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Nagualism A Study in Native American Folk-lore and History   By: (1837-1899)

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Transcriber's Note:

A number of typographical errors and inconsistencies have been maintained in this version of this book. Typographical errors have been marked with a [TN ], which refers to a description in the complete list found at the end of the text. A list of words that have been inconsistently spelled or hyphenated is found at the end of the present text. Oe ligatures have been expanded.

The following codes are used for characters that are not present in the character set used for this version of the book.

[=u] u with macron [=o] o with macron [] double vertical line [] Dagger [] Double dagger




Native American Folk lore and History.



Professor of American Archæology and Linguistics in the University of Pennsylvania.


Nagualism. A Study in Native American Folk lore and History.

By Daniel G. Brinton, M.D.

( Read before the American Philosophical Society, Jan'y 5, 1894. )


1. The words Nagual , Nagualism , Nagualist . 2. The Earliest Reference to Nagualism. 3. The Naualli of the Aztecs; their Classes and Pretended Powers. 4. The Sacred Intoxicants; the Peyotl , the Ololiuhqui , the Teopatli , the Yax Ha , etc. 5. Clairvoyance and Telepathy during Intoxication. 6. The Naualli of Modern Mexico. 7. The Tonal and the Tonalpouhque ; the Genethliac System of the Nahuas. 8. The Aztec Sodality of "Master Magicians." 9. The Personal Guardian Spirit.

10. Folk lore of the Mixe Indians. 11. Astrological Divination of the Zapotecs. 12. Similar Arts of the Mixtecs. 13. Nagualism in Chiapas, as Described by Bishop Nuñez de la Vega. 14. Nagualism Among the Quiches, Cakchiquels and Pokonchis of Guatemala. 15. The Metamorphoses of Gukumatz. 16. Modern Witchcraft in Yucatan and Central America; the Zahoris and Padrinos.

17. Fundamental Principles of Nagualism, Hatred of the Whites and of Christianity. 18. Its Organization and Extent; its Priesthood. 19. Its Influence in the Native Revolts against the Spanish Power. 20. Exalted Position of Woman in Nagualism. 21. This a Survival from Ancient Times. 22. A Native Joan of Arc. 23. Modern Queens of Nagualism.

24. The Cave temples and the Cave gods; Oztoteotl, Tepeyollotl, Votan, etc. 25. The Sacred Numbers, 3 and 7. 26. Fire Worship of the Nagualists. 27. Fire Rights Connected with the Pulque. 28. Fire Ceremonies of the Modern Mayas. 29. Secret Significance of Fire Worship. 30. The Chalchiuites, or Sacred Green Stones. 31. The Sacred Tree and the Tree of Life. 32. The Cross and its Symbolic Meaning. 33. The Lascivious Rites of the Nagualists. 34. Their Relation to the Symbols of the Serpent and the Phallus.

35. Confusion of Christian and Native Religious Ideas; Prayers of Nagual Priests. Their Symbolic Language. 36. The Inquisition and Nagualism. 37. Etymology of the Word Nagual . 38. The Root Na in the Maya, Zapotec and Nahuatl Languages. 39. The Doctrine of Animal Transformation in the Old World. 40. The Doctrine of Personal Spirits in the Old World. 41. Scientific Explanations of Nagual Magic. 42. Conclusion.


=1.= The words, a nagual , nagualism , a nagualist , have been current in English prose for more than seventy years; they are found during that time in a variety of books published in England and the United States,[4 ] yet are not to be discovered in any dictionary of the English language; nor has Nagualism a place in any of the numerous encyclopædias or "Conversation Lexicons," in English, French, German or Spanish.

This is not owing to its lack of importance, since for two hundred years past, as I shall show, it has been recognized as a cult, no less powerful than mysterious, which united many and diverse tribes of Mexico and Central America into organized opposition against the government and the religion which had been introduced from Europe; whose members had acquired and were bound together by strange faculties and an occult learning, which placed them on a par with the famed thaumaturgists and theodidacts of the Old World; and which preserved even into our own days the thoughts and forms of a long suppressed ritual... Continue reading book >>

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