A

a

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) a place where something exists, mouth.

a

(mixteco de Teposcolula, del siglo XVI) lugar donde algo existe, boca.

A.D./C.E.

chronological markers: A.D. Latin Anno Domini, "year of our lord," and C.E., Common Era. These two markers are, respectively, paired with B.C., "before Christ," and its secularized equivalent, B.C.E., "Before Common Era."

A.D./C.E.

adobe

(from Spanish adobar, "to prepare, cook, season") a sun dried brick.

adobes

adobe: (de adobar, "preparar, cocinar, sazonar") ladrillo de barro secado al sol.

affix/affixes

(from Latin affigere, "to fasten") linguistic units added to roots; prefixes are affixes appended at the beginning of a root, suffixes are affixes appended at the end of a root.

afijo/afijos

agave

see maguey.

agaves

ver maguey.

agglutinate

(from Latin ad-glutinare, "to fasten with glue") in linguistics, to combine root words and affixes into compound words.

aglutinar

agua de cal

ver cal y nixtamal.

aguacate

ahuacate

(Spanish, from Nahuatl ahuacatl) avocado.

ahuehuete

(Nahuatl ahuehuetl) long-lived Mesoamerican tree (Taxodium mucronatum, "Montezuma Baldcypress") common along water courses. Ahuehuetes can grow up to 170 feet in height and 160 feet in trunk circumference.

ahuehuetes

Alfonso Caso

alimentaria

alimentary

(from Latin alere, "to nourish") related to food, nutriment.

Altar Q, Copan

refers to a square stone monument from the Classic Maya site of Copan (now in northwest Honduras). Carved in A.D. 775, the sides of Altar Q depict sixteen rulers of Copan, beginning in A.D. 426 with the dynastic founder Lord Yax Kuk' Mo.

Anales de Cuauhtitlan Nahuatl

refers to a document, circa 1570, that provides a chronological history from the Toltecs to the Spanish Conquest, including conquest lists, tribute lists, and a list of communities subject to Texcoco. The first part is known as the Codex of Chimalpopoca.

analgesic

(from Greek an- "not, without," and algesis, "pain") refers to something that removes pain.

(del griego an-"no, sin" y algesis, "dolor") se refiere a algo que quita el dolor.

Andalusian

(from Arabic Al-Andalus) from Andalusia--southern Spain.

andaluz

andehui

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) sky, heaven.

andehui

anthropology

(from Greek anthro-, "human," and legios, "speech, discourse") refers to the study of humans and their culture/beliefs/practices.

asterism

(from Greek asterismos, refers to "a marking with stars, a constellation") refers to a constellation or group of stars.

asterismo

atlatl

see spear thrower.

atlatl

ver flechador.

atole

(Nahuatl atolli) refers to a beverage of maize gruel, served hot and flavored with sugar and cacao or vanilla.

atoles

autonomy

self-government or the right of self-government, independent of the laws of another state or government; self-determination; independence. In Latin America there are a variety of indigenous demands for autonomy, reflecting the desire for indigenous oversight or control of political (e.g. local government in primarily indigenous areas), cultural (e.g. education), and economic decisions that affect Amerindian communities. One demand is for legal autonomy for internal community politics [i.e. the respect for consuetudinary (custom, usage) or tribal law]. In the San Andres Accords (1996) it was agreed "to establish a new relationship between the Mexican state and indigenous peoples, in which the federal government commits itself to regulate its actions in accordance with the following principles: self-determination and autonomy. The state commits itself not to intervene unilaterally in the internal organization nor in affairs that concern indigenous people in issues of the use of their resources or the arrangement of their priorities. This provision obliges the state to give impetus to a matching criteria in its programs, budgets and projects, which of course, translates into the necessary participation of indigenous peoples ...."(Jorge Javier Elorriaga Berdegue, journalist). See usos y costumbres, customs and traditions, c.f. sovereignty.

autoridades

Spanish) literally "authorities," local leaders.

autoridades

autosacrifice

refers to a form of Mesoamerican religious offering in which an individual draws substances from his or her own body. Bloodletting was the most common form of Precolumbian autosacrifice.

autosacrificio

Aztec

(Nahuatl aztlatl, "white" or "heron," and -tecah, "residents of, people from;" people from Aztlan) is the general term for Nahuatl-speaking peoples living in Central Mexico in the late Postclassic and early colonial periods. The term "Aztec" encompasses a number of different groups, including the Mexica, the group centered at Tenochtitlan.

azteca

Aztlan

(Nahuatl aztlatl, "white" or "heron," and -tlan, "place of, at," thus "Place of Whiteness" or "Place of Herons") refers to the mythical northern island homeland of the Mexica, which the Mexica ancestors left at the start of the journey that would bring them to Tenochtitlan.

B

B.C., B.C.E.

chronological markers: "Before Christ" and its secularized equivalent, "Before Common Era." These two markers are, respectively, paired with A.D. (Latin Anno Domini, "year of our lord") and C.E. (Common Era).

Bacabes/Ritual de los Bacabes

Bacabs/Ritual of the Bacabes

backstrap loom

a type of loom used in traditional Mesoamerican weaving. One end of the loom is tied to an upright surface (such as a wall or tree), and the other end is tied around the weaver's waist and lower back. The weaver sits on the ground, and by shifting her position she can adjust the tension of the warp threads that stretch between her and the tree. This traditional Mesoamerican weaving was done primarily by women.

ballcourt

a playing field for the Mesoamerican rubber ball game, typically shaped like a capital "I" with a long central playing field and two perpendicular "end zones." Illustration: a red and blue ballcourt, surrounded by multicolored dots, is shown left of center on page 23 of the Codex Nuttall.

banda de guerra

banda del cielo

ver sauna.

batten

(from French baton, "stick") in Mesoamerican weaving, refers to a flat tool of wood or bone used to separate warp threads in order to allow the shuttle to pass between them. Illustration: Lady 13 Flower holds a red weaving batten with yellow dots at the top center of page 19b of the Codex Nuttall.

Batz'

Batz'

bezote

biomasa

biomass

the combined weight of all the organisms at a particular feeding level in an ecosystem, the amount of living matter as measured in a unit area or in a volume of living habitat. Biomass can be used in two ways, either to describe the quantity of organisms ("tropic levels") or as energy fuel. The biomass of producers (plants) in an ecosystem is far greater than the biomass of primary consumers (animals). The building blocks of biomass, which are carbohydrates or sugars, are formed in plants through the process of photosynthesis (carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the earth).

blitzkrieg

(literally in German "lightning war," from Blitz, "lightning," and Krieg, "war") a sudden, surprise, coordinated air and ground attack. A war tactic perfected by the Nazis during World War II.

blitzkriegs

bloodletting

Mesoamerican religious practice in which sacrificial blood is drawn by piercing the skin. Obsidian blades, sharpened bones, and pointed maguey leaves were all used to draw blood. Illustration: Lord 5 Alligator performs bloodletting from his ear on the left-hand side of page 25 of the Codex Nuttall.

Borgia group

bound volute

a poorly understood object frequently depicted in the Mixtec codices, composed of two parenthesis-shaped, multicolored bands [)(], "tied" together in the center by a third band. Mark King has suggested the bound volute represents song scrolls tied together. Illustration: a blue, red, and brown bound volute is drawn at the bottom right corner of page 25 of the Codex Vienna.

boustrephedon

(from Greek bous, "ox," and strephein, "to turn"--that is, as an ox turns when it is plowing a field, i.e. back and forth) in written texts, a back-and-forth reading order (left to right, then right to left, then left to right...; or bottom to top, then top to bottom, then bottom to top...). The reading order used in the Mixtec codices.

bruja

(Spanish) witch.

brujas

(Spanish) witch.

bulto mortuorio

bulto sagrado

C

C'at

C'at

ca

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) one.

ca

(mixteco del siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) 1.

ca'nda

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to cut, to divide.

ca'nda

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) cortar, dividir.

caa

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) metal.

caa

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) metal.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) clock, literally "iron which divides into sections from the middle."

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) reloj, literalmente "hierro que divide en secciones desde en medio."

caballero

(Spanish) gentleman.

caballero

(Spanish) gentleman.

caca

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to walk.

caca

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) caminar.

cacao

(from Mayan kakaw, "chocolate") a lowland tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) and its seeds from which chocolate is made. Illustration: red, blue, and green football-shaped cacao pods (from which the seeds are removed) form part of the personal name of Lady 9 Eagle in the upper right-hand corner of page 26 of the Codex Nuttall.

cacao

cacaxtli

cacique

[female form cacica] (Arawakan cacique) ruler or chief. The Spaniards adopted this term during their invasions of the Caribbean islands, and subsequently applied it to indigenous rulers throughout the mainland of North and South America.

cacique

caha

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to speak.

caha

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) hablar.

cahi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) outside patio.

cahi

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) patio exterior.

cahui

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to read, to count.

cahui

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) leer, contar.

cal

calabaza de tabaco

calendario gregoriano

calendario juliano

calendario ritual

calendric

(from Latin calends, the day on which accounts were due) adjectival forms of "calendar"; relating to systems for the recording of the passage of time.

camino de estrellas

camisa

(Spanish) shirt.

camisa

(Spanish) shirt.

campo santo

(Spanish) "holy field," cemetery

campo santo

cementerio.

cancha del juego de pelota

(Spanish) canyon.

(Spanish) canyon.

caqui

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to sow, to anoint.

caqui

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) sembrar, ungir.

Carlos V

carrying rack

a backpack of sticks and rope used to transport goods. Called a cacaxtli in Nahuatl. Illustration: a white carrying rack is shown on the bottom left corner of page 13 of the Codex Selden.

cartography

(from French cartographie: carte, "map" [from Latin charta, carta, paper made from papyrus], and graphie, "writing" [from Greek graphia]) the art or technique of making maps or charts.

Caso, Alfonso

(1896-1970) Mexican archaeologist and anthropologist; his work centered on Mixtec and Zapotec archaeology and epigraphy. Also interested in contemporary indigenous people, in 1949 he helped to create the Instituto Nacional Indigenista (INI).

Caste War

Yucatec Maya uprising, 1847-1855, which nearly succeeded in wresting control of the Yucatan peninsula from Ladino rule.

cata

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to sing.

cata

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) cantar.

cata tie'e

(from sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec cata, "to sing," and tie'e "feet") to dance.

cata tie'e

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI, cata, cantar y tie'e, "pie") bailar.

cauaco

(from 16th century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary ca, "one," and huaco, "flower") One Flower.

cauaco

cayu

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to burn, to consume.

cayu

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) quemar, consumir.

Central Mexico

general geographic term for the highlands and valleys surrounding the Valley of Mexico (the location of the Mexica capital of Tenochtitlan and contemporary Mexico City).

Chalcatongo

Chalcatongo

chaman

Charles V

chayote

(Nahuatl chayohtli) plant (Sechium edule) with a cucumber-like vine and white-to-green, pear-shaped fruits covered in soft spines. Flowers, fruit, and roots are all edible. Illustration: A series of three spiny chayote fruits adorn a place sign at the bottom right-hand corner of page 17 of the Codex Selden.

chayote

Chichimec

(from Nahuatl chichi, "dog," and -tecah, "residents of, people from"; thus "Dog People") general term for nomadic hunting and gathering "barbarians" from the deserts of northern Mexico. The Mexica considered themselves to have been one of seven Chichimec groups originating in a mythical Place of the Seven Caves.

Chichimec

chihi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to put, to place.

chihi

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) poner, ubicar.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) literally "to put an arrow in the lands of another person;" figuratively, "to conquer."

Chilam Balam/Books of Chilam Balam

(Yucatec Mayan chilam, "spokesman," and balam, "jaguar") a corpus of twelve books from different towns in the Yucatan peninsula. Written in Mayan with alphabetic script, they chronicle Maya history beginning in the seventh century, and are particularly focused on the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries.

Chilames/Libros de Chilam Balam

chirimoya

(or custard apple) is a tropical tree (genus Annona) with tasty, apple-sized, warty-skinned fruits.

chirimoya

chisi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) non-elite stomach.

chisi

chocolate

(from Nahuatl cacahuatl) bitter product of the seeds of a lowland tropical tree (Theobroma cacao). See also cacao. Illustration: red, blue, and green football-shaped cacao pods (from which the seeds are removed) form part of the personal name of Lady 9 Eagle in the upper right-hand corner of page 26 of the Codex Nuttall.

chocolate

Cholula

Central Mexican community and religious center located east of Puebla, famed in Precolumbian times for its market, its polychrome ceramics, and its central Great Pyramid, still an important religious shrine today.

Cholula

chronology

(from Greek chronos, "time," and legios, "speech, discourse") the study of time; an ordering of dates/events in their temporal sequence of occurrence.

Cihuacoatl

(from Nahuatl cihuatl, "woman," and coatl, "serpent," thus, "Woman Serpent") Aztec earth goddess and mother of Huitzilopochtli.

Cihuacoatl

civilization

(from Latin civis, "citizen") eighteenth-century Enlightenment social concept, with connotations of complexity, achievement, and progress. The hierarchical nature of the term is revealed in the following quote from Boswell's THE LIFE OF JOHNSON (1772): "On Monday, March 23, I found him [Johnson] busy, preparing a fourth edition of his folio dictionary....He would not admit civilization in, but only civility. With great deference to him, I thought civilization, from to civilize, better in the sense opposed to barbarity, than civility." Traits of civilizations offered in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries include the presence of cities and a writing system.

Classic

second main period in Precolumbian chronology, dating from ca. A.D. 200 to ca. A.D. 900. See Formative, Postclassic.

Cloud Men

beings with red and white striped bodies and faces who descend from the sky in the War of Heaven narratives in the Codex Nuttall (pages 4, 21).

co

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) three.

co

(mixteco del siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) tres.

coa

coa

coa

cochineal

(from Latin coccum, "scarlet") a bright red dye derived from a cactus-dwelling insect, Dactylopius coccus. Because of the intensity of its color, cochineal was a major export to Europe from Mesoamerica in the sixteenth century.

cochinilla

coco

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to write, to compose in colors, to compose a song.

coco

codex

[plural codices] (from Latin caudex, "trunk of a tree, book, code of laws") an illustrated book, originally applied to European manuscripts and then transferred to describe the screenfold books of Mesoamerica.

Codex Borbonicus

Codex Boturini

sixteenth-century Aztec pictorial document that chronicles their migration from Aztlan to Mexico, as guided by Huitzilopochitli.

codify

(from Latin caudex, "trunk of a tree, book, code of laws") to arrange, order, and write down systematically, as with laws or language orthographies.

codzo

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) monkey.

codzo

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) mono.

coesencia

coessence

(other terms include "way," "nagual," "tonal," or a specific companion animal) in traditional Mesoamerican thought, the coessence is an aspect of the self, not physically attached to the body. Individual humans are thought to have special links to particular animals or natural forces (such as lightning). The inverse of this relationship is also true--animals and natural forces have humans as their coessences. Humans and animals who share a coessential relationship are often believed to have been born at the same time, and the images one sees in dreams are often believed to be images seen through the eyes of one's coessence (thus the Maya term for coessence, "way," also means "to dream"). Humans and their coessences are thought to share physical features (thus a hairy person may have a jaguar for a coessence, a hunchback may have a turtle) as well as destinies--if a coessential animal becomes sick or dies, a similar fate awaits its human companion. Images of humans transforming into animals are common in Mesoamerican art; such images probably represent humans changing into their coessential form. Illustration: Lady 3 Flint is partially transformed into a serpent, her coessence, at the bottom of page 15 of the Codex Nuttall.

coho

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) cajete, bowl.

coho

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) cajete, plato hondo.

Colonial Period

in Mesoamerica, the period from the Spanish Conquest or Invasion (1521) to the end of the Wars of Independence (1810-1821) in which the government of New Spain was controlled by the Spanish Crown in Europe.

compadre

female form comadre (Spanish, literally "co-father" and "co-mother") godfather, godmother.

compadre

forma femenina comadre.

completive aspect

a linguistic term referring to types of verbs. "Aspect" is to be distinguished from (verb) "tense," although the two are often confused. Aspect refers to the manner in which a verb's action exists in time and space; whereas, tense refers to the temporal placement of an event in a continuum of events. The difference between "she cooked dinner," "she used to cook dinner," and "she was cooking dinner" is an aspectual distinction, not one of tense. There are many kinds of aspects. The completive aspect indicates total completion of an activity. English examples: used it all up (completive) versus used (some of) it (non-completive). See progressive aspect.

Convenio 169

Convention 169

refers to the 234th Session in November 1986 of the Governing Body of the International Labor Organisation (ILO), which placed on the Agenda for the 75th Session of the ILO conference an item on the "Partial Revision of the Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107)," now known as Convention 169 (Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention). The Proposed text of the revision was published in ILO Report VI (2B), (Geneva 1989), ILConf, 76th Session, 1989. The Provisional Record of the 76th Session contains the Report of the Committee, the proposed Convention and a Resolution on ILO action ILC, Provisional Record 25 and 25A of 25 June 1989 and 27 June 1989. The Convention 169 called for the prevention of discrimination against indigenous and tribal peoples in all regions of the world; a recognition of their own institutions, ways of life, and economic development; and recognition of their ability to maintain and develop their identities, languages, and religions, within the framework of the states in which they live; a recognition of the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples, their laws, values, customs, and perspectives; and so forth.

coo

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) serpent, tamale.

coo

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) serpiente, tamal.

coo yechi

(from sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec coo, "serpent," and yechi, "lizard") alligator.

coo yechi

copal

(from Nahuatl copalli, "incense") resinous tree sap, especially from the genus Bursera, used as incense by Mesoamericans. When burned, it gives off a dense smoke and fragrant odor.

copal

Copan Classic

Maya site in northwest Honduras. The inscriptional record at the site spans from A.D. 159 to A.D. 822. See Altar Q, Copan.

copita

(Spanish) small coin.

copita

Corona

cosmology

(from Greek kosmos, "world, universe," and legios, "speech, discourse") a system of beliefs about the ordering of the universe and its contents. Religious systems and scientific theories are both cosmologies.

cosmovision

see cosmology.

creole

(from Spanish criollo, "native") a person of Spanish or French descent born in the Americas. A creole language is a language that is developed through the combination/interaction of two different languages.

criollo

(del griego chronos, "tiempo," y legios, "discurso") el estudio del tiempo; un ordenamiento de las fechas/eventos en la secuencia temporal en la que ocurrieron.

cu

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) five.

cu

(mixteco del siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) cinco.

cua

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) two, twelve.

cua

(mixteco del siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) dos, doce.

Cuarto Mundo

cui

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) four.

cui

(mixteco del siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) cuatro.

cuij

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) clear thing, not dark, diluted thing like porridge, green, large--from this range of meanings, the meaning for the string cuij probably depends on the tone in which it is pronounced.

cuij

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) cosa limpia, no obscuro, cosa diluida, como la avena, verde, grande; de esta variedad de significancias, la significancia de cuij es probablemente determinada por el tono.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to have inside.

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) tener adentro.

cuino

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) to have inside.

cuino

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) tener adentro.

cuivui

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) name.

cuivui

(mixteco de Teposcolula, siglo XVI) nombre.

cultura

cultural patrimony

objects and/or information that a culture or nation-state deems "theirs" and, therefore, cannot be taken from them, either by stealing or purchasing. The 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is concerned with the "protection through prevention of export from the source country and import into other countries. Article 9 allows states, whose cultural patrimony is in jeopardy from pillage or looting, to call on the other state parties to make a concerted international effort to control exports, imports, and trade in the objects subject to pillage" (UNESCO 1970). In terms of Native American cultural property issues, according to NAGPARA, "cultural property shall mean an object having ongoing historical, traditional, or cultural importance central to the Native American group or culture itself, rather than property owned by an individual Native American, and which, therefore, cannot be alienated, appropriated, or conveyed by any individual regardless of whether or not the individual is a member of the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and such object shall have been considered inalienable by such Native American group at the time the object was separated from such group" (3048 Public Law 101-601--Nov. 16, 1990).

culture

a term with many contested definitions, generally refers to the totality of socially transmitted patterns of human behavior, expertise, skills, beliefs, thoughts, institutions, and all other fruits of human activity associated with a community of people.

cura

(Spanish) priest.

cura

sacerdote.

curato

(Spanish) priest's house.

curato

casa del sacerdote.

cuvui huico yuhui ya

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) literally, "there is a royal celebration of the woven mat;" metaphorically, there is a wedding.

cuvui huico yuhui ya