Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sacred Songs Nos. 16 and 9 of Daniel Brinton's Rig Veda Americanus, the 7th volume of his LIBRARY OF ABORIGINAL AMERICAN LITERATURE

XVI. Hymn to the Goddess of Food.

XVI. Chicomecoatl icuic.

1. Chicomollotzin xayameua, ximiçotica aca tona titech icnocauazqui tiyauia mochan tlallocan nouia.
2. Xayameua ximiçotica aca tonan titech icnocauazqui tiyauian mochan tlallocan nouiya.
Var. 1. Xaia mehoa.


1. Q. n., yn ti chicomolotl, id est, in ti centli ximeua, xiça, xixoa, ca otimouicaya in mochan tlallocan.
2. Q. n., xayameua, id est, ximeua, xixua, xiça, ca otimouicaya in mochantzinco in tlallocan ca yuhquin ti tonatzon.

Hymn to Chicomecoatl.

1. O noble Chicomolotl, arise, awake, leave us not unprotected on the way, conduct us to the home of Tlaloc.
2. Arise, awake, leave us not unprotected on the way, conduct us to the home of Tlaloc.


The goddess Chicomecoatl, "seven guests," was the deity who presided over food and drink. Hence in the first verse she is referred to as Chicomolotl, "seven ears of corn," and is spoken of as a guide to Tlalocan, or the home of abundance. Father Duran, who gives a long chapter on this goddess (Historia, cap. 92), translates her name "serpent of seven heads," and adds that she was also called Chalciucihuatl, "Lady of the Emerald," and Xilonen, "goddess of the tender ears of maize." Every kind of seed and vegetable which served for food was under her guardianship, and hence her festival, held about the middle of September, was particularly solemn. Her statue represented her as a girl of about twelve years old.

IX. Hymn to the Goddess of Artists

IX. Xochiquetzal icuic.

1. Atlayauican ni xochiquetzalli tlacya niuitza ya motencaliuan tamoanchan oay.
2. Ye quitichocaya tlamacazecatla piltzintecutlo quiyatemoaya ye xochinquetzalla xoyauia ay topa niaz, oay.
Var. 2. Icotochiquetzalla.


1. Q. n., ompa niuitz ynixochiquetzal tamoanchan.
2. Q. n., choca piltzintecutli quitemoa in xochiquetzal xoyauia no umpa niaz.

Hymn to Xochiquetzal.

1. I, Xochiquetzal, go forth willingly to the dancing place by the water, going forth to the houses in Tamoanchan.
2. Ye noble youths, ye priests who wept, seeking Xochiquetzal, go forth there where I am going.


Xochiquetzal, "plumage of flowers," was the deity of the artists, the painters, weavers, engravers on metal, silver and goldsmiths, and of all who dealt in fine colors. Her figure was that of a young woman with gay garments and jewelry (Duran, Historia, cap. 94). In the Codex Telleriano-Remensis she is assigned as synonyms Ichpochtli, the Virgin, and Itzpapalotl, literally "the obsidian butterfly," but which was probably applied to a peculiar ornament of her idol. On Tamoanchan see notes to Hymn IV: Tamoanchan. This word Sahagun translates "we seek homes," while the Codex Telleriano-Remensis gives the more intelligible rendering "there is their home whither they descend," and adds that it is synonymous with Xochitlycacan, "the place where the flowers are lifted." It was the mystical Paradise of the Aztecs, the Home of the Gods, and the happy realm of departed souls. The Codex just quoted adds that the gods were born there, which explains the introduction of the word into this hymn.
The term atlayauican, which I have translated "the dancing place by the water," appears to refer to the "jar dance," baile de las jicaras, which took place at the festival of the goddess, in the month of October. Duran informs us this was executed at a spot by the shore of the lake. Ceremonial bathing was carried on at the same festival, and these baths were considered to cleanse from sin, as well as from physical pollution.

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