Quigaltam, Natchez: The 'Great Sun' Speaks
With respect to what DeSoto said about being the 'Son of the Sun', let him dry up the great river and I will
With respect to the rest: I am not accustomed to visit anyone. On the contrary, all whom I have knowledge visit
and serve me and only me and pay me tribute.
(DeSoto would never meet Quigaltam. On May 21st, 1542, he died. His body was thrown in the Mississippi river).
'Mexico today still carries the stamp of its Indian origin, the mark
of those Aztecs whose language impregnates spoken Spanish, and who left enough traces of their intellectual and artistic capacities
to make one look on the future of that country with confidence.'
The Four Suns, 1957
And they placed him in a maguey leaf, where he grew strong; /---/ when
he matured, he became a priest, a keeper of the god /---/ and all obeyed him by whom they were led /---/ (FC, Book X,
Ch. 29, p. 189).
Among them were «wise men» (tlamatinime) called Amoxcoaque (ibid. 190) those who carried
the god on their backs (in teumamaque). They carried the writings (in tlilli, in tlapalli), the books (amoxtli),
the paintings (in tlaujlolli). They carried the knowledge (qujtqujque in tlamatiliztli), they carried all (mochi
qujtqujque) - the songbooks (cujcaamatl), the flutes (tlapitzalli). Then they devised the book of days
(in tonalpoalli), the book of years (in xioamatl), the count of the years (xippoalli), the book of dream
(in temic amatl) /---/.
He performed sorcery for [the god]; he was equal to, he resembled
[a god]. /---/ He addressed the gods: he informed them of that which they desired. /---/
The people asked many things of the sorcerer: protection
from war, sickness, famine, etc. They worshipped [sorcerers] as gods; hence they were very highly esteemed. (FC,
Book X: 176-177)
[Note: Sahagun is referring to our Priests and Wise
Men. FC = Florentine Codex]
Andrés Mixcoatl - a rainmaker who became a god.
Martín Ocelotl - a former merchant who became a healer and a prophet.
Juan Coatl - a visionary healer, a shaman?
Gregorio Juan - a therapist and prophet who became a Man- God?
Antonio Pérez - a former shepherd who became a healer, preacher and a God.
Domingo Hernandez was from Tlaltizapan, a village on the right bank of the Yautepec
River in Mexico. There he built up a reputation for holiness after he received from heaven the 'virtue of healing illnesses.'
This was in the beginning of the 17th century.
When he was at death's door, two people dressed in white tunics appeared to him and took him very far from there to another
place where there was a sick man, and there they blew on him. Then they led him to another place where they found another
sick man, and again they blew on him. They then told him:
'Let us return to your house for they already weep for you; rest now, for after tomorrow we will return for you."
At that moment, as he came to, he noticed that his friends were weeping for him as if he were already dead.
The two people dressed in white returned three days later. Like the first time, they took him to see the two sick
men, and they blew on him just like before. Meanwhile, they told him:
'Hurry if you want to see your parents, your grandparents, and the rest of your family, but if they find you, you must
absolutely not answer them; otherwise you will stay with them and you will not reach the world again.'
Then he saw two roads, one very wide which many people took--the other narrow and steep, full of brush, rushes, and thorns.
It was, they told him, the path of our Redeemer. He saw that few followed it, and again that many people took the broad
path. The people in white tunics ordered him to follow them, and they arrived at the houses of the prodigies, where
they told him:
'Xitlamahuico, look, and pay attention to what you see. Observe what happens to those who get drunk; beware, don't
start your drinking again .... (and many other things of that sort), otherwise you'll endure the same tortures.
Give up pulque immediately or in three days you'll come back here. Now let's go to your house, for they are already
weeping for you, and they should not be allowed to bury you.'
They then told him:
'Listen, you who are poor and miserable, here is what will give you food and drink in the world.'
They taught him the words ... which he has used ever since to care for people, and which brought him success in
his treatments, even the most hazardous ones. Whereupon they took him back to his house. There he came to, and
noticed people weeping for him as if he were dead.
He then said that, this same night, three ladies magnificently dressed in white, and only in that color, came to visit
him, and he reported some of the words they had exchanged. According to him, it was the Virgin (Our Lady), Veronica
and another lady whom he did not identify. Our Lady said that Christ Our Lord had captured this sick man, and she wanted
to help him.
Veronica obeyed her, and wafted some air to him with a piece of fabric. With that action he came to, and from that
morning on he felt fine.
Taken from: Aztec Sorcerers in Seventeenth
Century Mexico The Treatise on Superstitions by Hernando Ruiz de Alarcon (1629)
Andres Mixcoatl's declaration before the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition on 14 September
My name is Andres Mixcoatl. I am a Christian. A friar baptized me at Texcoco five years ago. I don't know
his name. I took catechism every day at Texcoco with the friars of St. Francis and their disciples, some young men in
their charge. They told us in their sermons to abandon our idols, our idolatry, our rites; to believe in God; and many
other things. I confess that, instead of practicing what they told me, for three years I have preached and maintained
that the Brothers' sermons were good for nothing, that I was a god, that the Indians should sacrifice to me and return to
the idols and sacrifices of the past. During the rainy seasons, I made it rain. That is why they presented me
with paper, copal, and many other things, including property.
I often preached in plain daylight at Tulancingo, Huayacocotla, Tututepec, Apan, and many other places. It was
at Tepehualco, about four years ago, that I became a god. Since there was no rain, during the night I made magic incantations
with copal and other things. The next day it rained alot. That is why they took me for a god. The chichimecas
executed one of their priests, claiming that he knew nothing and couldn't make it rain, I declare that when I engaged in these
superstitions and magic practices, the devil spoke to me and said: "Do this, do that." [In another place] I did the
same thing ....
Why do you abandon the things of the past and forget them, if the gods that you worshipped then looked after you and
gave you what you needed? You must realize that everything the Brothers say is mere lies and falsehoods. They
have brought nothing to look after you, they dont't know us, nor we them. Did our fathers and grandfathers know these
monks? Did they see what they preach, this god they talk of? Not at all! On the contrary, they are tricking
us. We eat what the gods give us, it is they who feed us, shape us and give us strength. Do we know these Brothers?
I intend to perform these sacrifices, and I am not going to abandon the habit because of these people!
Quoted in Serge Gruzinski
Man-Gods in the Mexican Highlands
(Gruzinski 1989: 36-37)
Texcoco, 1532: baptism of Andrés; Tepehualco, 1533: Andrés becomes a god; Tepetlaoztoc, 1534: Andrés is a god
Martín Ocelotl - a contemporary of Andrés Mixcoatl but with quite a different background. He became
a Christian already in 1525 (Gruzinski 1989: 56). He was probably born in Chiautla, his father was a merchant and his mother
had a reputation as a «sorceress» (ibid. 39). Besides his own profession as a merchant he soon extended his activities to
include those of a healer and a prophet (ibid. 40). He also seems to have had a fairly good knowledge of pre-Hispanic life
and thinking. Together with his preaching mostly on famine and such catastrophic events (ibid. 40), his «apocalyptic anticlericalism»
as Gruzinski puts it (ibid. 42) added to his legendary reputation. He was arrested by the Inquisition in February 1537 and
brought to trial in Spain where nothing is heard about his destiny there.
His contemporary Andrés Mixcoatl prophesied as follows although referring first and foremost
Let the magistrates of the Audiencia and the Law say what they will, let them
accuse me of whatever they will, I did not myself go to Castile, but I do criss-cross these mountains like the deer and the
rabbits [which in pre-Hispanic rhetoric means marginality, nomadic irreverence and nonconformity]. It is quite true
that my messenger went to Castile. He will be back. Let us see what the Emperor ordains; and when my messenger returns, I
shall begin again to teach the people. (ibid. 43)
«for the servant, for the faithful, for Andrés himself, there was nothing contradictory
in the merging of Ocelotl and Mixcoatl into a single, identical man-god» (ibid. 43).
Without further comments I personally agree. All the more so considering similar processes of
fusion in pre-Hispanic times e. g. that of Quetzalcoatl, the god and his namesake and terrestrial manifestation Quetzalcoatl
Topiltzin, governor and high priest at Tollan.
At the interrogation, February 19, 1660 Gregorio Juan presents himself as «a native of the village
of San Agustín in the parish of Xicotepec. I lived with [my parents] until I was /---/ fourteen years old. Then I ran away
from my father /---/» (Gruzinski 1989: 64).
Gregorio became influenced by an Indian with the name of Pedro. He tried to initiate him in
his own activities presenting him to his «god» who appeared in a tent in the form of a child «whose skin was dark blue, his
face white, and his hair saffron yellow» (ibid. 65).
The child said to me /---/ «this is the liquid you shall give the sick you wish to care for;
whenever you need it, call me as Pedro did, and you will find me. Call upon me under the name of Goat or Star, and I shall
not fail you; and when you need it, get the water ready and I shall take care of bringing you the powders.» (ibid. 66)
When Gregorio declared that he respected the priests because they were the ones who confessed,
baptised and celebrated Mass, the child replied:
«Don't accept anything from them. /---/ for I am the true priest. That is why I tell you not
to confess.» With these words he disappeared. Night had fallen for we had spent the whole day there. (ibid. 66)
Some time later Gregorio called for the child who gave him the prepared water «for me to care
for a child named Pedro /---/ The father had asked me to look after his son, whom he had brought to my parents' house. There
the potion was prepared and given to the child. Matheo, his father, had known about me because I already had a reputation
in the village for looking after the sick» (ibid. 67).
Puebla, 1665: Testimony of a Spaniard from Huamantla in the trial of the "idolatrous" Juan Coatl.
Six years ago, an Indian named Juan Coatl ("Cloud Serpent"), of the village of San Juan Ixtenco ... told me he wanted
to make me rich, as he had done for others. To that end I was supposed to go with him to the Sierra of Tlaxcala, where
he would give me a good deal of gold and silver--provided I kept a "fast" consisting of staying away from women for two days
before the Ascencion. And in the event, driven by greed and curiousity to see whether the Indian would perform bad or
superstitious acts, in the company of another Spaniard I climbed that mountain with Juan Coatl. When we got to a cabin
that looked like a hermitage, the Indian lit candles and burned copal and incense in the hut. Then leaving me there,
he told me to wait and disappeared into the mountain reaches. He returned after some time and reproached me for not
having come in good faith, because I had broken the promised fast and because I had a brother in the Church. That is
why he would not give me the money I had sent him to find; that is why the master of those parts (a divine being of some kind)
was incensed. In spite of that, he would still get me quantities of things.
Seeing that the whole thing was a confidence game, I left the Indian. Four months later, I met him and asked why
he had not kept his promise to make me rich, as he'd said he had done for others. He answered that the mountain was
very angry because one of my brothers was a priest, and to calm its wrath he had gone up another mauntain called the Caldera.
There his protector had appeared to him as he slept, telling him to get up and go tell the people of Huamantla and San Juan
(Ixtenco) that he had calmed down and was no longer angry with them for having revealed his story: A heavy downpour that same
day would be a sign. And if the Indian is to be believed, there really was a downpour .... I have heard the Indians
say he is believed to be a high priest, that he marries and baptizes, choosing the name according to the day of birth on a
calendar he has. He climbs to the Sierra of Tlaxcala with Indian men and women.
The truth according to the inquiry held by the ecclesiastical tribunal of the bishopric of Puebla.
Either by himself or with the intervention of some of the old fiscales of San Juan (Ixtenco), he gathers candles,
copal, incense, and hens .... and he goes up to the Sierra, or mountain of Tlaxcala, where they say he has a cave beside
the spring that flows to San Juan Ixtenco, by way of Canoas: Two crosses mark the spot. At the entrance of the cave
he lights candles, and inside he keeps idols, including a painted canvas representing an Indian woman with Indian youths at
her feet, adoring her; another canvas delineating a figure with indigenous features, wearing a tilma (cape), with a stick
in his hand; and two other paintings, one representing four snakes, and the other a large coiled serpent .... These are to
be seen, along with other idols and a pile of garments offered in Juan Coatl's sanctuary....
Then he enters the cave with two other people, with lit candles and a great deal of copal. There they spend a day
and a night in adoration of the idols ... for Juan Coatl tells them these are their real gods, who give them water and good
crops and all the other goods they possess, that they should believe in them and in an idol that he shows them, saying that
she is their Virgin. They must not believe in the God of the Spaniards or in the Blessed Virgin. The times they
must go "to the cave" he commands them to fast, which means abstaining from sleeping with their wives; and if by chance one
of them disobeys, he treats them like "dogs who do not fast." One of them, among others, relates what happened to him
for not having abstained on that occassion: When he returned to the village with him, Juan told him that he was nothing but
a "dirty dog of a drunkard" who did not come fasting. The others were amazed at what he knew about what everyone was
doing. According to Coatl's wife, when he was about to go up the mountain he abstained the night before.
The Indians confessed, too, that when the parish priest came to the village, Juan reprimanded the children and adults
who went to see him: Why go to the priest, since he was more that the priest, he spoke with the gods and provided for
them what they needed. And he repeated that they should not believe in [the] God [of the Spaniards but in the Gods of
[Quoted in Gruzinski Op. cit.]
Antonio Pérez was also called the «Shepherd» because he once kept sheep. He could be classified as a «healer» and a preacher
or an «improvised sacristan» (Gruzinski 1989: 113).
. . . . This same man is said to have declared to one of his followers: I am God, and
it is I who feed the worlds (ibid. 105).
by some he was perceived as a god: He had God in his body /---/ he had God in
To summarise Antonio Pérez's character and programme I borrow the words of Serge
Gruzinski when he adduces
the stages of 'deification' of an Indian in whom a new man-god is to be recognized:
the sacralisation of his relations with the faithful; the assimilation («He was like God»); the possession (of God,
in his body and especially in his chest); the profession of faith («I am God»). (ibid. 122)
Yautepec, 11 September 1761: Interrogation
of Antonio Perez, the forty-year-old shepherd of the hamlet of Tlacoxcalco in the Pueblo of Ecatzingo.
Four years ago, when I was living
on the Gomez rancho at Tecitcayac in the jurisdiction of Atlatlahucan, I accompanied a Dominican father from there to the
village of Yecapixtla. I do not know the name of the Dominican, where he comes from, or where he is. It could
well be that he was the devil. I just remember that on the road the Dominican told me I was already damned because I
drank far too much. Then he instructed me in caring for the sick, advising me to use ... eggs, soap, milk, cooking oil,
mint, or tomato skins, depending on the nature of the illness. He taught me cures for everything, including terrible toothaches,
one of which consisted of making vapors by selecting six tesontles (volcanic rocks) of the same size and sprinkling them with
water in which rue and attemisia had been cooked. Then they had to be taken and placed seperately between the patient's
For all my treatments I recite the
Credo as the holy church teaches it, and I add these words: "In the name of the most holy Trinity, of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost. Amen." I put my trust first in God and only then in the herbs. When he is on his way to recovery,
the sick man recites the act of contrition. I do all that because the Dominican friar told me to. That is how
I cured Magdalena from Tetelcingo of typhoid fever, my wife Ana Maria of stomach pain, a certain Domingo, whose name and pueblo
I do not know, of a leg wound ....
For six reales I bought from a painter
named Bentura a very old painting, half an ell in size, which represented Christ. I kept it at my house and had it carefully
cleaned. Many people came to offer him flowers and tapers. That is why Don Jacinto Valera, the priest of Atlatlahucan,
had arrested me.
Afterward he freed me so that I would
take him to my place and give him the holy Christ. As I was getting ready to do so, all of a sudden I found myself with
my painting in a cave at the bottom of a ravine that runs along one side of Atlatlahucan. I had been carried there through
the air, without knowing by whom, and I stayed in the cave for a moment before going to Chimalhuacan, where I gave the painting
in question to the priest, who had it put under glass in his church. But since I accepted offerings of candles and money,
the priest reprimanded me and put me out of the church.
Eight days later, in a place named
Zabaleta, I met Dieguino [a barefoot Franciscan], who asked me to go with him to Puebla. I agreed, and all of a sudden
found myself in the middle of the volcano, at the friar's side. The Dieguino told me not to be sad about the Holy Christ they
had taken from me, because he would give me another, and in fact he gave me a head which seemed to be of glass, ordering me
to make a body of cypress for it. I succeeded, with the help of a painter whose name I do not know, and I gave it the
name of Santo Entierro [Christ of the Entombment]. I lit tapers before that Christ, recited some Credos and "Glory be."
At the time of my arrest, I had that image at my house, and I do not know where it is now.
The same friar told me that in the
volcano I would find a rainbow, and under the rainbow the Virgin; and that thereafter two new sources of water would appear
At the time, I disregarded his prediction
and remained silent for a year and a half.
Although the image was not brought
to the church, I did take it to the cave in the company of five people from Ecatzingo: my son Matheo, his brother Felipe,
Maria, Theresa, Diego, and twenty-five others from Izamatitlan, among whom were the fiscal Pedre, Pasqual de Santa Maria,
and others whose name escape me. When we got there, I discovered all the instruments of the passion in a hole; they
were made of terra-cota, and I took them home. Pasqual de Santa Maria took the Virgin to his place, and we recited the
rosary before her, and the "Glory be"; we danced and played music. That is what we were doing when the priest came in
to arrest us.
[Quoted in Gruzinski Op. cit.]
Our Heroes and Important People in our Racial Community. People in our community who became Gods: VICTORY
TO THEIR AWAKENING!!
He was a member of a family whose reputation for many years was that of utmost importance, thus a prominent figure in
the Mayan elite. He started the rebellion in 1847 in co-operation with other prominent Mayas, including Cecilio Chi from Tepich.
He led the southern half of the revolutionary armies and he was appointed «Gouveneur» for the Indians of Yucatán -(Mossbrucker
1993: 43, 45, 53)
both Chi and Pat were imprisoned in 1839 just when Chi had been nominated batab of Tepich, which indicates a middle
position in the ranking Mayan society (Rugeley 1997: 45).
It was said that
the war erupted when Cecilio Chi discovered his daughter reduced to concubinage by the local minister! /---/ However,
this popular story, like much of oral tradition, probably uses personalistic narratives to symbolise broader social pressures.
(Rugeley 1997: 61 note 98)
Manuel Antonio Ay
Manuel Antonio Ay is from a later part of the Caste War.
As a witness to his importance and his place in the people's memory one may draw the attention
to the words on the commemorating monument in his home town Chichimila: (Rugeley 1997: 51)
MANUEL ANTONIO AY
Protomartir de la Revolución Maya de 1847-1975.
Emiliano Zapata: As El Tepozteco
The Tepoztecan children are taught about El Tepozteco thus:
Tepozteco cannot be known; his house is on the hill near El Parque. There he has his house and everything
which he needs in his home, but he himself does not appear. He always lives far off among the clouds. He has a mother who
is in the church. We say Mass for his mother. His mother is named Tonantzin [Our revered little Mother] and also Natividad. -
When they don't give him a good celebration on the eighth of September he sends a great wind; when the celebration is a good
one then he does nothing, he is content. Tepozteco is a god who is loveable and cruel. He has only one punishment for the
village. /---/ he takes away the water. (Lewis 1963: 276)
Zapata was not illiterate - he fought for «land and liberty» leading his peasant army of around 30.000
men when most, first against the dictator Díaz, and then against traitors and usurpators who did not live up to the motto
for his revolutionary program presented in the Plan of Ayala «Libertad, Justicia y Ley», 25th of November 1911. (Silva Herzog
1960, I: 240-45; cf. Blanco Moheno 1973 (1970): 116 ff.)
The Zapatistas had set up their camp near the mountain El Cerro del Jilguero. They were surrounded there by
the troops of the Carrancistas
with no means of escape. /---/ And though he [Zapata] knew he was going to lose, his spirit did
not fail him.
«Follow me,» Zapata said, «Until the last cartridge is gone! If they kill me, go away. /---/ And if you
do not want to follow me, go up to the highlands and abandon me. Here is enough money for you to live on the road. /---/»
When his soldiers went away to the highlands, they left Zapata alone at the Cerro del Jilguero. It is said
that a trap was set for him. A general by the name of Amaro was the one who betrayed Zapata. «I have come to join you,» he
said. «I am no longer with Carranza! I am with Zapata now!»
Zapata trusted him. He believed Amaro, who joined the army as if he had been one of Zapata's soldiers. It
was then that Amaro killed Zapata. (Horcasitas 1972: 175 ff.)
He was the first to coin the motto «Men of the south, it is better to die standing than live down on your knees».
His main revolutionary goal was «Land to the landless» (Bamford Parkes 1940: 350). The semicircular wall that protects the
ruins of his home in Anenecuilco bears the famous words «The land belongs to him, who works it!» There I was told by an old
guide that the Mexican government, i.e. the PRI in reality, wants to move Zapata's body from his grave in Cuautla in order
to solemnly bury him under the Revolutionary Monument in Mexico City but the family refused. Not until the goal of the Mexican
Revolution is fulfilled, its greatest hero will remain where he is now.
Both goddesses were called by their adherents Tonantzin 'Our Revered (Little) Mother', an epithet applied also
to other mother goddesses and tantamount to the Spanish «Madrecita», i.e. the Virgin Mary (cf. Schultze-Jena 1957: 408 ff).
In December 1531 she appeared to the baptised Indian Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac, the very place of a former shrine
dedicated to a goddess called «Tonantzin». As «Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe» the Holy Virgin is worshipped not only by the
Mexicans. Millions of catholic pilgrims from all parts of the world assemble to pay their reverence to the Mother of Christ,
whether actually believing or not in her miraculous image on Juan Diego's tilma (cloak) at her altar. (Hellbom, 1964: 58-72).
María may not be a «true goddess» however holy. She is the mother of the Son of man.
Please Note: a major part of the above information
comes from the following web source