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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html


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Chapter I. — Toltec and Aztec Mythology.

FOR the purpose of obtaining a correct idea of the mythology and polytheism of the Vesperic tribes, 865 we must take a cursory glance at the system of the Toltecs and Aztecs. These tribes continued, from age to age, to deify men, and add new names to the catalogue of their
deities, until they had accumulated a mass without a system. It was a heterogeneous and confused collection of names and personifications, without any order of gradation, or any attempt to show the precise dependence that one god, or power, had upon another. Tonuhtiuh, or the substance of the Sun, was still, theoretically, regarded as the primary god; but the power was so much diffused and divided among other minor deities, that when the Spaniards reached Mexico, the system, if we may so term it, was a wild and discordant mass of daemonology and devil worship, so thoroughly disgusting in its character, that the Spanish priesthood, being unable to tolerate it for a moment, directed the rude statues to be demolished, and the scrolls of picture-writings to be cast into the flames.

The mental development of the Indians of America may be more readily traced, by comparison of ideas and their modes of expressing them, than by reference to words, or identities of nomenclature — at least, beyond the primary radices and particles; for, in all the savage languages of this continent, names, words and expressions are mere agglomerations of dissevered syllables. Some allusions may here be made to a mythology, which embraced the traditionary history, not only of the Aztecs and

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Toltecs, but, according to the best interpreters of Mexican history, 866 of anterior nations, who possessed the elements of civilization.

Tlalcol was the keeper of the dead, an important office in all the tribes, which, among those of the north, is assigned to Chibiabos. The ceremonial rites are precisely the same; the purpose of the office, and its duties, exactly alike; but the names differ. This variance applies to most of their gods; and, it may be remarked, is analogous to that general difference existing between the Indian languages of North and South America, the ideas of which are similar, but the sounds diverse. The Aztecs placed Teo 867 first in the calender of their gods; the Iroquois of the North installed Neo as their supreme divinity. After having successfully prosecuted a war, they did homage to Areouski, as the god of battle. The Aztecs sacrificed human victims to Huitzilopochtli, in the same character.

The personification of good and evil is a very striking characteristic of the savage theogony. Teo conveyed the same meaning in Toltec — the formative tl being added. In the dialects of the Algonquin tribes of the North, MON is the radix, both for the words God and Devil. In the same language, edo added to this form appears to be a transitive particle; but, if the evil god be intended, the term MUDJI is prefixed, denoting an evil character. This is the literal meaning of the compound term, Mudjimonedo. Among the Toltecs there was a god of the day, and another of the night; the composite term for the latter power having been Tlacatecolototl, who was the bird of night. They believed that this spirit frequently appeared to men for the purpose of doing evil; and, theoretically, it was the Mudjimonedo of the Algonquins.

The Otomites believed that the soul died with the body; but the Aztecs, as well as all the other nations of Anahuac, deemed it to be, in its substance, immortal. They held the doctrine that beasts and birds possessed souls; which belief is common to all the North American, or Vesperic tribes. 868 They believed that soldiers who died in war, and women who died in childbirth, were transported to the house of the sun, which they called the lord of glory, where they led a life of happiness and ease; every day greeting the rising sun with music and dancing, 869 which they then accompanied to the zenith, where they met the souls of the women, and, with the same demonstrations of delight, proceeded with them to the setting of the sun. Like the Vesperic tribes, they upheld the theory of the transmigration of souls, and believed that, after leading the life just described during four years, these souls entered into, and animated, the clouds, noble beasts, and birds of beautiful plumage and sweet song — possessing the privilege, while in this state, of ascending to Heaven, or of descending to the earth, there to sing

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and suck sweets from flowers. The Tlascallans believed that only the souls of the nobles animated noble beasts, birds of beauteous plumage and songsters; while the souls of the lower classes entered into beetles and other meaner forms of life.

Those killed by lightning, or who were suffocated, or died of dropsy, &c., and children sacrificed to Haloc, they believed went to the home of that god, where they lived in peace and pleasure. Their creed likewise taught that these children assisted at the sacrifices to their god on ascertain day, and at a certain altar, in the large temple of Mexico. The Mixtecas believed the entrance to heaven was through a cave, which was located in a high mountain of their country. The nobles were buried near this cave, in order to be close to the place: they expected to enter. The Mexicans believed, furthermore, that all beside those enumerated, after death entered a dark abode (where reigned the god Mict-lau-teuct-li) called Mictlau, where the only evil experienced was the total darkness. This abode was supposed to be situated either in the centre of the earth, or at the North Pole.

The cosmogony of the Aztecs bears traces of trans-Atlantic, or oriental origin. They possessed an account of the creation of the world, of the deluge, and of the confusion of tongues, very similar to that given by Moses. They averred that but one man was saved from the deluge, whom they called Coxcox or Teocipactli, and one woman, called Xochiquetzal. This person corresponds with Hiawatha, Manabosho, and Atahensic, in the north. They also relate that this couple debarked on a mountain, where they became the parents of many children, all of whom were born without the faculty of speech; but that a bird had, from the branch of a tree, taught them to speak. 870 The Tlascallans say that the persons saved from the deluge had degenerated into monkeys, but in time recovered speech and reason.

The Mexicans were extreme Theists, worshipping many gods; but their system of mythology comprised only thirteen principal ones. Tez-cat-li-po-ca was their principal deity, next in order to the supreme and invisible God. His name means "the looking-glass," and his idol held one in his hand. This was the God of providence, the soul of the earth, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and Lord of all things. He was represented as a youth, to indicate that time did not interfere with him. It was believed that he conferred many benefits on the good, and afflicted the evil-disposed with infirmities and troubles. They placed stones at the corners of the streets as seats for this god, upon which it was supposed he rested when fatigued; and it was unlawful for persons to seat, themselves upon them. The principal idol of this god was made of teotetl (divine stone — a black volcanic stone, taking a polish siinilar to marble), and was always dressed in court dress. In the ears were gold rings, and on the lower lip was placed a green or purple feather, inserted in a crystal tube. The hair was bound with a gold cord, to which was appended ornaments of the same metal. The breast

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was covered with gold; the arms were encircled by bracelets of gold; at the navel depended an emerald; and in the left hand was held a fan of gold and feathers. At other places this god was represented seated on a bank, wrapped in a scarlet robe, upon which was figured skulls and other portions of the human skeleton; in the left hand was held a skull and four arrows, and the right was raised in the attitude of throwing a dart. The body was painted black, and the head adorned with quail feathers.

The Indian elysium was ever constructed of things most agreeable here on earth. O-me-teuct-li or Cit-lal-lo-to-nae, and O-me-ci-huatl or Cit-la-li-cue, were a god and goddess, whom they believed inhabited a glorious city in heaven, where abounded every pleasure, and whence they watched over the world, and gave to mortals their respective inclinations — the former directing men, and the latter the women. The Mexicans relate that this goddess had many sons, but that finally she brought forth, in childbirth, a knife made of flint, which the sons indignantly cast to the earth, but in falling it was transformed into one thousand six hundred heroes, who had a knowledge of their noble origin. These heroes finding themselves without persons to serve them, as all the human race had been destroyed by a great calamity (the Mexicans believed that there had been three universal calamities), agreed to send to their mother, asking her to create men for their service. She refused their request, but directed them to apply to Mich-lau-teuct-li, the god of hell, for one of the bones of the dead, from which, by wetting it with their own blood, would spring a man and woman to people the earth. She warned them to guard themselves against this wicked god, as he might repent having given the bone, and work them some evil. Xolotl, one of the heroes, went to the god of hell, asked for the bone and received it; whereupon he fled toward the earth, the god pursuing him. Xolotl escaped, but, falling in his flight, broke the bone into many pieces. The fragments were placed in a barrel, and sprinkled with their blood. On the fourth day a boy appeared, and on the seventh, a girl. These two children were the means of repeopling the earth.

The character of woman shared largely in their mythology. Ci-hua-coh-uatl, or Qui-laz-tli, was supposed to be the first woman who bore twins, for which she was deified. They believed she often conveyed an extra child to some man's cradle.

Their apotheosis of the sun and moon was simply this: To-na-teuh and Miz-tli (sun and moon) were worshipped by the nations of Mexico. They relate that the earth, having been repeopled as related, was ruled by these demi-gods, each of whom had his subjects. The sun having been extinguished, they all assembled (demi-gods and men) near a great fire, or volcano, when the men were informed that he who would cast himself into the flames would have the glory of being converted into the sun. A man called Na-na-huat-zin immediately cast himself in, and went to the lower regions. Waiting to see the new sun rise, they sacrificed quails, locusts, &c., near the place wherein he cast himself. The sun soon appeared in the east, rose to the zenith, and moved towards the west. Anxious lest they should again be left in darkness, they inquired of the sun why it did not stop; when they received for answer, "that it

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would not stop until all of the heroes were dead." This reply occasioned them fear and grief. One of the heroes took a bow, and with it shot three arrows at the sun. The sun, irritated, cast one arrow back, splitting the forehead of Citli, who fired the arrows. Struck with consternation, and not being able to resist the sun's power, they agreed to die by the hand of Xolotl, who killed himself after having sacrificed his brothers. Before they expired, these demi-gods bequeathed their garments to their subjects. At the period of the conquest the Mexicans exhibited robes, which they said were the garments left by these said heroes. The people being saddened by the loss of their lords, the god Tezcatlipoca sent one of them to the sun for music, to use in the celebration of their feasts or worship; whence they learned to dance and to play on musical instruments. 871 Such was the origin of the use of both in the worship of their gods. The Mexicans also say that the self-sacrifice of the demi-gods led to the adoption of the human sacrifice so common among them. The origin of the moon was accounted for by a continuation of the fable. Other men, casting themselves into the fire, were converted into the moon, which was less bright, as the fire was weaker. To the sun and moon were consecrated the two temples on the plain of Yeotilenacan.

Quetzalcoatl, a serpent covered with feathers, was regarded among all the nations of Mexico as the god of air. They related that, in times past, he was a great god of Tula, was a tall, white man, with a large forehead, large eyes, black hair, and thick beard. He was rich, wise, and industrious; and first taught them the art of working and smelting metals. He, like Hiawatha in the north, 872 taught them arts, and gave them just laws, which he obeyed himself. They relate that, in his day, everything grew to a great size, and plenty reigned throughout the land, while the country was covered with birds of beautiful plumage and sweet songsters. His was a golden age. Suddenly he left his country, saying only that it was the will of the gods that he should go to the kingdom of Tlapallan, whither he was ordered to go by Tezcatlipoca, who appeared to him as an old man, and presented him with a drink, which he quaffed, hoping to become immortal. He left his country accompanied by many of his subjects. They relate that, when he arrived at Cholula, the inhabitants deposed their rulers and placed him in power. The Cholulans say that he taught them the art of smelting, for which they were so famous, gave them laws, established religious rites, and regulated their calendar. After a sojourn of twenty years at Cholula, he continued his journey in search of the imaginary kingdom of Tlapallan, taking with him four noble youths, distinguished for their virtue. When he arrived at the coast, in the province of Coatzacoalco, he sent back these four youths, with orders to say to the Cholulans that, after a time, he would return and reign over them. The youths were invested with the government, and he was deified and constituted protector of the city by the Toltecs of Cholula; in the centre of which city they erected a high mound, and on it built a

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sanctuary in his honor. A mound and temple were also erected in Tula. From Cholula his worship spread throughout all the country.

Even the enemies of the government of Cholula were allowed to visit that city to worship this god. The Yucatanos prided themselves upon a supposed descent of their nobles from this deity. Sterile women appealed to him to relieve them from that disgrace. The feasts of this god, observed in the city of Cholula, were grand, and obtained great celebrity. They were preceded by a feast of eighty days, and by the practice of dreadful austerities by the priests consecrated to his service. Sigüenza believed that Quetzalcoatl was the apostle St. Thomas. It is a general belief that these people had been visited by Christians before the Conquest.

Tlaloc, or Tla-lo-cat-euct-li, lord of paradise, was the god of water. They believed that he was charged with the duty of watering the earth, and was the protector of man's property. They believed that he resided in the high mountains, where he formed the clouds, and sent them to water the earth. They often went to the tops of mountains to implore his protection. The Acolhuans, who arrived in the reign of Xolotl, relate that they found upon Mount Thaloc an idol of this god, made of a white stone, which was in the form of a man seated upon a block, with a cup in front, filled with elastic gum and seeds. This offering of gum and seeds was renewed every year. This is believed to be the most ancient idol of Mexico. It was placed where found by the Toltecs, in the beginning of the sixteenth century. One of the kings, Alcolhuacan, wishing to please his subjects, substituted for it one made of more durable stone; but the latter being disfigured by lightning, the old one was replaced in its ancient seat, where it remained until destroyed by the vanclalic hand of the Bishop of Mexico. This idol was painted blue and green, to represent the colors of water, and held in the right hand a pointed, spiral rod of gold, to represent lightning. This god was believed to be the ruler of inferior gods, and had an altar in the large temple of Mexico.

Chal-chiuh-que-ye, or Chal-chi-huit-li-cue, was the goddess of water, and wife of Thaloc. She was known by other names, and the Tlascallans called her Mat-lal-cue-ye. Her vesture was blue, and she bore the same name as the mountain near their city on which they supposed she resided, and where they worshipped. This is the goddess called, by Torquemada, Xoch-i-quet-zal.

Guih-teuct-li, lord of the year and of planets, and the god of fire, was also called Ix-coz-auh-qui, which expressed the color of the flame, and was held in high repute in Mexico. When eating or drinking, the first mouthful was spit into the fire as an offering to this god, and, at certain hours of the day, incense was burned. Every year this god was honored by two feasts, one in the seventh, and one in the seventeenth month, 873 besides one on which the magistrates renewed their obligations of office to the crown. He had a temple in Mexico, and others at various places.

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Cen-teotl, the goddess of earth and of corn, was also called To-na-ca-yo-hua, she who sustains us. In Mexico five temples were dedicated to this goddess, and three feasts were observed in her honor, in the third, the eighth, and the eleventh month. No nation venerated her so much as the Totonacas, who looked upon her as their protectress, built her a temple on a high mountain, and appointed to her service many priests. They loved her, as they believed she abhorred human sacrifice, and would in time deliver them from the oppression of the other gods, that demanded human blood. The Mexicans, however, offered human victims to her.

Mict-lau-teuc-tli, god of hell, and Mict-lau-cih-natl, his wife, were renowned in Mexico. The Mexicans believed, as before stated, that they had resided in a dark abode in the centre of the earth, or at the North Pole. A temple was erected in Mexico, and dedicated to them, where they were worshipped in the seventeenth month. The principal priest, called Tlit-lau-tle-na-ma-cae, was painted black, and performed the rites to these gods in the night.

Xoal-teuc-tli, the god of night, was, in all probability, the same as Miztli, the moon. Some believed it to be the sun; others, again, that it was a distinct deity, and was worshipped as the god of sleep.

In this development of deities, childhood was not forgotten Xoal-ti-citl was the goddess of the cradle, and protector of children through the night.

No name, however, was so much honored as the
God of War. It was by war that the Mexican empire rose. Huit-zil-o-pocht-li, or Mex-it-li, was the most celebrated of all the Mexican deities, and the principal protector of the nation. Some relate that this god was self-created; others, that he was born of woman, though begotten by a god. The circumstances of his birth are related in this wise: There lived in Coatpec, a place near Tula, a woman much given to the worship of the gods. She was called Coat-li-cue, and was the mother of Cent-zou-huez-na-hue. One day, as she was sweeping the temple, as was her custom, she saw a bunch of feathers fall, as if from heaven, which she picked up and placed in her bosom, wishing to use them to decorate the altar; but when she wanted them they were gone, at which she was much surprised, and more so, when she found herself with child. Her sons soon observed her condition, yet did not doubt her virtue; but, knowing the disgrace of the affair, they determined to avoid it by killing their mother. She, being apprised of the project, was much distressed, but was comforted by hearing a voice from her womb, which said, "Don't fear, mother, I will save us, with your honor and my glory." The sons set out to consummate their crime, assisted by their sister, who had been the most forward in the business. On their arrival at their mother's residence, they found Huitzilopochtli just born, with a shield in his left hand and a dart in his right, a crest of green feathers on his head, his face striped with blue, the left leg covered with feathers, and the thighs and arms striped. He caused an upright serpent to appear, with which he ordered one of his soldiers to whip to death the sister, as the most guilty, and, casting

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himself upon the brothers, they were soon dispatched, their houses sacked, and the spoils given to the mother. This affair struck all men with such consternation, that they called him Tet-za-huitl, the frightful, and Tet-zauh-teotl, the frightful god. They relate that this god, charged with the protection of the Mexicans, conducted them in their journeys, and finally located them where their capital was built, and where they erected the splendid temple to his honor. They appointed to this god three solemn feasts in each year, in the fifth, the ninth, and the fifteenth months, besides those held every fourth and thirteenth year, and at the end of the century. His statue was of immense size, and was seated on a block of blue stone, from the four angles of which issued great snakes. Its forehead was blue, and the face, as well as the neck, covered with a gold mark. On the head it had a beautiful plume of feathers, formed from the crests of birds; the neck was encircled by a bracelet, made of two figures similar to the human heart; in the right hand it held a blue spiral staff; and in the left, a shield, upon which were five balls of feathers, arranged in the form of a cross; and from the upper part rose a banner of gold, with four arrows, which, according to their accounts, were sent from heaven, to be used in those glorious actions for which he was famous. The body was encircled by a great serpent, and covered with figures of many animals, &c., made of gold and precious stones, each figure having some particular significance. When the Mexicans determined upon engaging in a war, they implored the protection of this god with prayers and oblations, and to him were sacrificed most of those human beings who were constantly offered.

Tla-ca-hue-pan-aux-cot-zeu, another god of war, was a younger brother and companion of Huitzilopochtli.

Pain-al-ton, the representation of activity and velocity, was a god of war and lieutenant of Huitzilopochtli. This god was appealed to in any sudden emergency.

The Aztecs and Toltecs also had gods of commerce and the chase. Xa-ca-teuct-li, the god that directs, was the presiding deity of commerce. Feasts in honor of this god were annually held in the temple in Mexico, one in the ninth and one in the seventeenth month. Human beings were sacrificed to him.

Mix-coatl, goddess of the chase, was the principal protectress of the Otomites, who were all hunters. She had two temples in Mexico. Wild beasts were sacrificed to her.

O-pocht-li, protector of fishermen, is said to have invented the net and other fishing implements. A city located on an island in Lake Chalco had a god of fishing, which was called Ami-mitl, and was probably the same god.

Huix-to-ci-huatl, god of salt, was feasted in the seventh month.

Tza-pot-lau-te-nau, was the goddess of medicine. An annual sacrifice of human beings was made to her.

Tez-cat-zou-catl, the god of wine, had other names. A temple was consecrated, and 400 priests assigned to his service in Mexico. His feast was celebrated on the thirteenth month.

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Ix-tlil-ton, a god with a black face, was probably a god of medicine, as sick boys were carried to his temple to be cured.

Coat-li-cue, or Coat-lau-lo-na, was the goddess of flowers, and had a temple in Mexico called Lopico. Flowers were offered to her, and a feast was held in her honor in the third month. Some believed her to be the mother of the principal war gods.

Tla-zat-teotl was the goddess the Mexicans asked to forgive them their sins, and to save them from the reproach attached to them. The principal worshippers of this goddess were lascivious men, who violated the rites of matrimony. Boturini says this was the lewd Venus, but a native writer says she was the goddess of wedlock.

Xipe, the protector of silversmiths, was much venerated in Mexico, as they believed that all who neglected his worship were afflicted with the itch and other vile sores. The feast to this god, characterized by cruel sacrifices, was celebrated in the second month.

Nap-pa-teuct-li, the god of the potters, had two temples in Mexico, and was worshipped in the second month.

O-ma-catl was the god of fun and frolic. An image of this god was placed in a conspicuous position at all feasts given by the Mexicans, when they considered it incumbent on them to make merry.

To-nant-zin was the goddess of mothers, and probably the same as Centeotl. Her temple was located where the church of Gaudalupe now stands. 874

Te-teoi-nan, as her name indicates, was the mother of the gods. The Mexicans believed that they also descended from her. The origin of this goddess, and the sad death of a princess of Acolhuacan, have already been related. She had a temple in Mexico, and ceremonial rites were celebrated in her honor in the eleventh month. She was the protectress of the Tlascallans. Some say that the two last mentioned are the same.

Ila-ma-teuct-li, the goddess of the women, and their protectress, was feasted on the third day of the seventh month.

Te-pi-to-ton was a general name for their household gods. The king and chiefs had six, the nobles four, and the lower classes two. They had gods for every day, after whom the day was named; and also gods for nearly everything and locality. Other nations of Mexico had the same gods, though frequently known under different names, Huitzilopochtli was called Quet-zal-coatl by the Cholulans, Heuxatzincas and Centeotl by the Totonacas, and Mixcoatl by the Otomites. The Tlascallans, rivals of the Mexicans, worshipped the same gods, which they called Huitzilopactilli and Camaxtli.

Their vocabulary is instructive. Cinteotl, the goddess of corn, was the mondamin or grain spirit of the Algonquins. Coyote, meaning primarily a fox, is also applied to a small

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wolf, resembling our prairie wolf. Quequecoyote becomes one of these totemic reliances, which are rather intensified objects of the imagination, than gods to be worshipped. Ocelotl is an eagle, and Quahtli a tiger; hence the gods of these names. Xolo is a monster, and Xolotl, god of monsters. Acatl is water; Patecatl, the apotheosis of a man saved from water, is a flood. Coatl is a serpent; Quetzalcoatl, the great serpent-wise man, or teacher of arts and laws. Tonatiuh is the sun; Tonatiotl, sun-god. The juice of the mayaguil personified a female with four hundred breasts. Fire, water, love, death, rain, wind, echo, mountains, and flowers, were the subjects of these mental intensifications, and furnished names which, being preserved in the memory of the priests, or in the calendar, served, in a measure, to keep the Indian mind in subjection to his superstition by a not very onerous tax. But the most monstrous and horrific of all the gods and goddesses, statues of whom were erected, was
Teoyaomiqui, called also Tuchiquetzel and Chiconecoa (for neither names nor ideas appear to have had much permanence), who was represented under the form of serpents, twisted around skulls. She was regarded as the cause of famine, sterility, and misery, and as the impersonification of all domestic evil. (See Plate, p. 585.)

The Toltec, and subsequently the Aztec, imagination, appears to have rioted in these personifications of passion, caprice and crime. But there was a lack of generalization; they framed no very connected system of mythology, the parts of which were strictly dependent upon each other, and constituted a whole. Even the sun, which seems, originally, to have been the prime object of worship, eventually ceased to receive their homage, except in theory; while, at the era of the conquest, the principal deity worshipped was the god of war, to whom human sacrifices were offered. The habits and manners of the people appear, at that time, to have reached their ultimate point of degeneracy; they were reported by the Spanish clergy to be steeped in moral degradation, and conversant with every monstrosity of crime. Compared to this Mexican mythology, that of the northern tribes retained greater simplicity, and freedom from the domination of the Indian priesthood. The culminating point of the system of deification adopted by both the Toltecs and the Aztecs had, in all probability, been reached from the same common basis, viz: a totemic identification of septs, bands, and tribes, mutually contending for supremacy, who assigned to their deities a local residence in the bodies of quadrupeds, birds, insects, reptiles, and other species of animated Nature, and lastly, in the bodies of men, who, under the titles of priests, seers, and prophets, made it the business of their lives to teach this system of deification, and thus to endeavor to perpetuate and strengthen their possession of the almost unlimited power they had acquired. Thus, the first effects of emancipation from barbarism, of the development of arts, employments, and manners, and of giving freedom to the power of thought, among a people who had no knowledge of divine truth, was the deification of every object and every passion. At the era of their discovery they were completely involved

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in a confusion of absurd idolatrous rites, ceremonies, and beliefs. Praise is due to the Spanish priesthood, who strove to abolish every vestige of it.

The late Mr. Gallatin, in concluding an elaborate review of the collection of Lord Kingsborough, condemns the mythological part of the picture-writings as being a barren and unprofitable historical study. "The subject," he observes, "is neither attractive, nor one of great promise. It is not probable that the interpretations of the names and attributes of the deities, represented in the several codices, could throw more light on the religious creed of the Mexicans, or on its influence on their social state, than we derive from the accounts of the conquerors, and the Indian traditions collected by early writers. Their mythology, as far as we know it, presents a great number of unconnected gods, without apparent system or unity of design. It exhibits no evidence of metaphysical research or imaginative powers. Viewed only as a development of the intellectual faculties of man, it is, in every respect, vastly inferior to the religious systems of Egypt, India, Greece, or Scandinavia. If imported, it must have been from some barbarous country, and have been brought directly from such country to Mexico, since no traces of a similar worship are found in the more northern parts of America." 875

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Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe.. History of the Indian Tribes of the United States: Their Present Condition and Prospects, and a Sketch of Their Ancient Status. Volume 6. . Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo and Co, 1857. [format: book; image], [genre: government document; report]. Permission: Northern Illinois University
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=schoolcraft6.html
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