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Latin American Mythology The Mythology of All Races - Vol. 11

Latin American Mythology
The Mythology of All Races - Vol. 11
Title: Latin American Mythology The Mythology of All Races - Vol. 11
Release Date: 2018-11-26
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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GEORGE FOOT MOORE, A.M., D.D., LL.D., Consulting Editor





[Pg iv]


Top face of the monolith known as the "Dragon"or the "Great Turtle" of Quirigua. This is one ofthe group of stelae and "altars" which mark theceremonial courts of this vanished Maya city (seePlate XXIII); and is perhaps the master-worknot only of Mayan, but of aboriginal American art.The top of the stone here figured shows a highlyconventionalized daemon or dragon mask, surroundedby a complication of ornament. Thenorth and south (here lower and upper) faces of themonument contain representations of divinities; onthe south face is a mask of the "god with the ornamentednose" (possibly Ahpuch, the death god),and on the north, seated within the open mouthof the Dragon, the teeth of whose upper jaw appearon the top face of the monument, is carved a serene,Buddha-like divinity shown in Plate XXV. TheMaya date corresponding, probably, to 525 a. d.appears in a glyphic inscription on the shoulder ofthe Dragon. The monument is fully described byW. H. Holmes, Art and Archaeology, Vol. IV, No. 6.

[Pg v]




[Pg vii]


In aim and plan the present volume is made to accord asnearly as may be with the earlier-written volume on themythology of the North American Indians. Owing to divergenceof the materials, some deviations of method have beennecessary, but in their main lines the two books correspondin form as they are continuous in matter. In each case theauthor has aimed primarily at a descriptive treatment, followingregional divisions, and directed to essential conceptionsrather than to exhaustive classification; and in each case ithas been, not the specialist in the field, but the scholar with kindredinterests and the reader of broadly humane tastes whomthe author has had before him.

The difficulties besetting the composition of both books havebeen analogous, growing chiefly from the vast diversities of thesources of material; but these difficulties are decidedly greaterfor the Latin-American field. The matter of spelling is one ofthe more immediate. In general, the author has endeavouredto adhere to such of the rules given in Note 1 of Mythology ofAll Races, Vol. X (pp. 267-68), as may be applicable, seekingthe simplest plausible English forms and continuing literaryusage wherever it is well established, both for native and forSpanish names (as Montezuma, Cortez). Consistency is pragmaticallyimpossible in such a matter; but it is hoped that thefoundational need, that of identification, is not evaded.

The problem of an appropriate bibliography has proven tobe of the hardest. To the best of the author's belief, thereexists, aside from that here given, no bibliography aiming at asystematic classification of the sources and discussions of themythology of the Latin-American Indians, as a whole. There[Pg viii]are, indeed, a considerable number of special bibliographies,regional in character, for which every student must be grateful;and it is hoped that not many of the more important ofthese have failed of inclusion in the bibliographical divisiondevoted to "Guides"; but for the whole field, the appendedbibliography is pioneer work, and subject to the weaknessesof all such attempts. The principles of inclusion are: (1) Allworks upon which the text of the volume directly rests. Thesewill be found cited in the Notes, where are also a few referencesto works cited for points of an adventitious character, andtherefore not included in the general bibliography. (2) Amore liberal inclusion of English and Spanish than of works inother languages, the one for accessibility, the other for sourceimportance. (3) An effort to select only such works as havematerial directly pertinent to the mythology, not such as dealwith the general culture, of the peoples under consideration,—aline most difficult to draw. In respect to bibliography, itshould be further stated that it is the intent to enter the namesof Spanish authors in the forms approved by the rules of theReal Academia, while it has not seemed important to followother than the English custom in either text or notes. It iscertainly the author's hope that the labour devoted to theassembling of the bibliography will prove helpful to studentsgenerally, and it is his belief that those wishing an introductionto the more important sources for the various regions will findof immediate help the select bibliographies given in the Notes,for each region and chapter.

The illustrations should speak for themselves. Care has beentaken to reproduce works which are characteristic of the artas well as of the mythic conceptions of the several peoples;and since, in the more civilized localities, architecture also issignificantly associated with mythic elements, a certain numberof pictures are of architectural subjects.

It remains to express the numerous forms of indebtednesswhich pertain to a work of the present character. Where they[Pg ix]are a matter of authority, it is believed that the references tothe Notes will be found fully to cover them; and where illustrationsare the subject, the derivation is indicated on thetissues. In the way of courtesies extended, the author owesrecognition to staff-members of the libraries of Harvardand Northwestern Universities, to the Peabody Museum,the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the American Museumof Natural History, and the Museum of the University ofNebraska. His personal obligations are due to ProfessorFrank S. Philbrick, of the Northwestern University LawSchool, and to the Assistant Curator of the Academy ofPacific Coast History, Dr. Herbert I. Priestley, for valuablesuggestions anent the bibliography, and to Dr. Hiram Bingham,of the Yale Peruvian Expedition, for his courtesy infurnishing for reproduction the photographs represented byPlates XXX and XXXVIII. His obligations to the editorof the series are, it is trusted, understood.

The manuscript of the present volume was prepared for theprinter by November of 1916. The ensuing outbreak of wardelayed publication until the present hour. In the interveningperiod a number of works of some importance appeared, andthe author has endeavoured to incorporate as much as wasessential of this later criticism into the body of his work, amatter difficult to make sure. The war also has been responsiblefor the editor's absence in Europe during the period inwhich the book has been put through the press, and the dutyof oversight has fallen upon the author who is, therefore,responsible for such editorial delinquencies as may be found.


Lincoln, Nebraska,

November 17, 1919.

[Pg xi]


Author's Preface.  vii
Introduction.  i
Chapter I.The Antilles.15
IThe Islanders.15
IIThe First Encounters.18
IVTaïno Myths.28
VThe Areitos.32
VICarib Lore.36
Chapter II.Mexico.41
IMiddle America.41
IIIThe Aztec Pantheon.49
IVThe Great Gods.57
4Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue.71
VThe Powers of Life.74
VIThe Powers of Death.79
Chapter III.Mexico. (continued)85
IIThe Four Suns.91
IIIThe Calendar and its Cycles.96
IVLegendary History.105
VAztec Migration-Myths.111
VISurviving Paganism.118
Chapter IV.Yucatan.124
IThe Maya.124
IIVotan, Zamna, and Kukulcan.131
IIIYucatec Deities.136
IVRites and Symbols.142
VThe Maya Cycles.146
VIThe Creation.152
Chapter V.Central America.156
IQuiché and Cakchiquel.156
IIThe Popul Vuh.159
IIIThe Hero Brothers.168
IVThe Annals of the Cakchiquel.177
VHonduras and Nicaragua.183
Chapter VI.The Andean North.187
IThe Cultured Peoples of the Andes.187
IIThe Isthmians.189
IIIEl Dorado.194
IVMyths of the Chibcha.198
VThe Men from the Sea.204
Chapter VII.The Andean South.210
IThe Empire of the Incas.210
IIThe Yunca Pantheons.220
IIIThe Myths of the Chincha.227
IVViracocha and Tonapa.232
VThe Children of the Sun.242
VILegends of the Incas.248
Chapter VIII.The Tropical Forests: the Orinoco and Guiana.253
ILands and Peoples.253
IISpirits and Shamans.256
IIIHow Evils Befell Mankind.261
IVCreation and Cataclysm.268
VNature and Human Nature.275
Chapter IX.The Tropical Forests: the Amazon and Brazil.281
IThe Amazons.281
IIFood-Makers and Dance-Masks.287
IIIGods, Ghosts, and Bogeys.295
IVImps, Were-Beasts, and Cannibals.300
VSun, Moon, and Stars.304
VIFire, Flood, and Transformations.311
[Pg xiii]    
Chapter X.The Pampas to the Land of Fire.316
IThe Far South.316
IIEl Chaco and the Pampeans.318
IIIThe Araucanians.324
IVThe Patagonians.331
VThe Fuegians.338
Notes.  347
Bibliography.  381

[Pg xv]


IThe Dragon of Quirigua—Photogravure.Frontispiece
IIAntillean Triangular Stone Images.24
IIIAntillean Stone Ring.29
IVDance in Honor of the Earth Goddess, Haiti.35
VAztec Goddess, probably Coatlicue.47
VITutelaries of the Quarters, Codex Ferjérváry-Mayer—Coloured.56
VIICoyolxauhqui, Xochipilli, and Xiuhcoatl.60
VIIITezcatlipoca, Codex Borgia—Coloured.65
IXQuetzalcoatl, Macuilxochitl, Huitzilopochtli, Codex Borgia—Coloured.71
XMask of Xipe Totec.76
XIMictlantecutli, God of Death.81
XIIHeavenly Bodies, Codex Vaticanus B and Codex Borgia—Coloured.88
XIIIEnds of Suns, or Ages of the World, Codex Vaticanus A—Coloured.95
XIVAztec Calendar Stone.101
XVTemple of Xochicalco.106
XVISection of the Tezcucan "Map Tlotzin"—Coloured.113
XVIIInterior of Chamber, Mitla.118
XVIIITemple 3, Ruins of Tikal.127
XIXMap of Yucatan Showing Location of Maya Cities.130
XXBas-relief Tablets, Palenque.136
XXIBas-relief Lintel, Menché, Showing Priest and Penitent.144
XXII"Serpent Numbers," Codex Dresdensis—Coloured.152
XXIIICeremonial Precinct, Quirigua.160
[Pg xvi]XXIVImage in Mouth of the Dragon of Quirigua.168
XXVStela 12, Piedras Negras.179
XXVIAmulet in the Form of a Vampire.190
XXVIIColombian Goldwork.196
XXVIIIMother Goddess and Ceremonial Dish, Colombia.200
XXIXVase Painting of Balsa, Truxillo.206
XXXMachu Picchu.213
XXXIMonolith, Chavin de Huantar.218
XXXIINasca Vase, Showing Multi-Headed Deity.222
XXXIIINasca Deity, in Embroidery—Coloured.226
XXXIVNasca Vase, Showing Sky Deity.230
XXXVMonolithic Gateway, Tiahuanaco.234
XXXVIPlaque, probably Representing Viracocha.236
XXXVIIVase Painting from Pachacamac—Coloured.240
XXXVIIITemple of the Windows, Machu Picchu.248
XXXIXCarved Seats and Metate.265
XLVase from the Island of Marajó.286
XLIBrazilian Dance Masks.294
XLIITrophy Head, from Ecuador.303

Seler's arrangement of the Lords of the Day and Night.54
Chart showing Culture Sequences in Mexico and Peru.367
Figure from a Potsherd, Calchaqui Region.369

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