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Rig Veda Americanus Sacred Songs of the Ancient Mexicans, With a Gloss in Nahuatl   By:

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First Page:

LIBRARY OF ABORIGINAL AMERICAN LITERATURE.

No. VIII.

EDITED BY D.G. BRINTON

[Illustration: XIPPE TOTEC, GOD OF SILVERSMITHS, IN FULL COSTUME. HYMN XV.]

BRINTON'S LIBRARY OF ABORIGINAL AMERICAN LITERATURE. NUMBER VIII.

RIG VEDA AMERICANUS.

SACRED SONGS OF THE ANCIENT MEXICANS, WITH A GLOSS IN NAHUATL.

EDITED, WITH A PARAPHRASE, NOTES AND VOCABULARY,

BY DANIEL G. BRINTON

1890

PREFACE.

In accordance with the general object of this series of volumes which is to furnish materials for study rather than to offer completed studies I have prepared for this number the text of the most ancient authentic record of American religious lore. From its antiquity and character, I have ventured to call this little collection the RIG VEDA AMERICANUS, after the similar cyclus of sacred hymns, which are the most venerable product of the Aryan mind.

As for my attempted translation of these mystic chants I offer it with the utmost reserve. It would be the height of temerity in me to pretend to have overcome difficulties which one so familiar with the ancient Nahuatl as Father Sahagun intimated were beyond his powers. All that I hope to have achieved is, by the aid of the Gloss and not always in conformity to its suggestions to give a general idea of the sense and purport of the originals.

The desirability of preserving and publishing these texts seems to me to be manifest. They reveal to us the undoubtedly authentic spirit of the ancient religion; they show us the language in its most archaic form; they preserve references to various mythical cycli of importance to the historian; and they illustrate the alterations in the spoken tongue adopted in the esoteric dialect of the priesthood. Such considerations will, I trust, attract the attention of scholars to these fragments of a lost literature.

In the appended Vocabulary I have inserted only those words and expressions for which I can suggest correct or, at least, probable renderings. Others will have to be left to future investigators.

CONTENTS.

Preface

Introduction

I. Hymn of Huitzilopochtli

II. War Song of the Huitznahuac

III. Hymn of Tlaloc

IV. Hymn to the All Mother

V. Hymn to the Virgin Mother

VI. Hymn to the God of Fire

VII. Hymn of Mixcoatl

VIII. Hymn to the God of Flowers

IX. Hymn to the Goddess of Artists

X. Hymn to the God of Fishing

XI. Hymn of the Otomi Leader

XII. Hymn to the Goddess of Childbirth

XIII. Hymn to the Mother of Mortals

XIV. Hymn Sung at a Fast every Eight Years

XV. Hymn to a Night God

XVI. Hymn to the Goddess of Food

XVII. Hymn to the Gods of Wine

XVIII. Hymn to the Master of Waters

XIX. Hymn to the God of Flowers

XX. Hymn to the God of Merchants

Glossary

Index

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Xippe Totec, God of Silversmiths, in Full Costume, Frontispiece

Priest of Xippe Totec, Drinking and Playing on a Drum, Hymn XV

Chicomecoatl, Goddess of Food and Drink, Hymn XVI

Totochtin, the Rabbits, Gods of the Drunkards, Hymn XVII

Atlaua, Singing and Dancing, Hymn XVIII

INTRODUCTION.

As in a previous number of the Library of Aboriginal American Literature I have discussed in detail the character of the ancient Mexican poetry, I shall confine myself at present to the history of the present collection. We owe its preservation to the untiring industry of Father Bernardino de Sahagun, one of the earliest missionaries to Mexico, and the author of by far the most important work on the religion, manners and customs of the ancient Mexicans.

By long residence and close application Sahagun acquired a complete mastery of the Nahuatl tongue. He composed his celebrated Historia de las Cosas de la Nueva EspaƱa primarily in the native language, and from this original wrote out a Spanish translation, in some parts considerably abbreviated. This incomplete reproduction is that which was published in Spanish by Lord Kingsborough and Bustamente, and in a French rendering with useful notes by Dr... Continue reading book >>




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