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Memoir of an Eventful Expedition in Central America Resulting in the Discovery of the Idolatrous City of Iximaya   By:

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Transcriber's Note

Obvious typographical errors have been corrected. A list of corrections is found at the end of the text. Inconsistencies in spelling and hyphenation have been maintained. A list of inconsistently spelled and hyphenated words is found at the end of the text.

Oe ligatures have been expanded.

MEMOIR OF AN EVENTFUL EXPEDITION IN CENTRAL AMERICA;

RESULTING IN THE DISCOVERY OF THE IDOLATROUS CITY OF IXIMAYA,

In an unexplored region; and the possession of two

REMARKABLE AZTEC CHILDREN,

Descendants and Specimens of the Sacerdotal Caste, (now nearly extinct,) of the Ancient Aztec Founders of the Ruined Temples of that Country,

DESCRIBED BY

JOHN L. STEVENS, ESQ., AND OTHER TRAVELLERS.

Translated from the Spanish of PEDRO VELASQUEZ, of SAN SALVADOR.

NEW YORK: E. F. Applegate, Printer, 111 Nassau Street. 1850.

PROFILE ILLUSTRATIONS FROM CENTRAL AMERICAN RUINS, OF ANCIENT RACES STILL EXISTING IN IXIMAYA.

[Illustration]

The above three figures, sketched from engravings in "Stevens's Central America," will be found, on personal comparison, to bear a remarkable and convincing resemblance, both in the general features and the position of the head, to the two living Aztec children, now exhibiting in the United States, of the ancient sacerdotal caste of Kaanas , or Pagan Mimes, of which a few individuals remain in the newly discovered city of Iximaya. See, the following Memoir , page 31.

[Illustration]

These two figures, sketched from the same work, are said, by Senor Velasquez, in the unpublished portion of his narrative, to be "irresistible likenesses" of the equally exclusive but somewhat more numerous priestly caste of Mahaboons , still existing in that city, and to which belonged Vaalpeor, an official guardian of those children, as mentioned in this memoir. Velasquez states that the likeness of Vaalpeor to the right hand figure in the frontispiece of Stevens' second volume, which is here also the one on the right hand, was as exact, in outline, as if the latter had been a daguerreotype miniature.

While writing his "Narrative" after his return to San Salvador, in the spring of the present year, (1850,) Senor Velasquez was favored, by an American gentleman of that city, with a copy of "Layard's Nineveh," and was forcibly struck with the close characteristic resemblance of the faces in many of its engravings to those of the inhabitants in general, as a peculiar family of mankind, both of Iximaya and its surrounding region. The following are sketches, (somewhat imperfect,) of two of the male faces to which he refers:

[Illustration]

And the following profile, from the same work, is pronounced by Velasquez to be equally characteristic of the female faces of that region, making due allowance for the superb head dresses of tropical plumage, with which he describes the latter as being adorned, instead of the male galea, or close cap, retained in the engraving.

[Illustration]

These illustrations, slight as they are, are deemed interesting, because the Iximayans assert their descent from a very ancient Assyrian colony nearly co temporary with Nineveh itself a claim which receives strong confirmation, not only from the hieroglyphics and monuments of Iximaya, but from the engravings in Stevens' volumes of several remarkable objects, (the inverted winged globe especially,) at Palenque once a kindred colony.

It should have been stated in the following Memoir, that Senor Velasquez, on his return to San Salvador, caused the two Kaana children to be baptized into the Catholic Church, by the Bishop of the Diocese, under the names of Maximo and Bartola Velasquez.

MEMOIR OF A RECENT EVENTFUL EXPEDITION IN CENTRAL AMERICA.

In the second volume of his travels in Central America than which no work ever published in this country, has created and maintained a higher degree of interest, both at home and abroad Mr. Stevens speaks with enthusiasm of the conversations he had held with an intelligent and hospitable Padre, or Catholic priest, of Santa Cruz del Quiche, formerly of the village of Chajul; and of the exciting information he had received from him, concerning immense and marvellous antiquities in the surrounding country, which, to the present hour, remain entirely unknown to the world... Continue reading book >>




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