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ter which the youths and virgins of the temple, bound with thick cords of wreaths of crisp maize, and put one of these wreaths round the neck, and a garland on the head of the idol. This cord the emblem of droughi, which they desired to prevent, was called Toxcatl, wbich name was likewise given to the month on account of this ceremony. All the youths and virgins of the temple, as well as the nobles of the court, carried similar wreaths about their necks and in their hands. Then followed a procession through the lower area of the temple, where flowers and odoriferous herbs were scattered : two priests offered incense to the idul, which two others carried upon their shoulders. In the mean while the people kept kneeling, striking their backs with thick knotted cords. When the procession finished, and also their discipline, they carried back the idol to the altar, and made abundant offerings to it of gold, gems, flowers, feathers, animals, and provision which were prepared by the virgins and other women, who ou account of some particular vow, assisted for that day in the service of the temple. These provisions were carried in procession by the same virgins, who were led by a respectable priest, dressed in a strange fantastical habit, and lastly the youths carried them to the habitations of the priests for whom they had been prepared.
Afterwards they made the sacrifice of the victim representing the god Tezcatlipoca. This victim was the handsomest and best shaped youth of all the prisoners. They selected him a year before the festival, and during that whole time he was always dressed in a similar babit with the idol ; lie was permitted to go round the city, but always accompanied by a strong guard, and was adored every where, as the living image of that supreme divinity. Twenty days before the festival, this youth married four beautiful girls, and on the five days preceding the festival, they gave him sumptuous entertainments, and allowed him all the pleasures of life. On the day of the festival, they led him with a numerous attendance to the ternple of Tezcatlipoca, but before they came there they dismissed his wives. He
accompanied the idol in the procession, and when the hour of sacrifice was come, they stretched him upon the altar, and the bigh-priest with great reverence opened his breast and pulled out his heart. His body was not, like the bodies of other victims, thrown down the stairs, but carried in the arms of the priests and beheaded at the bottom of the temple. His head was strung up in the Tzompantli, among the rest of the skulls of the victims which were sacrificed to Tezcatlipoca, and his legs and arms were dressed and prepared for the tables of the lords. Alter the sacrifice, a grand dance took place of the collegiate youths and nobles who were present at the festival. At sun-set, the virgins of the temple made a new offering of bread baked with honey. This
bread, with some other things unknown to us, was put before the altar of Tezcallipoca, and was destined to be the reward of the youths who should be the victors in the race which they made down the stairs of the temple ; they were also rewarded with a garment, and received the praise and applause of the priests as well as the people who were spectators. The festival was concluded by dismissing from the seminaries all the youths and virgins who were arrived at an age fit for marriage. The youths who remained, mocked the others with satirical and bumorous raillery, and threw at them bandfuls of rushes and other things, upbraiding them with leaving the service of god for the pleasure of matrimony; the priests always granting them indulgence in this emanation of youthful vivacity.
In this same fifth month, the first festival of Huitzilopochtli was celebrated. . The priests made a statue of this god of the regular stature of a man ; they made the flesh of a beap of Tzohualli, which is a certain eatable plant, and the bones of the wood Mizquitl. They dressed it in cotton with a mantle of feathers; put on its head a small parasol of paper, adorned wiih beautiful feathers, and above that a bloody little knife of fintstone, upon its breast a plate of geld, and on its garment were several figures representing bones of the dead, and the image of a man torn in pieces ; by which they intended to signify either the power of this god in battle, or the terrible revenge, which according to their mythology, he took against those who conspired against the honour and life of his mother.They put this statue in a litter made on four wooden serpents,
a which four principal officers of the Mexican army bore from the place where the statue was formed, into the altar where it was placed. Several youths forming a circle, and joining
. themselves together by means of arrows, which they laid hold of with their hands, the one by the head, the other by the point, carried before the litter a piece of paper more than fifieen perches long, on which, probably, the glorious actions of that false divinity were represented, and which they sung to the sound of musical instruments.
When the day of the festival was arrived, in the morning they made a great sacrifice of quails, which after their heads were twisted oil, they threw at the foot of the altar. The first who made this sacrifice was the king, after him the priests, and lastly, the people. Of this great profusion of quails, one part was dressed for the king's table, and those of the priests, and the remainder was reserved for another occasion. Every person who was present at the festival, carried a clay censer, and a quantity of bitumen of Judea, to burn in offering to their god, and all the coal which was made use of was afterwards collected in a
large suve called Tlexictlie On account of this ceremony they called the festival the incensing of Huitzilopochtli. Immediately after followed the dance of the virgins and priests. The virgios dyed their faces, their arms were adorned with red feathers, on their heads they wore garlands of crisp leaves of maize, and in their hands they bore canes which were cleft, with little flags of cotton or paper in them. The faces of the priests were dyed black, their foreheads bound with little shields of paper, and their lips daubed with boney, they covered their natural parts
and each held a sceptre, at the extremity of which was a flower made of feathers, and above that another tuft of feathers. Upon the edge of the stove two men danced, bearing on their backs certain cages of pine. The priests in the course of their dancing, from time to time, touched the earth with the extremity of their sceptres, as if they rested themselves upon them. All these ceremonies had their particular signification, and the dance on account of the festival at which it took place was called Toxcachocholla. In another separate place, the court and military people danced. The musical instruments which in some dances were placed in the centre, on this occasion were kept without and bid, so that the sound of them was heard but the musicians were unseeii.
One year before this festival, the prisoner who was to be sa crificed to Huitzilopochtli, to which prisoner they gave the name of Ixteocale, which signifies, wise lord of heaven, was selected along with the victim for Tezcatlipoca. Both of them rambled about the whole year; with this difference however, that the victim of Tezcatlipoca was adored, but not that of Huitzilopocht. When the day of the festival was arrived, they dressed the prisoner in a curious habit of painted paper, and put on his head a mitre made of the feathers of an eagle, with a plume upon the top of it. He carried upon his back a small net, and over
it a little bag, and in this dress he mingled bimself in the dayce of * the courtiers. The most singular thing respecting this prisoner
was, that although lie was doomed to die on that day, yet he had the liberty of fixing the hour of sacrifice himself. Whenever he chose de presented himself to the priests, in whose arms, and not upon the altar, the sacrificer broke his breast, and pulled out his heart. When the sacrifice was ended, the priests began a great dance, which continued all the remainder of the day, excepting some intervals, which they employed to repeat the ircense offerings. At this same festival, the priests made a slight cut on the breast and on the belly of all the children of both sexes which were born within one preceiling year. This was the sigu or character, by which the Mexican nation specially acknowledged itself consecrated to the worsltip of its protecting god; and this is also the reason why several authors have believed, that the rite of circumcision was established among the Mexicans. But if possible the people of Yucatan and the Totonacas used this rite, it was never practised by the Mexicani, or any other nation of the empire.
In the sixth month, which began about the sixth of June, the third festival of the god Tlaloc was celebrated. They strewed the temple in a curious manner, with rushes from the lake of Citlaltepec. The priests who went to fetch them, committed various hostilities upon all passengers whom they met in their way, plundering them of every thing they had about them, and sometimes even stripping them quite naked, and beating them if they made any resistance. With such impunity were these priests, turned assassins, favoured, that they not only robbed the common people, but even carried off the royal tribute frora the collectors of them, if they chanced to meet with them, no private persons being allowed to make complaint against them nor the king to punish them for such enormities. On the day of the festival, they all eat a certain kind of gruel which they called Etzalli from which the month took the name of Etzalquatiztli. They carried to the temple a vast quantity of painted paper and elastic gum, with which they besmeared the paper and the cheeks of the idol.
After this ridiculous ceremony, they sacrificed several prisoners who were clothed in habits the same with that of the god Tlaloc, and bis companions, and in order to complete the scene of their cruelty, the priests, attended by a great croud of people, went in vessels to a certain place of the lake, where in former times there was a whirlpool, and there sacrificed two children of both sexes, by drowning them, along with the hearts of the prisoners who had been sacrificed at this festival, in order to obtain from their gods the necessary rains for their fields. Upon this occasion, those ministers of ihe temple, who, in the course of that year, had neither been negligent in office, or convicted of some high misdemeanor which was not, however, deserving of capital punishment, were stripped of their priesthood, aud received a chastisement similar to the trick which is practised on seamen the first time they pass the line, but more severe, as by being repeatedly ducked in the water they were at least so exhausted, it became necessary to carry them home to their bouses to be recovered.
In the seventh month, which began upon the 26th of June, the festival of Huixtocihnatbl, the goddess of salt, was celebrated. A day before the festival there was a great dance of women, who danced in a circle, joined to each other by strings or cords of different flowers, and wearing garlands of wormwood on their heads. A female prisoner, clothed in the habit of the idol of that goddess, was placed in the centre of the circle. The dancing was accompanied with singing, in both of wbich two old respectable priests took the lead. This dance continued the whole night, and in the morning atier, the dance of the priests began, and lasted the whole dny, without any other interruption than the sacrifice of prisovers. The priests wore decent garments, and held in their hands those beautiful yellow flowers which the Mexicans called Cempealxochit), and many European Indian Carnations ; at sun set they made the sacrifice of the female prisoner, and concluded the festival with sumptuous banquets.
During the whole of this month the Mexicans made great rejoicings. They wure their best dresses ; dances and amusements in their gardens were frequent; the poems which they sang were all on love, or some other equally pleasing subject. The populace went a hunting in the mountains, and the nobles used warlike exercises in the field, and sometimes in vessels upon the lake. These rejoicings of the nobility procured to this month the pame of Tecuilhuitl, the festival of the lords, or of Tecuilhuitoutli, the small festival of the lords, as it was truly so, in comparison of the festival of the following month.
In the eighth month, which began upon the 16th day of July, they made a solemo festival to the goddess Centeotl, under the name of Xilonen; for as we bave already mentioned they changed the name according to the state of the maize. On this fetival they cajled her Xilonen ; because the ear of the maize, while the grain was still tender, was called Xilotl. The festival continued eight days, during which there was constant dancing in the temple of that goddess. On such days, the king and the nobles gave away ineat and drink to the populace, both of which were placed in rows in the under area of the temple, and there the Chiampinolli
, which was one of their most common drinks, was given, and also the Tamalli, which was paste of naize, made into small rolls, and also other provisions. Presents were inade to the priests, and the nobles invited each other reciprocally to entertainments, and presented each other with gold, silver, beautiful feathers, and curious animals. They sung the glorious actions of their ancestors, and boasted of the nobleness and antiquity of their families. At sun-set, when the feasting of the populace was ended, the priests had their dance which continued four hours, and on that account there was a splendid illumination in the temple. The last day was celebrated with the dance of the nobility and the military, among whom danced also a female prisoner, who represented that goddess, and was sacrificed after the dance along with the other prisoners. Thes