(January 2004; class of Gabriela P. De Finn)
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Películas Españolas. El Herido (1946) de Alfredo Zalce.
Books on Learning Spanish. Studying Spanish in Mexico.
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Las formas de la poesía:
Here I summarize the numbers, the days, and the Gods of the Aztecs.
The first signs of the Aztecs in the Valley of Mexico was in 1256 A.D. (7) Aztecs arrived at Mesoamerica and adapted some of the culture that existed, specially of the Toltec inhabitants already established in the Valley of Mexico. Consequently, some symbols of the Aztecs are similar to the previous cultures.
The Aztecs wrote using pictorial writing, that contained symbols similar to those used by the Chinese or by the ancient Egyptians. All the symbols were drawings like ideogramas. Each object expressed its own nature, and also the related and underlying ideas.
Their numerical system counted in twenties. Basic numbers had ideogramas or Aztec glyphs. These were the numbers for the daily and common use: (9), (2)
A point or occasionally a finger or the same object.
Two or more points or fingers or the same objects.
A flag (pantli or cenpantli)
A bag (or xiquipilli or cenxiquipilli) or a bolsa adornada adorned with tassels. One imagined that it contained 8,000 beans of cacao.
For example, about 400 blankets of the cotton were represented by the hieroglyphic symbol for a blanket of the cotton underneath a symbol for 400.
These common numbers appeared in Codices, to show the tributes that the Aztecs (as the Mafia) demands. (4)
Nevertheless, Osorio (7) informs that there was not only one numeration, but three:
The numerals with astronomical values were developed in ceremonial centers. The Aztecs used them to transmit their astronomical knowledge. The system is based on the astronomical observations. Only the people with knowledge could decipher these numerals. Each of the symbols has its astronomical interpretation.
For example, Osorio (7) reports a symbol that formed with a picture with five points; it said that to this form "represents the 8, because five years of Venus are equivalent to eight years of 365 days of the Earth".
The Aztecs assigned names with their respective pictograms to the 20 different days. Sometimes, different references suggest names that are a little different but essentially the same, or they suggest different pictograms . For example, here is an image of Cóatl (the serpent), which is the symbol for the fifth day: (8)
The 20 names and pictogramas by the 20 days are (from (5) on the web, which shows a copy of an illustration in the book of Valliant (9)):
The Aztecs had two calendars, the solar calendar and the lunar calendar. In this article, I follow Valliant (9), and use "month" for the group of 20 days in the solar calendar and "week" for the group of 13 days in the lunar calendar.
The first sign of a day is "Lagarto". For that reason the first day of tonalpohualli (the lunar calendar) is called "1 Lagarto" ; this is the combination of the first number with first of the twenty signs. Thus, the date is counted consecutively (we recommence at 1 after we reach 13):
1 Lagarto (Lizard), 2 Viento (Wind), 3 Casa (House),
4 Lagartija (Small lizard), 5 Serpiente (Serpent),
6 Muerte (Death), 7 Venado (Deer), 8 Conejo (Rabbit), 9 Agua (Water), 10 Perro (Dog),
11 Mono (Monkey), 12 Hierba torcida (Twisted Grass), 13 Caña (Cane)
1 Jaguar (Jaguar), 2 Águila (Eagle), 3 Zopilote (Buzzard),
4 Movimiento (Movement), 5 Pedernal (Pedernal),
6 Lluvia (Rain), 7 Flor (Flower),
8 Lizard (House), etcétera.
Then the series again continued with Lizard: "8 Lizard".
The names of the 20 lunar weeks meant for each one the following one: (1)
|1 flecha (arrow)||2 tigre (tiger)||3 águila (eagle)||4 cuervo (crow)||5 los cuatro movimientos del sol (the four movements of the sun)|
|6 pedernal (pedernal)||7 lluvia (rain)||8 flor (flower)||9 serpiente armada de arpones (serpent armed with harpoons)||10 Ehecatl (el gran dios Ketzalcoatl en figura de viento) (the great God Ketzalcoatl in the shape of the wind)|
|11 casa (house)||12 lagartija (small lizard)||13 culebra (snake)||14 muerte (death)||15 venado (deer)|
|16 conejo (rabbit)||17 agua (water)||18 perro (dog)||19 mona (monkey)||20 hierba (grass)|
The two calendars (solar and lunar) appear together in many civilizations, like that of the ancient British as seen at Stonehenge. For the Aztecs, like for the ancient British, the combination of both calendars produced a cycle of 52 years. Gonzáles (6) demonstrates how the solar calendar is interlocked with the lunar calendar, to create the cycle of 52 years.
As for all calendars calculated in the basis of the Earth's rotation around the sun, the Aztec calendars are inexact. Sometimes corrections and adjustments were made.
Fernández (3) enumerates almost 200 Gods and goddesses. And the text of Fernandez is not complete.
The primogenitor God is called Moyocoyani, "he that created himself". He was invented to constitute the principle. The opposites occured in him, such as spirit and matter, fire and water, masculine and feminine, the positive and the negative. For that reason, the God is called Ometeotl, "God of duality", creator and destroyer.
This supreme principle appears in a series of manifestations, like independent Gods, but they are only the phases and the forms of the single principle.
In detail "simultaneously manifested like" are Ometecuhtli, "Lord of Duality", and Omecihuatl, "Lady of Duality". They are the Creative Pair, Gods of creation and of life. Also they appear simultaneously like Michtlantecuhtli, "Lord of Death" and Michtecacihuatl, "Lady of Death".
The creative pair procreated four children called:
There are many more Gods. A God was associated with:
For example the Gods that assign themselves to the days first are these: (9)
|1||Lagarto (crocodile)||Tonacatecuhtli||Gentleman of Our Subsistence, creative God.|
|2||Viento (Wind)||Quetzalcóatl||Serpent, Plumed, God of Skies, God of Knowledge (del Saber)|
|3||Casa (House)||Tepey óllohtli||Heart of the mountains, an Earth God|
|4||Lagartija (Small lizard)||Huehuecóyotl||old Coyote, Chismoso|
|5||Serpiente (Serpent)||Chalchihuitlicue||Lady of the bejeweled mantle, Goddess of Water|
|6||Muerte (Death)||Tecciztécatl||The one of the marine snail, God of the Moon.|
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