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Margarita Vargas-Betancourt


This paper compares elements of the modern Legend of Tepozteco to Mesoamerican and Catholic mythology.
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Prepared for delivery at the 2004 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Las Vegas, Nevada October 7-9, 2004

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LEGEND OF THE TEPOZTECO: MESOAMERICAN AND CATHOLIC MYTHOLOGY Margarita Vargas-Betancourt Stone Center of Latin American Studies Tulane University Prepared for delivery at the 2004 Meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Las Vegas, Nevada October 7-9, 2004 Tepoztlan, a town located south of Mexi co City, under a ridge of mountains known as the Ridge of Tepoztlan, has become a favorite subject of anthropological research. The reason for this is that its hist ory has exemplified the continuity of certain pre-Hispanic traditions and the transformation that the conquest produced in rural communities, as well as the change and resistance that the process of modernization has brought about in modern Mexico (Corona Caraveo, 1999: 15-16). Doubtless, the most renowned studies are Robert Redfield’s Tepoztlan, a Mexican Village (1930), Oscar Lewis’ Life in a Mexican V illage: Tepoztlan Restudied (1951) and Tepoztlan, Village in Mexico (1960), and Claudio Lomnitz-Adler’s Evolucin de una sociedad rural (1982). These studies are excellent anthropologi cal records of life in Tepoztlan (Tostado Gutirrez, 1998: 9). However, more than analyz ing the myths, they deal with the changes Tepoztlan underwent as moderniz ation and industrialization took place in the country. Philip K. Bock’s “Tepoztlan Reconsidered” (1980) complements these analyses because it explains why the traditional systems have survived in the town. The legends of Tepozteco and the ritu al in which he is commemorated are keynotes in the preservation and revita lization of collective memory. The word Tepozteco designates several entities. It refers to Tepoztecatl, the pulque god whose temple is on top of one of the mountains that make up th e ridge, but it also de notes the mountain per se, and sometimes it refers to the wind. Furthermore, it st ands for the mythic character that appears in several of th e legends that circulate in th is town. In these stories, Tepozteco is the local hero who liberates the people of Tepoztlan from the domination of the neighbor city Xochicalco. The celebration of Tepozteco every Sept ember 8th is probably the event that generates the strongest social cohesion in this community. On this date, Tepoztecans commemorate the two main patrons of the village: the Virgin of the Nativity and Tepozteco. According to popular belief the renowned Tepoztecan ruler received baptism on September 8. To celebrate this conve rsion, every year the Tepoztecans stage a dramatic performance that represents this event.


2 The purpose of this article is to identify the possible origins of the legend of the Tepozteco. The first part of this analysis is a description of the evolution of the story. It is followed by an account of the elements th at most versions have in common. Finally these components are compared to the Popol Vuh, as well as to Nahua and to Catholic mythology. THE TEPOZTECO LEGEND Evolution The principal object of this study is a co llection of several ve rsions of the legend of the Tepozteco. These come from differe nt sources found in the Latin American Library at Tulane University and from cultural institutions in Tepoztlan. They cover an extensive period of time. The earliest is from 1928, and the last one is from 2002. In chronological order, the first three acc ounts are the ones Pablo Gonzlez Casanova published in 1928 (versions A,B, and C).i In 1937 Apolonio H. Escalada published another version of the legend Like Gonzlez Casanova, he incorporated the Nahuatl original and a Spanish translation. A fift h account of the Tepozteco story is Robert Barlow’s interview with Genaro Veraza luz in 1942. The following relation is El Tepozteco segn Olivia, a Spanish account that a Tepoztecan maid told Gail Giachini in 1959.ii Angel Ziga Navarrete, a native from Tepoztlan, included the legend in his book Breve historia y narraciones tepoztecas, which was first published in 1995. Urbano Bello Daz’s “La historia del Tepozteco” participat ed in a story contest organized in 1995 by the Historical Center of Do cumentation of Tepoztlan. The pur pose of the project was to “collect and broadcast the hist orical memory that the Tepoztecans had kept until that moment, so that this would not be lo st forever” (Tostado Gutirrez, 1998: 10; the translation is mine ). In 1998, the National Institu te of Anthropology and History (INAH) published the stories that participated in this contest. The next story comes from an electronic source. It can be found at the website Red Escolar a project that the Mexican government designed “to provide current and relevant information to elementary school stude nts and teachers” ( The translation is mine ). The last version of the legend is an interview that I conducted on August 3rd, 2002 in Tepoztlan. The narrator of this stor y is an elementary school teacher named Mario Flores Oropeza. After collecting the different versions of the legend, I identified the main units of action of each one in order to find out whether these units coincided or not.iii The stories prior to 1959 differed a great deal; th erefore, it is possible to say that until 1959, there were five separate legends. In one of these stories, Tepozteco killed Xochicalcatl, the monster-king of Xochicalco, who subjug ated the people of Morelos. After this victory, Tepozteco stole the teponaxtli the symbol of power held by the people of Cuernavaca, and took it to Tepoztlan. In a nother legend, the ugly Tepozton raised the bells to the belfries of Mexico City’s cathedral.iv A third legend narrates that Tepozteco was a young foreign warrior who became the chief of Tepoztlan. One day he saw the daughter of the king of Xochicalco, and he requested her in marriage. Since the king refused, Tepozteco and his people destroyed Xochicalco (Muller, 1949: 47). Florencia Muller also documented a fourth legend. In it the king of the Chichimecs fell in love with Chimalma, the daughter of the lord of Te poztlan. He threw some arrows at her, but she ignored him. Consequently, he turned her in to a deer and rode her. They had a son:


3 Tepozteco (1949: 46-47). Finally in the last legend known as El reto del Tepozteco the lords of other communities of the region defi ed the ruler of Tepoztlan because he had received baptism and thus betrayed their ancient gods. At the end of the story, Tepozteco convinced them to convert. This is the episode that the Tepoztecans represent every September 8. By the end of the twentieth century the most important legends were incorporated into one long cycle; conseque ntly, they shared the main units of action. Narrative sequence Throughout the twentieth century, the ep isodes that constitute the basic legend have remained the same: I. Tepozteco was conceive d in an immaculate manner. Nine out of the ten versions studied start with this episode (1928A, 1928C, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). However, the identity of TepoztecoÂ’s mother varies. In some versions, she was an ol d woman (1928A); in others, she was a young woman (1928C, 2001), a nun (1937), a priestess (1942), or the wi fe of a polygamous king (1959). In respect to fatherhood, six of nine episodes recognize that the wind, either in a pure manifestation (1928A, 1998, 2001) or in a birdlike one (1928C, 1995, 2002), was the father. Therefore, the idea that Tepozt eco was the son of the wind has persisted. Another element that has been carried on is th at Tepozteco was conceived in a spring at the bottom of the Ehecatepetl Mountain (1928A, 1995, 2001, and 2002). II. Someone attempted to kill the baby. In eight out of the ten stories, after Te pozteco was born, either his mother or his grandparents tried to get rid of him (1928A, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). In four of these cases (1928A, 1959, 1995, 1998), they followed the same course of action. First they placed him on top of an anthill, but instead of biting him, the ants fed the baby with crumbs. Then, they put him inside the leaves of a maguey plant; however, the leaves bent towards the baby a nd fed him with their sap. Finally, they put him inside a box and either left him in the rive r or in the ravine so that when it rained, it would go away. III. The baby was a dopted. In most of the accounts, an old coupl e found and adopted the baby (1928A, 1937, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). In the 1942 version, the adoptive parents were the ruler of Tepoztlan and his daughter. IV. Tepozteco became a marvelous hunter. As the son of the wind, in his chil dhood Tepozteco revealed magical hunting powers (1928A, 1942, 1995, 1998, and 2002). He s hot directly into the sky, and then game fell. In this manner, he suppor ted his senior adoptive parents. V. Tepozteco decided to confront Xochicalcatl. In all of the accounts Xochicalcatl lived in Xochicalco and required victims to sacrifice or to eat. In the earliest account s, he was characterized as a giant (1928A, 1928B), as a king (1937, 1942, 1959), or as a nonspecified monster (1942). In the most recent accounts, he was a serpent (1998, 2001) or a dragon (2002). This might reflect


4 influence from western fairy ta les and Hollywood impact. Xo chicalcatl requested one or both of TepoztecoÂ’s adoptive parents as tr ibute, and Tepozteco took the place of the victim. In most of the accounts (1928A, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1998), he told his parents that they would see a column of white smoke if he was successful, of bl ack smoke, if he was unsuccessful. VI. During his peregrination, he tran sformed and named the landscape (1928A, 1942, and 1995). In the 1928A and 1942 stories, he turn ed some of his captors into hills or into rocks, whereas in the 1995 version, he left th e mark of his knees and hands on one rock. In two accounts (1928A and 1995), he drew figures on mountain rocks. VII. He picked up flints (1928A, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). VIII. Once he arrived to Xochicalco, he began transforming himself into different animals. In one version (1928A), he turned into a rooster, a snake, a fish, a deer, a hawk, a rabbit, a coyote, a wolf and a tiger, while in another (1995), he be came a rooster and a tiger. By continually transforming himself, Tepozteco evaded the assistants of Xochicalcatl (1928A, 1937, 1995). IX. Tepozteco defeated Xochicalcatl (1928A, 1928B, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). Xochicalcatl swallowed Tepoz teco, but Tepozteco cut the monsterÂ’s stomach with the flints picked up on the road, and thus, Tepozteco killed Xochicalcatl. As a sign of victory, he sent a column of white smoke. X. He went to Cuernavaca and stole the teponaxtli (1928A, 1928B, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). In five of these stories (1928A 1937, 1995, 1998, and 2002) another episode precedes the theft. Tepozteco was dismissed from the celebration in Cuernavaca because he was wearing rags. When he changed clot hes, they let him in, but as a protest he poured the food onto his clothes. After this event, he stole the teponaxtli by producing a wind storm that blinded everybody. XI. Tepozteco fled to Tepoztlan. Some of the accounts specify the rout e he followed when the people of Cuernavaca persecuted him (1928A, 1928B, 1995, a nd 1998). Another element that most versions share is that during the flight, Tepozteco created CuernavacaÂ’s ravine with water, either his urine or wate r from his gourd (1928A, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1995, 1998, 2001, and 2002). XII. He arrived to the Ehecatepetl Mountain and defeated the people from Cuernavaca. In some versions his persecutors tried to cut the mountain and left when they realized they could not (1928A, 1959, 1995, 2001, and 2002). In others, the wind blew away his enemies (1937) or turned them into the stone steps of the mountain (1998). In another story, Tepozteco transf ormed them into coyotes (1942). XIII. Tepozteco became the ruler or king of Tepoztlan (1995, 2001).


5 As king of Tepoztlan, he went to a celebration in Cuernavaca. XIV. He raised the bells of Mexi co CityÂ’s cathedral (1928C, 1937, 1995, 1998, and 2002). Although the accounts that Gonzlez Casa nova published in 1928 reveal that this episode was very likely a separa te legend in the early part of the century, in four later versions (1937, 1995, 1998, and 2002) it is incorporat ed into the main story. Basically this legend follows the same structure in the five versions. Tepozteco produced a windstorm to raise the bells. As a reward, he obtained a box with doves that would bring prosperity to Tepoztlan; how ever, the people of the town opened the box, and the doves flew to other cities. In this ma nner, Tepoztlan was doomed to poverty. In general, the continuity of the story is remarkable. Basic elements were repeated over and over through a time span of seventy-four years. Perhaps this phenomenon is the result of the increased interest in Mexican folklore that followed the demise of the Mexican Revolution. In the 1920s, a reeval uation of MexicoÂ’s indigenous roots took place (Kartunnen, 1998: 440). It was then that researchers such as Frans Boas began to collect animal fables, moral tale s, and other accounts in Nahuatl ( zazanilli ) (1998: 440). The foundation of the Colonia Tepozteco in Mexico City is another example. The Tepoztecans who left their village because of the Revolution established this society with the purpose of preserving their cultural her itage, for instance, the Nahuatl language of Tepoztlan (Lewis, 1960: 22). Perhaps the publi cation of TepoztecoÂ’s legend was part of this process. Moreover, in 1932, Enrique Villamil Tapia and Lea ndro Garca, former members of the Colonia Tepozteco who had returned to their village, reinitiated the staging of the Reto during the September 8th festivity. This celebration and the staging of the play had been suspended during the Mexican Revolution and the period of unrest that followed it (Tostado Gutirrez, 1998: 216). It is likely that the reestablishment of this commemoration helped to uphold th e oral traditions of the town. Another reason for the interest of the community in the Tepozteco legend, and thus of its permanence, is that this story has played an important role in the peoplesÂ’ resistance to economic projects that have threatened the ecological, cultural, and social identity of their town. One example is the 1994 movement against the establishment of a golf club in Tepoztlan (C orona Caraveo, 1999: 58). THE LEGEND OF THE TEPOZTECO AND THE POPOL VUH There is a striking similarity between the structure and the content of the legend of the Tepozteco and that of the Hero twinsÂ’ cycle in the Popol Vuh. First of all, like Tepozteco, Hunahpu and Xbala nque were born from a virgin maiden. Blood Moon conceived the twins when the skull of On e Hunahpu spitted in her hand (Tedlock, 1996: 99). For both the mother of Tepozteco and the mother of the twins getting pregnant implied a transgression; therefore, in both cases, their fathers became very angry with them. In the legend from Morelos, the father of the pregnant maid, or the maid herself, attempted to kill the baby to hide the offense; in the Popol Vuh the father of the twinsÂ’ mother decided to kill her. The second episode is analogous in the tw o legends. TepoztecoÂ’s grandfather, his emissaries, or his mother tried to get rid of the baby by taking him to an anthill and


6 afterwards to a maguey plant. Hunahpu’s and Xbalanque’s grandm other and their halfbrothers, One Monkey and One Artisan, decided to kill the twins too. First, they took the babies to an anthill, but Hunahpu and Xbala nque did not die (Tedlock, 1996: 104). Then, they placed the babies over so me brambles (1996: 104). Both Tepozteco and the twins survived and flourished. In the third episode, Tepozteco and the Popol Vuh heroes became great hunters. However, the former used a bow and arrows as weapons, while the latter used blowguns (1996: 38). In the two stories, the legenda ry heroes supported their families with the animals they hunted (1996: 105). Afterwards, Tepozteco confronted and defeated the giant-king-monster-snakedragon Xochicalcatl, while Hunahpu and Xbala nque confronted two giant monsters. The first was a crocodilian monster named Zipacn who had formerly killed “the gods of alcoholic drinks, the Four Hundred Boys” ( 1996: 35). He killed them after they got drunk with the “sweet drink” ( pulque ) they had made (1996: 83). Then, they became the Pleiades: “Such was the death of those Four Hundred Boys. And it used to be said that they entered a constellation, na med Hundrath after them, though perhaps this is just a play on words” (Tedlock, 1996: 84). The asso ciation among the twins, Zipacn and the four hundred pulque gods is probably the most impor tant connection between the legend of the Tepozteco and the Popol Vuh. There is however one difference: Zipacn killed the four-hundred pulque gods in the Popol Vuh, whereas one of these four-hundred deities [Tepozteco] killed Xochicalcatl. Tepozteco, known in pre-Hispanic times as Tepoztecatl was one of the fourhundred Aztec gods of pulque. In the Popol Vuh, Zipacn killed the Four Hundred Boys after they had made pulque It is very likely that this story is related to the Aztec legend of the creation of this alc oholic drink, which, according to Sahagn, was a c limactic point in the migration of the Mexica. The woman who discovered “the boring of the maguey was Mayahuel” and the man “w ho discovered the stick, the r oot, with which wine was made was Patecatl” (Sahagn, 1961: 193). Then other gods intervened in the creation of pulque : Tepuztecatl, Quatlapanqui, Tlilhoa, Papaiztac, Tzocaca. In the mountain Chichinauhia, they prepared a wine that excelled and that foamed up, because of this they called the mountain Popoona ltepetl (1961: 193). The na me Chichinauhia probably refers to the Chichinautzin ridge, whic h is the first mountain that makes up the escarpment where the Tepozteco ridge is located. According to Tedlock, in the Popol Vuh, the death of the Four Hundred Boys “corresponds to early-evening settings of thes e stars. At the earthly level, among contemporary Quichs, the Pleiades sym bolize a handful of seeds, and their disappearance in the west marks the proper time for the sowing of crops” (Tedlock, 1996: 35). Having long ago measured the orienta tion of the temple located in the Tepozteco Ridge (Aveni and Gibbs, 1976), Anthony Aveni believes that the temp le was aligned to the celestial events that marked the beginning and the end of the agricultural cycle during the contact period (ca. 1550) (personal comm unication with Prof. Aveni, March 2002). According to him, five hundred years ago in the last half of March and nowadays in the first half of April, from the entrance to the temple but looking outwards along its perpendicular axis to the west north (25 NW), one could observe that in the evening, the Pleiades set exactly on the axis of the pyramid and just to the west of the sunset point


7 (personal communication with Prof. Aveni, Ma rch 2002). This event coincided with the beginning of the agriculture cycle. Therefore, it is very likely that for the Tepoztecans, as for the Quichs, the movement of the Pleiades marked this event.v Going back to the content of both legends, it is interesting that in the two stories, the heroes defeated their monster enemies through food. Tepozteco killed Xochicalcatl after it swallowed him. H unahpu and Xbalanque enticed Zipacn into a crevice of a mountain with the promise of treats. Then they made the mountain fall on him (Tedlock, 1996: 85). They killed Earthquake, Zipacn’s brother, in a similar manner. They made him eat a bird that had a spell and was coat ed with earth. When Earthquake ate it, he died (1996: 35, 87). In the two stories, eatin g is associated with self-magnification. The Hero twins killed Zipacn and Earthquake with food as a punish ment for their arrogance. In the celebration at Cuernavaca, Tepozteco poured the contents of his plate onto his clothes to protest that the people of this town only allowed him in when he wore pretentious clothing. In the next episode, Tepozteco, Hunahpu, and Xbalanque accepted their death and literally plunged into it; furthermore, the three deaths are in one way or another related to food. After transforming into different animals in order not to be cooked, Tepozteco jumped into Xochicalcatl’s mouth. Even though Hunahpu and Xbal anque had passed the tests set to them and defeated the lords of Xibalba in the ball game, they knew that their passing away was inevitable (1996: 130). Thei r captors teased them because they would be killed inside an oven: “They must come. We’ll go with the boys, to see the treat we’ve cooked up for them” (1996: 131). When the time came they jumped into the oven: “They grabbed each other by the hands and we nt head first into the oven” (1996: 131). However, the twins revived (1996: 132), and so did the Tepozteco. After Hunahpu and Xbalanque resurrecte d, they reappeared “as two vagabonds” (1996: 132). Then they tricked the lords of Xibalba into asking the twins to sacrifice them, and by doing so they defeated these lords (Tedlock, 1996: 138). Tepozteco arrived dressed in rags to Cuernavaca. However, un like the twins, because of this he was not accepted. So he changed clothes, and then he tricked the people of Cuernavaca by blinding them with wind and stealing their teponaxtli Finally, both stories justify hegemony; the Popol Vuh, that of the Quichs; the legend of the Tepozteco that of Tepoztlan. Nevertheless, as early as 1937, the people of Tepoztlan inserted the story of the bells of Mexico City’s cathedral into the Tepozteco legend. It is possible that this tale existe d until 1928 (version C) as a separate story. Perhaps the Tepoztecans incorporated it into the main account to explain the manner in which Tepoztlan’s destin y switched from one of supremacy to one of poverty. During the precontact era, in the Cla ssic period (Muller, 1951: 454) as well as in the post Classic one (Haskett, 1991: 9), Tepoz tlan was an important settle ment. However, during the colonial period and after Mexico’s independence from Spain, many Tepoztecans lost their land to the haciendas, and they were forced to work there (Lewis, 1960: 20). The Mexican revolution worsened the situation (T ostado Gutirrez, 1998: 185) For several decades, the people of this town endured hardsh ip. It is likely that the episode in which the Tepoztecans let the prosperity’s dove fl y away explains the fate of the town.


8 So far, the resemblance between the Popol Vuh and the Tepozteco legend is extraordinary; both fit in content and structure. However, there is one separate event in the Popol Vuh that resembles another one in the legend of the Tepozteco, even if it doesn’t match the structure of this story. When the Quich lords went to Tollan to acquire rulership, they found the Lord Plumed Serpent (possibly Quetzalcoatl), and they were amazed because he turned himself into different animals: On one occasion he would climb up to the sky; on another he would go down the road to Xibalba. On another occasion he would be serpentine, becoming an actual serpent. On yet another occasion he woul d make himself aquiline, and on another feline; he would become like an actual eagle or a jaguar in his appearance. On another occasion it would be a pool of blood; he would become nothing but a pool of blood. Truly his being was that of a lord of genius. All the other lords were fearful before him. (1996: 186). These transformations recall those the Tepozteco underwent as the people of Xochicalco tried to cook him: Entonces cargaron con l los topiles y fueron a ponerlo en una gran cazuela para que se cociese; pero se cuenta que no se coca, sino que se converta sucesivamente en gallo, en culebra, en pescado, mientras que el Xochicalcatl desfalleca de hambre […] Se lo llevaron y lo arrojaron al horno, pero apenas cay dentro empez a transformarse sucesivamente en diversos animales: vena do, gaviln, conejo, coyote, lobo, tigre (Gonzlez Casanova, 1928: 45). [Then, the topiles carried Tepozteco and put him in a big pot to cook. But the story says that he did not cook, instead he transformed into a rooster, a snake, a fish, while Xochicalcatl was starving […] They [the topiles] took him to the oven, but as soon as he was inside he began to transform into different animals: deer, hawk, rabbit, coyote, wolf, tiger] ( The translation is mine ). One hypothesis to explain the similarity between the Popol Vuh and the Tepozteco legend is Maya influence in centr al Mexico during the Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900). According to Tedlock, one exam ple is “Mayan presen ce at Xochicalco and Cacaxtla” after the fall of Teotihuacan (T edlock, 1996: 22). However, it is likely that the legend of the creation of pulque by the Four Hundred Boys in the Popol Vuh originated in central Mexico, fo r it is related to the mountains of this region. This fact suggests that the cultural influence was on th e other direction, from central Mexico to Guatemala’s highlands. Munro S. Edmonson ex plained that there were “five waves of major Mexican contact with Guatemala, to judge from archaeological remains: (1)


9 Olmec, (2) Teotihuacano, (3) Toltec, (4) Nahuat, and (5) Aztec” (Edmonson, 1985: 107). He believed that during the early postclassic period, Nahua speakers introduced into the “western Guatemalan area” “motifs to Quiche mythology” (1985: 111). One of these was the Hero twins’ destructi on of Seven Parrot and his s ons, Zipacn and Being an “extra creation,” this episode alters the original cycles of creation (1985: 111). As it has been said before, this episode is very similar to Tepozteco’s victory over Xochicalcatl. Consequently, the sources for the Tepozteco might not be Maya but Nahua. THE “LEGEND OF TEPOZTECO” AND NAHUA MYTHOLOGY Myth of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli The Tepoztecan story resembles this myth because most of the versions emphasize that as a child Tepozteco was a hunter who did marvelous deeds with his bow and arrows. This might be an example of the Nahua people’s commemoration of their Chichimec past. According to Torquemada, the Chichimecs were wild people who wore skin clothes; their weapons were bow and arrows, their principal activity was hunting, and they lived in caves (Torquemada, 1975: 58).vii Henry B. Nicholson identified Mixcoatl-Camaxtli as the chief of the gods of his category “the MixcoatlTlahuizcalpantecuhtli Complex.” These deities represented the way of life of the Chichimec ancestors: hunting and gathering (Nicholson, 1971: 426).viii Thus, MixcoatlCamaxtli was the god of the hunters: Del Idolo Camaxtli, de quien se ha hecho aqui mencion, eran mui devotos los Caadores, porque le s aiudasse a caar, teniendolo por favorable, y propicio para el efecto de la caa; y asi, quando querian ir caar, pescar, primero se sacrificaba n, y le ofrecian su sangre, otras cosas (Torquemada, 1723: 80). Like Huitzilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl, in the ancient historie s, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli is also described as one of the Chichimec leaders who took his people from the north to central Mexico: “Estos teochichimecas tenan por dios a Camaxtle (que es el mismo que los mexicanos llamaron Huitzilopuc htli), el cual hablaba con e llos y les deca y revelaba todo lo que haban de hacer y en que part es y lugares haban de poblar y permanecer” (Torquemada, 1975: 356). Another element in common between the myths of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli and Huitzilopochtli can be found in the Cdice Chimalpopoca. Four hundred mixcoas led the Chichimecs during their peregrination, but Itzpapalotl ate them. The only one who escaped was Iztacmixcoatl, also known as Mixcoaxocoyotl or Mixcoatl junior ( Cdice Chimalpopoca, 1975: 3). Iztacmixcoatl killed Itzpap alotl by invoking the four hundred dead mixcoas This story resembles considerably the myth of Huitzilopochtli’s birth, as well as the destruction of the Four Hundred Boys or the gods of pulque in the Popol Vuh. The legend of Iztacmixcoatl is also associated with that of Quetzalcoatl. Myth of Quetzalcoatl The first point of contact between the “Legend of Tepozteco” and Quetzalcoatl’s myth is their conception. As discussed in Chapter III, Chimalma conceived Quetzalcoatl after swallowing a precious green stone, a chalchihuitl ( Cdice Chimalpopoca, 1975: 7).


10 The Immaculate Conception of Quetzalcoatl e vokes that of Tepozteco, especially in the 1937 version, in which a priestess became pregnant after swallowing a bead. There is a striking resemblance between the wind’s role in the conception of Tepozteco and that of Quetzalcoatl as a wind god in the creation of pulque. As soon as the gods had created man, they decided to ma ke something that c ould provide him with joy. Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl, the wind god, went to the second heaven, to look for the virgin goddess Mayahuel. He kidnapped her from the monstrous Tzitzimime spirit that guarded her and took her to earth. There, Ehecatl and Mayahuel transformed each into a branch and joined one another in one tree. But the Tzitzimime spirit, sometimes identified as Mayahuel’s grandmother, went af ter her. Mayahuel tried to flee, but in the attempt, “her grandmother” captured her, broke her apar t, and gave the pieces to other Tzitzimime spirits. They devoured them, but left so me crumbs behind. When they had left, Quetzalcoatl picked up these pieces; as soon as he touched them, they became bones. He buried them and cried over them. Some time later, a plant with a very peculiar shape grew from that spot. The tears of the wind god had given new life to Mayahuel. Moreover, the tears became the juice in the heart of the plant, which would later be turned into pulque. This heart was surrounded by bone-lik e leaves with lateral thorns that looked like bloody teats, in order to recall Mayahuel’s suffering (Mateos Higuera, 1994: 11-21). Quetzalcoatl (representing wind) and his tears (representing water) gave life to the maguey and to pulque The same elements that brought pulque into existence were implicated in the conception of Tepozteco (a pulque god), for it was the wind or its manifestation (a bird’s feather) that impregn ated a woman who was bathing in a spring. Consequently, Tepozteco was the son of the wind just as pulque was Quetzalcoatl’s creation. In the sixteenth or early seventeenth cen tury, Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl wrote an account similar to the birth of Tepoz teco and the mythical creation of pulque. Nicholson included this story among the “Lat e Probably Distorted, Versions of the Basic Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tollan Tale” (Nic holson, 2001: 100). In it, one manifestation of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was born as the son of “the next-to-last Toltec ruler, Tecpancaltzin or Iztaccaltzin” in the year Ce Acatl (Nicholson, 2001: 124). This boy was named Meconetzin ‘nio de l maguey’ (2001: 117), and his birth recalls that of Tepozteco. A beautiful girl named Xochitl and her parents visited the ruler of Tollan, Tecpancaltzin, to offer him what they had di scovered: “la miel prie ta de maguey” (2001: 117). Without her parents’ knowledge, Tecp ancaltzin made her hi s concubine, and she gave birth to Meconetzin. Her parents we re very distressed when they found out the truth, but the Toltec ruler appeased them when he promised that this boy would be his successor (2001: 117). In the Histoyre du Mechique the resemblance between the “Legend of Tepozteco” and the myth of Quetzalcoatl goes fu rther than their birth. In it, Quetzalcoatl is the son of two gods: Camaxtli and Chimalma. Since his mother died at childbirth, his grandparents raised him. Then he was taken to his father. Out of jealousy, his brothers made several attempts to kill him but failed (note the similarity with the Popol Vuh ). At the same time, Quetzalcoatl stood out as a great hunter. Since his father had discovered Quetzalcoatl’s brothers’ plan to kill him, they tried to eliminate him, but Quetzalcoatl saved him and killed his br others (Nicholson, 2001: 13).


11 Another similarity between the “Legend of Tepozteco” and that of Quetzalcoatl is that a peregrination followed a conflict with a major enemy. After defeating Xochicalcatl and stealing Cuernavaca’s teponaztli, Tepozteco travelled from Xochicalco to Cuernavaca and then back to Tepoztlan. Se veral versions of the legend list how he transformed and named the landscape as he crossed it (see below). According to Nicholson, in the codices Telleriano-Remensis and Vaticanus A Quetzalcoatl led the Toltecs away from a monster that the pe ople had brought upon them due to their transgressions (2001: 71). Nicholson adds that in the Histoyre du Mechique and in fray Gernimo de Mendieta’s Historia eclesistica indiana, Tezcatlipoca personified this monster. In the former, he terrified Quetza lcoatl because he “transformed himself into several different animals a nd monsters” (Nicholson, 2001: 14). In the latter account while Tezcatlipoca played ball with Quetzalcoatl (note the similarity with the Popol Vuh ), he turned into a jaguar. Quetzalcoatl was horrified, and he left with his people (2001: 59). Tezcatlipoca’s tr ansformations recall those of Tepozteco (see below). A great difference between Tepozteco and Quetzalcoatl is that the former defeated his enemy, whereas the latter was defeated and thus had to flee. However, both undertook a peregrination. Like Tepoztec o, Quetzalcoatl stopped in sp ecific places, m odified each place into its final form by his actions, for example, by leaving the mark of his hands on stones: “y puso muy muchas seales en la s tierras y caminos segn que dicen” (Sahagn, 1997: 203), and named places (1997: 202), “y dio todos los nombres a las sierras y montes y lugares” (1997: 204). The fate of Tepozteco’s enemies, the people from Cuernavaca, is analogous to that of some of Quetzalcoatl’s followers. In some versions, with his urine or with water from his gourd, Tepozteco created a ravine that separated him from his enemies. In others, he turned his enemies into hills or into rocks. According to Nicholson, in the codices Telleriano-Remensis and Vaticanus A, several of Topiltzin’s followers fell into a ravine that sealed on top of them; others carved a tunnel to pass through a mountain, but the mountain fell on them, and they turned into stone (note the similarity with Zipacn’s deat h) (Nicholson, 2001: 71). In Mendieta’s Historia eclesistica indiana, the people who observed the game in which Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into a jaguar were so frightened “that they stampeded into a barranca, through which a river flowed close by, and drowned” (2001: 59). In many accounts, for instance in the Histoyre du Mechique and in Mendieta’s account, when Quetzalcoatl arrives at the end of his peregrination, he dies, is cremated, and ascends into the heavens transformed into a star, Venus (Nicholson, 2001: 16, 59). The Histoyre de Mechique emphasizes that the smoke that came from his body turned into Venus (2001: 16). Perhaps the column of smoke that indicat ed the victory of Tepozteco evokes this event. As a matter of fact, version G ends when the Virgin of Nativity transformed Tepozteco into the morning star. In many of the stories (I, G, J), like Quetzalcoatl, Tepozteco went to an unknown place. However, almost the same versions (H, I, J) mention that it is very likely that he went to La Casa del Tepozteco. Quetzalcoatl’s legend blends with that of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli and of Huitzilopochtli. In Diego Muoz Camargo’s Historia de Tlaxcala, when the Teochichimeca arrived at th e province of Teohuitznahua, their leader, MixcoatlCamaxtli, married one of the principal noble women of the re gion: Coatlicue. She gave birth to Quetzalcoatl (Nicholson, 2001: 82). In a letter from Viceroy don Antonio de Mendoza to his brother don Diego de Mendoza, later paraphrased by Gonzalo Fernndez


12 de Oviedo, Moctezuma’s legend inte rmingles with that of the th ree deities. It starts with the coming from the north of four hundred warriors led by Captain Orchilobos (Huitzilopochtli). After seve ral battles, they settled in the middle of the lake. Orchilobos conquered several towns and then left, promising that he w ould return (2001: 89). Some years later, a priestess of the temple of this deified captain picked up a feather that had fallen from the idol. She became pregnant and gave birth to Guateuma (Moctezuma). No one believed that this had been an immacu late conception; hence, she was banished from Tenochtitlan. However, Guateuma grew up to become a great warrior. He entered the Tenochca army and died fighting against Tascala (Tlaxcala) (2001: 89). Myth of Huitzilopochtli The mythical birth of Huitzilopochtli para llels the Immaculate Conception of the Hero twins, Quetzalcoatl, and Tepozteco, as well as the killing of the Four Hundred Boys in the Popol Vuh. The birth of the “historical” leader of the Mexicas also resembles the birth of Tepozteco. On the other hand, the st ory of the Aztec migration to the Basin of Mexico calls to mind the peregrination that Quetzalcoatl and Tepozteco underwent. It seems as though the myth of Huitzilopochtli su mmoned up all the other stories. Thus, the account reflects how the Aztecs incorporated existing mythology into a legend or myth that would justify their hegemony. In Aztec tradition, a woman named Co atlicue lived on a mountain named Coatepec. One day she was sweeping as pen itence and she saw a ball of feathers; she took it and put it inside her skirt. Then she became pregnant. Her other children-Coyolxauhqui and the four hundred gods (Centzonhuitznahua)--became very angry with her, for she had dishonored the family. So, th ey decided to kill her. Gradually, they approached the mountain where Coatlicue was. When they got there, Coatlicue gave birth to Huitzilopochtli, who was born as a fu ll man dressed with hi s accoutrements. He decapitated Coyolxauhqui and threw her body down the hill. When it reached the ground, it broke in pieces. Then, he fought against the four hundred gods. He killed many of them on Coatepec Mountain, and he ch ased those who had fled to the valley and killed them. Then, he was honored as th e god of war (Sahagn, 1997: 191-192). The points of contact between this story a nd that of Tepozteco are the following: Huitzilopochtli was conceived on a mountain from feathers; his siblings tried to kill him and his mother, and he was able to save both. The story al so evokes Zipacn’s killing of the Four Hundred Boys, and theref ore, the four hundred gods of pulque who became the Pleiades. Eduard Seler interpreted this lege nd as “the dawning sun fighting off the gods of darkness. With his Xi uhcoatl fire serpent, Huitzil opochtli is the newly born sun shooting out burning rays, and, clearly enoug h, the Centzon Huitznahua are the stars who at every dawn are vanquished by the rising sun…” (Taube, 1993: 47). Sahagn (1997: 610), Motolina (1995: 146), and Durn (1967: 28) affirm that the mythical figure who led the Mexica through their peregrinations was Mecitli or Mexitli; because of this, the name of the people who founded Mexico-Te nochtitlan was Mexica. Motolina indicates that this was the name of the Mexicas’ main god: “su principal dios o dolo el cual tena dos nombres, conviene a saber, Vitzilipuchtli y el otro Mexitli ” (Motolina, 1995: 46), whereas, Sahagn (1961, Book 10: 189) and Durn (1967: 28) explain that Mecitli was the name of the priest who guided the Mexica. According to Sahagn, this word meant ‘maguey-rabbit’ because me stood for metl ‘maguey’ and citli


13 stood for ‘rabbit’ (Sahagn, 1997: 610),ix and its origin as a name was the following story: It is said that when he was born they named him Citli. And they placed him in a maguey leaf, where he grew strong; wherefore was he named Mecitli. And this one, when he matured, became a priest, a keeper of the god (Sahagn, 1961, Book 10: 189). Mecitli’s origin resemb les that of Tepoztecatl, for the latter was taken into the wilderness to die, but a maguey leaf protected him and fed him with its juice. In both instances, the plant of maguey is identified as a “mother-earth” that gives and preserves life. During their peregrination, the Mexicas modified the landscape. According to Durn, the Mexicas cultivated the land where they stopped. When they continued their pilgrimage, the old and the sick remained in this place. Therefore they had an important role in the process of inhabiting the la nd (Durn, 1967: 29). On the other hand, the Crnica mexicyotl details the places they went thr ough one by one, as though someone was marking the itinerary on a map (Alvara do Tezozomoc, 1975: 35). This part of Huitzilopochtli’s story recalls the journey that Quetzalcoa tl and Tepozteco carried out; especially because the Mexicas also named the geographic locations they traversed (1975: 26).x In the stories of Quetzalcoatl and Tepozteco, a conflict had preceded their migration, while in Huitzilopochtli’s it took place during the trip. Sa hagn described the confrontation between Huitzil opochtli and Coyolxauhqui in a mythical manner, whereas Durn and Alvarado Tezozomoc explain the hi storical event behind it. In Coatepec a group of people, under the leadership of Co yolxauh, rebelled against Huitzilopochtli, for they wanted to stay in this place. Ther efore, exactly at midnight Huitzilopochtli killed them and cut out their hearts (Durn, 1967: 33) He did so to set an example against rebellion and to demonstrate his authority (1967: 34). Alvarado Tezozomoc adds that Huitzilopochtli ate them at night (Alvara do Tezozmoc, 1975: 35). The “eating motif” that characterized the relationship between Xochicalcatl and the people of Morelos appears again in the Crnica mexicyotl. Copil, the son of the offended sister of Huitzilopochtli, wanted to kill and to eat Huitz ilopochtli in order to avenge his mother: “Est bien, oh madre ma; puesto que ya lo s ir a buscarle adonde se fu a acomodar, a asentarse, e ir a destruirle y comrmele ” (1975: 40; italics mine). Furthermore, Huitzilopochtli used one of Tepozteco’s mo st powerful weapons: water. When the Mexicas had first arrived at Coatepec, Huitz ilopochtli ordered his priests to change the course of a river so that it would irrigate the valley (Durn, 1967: 32) After the rebellion at Coatepec, he ordered them to let the river continue in its former course. In that way, the region became sterile (1967: 34). They left and continued th eir peregrination. Finally, Copil’s rebellion recalls the fight of the people from Cuernavaca against Tepozteco, for Copil summoned other peopl e from the region to join him against Huitzilopochtli (1967: 38), just as other to wns joined Cuernavaca against Tepozteco (1937, 1942, 1959, and 1994 versions). THE LEGEND OF THE TEPOZTECO AND CATHOLIC MYTHOLOGY


14 The legend of the Tepozteco is a perfect example of the syncretism that characterizes Mexican folklore. Catholic infl uence is as obvious as pre-Hispanic impact. The immaculate conception of the Tepozteco recalls the marvelous birth of the Hero twins, but also that of Jesus in the New Te stament. In seven versions of Tepozteco’s story (1928A, 1937, 1942, 1959, 1994, 1995, and 2002) th e baby was put inside a box that was later taken to a stream or a ravine. This recalls th e story of Moses in the book of Exodus. After Moses was born, his mother put th e baby inside a box that she left in the river. The pharaoh’s daughter found and adopted him. The 1942 version of the Tepoztecan legend is an equivalent of this account. In it, the daughter of Tepoztlan’s ruler found Tepozteco and adopted him. In ot her versions, an old couple finds and keeps the baby. This episode evokes the birth of Is aac in the Bible, especially because in three accounts (1928A, 1937, and 1994), the old woman pretended to have given birth to Tepozteco, and thus amazed the people of the town. In the book of Genesis, Sara, Abraham’s wife, conceived and gave birth to Isaac in her old age; thus, the people marveled and considered this birth as God’ s miracle. The Tepozteca n legend then retakes Moses’ story. Tepozteco fought against Xochicalcatl in order to free the people of Morelos just as Moses struggled against Egyp t’s pharaoh to obtain the Jews’ liberty. To signal his victory, Tepozteco se nt forth a column of white smoke. Prior to his ordeal, he had told his adoptive parents that they woul d see a column of white smoke if he was victorious, of black smoke if he was defeated. These si gnals correspond to a perfectly Catholic tradition: white smoke indicates that a new pope is elected, whereas black smoke indicates that the cardinals are still debatin g who should become pope. After Tepozteco and Moses defeated their antagonists, they started a peregrination. However, the people of Cuernavaca in the former case, Egyptians in the latter, persecuted the heroes. Then, Tepozteco opened the earth with his urine or water from his gourd, and in this manner, created a ravine that separated him from his persecutors. On the other hand, Moses divided the waters of the sea with his divine staff. When the Jews had crossed, he brought dow n the water of the sea onto the Egyptians, drowning them. Furthermore, two of the versions end w ith episodes in which Tepozteco seems to have taken the place of Jesus. The 1994 st ory ends when the Virgin of Nativity transformed Tepozteco into the morning star This event evokes the ascension of Jesus into heavens after his resurrection. On the other hand, the 1995 account ends with the statement that Tepozteco will come back at th e end of the world, just as Jesus is supposed to come after the final resurrection. Since colonial chr onicles, such as those of Sahagn, Motolina, Durn, and Torquemada, studied indigenous cultures throug h a European Christian perspective, it is very difficult to distinguish the authentic precontact sources of the “Legend of Tepozteco.” It is very likely that Catho lic mythology also influenced the myths of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, Quetzalc oatl, and Huitzilopochtli. CONCLUSIONS The legend of the Tepozteco reveals the co mplex processes that have brought and kept into being Mexican folklore. First of all, the continuity of the story in an almost unchanged manner through a time span of seventy-four years is probably the result of two


15 factors. The first is the increasing interest of scholars in recording oral legends. The other is the significance that ancient traditi on has always had for the people of Tepoztlan. It is likely that the two dynamics have coope rated in the preservation of the Tepoztecan legend. Probably, the recording of the story in to written accounts served to alter its evolution. For instance, up to 1959, there are several distinct lege nds about the same character: the Tepozteco. After this time, thes e stories tend to converge into one longer cycle. Perhaps, this change is also a product of how the Tepoztecans conceived the situation of their town. They might have a dded the story of Tepozteco and the bells of Mexico City’s cathedral to explain why Tepoz tlan lost its destiny to be hegemonic, and was instead doomed into poverty. The last version (2002) stresses not the poverty, but the resistant character of Tepoztlan’s inhabitants. The legend also discloses the process by which two mythologies have come together into Mexican folklore: Mesoamerican and Catholic mythologies. The stories of Tepozteco, the Popol Vuh Hero twins, Mixcoa tl-Camaxtli, Quetzalc oatl, Huitzilopochtli, and even those of Jesus and Moses have several things in common: a miraculous conception, a confrontation, and a peregrination. It is very lik ely that these elements are universal. However, there are several “authentic” Mesoamerican characteristics in the legend of the Tepozteco. First of all, Tepozteco was a trickster. He was a tricksterhunter like Hunahpu, Xbalanque, and Mixcoa tl-Camaxtli. He is reminiscent of Quetzalcoatl, because like him, Tepozteco em bodies the forces of wind and water. His final association with Mesoamerican cosmovisi on is that he is one of the four-hundred pulque gods that are related to the mountains of the region, to the agricultural cycle, and to the astronomical phenomena of ancient Mexico. BIBLIOGRAPHY Versions of the legend of the Tepozteco Bello Daz, Urbano 1998 “La historia del Tepozteco,” Tepoztln, nuestra histori a. Testimonios de los habitantes de Tepoztln, Morelos. Edited by Marcela Tost ado Gutirrez. Mexico: Consejo Nacional para la Cu ltura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia. Horcasitas Papers 1942 Verazalus, Genaro. Interview with R.H. Barlow. Tepoztlan, Morelos. Papers: Box 15. 14. Latin American Libr ary, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. 1959 El Tepozteco segn Olivia. Spanish acc ount told by Olivia, Tepozteca maid, to Gail Giachini, student of th e course Mexican Folkways by Fernando Horcasitas. Horcasitas Papers: Box 15. 14. Latin Amer ican Library, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA. Escalada, Apolonio H. 1937 Tepoztcatl. Investigaciones Lingsticas IV: 3-4, 271-301. Flores Oropeza, Mario (interview by Marg arita Vargas-Betancour t, Tepoztlan, Mexico, 2002). Gonzlez Casanova, Pablo


16 1928 El ciclo legendario del Tepoztcatl. Revista Mexicana de Estudios Histricos II (1): 18-63. Muller, Florencia 1949 “Apndice I. Leyenda del Tepoztcatl” in Historia Antigua del Valle de Morelos Contribucin al Primer Congreso de Hist oriadores de Mxico y Estados Unidos, que se celebr en Monterrey, Nuevo Le n del 4 al 9 de se ptiembre de 1949. Mexico: Escuela Nacional de Antropologa e Historia. Red Escolar 2001 Leyenda del Tepozteco. Electronic document, descolar/tmp/por tal-estado-12001/micrositios/textocontexto/tepoz /leyen.htm, accessed March 12. Ziga Navarrete, Angel 2001 Breve historia y narraciones tepoztecas Tepoztlan, Mexico (In the analysis, this text is designated as the 1995 version). Others Alvarado Tezozmoc, Fernando 1975 Crnica mexicyotl. Translated by Adrin Len, Mexico: Instituto de Investigaciones Histricas, UNAM. Aveni, Anthony F., and Sharon L. Gibbs 1976 On the Orientation of Precolumbia n Buildings in Central Mexico. American Antiquity 41 (4): 510-517. Bock, Philip K. 1980 Tepoztln Reconsidered. J ournal of Latin American Lore 6(1): 129-150. Brotherston, Gordon 1995 Las cuatro vidas de Tepoztcatl. Estudios de cultura nhuatl 25: 185-205. Cdice Chimalpopoca. 1975 Translated by Primo Faeliciano Vel zquez, Mexico: Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Instituto de Investigaciones Histricas, Corona Caraveo, Yolanda a nd Carlos Prez y Zavala 1998 Resonancias mtico religiosas de un movimie nto de resistencia. TRAMAS 13. Mexico: Universidad Autnoma Metropolitana-Xoc himilco: 27-41. Corona Caraveo, Yolanda a nd Carlos Prez y Zavala 1999 Tradicin y modernidad en Tepoztln. Hi storias y leyendas de un pueblo en resistencia. Mexico: Universidad Au tnoma Metropolitana. Durn, Fray Diego 1967 Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espaa. Mexico: Editorial Porra. Edmonson, Munro E. 1985 Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 3: Quiche Literature Edited by Victoria Reifler Bricker. Austin: University of Texas Press. Haskett, Robert 1991 Indigenous Rulers. An Ethnohistory of Town Government in Colonial Cuernavaca. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Ingham, John M.


17 1989 Mary, Michael, and Lucife r. Folk Catholicism in Central Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press. Karttunen, Frances E. 1998 “Indigenous Writing as a Vehicle of Postconquest Continuity and Change in Mesoamerica” in Native Traditions in the Postconquest World. A Symposium At Dumbarton Oaks 2nd Through 4th October 1992. Edited by Elizabeth Hill Boone and Tom Cummins. Washington D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Lewis, Oscar 1951 Life in a Mexican Village : Tepoztln Restudied. Urbana: the University of Illinois Press. 1960 Tepoztln, Village in Mexico New York: Henry Holt and Company. Lomnitz-Adler, Claudio 1982 Evolucin de una sociedad rural. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Econmica. Mateos Higuera, Salvador 1994 Enciclopedia grfica del Mxico antiguo. Los dioses menores Mexico City: Secretara de Hacienda y Crdito Pblico. Motolina, Toribio 1995 Historia de los indios de la Nueva Espaa. Relacin de los ritos antiguos, idolatras y sacrificios de los indios de la Nueva Espaa, y de la maravillosa conversion que Dios en ellos ha obrado Edited by Edmundo O’Gorman. Mexico: Editorial Porra. Muller, Florencia 1951 “Appendix B. The Ceramic Seque nce of Tepoztln” in Lewis, Oscar, Life in a Mexican Village: Tepoztln Restudie. Urbana: the University of Illinois Press. Nicholson, Henry B. 1971 Religion in Pre-Hispanic Cent ral Mexico. Handbook of Middle Amercian Indians, Edited by Rober Wauchope, Gordon F. Ekholm, and Ignacio Bernal, Austin: University of Te xas Press: (10) 395-446. 2001 Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl: the once and future lord of the Toltecs. Boulder: University Press of Colorado. Propp, Vladimir 1981 Morfologa del cuento. Madrid: Editorial Fundamentos. Redfield, Robert 1930 Tepoztln, A Mexican Village. A Study of Folk Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Sahagn, Bernadino de 1961 Florentine Codex Edited and translated by Dibbl e, Charles E. and Arthur O. Anderson. Salt Lake City, Utah : University of Utah. 1997 Historia general de las cosas de Nueva Espaa. Edited by Angel Mara Garibay K. Mexico: Editorial Porra. Taube, Karl 1993 The Legendary Past. Aztec and Maya Myths Austin: University of Texas Press. Tedlock, Barbara 1992 Time and the highland Maya. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Tedlock, Dennis


18 1996 Popol Vuh. The Definitive Edition of the May an Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings. Translated by Dennis Tedlock. New York: Simon and Schuster. Torquemada, Juan de 1975 Monarqua Indiana de los veinte y un libro s rituales y monarqua indiana, con el origen y guerras de los indios occident als, de sus poblazone s, descubrimiento, conquista, conversion y otras cosas maravillosas de la mesma terra edited by Miguel Len-Portilla, Mexico: Univer sidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico, Instituto de Investigaciones Histricas. --------------1723 Segunda parte de los veinte i vn libros rituales i monarchia indiana con el origen y guerras de los Indios occidentals de sus poblaciones y descubrimiento, conquista, conversin y otras cosas marav illosas de la mesma tierra distribuydos en tres tomos, Madrid: Oficina de Nico ls Rodrguez Franco. Tostado Gutirrez, Marcela, ed. 1998 Tepoztln, nuestra historia. Testimonios de los habitantes de Tepoztln, Morelos. Mxico: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Instituto Nacional de Antropologa e Historia. i Pablo Gonzlez Casanova collected three legends: he transcribed them from the original Nahuatl version, and he included a Spanish translation. The first is the transcription of a manuscript that the Tepoztecan Bernadino Verazaluce bequeathed to his son Genaro Ve razaluce (Version 1928A). Bernardino was born in Tepoztlan in a humble family, but later in his life he migrated to Mexico City. At the National Museum, he was an assistant of a prominent scholar: Cecilio A. Robelo (Gonzlez Casanova, 1928: 26-27). Another Indian from Tepoztlan, Maximino Navarrete, recounted another version of the legend to Gonzlez Casanova (1928: 26) (Version 1928B). Finally, an Indian from Milpa Alta, Enedina Gonzlez, is responsible for the third story (1928: 26) (Version 1928C). ii She was a student of the course Mexican Folkways taught by Fernando Horcasitas in the Mexico City College (Tulane University. Horcasitas Articles. Box 15. Folder 14). iii The foundation of this methodology is based on Vladimir Propp’s Morphology of the Folktale. iv Pablo Gonzlez Casanova published the two legends in 1928 in the Revista mexicana de estudios histricos v For the importance of the Pleiades in the agricultural cycle of the Quich Maya see B. Tedlock 1982: 181, 183, 185. vi “ Seven Parrot is a distinctly Nahuat character. Though he is named in Quiche, he appears to have had a Nahuat day name, probably Seven Cozcacuauhtli, and his two sons also had calendric names: Cipactonal (Mayanized to Cipacna) and Ome Icxit (Maya Cak r Aqan). Their mother was Chimalmat (the mother of Quetzalcoatl as well).” (Edmonson, 1985: 111). vii “Tomaron nombre de chichimecas estas gentes (que as se nombraron) del efecto, significa su nombre; porque chichimecatl tanto quiere decir como chupador o mamador; porque chichiliztli es el acto de mamar o la mamadura; y chichinaliztli es el acto de chupar o la chupadura y as se llama el pecho y teta de la mujer y la de cualquiera otro animal chichihualli; y porque estas gentes en sus principios se coman las carnes de los animales que mataban crudas y les chupaban la sangre a manera del que mama, por eso se llamaron chichimecas, que quiere decir chupadores o mamadores” (Torquemada, 1975: 58). viii However, their nature was fundamentally stellar. Th erefore, in pictorial manuscripts, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli wears Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli’s attire. Seler affirmed that as a warrior and hunter, his stellar role associated him with “the soul of the dead warrior transformed into the star, which ties in with the man-star role of the prisoner destined for sacrifice” (Nicholson, 1971: 426).


19 ix Schroeder points out that citli refers to ‘grandmother,’ whereas tochtli refers to ‘rabbit’ (personal communication, May 2003). x “Y pues bastante por todas partes anduvieron los mexicanos por la tierra de los chichimecas, en algn buen lugar permanecan, por veinte aos se asentaban, cuando se sienten a gusto en algn lugar se asientan por quince aos, como por diez, como por cinco aos se asientan, como por cuatro aos, como por tres aos se asientan […] y pues por todas partes venan h acia ac nombrando la tierra” (Alvarado Tezozomoc, 1975: 26).