M

machete para tejer

macho

a term that has changed meaning over time; today, among younger people around the world, generally means an exaggerated sense of masculinity, virility, manliness, domination of women, and agressiveness. For many older people in Mexico, macho can mean "gentlemanly."

macho

Madrid Codex

(also known as the Codex Tro-Cortesianus) one of four Postclassic Maya codices (the others being Codices Dresden, Paris, and Grolier).

Madrid Codex

(also known as the Codex Tro-Cortesianus) one of four Postclassic Maya codices (the others being Codices Dresden, Paris, and Grolier).

maguey

(from Arawak) a highland plant, genus Agave, with many pointed, fleshy leaves radiating from a central heart. Many different parts of the maguey were used by Mesoamericans. The leaves could be roasted and eaten as food. The sap could be fermented to produce pulque, a sweet, milky white alcoholic drink (the same sap, when distilled, produces mescal and tequila). The fibers in the leaves could be spun and woven into cloth (see ixtle). Finally, the spiny leaves could be used to draw blood in autosacrifice. Illustration: a maguey plant sprouts from the back of Lord 3 Water's neck at the bottom right-hand corner of page 2 of the Codex Selden.

maguey

maguey

(from Haitian) a highland plant, genus Agave, with many pointed, fleshy leaves radiating from a central heart. Many different parts of the maguey were used by Mesoamericans. The leaves could be roasted and eaten as food. The sap could be fermented to produce pulque, a sweet, milky white alcoholic drink (the same sap, when distilled, produces mescal and tequila). The fibers in the leaves could be spun and woven into cloth (see ixtle). Finally, the spiny leaves could be used to draw blood in autosacrifice. Illustration: a maguey plant sprouts from the back of Lord 3 Water's neck at the bottom right-hand corner of page 2 of the Codex Selden.

maguey

malacate

malinalli grass

(from Nahuatl malina, to twist) type of grass.

manta

(Spanish) blanket or cape.

manta

cobija o capa.

manuscript

(from Latin manu, "hand" and scriptum, "written") written document.

manuscrito

marginada

marginal

(from Latin margo, "border, edge") at the border or edge, with social connotations of subordination, exclusion, and discrimination.

matriline

(from Latin mater, "mother") a genealogical line of descent traced through female relatives back to a common ancestress.

matrilineal

Maya

maya

medicina humoral

mercedas

grants of land and water rights given by the Spanish Crown to its supporters in colonial Latin America.

mercedas

Mesoamerica

"culture area" first outlined by Paul Kirchhoff in a 1943 article, rougly encompassing the southern half of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. Kirchhoff pointed out that traditional cultures in this region shared a number of "cultural traits," including the use of maguey for fiber and "pulque," the construction of step pyramids and ballcourts, hieroglyphic writing, screenfold books, calendric cycles of 260 days, 365 days, and 52 years, human and autosacrifice, and a shared series of divinities. Some scholars see the term as "imposed." Others see it as a useful, politically-free term. It is commonly used among scholars in Mexico.

Mesopotamia

(from Greek mesos, "middle," and potamos, "river") region of the Near East located between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, stretching through the modern countries of Iraq, Syria, and Turkey.

Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia sumeriana

mestizo

(from Latin miscere, "to mix") in Latin America, masculine and feminine terms for persons of combined European and indigenous descent, or for persons who live a more Europeanized, as opposed to more indigenous, lifestyle (in terms of clothing choice, language spoken, behavior, foodways, occupation, self-identification). Although "mestizo/a" versus "indigenous" are often presented/conceived as mutually exclusive opposites, these categories are less biological realities than socially and personally constituted/constructed identities. Mestizo is most commonly used in Mexico.

mestizo

metaphor

refers to a figure of speech used to imply that two otherwise unlike notions or entities are similar, are related to one another. The sentence "The car beetles along" implies that the car moves like a beetle. When the relationship is explicit--the car is "like" a beetle or moves "as" a beetle moves--this is generally identified as a simile. Some linguists understand similes as a subset of metaphors, however. Metaphors are the backbone of poetry, moving the reader back and forth from one entity or notion to another through a process of relationships and equivalences. (For example, in "The ocean roars when the tides rise," the sound and motions of the ocean surf are equivalent to a lion's sound and motions.) See diphrasis.

metaplasm

(from Greek meta-, a prefix added to verbs to indicate "change," and plassein, "to form") in linguistics, the transposition of words from their usual/natural order, or the alteration of a word by addition/removal /transposition of sounds/syllables.

metaplasma

metataxis

(from Greek meta-, a prefix added to verbs to indicate "change," and taxis, "arrangement, order") in linguistics, to change the usual/natural order of words.

metataxis

Mexica

(Nahuatl mexihcah, resident of Mexico-Tenochtitlan) a Postclassic, Aztec ethnic group with Huitzilopochtli as a patron god and geographically centered at the island capital of Tenochtitlan.

mexica

Mexican Revolution

period of civil war from 1910-1917 that established the single-party government in power throughout the twentieth century. The Mexican Revolution was triggered by a number of complaints against the established government and society (the status quo), especially the failure of the national government to support local interests. Contributing conflicts included peasants against landlords, miners and factory workers against owners, an estranged local and national elite against a national and international elite, as well as the nation's economic decline in the first decade of the twentieth century.

milpa

(from Nahuatl milli, "cultivated land") traditional multicropped Mesoamerican field. Corn, beans, and squash are typically planted together, so that the vines of beans climb up the corn stalks and the squash vines cover the ground, keeping moisture in and weed levels down. Other crops may also be grown with this "classic triad," including chiles and avocados.

milpa

Mircea Eliade

mito

Mixteca

mixteca

mnemonic

(from Greek mnasthai, "to remember") something that aids the memory; Mixtec codices are often described as mnemonic guides for the performance of stories; they would be used as memory devices to help in the telling of the lives of the people depicted.

Moctezuma

two Mexica rulers of Tenochtitlan were named Moctezuma (also spelled Motecuhzoma and Montezuma); Montezuma I reigned from 1440-1469; Montezuma II, reigned from 1502 until his death during the Spanish Conquest in 1520. References to "Moctezuma" usually refer to Moctezuma II.

Moctezuma

modo completivo

modo progresivo

monolithic

(from Greek mono, "one," and lithos, "stone") literally, refers to a monolith--a single-slab or pillar stone monument, such as a stela. Metaphorically, dominating, controlling or hegemonic. See hegemony.

monstruo de tierra

Monte Alban

(Spanish "White Mountain," possibly named after a summit in Europe) Zapotec archaeological site on a mountaintop at the center of the Valley of Oaxaca. Monte Alban was founded in the Formative period, was continually expanded through the Classic period, and was still used for religious purposes in the Postclassic.

Moorish

(from Greek mauros, "black, dark") Islamic inhabitants of Spain, from the eighth century until their official expulsion at the end of the Reconquista in 1492.

mordant

(from Latin mordere, "to bite") in dyeing, a substance used to help fibers receive and retain coloring materials.

mordaz

moriscos

morphology

(from Greek morphe, "form," and legios, "speech, discourse") in linguistics, the study of the formation of words.

mortuary bundle

a common Mesoamerican burial practice, from the Formative through the Postclassic. The remains of the dead were wrapped in cloth or a petate. Before wrapping, the body could be either positioned in a flexed or seated pose, or could be cremated. Mortuary bundles were important religious objects in Mesoamerica. See sacred bundle. Illustration: The mortuary bundles of Lord 7 House and Lord 3 Alligator are shown at the top of page 12 of the Codex Selden.

muerto

(Spanish) dead person.

muerto

N/A

muerto

N/A

muy cabal

(Spanish) "very fine/upright;" a caballero is a "gentleman," more literally a "horseman" (from caballo, Spanish for "horse").

myth

(from Greek mythos, "word, story, legend") narrative or belief about the nature of the world.

N

na

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

na

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

NAFTA

North American Free Trade Agreement, among Canada, the United States, and Mexico, which went into effect Jan. 1, 1994. It was a trade and investment agreement that established tariff reductions, but more importantly set out rigorous guarantees for U.S. investment in Mexico.

NAGPARA

The Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, according to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs (H.R. 5237), achieves two main objectives: "The first objective deals with Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony, which are excavated or removed from Federal or tribal lands after the enactment of the Act...The second main objective addressed in this Act deals with collections of Native American human remains, associated and unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony currently held or controlled by Federal agencies and museums. Within 5 years of enactment, all Federal agencies and all museums which receive federal funds, which have possession of, or control over, any Native American human remains or associated funerary object (items which are found with a specific body), are to compile an inventory of such remains or objects and, with the use of available information they have, attempt to identify them as to geographical and cultural affiliation. Upon completion of the inventory, the appropriate tribe or Native Hawaiian organization is to be contacted. If it is clear which tribe or Native Hawaiian organization is related to the remains or objects and that tribe or organization wishes the return of the items, they are to be returned" (quoted from http://www.artifaqs.org/nagpra.htm).

NAGPARA

Nahuas

(from Nahuatl nahuatl, "something that makes an agreeable sound, someone who speaks well") Nahuatl is the southernmost member of the Uto-Aztecan language family, spoken by the Nahuas, the indigenous inhabitants of Central Mexico. "Nahua" is a more precise term for the Aztecs.

nahuas

nanaya

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) elite face, literally "emergence."

nanaya

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) rostro de la elite, literalmente "surgimiento."

naranjas

(Spanish) oranges.

naranjas

N/A

National Indigenous Institute

Instituto Nacional Indigena (INI), Mexican governmental organization focused on indigenous issues.

National Period

the National Period in Mexican history, 1810 to present, which began with independence from Spain and the establishment of the Mexican nation-state.

Native American

indigenous or aboriginal inhabitants or descendants of those original inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere. The ancestors of the Native Americans are generally considered to have entered the Americas from Asia by way of the Bering Strait sometime during the late glacial epoch. The term is surrounded by contemporary politics. For many academics and some Native Americans, the term Native American has replaced "Indian" (unless, for example, referring to cultures and artwork, such as Plains Indian beadwork), because "Indian" has come to be considered pejorative and/or foreign. However, many Native Peoples prefer the term Indian or Amerindian and consider the term Native American to be too academic or just as foreign (American derives from Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer of the New World).

ndedzi

sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) "pulque," the fermented juice of the maguey cactus.

ndedzi

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) "pulque," el jugo fermentado del maguey.

ndeye

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) death.

ndeye

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) muerte.

ndoo

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) reed.

ndoo

nduchi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) bean.

nduchi

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) frijol.

nehe

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) motion.

nehe

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) movimiento.

New Archaeology

dominant trend in American archaeology from the 1950s to the 1970s. Common themes to New Archaeology approaches include interests in ecology, systems theory, and explicitly "scientific" approaches, techniques, claims, and rhetoric. Two leading figures of the New Archaeology were Lewis Binford and Kent Flannery.

New Spain

Spain's colonial rule in the New World was originally divided between two political units, the Viceroyalty of New Spain (the Spanish-controlled mainland north of the Isthmus of Panama, roughly encompassing what is today Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) and the Viceroyalty of Peru (the Spanish-controlled mainland south of the Isthmus of Panama, running along the northern and western coastlines of South America in what is now northern Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and northern Chile).

Nezahualcoyotl

(Nahuatl nezahualiztli, "fast, hunger," and coyotl, "coyote," thus "Fasting Coyote") (1402-1472, reigned 1418-1472) Aztec poet and ruler of Texcoco, a polity on the eastern shore of Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico.

Nezahualcoyotl

Nezahuapilli

(Nahuatl nezahualiztli, "fast, hunger" and pilli, "noble person," thus "Fasting Noble"; reigned 1472-1515) son of Nezahualcoyotl and his successor as ruler of Texcoco. Nezahualpilli was also a noted astronomer/astrologer.

Nezahuapilli

nisihi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) death.

nisihi

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) muerte.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) footprint.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) huella.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) "a royal vessel was placed [before the noble]," or "the noble began to drink pulque," or "the noble made footprints."

nixtamal

(from Nahuatl nextli, "ash," or tenextli, "lime") corn kernels that are softened and swollen from being soaked in a caustic mixture of water and either ash or lime. The soaking process both softens the kernels for grinding and makes them more digestible.

nixtamal

noho

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) teeth.

noho

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) diente.

normas

normative

relating to norms, normative behavior, normative discipline, concerned with norms of or rules for correct behavior.

normativo

relacionado con las normas, comportamiento normativo, disciplina normativa, relacionado con las normas o reglas del comportamiento correcto.

norms

the standard, model, or pattern of behavior considered the standard behavior; the status quo, the norms of family life, a "normal" family.

nuni

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) corn.

nuni

nuu

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) surface, face, eye.

nuu

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) superficie, rostro, ojo.

nuvui

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) cornfield.

nuvui

Nuyoo

Nuyoo Mixtec-speaking community located 100 km east of Oaxaca City; its residents are Nuyootecos.

Nuyoo

comunidad que habla Mixteco-Nuyoo, localizada a 100 km. al este de la ciudad de Oaxaca; sus residentes son llamados nuyootecos.

O

Oaxaca

contemporary southern Mexican state; the capital city is also called Oaxaca or Oaxaca City.

Oaxaca

obsidian

dark volcanic glass (primarily SiO2) used throughout Mesoamerica as both a razor-sharp cutting tool and, when polished into a disk, as a mirror. Obsidian comes in a variety of colors, but the most common are black and dark grey-green. The volcanic highlands of both Central Mexico and of Guatemala and Honduras were main locations for obsidian sources.

obsidiana

Olmec

(from Nahuatl olli, "rubber," and -tecah, "residents of, people from") sixteenth-century Nahuatl name for the indigenous inhabitants of the gulf coast of Veracruz, retroactively applied to the region's Formative-period inhabitants and their culture.

Olmeca

Ometochtzin, Don Carlos

(Nahuatl ome, "two," tochtli, "rabbit," and -tzin, an honorific; thus "Two Rabbit." Also known as Don Carlos Chichimecatecuhtli) grandson of Nezahualcoyotl and ruler of Texcoco from ca. 1531 to 1539, when he was executed by the Inquisition for idolatry on November 29, 1539.

Ometochtzin, Don Carlos

oquichhuia

oquichhuia

oracle

(from Latin orare, "to speak, to pray") a medium (such as a person or a statue) through which supernatural powers (gods and ancestors) are able to speak to humans. Perhaps the most important Mixtec oracle was Lady 9 Grass, who presided over the mortuary bundle cave at Chalcatongo and who facilitated communication between deceased ancestors and living humans. Illustration: Lady 9 Grass is shown speaking to Lady 6 Monkey and Lord 10 Wind in the upper right corner of page 6 of the Codex Nuttall.

orden

(Spanish) order.

orden

N/A

orthography

(from Greek orthos, "right, correct," and graphein, "writing") a system of spelling or writing a spoken language.

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

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) pecho de la no elite.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) skin.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) piel.

(sixteenth century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) six.

(mixteco del siglo XVI vocabulario del calendario ritual) seis.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) elite stomach, literally "net."

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) net.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) red.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) small plot of land.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) lowlands.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) tierras bajas.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) sand.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) arena.

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) place, town, city, star.

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) lugar, pueblo, ciudad, estrella.