest here th at the “histori cal” narrative in the RM is concerned less with the recitation of historical facts than with the creation and defense of the hierarchical relationships that permeated Tarascan society. I further question the assumption that the names used in the RM to denote various individuals and groups constitute “ethnic” id entities. This assumption is based upon largely outdated definitions and interpretations of ethnicity and group identification that give primacy to essentialized traits, co mmon descent, and the fixity of identity

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5 (conceptions referred to as primordialist; see Chapter 3). More recent anthropological insights into the nature of ethnic identification provide a more sophisticated appreciation for the nature of this phenomenon. Applying these understandings are then applied to the RM reveals that ethnic labels were used to e xpress certain qualities of traits rather than fixed group identities. Additi onally, in the course of the narrative these identities and qualities shift and change as part of the pr ocess of the creation of hierarchy in the Tarascan empire. I was first convinced that the historical narrative contained within the RM is more about the creation of hierarchy out of two opposed categories of people than “history as it really happened” because of the similarities it shares with stories told in many parts of the world, including elsewhere within Mesoamerica. The general theme of such stories has been outlined recently by Sahlins (1985), w ho calls it the Stranger-King, building on the earlier work of Hocart, Frazer, and Dumzil (see Chapter 4). The marked similarities seem to indicate that the great amount of detail contained wi thin the historical narrative of the RM is not due to the memory of actual hi storical events of the real past, but rather form a skillfully crafted exposition on the na ture of hierarchy a nd therefore political legitimacy in certain societies. To investigate the meaning of the hist orical narrative in the RM, we used a structuralist method is employed here. Turn er (1977, 1985) showed that his syntagmatic method of the analysis of narra tives is useful for interpreting the fundamental meaning of narratives. This method is outlined in Chapter 5, but it should be pointed out that Turner built his method on a conception of structure in some ways fundamentally different from that of Lvi-Strauss. Turner’s formulation ha s the advantages of be ing processual rather

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6 than static and a capability to incorporate the syntax of narratives as a fundamental aspect of the creation of meaning. Inspired by Turner’s syntagmatic method, the analysis of the hist orical narrative of the RM presented here demonstrates that th e narrative is concerned primarily with the creation and legitimation of hierarchy in Tara scan society, and thus the superior position the Tarascan rulers enjoyed within that so ciety. The narrative accomplishes this goal through the combination of two groups of char acters, the “Chichimecs” and “Islanders,” to create a hierarchically superior synthe sis of the two groups, the Tarascan royal dynasty. The synthetic and hierar chically superior nature of the royal dynasty that is the outcome of the story legitimates its position at the top of Tarascan society. As the two elements contributing to this synthesis, th e “Chichimec” and “Islander” labels are not ethnic markers but rather identities that cr eate and label elementary categories. By relating the characters that ar e named as such to organizing principles of society and the cosmos, the royal dynasty demonstrates that it is the synthesis of so cial and cosmological categories and therefore is hier archically superior and possess es the legitimate authority necessary to rule. The next chapter, Chapter 2, provides background information concerning the Tarascans and the Tarascan empire, ending w ith the subjugation of the Tarascans by the Spaniards. Chapter 3 examines the traditi onal interpretations of the RM and questions the bases for these interpreta tions, proposing instead that the a more emic understanding of the RM is needed in order to understand what it represents and how it can inform our knowledge of the Tarascan empire. Chapte r 4 notes the similarities between the historical narrative that co mprises the second part of th e RM and the Stranger-King

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7 stories from other parts of th e world, proposing that the histor ical narrative of the RM can be analyzed in a similar manner. The s yntagmatic structuralist method of narrative analysis that is employed in this thesis is outlined and explained in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents the analysis of the narrative, includ ing descriptions of some of the events and actions it relates. The results of this analys is are discussed in Chapter 7, in which it is concluded that the RM does not constitute literal history, nor does it document the presence of ethnic groups, in the traditional se nse of the word. Rather, the narrative is an internally structured exposition on the na ture of hierarchy in Tarascan society.

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8 CHAPTER 2 THE TARASCAN EMPIRE AND THE CONT EXT OF THE PRODUCTION OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN The meaning of the RM cannot be properl y understood without some knowledge of the Tarascan empire and the colonial contex t in which the document was produced. The Tarascan empire was an extremely organized and hierarchical society. Power relations were also inherent in the co lonial situation following the arrival of the Spaniards. Therefore power relations, both t hose that existed prior to the arrival of the Spaniards as well as the colonial power re lations created by the presence of the Spaniards, permeated the context of the production of the RM. Late Prehispanic Tarascan Empire At the time of the arrival of the Span ish conquistador Hernando Corts on the shores of modern Mexico, th e Tarascan empire was a larg e conquest empire second in size within Mesoamerica only to the Aztec empi re. The maximal extent of the Tarascan empire was roughly equivalent to the modern Mexican state of Michoacn in west central Mexico, but also included parts of the modern states of Gu anajuato, Quertaro, Jalisco, and possibly Guerrero and Mexico (see Figur e 2-1). The Tarascan and Aztec empires appear to have fought their way to a stalemate by the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, with neither one able to make significant a nd permanent gains into territory held by the other (Pollard 1993). In order to expand a nd maintain this large conquest empire, the prehispanic rulers of the Tarascan empi re developed highly organized secular and religious bureaucracies that we re responsible for the efficien t collection of tribute, the

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9 raising of armies, and the governance of th e people in general (Pollard 1993; RM 1956, 1970). These bureaucracies were headed by the cazonci the native title for king. The cazonci was believed to be the earthly representa tive of Curicaueri, th e patron deity of the Tarascan royal family and the empire as a whole (Pollard 1991:170; Roskamp 2001). Figure 2-1. Approximate extent of the Protohistoric Tarascan empire, represented by the vertical lines. Boundaries of modern Mexican states are also shown. Adapted from Pollard (1993:5). This position was apparently a mixture of an elected and hereditary office: following the death of a king, his successor would be chos en from among a pool of eligible members of the royal dynasty by a council of noble elders (RM 1956:246 1970:68). There is also some indication that before his death a king could name his successor, although it is unclear if this chosen noble would auto matically be elected by the council (RM 1956:219, 1970: 44). At the time of Spanish conquest, the cazonci ruled from the capital

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10 city of Tzintzuntzan, located on the shores of Lake Ptzcuaro near the center of the modern Mexican state of Michoacn (Pollard 1980, 1993; Warren 1985:5). At his court in Tzintzuntzan, the cazonci oversaw the bureaucrats and pr iestly orders, as well as the chiefs of the individual towns under his cont rol, which were often directly appointed by the cazonci (RM 1956:173-182, 203-206, 1970:11-14,17-18, 3135). In addition to the local level of government, the leaders of four regional capita ls reported to the king and established a direct and strong presence of the central authorit y in the provincial areas of the empire (Pollard 1993:126; RM 1956:173, 1970:11). Tarascan society in general was compos ed of two social estates, nobles and commoners. There is no evidence that th ere was the possibility of social mobility between these two estates, and marriage was apparently endogamous with respect to social estate (RM 1956:210-214, 1970:36-41). Offices in the religious and secular bureaucracies were open only to nobles, while the commoners generally held occupations involving manual labor (Pollard 1993:124-126). In addition to farming, there was craft specialization in Tarascan society, based on information concerning government officials who were responsible for overseeing such occupational specializations as house construction workers, masons, fishers, tailor s, feather workers, weapons makers, canoe makers, and messengers, among others (RM 1956:173-178, 1970:12-14). Both the Tarascan people and language are somewhat of an anomaly. Tarascan is a term that has been applied both to the people of this area and their language. The term itself seems to have its origin in the first c ontacts between these people and the Spaniards, as the Spanish often heard the native word tarascue meaning in-law, and began to call the natives of the area by a bastardiza tion of the word (RM 1956:247, 1970:69; Warren

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11 1985:6). Friar Bernardino de Sahagn, a Spanish friar who documented indigenous culture in the Basin of Mexic o, gives an alternate derivation for the term Tarascan. He states that the name comes from taras the name of one of the Tarascans’ gods, or more likely, the general term for an idol (Warren 1985:6). The native term for both themselves and their language, however, is purpecha which means “working men” in that language (Warren 1985: 7). The Tarascan language, purpecha is a linguistic isolate in the culture ar ea of Mesoamerica, seemingly unrelated to any of the other languages of neighboring groups. Va rious linguists have proposed that it is most closely linked to Quechua, the language of the Inkas of South America, or perhaps Zuni in the southwestern United States (Pollard 1993:15; Warren 1985:8). Whichever language it is closest to, purpecha is different enough to have required a divergence at least a few thousand ye ars ago (Pollard 1993:15). The Tarascan empire was a relatively late phenomenon in the context of the history of prehispanic Mesoamerican civilizations. The founding of the r oyal dynastic line and its consolidation of power are believed to have taken place sometime in the 14th century AD, but this is based mostly on interpretati ons of the ethnohistoric documents (Kirchhoff 1956; Pollard 1993:88). Archaeological investiga tions into the history of the Tarascan empire have demonstrated that during th e Taracuri phase (13501525 AD) local elites or chiefs subservient to the cazonci in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin began to share the markers of nobility defined by and also apparently emanating from the capital at Tzintzuntzan (Pollard and Cahue 1999). Work in the Zacapu basin to the north of Lake Ptzcuaro has demonstrated that at about the same time (1350 AD), artifacts a ssociated with the

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12 Tarascan empire such as pa inted Tarascan polychromes, ce ramic pipes, and metal objects appear as part of an established co mplex of traits (M ichelet 1989). Most, if not all, interpreta tions of the processes that led to the formation of the prehispanic Tarascan empire hold that the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin was inhabited by various ethnic groups, some having arrived there la ter than the others. While there is disagreement over the specific relationships, various scholars have concluded that the original and invading populat ions can be assigned linguist ic and therefore ethnic or cultural affiliations. On the one hand Seler (1993 [1905]), Kirchhoff (1956), and Williams (2001) believe that the original inha bitants of the area were Nahuatl-speaking peoples, and the invading groups were Tarascan or purpecha speakers. Pollard (1993, 1994), on the other hand, believes the revers e was the case–that the invading groups spoke Nahuatl and the original inhabitants s poke Tarascan. These differences are not believed to have constituted significant ba rriers between the various groups, as a synthesis or mixing of the or iginal and invading peoples was accomplished, and in time the descendants of one of the invading groups managed to establish themselves as the dominant political force in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Through conquests and alliances th e Tarascan empire expanded from the Lake Ptzcuaro “Tarascan heartland” and came to encompass various other ethnic or linguistic groups, as best as can be learned from the documentary sources, such as Nahuatl speakers (Nahuatl was the language of the peoples of the Basin of Mexico at the time of Spanish contact), Otomis, Matlatzincas, and Tecos (Brand 1943; Pollard 1993:92-105; Stanislawsky 1947). Manipulation of ethnic identity is believed to have continued to play an important role in this expansion and the accompanying consolid ation of the Tarascan empire following

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13 these wars of conquest. In a study base d on the changes in the dominant languages spoken in towns following the Spanish conquest Pollard (1994) has written that this newly forged Tarascan identity was exported to conquered territories in the sense that the Tarascan central authority promoted a Tarasc an identity among newly subjugated peoples (see Figure 2-2). This perception of a comm on identity and common interests is believed to be one of the primary ways in which th e Tarascan Empire prevented rebellions and dissent and was able to raise large armies for defense and expansion (Pollard 1994). Figure 2-2. Areas of the Taras can empire where different st rategies regarding ethnicity were used. Following Pollard (1994:84). Arrival of the Spaniards and th e Onset of the Colonial Era The autonomous reign of the Ta rascan kings ended when the cazonci Tzintzicha Tangaxoan peacefully permitted an expedition of Spaniards led by the conquistador Cristbal de Olid in 1522 (Warren 1985:50-51) This began a period of uneasy and, at times, violent subjugation. The cazonci continued to receive tribute from towns subject to him, much to the displeasure of Spanish encomenderos and colonial administrators

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14 (Warren 1985:206-207). Furthermore, he and other native lords were accused of practicing rituals of the prehispanic religion, even after having been baptized (Warren 1985:233). These two factors in particular led to the c onviction and execution of Tzintzicha Tangaxoan, the last native king, in 1530 at the hands of Nuo Beltrn de Guzmn, a Spanish conquistador and presid ent of the first Audiencia of New Spain (Warren 1985:234). With their king dead at the hands of the Spaniards, the native nobles and people in general must have contemplat ed and questioned their place in the new order (Krippner-Martinez 2001: 49). Many of th e nobles sought to preserve their former status by petitioning to the Spanish Coloni al administration. Significantly, KrippnerMartinez (2001:55) has characte rized the RM as a claim of legitimate noble status on the part of the informants, as well as a version of the past that challenged the humiliating conditions of the present, their subordination to the Spaniards. The colonial context of the production of the RM, therefore, was one charged with power relations. In addition, the telling of the historical narrative that comprises the second section of the RM is said within the te xt to have occurred at an annual feast when criminals and disobedient subjects woul d be punished, often by execution (RM 1956:1114, 1970:101-103). Therefore this context is sim ilarly one of power relations, namely the power of the ruling elites to exercise control over the rest of society. Before the full impact of these contexts of production can be realize d, however, the traditional interpretations of the RM and their bases must first be discussed. Only after questioning the assumptions that are nece ssarily involved in these inte rpretations can we properly evaluate the role of power and hierarchy in the RM.

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15 CHAPTER 3 A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL LI TERAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN Traditional interpretations of the historical narrative of the RM have been based on assumptions that it represents a preserved memory of the real past as it actually happened. Following these assumptions scholars have taken the words of the RM at face value, believing them to be historically accura te. Certain passages and characteristics of the RM are held up as a defense of this persp ective. Furthermore, the names used in the document to refer to individuals or groups ar e believed to denote actual ethnic groups following other assumptions concerning the na ture of ethnic identity. By questioning these assumptions, however, we see that the ev idence for literalist interpretations is less than satisfactory. Recent anthropological work outlining a better understanding of the functions of “historical narratives” and the nature of “ethnic identity” gi ves us a clue as to what exactly the historical na rrative of the RM represents. The RM as Literal History The RM has traditionally been interpreted literally, taking the events described within it as an accurate representation of the “real past” of the prehispanic Tarascan empire (Kirchhoff 1956; Seler 1993; Michelet 1994). Historians have developed a method for evaluating the historical validity of documents, in the sense of determining the likelihood that a given document is a faith ful representation of pa st events as they really happened. This method relies on ma ny assumptions, a few of which will be outlined here. The first is that events i nvolving implausible or outlandish elements,

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16 commonly the deeds of gods, are considered for that reason to be non-historical (Gillespie 1983:77-78). Documents that displa y a precise orientati on in real space and are logically and coherently ordered are judged to be more likely to be historical rather than false or mythical (Brown 1988:12; G illespie 1983:77-78). Lastly, documents should be evaluated against one another, so that events described similarly in different documents are believed to have occurred in that way, while disagreements or contradictions are resolved by resorting to other criteria and the overall reliability of some of the documents compared to ot hers (Collingwood 1946:129; Gillespie 1983:7778; Vansina 1965:113-114, 121). Several factors have lent themselves to taking such a literalist perspective of the RM. First, the friar who wrote the document claims in the prologue that he has acted only as the faithful interpreter for the Tarasc an noblemen who served as informants (RM 1956:6, 1970:7-8). Second, at the onset of the hist orical narrative, we are told that this story was told yearly at a given ceremony ( Uazcataconsquaro at which criminals or disobedient subjects were punished, in many cases being executed). This recitation was performed by the head priest, the petmuti in the capital of Tzintz untzan just prior to the carrying out of the sentences. At the same time, lower ranked priests would tell the historical narrative in towns and villages throughout the empire. The friar who wrote the RM explains that one of his informants was a priest “que saba este historia” (who knew this history) (Kirchhoff 1956:xx). Therefore, if we are to be lieve the friar, the words he wrote down were the exact words–with a few explanatory tangents included by the friar where necessary–of the Tarascan noblemen, the men who were purported to know their own history.

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17 Kirchhoff, who wrote a preliminary study th at accompanies the 1956 publication of the RM, points out that the hi story contains very few cas es of anachronism, thereby contributing to the likelihood of its historical validity (Kirchhoff 1956:xxi). Furthermore, the countless details included in the account of the life of Ta racuri, the one figure in the RM most responsible for the cr eation of the Tarascan empire amount in his opinion to “a richness of information without parallel in a ll the historical literature of Mesoamerica” (Kirchhoff 1956:xxi, author’s translation). Gi ven these observations and the claims of the friar as merely the interpreter of his na tive informants, Kirchhoff concluded that the memory of the priests responsible for preservi ng this history of the Tarascan people must have been remarkable, and the only explanati on for such a feat “is to believe that the narration of the head priest was reduced to a fixed and unalterable te xt and that the new head priest learned it from his predecessor” (Kirchhoff 1956:xxi, auth or’s translation). Kirchhoff not only relied on the amount of detail and lack of anachronism in the document, but also the above assumptions that logical coherence and the near absence of supernatural or implausible events indicate that the document can be viewed as an accurate representation of the past. One could surmise that had the RM contained just as much detail concerning the deeds of gods and th eir role in the formation of the Tarascan Empire, his interpretation woul d have perhaps been different. The loss of the first section of the RM–a description and history of the gods–has also contributed to a belief in the histori cal validity of the RM. It is impossible to compare this section to the subsequent sec tion containing the offi cial history of the Tarascan empire to detect si milar or repetitive elements. This factor should not be overlooked, as at the outset of the section cont aining the history it is explained that the

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18 patron deity of the ruling dynasty, Curicaueri, began his empire when he arrived at the mountain near Zacapu (RM 1956:14, 1970:103). The pages that follow depict the events in Zacapu as the deeds of the chief Hiretictame. In a side note in the same chapter, the Spanish friar states that the na rrator always attributed even ts to the god Curicaueri instead of mentioning the humans who presumably we re responsible for the events described (RM 1956:15, 1970:103-104). Therefore the fact that the RM looks historical in the sense that it is a description of the actions of men and not gods might be more attributable to the loss of the first section and the impositio ns of the transcribing friar rather than the intentions of the native informants to represent their history as such. Lastly, it is important to recognize the impor tance of the fact that the RM stands virtually alone as the preeminent source for the study of the histor y of the prehispanic Tarascan empire. No other documents exis t which can contradict or raise questions concerning the historical account in the RM. In other words, the methods of comparative analysis discussed above cannot be used. We are thus in a sort of double bind: because the RM is the only document of its kind, we are more inclined to read it as literal history, as there are no contradictory accounts, while on the other hand, this lack of accompanying documents prevents the events described from being supported by other evidence. Combined with the wealth of detail and other qualitie s possessed by the RM, this situation has served to cement a belief in the historical account contained in the RM as representing how things actually happened. Even without this perceive d support from the RM or the lack of contradictory evidence, it is likely that the RM would have been interprete d literally. The growth of literal-mindedness during the 19th century development of th e modern discipline of

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19 history led to the dominance of a positivist history that sought only to determine what really happened in the past (Burke 1990, Fogelson 1989). In this way virtually all historical looking documents (i.e., documents that do not contain a lot of mythic or supernatural events, as discussed above) were presumed to be literal history, that is, descriptions of actual events that preceded and motivated their production. All of the interpretations noted in Chapter 2 concerning the presence of multiple ethnic groups and the role of ethnicity in th e formation of the Tarascan empire in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin rely nearly exclusiv ely on the RM. These interpretations began with the assumption that the RM does indeed represent literal histor y. Various scholars further assume that the different terms used in the RM to refer to various individuals or groups of people were categories of identifica tion that could be characterized as similar to our concept of ethnicity: a static notion of group affiliation based on some immutable or only slowly changing characteristics, la nguage or ancestry being the most notable (Pollard 1994; Kirchhoff 1956). This assump tion is contestable, however. As the contradicting interpretations concerning th e linguistic affiliations of the recent and original inhabitants allude to, these linguist ic interpretations are based on limited, and, I believe, questionable data found primarily in the RM. Nowhere in the RM is there a conclusive or definitive statement of either group speaking either language. The issue is not simply one of specific data that might help us better reconstruct the history of the Tarascan Empire, but the need for a reexamination of the many assumptions that have laid the gr oundwork for these interpretations. Questioning the Bases of these Assumptions Many refinements have been made in anth ropological theory and practice since the time of the earliest studies of the RM and the Prehispanic Tarascan empire. In the past

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20 few decades scholars have made an effort to describe and analyze the native modes of historical consciousness as exemplified in th eir own historical trad itions. These native historical traditions can be used to study how and why non-Western peoples construct their own narratives concerning the past, rather than merely fitting their historical traditions and modes of consciousness into ou r own Western mode of chronicle history. Fogelson (1974, 1989) coined the term “et hno-ethnohistory” to contrast this approach to more traditional ethnohistory. The latter enterprise has mostly been concerned with using colonial-era docume nts or documents produced by non-natives to write the history of the non-Western groups acco rding to positivist history in the Western tradition (Carmack 1972; Cline 1972; Krech 1991) While this is a worthwhile goal, some have lamented that it has dominated th e field to the exclusion of another kind of ethnohistory, what Fogelson was attempting to draw attention to with his term ethnoethnohistory: an understanding of history from the native point of view. Schieffelin and Gewertz (1985:3) agree, adding that in a ddition to writing the hi story of non-Western peoples where before there was none, we “m ust fundamentally take into account the people’s own sense of how events are cons tituted, and their ways of culturally constructing the past.” This work within ethnohistory has bui lt upon a recognition in anthropology more generally of the difficulty of maintaining so me of the old dichotomies between myth and history and “hot” and “cold” societies. Myth and history have traditionally been viewed as antithetical modes of hist orical consciousness. Under th is view, myth was perceived to be untrue or only generalized stories that se rve to reproduce the so cial structure of the cultures in which they are told. History, in co ntrast, was viewed as tr ue in the sense that

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21 it told of real past events (Hill 1988b:5; Turn er 1988b:236). This distinction is at the heart of Lvi-Strauss’s famous delineation of a continuum at the endpoints of which are “hot” and “cold” societies: societies that eith er are historically minded and record past events or make historical events subser vient to the reproduct ion of the culture, respectively (Lvi-Strauss 1963:234). As the recent works of many scholars (Dillon and Abercrombie 1988; Hill and Wright 1988; Parmentier 1987; Sahlins 1985; Turner 1988a) have demonstrated, however, these dichotomies are misleading. Gossen (1977:250) has written that both “myth and history are bundles of meaningful experience about the past … which are conditioned by utility for and relevance to the pr esent, as it is experienced by a particular cultural tradition.” In the same vein, G illespie (1989:xxxviii) points out that both are “endpoints of the same processe s,” and that they serve the same function in society, to give (sometimes divine) justification for events and as exemplars or ideal types of action. Gillespie also states that the Aztecs ma de no distinction between history and myth (1989:xxxviii). Narratives pertaining to cosmol ogical themes or “mythic” events such as the creation of the world have also been shown in some societies to be contiguous with the present or historical era in the sense that they establish the categories and actions that exist in historical times as well as the possibility for innovatio n in the real world (McKinnon 1991; Parmentier 1987; Sahlins 1985). Relating this work back to the RM, it is necessary to examine the “historical” narrative contained within the RM on its own basis and without the assumptions of literalist or positivist history. Krippner-Martinez’s point noted in the previous chapter that the RM was produced to defend positions of privilege within Tarascan society and

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22 the indications that the narra tive itself was produced to legi timize the state’s authority must be accounted for. Whether or not the na rrative constitutes history as defined in the traditional or positivist manner is at a certa in point irrelevant. The narrative was produced, according to the specific mode of hist orical consciousness of the Tarascans, to express and legitimate the hier archical relationships that were a fundamental part of Tarascan society and which the creators and te llers of the narrative had a vested interest in preserving. Therefore the view adopted here is that the narrative–which has traditionally been interpreted as the literal history of the Tarascan empire–constitutes an indigenous explanation of cosm ological and political hierar chy that is created through and sanctified by the medium of a historical narrative. As outlined above, notions of ethnicity have also played an important role in many interpretations of the RM. However, these in terpretations, in addition to relying on very little evidence, are also based upon overly si mplistic and somewhat outdated conceptions of ethnicity. These notions have been called “p rimordialist,” in that there is a belief that ethnic groups form cohesive groups because of some long held traditions (e.g., language) and/or heritable characteristics such as physical traits. This view of ethnicity has a long history in western scholarship and the layman’s vocabulary (Sollors 1996). Nearly at the same time that some anthr opologists were reformulating their views of indigenous modes of historical consciousne ss, others were reth inking the ways that ethnicity had traditionally been defined and studied. Since the pioneering work of Barth in 1969, it has been increasingly recognized th at “ethnicity” can be expressed in many different ways, on many levels, and most impor tantly that ethnic identification is not immutable but subject to active manipulat ion (Barth 1969; Cohen 1994; DeCorse 1989;

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23 Osborn 1989). Frequently the goal or cause of ethnic affiliation or id entification is access to resources, and therefore ethnicity is of ten enacted in competitive arenas in which scarce resources are at stake (Barth 1969; Sollors 1996). Ethnicity is a way to claim membership and therefore any rights a nd resources a group may hold, as well as a method of expressing group strength and solid arity, reinforcing existing and potential claims for resources. This has been called an “instrumentalist” approach to ethnicity (Sollors 1996). In this way, group names come to be identified not only with the specific or actual people who identify themselves as members, but any of the traits or characteristic ways of acting of those gr oups, and lastly the rights and privileges the groups hold. Furthermore, there is in Zuidema’s (1973) work on native conceptions of ethnicity in Peru a valuable lesson for the case of the Tarascan empire. In Peru, hierarchy is the dominant organizing principa l, and notions of ethnicity were incorporated into hierarchical arrangements. Thus ethnic or group identification become a way, but not the only way, to express and explain hierarchical relationships. In some cases, the specific ethnic group that was used in such expre ssions was unimportant, and one group could be substituted for another, as long as they were in hierarchically si milar positions. In the Tarascan empire, a highly organi zed and hierarchical state, we might also expect that ethnic, or some group identities, were simila rly used to express these same types of hierarchical relationships. Given these two concerns–first understa nding the purpose of the telling of the narrative and the hierarchical relationships th at it expresses, and second, the perspective of group or “ethnic” difference from the point of view of the Tarascan elites themselves–

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24 a method must be utilized that has as one of its major advantages the analysis of documents to achieve an unders tanding of the emic logic a nd categories employed in the narrative. Various structuralist methods have been employed to analyze narratives much like the RM, and have yielded important re sults concerning how peoples in different world areas understood and actively constructe d political legitimacy and group difference (Gillespie 1989, Heusch 1982, Urton 1990). Therefore I have chosen to use a structuralist method devised by Turner (1977, 19 85) in this analysis of the “official history” of the Tarascan empire that comprises the second part of the RM.

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25 CHAPTER 4 TARASCAN KINGS AS STRANGER-KINGS The Stranger-King, as outlined by Sahlins (1985 ), is a theme, or rather, a sequence of themes found in many systems of arch aic kingship around the globe. Sahlins. Sahlins’ chapter builds upon th e previous work of other sc holars (among others, Sahlins [1985] cites Dumzil [1949] for Indo-European systems; Heusch [1982] for concepts of kingship in Africa; Frazer [1905, 1911-15] in various parts of the world; Hocart [1969, 1970] in Fiji; also Gillespie [1989] for Az tec histories; and Urton [1990] for Inka histories), and therefore he di d not invent nor was he the fi rst to recognize the similarities among histories and political rituals in thes e archaic systems of kingship. Through the adoption of a structuralist persp ective, Sahlins demonstrates that what is at work in these similarities is a general and processual stru cturalist theory of power and sovereignty as created out of a synthesis of opposed categorie s. A general outline of these stories is presented here, along with a brief discussion of the similarities presen t in the historical narrative contained within the RM. These simila rities belie the view that this narrative is an accurate record of unique hi storical events. Furthermore, Sahlins’ work demonstrates the utility of a structuralist persp ective for analyzi ng this narrative. Stranger-King in Other World Areas The first element of the Stranger King storylin e is that the king is an outsider and is in some fundamental way different from the people he will come to rule. As Sahlins (1985:78) explains, “[b]y his ow n nature outside the homebred culture of the society, the king appears within it as a force of nature.” Kings are commonly said to have come from

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26 above or beyond society, or their difference is ex plained as derived from the fact that they are of a “distinct [foreign] ethnic stock” (Sahlins 1985:78). These commonalities might be explained as “indigenous” conceptions or formulations of power. Because the king is set apart from and above the rest of society, this difference must be explained by way of his origins precisely because this differen ce is being expressed through the medium of narratives about the past (following Sahlins 1985:78). Following his arrival in a locality, the st ranger gains access to power through a native woman (Sahlins 1985:82). Commonly th e woman is the daughter of the ruling chief of the native or autochthonous people, who represent the land, agricultural fertility, and economic prosperity. The au tochthonous people also represent gravitas the “venerable, staid, judicious, priestly, peacef ul, and productive dispositions of an established people (Sahlins 1985:90).” The stranger wins this woman in marriage through some “miraculous exploit involving f eats of strength, ruse, rape, athletic prowess, and/or the murder of his predecessor” (Sahlins 198 5:82; this theme of gaining legitimacy through a marriage is characteristic of Indo-European narratives). By his actions the stranger represents celeritas the “youthful, active, disorderly, magical, and creative violence,” the complement of gravitas that is powerful e nough to reconstitute society through its disruptiv eness (Sahlins 1985:90). Gender symbolism is also an important part of this interaction. The stranger is always male and his strength, skill, and maraudi ng nature are all masculine traits. On the other hand, the autochthonous woman represents the feminine fecundity of the earth and the native people, as well as the legitimate au thority of the native pe ople that they possess by inhabiting the land first. Through the marriage, the feminine qualities of the

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27 autochthonous woman encompass and “culturi ze” the virile masculine power of the stranger (Sahlins 1985:90). The stranger thereby gains a quality of legitimate authority from the native princess and has also been domesticated by the woman in that he is no longer barbarous and unruly. He therefore is no longer what he once was; he has been transformed into a legitimate king through the synthesis of two prior categories, with all of the associations and cultural prescr iptions that this status carries. Transformed thus from a stranger to a king of the native peop le, the Stranger-King must now rule in the culturally prescribed ma nner. In Polynesia, the king “just sits … i.e., in the house as a woman” (Sahlins 1985:91). He has come to represent the gravitas originally embodied by the autochth onous people, in contrast to the celeritas that he previously embodied. Sahlins (1985:90) explai ns that the “same creative violence that institutes society would be dangerously unfit to constitute it,” and therefore we see in the end the victory of gravitas and the transformation of the ki ng that the initial triumph of celeritas had set in motion. There is an alternate permut ation of the synthesis of the two opposed categories. Rather than the king gaining power through a marriage to a native princess, the king can also be conceptualized as the offspring of such a union. In this way the king is the “biologically” produced synthesis of th e opposed but complementary qualities of masculinity and femininity, celeritas and gravitas etc. This is the ca se in Polynesia, in which the king is viewed as the nephew, the s on of a sister, of the autochthonous people. The installation ceremonies in Polynesia imita te the “historical” events of the IndoEuropean narratives. In the common Fijia n installation ceremony when the king-to-be enters the village from outside and drinks kava which is not poisonous but leads to the

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28 metaphorical death of the “terrible outsider,” who is then reborn as a divine king of the indigenous people (Sahlins 1985:95-97). Because the king no longer explicitly em bodies the roving and marauding traits he once did, this category must be represented elsewhere in the structure of the system kingship. Different solutions to this logical problemcommonly some conception of cyclical dynastic histories or the alternation of kings said to behave according to the prescribed notions of kingly behaviorare di scussed in Dumzil (1949), Gillespie (1989), and Heusch (1972). The king’s previous wa rrior functions are tr ansferred to a younger heir who is not bound by the customs of kingl y conduct, or rather the young heir is bound by cultural prescriptions to embody the celeritas that the king has given up (Sahlins 1985:91). Another rela ted solution is to divide the two sides of sovereign behavior between senior and j unior lines of the chiefly or royal family (Sahlins 1985:91). Either way, this transference often takes place as soon as possible following the king’s accession to power (Sahlins 1985:91). The marriage and/or transformation of the “stranger” into a “king” creates a union of the two opposed categories th at are contrastive, yet nece ssary, to produce a superior synthesis. The duality of celeritas and gravitas is transcended by the synthesis that the king represents, and therefore the king posse sses both the power to create and recreate society as well as the ability to maintain th at society. In the gender symbolism we see that a productive union of male and female has been formed, and it is this union of genders that is necessary for pr ocreation and social reproduction. It is worthwhile to point out that in th e case of ancient Roman historical narratives, non-complementary dualism embodied by the brothers Romulus and Remus fails to

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29 establish a stable political system. By non-complementary I mean a dualism of two elements that are too similar as opposed to a union of opposed yet complementary elements. It is only after the murder of Remus by Romulus that a synthesis of the complementary Roman and Sabine people is created: The Romans adopt the armor, i.e., the military techniques, of the indigenous Sabines; the Sabines take over the Roman names for months, i.e., the ceremonial/agricultural calenda r, of the invading warrior s. But above all, the Romans now gain the means of their ow n reproduction in the Sabine women and their dowries, and all live ha ppily ever after in the Eternal City. (Sahlins 1985:84) Here we see that the importa nt point is that a synthesi s of the two formerly opposed categories is created. The original synthesi s fails because the two elements, the Roman brothers, are overly similar and are theref ore unproductive because the proper kind of exchange and transcendence of contra sted categories cannot take place. The combinations and synthese s at play in these “Stra nger-King” stories are about the creation of sovereignty: “The combination of two term s produces a third, a sovereign power, itself a dual combination” of celeritas and gravitas male and female, autochthon and foreigner (Sahlins 1985:90). In this way the king is able to ru le society because he can mediate between its various parts, precise ly because he himself encapsulates some quality of these different parts of society. Th e king is hierarchically superior because he encompasses the various parts of society and therefore represents a whole or totality greater than any of the lesser parts (following Dumont’s concep t of hierarchy; see below). Furthermore, this synthesis and the creat ion of king and empire are but the most recent instantiations of the development of cat egories set in motion at the time of the creation of the world. Following Sahlins (1985) and other anal yses of cosmogonies (McKinnon 1991; Parmentier 1987), such narra tives of the creation of the world introduce and establish genera l categories or paradigms that are embodied by more

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30 recent, “historical,” even real -life or actual actors. The pe ople and characters involved in these rituals and stories are members of cultural categories, the same categories involved in tales of the creati on of the universe. Construction of Hierarchy This conception of synthesis and the result ant hierarchical supe riority is explained by Dumont, an anthropologist. As form ulated by Dumont (1980, 1986), hierarchy is defined as the relationship of a whole to the part s that constitute it. A whole consists of it parts yet is more than the sum of its parts; therefore it takes on a hi erarchically superior position. This is what Dumont called encompassment, and the fact that the whole encompasses and consists of its disparate elemen ts gives it a greater value than any of the parts. “Hierarchy” in this sense is not conc erned with power, coerci on, or authority as in the layman’s use of the term but rather a sy stem of the differentia l valorization of the whole and parts. In one of his explications of his theor y, Dumont (1980:239-240) explains the higher status accorded to males in western society. He traces this hierarchical relationship to the Biblical genesis in which Eve is formed from one of Adam’s ribs. Because Eve was formed from the rib, she was originally part of Adam. Therefore Adam encompasses both himself and Eve, both male and female more generally, and he is thus given a higher value and hierarchical position. In Dumont’s formulation, the whole or hierarchically superior unit precedes its parts. The story of Adam and Eve is a pe rfect example of this, in that Adam, as (hu)mankind, precedes the parts that are formed out of him, namely, men and women. In this way Dumont himself (1980:243) contrast ed his definition of hierarchy to the dialectical process outlined by the German philosopher Hegel. In Hegel’s view, a whole

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31 could be constructed from a conjunction of pa rts. The whole, or synthesis, does not preexist but is actively cr eated out of the prior th esis and antithesis. This is an important point, as will be seen throughout the analysis In the course of the RM, characters and groups change, and whol es are created as the outcomes of the events of the narrative. Just as in the Stra nger-King narratives or systems of rulership, in the RM a novel third term or whole is create d that takes on a hierarchically higher value precisely because it is a whole that consists of the various an d disparate parts of society. This condition does not exist at the beginning of the narrative, wh ich speaks of the separation of the Chichimecs and Islanders and disunity of the various polities. Outside of this disagreement over the pr eexistence or construc tion of the whole, however, the both Dumont’s and Hegel’s concep tions of hierarchy are quite similar. They both propose that the whole or synthesi s takes on the higher value because it is a combination of the parts, existing on a higher level than those parts. Tarascan Stranger-Kings The similarities of the basic Stranger-k ing theme to the sequence of events described in the RM will be briefly summa rized here. The Chichimecs, a group of barbarous, nomadic, hunter-gat herers arrived in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin from the mountainous north. They therefore originate from outside or beyond the area that they come to rule over. Following a few genera tions, the younger of two Chichimec brothers marries the daughter of an indigenous fisher man, who represents th e productivity of the lake area and the autochthonous people of the lake in contrast to the invading Chichimecs. It is this union that produces the culture hero Taracuri, himself a synthesis of the outsiders and original inhabitants of th e land, and, it is foretold, the future king. In

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32 this way Taracuri is a synthesis of both the Chichimec, hunting, barbarous peoples and the autochthonous, fishing, and agricu ltural peoples of the lake basin. While Taracuri is still a youth, his fath er and uncle, both Chichimecs (and therefore a non-complementary duality akin to Romulus and Remus), are murdered. Following their deaths, and with the occasional help of his Chichimec cousins, Taracuri commits various acts of aggression against th e native peoples. Eventually, however, he wins the daughters of a native priest of th e primary feminine/earth goddess by shooting a hummingbird, thereby displaying his skill as a hu nter and warrior. In addition to being the “biological” synthesis of the two opposed categories he also becomes the son-in-law of the autochthonous lake people. By the incl usion of the priest of the preeminent female fertility deity as Taracuri’s father-in-law, it is now clear that Taracuri is a synthesis of the opposed but complementary categories of violent, barbarous, and hunting Chichimecs and the legitimate, feminine, productive lake pe ople. The historical narrative of the RM therefore includes the permutations of both th e Polynesian and Indo-European systems of kingship, and in this way is similar to Gillespie’s (1989) findings concerning Aztec histories. Immediately following this marriage Taracu ri settles in his capital city and no longer goes on forays or commits aggressive acts against the lake people. Upon his return to his capital he begi ns asking about his long lost “n ephews,” the orphaned sons of his cousins. These nephews take on the rovi ng and marauding characteristics previously embodied by Taracuri and his cousins, their fathers. Together w ith Taracuri’s younger son by one of the priest’s daughters, and unde r Taracuri’s guidance, these nephews go on to establish the empire.

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33 As the analyses of not only the Strange r-King narratives but also other cosmogonic narratives mentioned above point out, the categories of peopl e that are the subjects of “historical” narratives and events are es tablished by the creation of the cosmos. Therefore we might expect that the “histori cal” narrative concerni ng the creation of the Tarascan Empire was indeed the final stage of a history that began with the creation of the universe. This is supporte d by the original order and subj ect of the first two sections of the RM as well as a statement at the beginni ng of the historical section in which it is specifically stated that it is the god Curicaueri who arrives at Zacapu (RM 1956:14, 1970:103). This gives the impressi on that originally a chronicl e of the actions of the gods led up to and connected with the story of the cr eation of the Tarascan Empire. If this was indeed the case it is reasonable to expect, th at the categories establis hed in the creation of the universe were the same categories involve d in the creation of the Tarascan royal dynasty and the Tarascan empire. Or, working from the reverse direction due to the lack of a cosmogonic narrative but the presence of an historical one in the RM, the characters involved in the history of the RM should re present instantiations of fundamental and cosmic categories. Conclusion Due to the similarities to the general seque nce noted in many areas of the world and the role of such stories in creating hierarchy, it is logical to suppose that the “official history” of the Tarascans contained within th e RM is primarily concerned with explaining the nature of hierarchy and au thority in Tarascan society as well. The narrative in the RM is not identical to any of these other Stranger-Ki ng stories, however, and the similarities noted in this chapter to the “Str anger-King” outline only serves to point out a generic meaning of the narrative. In order to understand the specific way in which the

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34 Tarascan elites legitimated their authority and the nature of the categories and people involved, a more detailed and rigorous analys is of the RM itself is necessary. The analyses of Sahlins and others have demonstrated the utility of a structuralist perspective for understanding the meaning of cosmogonic and ev en narratives that seem “historical.” Sahlins offers a general guide of how such an analysis can proceed; however, for a more explicit method for analyzing narratives, I us e Turner’s (1977, 1985) structuralist method of narrative analysis. Both Sahlins’ gene ral outline and Turner’s more specific method are discussed in the next chapter.

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35 CHAPTER 5 THE SYNTAGMATIC STRUCTURALIST ANALYSIS OF NARRATIVE The analytical method used here is one inspired by both Sahlins’ work outlined above in the analysis of the changes and synt heses of the elemental categories at play in the Stranger-King scenario, as well as Turner’s structuralist method of narrative analysis. Sahlins points out the need for a dynamic theory of struct ure as well the creation of a synthesis of elementary forms in the creation of hierarchy at play in the Stranger-King theme. Turner’s method is outlined in two articles (1977, 1985), the first of which includes a critique of earlier methods of stru cturalist narrative analys is (most prominently that of Lvi-Strauss) while the second arti cle clarifies and expands upon the earlier article and uses the method to analyze the Kayap my th of the origin of cooking fire. The method used here draws from Turner’s insi ghts into the contextual juxtaposition of contrast and contiguity within what he calls episodes as well as the operations that drive the action and links episodes tone another. By incorporating the various changes within and then between episodes, the structure is then revealed through the course of the narrative. Processual Structure and Elementary Categories Sahlins (1985:103) uses the example of the Stranger-King stories to demonstrate an important theoretical insight. In the Strange r-King stories, the stra nger is transformed from a terrible stranger to a divine king. Ther efore, at different points in the sequence, the same person has different attributes. Th ese changes are structured, however, to the effect that they are the logical results of certain underlying principles. Sahlins’s main

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36 point is that only by taking into account these changes or tr ansformations that occur in different contexts is the total structure re vealed. In this way structure should be conceptualized as taking place in and thr ough time: “in its global and most powerful representation, structure is processual” (Sahlins 1985:77). Therefore Sahlins (1985:77, 103) contrast s this view of st ructure with the conception of structure developed by Saussure which was later adopted by Lvi-Strauss. In the Saussurean definition of structure, the meaning of a word is derived from the fact that it is contrasted with other words on tw o axes, the syntagmatic and associative axes (Saussure 1959:121). The syntagmatic axis as signs meaning based on the contiguity that exists among and between words in a sent ence or intelligible speech act (Saussure 1959:121). The associative axis, more commonl y referred to today as the paradigmatic axis, involves the assigning of meaning to wo rds based on the similarities and differences words share with other word s (Saussure 1959:121-122). Words from various classes are then chosen from memory according to th e associations that create their meaning (Saussure 1959:121). Saussure referred to the simultaneous co-existence of rules governing the selection of words and th eir placement one following another as synchrony, or the synchronic as pect of language (Saussure 1959:98). However, Sahlins (1985:103) points out that in Fijian soci ety, the synchronic relationships of “men:women::culture:nature::chiefs:people” are tr ue only from a certain perspective or at a particular moment. They are misleading and falsifiable when analyzed from a different perspective. Only by realizing that such relationships do change over time and in different contexts can the “logi c of the whole,” the generativ e rules that motivate all the

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37 concrete and different instantiations, the static Saussurean contrasts, be revealed (Sahlins 1985:103). Through the course of his analysis of th e Stranger-King, Sahlins states that the legitimacy of the king is the result of the synt hesis of categories that the king represents. Therefore another focus of my analysis of the RM is how categories of people in particular are created and then related to one another, a nd which categories combine to produce the legitimate authority of kingship. Syntagmatic Analysis of Narrative Similar to Sahlins, Turner adopts a defi nition of structure that is dynamic and processual. Specifically, Turner draws from Piaget’s definition of structure in which structure is self-producing or self-constructing. Piaget al so emphasized the notion that structure is constructive activ ity (Turner 1977:126). In concordance with this definition of structure as processual, Turner formul ates a method of narrative analysis that incorporates the syntax of narratives and thus the production of structure through the course of the narrative. In Turner’s method, the story itself is the source of important contrast and distinctions. Drawing from th e recognition of the Prague sc hool of structural linguists (Jakobson being the most notable) that contrast can only be recognize d in the context of continuity, or only “becomes structurally significant in correlation with continuity” (Turner 1977:115), Turner recogni zed that in narrative the co ntext allows for meaningful contrast, or changes, to be recognize d. Therefore all binary oppositions are bidimensional, in the sense that they involve contrast on one dimension and continuity on another dimension. The syntax of a narrative is therefore integral because it is only through the course of th e narrative, the syntax, that cont inuity can be expressed. Syntax

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38 serves to separate out and concretize, in spec ific contexts, the para digmatic associations of events, characters, etc. through their juxtaposition. Building upon the necessity of syntax and the nature of binary opposition, Turner defined a basic unit of narrative, what he calls an episode, a sequence of actions or events in which something changes, or a contrast appears, while at the same time something has remained the same. For example, in the my th that Turner (1985:100) analyzes, a move from up to down is juxtaposed against the ab sence of movement in horizontal space in one episode. This method is therefore fundamentally diffe rent from the method of the analysis of myth popularized by Lvi-Strauss (1963). As Turner (1977) points out, Lvi-Strauss misapplied the fundamental insight of the Pra gue School linguists and did not incorporate the bi-dimensional nature of binary oppos itions. Rather, Lvi-Strauss, through his disregard of the syntax of narratives that made any incorporation of meaning based on contextual juxtapositions impossible, was fo rced to draw elements, actions, and themes that he believed contrasted with one a nother based on some inherent meaning from different parts of the story, or even part s of different stories (Turner 1977:115). Furthermore, Lvi-Strauss disregarded the sy ntagmatic aspect of narrative due to an erroneous identification of s yntax with what Saussure ca lled the diachronic aspect of language, the changes that take place in a la nguage over time, which Saussure stated has no bearing on the production of meaning (Turner 1977:119-120). By incorporating the syntagmatic aspect of narrative, therefore, Turner has formulated a more properly structuralist met hod for the analysis of narrative. Binary oppositions in Turner’s method are not drawn fr om various parts of the narrative at the

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39 discretion of the analyst, but are recognized as created by the na rrative itself. The syntagmatic aspect of narrative not only pres erves continuity and cr eates contrast within episodes but also links episodes to each othe r. Episodes are linked to one another using what Turner calls operations. Operations ar e “constituents of narrative structure [that] are embodied in actions or movements that tr ansform structurally significant aspects of the relationships among the acto rs and objects involved in th e action” (Turner 1985:102). Different kinds of operations are employed to move the action from one episode to another, changing or preserving certain conditions or character istics. Only a two of the operations outlined by Turner (1985), those relevant to the present analysis, are mentioned here: reversals and pivoting. Reversals link the action of episodes or groups of episodes by reversing, or repeating in an inverse manner, the action of the preceding episode or group of episodes. They do not achieve a return to the original state, however, because in addition to the actions of the previous episode(s), an init ial condition of the episode must also be reversed as the final outcome of the episode(s) that reverses its predecessors. In Turner’s analysis of a Kayap myth (1985:68-69), a reve rsal is said to occur when one character manages to reverse his action by returning home from a hunting expedition that took him into the forest with his brother-in-law. Howe ver, this character leaves his brother-in-law in the forest and so the two characters have gone from unified in space to separated in space. Pivoting is also an important operation in the RM, and it can be conceptualized as a sort of double reversal. In pi voting, two characters or elements that up until that point are contrasted to one another switch roles or pl aces, becoming exactly what was previously

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40 antithetical to their very na ture. In the same Kayap myt h, Turner (1985:83) shows that the brother-in-law pivots, at the same time as horizontal space, when he shoots a surrogate jaguar mother through the nipples. Th e jaguar mother repeat edly tries to hunt and kill the boy as a hunter would. By k illing the jaguar mother, the boy becomes the hunter and the jaguar becomes the (now dead ) prey, and so the two characters switch places. Furthermore, when he kills the jagua r, the character has successfully hunted an animal and even more specifically repudiated his dependence on this surrogate mother by shooting her in the nipples, symbols of the dependence of children on their mothers for food. The boy therefore becomes a man. Just as he pivots by transforming himself from a youth into a man, horizontal space also pivots for him; because he is now a hunter, the forest, which was previously dangerous space to him, has become his proper domain as a hunter. The episodes and the operati ons that link them through th e syntagmatic aspect of the narrative also create larger paradigm s of episodes through the association of equivalence or reversal of actions. These para digmatic sets of episodes are then linked to other paradigmatic sets of si milarly linked episodes through the syntax of the narrative and exist at a higher conceptual level becau se they encompass the individual episodes and operations. In this way the syntax of a narrative can create larger and larger paradigms that encompass individual episodes an d smaller paradigmatic units that in turn are linked to each other through syntax. This interdependency between paradigm and syntax is what Turner calls their “relativi zation” (Turner 1977:131). According to the Dumontian (and Hegelian) formulation of hierarchy outlined above, the higher-level paradigm encompasses the episodes and tr ansformations and therefore takes on a

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41 hierarchically superior value. Narratives t hus construct hierarchy through the interaction of both syntax and paradigm, and this creati on of hierarchy is one of the fundamental attributes of narrative (Turner 1977:131, 162). At the same time the narrative creates hierarchically greater units of episodes and operations, it may also create hierarchically superior paradigms or categories, i.e., char acters or groups of pe ople according to the same general theory of hierarchy. This is th e case with the RM, as will be evident in the following analysis. In the analysis of the RM presented here I do not follow Turner’s methods exactly. The juxtapositions within episodes will be noted as establishing certain contrasts and creating paradigms. The level of rigor in Turner’s definition and use of episodes is unnecessary for the goals of this analysis, which are to discuss the nature of the categories within the RM and to reveal the ba sic structural principles that serve as the basis for the various episodes and transfor mations within the narrative. While the contextual juxtapositions have remained the basis for delimiting episodes, a special concern for establishing paradi gmatic linkages between episodes has also influenced my delineation of episodes in the RM. While my episodes at times approximate the separate chapters of the RM which are given their own titles, the definition of an episode is not related to this division of the document. The following chapter presents the analysis of the “official state history” as it is presented in the second part of the RM.

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42 CHAPTER 6 THE SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN The episodes of the second part of the RM, the part that purportedly contains the “official state history” of the Tarascan empire, will be presented throughout the analysis, in order, with their significance explained following the episode or a group of episodes that are related and help to illustrate th e significance of the others. The episodes are summarized by me to provide the essential ac tions and settings th at are necessary to demonstrate paradigmatic associations am ong them, but other details are omitted. The episodes are numbered, italicized, and “End of Episode” marks the next paragraph as my own analysis. The division of the chapte r into sections marked by descriptive subheadings does not reflect any results of the analysis, but is done merely to separate out what is a lengthy narrative and analysis. Arrival of the Chichimecs Episode 1 At the beginning of the narrative, Hi retictame is said to have arrived at the mountain named Zacapu Tacanendan with his god Curicaueri (see Appendix for associations of this deity) Recognizing the power of Curica ueri, the lord of Naranjan, a nearby town (see Figure 6-1) proposes the marriage of his daughter to Hiretictame. Hiretictame, the chichimec ch ief accepts the proposal, and exp lains to his in-laws that they are not to take the deer that he shoots because he of fers the animals to the gods. The skins are particularly taboo because th ey are used to make blankets for the god Curicaueri. Hiretictame and his wife liv e on the mountain, and after some time passes Hiretictame’s wife bears a son named Sicuirancha. Hiretictame shoots but only

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43 wounds a deer near a place named Querequar o. Soon night falls, and he marks the spot where he must leave off the chase. The next morning he follows the deer tracks to Figure 6-1. Map of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin an d Vicinity. Not to S cale. Locations of Zichaxuquero and Tararan are approximate. Querequaro where the deer died, only to find the Naranjans butchering the animal and cutting the skin to pieces. Hiretictame chid es his in-laws, who shove him to the ground. Hiretictame is enraged and shoots one of his in-laws with an arrow, killing him. He runs home, tells his wife what has transpir ed, and they set out for Zichaxuquero, carrying their son Sicuirancha and the god Curicaueri. At Querequaro, however, they stop and

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44 the wife asks if she can go and bring a god in her house named Uatzoriquare (see Appendix for associations of this deity) She does this, and eventually they all settle in Zichaxuquero, a town further south where they build a house and temples. End of Episode. In this first episode the movements of Hi retictame and his wife create a contrast between up and down. Prior to Hiretictame’s qua rrel within his in-laws, he and his wife live on the mountain Zacapu Tacan endan. Following their flight to Zichaxuquero, they live in a house and build temples. While they have remained in the north and outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, they have moved from up on the mountain, to down, in a house in a proper town complete with temples. The me ntion of Querequaro tw ice is significant; it could be said to serve as a boundary betw een the two groups involved. As the place where the deer dies and location of the ensu ing violence, it separates the Chichimecs and the Naranjans. It is also a point of no retu rn; this is the place where Hiretictame’s wife stops and goes back to fetch her god. Fu rthermore, the huntin g associations of Hiretictame are made clear in this first epis ode; Hiretictame explai ns that he and his people are frequently out in the mount ains hunting and gathering wood. Episode 2 Hiretictame and the Chichimecs liv e in Zichaxuquero. Not long after Hiretictame’s son Sicuirancha becomes a man, the Naranjans come to kill Hiretictame at Zichaxuquero. When they arrive, only Hiretictame’s wife is at the house, and the Naranjans tell her of their plans. When Hi retictame comes home, she tells him what they had said to her, and Hiretictame prepares himself, making arrows. When the Naranjans come back Hiretictame defends himself valiantly, but eventually he runs out of arrows and is overcome and beaten to de ath. The Naranjans set his house on fire and

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45 carry off the god Curicaueri. When Sicuir ancha, Hiretictame’s son, returns from hunting on the mountain, he finds his mother weeping and Curicaueri gone. He retrieves his god Curicaueri from the Naranjans, who Cu ricaueri has inflicted with a sickness. Sicuirancha settles at Uayameo, which is on the northern banks of Lake Ptzcuaro, with his god Curicaueri and all his people. There he builds a temple and priests houses, and orders that wood be brought for the temple fires. End of Episode. The end result of this episode is th e movement of the Chichimecs, led by Sicuirancha, to Uayameo. Therefore the Ch ichimecs have moved from a position outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin to a position inside that basin. This movement creates an opposition between outside and inside. Furthermore, this episode functions through a reversal of the action of the previous one (see figure 6-2). Rather than Hiretictame Figure 6-2. Episodes 1 and 2. The horizontal line indicates a higher-level paradigm that is created based on the relationship betw een the two episodes, in this case a reversal of action. killing a brother-in-law, it is he who is kill ed by the Naranjans. The violence in this episode occurs in Hiretictame’s house as opposed to the open field where the deer dies. The inversion in geographical terms is the most important, however. The Chichimecs

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46 start out as a northern people, located outside the Ptzcuaro Basin at the beginning of the previous episode. The first qua rrel with the Naranjans provides the impetus for the move to Zichaxuquero, from up to down. In this episode, however, Zichaxuquero serves as the starting point, and by the end of the chapter we see that it has f unctioned merely as a halfway point between Zacapu and a position inside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Notice how all these transformations can be categori zed as going from natu re, or wild, outside space, to inside, cultured space. At the same time they move from out to in, they remain down (a move the first episode accomplished) and to the north. Episode 3 Following Sicuirancha’s death in Uayameo, he is succeeded by his son Paucume. Paucume in turn is succeeded by his son Uapani, who is succeed by his son Curtame. Curtame dies and leaves two sons, Uapani and Paucume, as the leaders of the Chichimecs (see Figure 6-3 for a gen ealogy of the royal dynasty) The succession of these leaders is given a second time in which the order is somewhat different: Sicuirancha followed by Curtame, then Paucume, then Uapani, and then the two brothers named Uapani and Paucume are le ft as the leaders of the Chichimecs. At the time that these two brothers were leade rs of the Chichimecs, the goddess Xartanga (see Appendix for associ ations of this deity) has her temples in Tzintzuntzan. At the beginning of the episode, the Chichimecs are engaged in a reciprocal relationship with the people of Tzintzuntzan. The priests of Xa rtanga take firewood to Uayameo for Curicaueri’s temples and vice versa. One day Xartanga’s priests drink too much and start wearing the adornments of the goddess, who is angered and causes the maguey

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47 Figure 6-3. The Genealogy of the Royal Dynasty, as told in the narrative. Elder sibling are placed to the left of younger siblings. Also, the second version of the leaders who succeeded Sicuirancha that is told in the narrative connects to the main genealogy by the dashed lines. This genealogy is different from the illustration of the royal “family tree” c ontained within the RM, in which kin relations are difficult to interpret. wine they are drinking to make them sick. After vomiting and recovering somewhat from their illness, the priests want to eat somethi ng to help them cure th eir hangover. They try to catch some fish, but Xaratanga hides the fish in the lake from them. All that they could find was a large snake. They cook and eat th e snake, and after the sun sets they begin turning into snakes. By morning they ha ve completely turned into snakes and swim toward Uayameo, where they shout at the Chichi mecs. The Chichimecs flee to the top of the mountain called Tariacaherio in the ci ty of Tzintzuntzan. The snake-people then swim ashore and bury themselves in the ground. End of Episode. At the beginning of this episode, the Chic himecs and Islanders/priests of Xartanga are engaged in the exchange of wood for the temples of the deities Curicaueri and

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48 Xartanga. This is not complementary excha nge, however, because it is exchange for the same object or good. The exchange is theref ore unproductive, and the two groups are not well differentiated because they exchange the same thing. They therefore lack a degree of differentiation that is needed to create a new synthesis. The priests of Xartanga then appropriate that goddess’s adornm ents, identifying themselves with that goddess. In this way there is a lack of the proper differentia tion between people and gods. As the result of their actions, they end up burying themselv es in the ground, and the Chichimecs go to the top of a mountain. The priests theref ore have moved to an extremely down (and inside) position, below and within the earth. The Chichimecs have moved from down back to up, starting in Uayameo and ending atop the mountain called Tariacaherio. At the same time they remain north as well as inside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Through these actions the Chichimecs have become spatially differentiated from the priests of Xartanga, becoming differentia ted on a vertical axis. Episode 4 From atop Mount Tariacaherio the Chichimecs disperse, believing the appearance of the snakes to be an ome n. One group goes to Cornguaro with the god Urendequaucara (see Appendix for associations of this god) another to Pechtaro with the god Tiripeme Xungpeti, a third with th e god Tiripeme went to Iramuco, and the fourth group went to Pareo ca rrying Tiripeme Caheri. All of these gods are said to be the 4 brothers of the god Curicaueri. The dispersal leaves Uapani and Paucume, with their god Curicaueri, alone atop the mountai n. The two brothers carry their god along the edge of the lake until they arrive on a m ountain overlooking the island of Xarquaro. Xartanga’s priests also flee the area, ta king the goddess ultimately to Tararan or

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49 Harocutn (while Harocutn is the last place the goddess Xartanga is taken in this episode, in all contexts after this she is located in Tararan). End of Episode. In this episode, the movements of the Chichimec brothers Uapani and Paucume introduces another opposition, the opposition of nor th and south. At the same time that they have moved from north to south, they have remained up, movi ng from one mountain to another, and remained with in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Also, the movements of the goddess Xartanga preserve some differentiati on between her and the Chichimec brothers Uapani and Paucume. If the goddess is moved to Harocutn, this difference exists on a vertical axis: Harocutn is near the island of Xarquaro and is a lakeside town that is low in elevation, therefore down in contrast to the Chichimecs who are on a mountain overlooking Xarquaro. Or, if the goddess Xartanga is moved to Tararan, a town located south of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, he r position is differentiated from the position of the Chichimecs by her location outside of th e Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, in contrast to the inside location of the Chichimecs. In th is way the original cooperation between the Chichimecs and Islanders that takes place in th e north in Episode 3 is reversed and they are juxtaposed against each other overlooki ng Xarquaro in the south, if Xartanga is taken to Harocutn. If Xartanga is taken out side the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin to Tararan, then the differentiation between the Chichimecs and the Islanders that existed on a vertical axis at the end of Ep isode 3 is transformed into a differentiation on a horizontal axis as a contrast betw een outside and inside. In Episode 3 the priests of Xartanga a ppropriate the adornments of that goddess and therefore become “too close” to her. In co ntrast, in Episode 4, a nd as a result of this

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50 closeness, both the Chichimecs and the priests of Xartanga are dispersed from Tzintzuntzan. Therefore the Chichimecs and Islanders become distant from one another. Episodes 3 and 4 also form a paradigm that is contrasted with Episodes 1 and 2 (see figure 6-4). In the first episode the deerskin (the outer coveri ng of the deer), destined to cover the god Curicaueri as a blanket (thus al so the god’s outer covering), is ruined. The action of the Naranjans has prevented the Chic himecs from fulfilling their obligation to their god, creating distance be tween them. In Episode 3, however, it is the goddess Xartanga’s adornments–her outer covering– that is appropriated and worn by Figure 6-4. Episodes 1 through 4. The intern al operations and the paradigms create a Paradigm that is composed of both pairs of episodes. her priests. Therefore in c ontrast to Episode 1, the outer covering serves as the vehicle for the priests to become “too close” to the goddess as opposed to the “too distant” relationship of the Chichimecs to the god Curi caueri created by the ruined blankets. The

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51 movement of the Chichimecs from outside to inside in Episode 2 is replaced by a movement from north to south within the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin in Episode 4. Furthermore, in Episode 2 the Chichimecs pr eserve their down position as they move to Uayameo, in contrast to Episode 4 in which the Chichimecs preserve their up location as they move from Mount Tariacaherio to a mountain overlooking the island of Xarquaro. Episode 5 The Chichimecs, still led by th e brothers Uapani and Paucume, come down from the mountain and meet a fisherman from the island of Xarquaro. Uapani jumps into the fisherman’s canoe and the Chichimecs and fisherman exchange and eat foods associated with the other: the fisherman broils some of his fish for the Chichimecs to taste and then the Chichimecs give the fisherman a taste of a rabbit they have caught. The Chichimecs ask if the fishe rman has a daughter, and at first the fisher denies having one. Th e Chichimecs explain: We are not asking for the reason you are thinking, for we do not want women for the future; we ask because Curicaueri will conquer this land, and you for your part will stand with one foot on the land and one on the water. We likewise shall stand the same way and we shall become one people. (RM 1970:116) The fisherman admits he has a daughter, and the Chichimecs tell him to come back the next day at noon and to bring his daughter. The Chichimecs go back up the mountain to hunt. The following day the fisherman arrives at the bank of the lake with his daughter in the canoe and waits for the Chichimecs to arrive. They are late coming down from the mountain, having hunted longer than expecte d. The Chichimecs take the daughter and move to Tarimichundiro, which is said to be a barrio (a district) of Ptzcuaro. End of Episode. In this episode the Chichimecs led by Uapani and Paucume move from up to down. At the beginning of the episode they are on they mountain and at the end they

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52 settle at Tarimichundiro, having acquired the fisherman’s daughter. It is important to note that the first time the Chichimecs leav e the fisherman, they go back up the mountain and hunt. Only once they have acquired the girl from the island of Xarquaro do they settle in a town that is down. Furthermore, the exchange that occurs at the beginning of the episode is also complementary and produc tive, because the items exchanged, fish and rabbit, are different. Therefore this exch ange indicates a complementary relationship between the two peoples differe ntiated by the actions, and is different from the exchange of firewood between the Chichimecs and the priests of Xartanga at the beginning of Episode 3. Episode 6 The fisherman’s daughter grows up, and Paucume, the younger of the two Chichimec brothers, marries her. This woman gives birth to a boy named Taracuri, and it is foretold that he w ill eventually become king. The lords of the island of Xarquaro learn of the marriage and birth, and in vite the Chichimecs to come to their island and live with them. The Chichim ecs agree and arrive on the island, and the Islanders cut the hair of the Chichimecs, gi ving them a round bare spot on the top of the head. The Chichimecs are also given a st ring of golden tweezers to wear around their necks, and they are made sacrificers, a religious office, there. The people of Cornguaro, one of the groups who had dispersed following the omen of the priests turning into snakes, intervene, saying that the Islanders have no need for the Chichimecs. After the Cornguaros insist twice, the Islanders oblige and expel th e Chichimecs from Xarquaro, removing their lip-plugs and other insignia. Th e Chichimecs, slobbering due to the holes in their lips from the lip-plugs and without their wives, return to Tarimichundiro, from where they had come. They do not settle ther e but instead set out looking for a sacred

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53 place in Ptzcuaro proper that had apparentl y been foretold to them. They find the location of sacred rocks on a high sp ot, and there they build their temples. End of episode. The movement from up to down of the prev ious episode is reversed in Episode 6 (see Figure 6-5). The Chichimecs return fr om the island of Xarquaro and immediately move up and found the temples on an elevated place in Ptzcuaro. Furthermore, the move from down to up takes place at the same time that the Chichimecs lose their wives, including the fisherman’s daught er that had settled with them at Tarimichundiro in Episode 5. Also, the first attempts to make the Chichimec brother Uapani and Paucume legitimate nobles–indicated by giving them lip plugs and other insignia of noble status–fails due to the intervention of the Cornguaros. Figure 6-5. Episodes 5 and 6. This intervention is the first instance of a pattern that is established throughout the narrative. The Cornguaros are perpetually in tervening, and these interventions terminate whatever relationship exists between the Chic himecs and the Islanders (a name that the peoples of the islands in Lake Ptzcuaro are of ten collectively referred to as) at the time.

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54 In this way the Cornguaros constitute what Turner (1977:156) calls “precipitators.” Precipitators function to direc tly cause an event that woul d not occur if not for their presence within the narrative. In this wa y the Cornguaros precipitate the expulsion of the Chichimecs from the island of Xarquaro. There is nothing in trinsically wrong with the relationship between the Chichimecs and the people of Xarquar o, or at least, the termination of the relationship established between these two groups occurs only due to the meddling of the Cornguaros. Episode 7 With the Chichimecs in Ptzcuaro, the Cornguaros fear that the Chichimecs will not forget the troubles the Cornguaros have caused them. The Cornguaros send a messenger to the Chichimecs telling them they w ant to war with the Chichimecs and to prepare for battle. Th e Chichimecs agree, and the two parties meet on the battlefield. In the fighting Uapani and Paucume are shot and wounded. After some time the fighting ends. End of Episode. This episode expands upon the role of th e Cornguaros as prec ipitators. Having intervened and split up the Chichimec/Islander union in the previous episode, the Cornguaros once again intervene, driving the action. Uapani’s and Paucume’s injuries set up the action of the next episode, in wh ich the Cornguaros once again intervene. This role only becomes apparent in the next episode, however. Episode 8 Following the war with Cornguaro, the Chichimecs return to Tarimichundiro. The wounded Chichimec brothe rs stay in the Eagle House, a religious building. Some Islanders are there in the Eagle House with the Chichimecs, and the two groups hold a vigil during the ni ght. The Cornguaros know t hat they have only wounded Uapani and Paucume, and so the Cornguaros send a woman to spy on the brothers

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55 and see if they will live. The woman arrives at the Eagle House at midnight and approaches the two, saying she only wants to put blankets on them. Uapani realizes that the woman is from Cornguaro and calls to his brother and then tells the woman to leave. The disturbance causes Islanders to alert their people and le ave, saying that the Chichimecs are two-faced and some have come from Cornguaro so that they can ambush them. The Islanders get up and leave, returning to their homes. End of Episode. At the beginning of the episode the Chic himecs return not to Ptzcuaro but to Tarimichundiro. Therefore they change posit ion in elevation, moving from up to down. They also remain in the south and inside th e Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. At the beginning of the episode, however, the some Islanders ar e staying in the Eagle House with the Chichimecs as the Chichimecs recover from th e battle. In this way the actions of the Cornguaros have provided the context for the un ion of the Chichimecs and Islanders. In this episode, however the Cornguaros also in stigate the departure of the Islanders from the Eagle House. Thus the Chichimecs are have moved down, s outh, and inside, and without the presence of their wives or any Is lander companions. Furthermore, in Episode 6 it is the Chichimecs who are forced to leave the island of Xarquaro after the Cornguaros intervene. In this episode, howev er, this situation is reversed, as it is the Islanders who leave Ptz cuaro after the interven tion of the Cornguaros. Episode 9 The Cornguaros, once again fearing that the Chichimecs would not forget the injuries they h ad caused them, send a messenger who proposes a plan to the lord of the Island of Xarquaro. The Xa rquaros are to send a messenger to the Chichimecs telling them their wives grieve for them daily and that the Chichimecs should come back and retrieve their wives. The Is landers play their part, and the Chichimec

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56 brothers Uapani and Paucume are about to se t out for Xarquaro when the three elder priests of Ptzcuaro ask where they ar e going. The brothers explain what the Xarquaros told them, and the priests tell them to send some runners ahead, because it sounds like a Cornguaro plot. Along th e road at Zacapuhacurucu the Cornguaros ambush the runners, thinking the runners are Uapani and Paucume. Seeing this, the two brothers turn back. The Cornguaros again request that the Xarquaros help, and the same plan is repeated. This time, however, the Cornguaros wait for the runners to go by and ambush the brothers. Uapani is shot then and there, but Paucume runs back toward Ptzcuaro. The Cornguaros catch up wi th him and shoot him as he is climbing a mountain called Zacapuhacurucu. Word of the death of the tw o brothers gets back to the three priests of Ptzcuaro, who take a gold n ecklace to exchange for the bodies of the brothers. They find the Islanders hitting th e two dead lords with oars, and offer the necklace. The Islanders obj ect, saying it was the Cornguaros who killed them. The priests argue, saying that it is enough that the Islanders killed them and the Islanders should take the necklace and hand over the bodie s. Eventually the Islanders relent, and the priests take the bodies back to Ptzcuar o where the temples are, cremate them, and bury them. End of Episode. In this episode the two Chichimec brothers are kept from their wives, and no other Islander characters come to live with them. They once again remain down, south, and inside. It is a Cornguaro pl ot that keeps them from their wives and eventually results in the deaths of the Chichimec brothers. Pau cume attempts to move from down to up, and thus repeat the move from down to up that occurred in Episode 6 with the founding of the temples in Ptzcuaro, but his movement is prevented by the Corngua ros when they shoot

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57 Paucume as he tries to climb a mountain ca lled Zacapuhacurucu. In stead, it is only in death the two brothers do return to high gr ound, as they are buried at the foot of the temples of Ptzcuaro proper. Another point has yet to be stressed, that of the first differentiation within the royal dynasty, in this case into senior and junior characters (see Figure 6-6). While Uapani and Paucume appear in Episode 3, it is not until Paucume’s marriage to the fisherman’s daughter in Episode 6 that it is explained that he is the younger of the two brothers. Taracuri, the son of Paucume and the fish erman’s daughter, is foretold to be the eventual king. By Paucume’s marriage to the daughter and the glory predicted for Taracuri, the junior line triumphs over the senior line of the royal dynasty. In other ways, however, the two brothers are not significantly differentiated from one another, both being Chichimecs in name and deed, acting as one. Even their names serve to minimize what difference does exist between them, as their names mean the Figure 6-6. Episodes 5 through 9.

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58 opposite of their given positions as elder and younger brother. Paucume means “first born,” while Uapani is a derivation of “son” according to a note by Tudela (RM 1956:23). Therefore Uapani refers to some one younger, while Paucume should refer to an older sibling. Furthermore the same name s appear as earlier members of the royal dynasty. In the text of the RM, the names of Chichimec leaders that live in Uayameo are listed twice. The second time gives a differe nt order than the first, but each time Paucume precedes Uapani. Thus the pattern of an older Paucume and a younger Uapani established both by meaning and usage is reversed with the two brothers bearing this name. This has the effect of leaving the only difference betw een the two brothers, the difference created by the explanation that they are elder and younger brother, somewhat ambiguous or open to question. With their deaths, non-complementary duality within the royal dynasty, characterized by similarity rather than difference, has failed to institute a new political order. This failure, however, sets the stage for a new differentiation within the dynasty, and this new differentiation is based on a different contrast, one more capable of transforming the Chichimecs into kings. Career of Taracuri Episode 10 Taracuri, the son of Paucume and the fisherman’s daughter, lives in Tarimichundiro with his two older cousins, Zetaco and Aramen. The two cousins are said to be the sons of Uapani (Zetaco is the elder brother) by another woman, but this woman is not named. Because it is foretold that Taracuri will be king, the three elder priests of Ptzcuaro educate him constantly, lecturing him to take wood to the temples for the fires that are kept burn ing there. Taracuri’s cousins Zetaco and Aramen, in contrast, continually go about getting drunk and running around with women. They take

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59 Taracuri along with them, putting him on their shoulders. The three elder priests of Ptzcuaro banish Zetaco and Aramen to Uacanmbaro, saying they are a bad influence on Taracuri. With his cousins gone, Tar acuri goes out to the mountains, gathering wood and making bonfires at the bou ndaries of the territories of his enemies. His last bonfire frightens the people of the island of Xarquaro, and they hide in their houses, unable to go ashore to farm or get wood, and Taracuri watches them from atop a hill. End of Episode. At the beginning of the episode, Taracuri is contrasted with his cousins. As the son of an Islander woman, Taracuri is more of an Islander than his cousins (we are not told who the mother of the cousins is). The cousins also go about getting drunk and running around with women, embodying disorg anized, wild, and improper movement. They take Taracuri along with them, but he rides on their shoulders, thus remaining stationary and embodying stabilit y or motionlessness in relati on to his cousins. There does exist a certain element of ambiguity in this action, however, because by riding on his cousins’ shoulders, he does move about, and therefore is able to move without moving, embodying both movement and motionlessn ess at the same time. Following the banishment of his cousins, however, Taracu ri goes about making bonfires on hills and mountains, isolating the Islanders who are afraid to come ashore because of the fires. In this way he demonstrates his mobility, fr ee to move about the mountains, while the Islanders cannot go ashore and are trapped on the island. He thus switches from being contrasted to his cousins in which he embodi es stability to being contrasted with the Islanders. When contrasted with the Island ers he is up on a hill and free to move about while the Islanders are trapped and cannot m ove due to the fires that frighten them.

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60 Therefore with respect to his Chichimec cousin s he has the qualities of an Islander, but with respect to the Islanders he has the qualities of a Chichimec. Episode 11 After a few days of being trapped on Xarquaro, the lord of that island sends a messenger to lord Zurumban to ask him for help against Taracuri. Zurumban is a native of Xarquaro, but has been favored by the goddess Xaratanga and became a lord in Tararan. Zurumban agrees to help, and the next day he sends a messenger to both Cornguaro and Xarquaro so that an alliance can be formed. The messenger, Naca, is stopped along the way by a lord who invites him to eat something, and Naca tells this lord of the war plans. After Naca leaves the lord goes and warns Taracuri, who is seated making arrows in Ta rimichundiro, of the plot. Taracuri devises a plan so that Naca can be captured, and ca lls his cousins Zetaco and Aramen to come visit him. Taracuri explain s the Islander plot and his own plan to capture Naca, and Zetaco and Aramen agree to do whatever he orders. The next day Zetaco and Aramen lay in wait for Naca, pretending to be hunting for a deer. Just as Naca is about to get away, Aramen shoots him in the back, and they take him to Taracuri. Naca says that only Chichimecs deceive in such a way, and Taracuri orders that he be taken to the temples and sacrificed. Taracuri orders Naca to be cooked and cut up, and then he sends the arms of Naca to Cornguaro, Naca’s midsection sent to the Islanders, and his thighs to Zurumban, saying that it is the meat of a slave he caught sleeping with one of his wives. Taracuri again devises a sche me so that messengers, after Zurumban has eaten the thighs of his own priest, Naca, deli ver the news that the meat he has eaten is Naca and not one of Taracuri’s slaves. Zuru mban is enraged at the trick that Taracuri has played on him. End of Episode.

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61 In the first part of the epis ode, Taracuri is said to be seated making arrows, and he is therefore immobile and “down” or low in elevation. Facing an alliance bent on destroying him, Taracuri recruits his cousin s Zetaco and Aramen to capture Naca the priest, while he remains in Tarimichundi ro. The two cousins obey Taracuri and accomplish the task, capturing Naca on a mount ain. Furthermore they deceive Naca by pretending to hunt a deer, and Naca remarks at their deception. In the first part of the episode Zetaco and Aramen are up in relati on to Taracuri. Naca’s remark that only Chichimecs deceive in such a way also mark s the act of deception as a Chichimec trait, and this becomes important in the second pa rt of the episode. In the second part, Taracuri tricks Zurumban into cannibalizi ng his own priest. Thus Taracuri deceives Zurumban into eating Naca and therefore is equated with his cousins as the deceiving Chichimec. Zetaco and Aramen play no part in this deception, and it is only Taracuri who is being contrasted with Zurumban. Th erefore Episode 11 repeats the same pattern of Episode 10 in which Taracuri first takes on Islander characteristics in relation to his own Chichimec relatives but once his cousin s are out of the picture, he becomes a Chichimec in relation to the Islanders. The only difference is that Zurumban replaces the Islanders of Xarquaro, and this replacement lin ks Zurumban as an Islander, an identity further strengthened by the fact that Zurumban is said to have been born on the island of Xarquaro. Episode 12 Angered by Taracuri’s trick, Zurumban sends a war party to Uacanmbaro to cast out the Chichimecs there (Zetaco and Aramen), saying the land there is his land. The war party knocks dow n the houses and the gr anaries, takes out the lip-plugs of Zetaco and Aramen, and dishonors the women. Taracuri, afraid that the

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62 warriors will come after him next, flees from Tarimichundir o, casting everything he owns into the weeds. He eventually makes his way to a place called Zinzuariquaro and settles at the foot of an oak. Zetaco and Aramen send messengers to look for him, and they find him at the foot of the oak surrounded by women. Taracur i tells the messengers that Zetaco and Aramen and their people should ea t from the god Curicaueri’s storehouses. The cousins do this, and it is explained that whoever eats or takes anything from the god’s granaries becomes a slave. Zetaco settles on a mountain, and Aramen settles at the foot of a slope, while Taracuri return s to Ptzcuaro (while Zetaco and Aramen apparently do not become slaves in the stri ct sense as indicated by the explanation concerning taking from the granaries of the gods, it does at least indicate that they are of low social status). Taracuri then est ablishes a market at Pareo, where Aramen frequently meets the wife of Caricaten, the lord of Xarquaro. Caricaten learns of this and orders Aramen killed, and Aramen is shot in his house, then climbs a mountain and dies. Taracuri learns of his cousin’s de ath and decides to flee and visit a lord in Condembaro, a town to the southeast of Lake P tzcuaro. He tells his priests to take some feathers to lord Chanhori of Cornguaro so that he may be granted passage through Cornguaro territory. Chanhori refuses the requ est saying that Tarac uri can settle in Chanhori’s own territory. The priests relay the message to Taracuri who has already left, and Taracuri decides to settle wher e he is, on the slopes of the mountain Hoataropexo. End of Episode. Throughout the episode Zetaco and Aramen are contrasted with Taracuri. In contrast to their younger cousin, Zetaco and Aramen settle on mountain slopes and places that are not true cities. They also have their lip plugs, signs of nobility, removed and

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63 become slaves by taking from the god Curicau eri’s granaries. In contrast, however, Taracuri is first surrounded by women when the messengers fi nd him (in contrast to the women of Zetaco and Aramen’s group, who are dishonored). He also settles in Ptzcuaro, an established city, in contrast to the settlements of Zetaco and Aramen. Taracuri then institutes a market in Pareo, wh ere Aramen sleeps with the wife of the lord of Xarquaro. This action leads to Aramen ’s death (and by extension Zetaco’s death, because he is never again mentioned), and Taracuri flees, ending up on a mountain. His cousins now dead, Taracuri once again take s on Chichimec qualities, moving from down to up, and perhaps also inside to outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Episode 12 finalizes the actions and change s in status that occurs in Episodes 10 and 11. In these two previous episodes, Taracuri is first contrasted with his cousins, and he maintains a vertically low, stationary identity in contrast to his cousins. In each of the two episodes Zetaco and Aramen are not invol ved in the action afte r a certain point and Taracuri is contrasted with the Islanders. In this contrast he is vertically up, mobile, and deceptive, the last of which is explicitly said to be an indicator of a quality of being a Chichimec. In Episode 12 this pattern of shifting contrasts involving Taracuri is repeated. In the beginning he is contrasted with his cousins, who have their markers of social status taken from them and become slaves. At the end, however, the cousins Zetaco and Aramen are not involved in the ac tion (and never will be again) and Taracuri is contrasted with another category, this time the Cornguaros. Taracuri settles on a mountain and is thus up in relation to the Cornguaros. Furthermore, Episodes 10, 11, and 12 can be grouped together to form a larger paradigm. The first two establish a pattern that becomes irreversible with the action of

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64 the third episode. The episodes also documen t an attempt at internal differentiation within the royal dynasty, with this difference deriving from Taracuri’s status as more of an Islander in contrast to his cousins. He remains Chic himec in relation to the true Islanders, however, as the even ts of each episode and the outcome of the last episode confirm. Taracuri, despite be ing the most junior of the th ree, also assumes a role of authority within the royal dynasty, which seem s to fulfill in a small way the predictions of greatness that were made when he is firs t mentioned in Episode 6. The triumph of the junior line represented by Paucume’s marri age to the daughter of the fisherman from Xarquaro is thus confirmed for the presen t by Taracuri’s ability to command his older cousins. Furthermore, the unity of the Chichimecs and Islanders achieved for the first time in Episode 5 with the sharing of food and th e acquisition of the fi sherman’s daughter and repeated in Episodes 6 and 7 is transferred to a smaller scale in Episodes 10 through 12. In these episodes, the royal dynasty itse lf contains both Chichimec and Islander categories, even if they only are defined as su ch in relation to one a nother. This duality within the royal dynasty contrasts with th e duality between groups that existed in Episodes 5 through 9. Episode 13 While settled on the mountain Hoat aropexo, Taracuri is approached by messengers of Chanhori, the lord of Co rnguaro. The messengers relay that lord’s suggestion that Taracuri marry a daughter of Chanhori. Taracuri accepts the proposition, giving the messengers some bl ankets and shirts. The woman comes and lives with Taracuri and after a short amount of time becomes pregnant and bears a son named Curtame. She frequently travels bac k to Cornguaro where she gets drunk in the

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65 priests’ houses. One time she does not retu rn, and Taracuri goes to Cornguaro to fetch her. On the way, Taracuri catches a deer and gathers some wood and takes it to Cornguaro with him. There he builds a fire wi th the wood and sacrific es the deer, giving it to the Cornguaros. Chanhori asks why Tar acuri has not brought his wife with him, and Taracuri replies that his wife has not re turned to his house and the only reason for his visit was to make an offering to Urende quaucara, the god of Cornguaro. Taracuri also refuses to have a drink, saying that he might attack the Cornguaros because they gave him a poor raiser of children. He departs without taki ng leave, and Chanhori orders his people to look for Taracuri’s wife. The Cornguaros look for Taracuri’s wife find her, and bring her to her father, Chanhori, who asks why she leaves her husband. She lies to her father, saying that every day Taracuri insults her brothers, calli ng them men who are not valiant and are “women,” and saying he will k ill them. Chanhori says that these must be Taracuri’s words because women do not speak in such a way. He nonetheless sends his daughter back to live with Taracuri. He also sends some elders to accompany her along the way, and at two places (named Xoropiti and Tarequetzingata) the elders sleep with her. Arriving at Hoataropexo, she goes inside Ta racuri’s house. She tells her husband that she went out to buy a fish. Taracuri has hi s aunt cook the fish and a small piece is given to the god Curicaueri as an offering, and Ta racuri says “we do not eat brothel fish (RM 1970:151) .” Taracuri then goes out into the mountains to gather wood. End of Episode. The behavior of Taracuri’s wife is obviously outside th e bounds of proper behavior for a married woman, and it provoke s Taracuri’s actions. Through the course of the episode, Taracuri maintains his elev ated position, even becoming farther up than

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66 at the beginning of the episode because he is out in the mountains gathering wood at the end. Taracuri also takes a deer to Cornguaro to offer to the god of that place. This offering is reciprocated poorly by Taracuri’s wife when she returns with a fish in an attempt to lie about where she has been and a piece of the fish is offered to the god Curicaueri. Taracuri’s remarks concerning the fish indicate clearly that there is something wrong with this offering. Furthermore, it is interesting that Taracuri ’s wife brings back a fish, because the fish paradigmatically links Taracuri’s marri age to the Cornguaro princess back to his father Paucume’s marriage to his mother, the fisherman’s daughter from Xarquaro. Prior to that marriage, the Chichimecs eat some of the fish that the fisherman has caught, and they in turn give the fisherman some rabbit that they have hunted. The resulting marriage between the Xarquaros and Chic himecs is productive, each contributing something of their nature to the union. In the present episode, however, Taracuri’s wife brings home a fish after Taracuri has alre ady taken a deer that he has hunted to Cornguaro. Therefore the exchange on ce again appears complementary and the Cornguaros appear to fill the role of the Is landers. Cornguaro is not on a lake, however, and the fact that the wife c ontributes a fish seems out of place. As already has been stated however, the fish is rejected by Ta racuri, and his rejec tion is probably most directly attributable to his wife’s infideli ty. Not only does the wife commit adultery, but she also sleeps with her own people, comm itting “incest” by failing to maintain the proper (sexual) distance from her own kinsmen. Episode 14 During a religious festival tw o men from Itziparamuco, named Xoropiti and Tarequetzingata, come to Hoataropexo, claiming to want to perform blood

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67 sacrifice by bleeding their ears. When Tarac uri’s wife learns of the coming of the two men, she dresses herself prettily and greets the visitors. The men are served maguey wine, and they invite Taracuri to drink with them. Taracuri declines, and eventually he takes leave of his visitors and goes to th e mountains and gathers wood, telling them they may stay and continue to drink. In his abs ence, his wife continue s to pour the maguey wine for the visitors and in tim e the visitors sleep with her. Taracuri remains in the mountains all night, and retu rns the next morning and unloads his cargo of wood at the temples. The visitors had run home to thei r village of Itziparam uco, and Taracuri finds his house full of the stench of spilled wine. An aunt tries to dissuade Taracuri from seeing his wife, saying that she is ill. Taracuri persists and goes into her room, finding her laying down with a blanket covering her. Taracuri lifts up the blanket with his bow and sees that she is covered in paint whic h has rubbed off onto her from the two men (whose bodies were painted), and her sash is in disarray. He comments that his wife is indeed sick, and goes out to the mountain s doing nothing but gat hering wood, not even stopping to eat. The two men eventually go to Cornguaro and tell the lord of that town, Chanhori, Taracuri’s father-in-law, that Ta racuri accused them of sleeping with his wife and cut their ears as punishment. They also tell Chanhori that he insults the Cornguaros, just as Taracuri’s wife told C hanhori. Taracuri’s wife had told them what to say to her father so that when Chanhori he ars the lies a second tim e, he believes them. End of Episode. This episode builds upon the previous ep isode as evidenced by Chanhori believing the lies of Taracuri’s wife, having heard them now a second time from the men from Itziparamuco. The fact that the two men are given the same names as the places that the

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68 priests had stopped and slept with Taracuri’s wife links this epis ode to the previous episode, and also confirms that the men from Itziparamuco are equivalent to men from Cornguaro. Therefore Taracur i’s wife again commits adulte ry and incest, sleeping with her own people. However, in this epis ode Taracuri’s marriage to the Cornguaro princess is linked to the first marriage of Hire tictame to the woman from Naranjan. That marriage was disrupted when the Hiretictame’s in-laws ruined the skin of the deer that Hiretictame had caught. In the present episode, by sleeping with the men from Itziparamuco, Taracuri’s wife ruins her own skin; Taracuri finds her the morning after with her sash in disarray and body paint from the visitors all over her body. The marriage to the Naranjan woman and the present marriag e to the Cornguaro princess fail on their own accord due to the rule breaki ng behavior of the in-laws. Because the fish in Episode 13 that prom pts the comparison to the Xarquaros is rejected, by inference the ma rriage between Taracuri and the Cornguaro princess, and the Chichimecs and the Cornguaros in general, is a combination of the wrong categories. Cornguaro is located outside of the Lake P tzcuaro Basin. Similarly, the marriage to the Naranjan woman is a marriage between tw o northern groups living outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. The fact that Taracuri’s wi fe does bring back a fish indicates what the proper combination of categories is. The marri age to the Xarquaro woman is the proper relationship, because the Chichimecs and Islanders form a productive unity, exchanging hunted food for fish. This marriage does not dissolve due to its own internal contradiction, but only because of the intervention of the Cornguaros. As might be expected by the previous episodes in which the Cornguaros serve as the precipitators of the narrative, instigati ng new action in the plot, these two episodes

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69 concerning the marriage of Taracuri to the Co rnguaro princess serve to drive the action and set up the succeeding episodes. This is exactly what happens, and a clue of what is to come is Taracuri’s intensifying “Chi chimecness” throughout the two episodes, represented by his increasingl y up or elevated position, gathering wood on the mountain. Episode 15 Taracuri does nothing but gather wood for the temples due to his grief over his marriage. He turns white and grows thin from not eating anything, spending all his time gathering wood. An aunt worries about him and tricks him into eating something, and then tells Ta racuri to go visit Zurumban: Take no thought for that woman [the wife from Cornguaro] because there will be no lack of another to keep you company so that you may be lord. Perhaps the one you are to have is not born yet. There mu st be a good one who will help you be the lord. Go to Zurumban, lord of Tararan, you and he shall be lords. (RM 1970:156-157) Once Taracuri arrives in Tararan, Zurum ban challenges him to shoot a hummingbird. Taracuri accepts the challenge, telling Zuru mban to fetch the arrow. He successfully shoots the hummingbird, and Zurumban retrieves the arrow and the bird. The bird does not die but flutters in Zurumban’s hands. Zu rumban exclaims that Taracuri is a true Chichimec because his shooting skill is unm atched. He then offers Taracuri some maguey wine to drink, and Taracuri accepts. Zurumban paints Taracuri and then calls for two women, either daughters or wives, to be brought out from his house. He instructs the women to sleep beside Taracuri that night so that he does not fall off the many crags of that place because he has drank wine. Zurumban goes to his house to sleep, and Taracuri instructs the three elder priests to move the women to a corner of the room. Taracuri does not sleep that night, but stays up and plans with the elder priests. The next morning at dawn Taracuri blackens himself by having smoke from braziers stick to his body due to his swea t. Zurumban comes and asks the women if

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70 Taracuri slept with them overnight. They info rm him that he did not, and say that he is crazy and has no sex. Zurumban replies that Tar acuri is indeed a lord. He goes into the house where Taracuri is staying, and covers Ta racuri with a fine blanket. After a bath, Taracuri says that they should go to where the idols of the gods are. Taracuri lectures Zurumban there, saying he should not get drunk as much and can go to war and take captives. Taracuri tells Zurumban that if anyone complains about such actions, Zurumban can tell them it is not he but Ta racuri who is raiding and going to war. In Taracuri’s words: You see, Zurumban, that I am making you a lord if you do this, for you are not a lord but of lowly caste and a beggar, and now I am making you a lord and you will perform [these deeds]. (RM 1970:161) Zurumban promises to do as Taracuri has instructed, and the two men go to his house and eat. Zurumban’s daughter has two women brought out with their best sashes, turquoise necklaces, and blankets. These two women return to Hoataropexo with Taracuri, bringing with them bridal appar el and furniture, consisting of mats and women’s jewelry. Once back in Hoatarop exo, Taracuri goes to gather wood for the temples and his first wife returns to her home town of Cornguaro. End of Episode. Taracuri irrevocably changes from a Chichi mec at the beginning at the episode to an Islander at the end. In this way he take s on the qualities that at first seem antithetical to his identity as a Chichimec. As an alyzed in Episodes 10 through 12, Taracuri has already shown hints of certain characteristics such as immobility, but only in contrast to his Chichimec cousins (see Figure 6-7). In this episode, Taracuri’s id entity is contrasted to Zurumban, the chosen priest/lord of Xartanga, and an Islander. Through his interactions with Zurumban Taracuri not only takes on the qualities that previously were embodied by the Islanders, but pr ior aspects of his identity are given to Zurumban. In

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71 other words, Taracuri and Zurumban “pivot ”–they switch their contrasted actions and associations. Through this pivoting, Taracu ri acquires the legitimacy necessary to institute a Tarascan empire with the royal dynasty at the top. Figure 6-7. Episodes 10 through 15. At the beginning of the episode, Taracuri spends all day and all night gathering woods in the mountains; therefore he is very high. Furthermore, he does not eat and grows so gaunt and weak that he is white. At his aunt’s suggestion, he visits Zurumban who challenges him to shoot a hummingbird. This constitutes the “miraculous exploit” (as explained in the chapter detailing the “Stranger-King,” the stranger wins a native princess through a “miraculous exploit”) that allows him to win the indigenous princesses and autochthonous riches of the Islanders. This feat also causes Zurumban to remark at Taracuri’s skill in shooting, saying that this makes him a “true Chichimec.” As soon as Taracuri shoots the hummingbir d, however, he and Zurumban begin to change identities. Taracuri instructs Zurumb an to fetch the arrow, and Zurumban does as instructed. He thus moves, in opposition to Tar acuri, who remains still. This is the same contrast between movement and immob ility that separated Taracuri from his

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72 cousins in Episode 10. Furthermore, Taracuri moves to a position inside with respect to Zurumban, who moves outside. The morning after Taracuri shoots the hummingbird he is blackening himself with smoke and Zuru mban puts a very fine blanket around him. Taracuri is thus inside a blanket, a product of women’s labor (RM 1956:182, 208; 1970:18, 36) and Zurumban is outside the blanket. Thus Taracuri, formerly a Chichimec and thus an outsider, has moved to an insi de position, while Zuru mban, an Islander and priest of Xartanga, has become outside in relation to Taracuri. Also, the fact that Taracuri is blackening himself with the smoke indicates his transformation: before the visit to Zurumban he is white from not eati ng but now has turned black from the smoke. Taracuri also gains auth ority over Zurumban following the shooting of the hummingbird. He tells Zurumban to fetch th e bird and Zurumban obliges. Later in the episode, Taracuri lectures Zurumban and tell s him to quit drinking so often, and to go on raids for the goddess Xaratanga. Here again we see a reversal in te rms of movement and immobility, because the plan would have Zurumban as the roving and marauding character in contrast to Taracuri. Lastly a nd most explicitly Taracuri says he is making Zurumban a lord. While the analysis presented here has focu sed on Taracuri, in every context he is juxtaposed with Zurumban. In this way the pivoting involves Taracuri and Zurumban as the two switch places. Taracuri comes to embody qualities that formerly (i.e., Episodes 10 and 11) are attributed to the Islanders. Zurumban, in contrast, embodies the traits that in those same previous episodes are attributed to Taracuri. This episode also furthers the collapse of scale that saw the shift in the duality embodied by two separate groups of Chic himecs and Islanders to a royal dynasty

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73 internally differentiated into Chichimec a nd Islander characters. In Episodes 10 through 12, Taracuri was an Islander when juxtaposed with his cousins with in the royal dynasty, but in relation to the Islanders he is a Chichi mec. After the deaths of his two cousins and the events of Episodes 13 thr ough 15, however, Taracuri is the lone representative of the royal dynasty. Through the actions of Episodes 13 through 15 he demonstrates the ability to be both fully Chichimec and Islander, in co ntrast to other groups of the Lake Ptzcuaro area. Therefore once again the scale of this duality becomes smaller, shifting in this set of episodes to the scale of one man. Episode 16 When lord Chanhori in Cornguaro le arns that Taracuri has taken another wife, he is outraged. He orders that Taracuri be expelled from Hoataropexo. There the Cornguaros cast the idol of Curi caueri into the corner of the temples and renovate the temple in the colors of thei r patron god, Urendequaucara. Taracuri and his people leave and go to a mountain called Uhpapoato, where Taracuri tells his priests to take copper axes as an offering to Ure ndequaucara so that Chanhori might give them some better land to live on. Chanhori rejects the request, and Taracuri moves to Urexo where the Chichimecs build a temple out of sod. The Cornguaros attack them there, but the god Curicaueri makes the Cornguaros sick and Taracuri’s people capture and sacrifice the Cornguaro warriors there. Th e heads of the Cornguaros are placed on pikes. There were so many pikes that they made a large shadow. Taracuri states that his first wife has been a “valiant man” because she has caused the deaths of many men and therefore the gods to be fed, as a valiant wa rrior would do. Taracuri then moves to a place named Querenda Angangueo, where the Cornguaros spy on him. They send Zurumban’s son to assist in the spying becaus e he can visit Taracuri without Taracuri

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74 suspecting anything. Taracuri’s aunt learns of the scheme and interrupts Taracuri eating with Zurumban’s son and tells Tarac uri what is happening. Zurumban’s son leaves, saying he cannot be at ease. Taracuri and hi s people depart from Querenda Angangueo and go to various towns, settling fina lly in Sant Angel where the lord of the town welcomes him. End of Episode. Once again the Cornguaros play the role of precipitators in th is episode, moving Taracuri from a mountain settlement to Sant Angel, which is not said to be a town on a mountains and appears to be a true village or city. In th is way Taracuri has moved from up to down. Sant Angel is elsewhere mentioned as being the same town or very close to a town named Uacapu, which is outside and s outhwest the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Thus in this episode he has remained outside while moving from up to down. The war with Cornguaro reverses the actions of the two Episodes, 13 and 14, preceding Taracuri’s pivoting in which Taracuri ’s first wife sleeps with people from her own town. The first wife’s adul tery breaks the rules of her ma rriage to Taracuri and is at a certain level incestuous, representing a conj unction of characters of the same category. In this episode the Cornguaros suffer a viol ent disjunction as their heads are separated from their bodies and placed on spikes following their fate as sacrificial offerings. The gender inversion of Episodes 13 and 14, in whic h Chanhori is told th at Taracuri insults the Cornguaro men by calling them women, is also reversed when Taracuri comments that his first wife has been a valiant man. Episode 17 Soon after Taracuri has settled in Sant Angel, he is approached by messengers from Cornguaro. They demand the ri ches that Taracuri has acquired by making forays to the west (forays which the RM does not otherwise mention). Taracuri

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75 tells them to sit and that the riches they have asked for will be brought out. Chests full of arrows are presented to the messengers, who complain that they were ordered to bring back riches and not arrows. Ta racuri explains that the gr een arrows are named and are the green feathers they ask for, and the other kinds of arro ws have various names and are the turquoise necklaces, silver, gold, red feat hers, blankets, and corn, beans, and other seeds that they requested. The messengers accept the arrows, but when the young lords in Cornguaro (who appear to be ruling Cor nguaro directly due to the old age of Chanhori, the previous lord of Cornguaro) see what they have brought back and heard what Taracuri told them, they laugh and ask Taracuri’s former wife if she has heard him call the arrows those names. She says no, th at Taracuri must be crazy. The lords of Cornguaro break the arrows and burn them. Lord Chanhori learns of what has transpired, and chides the younger lords, saying that perhaps the arrows were sacred. Shortly thereafter Taracur i is approached by messe ngers from Pacandan who ask him to return to Ptzcuaro because the people of Pacandan, the Cornguaros, and the people of Tararan fight over Ptzcuaro. He refuses to help them, and soon another embassy from Xarquaro asks the same thing of him, because the Xarquaros had just suffered a defeat at the hands of the people of Pacandan. Taracuri tells the Xarquaros to sell themselves into slavery and then he will help them and return to Ptzcuaro. They do this, and so at night Taracuri climbs a mountain in Ptzcuaro and blows a small whistle imitating the cry of an eagle. Th is causes the warring parties to flee from Ptzcuaro and Taracuri settles in that town. End of Episode. This episode serves to return Taracuri to a position within the Lake Ptzcuaro basin, furthering the Chichimec to Islander transiti on that begins when he shoots the

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76 hummingbird and pivots, and continuing in th e previous episode with his move from up to down. Taracuri moves to within the basin, returning to Ptzcuaro. Thus he moves inside and up while remaining south. Furthermore he manages to maintain posse ssion of the Islander riches that he acquired along with the daughters of Zurumba n. The Cornguaros attempt to take away riches, many of which are the exact same items that Taracuri received in the marriage. Instead Taracuri substitutes arrows, saying th ey represent the green feathers, turquoise necklaces, silver, gold, red feathers, blankets, and corn, beans, and other seeds. Taracuri has managed to preserve the Islander riches that he acquired through his second marriage while at the same time he has lost arrows the primary hunting weapon and symbol of the warrior Chichimecs (i.e., Hiretictame shoot s his in-laws with arrows, Aramen shoots Naca with an arrow, and Taracuri shoots th e hummingbird). Therefore at the same time that Taracuri moves from outside to in side the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, he even strengthens his Islander iden tity by keeping the riches and shedding the Chichimec identity associated with hun ting and warring. The Cornguaros, furthermore, destroy the arrows, demonstrating that arro ws are not proper possessions fo r them. In this way they fail to appropriate both the feminine wealth as well as the hunting ability characteristic of Chichimecs. Taracuri also enters the La ke Ptzcuaro Basin in an improved position compared to when he left to move to Hoataropexo. The Urendetiecha (people in first place), the people of Xarquaro, sell themselves following Taracuri’s orders. Only after they have done this does Ta racuri return to Ptzcuaro, and so the Chichimecs are no longer inferior to the people of Xarquaros because the latter have become slaves.

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77 These two episodes (16 and 17) form a larg er paradigm that reverses Episodes 13 and 14, which themselves from a paradigm. Taracuri’s intensifying “Chichimecness” in Episodes 13 and 14, caused by his marriage to th e Cornguaro princess, is reversed in Episodes 16 and 17 with Taracu ri’s increasing “Islanderne ss” that began with his marriage to Zurumban’s daughters and spurred on by the actions of the Cornguaros. In this way Episode 15, Taracuri’s pivoting, serves as a dividing point not only of these two pairs of episodes, but as will be shown, the narrative as a whole. The similar, but reversed or inverted, events in the two pairs of episodes link one to another, as do the places involved in the movements. Episode 13 begins with Taracuri having just moved from Ptzcuaro, while Episode 17 ends with Taracuri’s return to Ptzcuaro. Episode 18 As soon as Taracuri returns to Ptzcuaro he starts asking about his nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan, the sons of Zetaco and Aramen. The story explains that these nephews have not been mentione d since the expulsion of Zetaco and Aramen from Uacanmbaro at the hands of Zurumban so as to make them seem dead. Taracuri also sends his son Curtame, whose mother is the woman from Cornguaro, Taracuri’s first wife, to Cornguaro. Taracuri orders Cu rtame not to follow the example of the people of that town, who get drunk everyday Curtame disobeys his father and so Taracuri disowns him. The story then follows the nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan, who have traveled with their mother and sister from Pechtaro to Asaveto (Seler [1993] recognized that their movement creates an ar c outside the Lake P tzcuaro Basin to the west and then north) In the market in Asaveto Hiripan and Tangaxoan eat scraps and crumbs that people drop. A woman recognize s them and has them co me live with her,

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78 where they watch over her cornfield, scaring of f the birds and eating green ears of corn. End of Episode. Taracuri’s nephews, Hiripan and Tangaxoan begin the episode dead for all intents and purposes, as is explained by the narrative. They turn out to be alive, however, and move from Pechtaro, a town just west of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin to Asaveto. There they lead an impoverished existence, eating th e scraps of food that people drop. They are outside and north, as well as poor. Through the intervention of an aunt, a woman who claims to be related to their father(s), they move to a house where they eat corn. They thus move from an impoverished condition or a condition of low social status to a higher social status, all while remaining north a nd outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. The present episode elaborates on the general cont rast between lower a nd higher status that appears in previous episodes (i .e., the political relationship be tween lord and sacrificer in Episode 6 and the low status of slavery intr oduced when Zetaco and Aramen ate from the granaries of the god Curicaueri in Episode 12) through the change in Hiripan and Tangaxoan from a begging existence to an existence in which they have food. Episode 19 Chapa (who we are later told is from Cornguaro), a lord in Hetoquaro, learns that Hiripan and Tangaxoan al ong with their mother and sister have settled with their aunt. Chapa requests t hat Hiripan, Tangaxoan, their mother, and their sister, be brought to his town so that they can make offerings to the god Curicaueri. The aunt who has given them shelter hides th e children from Chapa’ s messengers and then tells Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and their mother and sister to go to Ptzcuaro, because Taracuri has returned to that town. A fter traveling from town to town, Hiripan and Tangaxoan ask their mother where they are going. Their mother replies that they will go

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79 to Erongarcuaro because she has relatives there. In Erongarcuaro, Hiripan and Tangaxoan promise to do services for the lord such as bringing fir ewood for his house. However, the two go to the mountains every day gathering wood that they take to the temples rather than the house of the lord, and the lord of Erongarcuaro loses hope that they will do anything useful for him, complaining that the two “are crazy for they wander about the mountains like all Chichimecs who do not have houses” (RM 1970:172) While Hiripan and Tangaxoan are out in the m ountains, the lord expels their mother and sister from his house. The brothers soon retu rn, and ask their mother where they will go next. Their mother replies that because the lord of Erongarcuaro was niggardly, they will all go to Urichu. Hiripan and Tangaxoan make the same promises to the lord there as in Erongarcuaro, but agai n they only gather wood for the temples day and night, taking none to the house of the lord. All four are expelled from Urichu and move to Pareo. In Pareo, Hiripan and Tangaxoan again promise to serve the lord, but the lord there welcomes them as true lords, and tells them to take wood to Curicaueri’s temples in Ptzcuaro. Hiripan and Tangaxoan take wood to Ptzcuaro, where Taracuri has continually been asking about them. On th e third night that Hiripan and Tangaxoan take wood to Ptzcuaro, they are discovered by th e elder priests in Ptz cuaro, who tell them to stay there while they fetch Taracuri. The two brothers inste ad run back to Pareo, and when the priests return with Taracuri they are gone. The next morning Taracuri sends the priests to Pareo to bring his nephews to Ptzcuaro. After the messengers bring the nephews along with their mother and sister to see Taracuri, the ne phews live in houses

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80 in a place called Yauacuytiro that Tarac uri had ordered made for them, and gather wood to take to the temples. End of Episode. Once again a Cornguaro character serves as the element that drives the plot forward and ends the seemingly happy life Hi ripan and Tangaxoan have found with their aunt. Through the course of this episode, Hiripan and Tangaxoan move from outside to inside and from north to south. They re main down throughout they entire episode; none of the towns they temporarily inhabit nor their final settlement at Yauacuytiro are said to be on a hill. They thus reverse their position of Episode 18, at the end of which they are located outside and north of the Lake Ptzcu aro Basin. In that episode they are united with an aunt. In the presen t episode, however, their uncle Ta racuri replaces that aunt. Therefore an inversion of gender also takes place in the protective “senior” figure. Furthermore, the movements of Hiripan a nd Tangaxoan from Pareo to Ptzcuaro are reversed every time when they go back, and the repetition, even wh en the elder priests find them, indicates that they cannot by themselves move permanently from Pareo to Ptzcuaro. Only when they are accompanie d by Taracuri’s priests as they move from Pareo to Ptzcuaro do the nephe ws and their mother and sister move permanently from one town to the other. Because Hiripan and Tangaxoan take firewood to the temples in Ptzcuaro, they are found by the priests and ultimately brought to P tzcuaro permanently. The pious work of Hiripan and Tangaxoan that causes their expu lsion from Erongarcuaro and Urichu is now rewarded in Pareo and Ptzcuaro. This al so establishes the proper role of the lords of towns, which is to be generous and ha ve wood brought for the temple fires, rules which the lords of Erongarcuaro and Urichu break.

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81 Furthermore, the union of Hiripan and Tanga xoan with Taracuri reverses the death and disappearance of their fathers, Zetaco and Aramen, in Episode 12. As their sons, Hiripan and Tangaxoan are extensions and natu ral replacements for Zetaco and Aramen. The town of Pareo provides an additional clue to the linkage between Hiripan and Tangaxoan and their fathers Zetaco and Aramen Pareo is the location of the market where Aramen repeatedly went in order to sleep with a woman from Xarquaro, thus leading to his own death. In the present episode, Pareo is the place that Hiripan and Tangaxoan leave to take wood to Ptzcuaro repe atedly until they are brought to live with Taracuri permanently. The end of one set of characters is eventually reversed by the introduction of equivalent characters. Th is only happens, howeve r, after Taracuri’s fundamental identity has changed. Once again Taracuri is contrast ed with members of his own lineage. Therefore the scale of the Ch ichimec/Islander duality has now shifted to a larger scale. Previously this duality was subsumed entirely, if only abstractly or as a totality, within the ch aracter of Taracuri. Now th at this character has found his Chichimec nephews, however, the Chichimec/Is lander duality is extende d to the scale of the royal dynasty, and these identities are solid ified by their location in space as well as their actions. There is another ramification of this reunion of Hiripan and Tangaxoan with Taracuri. In relation to Zet aco and Aramen, Taracuri was younger, both in age and as a son of the younger of the two Chichimec brothe rs Paucume and Uapani. Taracuri is now in a position of seniority, however, bei ng one generation older than Hiripan and Tangaxoan. In general terms, the Islander el ement within the royal dynasty has switched

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82 from being junior to senior, as represen ted by Taracuri. The Chichimec element has reversed from senior to junior, as represented by Taracuri’s nephews. Episode 20 Taracuri decides to make his son Curtame (his son by the Cornguaro princess) lord in Ptzcuaro. Tar acuri moves to a dist rict of Ptzcuaro named Cutu. Curtame does nothing but get drunk, and during a religious festival tells Taracuri to visit him the next day. Tar acuri arrives in the morning, drinks some maguey wine which makes him drunk because he has not yet eaten anything, and asks his son if they should not talk about their enemie s. Curtame is enraged, saying that because he is now lord he should decide the t opic of discussion. He seizes Taracuri by the throat and calls him an Islander. Taracuri re plies that it is true that he is not a lord because he is an Islander, but Curtame is not a lord because he is an upstart and a newcomer. He concludes by saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan (his nephews) are the true lords. Taracuri returns to Cutu with the feathers he had in tended to give his son, and makes a lesser noble the lord in Ptzcuaro instead of Curtame. End of Episode. This episode finalizes Taracuri’s movement s in geographical space that follows his pivoting in Episode 15 (see Figure 6-8). Ta racuri moves from Ptzcuaro to a suburb called Cutu, thus moving from up to down. As part of this move he makes his son Curtame lord in Ptzcuaro. The disput e between Taracuri and Curtame further connects Taracuri’s geographica l location as down, south, and inside to the identity of being an Islander. Nearly as soon as Ta racuri has moved from up to down he and Curtame have an argument in which Curtame calls Taracuri an Islander as an insult. Meanwhile, Hiripan and Tangaxoan are on the mount ains gathering wood the entire time. At the same time that Taracuri moves from up to down (remaining south and inside), his

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83 Figure 6-8. Episodes 16 through 20 nephews who are gathering wood in the mountai ns move from down to up. Establishing the relationship, Taracuri returns with the feat hers he intended to give his son Curtame not to Ptzcuaro but to Cutu. Instead of reassuming rule in Ptzcuaro Taracuri makes a lesser noble the lord in Ptzcuaro. This conf irms Taracuri’s geogr aphical movement as significant, especially in relation to his nephews Hiripan and Ta ngaxoan. Taracuri’s movement from up to down contrasts him with his nephews, who are now up. The dispute between Taracuri and Curta me also hints at the requirements of legitimate authority. Taracuri is now purely an Islander, and Curtame’s accusation and Taracuri’s own admission indica te that he cannot therefore be king. Taracuri also explains that Curtame cannot be king because he is an upstart; therefore he lacks some quality of legitimate authority. In a passage of foreshadowing, Taracuri claims that Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be kings. First, however, they must be combined with the proper characters with whom they will become kings.

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84 Next Generation of Chichimecs and th e Creation of the Tarascan Empire Episode 21 A year after Taracuri and Curtame trade insults, Curtame captures a criminal and invites Taracuri to par ticipate in the feast at which the criminal will be sacrificed. Curtame also invites Hiripan and Tangaxoan although they may only watch. Taracuri has enough food and has his own feast at the f oot of a mountain, thereby rejecting Curtame’s invita tion. Hiripan and Tangaxoan likewise spurn Curtame’s feast, instead going about the m ountains spying on the Islanders. Hiripan and Tangaxoan happen upon Taracuri’s feast, and a fter some initial confusion Taracuri realizes they are his nephews. They all ea t, and Taracuri suggests to his nephews that they go to Curtame’s feast. Hiripan and Tangaxoan refuse, saying it is a bad place and that they would rather gather wood for th e temples and spend thei r time in vigil. Taracuri asks if they mean what they say. They reply that they do. Taracuri then begins to lecture them, advising them to pr epare themselves because they will be lords over everything. End of Episode. Due to the intervention of Curtame (he now takes over the role of precipitator, a logical result given his Cornguaro parent age), Hiripan and Tangaxoan end up meeting Taracuri and his people on a hill. Thus a Chichimec and Islander conjunction takes place in this episode, and it is Taracuri w ho moves from down to up. Taracuri provides food for the nephews, and suggests that they go to Curtame’s feast. They refuse, saying that there are commoner people and “bad women” there, and that they would rather spend their time in vigil. The piety of Hiripan a nd Tangaxoan, wanting to remain separate from the commoners and bad women of Curtame’s feast and serve the gods instead results in a lecture in which Taracuri foretells that th ey will be the rulers of a united empire. Therefore Hiripan and Tangaxoan demonstrate the correct behavior of nobles, keeping a

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85 distance between themselves and the common people and “bad women” at Curtame’s feast. Their behavior is contrasted with a nd provides the impetus for Taracuri’s lecture that comprises the next episode. Episode 22 In the lecture begun at the end of the previous episode, Taracuri advises his two nephews, Hiripan and T angaxoan, saying that they should prepare themselves to be lords. He names numerous towns that will not have lords and foretells that Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be the only lord s. As part of the lecture he relates events in various towns which result in the abs ence of legitimate lords in those towns. The events that occur in two towns and the fates of the town s are particularly relevant. Taracuri says that he gave a part of th e god Curicaueri to a man named Chapa, who was from Cornguaro, but whose mother wa s a commoner woman. Chapa won many battles and took many captives, but took fewer and fewer captives to Ptzcuaro to be sacrificed to Curicaueri. Ultimately C hapa only took one captive to Ptzcuaro, and Taracuri refused it because Chapa offered the re st of the captives to the Cornguaros. In time Chapa established a large em pire to the east of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin. Chapa died and his children vied for power. In Hetoqua ro, one of the heirs’ capitals, the priest took off his insignia, mingled with the comm oners and did a certain dance. Other priests did the same, and even the cloistered women par ticipated in the dance. It did not take long before the men and women slept with one another, and in time Hetoquaro was overrun by weeds that grew rampant. Sma ll trees began to bear fruit, and even very young girls became pregnant. The elder wo men began making knives, building temples, and getting drunk, and they were known as the Black, White, Yellow, and Red Cloud Mothers. Because there were no men to tell the cloud mothers that such things had never

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86 been done in the past or to maintain order, the cloud mothers dispersed and there was a terrible drought. The empire that had been created was lost. In the town of Zacapu a lord who was of low class sought a dream in which he would be visited by the god Querenda Angpe ti. The lord, Caracomoco, slept on the mountains in search of a dream, and then cl ose to the temple, and then each night he slept one step higher. Querenda Angpeti le arned of Caracomoco’s actions and ordered that no one will be lord in Zacapu but hims elf, Querenda Angpeti. He ordered that Caracomoco should marry a certain commoner woman, but that they should live apart, only seeing each other every tw enty days. Taracuri explain s that Caracomoco is now dead and his wife acts as the lord of Za capu, governing and carrying a shield and club. Taracuri exclaims that it is not the role of women to rule and for this reason the people of Zacapu should depose her. Taracuri ends his lecture by telling his nephews to go to the house of the chief priest and hold vi gil, and Hiripan and Tangaxoan do as Taracuri has advised them. End of Episode. In this episode Taracuri tells of disaster s that befall certain towns, explaining why they will not have lords and saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be kings and rule over these towns. The two lengthy stories ar e similar in basic elements but represent inverses of each other. Both Chapa and Ca racomoco begin as lesser nobles at best, as they are said to be of questi onable parentage. Chapa does not take sacrifices to offer to Curicaueri in Ptzcuaro and thus fails to fulf ill his relationship to that god, as Taracuri’s remark implies. Caracomoco, on the other hand, gets too close spatially to the god Querenda Angpeti, sleeping hi gher and higher on the steps on the temple. As a result, Querenda Angpeti orders the man to marry a woman but live apart from that woman,

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87 only seeing her every twenty days. Theref ore a married man and a woman are permitted to only have limited sexual contact. In contra st, the priests in Het oquaro leave off their insignia and dance with the commoners and the cloistered women sleep with the people. Male/female relationships that are too distant in one story become male/female relationships that are improperly close in the other. Both stories end with women performing men’s roles (building temples, making knives, acting as a lord, etc.) and gender imbalance (the absence of men) that guara ntees that there will be no lord in those towns. Both of these stories docum ent relationships between humans and gods, nobles and commoners, and men and women. The relationshi ps, which are either too distant or too close between gods and humans, men and wo men, and nobles and commoners, in these areas ultimately result in the abandonment or illegitimate rule in these towns. They thus stand in contrast to the be havior of Hiripan and Tangaxoa n in the previous episode, whose proper actions cause Taracuri to lecture them and tell them that they will be kings over all these towns. Episode 23 Hiripan and Tangaxoan set up an ambush on a mountain and capture an Islander noble named Zapiutame. Zapiutame requests to be taken to see Taracuri, and the nephews take him to see their uncle. Taracuri takes the Is lander into his house and discusses matters with him. After a shor t time Zapiutame emerges from Taracuri’s house with an oar on his shoulder and re turns to his island. Tangaxoan is angered, because he had captured the Islander and wanted to sacrifice him, but Taracuri explains to his nephews that Zapiutame had come to ask if he and his Islanders could put themselves under the protect ion of the god Curicaueri. Hiripan and Tangaxoan go make

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88 arrows, and then go to the top of a hill overlooking the lake as their uncle Taracuri had ordered. Hiripan and Tangaxoan see the Islande rs of Zapiutame coming, followed by a second group of Islanders who are c hasing the first group. Hiripan and Tangaxoan shoot their arrows at the second group, forci ng this second group to stop chasing the first group and turn back. After the first group of Islanders comes ashore, Taracuri gives them some land in Aterio, a town on the lake near Ptzcuaro. The Islanders work with Hiripan and Tangaxoan, taking wood to the te mples, going on forays, and farming. Hiripan and Tangaxoan, along with the Isl anders, establish themselves at Queretapuzicuyo (this place is apparently synonymous with Ihuatzio because the name means “place of the ballcourt” [Tudela RM 1956:119], and Ihuatzio was the location of the only ballcourt in the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin [Pollard 1980:686]) There they all are prosperous, and they repeatedly cross the lake to visit Taracuri and offer him the first fruits of the harvest. End of Episode. In this episode, Hiripan and Tangaxoan ar e combined with a group of Islanders. At the beginning of the episode, Tangaxoan wish es to sacrifice Zapiutame. Following the Islander’s meeting with Taracuri, however, the Islanders join Hi ripan and Tangaxoan. Thus the Islanders are transformed from sacrif icial victims to companions. The activities of the combined group are important. Not only do they go on raids, hunt, and gather wood for the temples at night but they also fa rm by day, growing corn and beans, taking the first agricultural products as gifts to Tar acuri and the god Curicaueri. Thus they have formed a productive totality, farming, hunti ng, and serving the gods. Furthermore, Zapiutame and his Islanders represent th e Islander companions that Hiripan and Tangaxoan, as Chichimecs, most associate themse lves with. In this regard the Islanders

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89 replace Taracuri as the Isla nder counterpart to the Chichi mec nephews. Taracuri, in turn, begins to fade into the background. Episode 24 Curtame, who is lord in Ptzcuaro, learns of the success of Hiripan and Tangaxoan and sends some messengers to ask Taracuri why Hiripan and Tangaxoan make bonfires and where Hiripan and Tangaxoan think they will be lords (the implication is that Curtame is the lo rd in Ptzcuaro and therefore Hiripan and Tangaxoan have no place to be lord). Taracur i refuses to answer the messengers, telling them to ask his two nephews. The me ssengers go to Hiripan and Tangaxoan and repeat their questions, saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan can come and serve Curtame. Tangaxoan is enraged and says that he and Hiri pan will be the lords and that they will be lords in Ptzcuaro. The messengers are taken aback by Tangaxoan’s tirade and relay his response to Curtame. Hiripan and Tangaxoan cr oss the lake again to visit Taracuri, who says he has a plan and suggests that Hiripan and Tangaxoan take his younger son, Hiquingaxe, back with them so that Hiquinga xe can be sacrificer. The two go and tell Hiquingaxe what Taracuri has said, and Hiquingaxe agrees, depar ting for Ihuatzio. Hiripan and Tangaxoan go to tell Taracuri the news, saying that Hiquingaxe has already gone ahead. Once back in I huatzio, the three (Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe) spend some time living in a cave. Hiripan and Tangaxoan eat wild weeds and give corn that they roast to Hiquingaxe. End of Episode. Curtame’s actions once again spur the st ory onward, as they cause Hiripan and Tangaxoan to visit Taracuri. Taracuri sugge sts that his son Hiqui ngaxe live with them and be the sacrificer. Hiquinga xe accepts, and in the next scen e they live in a cave. The food serves to explain the identities of Hiqui ngaxe in relation to hi s cousins. Hiquingaxe

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90 eats cooked, domesticated food in contrast to the raw, wild food that Hiripan and Tangaxoan eat. This separates Hiquingaxe off from his cousins as the Islander of the group and confirms the contrasting status of Hiripan and Tangaxoan as Chichimecs. Hiquingaxe’s position as sacrif icer is also important. Remember in Episode 6 the Chichimec brothers Paucume and Uapani (T aracuri’s father and uncle, respectively) are brought to Xarquaro to be sacrificers. B ecause the latter, as sacr ificers, are not lords and are subject to the orders of the lords, th ey are subservient to the Islander lords of Xarquaro. In the present episode, however, it is the Islander char acter who has become the sacrificer, and as is evident later on, the Chichimecs Hiripan and Tangaxoan (particularly Hiripan) are the leaders of the group. Ther efore this episode represents a reversal of certain categori es and relationships in that much earlier episode. Furthermore, Hiripan and Tangaxoan, the Chichimecs of the royal dynasty, are senior in relation to Hiquinga xe, who is a member of the same generation. They remain junior to Taracuri, who is here being replaced by hi s younger son Hiquingaxe. The parentage of Hiquingaxe is not given, but he doe s not appear prior to this episode. It is reasonable to presume, because he is not mentioned previously and his parentage given explicitly (in contrast to Curtame, who is mentioned immediately following Taracuri’s marriage to his mother), that Hiquingaxe is th e son of one of Taracu ri’s Islander wives. Therefore Hiquingaxe is very much an Islander, as the son of Taracu ri (who is at least partly an Islander in both a genealogical sense and a behavi oral sense) and an Islander woman. Taracuri continues to be replaced by other characters who take on his Islander characteristics and he is less directly contra sted with his Chichimec nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan, and so is less directly an Isla nder. The ambiguity of his character, as

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91 combining both Chichimec and Islander quali ties, has been reproduced but polarized (Turner 1985:77), that is, divided among mu ltiple distinct characters in the next generation of the royal dynasty. Episode 25 Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe decide to cross the lake after some time, and Taracuri gives them a shar e of the god Curicaueri, a part embodied by an obsidian knife. Taracuri instructs the thr ee to build a shelter and altar for the knife, but upon their return they build an entire temple complex, complete with a temple, house for the priests, eagle house, and ark or box fo r the knife. They go and tell Taracuri, who is furious, saying that Curic aueri is not a common god and that he requires sacrifices for such a complex, sacrifices that the three youths do not have the means to obtain. Taracuri shoots an arrow at them, but misse s as the three scurry out of the house. End of Episode. In this episode the three young lords ar e given a piece of the god Curicaueri but build him an entire religious complex. They do not have the means to acquire sacrifices for such a large complex however, and so they cannot fulfill their obligations to that god and are therefore too distant from the god Curica ueri. This situation is therefore similar to the actions of Chapa in Taracuri’s lectur e in Episode 22 in which Chapa did not take enough captives to Ptzcuaro to be sacrifice d, therefore not fulfilli ng his obligations to the god Curicaueri. Episode 26 Taracuri ponders a way to redeem his nephews and son, and decides to coerce the lord of the island of Pac andan into sending some of his people to be captured by the Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiqui ngaxe, so that the captives can be sacrificed to Curicaueri. The three young nobles have no knowledge of Taracuri’s plot,

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92 but they only learn of the scheme when the lord of Pacandan sends a messenger to them to renegotiate the number of people that will be sent to be captured. The three complain that they do no know what the messenger is talking about and to tell Taracuri, but the messenger says that by telling them he has done what he was ordered to do by his lord. The messenger leaves, walking away with an oar on his shoulder. The three young Chichimecs go and ask Taracuri if he knows what the messenger spoke of, and Taracuri reveals the plan to them. In the end, sixt y islanders are captured, with forty taken to Ptzcuaro and sacrificed, while the remaining twenty are sacrificed for the dedication of the new temple in Quertaro (Ihuatzio). End of Episode. Not only does this episode contain a union of Chichimec and Islander as the rift between Taracuri and the three young Chichim ecs is erased, but more importantly the inability of Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquinga xe to fulfill their obligations to the god Curicaueri in the immediately preceding episode is rectified. This is significant because this improper relationship is one of the p itfalls that Taracuri warns Hiripan and Tangaxoan about in Episode 22, in which Ch apa does not offer a sufficient amount of sacrifices to Curicaueri. In Episode 26, a si milar event occurs with in the royal dynasty as the temples are built without the necessary s acrifices. Therefore to avoid the outcome that is a result of Chapa’s act ions in Episode 22, obligations to the god must be met. In this episode the royal dyna sty, through the combined e fforts of Taracuri and the Islanders of Pacandan, demonstrates that it ha s the ability to meet such obligations and therefore can legitim ately be lords. The problem is rectified by acquiring people from Pacandan to be sacrificed at the dedication of the new temples. This is a reversal of Episode 23 in which Hiripan and

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93 Tangaxoan capture Zapiutame. In that ep isode, Zapiutame is transformed from a sacrificial victim into a companion, as his Islander people join with Hiripan and Tangaxoan going on raids and farming. In the present episode the Is lander people from Pacandan remain sacrificial victims. To so lidify the link between the two episodes, in Episode 23 Zapiutame confers with Taracu ri while Hiripan and Tangaxoan are left outside to wander what the two are talking about. Zapiutame leaves, walking away with an oar on his shoulder. In the present episod e, Episode 26, a messenger is sent to tell the Chichimecs that there will only be sixty peopl e sent to be captured. The messenger tells Hiripan and Tangaxoan, and so the renegotiati on reverses the action in Episode 23 in which Hiripan and Tangaxoan do not know what Zapiutame and Taracuri are discussing. The messenger from Pacandan is even said to leave carrying an oar on his shoulder, a seemingly needless detail, except that it links the messenger to Zapiutame and therefore the two episodes. The addition of Hiquingaxe to Hiripan and Tangaxoan in Episode 24 completes the reversals of the outcomes. The Pacandans cannot join Hiripan and Tangaxoan because they are sacrificed. Hiquingaxe is the Is lander character that replaces Zapiutame in joining his Chichimec cousins. In this way a character within the royal dynasty replaces a character outside the royal dynasty as a companion to Hiripan and Tangaxoan. Furthermore, in terms of the sequence of the plot, as sacrif icer Hiquingaxe is a necessary precondition for there to be sacrifices and therefore the new temples that

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94 Figure 6-9. Episodes 21 through 26. require them. In all of these ways, Episodes 24 through 26 form a paradigm that reverses the outcomes of Episodes 21 through 23 (see Figure 6-9). Both sets begin with an intervention by Curtame that drives the action forward. What is outside in the first set becomes inside in the second: the imprope r relationships between god and human and male and female that occur in Hetoquaro a nd Zacapu takes place as a crisis in the royal dynasty. The conjunction of Chichimec and Isla nder involves a charac ter external to the royal dynasty in the first set and a member within the lineage becomes the Islander element in the second such conjunction. Furthermore, the royal dynasty has once ag ain demonstrated its ability to reproduce its dual aspect, possessing both Chichimec a nd Islander elements or characters. The Chichimec-Islander unity first embodied by Taracuri himself was initially divided between Taracuri and his nephews, then Ta racuri’s nephews and the Islanders, and lastly by Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquinga xe. The permanent acquisition of Zurumban’s daughters is what has endowed the royal dynasty with this ability, most notably in the appearance of Hiquingaxe.

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95 On a final note, in these episodes Curtame pl ays the role of precipitator. This role is logical because as the son of the Corngua ro princess, he is the Cornguaro character within the royal dynasty. However, following Episode 15 in which Ta racuri pivots, the Cornguaro character, in this case Curtame, instigates a conjunction of Chichimec and Islander characters. This is the opposite of the effects of the interventions of the Cornguaros prior to Taracuri’s pivoting, in wh ich the repeated result was the disjunction of the Chichimecs and Islanders i.e., in Episodes 5 through 9. Episode 27 Taracuri instructs Hiripan, T angaxoan, and Hiquingaxe to construct a hut for Curtame, and that they are to get hi m drunk in the hut and kill him. Taracuri tells Curtame to help Hiripan, Tangax oan, and Hiquingaxe because they are being threatened by an attack from the Islanders. Curtame agrees, and when he arrives he requests and is given some maguey wine to drin k. Just as Curtame is about to start drinking his ninth cup, Tangaxoan strikes him at the back of the neck with a club, killing him. Curtame’s servants start running around in a state of panic, but Hiripan calms them down and orders them to go take wood to the temples. Shortly thereafter Hiripan decides to make a bonfire on Mount Tariacaherio, a mountain in or near Tzintzuntzan. Tangax oan decides to do the same on a mountain called Pureperio (also in or near Tz intzuntzan), and Hiquingaxe builds a fire in Quertaro at the new temple. Taracuri sends for them after a few days, telling them to explain themselves. Hiripan explained that they had made bonfires on the different mountains, and Taracuri says that those are places that the gods come down and touch and that they must have had visions. A fter first denying having had any visions, Tangaxoan says that after making his fire he fell asleep at the foot of an oak and in his

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96 dream he was visited by a woman. The wo man told Tangaxoan that she is the goddess Xartanga, and she ordered him to clear her fo rmer temples, altar, ballcourt, and other structures at Tzintzuntzan. She said that if he did this she will favor him and make him a lord, giving him a house and women to be in that house, gold jewelry and other insignia of lords, and will fill his granaries. Tar acuri then tells Tangaxoan that he should do what Xartanga has said and Tangaxoan explains that he already has. Taracuri then asks Hiripan about his dream, and Hiripan says that he was visited by the god Curicaueri. That god told Hiripan that if Hi ripan looks after him well, he will favor Hiripan, making him a lord. Taracuri explains t hat according to the dreams they will be kings, and then they return to their settlement across the lake. End of Episode. The shared context of the gods Curicaueri and Xartanga reverses the action of Episode 4 in which the Chichimecs disperse from Mount Tariacaher io and Xartanga is taken away from Tzintzuntzan which can be in terpreted as a “union” of the two deities that ended as separation. In the present episode Tangaxoan is vi sited by Xartanga, who tells him to favor her and return her to Tzin tzuntzan, which he does, thus reversing the goddess’s movement away from there in Episode 4. Curicaueri visits Hiripan and says that he will make Hiripan a lord. In this way the separation of Cu ricaueri and Xartanga is reversed as the two gods favor or are favored by members of the royal dynasty, uniting the most prominent Islander and Chichimec deities in the guardianship of the brothers. Furthermore, this appropriation of the goddess Xartanga and the union with Curicaueri as gods both favored by the royal dynasty intern alizes what was previously a relationship between two groups, namely the royal dynasty a nd the Islanders. Xartanga is brought back to Tzintzintzan, but her favor is now internal to the royal dynasty.

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97 The death of Curtame at the hands of Tangaxoan and the orders of Taracuri seems somewhat out of place at first. However, once it is realized that Curtame is essentially a Cornguaro character, being the son of the Co rnguaro princess as well as having played the role of precipitator, it is evident that his d eath is also a reversal of events in Episode 4. In that earlier episode, the Chichimecs disper sed, and part of the dispersal was the move of some Chichimecs to Cornguaro. Thus Curtame’s death, as the termination of a Cornguaro character, reverses th e initial creation of the Corn guaros in the first place. It also follows the same internalization that is significant in the movement of the goddess Xaratanga back to Tzintzuntzan. The Cornguaro category that exists outside of the royal dynasty was created in Episode 4, and in th e present episode it is the Coringuaro character within the royal dynasty that is terminated. Episode 28 The people of Itziparamuco are thre atened by the fires that Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe have made, and requ est aid from their brothers in Cornguaro. The lords of Cornguaro refuse, saying that the Chic himecs do not pose a threat. The people of Itziparamuco then ge t drunk, knowing that their fate has been sealed and planning to abandon that town in five days. During the drunkenness an old woman visits the wife of one of the nobles. The old woman sells the wife a mole for a few ears of corn, and the wife cooks the mole for her husband so that he may recover from his drunkenness. By mistake she ends up cook ing her baby son (who has the same name as her husband, the baby’s father) and giving it to her husband to eat. The husband, realizing what she has done, shoots and kills hi s wife with an arrow. The next morning the nobles learn what had happened, and the lord of Itziparamuco explains that the old woman who sold the mole must be the godde ss Aucanime, an aunt of the gods of the

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98 heavens. It is said that the gods must be starving since the go ddess sold the mole for some corn. The people of Itziparamuco then abandon the town after five days of drunkenness. End of Episode. This episode represents a reversal of the previous episode as well as being linked to Episode 3. In contrast to the gods Curicau eri and Xaratanga favoring members of the royal dynasty, a deity plays a role in the ab andonment and termination of the town of Itziparamuco. The goddess sells a mole for some corn, and the lord of the town believes that this must mean the gods are starving, in contrast to the riches that the gods will bestow upon the Chichimecs in the previous episode. Furthermore, the fact that Curicaueri and Xaratanga favor the Chichimecs indicates that they will be kings. The visit of the goddess Aucanime occurs as part of the abandonment of that town, and so no one will be lord there. There are many parallels between this ep isode and Episode 3. Both episodes involve a loss of differentiation between human s and animals. In Episode 3 Xartanga’s priests eat a snake that they ha ve caught and therefore turn in to snakes. In this episode the woman mistakes her baby son for a mole, or in other words the mole becomes the baby, and feeds her son to her husband. Furthermore, the animal symbolism establishes a link, as both the snake and mole are animal s that burrow or live in the ground. Also, abandonment of the town is the result of both episodes. Episode 29 Taracuri tells Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe to take a fish to Hivacha, the lord in Zirahun and a son of Zurumban, so Hivacha can eat and sober up, because he is always drunk. Because Hivacha is a son of Zurumban he is also a brotherin-law of Taracuri. Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe take the fi sh to Hivacha, who

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99 asks if they should sit, talk of war, and c ount the days (using a calendar). Tangaxoan is insulted at the suggestion, sa ying that they are Chichimecs and the only preparation they need to fight is to hold vigil and gather wood for the temples. Then they all sit, and Hivacha has food brought, but the Chichimecs are not served anything, nor are they given any blankets or short shirts. This appea rs to have been a major breach in the rules of etiquette, and the Chichimecs leave. Hi vacha’s second-in-command chases after them, apologizing for the affront and giving the thr ee men feathers in exchange for sparing his family. The three continue on to Ihuatzio, wher e they set about gathering wood. Hiripan climbs a tree, which is worm-eaten, and the branch under him falls, sending Hiripan crashing to the ground. Tangaxoan panics, ex claiming that his brother is dead. Together Tangaxoan and Hiquingaxe manage to s it Hiripan up and revive him. Hiripan expresses his anger, saying that he deserves the favor of the gods because his hands are calloused from gathering wood, and that he will never forget Hivacha’s insult. Tangaxoan says that he is even angrier than hi s brother, and they go to see Taracuri, and tell him of what has trans pired. Taracuri asks if they are planning to fight, and they reply that they are, naming some allies that wi ll fight with them. Taracuri tells them to wait a day so can gain the support of some more allies. End of Episode. Kirchhoff (1956), in his preliminary study of the RM, believes th at the major insult here is the fact that Hivacha asks if th ey should count the days using a calendar. However, the three Chichimec nobles still sit down to eat with Hivacha after the supposed insult of proposing to count the days It is only after Hivacha has food and blankets brought out but does not give any to Hiripan, Ta ngaxoan, and Hiquingaxe that

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100 they leave enraged at Hivacha’s insults. Elsewhere in the RM (1956:185, 1970:19) it is explained that generosity is a virtue that all nobles are expected to display, and that visitors should be given blankets by the nobles. Therefore Hivacha violates a rule regarding the proper behavior of nobles, and br eaks it by not reciprocating the fish that the Chichimecs have brought. In the second part of the episode, Hiripa n “dies” but is successfully revived by Tangaxoan and Hiquingaxe. In this way th e royal dynasty has one again displayed the ability to maintain and reproduce itself, sim ilar to the transference of the duality that Taracuri embodies to the three lords, Hi ripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe, of the next generation. Episode 30 After some days pass Taracuri sends a message to the three young lords, saying that he has received commitments of support. He tells them to meet him on a small hill, and before they arrive, Taracur i climbs the hill and makes three piles of dirt, placing a stone and arrow on each. He then hides, and Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe happen upon the place w ith the piles. They ponder the meaning of the piles and the possibility that Taracuri might have m ade them. The latter comes out of hiding, and after an attempt at a ruse, explains the pile s. They represent the cities of Ptzcuaro, Ihuatzio, and Tzintzuntzan, where Hiquinga xe, Hiripan, and Tangaxoan, respectively, will be lords, ruling together. Together, and with Taracuri’s help, they outline the plan of attack on Hivacha’s village. Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe, with their allies, carry out the plan, and the battle is a shor t and decisive one. Hivacha is amongst the first to be killed. The peopl e of Hivacha’s village are then taken to Ptzcuaro where the sacrifices last an entire day because there we re so many captives. Hivacha’s second-in-

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101 command, along with his family, are spared b ecause he gave the feathers to Hiripan and Tangaxoan following Hivacha’s insulting behavior in the previous episode. End of Episode. Hivacha pays for his insults with his lif e, as a Chichimec and Islander alliance successfully destroys his village. This episode is a reversal of the previous episode. In the previous episode Hiripan dies, and this death is replaced by Hivacha’s death in the present episode. Hivacha’s second-in-comm and preserves the continuity between the two episodes, first giving the Chichimecs the feathers in Episode 29 and then being spared in the present epis ode because of his offering. The two episodes form a paradigm concer ning the proper behavior of nobles and the proper relationship between in-laws. In this last respect, this para digm is a reversal of Episodes 1 and 2, which involve the marri age of Hiretictame to a woman from Naranjan. In both paradigms the in-laws break certain rules: the Naranjans break Hiretictame’s prohibition ag ainst taking and butchering th e deer he shoots, thereby rendering the deerskin unsuitable for making blankets. Here Hivacha does not behave like a noble should when he denies the Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe food and blankets. The geographical location of the in-l aws is also inverted: Naranjan is a town north of Lake Ptzcuaro while Hivacha is lo rd in Zirahun, a town on a lake by the same name to the south of Lake Ptzcuaro. Even the animal symbolism is reversed; the deer that instigates the first quarrel is replaced by the fish that the Chichimecs take to Hivacha. Thus a hunted animal that is most commonly found on the mountains (up) is replaced by a fish, an animal from within the la ke or below the water level (down).

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102 The strange “death” of Hiripan also pres erves a measure of balance between the two pairs of episodes. In Episode 1 Hireti ctame kills a brother-in-law from Naranjan, only to be killed himself in Episode 2. In Episode 29, Hiripan “dies” thus repeating Hiretictame’s death in Episode 1. In Episode 30, Hivacha, a brot her-in-law, is killed thus repeating the death of the ma n from Naranjan in Episode 1. These two pairs of Episodes, 27, 28, 29, and 30, form a larger paradigm in which relationships between gods and humans are tr ansposed to human society and the rules governing the proper behavior of humans and pa rticularly in-laws and nobles (see Figure 6-10). The royal dynasty establishes a proper relationship with the gods in Episode 27, and the concomitant legitimacy is contrasted with the abandonment of Itziparamuco due to the intervention of a goddess. Hivacha’s failure to en ter into an exchange relationship with the Chichimecs, by not giving them food or blankets after receiving the fish and thus only exchanging among themselves, mirrors the c onjunction of the Itziparamuco tragedy. Figure 6-10. Episodes 27 through 30.

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103 In that episode, the wife cooks her son and feeds it to her husband, and therefore rather than eating proper food, food that is sufficien tly differentiated from humans, the husband eats his own kind. The Chichimecs rectify th e insults of Hivacha by defeating him and sacrificing him, once again maintaining pr oper relationships with the gods by offering war captives. Episode 31 Following the defeat of Hivacha, the Chichimecs and their Islander and other allies go on to conquer numerous other towns, with Zacapu and Tararan among the first. After these initial conquests, Taracuri dies, and Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe return to Ptzcuaro for the funera l. They then establish themselves in Ihuatzio, Tzintzuntzan, and Ptzcuaro as Ta racuri had instructed them. The three conquer more towns and then they build a trea sury in Ihuatzio fo r all the riches they acquire. Hiripan address all the people of the c onquered villages, telling them to live in their villages as before, to pl ant their fields, and to bring w ood for Curicaueri. The three also decide to install leaders in the village s, and the Islanders take over the southern half of the empire, while the Chichimecs take ov er the northern half of the empire. The narrative ends with a listing of towns that different kings and members of the royal dynasty conquer. End of Episode. To conclude the narrative, the Hiripa n, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe, together with their Islander allies, go on to conquer other towns. Following the defeat of Zacapu, the origin place of the Chichimecs, and Tararan, the southern town and longtime seat of the goddess Xaratanga, the three return to Ptzcuar o because Taracuri has died. His death following the conquering of these two town s is significant, because the two towns represent the essential qualities of the Chichi mec and Islander identities. In Episode 1

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104 Zacapu, located north of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, is the place where Curicaueri, the major solar and a hunting deity, first appear s and is the place from which the royal dynasty begins its journey and transformation. Tararan, on the other hand, is located south of the basin, is ruled by Zurumban (a na tive of the island of Xa rquaro), and is the seat of the goddess Xartanga, the most important earth/fertility deity in the narrative. Therefore following their incorporation into a unified empire, an empire that truly represents a unity of Chichim ecs and Islanders, Taracuri dies Taracuri’s death at that moment indicates that he as an individual represented or embodied that duality or combination. The totality that Taracuri repres ents is transformed into the totality of a unified empire. After Taracuri’s funeral the three lords establish their capitals as Taracuri has instructed, and they es tablish various government institutions, such as a royal treasury, as well as the offices of local lords. They set tle the people and instruct the local lords how to rule the people, creating a new unified societ y. Also, the fact that the three ruled from Ptzcuaro, Ihuatzio, and Tzintzuntzan is signif icant, because they, and therefore the royal dynasty, control both the north and south of th e Lake Ptzcuaro Basin and the inside as a whole. Therefore the initial condition of separate, outside, and inferior Chichimecs residing in the north is ultimately reversed as they rule a empire composed of both Chichimecs (people who take over the northern part of the empire) and Islanders (people who take over the southern part of the empire). Having completed the sequential analysis of the episodes of th e narrative, what remains to be discussed are the higher-level pa radigms up to the level of the narrative as a

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105 whole. In this way the meaning of the narra tive, and its relation to the Tarascan empire and the colonial context in which the RM was produced, can be understood.

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106 CHAPTER 7 STRUCTURE, “HISTORY,” AND “ETHNICITY” IN THE RELACI"N DE MICHOACN AND ITS RELATION TO THE TARASCAN EMPIRE The structure of the “histo rical narrative” that comprises the se cond part of the Relacin de Michoacn reveals itself as the th rough the coordinated actions, events, and operations that create meaning through their s yntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships. In this conclusion, the meaning of the entire narrative is analyzed. The meaning of the narrative reveals that the narra tive is fundamentally concerne d with the construction of hierarchy. As part of this construction, th e narrative takes the fo rm of a “historicallooking” narrative as an outcome of the end eavor to relate the unf olding and processual nature of the hierarchy it creates and embodies through the sequence of events it describes. Furthermore, what has traditionally been interpreted as “ethnic difference” is the creation of opposed yet complementary identit ies that together fo rm a hierarchically superior synthesis. Narrative as a Whole: Reversal and Hierarchy Through the course of the analysis, the different paradigms of episodes created through the syntax of the narr atives have been presented. These paradigms form even larger paradigms, the two halves of the na rrative and ultimately the narrative in its entirety. Here the significance of these “mega-paradigms” is analyzed, and it is demonstrated that the second half of the narrativ e constitutes a reversal of the first half, in both its paradigmatic and syntagmatic aspect s. Taking into account that the operation that links the episodes to one another in the narrative is reve rsal, it thus becomes apparent

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107 that “all the episodes replicate the same basic structure [and] constitu te an orderly series of transformations of the form of that structure” (Turner 1985:66-67). Figure 7-1. Paradigmatic units of the entire narrative. Lines above the episode numbers indicate paradigms created within the halves of th e narrative through juxtaposition. Lines below episode nu mbers indicate reversals that occur between the two halves of the narrative, creating a mi rroring effect. In this figure it is clear that Tar acuri’s pivoting in Episode 15 (boxed) serves as the focal point of the narrative, and his pivoting is the point around which the entire narrative reverses itself.

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108 As has been pointed out throughout the analys is of the second half of the narrative (the part following Episode 15 in which Ta racuri pivots from Chichimec to Islander), certain events or episodes in this half reverse events in the first half of the narrative (see figure 7-1). Therefore at the same time that larger and larger paradigms are being created through paradigmatic and syntagmatic associa tions within each half, other paradigmatic and syntagmatic associations–the similarities and contrasts as well as their position in the half–establish each half as a paradigmatic set th at is contrasted with the other. In this way the second half of the na rrative becomes the mirror imag e of the first half, and the reversals in the second half of events and relationships of the first half establish the second half as a reversal of the first. Th is reversal on a grand scale is necessary to reverse, in the final outcome, the initial separation and inferi ority of the royal dynasty, as well as the creation of hierarchy th rough the synthesis of categories. To understand what specific relationships a nd actions specifically become reversed, we must look at each half of the narrative. The first half of the narrative serves to establish the categories involved in the RM and their original characteristics or traits, and to combine the various categories until a succe ssful union of the right categories in the proper arrangement has been attained. In the first half, the failure of the marriages and the success of the marriage to Zurumban’s daughters establis h the right categories, the correct group that can ennoble the royal dynasty. The marriag e to Zurumban’s daughters, as the final marriage, esta blishes the correct combination of opposed elements. Zurumban is the priest/lord favored by th e goddess Xaratanga, the goddess of the earth and fertility. Zurumban is also origina lly from Xarquaro, and this establishes a paradigmatic relationship with the marriage to the Xarquaro woman. It therefore also

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109 establishes this marriage of Chichimec (Tar acuri’s identity prior to his marriage to Zurumban’s daughters) and Islander characters The marriage also involves the transfer of the wealth of the autochthons as the Ch ichimecs are ennobled by the marriage. The marriage remains intact despite the attempts by the Cornguaros to appropriate the riches, and the attempted interventi on by the Cornguaros further li nks this marriage to the marriage to the Xarquaro woman. The fact that the marriage remains intact, however, indicates that this marriage has finally and permanently achieved a productive union of opposed characters. Taracuri represents this synthesis du e to his parentage and the marriage to Zurumban’s daughters as he pivots from a Chichimec to an Islander. The first half of the narrativ e also documents the internal ization or collapsing of the scale of the proper Chichimec-Islander union from first the level of the separate groups in Episodes 3 through 9 to the level of a roya l dynasty internally differentiated into Chichimec and Islander characters in Epis odes 10 through 12 (Zet aco and Aramen, and Taracuri, respectively). By th e end of the first half, howev er, only Taracuri remains. Having began as an Islander in contrast only to his Chichimec cousins Zetaco and Aramen, Taracuri’s “Chichimecness” intens ifies through his marriage to the Cornguaro princess only to be reversed by his pivoting a nd switch to an Islander identity in contrast to Zurumban. Taracuri, as the lone member of the royal dynasty at the end of the first half, replaces the progenitor of the royal dynasty, Hiretict ame (as represented in the “family tree” of the royal dynasty [RM 1956: 169, 1970 plate 44]). Therefore the royal dynasty has moved from a purely Chichimec char acter to a character that possesses both Chichimec and Islander qualities, once again shrinking the scale of this duality. Also, in the first half of the narrativ e the royal dynasty relies on ma rriages to other groups to

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110 reproduce itself. The offspring within the dyna sty are explici tly the result of marriages between members of the dynastic line and women of other categories. The royal dynasty differentiates itself first into senior and junior lines and later into a senior “Chichimec” line and a junior “Islander” line. Due to the deaths of his cousins, by the end of the first half of the narra tive Taracuri stands alone as the sole representative of the royal dynasty. At diffe rent times in the narrative he demonstrates the ability to be both fully Chichimec and fully Islander. Whereas in the first half of the narrative the story works to establish the correct relationship between the Chichimecs and ot her groups, the second half accomplishes a recreation of the proper relati onship within the royal dynasty. The last marriage to the daughters of Zurumban allows the ro yal dynasty to reproduce itself and the differentiation it has achieved up until this point. In the seco nd half of the narrative the Chichimecs attempt to reproduce this external combination with members of the royal dynasty. The first instance is Taracuri’s reunification wi th his nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan. Taracuri as the Is lander element in the royal dynasty is senior to the Chichimec nephews. Hiripan and Tangaxoan ar e next paired with Zapiutame and his group of Islanders. While they are successful, this combination is not of the right categories because the Islanders are not part of the royal dynasty. This combination would result in an arrangement of power shar ing between the Chichim ecs and Islanders. The Islanders are then replaced by Hiquinga xe, Taracuri’s younger son. This union combines Chichimec and Islander elements w ithin the royal dynasty and thus establishes this group as the only group to embody both identities.

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111 Furthermore, in the second half the royal dynasty does not engage into any marriage relationships in contrast to the firs t half. The royal dynasty becomes able to reproduce itself without the aid of any other group, as Hiripan and Tangaxoan appear from nowhere and are purposefully made to seem dead by their absence up until their reunion with Taracuri. Simila rly the introduction of Hiqui ngaxe is presented without mention of his birth. Indeed, Taracuri’s wives, the daughters of Zurumban, remark following Taracuri’s pivoting that Taracuri did not sleep with them, and that he is crazy and does not have sex. Also, Hi ripan falls from the tree in Episode 29 and is revived with the aid of Tangaxoan and Hiripan. Having procured Zurumban’s daughters and the concomitant feminine riches permanently, Ta racuri and the royal dynasty more generally possess the autochthonous power to complement their original outsider power and therefore the ability to reprodu ce this duality with in the royal dynasty. By not entering into marriage relationships, the royal dynasty demonstrates its abil ity to reproduce itself indefinitely to the exclusion of the other groups of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin Area. The royal dynasty is the only entity that embodies the hierarchically supe rior synthesis of the proper categories, and will remain that way, preserving its legitimate authority. Furthermore, the productive and proper unity of the Chichimec and Islander categories that is achieved thr ough the first half of the narra tive is accomplished at the smallest possible scale, the scale of one ma n. The unity that Ta racuri embodies by the end of the first half must be externalized through the course of the second half of the narrative. The small scale created in the first half of the narrative is thus reversed to larger and larger scales in the second half. This process results first in the externalization of Taracuri’s duality to the scale of the r oyal dynasty with the re introduction of Hiripan

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112 and Tangaxoan and later with the advent of Hiquingaxe as sacrificer, penultimately on the cosmic scale in the union of the deities Curicaueri and Xaratanga as deities favoring the royal dynasty, and ultimately at the s cale of the entire unified (Chichimec and Islander) empire. The total structure of the narrative of th e RM, then, can be viewed as one of reversals and the creat ion of hierarchy embodied by novel third terms or wholes that encompass the parts of society. Through th e combined syntagmatic and paradigmatic aspects of the narrative, it is evident that the reversal of both the political separation and separation in space of the Chichimecs to the north and outside the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin is achieved. In order to accomplish especially the former, a new, hierarchically superior element must be created that has the ability to create orde r and subsequently place itself at the top of that order. Through the revers als and pivoting, first a Chichimec character is pivoted to an Islander character at the same time that a synthesis of the two categories is created, reversing their initial separation. The outcomes of these initia l reversals are then themselves reversed, and the unity that ha s been subsumed by only one character is externalized to the greatest social (and cosmic ) extents possible, but at the same time the hierarchically superior third term, now th e royal dynasty, remains itself autonomous and existing at the pinnacle of the la rger society it has constructed. Rethinking “History” and “Ethnicit y” in the Relacin de Michoacn To return to my two paired theses as discussed in the Intr oduction, the analysis presented here demonstrates that the “his torical narrative” contained within the RM should no longer be regarded as literal hi story and the “ethnic” labels employed throughout the narrative cannot be viewed as demarcating ethni c groups in the traditional, primordialist sense. Instead, th e narrative constitutes a struct urally ordered narrative that,

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113 through the interdependency of its syntagmatic and paradigm atic aspects, creates and explains the nature of hierarchy in Tarascan society. Possessing many similarities to the Stranger-King stories as identified by Sah lins (1985) and others (see Chapter 4), the structure enables the narrative to create hier archy and thus reverse the initial conditions of the narrative. It performs this by first es tablishing elementary categories, in this case the categories of Chichimecs and Islanders ar e the most important, and then combining them until a synthesis is achieved. Furtherm ore, the Chichimec and Islander categories themselves are merely the expression of di fferentiated elementary forms that are the necessary preconditions of a hierarch ically superior synthesis. In this way, the “ethnic” labels used throughout the RM–Chichimec and Islander– and the characters that are assigned these na mes are not static categories but change through the course of th e narrative as dictated by the st ructure. Through the coordinated movements and actions, Chichimec as an id entity is constructed by contrast to the Islanders in multiple dimensions: up in contra st to down, outside in contrast to inside, north in contrast to south, and movement in contrast to immobility. The ultimate categories are syntheses of these oppositions although the labels are the same. For example, characters lose some of their “Chichimecness” when they change from one to the other. In this way, Taracuri becomes an Islander when he is simultaneously down, inside, south, and immobile. This is c onfirmed by the remarks of Curtame and Taracuri’s own admission when Curta me calls Taracuri an Islander. These labels do not automatically assign th e characters an identity as one or the other. Neither is decent from other Chichim ec or Islander characters the primary factor in the creation of the identit y, although it does function as on e of the ways in which a

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114 synthesis of the two categories is created. Therefore the labels do not constitute ethnic groups in the primordialist sense of immutabl e group identities owi ng their existence to essentialized differences derive d from kinship or a related factor. Rather, the Chichimec and Islander identities are symbolic constructs, composed of the various contextual juxtapositions of the narrative. Their existence as categorie s within the RM is the result of the need to construct opposed identities at the beginning of the narrative that can be synthesized, forming a complementary duality an d a hierarchically s uperior entity that encompasses both elementary categories, as outlined in the Stranger-King stories. The analysis presented here has shown th at the narrative is a structurally selfcontained whole in which the structure provi des for and motivates the individual actions and events of the story. No longer can the Relacin de Michoacn be viewed simply as literal history. The creation of hierarchy w ithin the narrative by its interrelationship of the paradigmatic and the syntagmatic aspects is important in this respect. Through the establishment of larger and larger units co mposed of smaller units, the narrative creates hierarchy by the same means that the charac ters and categories of the narrative create hierarchy, by the encompassment of lesser pa rts. The paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships within and between the halves of the narrative th at reveal the two halves as paradigms and the second as the reversal of the first necessitate the construction of linkages in two “directions,” both within each half and between the halves, simultaneously. The linkages that are create d require the inclusion of numerous details and actions that relate to one another. Th erefore the “richness of detail” that Kirchhoff (1956) believed could only be explained by the astounding historical memory of the priests is revealed as a product of the structure of the narrative.

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115 The fundamental meaning of the narrativ e is the creation and establishment of hierarchical relationships. Th e royal dynasty exists at the pinnacle of Tarascan society because it is a whole that has come, as a product of its own le gendary history, to encompass the various groups that constitute Ta rascan society. Therefore this is the only group with the legitimate authority to rule. Just as the RM is about the creation of hierarchy, however, it is also about the mainte nance of such hierarchical relationships. Through its semi-miraculous ability to reproduce itself in the second half of the narrative, the royal dynasty demonstrates its ability to perpetuate itself indefinitely. Without the aid (specifically without entering into marriage relationships) of other groups, the royal line preserves a level of distance between itself a nd the lesser nobles of Tarascan society, to say nothing of the commoners as well.

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116 APPENDIX A CHARACTERS AND DEITIES IN THE RM Aramenyounger brother of Zetaco, son of Uapani, elder cousin of Taracuri. Aucanimefemale goddess who visits the wife of a noble from Itziparamuco, instigating the disaster that leads ultimately to the abandonmen t of that town. Caricatenlord of Xarquaro; hi s wife has affair with Aramen. Chanhorilord of Cornguaro throughout much of the story. Chapanoble from Cornguaro who establishe s himself in Etquaro, to the east of the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, after Taracuri gives him a part of Curicaueri. CurtameTaracuri’s eldest son by Cornguaro wife, he is lord in Ptzcuaro briefly but later his father orders his mu rder, carried out by Tangaxoan. Curicaueripatron deity of the Chichimecs, a solar, fire, and hunting deity, he sometimes takes the guise of an eagle (Corona Nez 1957:13, Pollard 1991:170, Roskamp 2001). Hiretictamefirst Chichimec leader, orig inating from Zacapu, marries a woman from Naranjan and is killed by his in-laws. Hiripanorphaned son of Zetaco (or Aram en), elder brother to Tangaxoan, sets up his capital at Ihuatzio. Hiquingaxeson of Taracuri (and presumably Zurumban’s daughter), becomes sacrificer with Hiripan and Tangaxoan; se ts up his capital in Ptzcuaro. Hivachason of Zurumban (see below) and lord of Zirahun; his insult of not giving Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiqui ngaxe food and blankets in stigates thes e three men to form an alliance to defeat him Nacamessenger of Zurumban who is sacrif iced by Taracuri and whose body parts are distributed among Taracur i’s enemies under a ruse. Paucumeyounger brother of Uapani, marri es the daughter of the fisher from Xarquaro; helps found Ptzcuaro, is murdered by Cornguaros. Sicuiranchason of Hiretictame and Naranjan woman; first Chichimec to settle within the Lake Ptzcuaro Basin, at Uayameo.

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117 Tangaxoanorphaned son of Zetaco (or Ar amen), younger brother to Hiripan, sets up hiscapital at Tzintzuntzan. Taracurison of Paucume and fisherman’ s daughter, the central figure throughout most of the narrative; through his marriage to Zurumban’s daughters and advice to his nephews, he is greatly responsible fo r the creation of a unified empire. Uapanielder brother of Paucume (see above). Uatzoriquarepatron deity of the Naranjans, Hi retictame’s wife brings an idol of this deity in the flight to Zichaxuquero; a T udela (RM 1956:20) expl ains that the god’s name means heat. Urendequaucarapatron deity of Cornguaro, god of Venus/the Morning Star (Corona Nez 1957:32, Pollard 1991:171). Xartangapatron deity of Tz intzuntzan and later Tararan, she eventually favors Tangaxoan in a dream; a fertility, fishing, a nd earth goddess, she is also associated with the moon (Corona Nez 1957:74, Pollard 1991:170). ZapiutameIslander who places himself and followers under Curicaueri’s (and therefore Taracuri’s) protection; he and his people join Hiripan and Tangaxoan on forays. Zetacoolder brother of Aramen (see above). Zurumbana native of Xarquaro, is favored by the goddess Xartanga and moves her seat to Tararan; Taracuri tricks him in to eating his own slav e Naca, and later he gives his daughters to Taracuri in marriage.

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118 BIBLIOGRAPHY Barth, Fredrik 1969 Introduction. In Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Difference Fredrik Barth, ed., pp. 1-38. Boston: Little, Brown. Brand, Donald D. 1943 An historical sketch of geogra phy and anthropology in the Tarascan region, pt. 1. Southwest Journal of Anthropology Vol. 6-7: 37-108. Brown, Donald E. 1988 Hierarchy, History, and Hu man Nature: the Social Origins of Historical Consciousness. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Burke, Peter 1990 Historians, anthropologists, and symbols. In Culture Through Time: Anthropological Approaches Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, ed., pp. 268-283. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Cohen, Anthony P. 1993 Boundaries of consciousness, consciousness of boundaries: criticalquestions for anthropology. In The Anthropology of Ethnicity Hans Vermeulen and Cora Govers, eds., pp. 59-79. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis. Collingwood, R.G. 1946 The Idea of History Oxford: Clarendon Press. Corona Nez, Jos 1957 Mitologa Tarasca MexicoCity: Fondo de Cultura Econmica. DeCorse, Christopher R. 1989 Material aspects of Limba, Yalunka and Kuranko ethnicity: archaeologicalresearch in northeastern Sierra Leone. In Archaeological Approaches toCultural Identity Stephen Shennan, ed., pp. 125-140. London: Unwin Hyman. Dillon, Mary, and Thomas Abercrombie 1988 The Destroying Christ: An Aymara myth of conquest. In Rethinking History and Myth: Indigenous South American Perspectives on the Past Jonathan D. Hill, ed., pp. 50-77. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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119 Dumzil, Georges 1949 L’Heritage Indo-Europens Rome 4th edition. Paris: Gallimard. Dumont, Louis 1980 Homo Hierarchicus Translated by Mark Sainsbury, Louis Dumont, and Basia Gulati. Chicago: Univ ersity of Chicago Press. 1986 Essays on Individualism: Modern Ideology in Anthropological Perspective Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Fogelson, Raymond D. 1989 The Ethnohistory of Events and Nonevents. Ethnohistory 36:133-147. Frazer, Sir James G. 1905 Lectures on the Early History of Kingship London: Macmillan. 1911-15 The Golden Bough 3rd edition. 13 vols. London: Macmillan. Gillespie, Susan D. 1983 Aztec prehistory as postconquest dial ogue: a structural analysis of the royal dynasty of Tenochtitlan Ann Arbor: Xerox Un iversity Microforms International. 1989 The Aztec Kings: the Construction of Rulership in Mexica History Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Glass, John B., in collaboration with Donald Robertson 1975 A census of native Middle Ameri can pictorial manuscripts. In Handbook of Middle American Indians vol. 14, Howard F. Cline, vol. ed., pp. 81252. Austin: University of Texas Press. Gossen, Gary H. 1977 Translating Cuscat’s War: Unde rstanding Maya oral history. Journal of Latin American Lore 3: 249-278. Heusch, Luc de 1982 The Drunken King, or, The Origin of the State Translated by Roy Willis. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press. Hill, Jonathan D., and Robin M. Wright 1988 Time, Narrative, and Ritual: Historical Interpretations from an Amazonian Society. In Rethinking History and Myth : Indigenous South American Perspectives on the Past Jonathan D. Hill, ed., pp. 78-105. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Hocart, A.M. 1969 Kingship Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1970 Kings and Councillors Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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120 Kirchhoff, Paul 1956 Estudio preliminar: La Relacin de Michoacn como fuente para la historia de la sociedad y cultura Tarasca. In Relacin de las ceremonas y ritos y poblacin y gobierno de los indi os de la provincia de Michoacn Reproduccin facsimilar del Ms IV de El Escorial, Madrid. Transcription, prologue, introduction, and notes by Jo s Tudela. Madrid: Aguilar Publicistas. Krippner-Martinez, James 2001 Rereading the Conquest: Power, Pol itics, and the History of Early Colonial Michoacn Mexico, 1521-1565. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press McKinnon, Susan 1991 From a Shattered Sun: Hierarchy, Gender, and Alliance in the Tanimbar Islands Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Michelet, Dominique 1996 El origen del reino Tarasco protohistrico. Arqueologa Mexicana Volume 4, number 19: 24-27. Osborn, Ann 1989 Multiculturalism in the eastern Andes. In Archaeological Approaches to Cultural Identity Stephen Shennan, ed., pp. 141-156. London: Unwin Hyman. Parmentier, Richard J. 1987 The Sacred Remains: Myth, History, and Polity in Belau Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pollard, Helen P. 1980 Central places and cities: a consider ation of the protohistoric Tarascan state. American Antiquity 45(4): 677-696. 1991 The construction of ideology in the em ergence of the prehispanic Tarascan state. Ancient Mesoamerica 2: 167-179. 1993 Taracuri’s Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 1994 Ethnicity and political control in a co mplex society: the Tarascan state of prehispanic Mexico. In Factional Competition a nd Political Development in the New World Elizabeth M. Brumfiel and John W. Fox, eds., pp. 7988. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press. Pollard, Helen P. and Laura Cahue 1999 Mortuary patterns of regional elites in the La ke Ptzcuaro Basin of Western Mexico. Latin American Antiquity 10(3): 259-280.

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121 Relacin de Michoacn (RM) 1956 Relacin de las ceremonias y ritos y poblacin y gobierno de los indios de la provincia de Michoacn Reproduccin facsimilar del Ms IV de El Escorial, Madrid. Transcription, pr ologue, introduction, and notes by Jos Tudela. Madrid: Aguilar Publicistas. 1970 The Chronicles of Michoacn English translation of the Relacin de Michoacn Translated and edited by Euge ne R. Craine and Reginald C. Reindorp. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Roskamp, Hans 2001 Warriors of the sun: the eagle lords of Curicaueri and a 16th century coat of arms from Tzintzuntzan, Michoacn. Mexicon 23(1): 14-17. Sahlins, Marshall 1985 Islands of History Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Saussure, Ferdinand de 1959 Course in General Linguistics New York: Philosophical Library. Schieffelin, Edward, and Deborah Gewertz 1985 Introduction. In History and Ethnohistory in Papua New Guinea DeborahGewertz and Edward Schieffelin, eds., pp. 1-6. Oceania Monograph No. 28. Sydney: University of Sydney. Seler, Eduard 1993 The ancient inhabitants of the Michuacan region. In Collected Works in Mesoamerican Linguistics and Archaeology 2nd edition, vol. 4, pp. 3-66. Culver City: Labyrinthos. (originally published in 1905.) Sollors, Werner 1996 Foreword: Theories of American Ethnicity. In Theories of Ethnicity Werner Sollors, ed., pp. x-xliv. New York: New York University Press. Stanislawsky, Dan 1947 Tarascan political geography. American Anthropologist 49(1): 46-55. Turner, Terence 1977 Narrative structure a nd mythopoesis: a critique and reformulation of structuralist conceptions of myth, narrative and poetics. Arethusa 10:103163. 1985 Animal symbolism, totemism, and the structure of myth. In Animal Myths and Metaphors in South America Gary Urton, ed., pp. 49-106. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. 1988a History, myth, and social cons ciousness Among the Kayap of Central Brazil. In Rethinking History and Myth: Indigenous South American Perspectives on the Past Jonathan D. Hill, ed., pp. 195-213. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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122 1988b Ethno-Ethnohistory: myth and hist ory in native South American representations of contact with western society. In Rethinking History and Myth: Indigenous South American Perspectives on the Past Jonathan D. Hill, ed., pp. 235-281. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Urton, Gary 1990 The History of a Myth: Pacariqtam bo and the Origin of the Inkas Austin: University of Texas Press. Vansina, Jan 1965 Oral Tradition: a Study in Historical Methodology Chicago: Aldine Publishing. Warren, J. Benedict 1985 The Conquest of Michoacn: The Sp anish Domination of the Tarascan Kingdom in Western Mexico, 1521-1530 Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Weiner, Annette B. 1992 Inalienable Possessions: The Par adox of Keeping-While-Giving Berkeley: University of California Press. Williams, Eduardo 2001 Ihuatzio (Michoacn, Mexico). In Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encyclopedia Susan T. Evans and David L. Webster, eds. p. 357. Garland: New York. Zuidema, R.T. 1973 The Indian concept of ethnicity in Peru. Plural Societies 4(2):53-59.

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123 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David Haskell graduated from Reynol dsburg High School in Reynoldsburg, Ohio in June of 1997. He took a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from the Ohio State University in June of 2000. David is curre ntly enrolled in the anthropology graduate program at the University of Florida and ha s been admitted to candidacy in the doctoral program there.


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Title: History and the Construction of Hierarchy and Ethnicity in the Prehispanic Tarascan State: A Syntagmatic Analysis of the Relacion de Michoacan
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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HISTORY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIERARCHY AND ETHNICITY IN
THE PREHISPANIC TARASCAN STATE: A SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE
RELACION DE MICHOACAN
















By

DAVID LOUIS HASKELL


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003
















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank my wife, Emmy, for her support and encouragement, without which none

of this would have been possible.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the members of my

supervisory committee. In particular I thank Dr. Susan Gillespie for her tireless

assistance.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S .................................................................................................. ii

LIST OF FIGURES ................................... ...... ... ................. .v

ABSTRACT .............. .................. .......... .............. vi

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ................. ........... ................. ... ..... 1

2 THE TARASCAN EMPIRE AND THE CONTEXT OF THE PRODUCTION OF
THE RELACION DE M ICHOACAN ........................................ ...... ............... 8

Late Prehispanic Tarascan Em pire ...................... ...................... ................... 8
Arrival of the Spaniards and the Onset of the Colonial Era ....................................13

3 A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL LITERAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE
RELACION DE M ICHOACAN ................................................... .................. 15

The R M as Literal H history ...................................................... ................... ...... 15
Questioning the Bases of these Assumptions ......... ................... .................19

4 TARASCAN KINGS AS STRANGER-KINGS.......................................................25

Stranger-K ing in Other W orld A reas................................... .................................... 25
Construction of H ierarchy ..................................................................... ............... 30
T arascan Stranger-K ings .................................................................... ..................3 1
C conclusion ...................... ............... ................................................... 33

5 THE SYNTAGMATIC STRUCTURALIST ANALYSIS OF NARRATIVE ..........35

Processual Structure and Elementary Categories ............... .................. ............35
Syntagm atic Analysis of N arrative................................ .................... ...... ......... 37

6 THE SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE RELACION DE MICHOACAN......42

A rriv al of the C hichim ecs................................................................ .....................42
C career of T ariacuri ............... ..................... ......................... .. .. .............. .... 58
Next Generation of Chichimecs and the Creation of the Tarascan Empire ..............84









7 STRUCTURE, "HISTORY," AND "ETHNICITY" IN THE RELACION DE
MICHOACAN AND ITS RELATION TO THE TARASCAN EMPIRE ...............106

Narrative as a Whole: Reversal and Hierarchy........................................ 106
Rethinking "History" and "Ethnicity" in the Relaci6n de Michoacan .....................112

APPENDIX CHARACTERS AND DEITIES IN THE RM ................ ................116

B IB L IO G R A P H Y ....... .. .. .... .. ...... ........................................................118

BIO GR A PH ICA L SK ETCH .................................... ............ .....................................123
















LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

2-1 Approximate extent of the Protohistoric Tarascan empire............... ...................9

2-2 Areas of the Tarascan empire where different strategies regarding ethnicity were
u se d ............................................................................ 1 3

6-1 M ap of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin and Vicinity......................................................43

6-2 Episodes 1 and 2 ............... ................. ........... ............ ............ 45

6-3 The Genealogy of the Royal Dynasty, as told in the narrative.............................47

6-4 Episodes 1 through 4. ............................ ..... ..... .. ...... ............ 50

6-5 E episodes 5 and 6........................... ........................ .. ............. .. .. .... 53

6-6 Episodes 5 through 9. ............................ ..... ..... .. ...... ............ 57

6-7 Episodes 10 through 15. ...... ........................... ........................................71

6-8 E episodes 16 through 20 .................................................. .............................. 83

6-9 Episodes 21 through 26. ...... ........................... ......................................... 94

6-10 Episodes 27 through 30. ...... ........................... .......................................102

7-1 Paradigmatic units of the entire narrative. ................... .................... 107















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

HISTORY AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF HIERARCHY AND ETHNICITY IN
THE PREHISPANIC TARASCAN STATE: A SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE
RELACION DE MICHOACAN

By

David Louis Haskell

August 2003

Chair: Susan Gillespie
Major Department: Anthropology

The late prehispanic Tarascan empire provides a valuable opportunity in

Mesoamerica to study the processes of state formation, the role of ethnicity in multiethnic

states, and strategies employed by states to manipulate ethnic identity in order to preserve

stability and the rule of the central government. However, little archaeological work has

focused on the Tarascan empire in spite of its promise for yielding significant insights

into such processes. The Tarascan empire is instead known primarily through

ethnohistoric documents, with the Relaci6n de Michoacdn foremost among them. In

particular a section of the Relaci6n de Michoacdn that claims to be a faithful

representation of the official state history of the Tarascan empire has been viewed as

literal history, "history as it really happened," and this characterization has not been

seriously questioned. This belief in the historical validity of the official history contained

within the Relaci6n de Michoacdn has led scholars to read the history as it is told in the









document in order to study what they believe are the events and processes of Tarascan

State formation and the role of various "ethnic" groups in these events.

By not questioning the nature of the document and its contents, these literal

interpretations ignore the possibility that the official history of the Relaci6n de

Michoacdn represents something other than literal history. Furthermore, if the official

history is not literal history, as is generally believed, then our understandings of the

nature of the Tarascan empire are potentially fundamentally flawed because of a

misunderstanding of what the Relaci6n de Michoacdn represents and what it is telling us.

For these reasons our study analyzes the official history of the Relaci6n de Michoacdn

using a structuralist method suitable for the analysis of narratives. Such a method

provides a more emic understanding of the nature of the narrative and its fundamental

meaning within Tarascan society. Our study shows that the history contained within the

Relaci6n de Michoacdn was most directly concerned with the construction of hierarchy

through the actions and sequence of the narrative, as well as the form of the narrative

itself. Furthermore, the labels used in the narrative to name groups do not express what

we might recognize as "ethnic identity," but rather are categories that create and convey

meanings that carry cosmological significance and form the basis for the construction of

hierarchy. It is this construction of hierarchy that is the fundamental meaning of the

narrative.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The Relaci6n de los ceremonies y ritos y poblaci6n de la provincia de Mechuacan

hecha al Illmo. Sr. D. Antonio de Mendoza, virrey y Gobernador de esta Nueva Espafia

por S. M. (&) G (commonly referred to as the Relaci6n de Michoacan and hereafter

abbreviated as the RM) has long been viewed as the preeminent source for both

ethnographic and historical information concerning the prehispanic Tarascan empire.

The RM was written in Spanish sometime between the years 1539 and 1541 by an

anonymous Spanish friar who was following the directions of Antonio de Mendoza, the

Viceroy of New Spain at the time (from 1541 to 1550 according to Seler 1993 [1905]).

Warren (1985:328) believes that the document was composed by Friar Jer6nimo de

Alcala in the year 1541. The timespan in which the document could have been written

places its production about 10 years after the death of the last native Tarascan king in

1530 at the hands of Nufio de Guzman and 19 years after that king peacefully allowed a

Spanish expedition led by Crist6bal de Olid to enter the capital city of Tzintzuntzan in

1522 (Warren 1985:50-51).

The RM is now located in Madrid in the Biblioteca del Monsterio de El Escorial. It

consists of 140 leaves (or folios) and contains 44 color illustrations. A copy of the

original document is located in the United State Library of Congress. The first

publication of the RM was in 1869 and was based on the original document located in

Madrid, but it did not include the illustrations. A second edition was published in

Morelia, Michoacan, and was based on the Library of Congress copy. In 1956 another






2


edition was published that was based on the original document and included facsimile

reproductions of the folios, notes by Jose Tudela, and a preliminary study by Paul

Kirchhoff (Glass and Robertson 1975:167-168). An English translation of the RM by

Eugene R. Craine and Reginald C. Reindorp was published in 1970 and was based on the

1903 Morelia edition (RM 1970:ix).

In general, the document describes the culture of the Tarascan people, their

practices, government, and religion. The RM originally contained three sections, which

the friar who composed the document describes in the prologue (Kirchhoff 1956:xix; RM

1970:8). The first of the three sections, which contained descriptions of the gods, rituals,

and religion of the Tarascans, has been lost. One folio, or page, that describes one of the

religious ceremonies or festivals has been found and is believed to be one of the missing

pages of the first part of the RM or perhaps a copy. The second section is a history of the

creation of the Tarascan empire and contains information such as where the ruling family

came from and how they came to found and enlarge the empire through battles,

marriages, and alliances. The third section describes Tarascan culture at the time of

contact and contains chapters on marriage practices, the priesthood, government officials

and their duties, etc., and ends with an account of the coming of the Spaniards and the

subsequent events up until and including the death of the last native king.

Virtually all interpretations and reconstructions concerning the history, functioning,

and nature of the prehispanic Tarascan empire and Tarascan culture more generally rely

primarily on the RM (see Chapter 2 for a brief background of Tarascan society and the

Tarascan empire). In particular the second section of the RM, which claims to contain

the official state history of the Tarascan empire, has been utilized extensively to study the









events and processes that caused or led to the formation of the Tarascan empire. Very

briefly summarized (more detail of the story will be given in the section containing the

analysis), the history tells of the arrival of a group of people called "Chichimecs" at a

mountain north of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin in Michoacan, Mexico, the area that

becomes the political core of the Tarascan empire. Due to a conflict with local peoples,

the Chichimecs move into the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. Here they interact with the

indigenous lake dwellers. Some of these lake dwellers live on islands in the lake and are

commonly referred to as Islanders. In time a Chichimec leader marries an Islander

woman and the marriage produces a child named Tariacuri. It is foretold that he will

grow up to become king. The Chichimec leaders are killed, leaving Tariacuri and his two

cousins to lead the Chichimecs. Through various acts the Chichimecs draw the ire of the

lake peoples, and ultimately Tariacuri's cousins are killed.

Tariacuri, the lone Chichimec leader, marries a woman, but this marriage is

unsuccessful and prompts him to marry another woman. After this marriage Tariacuri

finds his long-lost "nephews," the sons of his cousins (while their relation to Tariacuri

makes the nephews first cousins once removed in our kinship terminology, the document

continually refers to them as nephews, and so they will be referred to as such in this

thesis). He advises and teaches these nephews how to act properly, and in time he sends

his younger son to live with them. Together, and under Tariacuri's tutelage, these three

youths grow in power. Eventually, with Tariacuri's help, they are able to ally themselves

with or conquer other towns in the Lake Patzcuaro area. They ultimately conquer

numerous towns outside the immediate area and create what has come to be known as the









Tarascan empire. During these conquests Tariacuri dies and leaves his two nephews and

son to rule the newly created empire.

Interpretations of the RM

With the adoption of a literalist perspective (Burke 1990; see chapter 3) and

assuming that much if not all of what is contained within this "official history" of the

second section of the RM represents "what really happened," various scholars have used

this narrative as the basis for the study and description of the events and processes that

gave rise to the Tarascan empire (Kirchhoff 1956; Michelet 1996; Pollard 1993, 1994;

Seler 1993). These studies often view the various labels used to denote groups of people

as names of ethnic groups, and characterize the formation of the Tarascan empire as the

outcome of ethnic strife or ethnically motivated competition over resources (Kirchhoff

1956; Michelet 1996; Pollard 1993, 1994).

My structuralist analysis of the RM (which constitutes the major portion of this

thesis) reexamines and questions the assumptions that the historical narrative in the RM

does indeed constitute literal history. While those who have made this assumption have

pointed to various factors to support their claim, I take the opposite argument and address

some of those factors by examining their validity, as well as the influence of context on

the production and telling of the narrative. I suggest here that the "historical" narrative in

the RM is concerned less with the recitation of historical facts than with the creation and

defense of the hierarchical relationships that permeated Tarascan society.

I further question the assumption that the names used in the RM to denote various

individuals and groups constitute "ethnic" identities. This assumption is based upon

largely outdated definitions and interpretations of ethnicity and group identification that

give primacy to essentialized traits, common descent, and the fixity of identity









(conceptions referred to as primordialist; see Chapter 3). More recent anthropological

insights into the nature of ethnic identification provide a more sophisticated appreciation

for the nature of this phenomenon. Applying these understandings are then applied to the

RM reveals that ethnic labels were used to express certain qualities of traits rather than

fixed group identities. Additionally, in the course of the narrative these identities and

qualities shift and change as part of the process of the creation of hierarchy in the

Tarascan empire.

I was first convinced that the historical narrative contained within the RM is more

about the creation of hierarchy out of two opposed categories of people than "history as it

really happened" because of the similarities it shares with stories told in many parts of the

world, including elsewhere within Mesoamerica. The general theme of such stories has

been outlined recently by Sahlins (1985), who calls it the Stranger-King, building on the

earlier work of Hocart, Frazer, and Dumezil (see Chapter 4). The marked similarities

seem to indicate that the great amount of detail contained within the historical narrative

of the RM is not due to the memory of actual historical events of the real past, but rather

form a skillfully crafted exposition on the nature of hierarchy and therefore political

legitimacy in certain societies.

To investigate the meaning of the historical narrative in the RM, we used a

structuralist method is employed here. Turner (1977, 1985) showed that his syntagmatic

method of the analysis of narratives is useful for interpreting the fundamental meaning of

narratives. This method is outlined in Chapter 5, but it should be pointed out that Turner

built his method on a conception of structure in some ways fundamentally different from

that of Levi-Strauss. Turner's formulation has the advantages of being processual rather









than static and a capability to incorporate the syntax of narratives as a fundamental aspect

of the creation of meaning.

Inspired by Turner's syntagmatic method, the analysis of the historical narrative of

the RM presented here demonstrates that the narrative is concerned primarily with the

creation and legitimation of hierarchy in Tarascan society, and thus the superior position

the Tarascan rulers enjoyed within that society. The narrative accomplishes this goal

through the combination of two groups of characters, the "Chichimecs" and "Islanders,"

to create a hierarchically superior synthesis of the two groups, the Tarascan royal

dynasty. The synthetic and hierarchically superior nature of the royal dynasty that is the

outcome of the story legitimates its position at the top of Tarascan society. As the two

elements contributing to this synthesis, the "Chichimec" and "Islander" labels are not

ethnic markers but rather identities that create and label elementary categories. By

relating the characters that are named as such to organizing principles of society and the

cosmos, the royal dynasty demonstrates that it is the synthesis of social and cosmological

categories and therefore is hierarchically superior and possesses the legitimate authority

necessary to rule.

The next chapter, Chapter 2, provides background information concerning the

Tarascans and the Tarascan empire, ending with the subjugation of the Tarascans by the

Spaniards. Chapter 3 examines the traditional interpretations of the RM and questions

the bases for these interpretations, proposing instead that the a more emic understanding

of the RM is needed in order to understand what it represents and how it can inform our

knowledge of the Tarascan empire. Chapter 4 notes the similarities between the

historical narrative that comprises the second part of the RM and the Stranger-King









stories from other parts of the world, proposing that the historical narrative of the RM can

be analyzed in a similar manner. The syntagmatic structuralist method of narrative

analysis that is employed in this thesis is outlined and explained in Chapter 5. Chapter 6

presents the analysis of the narrative, including descriptions of some of the events and

actions it relates. The results of this analysis are discussed in Chapter 7, in which it is

concluded that the RM does not constitute literal history, nor does it document the

presence of ethnic groups, in the traditional sense of the word. Rather, the narrative is an

internally structured exposition on the nature of hierarchy in Tarascan society.














CHAPTER 2
THE TARASCAN EMPIRE AND THE CONTEXT OF THE PRODUCTION OF THE
RELACION DE MICHOACAN

The meaning of the RM cannot be properly understood without some knowledge of

the Tarascan empire and the colonial context in which the document was produced. The

Tarascan empire was an extremely organized and hierarchical society. Power relations

were also inherent in the colonial situation following the arrival of the Spaniards.

Therefore power relations, both those that existed prior to the arrival of the Spaniards as

well as the colonial power relations created by the presence of the Spaniards, permeated

the context of the production of the RM.

Late Prehispanic Tarascan Empire

At the time of the arrival of the Spanish conquistador Hemando Cortes on the

shores of modem Mexico, the Tarascan empire was a large conquest empire second in

size within Mesoamerica only to the Aztec empire. The maximal extent of the Tarascan

empire was roughly equivalent to the modern Mexican state of Michoacan in west central

Mexico, but also included parts of the modern states of Guanajuato, Queretaro, Jalisco,

and possibly Guerrero and Mexico (see Figure 2-1). The Tarascan and Aztec empires

appear to have fought their way to a stalemate by the time of the arrival of the Spaniards,

with neither one able to make significant and permanent gains into territory held by the

other (Pollard 1993). In order to expand and maintain this large conquest empire, the

prehispanic rulers of the Tarascan empire developed highly organized secular and

religious bureaucracies that were responsible for the efficient collection of tribute, the









raising of armies, and the governance of the people in general (Pollard 1993; RM 1956,

1970).

These bureaucracies were headed by the cazonci, the native title for king. The

cazonci was believed to be the earthly representative of Curicaueri, the patron deity of the

Tarascan royal family and the empire as a whole (Pollard 1991:170; Roskamp 2001).


Colima


Michoacan'


Mexico
Tenochtitlan/
Mexico City


Figure 2-1. Approximate extent of the Protohistoric Tarascan empire, represented by the
vertical lines. Boundaries of modern Mexican states are also shown. Adapted
from Pollard (1993:5).

This position was apparently a mixture of an elected and hereditary office: following the

death of a king, his successor would be chosen from among a pool of eligible members of

the royal dynasty by a council of noble elders (RM 1956:246, 1970:68). There is also

some indication that before his death a king could name his successor, although it is

unclear if this chosen noble would automatically be elected by the council (RM

1956:219, 1970: 44). At the time of Spanish conquest, the cazonci ruled from the capital









city of Tzintzuntzan, located on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro near the center of the

modern Mexican state of Michoacan (Pollard 1980, 1993; Warren 1985:5). At his court

in Tzintzuntzan, the cazonci oversaw the bureaucrats and priestly orders, as well as the

chiefs of the individual towns under his control, which were often directly appointed by

the cazonci (RM 1956:173-182, 203-206, 1970:11-14,17-18, 31-35). In addition to the

local level of government, the leaders of four regional capitals reported to the king and

established a direct and strong presence of the central authority in the provincial areas of

the empire (Pollard 1993:126; RM 1956:173, 1970:11).

Tarascan society in general was composed of two social estates, nobles and

commoners. There is no evidence that there was the possibility of social mobility

between these two estates, and marriage was apparently endogamous with respect to

social estate (RM 1956:210-214, 1970:36-41). Offices in the religious and secular

bureaucracies were open only to nobles, while the commoners generally held occupations

involving manual labor (Pollard 1993:124-126). In addition to farming, there was craft

specialization in Tarascan society, based on information concerning government officials

who were responsible for overseeing such occupational specializations as house

construction workers, masons, fishers, tailors, feather workers, weapons makers, canoe

makers, and messengers, among others (RM 1956:173-178, 1970:12-14).

Both the Tarascan people and language are somewhat of an anomaly. Tarascan is a

term that has been applied both to the people of this area and their language. The term

itself seems to have its origin in the first contacts between these people and the Spaniards,

as the Spanish often heard the native word tarascue, meaning in-law, and began to call

the natives of the area by a bastardization of the word (RM 1956:247, 1970:69; Warren









1985:6). Friar Bernardino de Sahagun, a Spanish friar who documented indigenous

culture in the Basin of Mexico, gives an alternate derivation for the term Tarascan. He

states that the name comes from taras, the name of one of the Tarascans' gods, or more

likely, the general term for an idol (Warren 1985:6).

The native term for both themselves and their language, however, is purepecha,

which means "working men" in that language (Warren 1985: 7). The Tarascan language,

purepecha, is a linguistic isolate in the culture area of Mesoamerica, seemingly unrelated

to any of the other languages of neighboring groups. Various linguists have proposed

that it is most closely linked to Quechua, the language of the Inkas of South America, or

perhaps Zuni in the southwestern United States (Pollard 1993:15; Warren 1985:8).

Whichever language it is closest to, purepecha is different enough to have required a

divergence at least a few thousand years ago (Pollard 1993:15).

The Tarascan empire was a relatively late phenomenon in the context of the history

of prehispanic Mesoamerican civilizations. The founding of the royal dynastic line and

its consolidation of power are believed to have taken place sometime in the 14th century

AD, but this is based mostly on interpretations of the ethnohistoric documents (Kirchhoff

1956; Pollard 1993:88). Archaeological investigations into the history of the Tarascan

empire have demonstrated that during the Tariacuri phase (1350-1525 AD) local elites or

chiefs subservient to the cazonci in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin began to share the markers

of nobility defined by and also apparently emanating from the capital at Tzintzuntzan

(Pollard and Cahue 1999). Work in the Zacapu basin to the north of Lake Patzcuaro has

demonstrated that at about the same time (1350 AD), artifacts associated with the









Tarascan empire such as painted Tarascan polychromes, ceramic pipes, and metal objects

appear as part of an established complex of traits (Michelet 1989).

Most, if not all, interpretations of the processes that led to the formation of the

prehispanic Tarascan empire hold that the Lake Patzcuaro Basin was inhabited by various

ethnic groups, some having arrived there later than the others. While there is

disagreement over the specific relationships, various scholars have concluded that the

original and invading populations can be assigned linguistic and therefore ethnic or

cultural affiliations. On the one hand, Seler (1993 [1905]), Kirchhoff (1956), and

Williams (2001) believe that the original inhabitants of the area were Nahuatl-speaking

peoples, and the invading groups were Tarascan orpurepecha speakers. Pollard (1993,

1994), on the other hand, believes the reverse was the case-that the invading groups

spoke Nahuatl and the original inhabitants spoke Tarascan. These differences are not

believed to have constituted significant barriers between the various groups, as a

synthesis or mixing of the original and invading peoples was accomplished, and in time

the descendants of one of the invading groups managed to establish themselves as the

dominant political force in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin.

Through conquests and alliances the Tarascan empire expanded from the Lake Patzcuaro

"Tarascan heartland" and came to encompass various other ethnic or linguistic groups, as

best as can be learned from the documentary sources, such as Nahuatl speakers (Nahuatl

was the language of the peoples of the Basin of Mexico at the time of Spanish contact),

Otomis, Matlatzincas, and Tecos (Brand 1943; Pollard 1993:92-105; Stanislawsky 1947).

Manipulation of ethnic identity is believed to have continued to play an important role in

this expansion and the accompanying consolidation of the Tarascan empire following










these wars of conquest. In a study based on the changes in the dominant languages

spoken in towns following the Spanish conquest, Pollard (1994) has written that this

newly forged Tarascan identity was exported to conquered territories in the sense that the

Tarascan central authority promoted a Tarascan identity among newly subjugated peoples

(see Figure 2-2). This perception of a common identity and common interests is believed

to be one of the primary ways in which the Tarascan Empire prevented rebellions and

dissent and was able to raise large armies for defense and expansion (Pollard 1994).





Key

F Tarascan Ethnic
Heartland
ZI l]Zone of Ethnic
Assimilation
I Ethnic Enclaves
SZone of Ethnic
Segregation
S zintzuntzan



0 50km


Figure 2-2. Areas of the Tarascan empire where different strategies regarding ethnicity
were used. Following Pollard (1994:84).

Arrival of the Spaniards and the Onset of the Colonial Era

The autonomous reign of the Tarascan kings ended when the cazonci Tzintzicha

Tangaxoan peacefully permitted an expedition of Spaniards led by the conquistador

Crist6bal de Olid in 1522 (Warren 1985:50-51). This began a period of uneasy and, at

times, violent subjugation. The cazonci continued to receive tribute from towns subject

to him, much to the displeasure of Spanish encomenderos and colonial administrators









(Warren 1985:206-207). Furthermore, he and other native lords were accused of

practicing rituals of the prehispanic religion, even after having been baptized (Warren

1985:233). These two factors in particular led to the conviction and execution of

Tzintzicha Tangaxoan, the last native king, in 1530 at the hands ofNufio Beltran de

Guzman, a Spanish conquistador and president of the first Audiencia of New Spain

(Warren 1985:234). With their king dead at the hands of the Spaniards, the native nobles

and people in general must have contemplated and questioned their place in the new

order (Krippner-Martinez 2001: 49). Many of the nobles sought to preserve their former

status by petitioning to the Spanish Colonial administration. Significantly, Krippner-

Martinez (2001:55) has characterized the RM as a claim of legitimate noble status on the

part of the informants, as well as a version of the past that challenged the humiliating

conditions of the present, their subordination to the Spaniards.

The colonial context of the production of the RM, therefore, was one charged with

power relations. In addition, the telling of the historical narrative that comprises the

second section of the RM is said within the text to have occurred at an annual feast when

criminals and disobedient subjects would be punished, often by execution (RM 1956:11-

14, 1970:101-103). Therefore this context is similarly one of power relations, namely the

power of the ruling elites to exercise control over the rest of society. Before the full

impact of these contexts of production can be realized, however, the traditional

interpretations of the RM and their bases must first be discussed. Only after questioning

the assumptions that are necessarily involved in these interpretations can we properly

evaluate the role of power and hierarchy in the RM.














CHAPTER 3
A CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL LITERAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE
RELACION DE MICHOACAN

Traditional interpretations of the historical narrative of the RM have been based on

assumptions that it represents a preserved memory of the real past as it actually

happened. Following these assumptions scholars have taken the words of the RM at face

value, believing them to be historically accurate. Certain passages and characteristics of

the RM are held up as a defense of this perspective. Furthermore, the names used in the

document to refer to individuals or groups are believed to denote actual ethnic groups

following other assumptions concerning the nature of ethnic identity. By questioning

these assumptions, however, we see that the evidence for literalist interpretations is less

than satisfactory. Recent anthropological work outlining a better understanding of the

functions of "historical narratives" and the nature of "ethnic identity" gives us a clue as to

what exactly the historical narrative of the RM represents.

The RM as Literal History

The RM has traditionally been interpreted literally, taking the events described

within it as an accurate representation of the "real past" of the prehispanic Tarascan

empire (Kirchhoff 1956; Seler 1993; Michelet 1994). Historians have developed a

method for evaluating the historical validity of documents, in the sense of determining

the likelihood that a given document is a faithful representation of past events as they

really happened. This method relies on many assumptions, a few of which will be

outlined here. The first is that events involving implausible or outlandish elements,









commonly the deeds of gods, are considered for that reason to be non-historical

(Gillespie 1983:77-78). Documents that display a precise orientation in real space and

are logically and coherently ordered are judged to be more likely to be historical rather

than false or mythical (Brown 1988:12; Gillespie 1983:77-78). Lastly, documents should

be evaluated against one another, so that events described similarly in different

documents are believed to have occurred in that way, while disagreements or

contradictions are resolved by resorting to other criteria and the overall reliability of

some of the documents compared to others (Collingwood 1946:129; Gillespie 1983:77-

78; Vansina 1965:113-114, 121).

Several factors have lent themselves to taking such a literalist perspective of the

RM. First, the friar who wrote the document claims in the prologue that he has acted

only as the faithful interpreter for the Tarascan noblemen who served as informants (RM

1956:6, 1970:7-8). Second, at the onset of the historical narrative, we are told that this

story was told yearly at a given ceremony (Uazcataconsquaro, at which criminals or

disobedient subjects were punished, in many cases being executed). This recitation was

performed by the head priest, the petdmuti, in the capital of Tzintzuntzan just prior to the

carrying out of the sentences. At the same time, lower ranked priests would tell the

historical narrative in towns and villages throughout the empire. The friar who wrote the

RM explains that one of his informants was a priest "que sabia este historic" (who knew

this history) (Kirchhoff 1956:xx). Therefore, if we are to believe the friar, the words he

wrote down were the exact words-with a few explanatory tangents included by the friar

where necessary-of the Tarascan noblemen, the men who were purported to know their

own history.









Kirchhoff, who wrote a preliminary study that accompanies the 1956 publication of

the RM, points out that the history contains very few cases of anachronism, thereby

contributing to the likelihood of its historical validity (Kirchhoff 1956:xxi). Furthermore,

the countless details included in the account of the life of Tariacuri, the one figure in the

RM most responsible for the creation of the Tarascan empire, amount in his opinion to "a

richness of information without parallel in all the historical literature of Mesoamerica"

(Kirchhoff 1956:xxi, author's translation). Given these observations and the claims of

the friar as merely the interpreter of his native informants, Kirchhoff concluded that the

memory of the priests responsible for preserving this history of the Tarascan people must

have been remarkable, and the only explanation for such a feat "is to believe that the

narration of the head priest was reduced to a fixed and unalterable text and that the new

head priest learned it from his predecessor" (Kirchhoff 1956:xxi, author's translation).

Kirchhoff not only relied on the amount of detail and lack of anachronism in the

document, but also the above assumptions that logical coherence and the near absence of

supernatural or implausible events indicate that the document can be viewed as an

accurate representation of the past. One could surmise that had the RM contained just as

much detail concerning the deeds of gods and their role in the formation of the Tarascan

Empire, his interpretation would have perhaps been different.

The loss of the first section of the RM-a description and history of the gods-has

also contributed to a belief in the historical validity of the RM. It is impossible to

compare this section to the subsequent section containing the official history of the

Tarascan empire to detect similar or repetitive elements. This factor should not be

overlooked, as at the outset of the section containing the history it is explained that the









patron deity of the ruling dynasty, Curicaueri, began his empire when he arrived at the

mountain near Zacapu (RM 1956:14, 1970:103). The pages that follow depict the events

in Zacapu as the deeds of the chief Hireticatame. In a side note in the same chapter, the

Spanish friar states that the narrator always attributed events to the god Curicaueri instead

of mentioning the humans who presumably were responsible for the events described

(RM 1956:15, 1970:103-104). Therefore the fact that the RM looks historical in the

sense that it is a description of the actions of men and not gods might be more attributable

to the loss of the first section and the impositions of the transcribing friar rather than the

intentions of the native informants to represent their history as such.

Lastly, it is important to recognize the importance of the fact that the RM stands

virtually alone as the preeminent source for the study of the history of the prehispanic

Tarascan empire. No other documents exist which can contradict or raise questions

concerning the historical account in the RM. In other words, the methods of comparative

analysis discussed above cannot be used. We are thus in a sort of double bind: because

the RM is the only document of its kind, we are more inclined to read it as literal history,

as there are no contradictory accounts, while on the other hand, this lack of

accompanying documents prevents the events described from being supported by other

evidence. Combined with the wealth of detail and other qualities possessed by the RM,

this situation has served to cement a belief in the historical account contained in the RM

as representing how things actually happened.

Even without this perceived support from the RM or the lack of contradictory

evidence, it is likely that the RM would have been interpreted literally. The growth of

literal-mindedness during the 19th century development of the modern discipline of









history led to the dominance of a positivist history that sought only to determine what

really happened in the past (Burke 1990, Fogelson 1989). In this way virtually all

historical looking documents (i.e., documents that do not contain a lot of mythic or

supernatural events, as discussed above) were presumed to be literal history, that is,

descriptions of actual events that preceded and motivated their production.

All of the interpretations noted in Chapter 2 concerning the presence of multiple

ethnic groups and the role of ethnicity in the formation of the Tarascan empire in the

Lake Patzcuaro Basin rely nearly exclusively on the RM. These interpretations began

with the assumption that the RM does indeed represent literal history. Various scholars

further assume that the different terms used in the RM to refer to various individuals or

groups of people were categories of identification that could be characterized as similar

to our concept of ethnicity: a static notion of group affiliation based on some immutable

or only slowly changing characteristics, language or ancestry being the most notable

(Pollard 1994; Kirchhoff 1956). This assumption is contestable, however. As the

contradicting interpretations concerning the linguistic affiliations of the recent and

original inhabitants allude to, these linguistic interpretations are based on limited, and, I

believe, questionable data found primarily in the RM. Nowhere in the RM is there a

conclusive or definitive statement of either group speaking either language.

The issue is not simply one of specific data that might help us better reconstruct

the history of the Tarascan Empire, but the need for a reexamination of the many

assumptions that have laid the groundwork for these interpretations.

Questioning the Bases of these Assumptions

Many refinements have been made in anthropological theory and practice since the

time of the earliest studies of the RM and the Prehispanic Tarascan empire. In the past









few decades scholars have made an effort to describe and analyze the native modes of

historical consciousness as exemplified in their own historical traditions. These native

historical traditions can be used to study how and why non-Western peoples construct

their own narratives concerning the past, rather than merely fitting their historical

traditions and modes of consciousness into our own Western mode of chronicle history.

Fogelson (1974, 1989) coined the term "ethno-ethnohistory" to contrast this

approach to more traditional ethnohistory. The latter enterprise has mostly been

concerned with using colonial-era documents or documents produced by non-natives to

write the history of the non-Western groups according to positivist history in the Western

tradition (Carmack 1972; Cline 1972; Krech 1991). While this is a worthwhile goal,

some have lamented that it has dominated the field to the exclusion of another kind of

ethnohistory, what Fogelson was attempting to draw attention to with his term ethno-

ethnohistory: an understanding of history from the native point of view. Schieffelin and

Gewertz (1985:3) agree, adding that in addition to writing the history of non-Western

peoples where before there was none, we "must fundamentally take into account the

people's own sense of how events are constituted, and their ways of culturally

constructing the past."

This work within ethnohistory has built upon a recognition in anthropology more

generally of the difficulty of maintaining some of the old dichotomies between myth and

history and "hot" and "cold" societies. Myth and history have traditionally been viewed

as antithetical modes of historical consciousness. Under this view, myth was perceived

to be untrue or only generalized stories that serve to reproduce the social structure of the

cultures in which they are told. History, in contrast, was viewed as true in the sense that









it told of real past events (Hill 1988b:5; Turner 1988b:236). This distinction is at the

heart of Levi-Strauss's famous delineation of a continuum at the endpoints of which are

"hot" and "cold" societies: societies that either are historically minded and record past

events or make historical events subservient to the reproduction of the culture,

respectively (Levi-Strauss 1963:234).

As the recent works of many scholars (Dillon and Abercrombie 1988; Hill and

Wright 1988; Parmentier 1987; Sahlins 1985; Turner 1988a) have demonstrated,

however, these dichotomies are misleading. Gossen (1977:250) has written that both

"myth and history are bundles of meaningful experience about the past ... which are

conditioned by utility for and relevance to the present, as it is experienced by a particular

cultural tradition." In the same vein, Gillespie (1989:xxxviii) points out that both are

endpointss of the same processes," and that they serve the same function in society, to

give (sometimes divine) justification for events and as exemplars or ideal types of action.

Gillespie also states that the Aztecs made no distinction between history and myth

(1989:xxxviii). Narratives pertaining to cosmological themes or "mythic" events such as

the creation of the world have also been shown in some societies to be contiguous with

the present or historical era in the sense that they establish the categories and actions that

exist in historical times as well as the possibility for innovation in the real world

(McKinnon 1991; Parmentier 1987; Sahlins 1985).

Relating this work back to the RM, it is necessary to examine the "historical"

narrative contained within the RM on its own basis and without the assumptions of

literalist or positivist history. Krippner-Martinez's point noted in the previous chapter

that the RM was produced to defend positions of privilege within Tarascan society and









the indications that the narrative itself was produced to legitimize the state's authority

must be accounted for. Whether or not the narrative constitutes history as defined in the

traditional or positivist manner is at a certain point irrelevant. The narrative was

produced, according to the specific mode of historical consciousness of the Tarascans, to

express and legitimate the hierarchical relationships that were a fundamental part of

Tarascan society and which the creators and tellers of the narrative had a vested interest

in preserving. Therefore the view adopted here is that the narrative-which has

traditionally been interpreted as the literal history of the Tarascan empire-constitutes an

indigenous explanation of cosmological and political hierarchy that is created through

and sanctified by the medium of a historical narrative.

As outlined above, notions of ethnicity have also played an important role in many

interpretations of the RM. However, these interpretations, in addition to relying on very

little evidence, are also based upon overly simplistic and somewhat outdated conceptions

of ethnicity. These notions have been called "primordialist," in that there is a belief that

ethnic groups form cohesive groups because of some long held traditions (e.g., language)

and/or heritable characteristics such as physical traits. This view of ethnicity has a long

history in western scholarship and the layman's vocabulary (Sollors 1996).

Nearly at the same time that some anthropologists were reformulating their views

of indigenous modes of historical consciousness, others were rethinking the ways that

ethnicity had traditionally been defined and studied. Since the pioneering work ofBarth

in 1969, it has been increasingly recognized that "ethnicity" can be expressed in many

different ways, on many levels, and most importantly that ethnic identification is not

immutable but subject to active manipulation (Barth 1969; Cohen 1994; DeCorse 1989;









Osborn 1989). Frequently the goal or cause of ethnic affiliation or identification is access

to resources, and therefore ethnicity is often enacted in competitive arenas in which

scarce resources are at stake (Barth 1969; Sollors 1996). Ethnicity is a way to claim

membership and therefore any rights and resources a group may hold, as well as a

method of expressing group strength and solidarity, reinforcing existing and potential

claims for resources. This has been called an "instrumentalist" approach to ethnicity

(Sollors 1996). In this way, group names come to be identified not only with the specific

or actual people who identify themselves as members, but any of the traits or

characteristic ways of acting of those groups, and lastly the rights and privileges the

groups hold.

Furthermore, there is in Zuidema's (1973) work on native conceptions of ethnicity

in Peru a valuable lesson for the case of the Tarascan empire. In Peru, hierarchy is the

dominant organizing principal, and notions of ethnicity were incorporated into

hierarchical arrangements. Thus ethnic or group identification become a way, but not the

only way, to express and explain hierarchical relationships. In some cases, the specific

ethnic group that was used in such expressions was unimportant, and one group could be

substituted for another, as long as they were in hierarchically similar positions. In the

Tarascan empire, a highly organized and hierarchical state, we might also expect that

ethnic, or some group identities, were similarly used to express these same types of

hierarchical relationships.

Given these two concerns-first understanding the purpose of the telling of the

narrative and the hierarchical relationships that it expresses, and second, the perspective

of group or "ethnic" difference from the point of view of the Tarascan elites themselves-









a method must be utilized that has as one of its major advantages the analysis of

documents to achieve an understanding of the emic logic and categories employed in the

narrative. Various structuralist methods have been employed to analyze narratives much

like the RM, and have yielded important results concerning how peoples in different

world areas understood and actively constructed political legitimacy and group difference

(Gillespie 1989, Heusch 1982, Urton 1990). Therefore I have chosen to use a

structuralist method devised by Turner (1977, 1985) in this analysis of the "official

history" of the Tarascan empire that comprises the second part of the RM.














CHAPTER 4
TARASCAN KINGS AS STRANGER-KINGS

The Stranger-King, as outlined by Sahlins (1985), is a theme, or rather, a sequence

of themes found in many systems of archaic kingship around the globe. Sahlins.

Sahlins' chapter builds upon the previous work of other scholars (among others, Sahlins

[1985] cites Dumezil [1949] for Indo-European systems; Heusch [1982] for concepts of

kingship in Africa; Frazer [1905, 1911-15] in various parts of the world; Hocart [1969,

1970] in Fiji; also Gillespie [1989] for Aztec histories; and Urton [1990] for Inka

histories), and therefore he did not invent nor was he the first to recognize the similarities

among histories and political rituals in these archaic systems of kingship. Through the

adoption of a structuralist perspective, Sahlins demonstrates that what is at work in these

similarities is a general and processual structuralist theory of power and sovereignty as

created out of a synthesis of opposed categories. A general outline of these stories is

presented here, along with a brief discussion of the similarities present in the historical

narrative contained within the RM. These similarities belie the view that this narrative is

an accurate record of unique historical events. Furthermore, Sahlins' work demonstrates

the utility of a structuralist perspective for analyzing this narrative.

Stranger-King in Other World Areas

The first element of the Stranger King storyline is that the king is an outsider and is

in some fundamental way different from the people he will come to rule. As Sahlins

(1985:78) explains, "[b]y his own nature outside the homebred culture of the society, the

king appears within it as a force of nature." Kings are commonly said to have come from









above or beyond society, or their difference is explained as derived from the fact that they

are of a "distinct [foreign] ethnic stock" (Sahlins 1985:78). These commonalities might

be explained as "indigenous" conceptions or formulations of power. Because the king is

set apart from and above the rest of society, this difference must be explained by way of

his origins precisely because this difference is being expressed through the medium of

narratives about the past (following Sahlins 1985:78).

Following his arrival in a locality, the stranger gains access to power through a

native woman (Sahlins 1985:82). Commonly the woman is the daughter of the ruling

chief of the native or autochthonous people, who represent the land, agricultural fertility,

and economic prosperity. The autochthonous people also represent gravitas, the

"venerable, staid, judicious, priestly, peaceful, and productive dispositions of an

established people (Sahlins 1985:90)." The stranger wins this woman in marriage

through some "miraculous exploit involving feats of strength, ruse, rape, athletic

prowess, and/or the murder of his predecessor" (Sahlins 1985:82; this theme of gaining

legitimacy through a marriage is characteristic of Indo-European narratives). By his

actions the stranger represents celeritas, the "youthful, active, disorderly, magical, and

creative violence," the complement of gravitas, that is powerful enough to reconstitute

society through its disruptiveness (Sahlins 1985:90).

Gender symbolism is also an important part of this interaction. The stranger is

always male and his strength, skill, and marauding nature are all masculine traits. On the

other hand, the autochthonous woman represents the feminine fecundity of the earth and

the native people, as well as the legitimate authority of the native people that they possess

by inhabiting the land first. Through the marriage, the feminine qualities of the









autochthonous woman encompass and "culturize" the virile masculine power of the

stranger (Sahlins 1985:90). The stranger thereby gains a quality of legitimate authority

from the native princess and has also been domesticated by the woman in that he is no

longer barbarous and unruly. He therefore is no longer what he once was; he has been

transformed into a legitimate king through the synthesis of two prior categories, with all

of the associations and cultural prescriptions that this status carries.

Transformed thus from a stranger to a king of the native people, the Stranger-King

must now rule in the culturally prescribed manner. In Polynesia, the king "just sits ...

i.e., in the house as a woman" (Sahlins 1985:91). He has come to represent the gravitas

originally embodied by the autochthonous people, in contrast to the celeritas that he

previously embodied. Sahlins (1985:90) explains that the "same creative violence that

institutes society would be dangerously unfit to constitute it," and therefore we see in the

end the victory of gravitas and the transformation of the king that the initial triumph of

celeritas had set in motion.

There is an alternate permutation of the synthesis of the two opposed categories.

Rather than the king gaining power through a marriage to a native princess, the king can

also be conceptualized as the offspring of such a union. In this way the king is the

"biologically" produced synthesis of the opposed but complementary qualities of

masculinity and femininity, celeritas and gravitas, etc. This is the case in Polynesia, in

which the king is viewed as the nephew, the son of a sister, of the autochthonous people.

The installation ceremonies in Polynesia imitate the "historical" events of the Indo-

European narratives. In the common Fijian installation ceremony when the king-to-be

enters the village from outside and drinks kava, which is not poisonous but leads to the









metaphorical death of the "terrible outsider," who is then reborn as a divine king of the

indigenous people (Sahlins 1985:95-97).

Because the king no longer explicitly embodies the roving and marauding traits he

once did, this category must be represented elsewhere in the structure of the system

kingship. Different solutions to this logical problem- commonly some conception of

cyclical dynastic histories or the alternation of kings said to behave according to the

prescribed notions of kingly behavior- are discussed in Dumezil (1949), Gillespie (1989),

and Heusch (1972). The king's previous warrior functions are transferred to a younger

heir who is not bound by the customs of kingly conduct, or rather, the young heir is

bound by cultural prescriptions to embody the celeritas that the king has given up

(Sahlins 1985:91). Another related solution is to divide the two sides of sovereign

behavior between senior and junior lines of the chiefly or royal family (Sahlins 1985:91).

Either way, this transference often takes place as soon as possible following the king's

accession to power (Sahlins 1985:91).

The marriage and/or transformation of the "stranger" into a "king" creates a union

of the two opposed categories that are contrastive, yet necessary, to produce a superior

synthesis. The duality of celeritas and gravitas is transcended by the synthesis that the

king represents, and therefore the king possesses both the power to create and recreate

society as well as the ability to maintain that society. In the gender symbolism we see

that a productive union of male and female has been formed, and it is this union of

genders that is necessary for procreation and social reproduction.

It is worthwhile to point out that in the case of ancient Roman historical narratives,

non-complementary dualism embodied by the brothers Romulus and Remus fails to









establish a stable political system. By non-complementary I mean a dualism of two

elements that are too similar as opposed to a union of opposed yet complementary

elements. It is only after the murder of Remus by Romulus that a synthesis of the

complementary Roman and Sabine people is created:

The Romans adopt the armor, i.e., the military techniques, of the indigenous
Sabines; the Sabines take over the Roman names for months, i.e., the
ceremonial/agricultural calendar, of the invading warriors. But above all, the
Romans now gain the means of their own reproduction in the Sabine women and
their dowries, and all live happily ever after in the Eternal City. (Sahlins 1985:84)

Here we see that the important point is that a synthesis of the two formerly opposed

categories is created. The original synthesis fails because the two elements, the Roman

brothers, are overly similar and are therefore unproductive because the proper kind of

exchange and transcendence of contrasted categories cannot take place.

The combinations and syntheses at play in these "Stranger-King" stories are about

the creation of sovereignty: "The combination of two terms produces a third, a sovereign

power, itself a dual combination" of celeritas and gravitas, male and female, autochthon

and foreigner (Sahlins 1985:90). In this way the king is able to rule society because he

can mediate between its various parts, precisely because he himself encapsulates some

quality of these different parts of society. The king is hierarchically superior because he

encompasses the various parts of society and therefore represents a whole or totality

greater than any of the lesser parts (following Dumont's concept of hierarchy; see below).

Furthermore, this synthesis and the creation of king and empire are but the most

recent instantiations of the development of categories set in motion at the time of the

creation of the world. Following Sahlins (1985) and other analyses of cosmogonies

(McKinnon 1991; Parmentier 1987), such narratives of the creation of the world

introduce and establish general categories or paradigms that are embodied by more









recent, "historical," even real-life or actual actors. The people and characters involved in

these rituals and stories are members of cultural categories, the same categories involved

in tales of the creation of the universe.

Construction of Hierarchy

This conception of synthesis and the resultant hierarchical superiority is explained

by Dumont, an anthropologist. As formulated by Dumont (1980, 1986), hierarchy is

defined as the relationship of a whole to the parts that constitute it. A whole consists of it

parts yet is more than the sum of its parts; therefore it takes on a hierarchically superior

position. This is what Dumont called encompassment, and the fact that the whole

encompasses and consists of its disparate elements gives it a greater value than any of the

parts. "Hierarchy" in this sense is not concerned with power, coercion, or authority as in

the layman's use of the term but rather a system of the differential valorization of the

whole and parts.

In one of his explications of his theory, Dumont (1980:239-240) explains the higher

status accorded to males in western society. He traces this hierarchical relationship to the

Biblical genesis in which Eve is formed from one of Adam's ribs. Because Eve was

formed from the rib, she was originally part of Adam. Therefore Adam encompasses

both himself and Eve, both male and female more generally, and he is thus given a higher

value and hierarchical position.

In Dumont's formulation, the whole or hierarchically superior unit precedes its

parts. The story of Adam and Eve is a perfect example of this, in that Adam, as

(hu)mankind, precedes the parts that are formed out of him, namely, men and women. In

this way Dumont himself (1980:243) contrasted his definition of hierarchy to the

dialectical process outlined by the German philosopher Hegel. In Hegel's view, a whole









could be constructed from a conjunction of parts. The whole, or synthesis, does not

preexist but is actively created out of the prior thesis and antithesis.

This is an important point, as will be seen throughout the analysis. In the course of

the RM, characters and groups change, and wholes are created as the outcomes of the

events of the narrative. Just as in the Stranger-King narratives or systems of rulership, in

the RM a novel third term or whole is created that takes on a hierarchically higher value

precisely because it is a whole that consists of the various and disparate parts of society.

This condition does not exist at the beginning of the narrative, which speaks of the

separation of the Chichimecs and Islanders and disunity of the various polities.

Outside of this disagreement over the preexistence or construction of the whole,

however, the both Dumont's and Hegel's conceptions of hierarchy are quite similar.

They both propose that the whole or synthesis takes on the higher value because it is a

combination of the parts, existing on a higher level than those parts.

Tarascan Stranger-Kings

The similarities of the basic Stranger-king theme to the sequence of events

described in the RM will be briefly summarized here. The Chichimecs, a group of

barbarous, nomadic, hunter-gatherers arrived in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin from the

mountainous north. They therefore originate from outside or beyond the area that they

come to rule over. Following a few generations, the younger of two Chichimec brothers

marries the daughter of an indigenous fisherman, who represents the productivity of the

lake area and the autochthonous people of the lake in contrast to the invading

Chichimecs. It is this union that produces the culture hero Tariacuri, himself a synthesis

of the outsiders and original inhabitants of the land, and, it is foretold, the future king. In









this way Tariacuri is a synthesis of both the Chichimec, hunting, barbarous peoples and

the autochthonous, fishing, and agricultural peoples of the lake basin.

While Tariacuri is still a youth, his father and uncle, both Chichimecs (and

therefore a non-complementary duality akin to Romulus and Remus), are murdered.

Following their deaths, and with the occasional help of his Chichimec cousins, Tariacuri

commits various acts of aggression against the native peoples. Eventually, however, he

wins the daughters of a native priest of the primary feminine/earth goddess by shooting a

hummingbird, thereby displaying his skill as a hunter and warrior. In addition to being

the "biological" synthesis of the two opposed categories he also becomes the son-in-law

of the autochthonous lake people. By the inclusion of the priest of the preeminent female

fertility deity as Tariacuri's father-in-law, it is now clear that Tariacuri is a synthesis of

the opposed but complementary categories of violent, barbarous, and hunting Chichimecs

and the legitimate, feminine, productive lake people. The historical narrative of the RM

therefore includes the permutations of both the Polynesian and Indo-European systems of

kingship, and in this way is similar to Gillespie's (1989) findings concerning Aztec

histories.

Immediately following this marriage Tariacuri settles in his capital city and no

longer goes on forays or commits aggressive acts against the lake people. Upon his

return to his capital he begins asking about his long lost "nephews," the orphaned sons of

his cousins. These nephews take on the roving and marauding characteristics previously

embodied by Tariacuri and his cousins, their fathers. Together with Tariacuri's younger

son by one of the priest's daughters, and under Tariacuri's guidance, these nephews go on

to establish the empire.









As the analyses of not only the Stranger-King narratives but also other cosmogonic

narratives mentioned above point out, the categories of people that are the subjects of

"historical" narratives and events are established by the creation of the cosmos.

Therefore we might expect that the "historical" narrative concerning the creation of the

Tarascan Empire was indeed the final stage of a history that began with the creation of

the universe. This is supported by the original order and subject of the first two sections

of the RM as well as a statement at the beginning of the historical section in which it is

specifically stated that it is the god Curicaueri who arrives at Zacapu (RM 1956:14,

1970:103). This gives the impression that originally a chronicle of the actions of the gods

led up to and connected with the story of the creation of the Tarascan Empire. If this was

indeed the case it is reasonable to expect, that the categories established in the creation of

the universe were the same categories involved in the creation of the Tarascan royal

dynasty and the Tarascan empire. Or, working from the reverse direction due to the lack

of a cosmogonic narrative but the presence of an historical one in the RM, the characters

involved in the history of the RM should represent instantiations of fundamental and

cosmic categories.

Conclusion

Due to the similarities to the general sequence noted in many areas of the world and

the role of such stories in creating hierarchy, it is logical to suppose that the "official

history" of the Tarascans contained within the RM is primarily concerned with explaining

the nature of hierarchy and authority in Tarascan society as well. The narrative in the

RM is not identical to any of these other Stranger-King stories, however, and the

similarities noted in this chapter to the "Stranger-King" outline only serves to point out a

generic meaning of the narrative. In order to understand the specific way in which the









Tarascan elites legitimate their authority and the nature of the categories and people

involved, a more detailed and rigorous analysis of the RM itself is necessary. The

analyses of Sahlins and others have demonstrated the utility of a structuralist perspective

for understanding the meaning of cosmogonic and even narratives that seem "historical."

Sahlins offers a general guide of how such an analysis can proceed; however, for a more

explicit method for analyzing narratives, I use Turner's (1977, 1985) structuralist method

of narrative analysis. Both Sahlins' general outline and Turner's more specific method

are discussed in the next chapter.














CHAPTER 5
THE SYNTAGMATIC STRUCTURALIST ANALYSIS OF NARRATIVE

The analytical method used here is one inspired by both Sahlins' work outlined

above in the analysis of the changes and syntheses of the elemental categories at play in

the Stranger-King scenario, as well as Turner's structuralist method of narrative analysis.

Sahlins points out the need for a dynamic theory of structure as well the creation of a

synthesis of elementary forms in the creation of hierarchy at play in the Stranger-King

theme. Turner's method is outlined in two articles (1977, 1985), the first of which

includes a critique of earlier methods of structuralist narrative analysis (most prominently

that of Levi-Strauss) while the second article clarifies and expands upon the earlier article

and uses the method to analyze the Kayap6 myth of the origin of cooking fire. The

method used here draws from Turner's insights into the contextual juxtaposition of

contrast and contiguity within what he calls episodes as well as the operations that drive

the action and links episodes tone another. By incorporating the various changes within

and then between episodes, the structure is then revealed through the course of the

narrative.

Processual Structure and Elementary Categories

Sahlins (1985:103) uses the example of the Stranger-King stories to demonstrate an

important theoretical insight. In the Stranger-King stories, the stranger is transformed

from a terrible stranger to a divine king. Therefore, at different points in the sequence,

the same person has different attributes. These changes are structured, however, to the

effect that they are the logical results of certain underlying principles. Sahlins's main









point is that only by taking into account these changes or transformations that occur in

different contexts is the total structure revealed. In this way structure should be

conceptualized as taking place in and through time: "in its global and most powerful

representation, structure is processual" (Sahlins 1985:77).

Therefore Sahlins (1985:77, 103) contrasts this view of structure with the

conception of structure developed by Saussure, which was later adopted by Levi-Strauss.

In the Saussurean definition of structure, the meaning of a word is derived from the fact

that it is contrasted with other words on two axes, the syntagmatic and associative axes

(Saussure 1959:121). The syntagmatic axis assigns meaning based on the contiguity that

exists among and between words in a sentence or intelligible speech act (Saussure

1959:121). The associative axis, more commonly referred to today as the paradigmatic

axis, involves the assigning of meaning to words based on the similarities and differences

words share with other words (Saussure 1959:121-122). Words from various classes are

then chosen from memory according to the associations that create their meaning

(Saussure 1959:121). Saussure referred to the simultaneous co-existence of rules

governing the selection of words and their placement one following another as

synchrony, or the synchronic aspect of language (Saussure 1959:98). However, Sahlins

(1985:103) points out that in Fijian society, the synchronic relationships of

"men:women::culture:nature::chiefs:people" are true only from a certain perspective or at

a particular moment. They are misleading and falsifiable when analyzed from a different

perspective. Only by realizing that such relationships do change over time and in

different contexts can the "logic of the whole," the generative rules that motivate all the









concrete and different instantiations, the static Saussurean contrasts, be revealed (Sahlins

1985:103).

Through the course of his analysis of the Stranger-King, Sahlins states that the

legitimacy of the king is the result of the synthesis of categories that the king represents.

Therefore another focus of my analysis of the RM is how categories of people in

particular are created and then related to one another, and which categories combine to

produce the legitimate authority of kingship.

Syntagmatic Analysis of Narrative

Similar to Sahlins, Turner adopts a definition of structure that is dynamic and

processual. Specifically, Turner draws from Piaget's definition of structure in which

structure is self-producing or self-constructing. Piaget also emphasized the notion that

structure is constructive activity (Turner 1977:126). In concordance with this definition

of structure as processual, Turner formulates a method of narrative analysis that

incorporates the syntax of narratives and thus the production of structure through the

course of the narrative.

In Turner's method, the story itself is the source of important contrast and

distinctions. Drawing from the recognition of the Prague school of structural linguists

(Jakobson being the most notable) that contrast can only be recognized in the context of

continuity, or only "becomes structurally significant in correlation with continuity"

(Turner 1977:115), Turner recognized that in narrative the context allows for meaningful

contrast, or changes, to be recognized. Therefore all binary opposition are bi-

dimensional, in the sense that they involve contrast on one dimension and continuity on

another dimension. The syntax of a narrative is therefore integral because it is only

through the course of the narrative, the syntax, that continuity can be expressed. Syntax









serves to separate out and concretize, in specific contexts, the paradigmatic associations

of events, characters, etc. through their juxtaposition.

Building upon the necessity of syntax and the nature of binary opposition, Turner

defined a basic unit of narrative, what he calls an episode, a sequence of actions or events

in which something changes, or a contrast appears, while at the same time something has

remained the same. For example, in the myth that Turner (1985:100) analyzes, a move

from up to down is juxtaposed against the absence of movement in horizontal space in

one episode.

This method is therefore fundamentally different from the method of the analysis of

myth popularized by Levi-Strauss (1963). As Turner (1977) points out, Levi-Strauss

misapplied the fundamental insight of the Prague School linguists and did not incorporate

the bi-dimensional nature of binary opposition. Rather, Levi-Strauss, through his

disregard of the syntax of narratives that made any incorporation of meaning based on

contextual juxtapositions impossible, was forced to draw elements, actions, and themes

that he believed contrasted with one another based on some inherent meaning from

different parts of the story, or even parts of different stories (Turner 1977:115).

Furthermore, Levi-Strauss disregarded the syntagmatic aspect of narrative due to an

erroneous identification of syntax with what Saussure called the diachronic aspect of

language, the changes that take place in a language over time, which Saussure stated has

no bearing on the production of meaning (Turner 1977:119-120).

By incorporating the syntagmatic aspect of narrative, therefore, Turner has

formulated a more properly structuralist method for the analysis of narrative. Binary

opposition in Turner's method are not drawn from various parts of the narrative at the









discretion of the analyst, but are recognized as created by the narrative itself. The

syntagmatic aspect of narrative not only preserves continuity and creates contrast within

episodes but also links episodes to each other. Episodes are linked to one another using

what Turner calls operations. Operations are "constituents of narrative structure [that]

are embodied in actions or movements that transform structurally significant aspects of

the relationships among the actors and objects involved in the action" (Turner 1985:102).

Different kinds of operations are employed to move the action from one episode to

another, changing or preserving certain conditions or characteristics. Only a two of the

operations outlined by Turner (1985), those relevant to the present analysis, are

mentioned here: reversals and pivoting.

Reversals link the action of episodes or groups of episodes by reversing, or

repeating in an inverse manner, the action of the preceding episode or group of episodes.

They do not achieve a return to the original state, however, because in addition to the

actions of the previous episodess, an initial condition of the episode must also be

reversed as the final outcome of the episodes) that reverses its predecessors. In Turner's

analysis of a Kayap6 myth (1985:68-69), a reversal is said to occur when one character

manages to reverse his action by returning home from a hunting expedition that took him

into the forest with his brother-in-law. However, this character leaves his brother-in-law

in the forest and so the two characters have gone from unified in space to separated in

space.

Pivoting is also an important operation in the RM, and it can be conceptualized as a

sort of double reversal. In pivoting, two characters or elements that up until that point are

contrasted to one another switch roles or places, becoming exactly what was previously









antithetical to their very nature. In the same Kayap6 myth, Turner (1985:83) shows that

the brother-in-law pivots, at the same time as horizontal space, when he shoots a

surrogate jaguar mother through the nipples. The jaguar mother repeatedly tries to hunt

and kill the boy as a hunter would. By killing the jaguar mother, the boy becomes the

hunter and the jaguar becomes the (now dead) prey, and so the two characters switch

places. Furthermore, when he kills the jaguar, the character has successfully hunted an

animal and even more specifically repudiated his dependence on this surrogate mother by

shooting her in the nipples, symbols of the dependence of children on their mothers for

food. The boy therefore becomes a man. Just as he pivots by transforming himself from

a youth into a man, horizontal space also pivots for him; because he is now a hunter, the

forest, which was previously dangerous space to him, has become his proper domain as a

hunter.

The episodes and the operations that link them through the syntagmatic aspect of

the narrative also create larger paradigms of episodes through the association of

equivalence or reversal of actions. These paradigmatic sets of episodes are then linked to

other paradigmatic sets of similarly linked episodes through the syntax of the narrative

and exist at a higher conceptual level because they encompass the individual episodes

and operations. In this way the syntax of a narrative can create larger and larger

paradigms that encompass individual episodes and smaller paradigmatic units that in turn

are linked to each other through syntax. This interdependency between paradigm and

syntax is what Turner calls their "relativization" (Turner 1977:131). According to the

Dumontian (and Hegelian) formulation of hierarchy outlined above, the higher-level

paradigm encompasses the episodes and transformations and therefore takes on a









hierarchically superior value. Narratives thus construct hierarchy through the interaction

of both syntax and paradigm, and this creation of hierarchy is one of the fundamental

attributes of narrative (Turner 1977:131, 162). At the same time the narrative creates

hierarchically greater units of episodes and operations, it may also create hierarchically

superior paradigms or categories, i.e., characters or groups of people according to the

same general theory of hierarchy. This is the case with the RM, as will be evident in the

following analysis.

In the analysis of the RM presented here, I do not follow Turner's methods exactly.

The juxtapositions within episodes will be noted as establishing certain contrasts and

creating paradigms. The level of rigor in Turner's definition and use of episodes is

unnecessary for the goals of this analysis, which are to discuss the nature of the

categories within the RM and to reveal the basic structural principles that serve as the

basis for the various episodes and transformations within the narrative. While the

contextual juxtapositions have remained the basis for delimiting episodes, a special

concern for establishing paradigmatic linkages between episodes has also influenced my

delineation of episodes in the RM. While my episodes at times approximate the separate

chapters of the RM which are given their own titles, the definition of an episode is not

related to this division of the document.

The following chapter presents the analysis of the "official state history" as it is

presented in the second part of the RM.














CHAPTER 6
THE SYNTAGMATIC ANALYSIS OF THE RELACION DE MICHOACAN

The episodes of the second part of the RM, the part that purportedly contains the

"official state history" of the Tarascan empire, will be presented throughout the analysis,

in order, with their significance explained following the episode or a group of episodes

that are related and help to illustrate the significance of the others. The episodes are

summarized by me to provide the essential actions and settings that are necessary to

demonstrate paradigmatic associations among them, but other details are omitted. The

episodes are numbered, italicized, and "End of Episode" marks the next paragraph as my

own analysis. The division of the chapter into sections marked by descriptive

subheadings does not reflect any results of the analysis, but is done merely to separate out

what is a lengthy narrative and analysis.

Arrival of the Chichimecs

Episode 1. At the beginning of the narrative, Hireticdtame is said to have arrived

at the mountain named Zacapu Tacanendan i ith his god Curicaueri (see Appendix for

associations of this deity). Recognizing the power of Curicaueri, the lord ofNaranjan, a

nearby town (see Figure 6-1), proposes the marriage of his daughter to Hireticdtame.

Hireticdtame, the chichimec chief accepts the proposal, and explains to his in-laws that

they are not to take the deer that he shoots because he offers the animals to the gods. The

skins are particularly taboo because they are used to make blankets for the god

Curicaueri. Hireticdtame and his wife live on the mountain, and after some time passes

Hireticdtame 's wife bears a son named Sicuirancha. Hireticdtame shoots but only










wounds a deer near a place named Querequaro. Soon nightfalls, and he marks the spot

where he must leave off the chase. The next morning he follows the deer tracks to


Zacapu

SZipiajo

Naranjan Zichaxuquero


Asajo

UaVarneo
Pacandan


Tzintzuntzan
Erongaricuaro
Itziparamucu
a* Urichu I lhuatzio
rPechataroo Bn
SAre outsidArocute the Le
Atenro
Pareo /
Patzcuaro .
SaConnguaro

Zirahuen



E Lake Areas
O Area within the Lake
Patzcuaro Basin
| Area outside the Lake
Patzcuaro Basin
Tararan City



Figure 6-1. Map of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin and Vicinity. Not to Scale. Locations of
Zichaxuquero and Tariaran are approximate.

Querequaro where the deer died, only to find the Naranjans butchering the animal and

cutting the skin to pieces. Hireticdtame chides his in-laws, who shove him to the ground.

Hireticdtame is enraged and shoots one of his in-laws n i/h an arrow, killing him. He

runs home, tells his wife what has transpired, and they set out for Zichaxuquero, carrying

their son Sicuirancha and the god Curicaueri. At Querequaro, however, they stop and









the wife asks if she can go and bring a god in her house named Uatzoriquare (see

Appendix for associations of this deity). She does this, and eventually they all settle in

Zichaxuquero, a town further ,iaunh where they build a house and temples. End of

Episode.

In this first episode the movements of Hireticatame and his wife create a contrast

between up and down. Prior to Hireticatame's quarrel within his in-laws, he and his wife

live on the mountain Zacapu Tacanendan. Following their flight to Zichaxuquero, they

live in a house and build temples. While they have remained in the north and outside the

Lake Patzcuaro Basin, they have moved from up on the mountain, to down, in a house in

a proper town complete with temples. The mention of Querequaro twice is significant; it

could be said to serve as a boundary between the two groups involved. As the place

where the deer dies and location of the ensuing violence, it separates the Chichimecs and

the Naranjans. It is also a point of no return; this is the place where Hireticatame's wife

stops and goes back to fetch her god. Furthermore, the hunting associations of

Hireticatame are made clear in this first episode; Hireticatame explains that he and his

people are frequently out in the mountains hunting and gathering wood.

Episode 2. Hireticdtame and the Chichimecs live in Zichaxuquero. Not long after

Hireticdtame 's son Sicuirancha becomes a man, the Naranjans come to kill Hireticatame

at Zichaxuquero. When they arrive, only Hireticatame's wife is at the house, and the

Naranjans tell her of their plans. When Hireticdtame comes home, she tells him what

they had said to her, and Hireticdtame prepares himself, making arrows. When the

Naranjans come back Hireticatame defends himself valiantly, but eventually he runs out

of arrows and is overcome and beaten to death. The Naranjans set his house on fire and








carry off the god Curicaueri. When Sicuirancha, Hireticdtame 's son, returns from

hunting on the mountain, he finds his mother weeping and Curicaueri gone. He retrieves

his god Curicaueri from the Naranjans, who Curicaueri has inflicted iith a sickness.

Sicuirancha settles at Uayameo, which is on the northern banks ofLake Pdtzcuaro, /1 ilh

his god Curicaueri and all his people. There he builds a temple andpriests houses, and

orders that wood be brought for the temple fires. End of Episode.

The end result of this episode is the movement of the Chichimecs, led by

Sicuirancha, to Uayameo. Therefore the Chichimecs have moved from a position outside

the Lake Patzcuaro Basin to a position inside that basin. This movement creates an

opposition between outside and inside. Furthermore, this episode functions through a

reversal of the action of the previous one (see figure 6-2). Rather than Hireticatame


Reversal of actions, as the
Chichimecs move from up
to down and from outside
to inside


I
Episode 1: Hireticatame Episode 2: The in-laws kill
kills an in-law in a field. Hireticatame inside his
Chichimecs remain house. The Chichimecs
outside and north but remain down and north but
move from up to down move from outside to
inside

Figure 6-2. Episodes 1 and 2. The horizontal line indicates a higher-level paradigm that
is created based on the relationship between the two episodes, in this case a
reversal of action.

killing a brother-in-law, it is he who is killed by the Naranjans. The violence in this

episode occurs in Hireticatame's house as opposed to the open field where the deer dies.

The inversion in geographical terms is the most important, however. The Chichimecs









start out as a northern people, located outside the Patzcuaro Basin at the beginning of the

previous episode. The first quarrel with the Naranjans provides the impetus for the move

to Zichaxuquero, from up to down. In this episode, however, Zichaxuquero serves as the

starting point, and by the end of the chapter we see that it has functioned merely as a

halfway point between Zacapu and a position inside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. Notice

how all these transformations can be categorized as going from nature, or wild, outside

space, to inside, cultured space. At the same time they move from out to in, they remain

down (a move the first episode accomplished) and to the north.

Episode 3. Following Sicuirancha's death in Uayameo, he is succeeded by his son

Paudcume. Paudcume in turn is succeeded by his son Uapdani, who is succeed by his

son Curdtame. Curdtame dies and leaves two sons, Uapdani and Paudcume, as the

leaders of the Chichimecs (see Figure 6-3 for a genealogy of the royal dynasty). The

succession of these leaders is given a second time in which the order is somewhat

different: Sicuirancha followed by Curdtame, then Paudcume, then Uapdani, and then the

two brothers named Uapdani and Paudcume are left as the leaders of the Chichimecs. At

the time that these two brothers were leaders of the Chichimecs, the goddess Xardtanga

(see Appendix for associations of this deity), has her temples in Tzintzuntzan. At the

beginning of the episode, the Chichimecs are engaged in a reciprocal relationship i i/th

the people of Tzintzuntzan. The priests of Xardtanga take firewood to Uayameo for

Curicaueri's temples and vice versa. One day Xardtanga's priests drink too much and

start wearing the adornments of the goddess, who is angered and causes the maguey









Hireti catame

Sicuirancha
I- -1
Pauacume Curatame

Uapeani Pauacume

Curatame Uapeani
I I
Uapeani Pauacume


Zetaco Aramen Tariacuri
I I I I
Hiripan Tangaxoan Curatame Hiquingaxe

Figure 6-3. The Genealogy of the Royal Dynasty, as told in the narrative. Elder sibling
are placed to the left of younger siblings. Also, the second version of the
leaders who succeeded Sicuirancha that is told in the narrative connects to the
main genealogy by the dashed lines. This genealogy is different from the
illustration of the royal "family tree" contained within the RM, in which kin
relations are difficult to interpret.

wine they are drinking to make them sick. After vomiting and recovering somewhat from

their illness, the priests want to eat \ieth/ing to help them cure their hangover. They try

to catch some fish, but Xaratanga hides the fish in the lake from them. All that they could

find was a large snake. They cook and eat the snake, and after the sun sets they begin

turning into snakes. By morning they have completely turned into snakes and swim

toward Uayameo, where they shout at the Chichimecs. The Chichimecs flee to the top of

the mountain called Tariacaherio in the city of Tzintzuntzan. The snake-people then swim

ashore and bury 1theine\'\ in the ground. End of Episode.

At the beginning of this episode, the Chichimecs and Islanders/priests of Xaratanga

are engaged in the exchange of wood for the temples of the deities Curicaueri and









Xaritanga. This is not complementary exchange, however, because it is exchange for the

same object or good. The exchange is therefore unproductive, and the two groups are not

well differentiated because they exchange the same thing. They therefore lack a degree

of differentiation that is needed to create a new synthesis. The priests of Xaritanga then

appropriate that goddess's adornments, identifying themselves with that goddess. In this

way there is a lack of the proper differentiation between people and gods. As the result

of their actions, they end up burying themselves in the ground, and the Chichimecs go to

the top of a mountain. The priests therefore have moved to an extremely down (and

inside) position, below and within the earth. The Chichimecs have moved from down

back to up, starting in Uayameo and ending atop the mountain called Tariacaherio. At

the same time they remain north as well as inside the Lake Pitzcuaro Basin. Through

these actions the Chichimecs have become spatially differentiated from the priests of

Xaritanga, becoming differentiated on a vertical axis.

Episode 4. From atop Mount Tariacaherio the Chichimecs disperse, believing

the appearance of the snakes to be an omen. One group goes to Coringuaro i/i/ the god

Urendequauecara (see Appendix for associations of this god), another to Pechdtaro il ilh

the god Tiripeme Xungdpeti, a third i i/i the god Tiripeme went to Iramuco, and the

fourth group went to Pareo carrying Tiripeme Caheri. All of these gods are said to be

the 4 brothers of the god Curicaueri. The dispersal leaves Uapeani and Paudcume, i il/

their god Curicaueri, alone atop the mountain. The two brothers carry their god along

the edge of the lake until they arrive on a mountain overlooking the island ofXardquaro.

Xardtanga's priests also flee the area, taking the goddess ultimately to Tariaran or









Harocutin (while Harocutin is the last place the goddess Xardtanga is taken in this

episode, in all contexts after this she is located in Tariaran). End of Episode.

In this episode, the movements of the Chichimec brothers Uapeani and Pauacume

introduces another opposition, the opposition of north and south. At the same time that

they have moved from north to south, they have remained up, moving from one mountain

to another, and remained within the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. Also, the movements of the

goddess Xaratanga preserve some differentiation between her and the Chichimec brothers

Uapeani and Pauacume. If the goddess is moved to Harocutin, this difference exists on a

vertical axis: Harocutin is near the island of Xaraquaro and is a lakeside town that is low

in elevation, therefore down in contrast to the Chichimecs who are on a mountain

overlooking Xaraquaro. Or, if the goddess Xaratanga is moved to Tariaran, a town

located south of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin, her position is differentiated from the position

of the Chichimecs by her location outside of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin, in contrast to the

inside location of the Chichimecs. In this way the original cooperation between the

Chichimecs and Islanders that takes place in the north in Episode 3 is reversed and they

are juxtaposed against each other overlooking Xaraquaro in the south, if Xaratanga is

taken to Harocutin. If Xaratanga is taken outside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin to Tariaran,

then the differentiation between the Chichimecs and the Islanders that existed on a

vertical axis at the end of Episode 3 is transformed into a differentiation on a horizontal

axis as a contrast between outside and inside.

In Episode 3 the priests of Xaratanga appropriate the adornments of that goddess

and therefore become "too close" to her. In contrast, in Episode 4, and as a result of this










closeness, both the Chichimecs and the priests of Xaratanga are dispersed from

Tzintzuntzan. Therefore the Chichimecs and Islanders become distant from one another.

Episodes 3 and 4 also form a paradigm that is contrasted with Episodes 1 and 2 (see

figure 6-4). In the first episode, the deerskin (the outer covering of the deer), destined to

cover the god Curicaueri as a blanket (thus also the god's outer covering), is mined. The

action of the Naranjans has prevented the Chichimecs from fulfilling their obligation to

their god, creating distance between them. In Episode 3, however, it is the goddess

Xaratanga's adornments-her outer covering-that is appropriated and worn by



The Chichimecs move from north to
south and outside to inside but by the
end of episode 4 preserve their initial up
or elevated location. The royal dynasty
is also undifferentiated





Episdoe 1: Hireti Episode 2: In- Episode 3: Xara- Episode 4 The
catame kills in-law in a laws kill Hireti- tanga's priests move Chichimecs and
field, and the Chichi- catame in his from up to down priests of
mecs move from house, and the while the Xaratanga both
up to down Chichimecs Chichimecs move disperse from Tzin-
The in-laws ruin the move from from down to up tzuntzan, ending
deerskin, the outside to By appropriating their mutual
covering for the god inside the adornments of exchange at the
Curicaueri, and so remaining the goddess, beginning of
humans are too down and people become episode 3. The
distant from the god north too close to the C ii.i: iin-:i :, move
goddes from north to south
remaining up and
inside

Figure 6-4. Episodes 1 through 4. The internal operations and the paradigms create a
Paradigm that is composed of both pairs of episodes.

her priests. Therefore in contrast to Episode 1, the outer covering serves as the vehicle

for the priests to become "too close" to the goddess as opposed to the "too distant"

relationship of the Chichimecs to the god Curicaueri created by the mined blankets. The









movement of the Chichimecs from outside to inside in Episode 2 is replaced by a

movement from north to south within the Lake Patzcuaro Basin in Episode 4.

Furthermore, in Episode 2 the Chichimecs preserve their down position as they move to

Uayameo, in contrast to Episode 4 in which the Chichimecs preserve their up location as

they move from Mount Tariacaherio to a mountain overlooking the island of Xaraquaro.

Episode 5. The Chichimecs, still led by the brothers Uapeani and Paudcume,

come down from the mountain and meet fisherman from the island ofXardquaro.

Uapeani jumps into the fisherman's canoe and the Chichimecs and fisherman exchange

and eat foods associated ii ith the other: the fisherman broils some of his fish for the

Chichimecs to taste and then the Chichimecs give the fisherman a taste of a rabbit they

have caught. The Chichimecs ask if the fisherman has a daughter, and at first the fisher

denies having one. The Chichimecs explain:

We are not asking for the reason you are thiikiung,. for we do not want women for
the future; we ask because Curicaueri will conquer this land, and you for your part
will stand ii ith one foot on the land and one on the water. We likewise shall stand
the same way and we shall become one people. (RM 1970:116)

The fisherman admits he has a daughter, and the Chichimecs tell him to come back the

next day at noon and to bring his daughter. The Chichimecs go back up the mountain to

hunt. The following day the fisherman arrives at the bank of the lake i/th his daughter in

the canoe and waits for the Chichimecs to arrive. They are late coming down from the

mountain, having hunted longer than expected. The Chichimecs take the daughter and

move to Tarimichundiro, which is said to be a barrio (a district) of Patzcuaro. End of

Episode.

In this episode the Chichimecs led by Uapeani and Pauacume move from up to

down. At the beginning of the episode they are on they mountain and at the end they









settle at Tarimichundiro, having acquired the fisherman's daughter. It is important to

note that the first time the Chichimecs leave the fisherman, they go back up the mountain

and hunt. Only once they have acquired the girl from the island of Xaraquaro do they

settle in a town that is down. Furthermore, the exchange that occurs at the beginning of

the episode is also complementary and productive, because the items exchanged, fish and

rabbit, are different. Therefore this exchange indicates a complementary relationship

between the two peoples differentiated by the actions, and is different from the exchange

of firewood between the Chichimecs and the priests of Xaratanga at the beginning of

Episode 3.

Episode 6. The fisherman's daughter grows up, andPaudcume, the younger of the

two Chichimec brothers, marries her. This woman gives birth to a boy named Tariacuri,

and it is foretold that he will eventually become king. The lords of the island of

Xardquaro learn of the marriage and birth, and invite the Chichimecs to come to their

island and live i i/th them. The Chichimecs agree and arrive on the island, and the

Islanders cut the hair of the Chichimecs, giving them a round bare spot on the top of the

head. The Chichimecs are also given a string of golden tweezers to wear around their

necks, and they are made sacrificers, a religious office, there. The people of Coringuaro,

one of the groups who had dispersedfollowing the omen of the priests turning into

snakes, intervene, saying that the Islanders have no need for the Chichimecs. After the

Coringuaros insist twice, the Islanders oblige and expel the Chichimecs from Xardquaro,

removing thwir lip-plugs and other insignia. The Chichimecs, slobbering due to the holes

in their lips from the lip-plugs and ilthiit their wives, return to Tarimichundiro, from

where they had come. They do not settle there but instead set out lookingfor a sacred









place in Pdtzcuaro proper that had apparently been foretold to them. They find the

location of sacred rocks on a high spot, and there they build their temples. End of

episode.

The movement from up to down of the previous episode is reversed in Episode 6

(see Figure 6-5). The Chichimecs return from the island of Xaraquaro and immediately

move up and found the temples on an elevated place in Patzcuaro. Furthermore, the

move from down to up takes place at the same time that the Chichimecs lose their wives,

including the fisherman's daughter that had settled with them at Tarimichundiro in

Episode 5. Also, the first attempts to make the Chichimec brother Uapeani and

Pauacume legitimate nobles-indicated by giving them lip plugs and other insignia of

noble status-fails due to the intervention of the Coringuaros.

Movement from up to down
reversed by movement from up
to down, union with Xara-
quaro women reversed by
separation

I I
Episode 5. The Chichimecs Episode 6: The Chichimecs
acquire the woman from are brought to Xaraquaro but
Xaraquaro and remain south lose their wives, they remain
and inside, but move from south and inside but move
up to down from down to up



Figure 6-5. Episodes 5 and 6.

This intervention is the first instance of a pattern that is established throughout the

narrative. The Coringuaros are perpetually intervening, and these interventions terminate

whatever relationship exists between the Chichimecs and the Islanders (a name that the

peoples of the islands in Lake Patzcuaro are often collectively referred to as) at the time.









In this way the Coringuaros constitute what Turner (1977:156) calls precipitatorss."

Precipitators function to directly cause an event that would not occur if not for their

presence within the narrative. In this way the Coringuaros precipitate the expulsion of

the Chichimecs from the island of Xaraquaro. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with

the relationship between the Chichimecs and the people of Xaraquaro, or at least, the

termination of the relationship established between these two groups occurs only due to

the meddling of the Coringuaros.

Episode 7. With the Chichimecs in Pdtzcuaro, the Coringuaros fear that the

Chichimecs will not forget the troubles the Coringuaros have caused them. The

Coringuaros send a messenger to the Chichimecs telling them they want to war in /ih the

Chichimecs and to prepare for battle. The Chichimecs agree, and the two parties meet

on the battlefield. In the fighting Uapeani and Paudcume are shot and wounded. After

some time the fighting ends. End of Episode.

This episode expands upon the role of the Coringuaros as precipitators. Having

intervened and split up the Chichimec/Islander union in the previous episode, the

Coringuaros once again intervene, driving the action. Uapeani's and Pauacume's injuries

set up the action of the next episode, in which the Coringuaros once again intervene.

This role only becomes apparent in the next episode, however.

Episode 8. Following the war i ilh Coringuaro, the Chichimecs return to

Tarimichundiro. The wounded Chichimec brothers stay in the Eagle House, a religious

building. Some Islanders are there in the Eagle House i ilh the Chichimecs, and the two

groups hold a vigil during the night. The Coringuaros know that they have only wounded

Uapeani and Paudcume, and so the Coringuaros send a woman to spy on the brothers









and see if they will live. The woman arrives at the Eagle House at midnight and

approaches the two, saying she only wants to put blankets on them. Uapdani realizes

that the woman is from Coringuaro and calls to his brother and then tells the woman to

leave. The disturbance causes Islanders to alert their people and leave, saying that the

Chichimecs are two-faced and some have come from Coringuaro so that they can

ambush them. The Islanders get up and leave, returning to their homes. End of Episode.

At the beginning of the episode the Chichimecs return not to Patzcuaro but to

Tarimichundiro. Therefore they change position in elevation, moving from up to down.

They also remain in the south and inside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. At the beginning of

the episode, however, the some Islanders are staying in the Eagle House with the

Chichimecs as the Chichimecs recover from the battle. In this way the actions of the

Coringuaros have provided the context for the union of the Chichimecs and Islanders. In

this episode, however the Coringuaros also instigate the departure of the Islanders from

the Eagle House. Thus the Chichimecs are have moved down, south, and inside, and

without the presence of their wives or any Islander companions. Furthermore, in Episode

6 it is the Chichimecs who are forced to leave the island of Xaraquaro after the

Coringuaros intervene. In this episode, however, this situation is reversed, as it is the

Islanders who leave Patzcuaro after the intervention of the Coringuaros.

Episode 9. The Coringuaros, once again fearing that the Chichimecs would not

forget the injuries they had caused them, send a messenger who proposes a plan to the

lord of the Island ofXaraquaro. The Xardquaros are to send a messenger to the

Chichimecs telling them their wives grieve for them daily and that the Chichimecs should

come back and retrieve their wives. The Islanders play their part, and the Chichimec









brothers Uapeani and Paudcume are about to set out for Xardquaro when the three elder

priests ofPdtzcuaro ask where they are going. The brothers explain what the

Xardquaros told them, and the priests tell them to send some runners ahead, because it

sounds like a Coringuaro plot. Along the road at Zacapuhacurucu the Coringuaros

ambush the runners, thinking the runners are Uapeani andPaudcume. Seeing this, the

two brothers turn back. The Coringuaros again request that the Xardquaros help, and

the same plan is repeated. This time, however, the Coringuaros wait for the runners to

go by and ambush the brothers. Uapeani is shot then and there, but Paudcume runs back

toward Pdtzcuaro. The Coringuaros catch up i ith him and shoot him as he is climbing a

mountain called Zacapuhacurucu. Word of the death of the two brothers gets back to the

three priests of Pdtzcuaro, who take a gold necklace to exchange for the bodies of the

brothers. Theyfind the Islanders hitting the two dead lords ni ith oars, and offer the

necklace. The Islanders object, saying it was the Coringuaros who killed them. The

priests argue, saying that it is enough that the Islanders killed them and the Islanders

should take the necklace and hand over the bodies. Eventually the Islanders relent, and

the priests take the bodies back to Pdtzcuaro where the temples are, cremate them, and

bury them. End of Episode.

In this episode the two Chichimec brothers are kept from their wives, and no other

Islander characters come to live with them. They once again remain down, south, and

inside. It is a Coringuaro plot that keeps them from their wives and eventually results in

the deaths of the Chichimec brothers. Pauacume attempts to move from down to up, and

thus repeat the move from down to up that occurred in Episode 6 with the founding of the

temples in Patzcuaro, but his movement is prevented by the Coringuaros when they shoot









Pauacume as he tries to climb a mountain called Zacapuhacurucu. Instead, it is only in

death the two brothers do return to high ground, as they are buried at the foot of the

temples of Patzcuaro proper.

Another point has yet to be stressed, that of the first differentiation within the royal

dynasty, in this case into senior and junior characters (see Figure 6-6). While Uapeani

and Pauacume appear in Episode 3, it is not until Pauacume's marriage to the fisherman's

daughter in Episode 6 that it is explained that he is the younger of the two brothers.

Tariacuri, the son of Pauacume and the fisherman's daughter, is foretold to be the

eventual king. By Pauacume's marriage to the daughter and the glory predicted for

Tariacuri, the junior line triumphs over the senior line of the royal dynasty.

In other ways, however, the two brothers are not significantly differentiated from

one another, both being Chichimecs in name and deed, acting as one. Even their names

serve to minimize what difference does exist between them, as their names mean the

The Chichimec lineage is differentiated into senior
and junior lines. The move from up to down is
preserved, but auacume and Uapeani are killed.
Thus non-complementary duality within lineage fails





Episode 5 Episode 6: Episode 7. Up Episode 8 Episode 9:
Gain woman, Lose women, Remain Lose Islander Pauacume and
move from move from without companions, Uapeani
up to down down to up women, move remain prevented from
from up to down inside, down, regaining
and south women or
moving up,
and are killed


Figure 6-6. Episodes 5 through 9.









opposite of their given positions as elder and younger brother. Pauacume means "first

born," while Uapeani is a derivation of "son" according to a note by Tudela (RM

1956:23). Therefore Uapeani refers to someone younger, while Pauacume should refer to

an older sibling. Furthermore the same names appear as earlier members of the royal

dynasty. In the text of the RM, the names of Chichimec leaders that live in Uayameo are

listed twice. The second time gives a different order than the first, but each time

Pauacume precedes Uapeani. Thus the pattern of an older Pauacume and a younger

Uapeani established both by meaning and usage is reversed with the two brothers bearing

this name. This has the effect of leaving the only difference between the two brothers,

the difference created by the explanation that they are elder and younger brother,

somewhat ambiguous or open to question. With their deaths, non-complementary duality

within the royal dynasty, characterized by similarity rather than difference, has failed to

institute a new political order.

This failure, however, sets the stage for a new differentiation within the dynasty,

and this new differentiation is based on a different contrast, one more capable of

transforming the Chichimecs into kings.

Career of Tariacuri

Episode 10. Tariacuri, the son ofPaudcume and the fisherman's daughter, lives in

Tarimichundiro i/ ilh his two older cousins, Zetaco andAramen. The two cousins are

said to be the sons of Uapeani (Zetaco is the elder brother) by another woman, but this

woman is not named. Because it is foretold that Tariacuri will be king, the three elder

priests ofPdtzcuaro educate him c iutin il-y, lecturing him to take wood to the temples for

the fires that are kept burning there. Tariacuri's cousins Zetaco andAramen, in

contrast, continually go about getting drunk and running around i i/h women. They take









Tariacuri ahlg \i ith them, putting him on their shoulders. The three elder priests of

Pdtzcuaro banish Zetaco andAramen to Uacandmbaro, saying they are a bad influence

on Tariacuri. With his cousins gone, Tariacuri goes out to the mountains, gathering

wood and making bonfires at the boundaries of the territories of his enemies. His last

bonfire frightens the people of the island ofXardquaro, and they hide in 1thir houses,

unable to go ashore to farm or get wood, and Tariacuri watches them from atop a hill.

End of Episode.

At the beginning of the episode, Tariacuri is contrasted with his cousins. As the

son of an Islander woman, Tariacuri is more of an Islander than his cousins (we are not

told who the mother of the cousins is). The cousins also go about getting drunk and

running around with women, embodying disorganized, wild, and improper movement.

They take Tariacuri along with them, but he rides on their shoulders, thus remaining

stationary and embodying stability or motionlessness in relation to his cousins. There

does exist a certain element of ambiguity in this action, however, because by riding on

his cousins' shoulders, he does move about, and therefore is able to move without

moving, embodying both movement and motionlessness at the same time. Following the

banishment of his cousins, however, Tariacuri goes about making bonfires on hills and

mountains, isolating the Islanders who are afraid to come ashore because of the fires. In

this way he demonstrates his mobility, free to move about the mountains, while the

Islanders cannot go ashore and are trapped on the island. He thus switches from being

contrasted to his cousins in which he embodies stability to being contrasted with the

Islanders. When contrasted with the Islanders he is up on a hill and free to move about

while the Islanders are trapped and cannot move due to the fires that frighten them.









Therefore with respect to his Chichimec cousins he has the qualities of an Islander, but

with respect to the Islanders he has the qualities of a Chichimec.

Episode 11. After afew days of being trapped on Xardquaro, the lord of that

island sends a messenger to lord Zurumban to ask him for help against Tariacuri.

Zurumban is a native ofXardquaro, but has been favored by the goddess Xaratanga and

became a lord in Tariaran. Zurumban agrees to help, and the next day he sends a

messenger to both Coringuaro and Xardquaro so that an alliance can be formed. The

messenger, Naca, is stopped along the way by a lord who invites him to eat \minethiiiig.

and Naca tells this lord of the war plans. After Naca leaves the lord goes and warns

Tariacuri, who is seated making arrows in Tarimichundiro, of the plot. Tariacuri devises

a plan so that Naca can be captured, and calls his cousins Zetaco andAramen to come

visit him. Tariacuri explains the Islander plot and his own plan to capture Naca, and

Zetaco andAramen agree to do whatever he orders. The next day Zetaco andAramen

lay in wait for Naca, pretending to be hunting for a deer. Just as Naca is about to get

away, Aramen shoots him in the back, and they take him to Tariacuri. Naca says that

only Chichimecs deceive in such a way, and Tariacuri orders that he be taken to the

temples and sacrificed. Tariacuri orders Naca to be cooked and cut up, and then he

sends the arms ofNaca to Coringuaro, Naca's midsection sent to the Islanders, and his

thighS to Zurumban, saying that it is the meat of a slave he caught ,lepinig n ith one of

his wives. Tariacuri again devises a scheme so that messengers, after Zurumban has

eaten the thigh of his own priest, Naca, deliver the news that the meat he has eaten is

Naca and not one of Tariacuri's slaves. Zurumban is enraged at the trick that Tariacuri

has played on him. End of Episode.









In the first part of the episode, Tariacuri is said to be seated making arrows, and he

is therefore immobile and "down" or low in elevation. Facing an alliance bent on

destroying him, Tariacuri recruits his cousins Zetaco and Aramen to capture Naca the

priest, while he remains in Tarimichundiro. The two cousins obey Tariacuri and

accomplish the task, capturing Naca on a mountain. Furthermore they deceive Naca by

pretending to hunt a deer, and Naca remarks at their deception. In the first part of the

episode Zetaco and Aramen are up in relation to Tariacuri. Naca's remark that only

Chichimecs deceive in such a way also marks the act of deception as a Chichimec trait,

and this becomes important in the second part of the episode. In the second part,

Tariacuri tricks Zurumban into cannibalizing his own priest. Thus Tariacuri deceives

Zurumban into eating Naca and therefore is equated with his cousins as the deceiving

Chichimec. Zetaco and Aramen play no part in this deception, and it is only Tariacuri

who is being contrasted with Zurumban. Therefore Episode 11 repeats the same pattern

of Episode 10 in which Tariacuri first takes on Islander characteristics in relation to his

own Chichimec relatives but once his cousins are out of the picture, he becomes a

Chichimec in relation to the Islanders. The only difference is that Zurumban replaces the

Islanders of Xaraquaro, and this replacement links Zurumban as an Islander, an identity

further strengthened by the fact that Zurumban is said to have been born on the island of

Xaraquaro.

Episode 12. Angered by Tariacuri's trick, Zurumban sends a war party to

Uacandmbaro to cast out the Chichimecs there (Zetaco and Aramen), saying the land

there is his land The war party knocks down the houses and the granaries, takes out the

lip-plugs of Zetaco and Aramen, and dishonors the women. Tariacuri, afraid that the









warriors will come after him next, flees from Tarimichundiro, casting everything he owns

into the weeds. He eventually makes his way to a place called Zinzuariquaro and settles

at the foot of an oak. Zetaco andAramen send messengers to look for him, and they find

him at the foot of the oak surrounded by women. Tariacuri tells the messengers that

Zetaco andAramen and their people should eat from the god Curicaueri 's storehouses.

The cousins do this, and it is explained that whoever eats or takes anything from the

god's granaries becomes a slave. Zetaco settles on a mountain, andAramen settles at

the foot of a slope, while Tariacuri returns to Pdtzcuaro (while Zetaco andAramen

apparently do not become slaves in the strict sense as indicated by the explanation

concerning taking from the granaries of the gods, it does at least indicate that they are of

low social status). Tariacuri then establishes a market at Pareo, where Aramen

frequently meets the wife of Caricaten, the lord ofXardquaro. Caricaten learns of this

and orders Aramen killed, andAramen is shot in his house, then climbs a mountain and

dies. Tariacuri learns of his cousin's death and decides toflee and visit a lord in

Condembaro, a town to the vimi/,wat\ ofLake Pdtzcuaro. He tells his priests to take some

feathers to lord Chanhori of Coringuaro so that he may be granted passage through

Coringuaro territory. Chanhori refuses the request saying that Tariacuri can settle in

Chanhori's own territory. The priests relay the message to Tariacuri who has already

left, and Tariacuri decides to settle where he is, on the slopes of the mountain

Hoataropexo. End of Episode.

Throughout the episode Zetaco and Aramen are contrasted with Tariacuri. In

contrast to their younger cousin, Zetaco and Aramen settle on mountain slopes and places

that are not true cities. They also have their lip plugs, signs of nobility, removed and









become slaves by taking from the god Curicaueri's granaries. In contrast, however,

Tariacuri is first surrounded by women when the messengers find him (in contrast to the

women of Zetaco and Aramen's group, who are dishonored). He also settles in

Patzcuaro, an established city, in contrast to the settlements of Zetaco and Aramen.

Tariacuri then institutes a market in Pareo, where Aramen sleeps with the wife of the lord

of Xaraquaro. This action leads to Aramen's death (and by extension Zetaco's death,

because he is never again mentioned), and Tariacuri flees, ending up on a mountain. His

cousins now dead, Tariacuri once again takes on Chichimec qualities, moving from down

to up, and perhaps also inside to outside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin.

Episode 12 finalizes the actions and changes in status that occurs in Episodes 10

and 11. In these two previous episodes, Tariacuri is first contrasted with his cousins, and

he maintains a vertically low, stationary identity in contrast to his cousins. In each of the

two episodes Zetaco and Aramen are not involved in the action after a certain point and

Tariacuri is contrasted with the Islanders. In this contrast he is vertically up, mobile, and

deceptive, the last of which is explicitly said to be an indicator of a quality of being a

Chichimec. In Episode 12 this pattern of shifting contrasts involving Tariacuri is

repeated. In the beginning he is contrasted with his cousins, who have their markers of

social status taken from them and become slaves. At the end, however, the cousins

Zetaco and Aramen are not involved in the action (and never will be again) and Tariacuri

is contrasted with another category, this time the Coringuaros. Tariacuri settles on a

mountain and is thus up in relation to the Coringuaros.

Furthermore, Episodes 10, 11, and 12 can be grouped together to form a larger

paradigm. The first two establish a pattern that becomes irreversible with the action of









the third episode. The episodes also document an attempt at internal differentiation

within the royal dynasty, with this difference deriving from Tariacuri's status as more of

an Islander in contrast to his cousins. He remains Chichimec in relation to the true

Islanders, however, as the events of each episode and the outcome of the last episode

confirm. Tariacuri, despite being the most junior of the three, also assumes a role of

authority within the royal dynasty, which seems to fulfill in a small way the predictions

of greatness that were made when he is first mentioned in Episode 6. The triumph of the

junior line represented by Pauacume's marriage to the daughter of the fisherman from

Xaraquaro is thus confirmed for the present by Tariacuri's ability to command his older

cousins.

Furthermore, the unity of the Chichimecs and Islanders achieved for the first time

in Episode 5 with the sharing of food and the acquisition of the fisherman's daughter and

repeated in Episodes 6 and 7 is transferred to a smaller scale in Episodes 10 through 12.

In these episodes, the royal dynasty itself contains both Chichimec and Islander

categories, even if they only are defined as such in relation to one another. This duality

within the royal dynasty contrasts with the duality between groups that existed in

Episodes 5 through 9.

Episode 13. While settled on the mountain Hoataropexo, Tariacuri is approached

by messengers of Chanhori, the lord of Coringuaro. The messengers relay that lord's

\1, t'', ti, i that Tariacuri marry a daughter of Chanhori. Tariacuri accepts the

proposition, giving the messengers some blankets and shirts. The woman comes and

lives i/th Tariacuri and after a short amount of time becomes pregnant and bears a son

named Curdtame. She frequently travels back to Coringuaro where she gets drunk in the









priests' houses. One time she does not return, and Tariacuri goes to Coringuaro to fetch

her. On the way, Tariacuri catches a deer and gathers some wood and takes it to

Coringuaro i, i/h him. There he builds afire ii ith the wood and sacrifices the deer, giving

it to the Coringuaros. Chanhori asks why Tariacuri has not brought his wife ii ith him,

and Tariacuri replies that his wife has not returned to his house and the only reason for

his visit was to make an offering to Urendequauecara, the god of Coringuaro. Tariacuri

also refuses to have a drink, saying that he might attack the Coringuaros because they

gave him a poor raiser of children. He departs ii ithitit taking leave, and Chanhori

orders his people to look for Tariacuri's wife.

The Coringuaros look for Tariacuri's wife, find her, and bring her to her father,

Chanhori, who asks why she leaves her husband. She lies to her father, saying that every

day Tariacuri insults her brothers, calling them men who are not valiant and are

"women, and saying he will kill them. Chanhori says that these must be Tariacuri's

words because women do not speak in such a way. He nonetheless sends his daughter

back to live i/ ith Tariacuri. He also sends some elders to accompany her along the way,

and at two places (named Xoropiti and Tarequetzingata) the elders sleep in ith her.

Arriving at Hoataropexo, she goes inside Tariacuri's house. She tells her husband that

she went out to buy afish. Tariacuri has his aunt cook the fish and a small piece is given

to the god Curicaueri as an offering, and Tariacuri says "we do not eat brothelfish (RM

1970:151)." Tariacuri then goes out into the mountains to gather wood. End of Episode.

The behavior of Tariacuri's wife is obviously outside the bounds of proper

behavior for a married woman, and it provokes Tariacuri's actions. Through the course

of the episode, Tariacuri maintains his elevated position, even becoming farther up than









at the beginning of the episode because he is out in the mountains gathering wood at the

end. Tariacuri also takes a deer to Coringuaro to offer to the god of that place. This

offering is reciprocated poorly by Tariacuri's wife when she returns with a fish in an

attempt to lie about where she has been and a piece of the fish is offered to the god

Curicaueri. Tariacuri's remarks concerning the fish indicate clearly that there is

something wrong with this offering.

Furthermore, it is interesting that Tariacuri's wife brings back a fish, because the

fish paradigmatically links Tariacuri's marriage to the Coringuaro princess back to his

father Pauacume's marriage to his mother, the fisherman's daughter from Xaraquaro.

Prior to that marriage, the Chichimecs eat some of the fish that the fisherman has caught,

and they in turn give the fisherman some rabbit that they have hunted. The resulting

marriage between the Xaraquaros and Chichimecs is productive, each contributing

something of their nature to the union. In the present episode, however, Tariacuri's wife

brings home a fish after Tariacuri has already taken a deer that he has hunted to

Coringuaro. Therefore the exchange once again appears complementary and the

Coringuaros appear to fill the role of the Islanders. Coringuaro is not on a lake, however,

and the fact that the wife contributes a fish seems out of place. As already has been

stated however, the fish is rejected by Tariacuri, and his rejection is probably most

directly attributable to his wife's infidelity. Not only does the wife commit adultery, but

she also sleeps with her own people, committing "incest" by failing to maintain the

proper (sexual) distance from her own kinsmen.

Episode 14. During a religious festival two men from Itziparamuco, named

Xoropiti and Tarequetzingata, come to Hoataropexo, claiming to want to perform blood









sacrifice by bleeding their ears. When Tariacuri's wife learns of the coming of the two

men, she dresses herselfprettily and greets the visitors. The men are served maguey

wine, and they invite Tariacuri to di ink ii ith them. Tariacuri declines, and eventually he

takes leave of his visitors and goes to the mountains and gathers wood, telling them they

may stay and continue to drink. In his absence, his wife continues to pour the maguey

wine for the visitors and in time the visitors sleep i ith her. Tariacuri remains in the

mountains all night, and returns the next morning and unloads his cargo of wood at the

temples. The visitors had run home to lthir village ofltziparamuco, and Tariacurifinds

his house full of the stench of spilled wine. An aunt tries to dissuade Tariacuri from

seeing his wife, saying that she is ill. Tariacuri persists and goes into her room, finding

her laying down i/ ith a blanket covering her. Tariacuri lifts up the bhuikeit Ii ith his bow

and sees that she is covered in paint which has rubbed off onto her from the two men

(whose bodies were painted), and her sash is in disarray. He comments that his wife is

indeed sick, and goes out to the mountains doing nothing but gathering wood, not even

stopping to eat. The two men eventually go to Coringuaro and tell the lord of that town,

Chanhori, Tariacuri's father-in-law, that Tariacuri accused them of lepinlg i/ ith his

wife and cut their ears as punishment. They also tell Chanhori that he insults the

Coringuaros, just as Tariacuri's wife told Chanhori. Tariacuri's wife had told them what

to say to her father so that when Chanhori hears the lies a second time, he believes them.

End of Episode.

This episode builds upon the previous episode as evidenced by Chanhori believing

the lies of Tariacuri's wife, having heard them now a second time from the men from

Itziparamuco. The fact that the two men are given the same names as the places that the









priests had stopped and slept with Tariacuri's wife links this episode to the previous

episode, and also confirms that the men from Itziparamuco are equivalent to men from

Coringuaro. Therefore Tariacuri's wife again commits adultery and incest, sleeping with

her own people. However, in this episode Tariacuri's marriage to the Coringuaro

princess is linked to the first marriage of Hireticatame to the woman from Naranjan. That

marriage was disrupted when the Hireticatame's in-laws mined the skin of the deer that

Hireticatame had caught. In the present episode, by sleeping with the men from

Itziparamuco, Tariacuri's wife ruins her own skin; Tariacuri finds her the morning after

with her sash in disarray and body paint from the visitors all over her body. The marriage

to the Naranjan woman and the present marriage to the Coringuaro princess fail on their

own accord due to the rule breaking behavior of the in-laws.

Because the fish in Episode 13 that prompts the comparison to the Xaraquaros is

rejected, by inference the marriage between Tariacuri and the Coringuaro princess, and

the Chichimecs and the Coringuaros in general, is a combination of the wrong categories.

Coringuaro is located outside of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. Similarly, the marriage to the

Naranjan woman is a marriage between two northern groups living outside the Lake

Patzcuaro Basin. The fact that Tariacuri's wife does bring back a fish indicates what the

proper combination of categories is. The marriage to the Xaraquaro woman is the proper

relationship, because the Chichimecs and Islanders form a productive unity, exchanging

hunted food for fish. This marriage does not dissolve due to its own internal

contradiction, but only because of the intervention of the Coringuaros.

As might be expected by the previous episodes in which the Coringuaros serve as

the precipitators of the narrative, instigating new action in the plot, these two episodes









concerning the marriage of Tariacuri to the Coringuaro princess serve to drive the action

and set up the succeeding episodes. This is exactly what happens, and a clue of what is to

come is Tariacuri's intensifying "Chichimecness" throughout the two episodes,

represented by his increasingly up or elevated position, gathering wood on the mountain.

Episode 15. Tariacuri does nothing but gather wood for the temples due to his

grief over his marriage. He turns white and grows thin from not eating aivlhiilg.

spending all his time gathering wood. An aunt worries about him and tricks him into

eating \,vmhiin,,ii. and then tells Tariacuri to go visit Zurumban:

Take no thought for that woman [the wife from Coringuaro] because there will be
no lack of another to keep you company so that you may be lord. Perhaps the one
you are to have is not born yet. There must be a good one who will help you be the
lord. Go to Zurumban, lord of Tariaran, you and he shall be lords. (RM
1970:156-157)

Once Tariacuri arrives in Tariaran, Zurumban challenges him to shoot a hummingbird.

Tariacuri accepts the challenge, telling Zurumban to fetch the arrow. He successfully

shoots the hummingbird, and Zurumban retrieves the arrow and the bird. The bird does

not die but flutters in Zurumban's hands. Zurumban exclaims that Tariacuri is a true

Chichimec because his shooting skill is unmatched. He then offers Tariacuri some

maguey wine to drink, and Tariacuri accepts. Zurumban paints Tariacuri and then calls

for two women, either daughters or wives, to be brought out from his house. He instructs

the women to sleep beside Tariacuri that night so that he does not fall off the many crags

of that place because he has drank wine. Zurumban goes to his house to sleep, and

Tariacuri instructs the three elder priests to move the women to a corner of the room.

Tariacuri does not sleep that night, but stays up andplans n ith the elder priests.

The next morning at dawn Tariacuri blackens himself by having smoke from

braziers stick to his body due to his sweat. Zurumban comes and asks the women if









Tariacuri 1,et pi i/th them overnight. They inform him that he did not, and say that he is

crazy and has no sex. Zurumban replies that Tariacuri is indeed a lord. He goes into the

house where Tariacuri is %\,,i/i//. and covers Tariacuri il ith fine blanket. After a bath,

Tariacuri says that they should go to where the idols of the gods are. Tariacuri lectures

Zurumban there, saying he should not get drunk as much and can go to war and take

captives. Tariacuri tells Zurumban that if anyone complains about such actions,

Zurumban can tell them it is not he but Tariacuri who is raiding and going to war. In

Tariacuri's words:

You see, Zurumban, that I am making you a lord ifyou do this, for you are not a
lord but of lowly caste and a beggar, and now I am making you a lord and you will
perform [these deeds]. (RM 1970:161)

Zurumban promises to do as Tariacuri has instructed, and the two men go to his house

and eat. Zurumban's daughter has two women brought out i ilh their best sashes,

turquoise necklaces, and blankets. These two women return to Hoataropexo ii ilh

Tariacuri, bi ingiug ii ith them bridal apparel and furniture, consisting of mats and

women'sjewelry. Once back in Hoataropexo, Tariacuri goes to gather wood for the

temples and his first wife returns to her home town of Coringuaro. End of Episode.

Tariacuri irrevocably changes from a Chichimec at the beginning at the episode to

an Islander at the end. In this way he takes on the qualities that at first seem antithetical

to his identity as a Chichimec. As analyzed in Episodes 10 through 12, Tariacuri has

already shown hints of certain characteristics such as immobility, but only in contrast to

his Chichimec cousins (see Figure 6-7). In this episode, Tariacuri's identity is contrasted

to Zurumban, the chosen priest/lord of Xaratanga, and an Islander. Through his

interactions with Zurumban Tariacuri not only takes on the qualities that previously were

embodied by the Islanders, but prior aspects of his identity are given to Zurumban. In









other words, Tariacuri and Zurumban "pivot"-they switch their contrasted actions and

associations. Through this pivoting, Tariacuri acquires the legitimacy necessary to

institute a Tarascan empire with the royal dynasty at the top.

A shift in scale takes place, as Tariacuri's
Islanderness switches from only in contrast to Tariacuri demonstrates
his cousins to a pivoting in which Tariacuri is an his ability to become a
Islander in contrast to Zurumban Chichimec and an
Islander in relation to
outsiders


Episodes 10 through 12: Tariacuri Episodes 13 and Episode 15:
is an Islander in relation to his 14: Tariacuri's Tariacuri pivots and
cousins, a Chichimec in relation to Chichimecness becomes an
the Islanders. intensifies Islander in relation to
Zurumban

Figure 6-7. Episodes 10 through 15.

At the beginning of the episode, Tariacuri spends all day and all night gathering

woods in the mountains; therefore he is very high. Furthermore, he does not eat and

grows so gaunt and weak that he is white. At his aunt's suggestion, he visits Zurumban

who challenges him to shoot a hummingbird. This constitutes the "miraculous exploit"

(as explained in the chapter detailing the "Stranger-King," the stranger wins a native

princess through a "miraculous exploit") that allows him to win the indigenous princesses

and autochthonous riches of the Islanders. This feat also causes Zurumban to remark at

Tariacuri's skill in shooting, saying that this makes him a "true Chichimec."

As soon as Tariacuri shoots the hummingbird, however, he and Zurumban begin to

change identities. Tariacuri instructs Zurumban to fetch the arrow, and Zurumban does

as instructed. He thus moves, in opposition to Tariacuri, who remains still. This is the

same contrast between movement and immobility that separated Tariacuri from his









cousins in Episode 10. Furthermore, Tariacuri moves to a position inside with respect to

Zurumban, who moves outside. The morning after Tariacuri shoots the hummingbird he

is blackening himself with smoke and Zurumban puts a very fine blanket around him.

Tariacuri is thus inside a blanket, a product of women's labor (RM 1956:182, 208;

1970:18, 36) and Zurumban is outside the blanket. Thus Tariacuri, formerly a Chichimec

and thus an outsider, has moved to an inside position, while Zurumban, an Islander and

priest of Xaratanga, has become outside in relation to Tariacuri. Also, the fact that

Tariacuri is blackening himself with the smoke indicates his transformation: before the

visit to Zurumban he is white from not eating but now has turned black from the smoke.

Tariacuri also gains authority over Zurumban following the shooting of the

hummingbird. He tells Zurumban to fetch the bird and Zurumban obliges. Later in the

episode, Tariacuri lectures Zurumban and tells him to quit drinking so often, and to go on

raids for the goddess Xaratanga. Here again we see a reversal in terms of movement and

immobility, because the plan would have Zurumban as the roving and marauding

character in contrast to Tariacuri. Lastly and most explicitly Tariacuri says he is making

Zurumban a lord.

While the analysis presented here has focused on Tariacuri, in every context he is

juxtaposed with Zurumban. In this way the pivoting involves Tariacuri and Zurumban as

the two switch places. Tariacuri comes to embody qualities that formerly (i.e., Episodes

10 and 11) are attributed to the Islanders. Zurumban, in contrast, embodies the traits that

in those same previous episodes are attributed to Tariacuri.

This episode also furthers the collapse of scale that saw the shift in the duality

embodied by two separate groups of Chichimecs and Islanders to a royal dynasty









internally differentiated into Chichimec and Islander characters. In Episodes 10 through

12, Tariacuri was an Islander when juxtaposed with his cousins within the royal dynasty,

but in relation to the Islanders he is a Chichimec. After the deaths of his two cousins and

the events of Episodes 13 through 15, however, Tariacuri is the lone representative of the

royal dynasty. Through the actions of Episodes 13 through 15 he demonstrates the ability

to be both fully Chichimec and Islander, in contrast to other groups of the Lake Patzcuaro

area. Therefore once again the scale of this duality becomes smaller, shifting in this set

of episodes to the scale of one man.

Episode 16. When lord Chanhori in Coringuaro learns that Tariacuri has taken

another wife, he is outraged. He orders that Tariacuri be expelled from Hoataropexo.

There the Coringuaros cast the idol of Curicaueri into the corner of the temples and

renovate the temple in the colors of their patron god, Urendequauecara. Tariacuri and

his people leave and go to a mountain called Uhpapoato, where Tariacuri tells his priests

to take copper axes as an offering to Urendequauecara so that Chanhori might give them

some better land to live on. Chanhori rejects the request, and Tariacuri moves to Urexo

where the Chichimecs build a temple out of sod. The Coringuaros attack them there, but

the god Curicaueri makes the Coringuaros sick and Tariacuri's people capture and

sacrifice the Coringuaro warriors there. The heads of the Coringuaros are placed on

pikes. There were so many pikes that they made a large shadow. Tariacuri states that his

first wife has been a "valiant man" because she has caused the ldei, th of many men and

therefore the gods to be fed, as a valiant warrior would do. Tariacuri then moves to a

place named Querenda Angangueo, where the Coringuaros spy on him. They send

Zurumban 's son to assist in the spying because he can visit Tariacuri i iili/,t Tariacuri









suspecting anything. Tariacuri's aunt learns of the scheme and interrupts Tariacuri

ewting 1 ith Zurumban's son and tells Tariacuri what is happening. Zurumban's son

leaves, saying he cannot be at ease. Tariacuri and his people depart from Querenda

Angangueo and go to various towns, settlingfinally in Sant Angel where the lord of the

town welcomes him. End of Episode.

Once again the Coringuaros play the role of precipitators in this episode, moving

Tariacuri from a mountain settlement to Sant Angel, which is not said to be a town on a

mountains and appears to be a true village or city. In this way Tariacuri has moved from

up to down. Sant Angel is elsewhere mentioned as being the same town or very close to

a town named Uacapu, which is outside and southwest the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. Thus

in this episode he has remained outside while moving from up to down.

The war with Coringuaro reverses the actions of the two Episodes, 13 and 14,

preceding Tariacuri's pivoting in which Tariacuri's first wife sleeps with people from her

own town. The first wife's adultery breaks the rules of her marriage to Tariacuri and is at

a certain level incestuous, representing a conjunction of characters of the same category.

In this episode the Coringuaros suffer a violent disjunction as their heads are separated

from their bodies and placed on spikes following their fate as sacrificial offerings. The

gender inversion of Episodes 13 and 14, in which Chanhori is told that Tariacuri insults

the Coringuaro men by calling them women, is also reversed when Tariacuri comments

that his first wife has been a valiant man.

Episode 17. Soon after Tariacuri has settled in Sant Angel, he is approached by

messengers from Coringuaro. They demand the riches that Tariacuri has acquired by

making forays to the west (forays which the RM does not other n i\e mention). Tariacuri









tells them to sit and that the riches they have askedfor will be brought out. Chests full of

arrows are presented to the messengers, who complain that they were ordered to bring

back riches and not arrows. Tariacuri explains that the green arrows are named and are

the green feathers they ask for, and the other kinds of arrows have various names and are

the turquoise necklaces, silver, gold, red feathers, blankets, and corn, beans, and other

seeds that they requested. The messengers accept the arrows, but when the young lords

in Coringuaro (who appear to be ruling Coringuaro directly due to the old age of

Chanhori, the previous lord of Coringuaro) see what they have brought back and heard

what Tariacuri told them, they laugh and ask Tariacuri'sformer wife if she has heard

him call the arrows those names. She says no, that Tariacuri must be crazy. The lords of

Coringuaro break the arrows and burn them. Lord Chanhori learns of what has

transpired, and chides the younger lords, saying that perhaps the arrows were sacred.

.\Ni ily thereafter Tariacuri is approached by messengers from Pacandan who ask

him to return to Pdtzcuaro because the people ofPacandan, the Coringuaros, and the

people of Tariaran fight over Pdtzcuaro. He refuses to help them, and soon another

embassy from Xardquaro asks the same thing of him, because the Xardquaros had just

suffered a defeat at the hands of the people of Pacandan. Tariacuri tells the Xardquaros

to sell themselves into slavery and then he will help them and return to Pdtzcuaro. They

do this, and so at night Tariacuri climbs a mountain in Pdtzcuaro and blows a small

whistle imitating the cry of an eagle. This causes the warringparties toflee from

Pdtzcuaro and Tariacuri settles in that town. End of Episode.

This episode serves to return Tariacuri to a position within the Lake Patzcuaro

basin, furthering the Chichimec to Islander transition that begins when he shoots the









hummingbird and pivots, and continuing in the previous episode with his move from up

to down. Tariacuri moves to within the basin, returning to Patzcuaro. Thus he moves

inside and up while remaining south.

Furthermore he manages to maintain possession of the Islander riches that he

acquired along with the daughters of Zurumban. The Coringuaros attempt to take away

riches, many of which are the exact same items that Tariacuri received in the marriage.

Instead Tariacuri substitutes arrows, saying they represent the green feathers, turquoise

necklaces, silver, gold, red feathers, blankets, and corn, beans, and other seeds. Tariacuri

has managed to preserve the Islander riches that he acquired through his second marriage

while at the same time he has lost arrows, the primary hunting weapon and symbol of the

warrior Chichimecs (i.e., Hireticatame shoots his in-laws with arrows, Aramen shoots

Naca with an arrow, and Tariacuri shoots the hummingbird). Therefore at the same time

that Tariacuri moves from outside to inside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin, he even

strengthens his Islander identity by keeping the riches and shedding the Chichimec

identity associated with hunting and warring. The Coringuaros, furthermore, destroy the

arrows, demonstrating that arrows are not proper possessions for them. In this way they

fail to appropriate both the feminine wealth as well as the hunting ability characteristic of

Chichimecs. Tariacuri also enters the Lake Patzcuaro Basin in an improved position

compared to when he left to move to Hoataropexo. The Urendetiecha (people in first

place), the people of Xaraquaro, sell themselves following Tariacuri's orders. Only after

they have done this does Tariacuri return to Patzcuaro, and so the Chichimecs are no

longer inferior to the people of Xaraquaros because the latter have become slaves.









These two episodes (16 and 17) form a larger paradigm that reverses Episodes 13

and 14, which themselves from a paradigm. Tariacuri's intensifying "Chichimecness" in

Episodes 13 and 14, caused by his marriage to the Coringuaro princess, is reversed in

Episodes 16 and 17 with Tariacuri's increasing "Islanderness" that began with his

marriage to Zurumban's daughters and spurred on by the actions of the Coringuaros. In

this way Episode 15, Tariacuri's pivoting, serves as a dividing point not only of these two

pairs of episodes, but as will be shown, the narrative as a whole. The similar, but

reversed or inverted, events in the two pairs of episodes link one to another, as do the

places involved in the movements. Episode 13 begins with Tariacuri having just moved

from Patzcuaro, while Episode 17 ends with Tariacuri's return to Patzcuaro.

Episode 18. As soon as Tariacuri returns to Pdtzcuaro he starts asking about his

nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan, the sons of Zetaco andAramen. The story explains

that these nephews have not been mentioned since the expulsion of Zetaco andAramen

from Uacandmbaro at the hands of Zurumban so as to make them seem dead. Tariacuri

also sends his son Curdtame, whose mother is the woman from Coringuaro, Tariacuri's

first wife, to Coringuaro. Tariacuri orders Curdtame not to follow the example of the

people of that town, who get drunk everyday. Curdtame disobeys his father and so

Tariacuri disowns him. The story then follows the nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan, who

have traveled ~ i/th their mother and sister from Pechdtaro to Asaveto (Seler [1993]

recognized that their movement creates an arc outside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin to the

west and then north). In the market in Asaveto Hiripan and Tangaxoan eat scraps and

crumbs that people drop. A woman recognizes them and has them come live i/ ilh her,









where they watch over her cornfield, scaring off the birds and eating green ears of corn.

End of Episode.

Tariacuri's nephews, Hiripan and Tangaxoan begin the episode dead for all intents

and purposes, as is explained by the narrative. They turn out to be alive, however, and

move from Pechataro, a town just west of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin to Asaveto. There

they lead an impoverished existence, eating the scraps of food that people drop. They are

outside and north, as well as poor. Through the intervention of an aunt, a woman who

claims to be related to their fatherss, they move to a house where they eat corn. They

thus move from an impoverished condition or a condition of low social status to a higher

social status, all while remaining north and outside the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. The

present episode elaborates on the general contrast between lower and higher status that

appears in previous episodes (i.e., the political relationship between lord and sacrifice in

Episode 6 and the low status of slavery introduced when Zetaco and Aramen ate from the

granaries of the god Curicaueri in Episode 12) through the change in Hiripan and

Tangaxoan from a begging existence to an existence in which they have food.

Episode 19. Chapa (who we are later told is from Coringuaro), a lord in

Hetoquaro, learns that Hiripan and Tangaxoan ahlug ith their mother and sister have

settled 1 i/th their aunt. Chapa requests that Hiripan, Tangaxoan, their mother, and their

sister, be brought to his town so that they can make offerings to the god Curicaueri. The

aunt who has given them shelter hides the children from Chapa's messengers and then

tells Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and their mother and sister to go to Patzcuaro, because

Tariacuri has returned to that town. After traveling from town to town, Hiripan and

Tangaxoan ask their mother where they are going. Their mother replies that they will go









to Erongaricuaro because she has relatives there. In Erongaricuaro, Hiripan and

Tangaxoan promise to do servicesfor the lord such as bringing firewood for his house.

However, the two go to the mountains every day gathering wood that they take to the

temples rather than the house of the lord, and the lord of Erongaricuaro loses hope that

they will do anything useful for him, complaining that the two "are crazy for they wander

about the mountains like all Chichimecs who do not have houses" (RM 1970:172).

While Hiripan and Tangaxoan are out in the mountains, the lord expels their mother and

sister from his house. The brothers soon return, and ask their mother where they will go

next. Their mother replies that because the lord of Erongaricuaro was niggardly, they

will all go to Urichu. Hiripan and Tangaxoan make the same promises to the lord there

as in Erongaricuaro, but again they only gather wood for the temples day and night,

taking none to the house of the lord. All four are expelled from Urichu and move to

Pareo.

In Pareo, Hiripan and Tangaxoan again promise to serve the lord, but the lord

there welcomes them as true lords, and tells them to take wood to Curicaueri's temples in

Pdtzcuaro. Hiripan and Tangaxoan take wood to Pdtzcuaro, where Tariacuri has

continually been asking about them. On the third night that Hiripan and Tangaxoan take

wood to Pdtzcuaro, they are discovered by the elder priests in Pdtzcuaro, who tell them

to stay there while they fetch Tariacuri. The two brothers instead run back to Pareo, and

when the priests return it/h Tariacuri they are gone. The next morning Tariacuri sends

the priests to Pareo to bring his nephews to Pdtzcuaro. After the messengers bring the

nephews alog n ilth their mother and sister to see Tariacuri, the nephews live in houses









in a place called Yauacuytiro that Tariacuri had ordered made for them, and gather

wood to take to the temples. End of Episode.

Once again a Coringuaro character serves as the element that drives the plot

forward and ends the seemingly happy life Hiripan and Tangaxoan have found with their

aunt. Through the course of this episode, Hiripan and Tangaxoan move from outside to

inside and from north to south. They remain down throughout they entire episode; none

of the towns they temporarily inhabit nor their final settlement at Yauacuytiro are said to

be on a hill. They thus reverse their position of Episode 18, at the end of which they are

located outside and north of the Lake Patzcuaro Basin. In that episode they are united

with an aunt. In the present episode, however, their uncle Tariacuri replaces that aunt.

Therefore an inversion of gender also takes place in the protective "senior" figure.

Furthermore, the movements of Hiripan and Tangaxoan from Pareo to Patzcuaro are

reversed every time when they go back, and the repetition, even when the elder priests

find them, indicates that they cannot by themselves move permanently from Pareo to

Patzcuaro. Only when they are accompanied by Tariacuri's priests as they move from

Pareo to Patzcuaro do the nephews and their mother and sister move permanently from

one town to the other.

Because Hiripan and Tangaxoan take firewood to the temples in Patzcuaro, they are

found by the priests and ultimately brought to Patzcuaro permanently. The pious work of

Hiripan and Tangaxoan that causes their expulsion from Erongaricuaro and Urichu is

now rewarded in Pareo and Patzcuaro. This also establishes the proper role of the lords

of towns, which is to be generous and have wood brought for the temple fires, rules

which the lords of Erongaricuaro and Urichu break.









Furthermore, the union of Hiripan and Tangaxoan with Tariacuri reverses the death

and disappearance of their fathers, Zetaco and Aramen, in Episode 12. As their sons,

Hiripan and Tangaxoan are extensions and natural replacements for Zetaco and Aramen.

The town of Pareo provides an additional clue to the linkage between Hiripan and

Tangaxoan and their fathers Zetaco and Aramen. Pareo is the location of the market

where Aramen repeatedly went in order to sleep with a woman from Xaraquaro, thus

leading to his own death. In the present episode, Pareo is the place that Hiripan and

Tangaxoan leave to take wood to Patzcuaro repeatedly until they are brought to live with

Tariacuri permanently. The end of one set of characters is eventually reversed by the

introduction of equivalent characters. This only happens, however, after Tariacuri's

fundamental identity has changed. Once again Tariacuri is contrasted with members of

his own lineage. Therefore the scale of the Chichimec/Islander duality has now shifted to

a larger scale. Previously this duality was subsumed entirely, if only abstractly or as a

totality, within the character of Tariacuri. Now that this character has found his

Chichimec nephews, however, the Chichimec/Islander duality is extended to the scale of

the royal dynasty, and these identities are solidified by their location in space as well as

their actions.

There is another ramification of this reunion of Hiripan and Tangaxoan with

Tariacuri. In relation to Zetaco and Aramen, Tariacuri was younger, both in age and as a

son of the younger of the two Chichimec brothers Pauacume and Uapeani. Tariacuri is

now in a position of seniority, however, being one generation older than Hiripan and

Tangaxoan. In general terms, the Islander element within the royal dynasty has switched









from being junior to senior, as represented by Tariacuri. The Chichimec element has

reversed from senior to junior, as represented by Tariacuri's nephews.

Episode 20. Tariacuri decides to make his son Curdtame (his son by the

Coringuaro princess) lord in Pdtzcuaro. Tariacuri moves to a district ofPdtzcuaro

named Cutu. Curdtame does nothing but get drunk, and during a religious festival tells

Tariacuri to visit him the next day. Tariacuri arrives in the morning, drinks some

maguey wine which makes him drunk because he has not yet eaten auithiing. and asks his

son if they should not talk about their enemies. Curdtame is enraged, saying that

because he is now lord he should decide the topic of discussion. He seizes Tariacuri by

the throat and calls him an Islander. Tariacuri replies that it is true that he is not a lord

because he is an Islander, but Curdtame is not a lord because he is an upstart and a

newcomer. He concludes by saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan (his nephews) are the

true lords. Tariacuri returns to Cutu i/th the feathers he had intended to give his son,

and makes a lesser noble the lord in Pdtzcuaro instead of Curdtame. End of Episode.

This episode finalizes Tariacuri's movements in geographical space that follows his

pivoting in Episode 15 (see Figure 6-8). Tariacuri moves from Patzcuaro to a suburb

called Cutu, thus moving from up to down. As part of this move he makes his son

Curatame lord in Patzcuaro. The dispute between Tariacuri and Curatame further

connects Tariacuri's geographical location as down, south, and inside to the identity of

being an Islander. Nearly as soon as Tariacuri has moved from up to down he and

Curatame have an argument in which Curatame calls Tariacuri an Islander as an insult.

Meanwhile, Hiripan and Tangaxoan are on the mountains gathering wood the entire time.

At the same time that Tariacuri moves from up to down (remaining south and inside), his









The duality that Tariacuri embodies by himself is
divided between himself and his nephews, as
internal differentiation is reintroduced. The scale
of the duality shifts from small to large





Episode 16: Tariacuri Episode 17: Episodes 18 through 20: Tariacuri's
is expelled from Tariacuri keeps nephews move from North to South
Hoataropexo, and the wives and and Outside to Inside, Tariacuri settles
remains south and feminine riches, in Cutu and moves from up to down
outside while remaining south completing his transformation into an
moving from while moving from Islander, as he is united with his
up to down outside to inside Chichimec nephews
and down to up

Figure 6-8. Episodes 16 through 20

nephews who are gathering wood in the mountains move from down to up. Establishing

the relationship, Tariacuri returns with the feathers he intended to give his son Curatame

not to Patzcuaro but to Cutu. Instead of reassuming rule in Patzcuaro Tariacuri makes a

lesser noble the lord in Patzcuaro. This confirms Tariacuri's geographical movement as

significant, especially in relation to his nephews Hiripan and Tangaxoan. Tariacuri's

movement from up to down contrasts him with his nephews, who are now up.

The dispute between Tariacuri and Curatame also hints at the requirements of

legitimate authority. Tariacuri is now purely an Islander, and Curatame's accusation and

Tariacuri's own admission indicate that he cannot therefore be king. Tariacuri also

explains that Curatame cannot be king because he is an upstart; therefore he lacks some

quality of legitimate authority. In a passage of foreshadowing, Tariacuri claims that

Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be kings. First, however, they must be combined with the

proper characters with whom they will become kings.









Next Generation of Chichimecs and the Creation of the Tarascan Empire

Episode 21. A year after Tariacuri and Curdtame trade insults, Curdtame

captures a criminal and invites Tariacuri to participate in the feast at which the criminal

will be sacrificed. Curdtame also invites Hiripan and Tangaxoan although they may only

watch. Tariacuri has enough food and has his own feast at the foot of a mountain,

thereby rejecting Curdtame's invitation. Hiripan and Tangaxoan likewise spurn

Curdtame'sfeast, instead going about the mountains spying on the Islanders. Hiripan

and Tangaxoan happen upon Tariacuri'sfeast, and after some initial confusion Tariacuri

realizes they are his nephews. They all eat, and Tariacuri \,,,egt\\ to his nephews that

they go to Curdtame'sfeast. Hiripan and Tangaxoan refuse, saying it is a badplace and

that they would rather gather wood for the temples and spend their time in vigil.

Tariacuri asks if they mean what they say. They reply that they do. Tariacuri then

begins to lecture them, advising them to prepare 1thein,\1 'e/\ because they will be lords

over everything. End of Episode.

Due to the intervention of Curatame (he now takes over the role of precipitator, a

logical result given his Coringuaro parentage), Hiripan and Tangaxoan end up meeting

Tariacuri and his people on a hill. Thus a Chichimec and Islander conjunction takes

place in this episode, and it is Tariacuri who moves from down to up. Tariacuri provides

food for the nephews, and suggests that they go to Curatame's feast. They refuse, saying

that there are commoner people and "bad women" there, and that they would rather spend

their time in vigil. The piety of Hiripan and Tangaxoan, wanting to remain separate from

the commoners and bad women of Curatame's feast and serve the gods instead results in

a lecture in which Tariacuri foretells that they will be the rulers of a united empire.

Therefore Hiripan and Tangaxoan demonstrate the correct behavior of nobles, keeping a









distance between themselves and the common people and "bad women" at Curatame's

feast. Their behavior is contrasted with and provides the impetus for Tariacuri's lecture

that comprises the next episode.

Episode 22. In the lecture begun at the end of the previous episode, Tariacuri

advises his two nephews, Hiripan and Tangaxoan, saying that they should prepare

itheinere'\ to be lords. He names numerous towns that will not have lords and foretells

that Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be the only lords. As part of the lecture he relates

events in various towns which result in the absence of legitimate lords in those towns.

The events that occur in two towns and the fates of the towns are particularly relevant.

Tariacuri says that he gave apart of the god Curicaueri to a man named Chapa, who

was from Coringuaro, but whose mother was a commoner woman. Chapa won many

battles and took many captives, but took fewer and fewer captives to Pdtzcuaro to be

sacrificed to Curicaueri. Ultimately Chapa only took one captive to Pdtzcuaro, and

Tariacuri refused it because Chapa offered the rest of the captives to the Coringuaros. In

time Chapa established a large empire to the east of the Lake Pdtzcuaro Basin. Chapa

died and his children viedfor power. In Hetoquaro, one of the heirs' capitals, the priest

took off his insignia, mingled ~ iith the commoners and did a certain dance. Other priests

did the same, and even the cloistered women participated in the dance. It did not take

long before the men and women slept i ilh one another, and in time Hetoquaro was

overrun by weeds that grew rampant. Small trees began to bear fruit, and even very

young girls became pregnant. The elder women began making knives, building temples,

and getting drunk, and they were known as the Black, White, Yellow, and Red Cloud

Mothers. Because there were no men to tell the cloud mothers that such /thing\ had never









been done in the past or to maintain order, the cloud mothers dispersed and there was a

terrible drought. The empire that had been created was lost.

In the town of Zacapu a lord who was of low class sought a dream in which he

would be visited by the god Querenda Angdpeti. The lord, Caracomoco, slept on the

mountains in search of a dream, and then close to the temple, and then each night he

slept one step higher. Querenda Angdpeti learned of Caracomoco's actions and ordered

that no one will be lord in Zacapu but himself, Querenda Angdpeti. He ordered that

Caracomoco should marry a certain commoner woman, but that they should live apart,

only seeing each other every twenty days. Tariacuri explains that Caracomoco is now

dead and his wife acts as the lord of Zacapu, governing and carrying a shield and club.

Tariacuri exclaims that it is not the role of women to rule and for this reason the people

of Zacapu should depose her. Tariacuri ends his lecture by telling his nephews to go to

the house of the chiefpriest and hold vigil, and Hiripan and Tangaxoan do as Tariacuri

has advised them. End of Episode.

In this episode Tariacuri tells of disasters that befall certain towns, explaining why

they will not have lords and saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan will be kings and rule

over these towns. The two lengthy stories are similar in basic elements but represent

inverses of each other. Both Chapa and Caracomoco begin as lesser nobles at best, as

they are said to be of questionable parentage. Chapa does not take sacrifices to offer to

Curicaueri in Patzcuaro and thus fails to fulfill his relationship to that god, as Tariacuri's

remark implies. Caracomoco, on the other hand, gets too close spatially to the god

Querenda Angapeti, sleeping higher and higher on the steps on the temple. As a result,

Querenda Angapeti orders the man to marry a woman but live apart from that woman,









only seeing her every twenty days. Therefore a married man and a woman are permitted

to only have limited sexual contact. In contrast, the priests in Hetoquaro leave off their

insignia and dance with the commoners and the cloistered women sleep with the people.

Male/female relationships that are too distant in one story become male/female

relationships that are improperly close in the other. Both stories end with women

performing men's roles (building temples, making knives, acting as a lord, etc.) and

gender imbalance (the absence of men) that guarantees that there will be no lord in those

towns.

Both of these stories document relationships between humans and gods, nobles and

commoners, and men and women. The relationships, which are either too distant or too

close between gods and humans, men and women, and nobles and commoners, in these

areas ultimately result in the abandonment or illegitimate rule in these towns. They thus

stand in contrast to the behavior of Hiripan and Tangaxoan in the previous episode,

whose proper actions cause Tariacuri to lecture them and tell them that they will be kings

over all these towns.

Episode 23. Hiripan and Tangaxoan set up an ambush on a mountain and capture

an Islander noble named Zapiudtame. Zapiudtame requests to be taken to see Tariacuri,

and the nephews take him to see their uncle. Tariacuri takes the Islander into his house

and discusses matters i i/th him. After a short time Zapiudtame emerges from Tariacuri's

house 11 ith an oar on his shoulder and returns to his island. Tangaxoan is angered,

because he had captured the Islander and wanted to sacrifice him, but Tariacuri explains

to his nephews that Zapiudtame had come to ask if he and his Islanders couldput

/theine'l''\ under the protection of the god Curicaueri. Hiripan and Tangaxoan go make









arrows, and then go to the top of a hill overlooking the lake as their uncle Tariacuri had

ordered. Hiripan and Tangaxoan see the Islanders of Zapiudtame coming, followed by a

second group of Islanders who are chasing the first group. Hiripan and Tangaxoan

shoot their arrows at the second group, forcing this second group to stop chasing the first

group and turn back. After the first group of Islanders comes ashore, Tariacuri gives

them some land in Aterio, a town on the lake near Pdtzcuaro. The Islanders 1i ,v k il1

Hiripan and Tangaxoan, taking wood to the temples, going on forays, and farming.

Hiripan and Tangaxoan, aloug n ith the Islanders, establish th/weinm,,\ at

Queretapuzicuyo (this place is apparently synonymous with Ihuatzio because the name

means "place of the ballcourt" [Tudela RM 1956:119], and Ihuatzio was the location of

the only ballcourt in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin [Pollard 1980:686]). There they all are

prosperous, and they repeatedly cross the lake to visit Tariacuri and offer him the first

fruits of the harvest. End of Episode.

In this episode, Hiripan and Tangaxoan are combined with a group of Islanders. At

the beginning of the episode, Tangaxoan wishes to sacrifice Zapiuatame. Following the

Islander's meeting with Tariacuri, however, the Islanders join Hiripan and Tangaxoan.

Thus the Islanders are transformed from sacrificial victims to companions. The activities

of the combined group are important. Not only do they go on raids, hunt, and gather

wood for the temples at night but they also farm by day, growing corn and beans, taking

the first agricultural products as gifts to Tariacuri and the god Curicaueri. Thus they have

formed a productive totality, farming, hunting, and serving the gods. Furthermore,

Zapiuatame and his Islanders represent the Islander companions that Hiripan and

Tangaxoan, as Chichimecs, most associate themselves with. In this regard the Islanders









replace Tariacuri as the Islander counterpart to the Chichimec nephews. Tariacuri, in

turn, begins to fade into the background.

Episode 24. Curdtame, who is lord in Pdtzcuaro, learns of the success ofHiripan

and Tangaxoan and sends some messengers to ask Tariacuri why Hiripan and

Tangaxoan make bonfires and where Hiripan and Tangaxoan think they will be lords (the

implication is that Curdtame is the lord in Pdtzcuaro and therefore Hiripan and

Tangaxoan have no place to be lord). Tariacuri refuses to answer the messengers, telling

them to ask his two nephews. The messengers go to Hiripan and Tangaxoan and repeat

their questions, saying that Hiripan and Tangaxoan can come and serve Curdtame.

Tangaxoan is enraged and says that he and Hiripan will be the lords and that they will be

lords in Pdtzcuaro. The messengers are taken aback by Tangaxoan's tirade and relay his

response to Curdtame. Hiripan and Tangaxoan cross the lake again to visit Tariacuri,

who says he has a plan and %\/g''e.t\ that Hiripan and Tangaxoan take his younger son,

Hiquingaxe, bhtI k i/th them so that Hiquingaxe can be sacrifice. The two go and tell

Hiquingaxe what Tariacuri has said, and Hiquingaxe agrees, departing for Ihuatzio.

Hiripan and Tangaxoan go to tell Tariacuri the news, saying that Hiquingaxe has

already gone ahead. Once back in Ihuatzio, the three (Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and

Hiquingaxe) spend some time living in a cave. Hiripan and Tangaxoan eat wild weeds

and give corn that they roast to Hiquingaxe. End of Episode.

Curatame's actions once again spur the story onward, as they cause Hiripan and

Tangaxoan to visit Tariacuri. Tariacuri suggests that his son Hiquingaxe live with them

and be the sacrifice. Hiquingaxe accepts, and in the next scene they live in a cave. The

food serves to explain the identities of Hiquingaxe in relation to his cousins. Hiquingaxe









eats cooked, domesticated food in contrast to the raw, wild food that Hiripan and

Tangaxoan eat. This separates Hiquingaxe off from his cousins as the Islander of the

group and confirms the contrasting status of Hiripan and Tangaxoan as Chichimecs.

Hiquingaxe's position as sacrifice is also important. Remember in Episode 6 the

Chichimec brothers Pauacume and Uapeani (Tariacuri's father and uncle, respectively)

are brought to Xaraquaro to be sacrificers. Because the latter, as sacrificers, are not lords

and are subject to the orders of the lords, they are subservient to the Islander lords of

Xaraquaro. In the present episode, however, it is the Islander character who has become

the sacrifice, and as is evident later on, the Chichimecs Hiripan and Tangaxoan

(particularly Hiripan) are the leaders of the group. Therefore this episode represents a

reversal of certain categories and relationships in that much earlier episode.

Furthermore, Hiripan and Tangaxoan, the Chichimecs of the royal dynasty, are

senior in relation to Hiquingaxe, who is a member of the same generation. They remain

junior to Tariacuri, who is here being replaced by his younger son Hiquingaxe. The

parentage of Hiquingaxe is not given, but he does not appear prior to this episode. It is

reasonable to presume, because he is not mentioned previously and his parentage given

explicitly (in contrast to Curatame, who is mentioned immediately following Tariacuri's

marriage to his mother), that Hiquingaxe is the son of one of Tariacuri's Islander wives.

Therefore Hiquingaxe is very much an Islander, as the son of Tariacuri (who is at least

partly an Islander in both a genealogical sense and a behavioral sense) and an Islander

woman. Tariacuri continues to be replaced by other characters who take on his Islander

characteristics and he is less directly contrasted with his Chichimec nephews Hiripan and

Tangaxoan, and so is less directly an Islander. The ambiguity of his character, as









combining both Chichimec and Islander qualities, has been reproduced but polarized

(Turner 1985:77), that is, divided among multiple distinct characters in the next

generation of the royal dynasty.

Episode 25. Hiripan, Tangaxoan, andHiquingaxe decide to cross the lake after

some time, and Tariacuri gives them a share of the god Curicaueri, apart embodied by

an obsidian knife. Tariacuri instructs the three to build a shelter and altar for the knife,

but upon their return they build an entire temple complex, complete i/th a temple, house

for the priests, eagle house, and ark or box for the knife. They go and tell Tariacuri, who

is furious, saying that Curicaueri is not a common god and that he requires sacrifices for

such a complex, sacrifices that the three yl iuh\, do not have the means to obtain.

Tariacuri shoots an arrow at them, but misses as the three scurry out of the house. End

of Episode.

In this episode the three young lords are given a piece of the god Curicaueri but

build him an entire religious complex. They do not have the means to acquire sacrifices

for such a large complex however, and so they cannot fulfill their obligations to that god

and are therefore too distant from the god Curicaueri. This situation is therefore similar

to the actions of Chapa in Tariacuri's lecture in Episode 22 in which Chapa did not take

enough captives to Patzcuaro to be sacrificed, therefore not fulfilling his obligations to

the god Curicaueri.

Episode 26. Tariacuri ponders a way to redeem his nephews and son, and decides

to coerce the lord of the island of Pacandan into sending some of his people to be

captured by the Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe, so that the captives can be

sacrificed to Curicaueri. The three young nobles have no knowledge of Tariacuri 's plot,









but they only learn of the scheme when the lord ofPacandan sends a messenger to them

to renegotiate the number ofpeople that will be sent to be captured. The three complain

that they do no know what the messenger is talking about and to tell Tariacuri, but the

messenger says that by telling them he has done what he was ordered to do by his lord.

The messenger leaves, walking away i/ ith an oar on his shoulder. The three young

Chichimecs go and ask Tariacuri if he knows what the messenger spoke of and Tariacuri

reveals the plan to them. In the end, sixty islanders are captured, 11 i/h forty taken to

Pdtzcuaro and sacrificed, while the remaining twenty are sacrificed for the dedication of

the new temple in Queritaro (Ihuatzio). End of Episode.

Not only does this episode contain a union of Chichimec and Islander as the rift

between Tariacuri and the three young Chichimecs is erased, but more importantly the

inability of Hiripan, Tangaxoan, and Hiquingaxe to fulfill their obligations to the god

Curicaueri in the immediately preceding episode is rectified. This is significant because

this improper relationship is one of the pitfalls that Tariacuri warns Hiripan and

Tangaxoan about in Episode 22, in which Chapa does not offer a sufficient amount of

sacrifices to Curicaueri. In Episode 26, a similar event occurs within the royal dynasty as

the temples are built without the necessary sacrifices. Therefore to avoid the outcome

that is a result of Chapa's actions in Episode 22, obligations to the god must be met. In

this episode the royal dynasty, through the combined efforts of Tariacuri and the

Islanders of Pacandan, demonstrates that it has the ability to meet such obligations and

therefore can legitimately be lords.

The problem is rectified by acquiring people from Pacandan to be sacrificed at the

dedication of the new temples. This is a reversal of Episode 23 in which Hiripan and









Tangaxoan capture Zapiuitame. In that episode, Zapiuitame is transformed from a

sacrificial victim into a companion, as his Islander people join with Hiripan and

Tangaxoan going on raids and farming. In the present episode the Islander people from

Pacandan remain sacrificial victims. To solidify the link between the two episodes, in

Episode 23 Zapiuitame confers with Tariacuri while Hiripan and Tangaxoan are left

outside to wander what the two are talking about. Zapiuitame leaves, walking away with

an oar on his shoulder. In the present episode, Episode 26, a messenger is sent to tell the

Chichimecs that there will only be sixty people sent to be captured. The messenger tells

Hiripan and Tangaxoan, and so the renegotiation reverses the action in Episode 23 in

which Hiripan and Tangaxoan do not know what Zapiuitame and Tariacuri are

discussing. The messenger from Pacandan is even said to leave carrying an oar on his

shoulder, a seemingly needless detail, except that it links the messenger to Zapiuitame

and therefore the two episodes.

The addition of Hiquingaxe to Hiripan and Tangaxoan in Episode 24 completes the

reversals of the outcomes. The Pacandans cannot join Hiripan and Tangaxoan because

they are sacrificed. Hiquingaxe is the Islander character that replaces Zapiuitame in

joining his Chichimec cousins. In this way a character within the royal dynasty replaces

a character outside the royal dynasty as a companion to Hiripan and Tangaxoan.

Furthermore, in terms of the sequence of the plot, as sacrifice Hiquingaxe is a necessary

precondition for there to be sacrifices and therefore the new temples that