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Ancient Zapotec Religion: An Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Perspective [Kindle ed.]
 1607323737

Table of contents :
Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
1 Introduction
2 Zapotec Deities in Sixteenth-Century Documents
3 Zapotec Deities in Seventeenth-Century Documents
4 Zapotec Temple Priests
5 Zapotec Temples: Mitla
6 Zapotec Temples: Yagul
7 Colaní: Zapotec Community Priests and Their Rituals
8 Zapotec Ritual Books and Sacred Calendars
9 The Mitla Murals
10 Religion in Ancient Zapotec Society
References
Index

Citation preview

Ancient Zapotec Religion

Ancient Zapotec Religion An Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Perspective Michael Lind

University Press of Colorado Boulder

© 2015 by University Press of Colorado Published by University Press of Colorado 5589 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 206C Boulder, Colorado 80303 All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America The University Press of Colorado is a proud member of The Association of American University Presses. The University Press of Colorado is a cooperative publishing enterprise supported, in part, by Adams State University, Colorado State University, Fort Lewis College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Regis University, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, Utah State University, and Western State Colorado University. ∞ This paper meets the requirements of the ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper). ISBN: 978-1-60732-373-0 (cloth) ISBN: 978-1-60732-374-7 (ebook) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Lind, Michael.

Ancient Zapotec religion : an ethnohistorical and archaeological perspective / Michael Lind. pages cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-60732-373-0 (hardback) — ISBN 978-1-60732-374-7 (ebook) 1. Zapotec Indians—Religion. 2. Zapotec Indians—Antiquities. 3. Zapotec Indians— Rites and ceremonies. 4. Zapotec calendar. I. Title. F1221.Z3L55 2015 299.7’868—dc23 2014029012 24 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 Cover photograph by Michael Lind.

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Contents

List of Figures List of Tables Preface 1. Introduction 2. Zapotec Deities in Sixteenth-Century Documents 3. Zapotec Deities in Seventeenth-Century Documents 4. Zapotec Temple Priests 5. Zapotec Temples: Mitla 6. Zapotec Temples: Yagul 7. Colaní: Zapotec Community Priests and Their Rituals 8. Zapotec Ritual Books and Sacred Calendars 9. The Mitla Murals 10. Religion in Ancient Zapotec Society References Index

Figures

1.1 The Zapotecs and their neighbors in Mesoamerica 1.2 Approximate extent of Zapotec city-state culture in Oaxaca 1.3 Plaster sculptures of the rain deity, Cociyo, Mound 190, Lambityeco, ca. AD 775–800 2.1 Images of Mixtec Yahui and Zapotec Xicani 3.1 Late Classic Xoo phase effigy vessels from the Valley of Oaxaca, representing different deities 3.2 Possible images of Cozaana as an earth deity from Mitla and Zaachila 3.3 Possible images of Huichaana in Mitla murals and from Codex Yautepec 3.4 Images of Copiycha, the sun deity, and Tonatiuh 3.5 Images of Cociyo, the rain deity, and Tláloc 3.6 Possible images of Pitao Paa, the god of wealth, and Xochipilli 3.7 Possible images of Pitao Ziy, god of disease, with pockmarked face 3.8 Images of Pitao Pezeelao and Mictlantecuhtli 3.9 The Zapotec cosmos 4.1 Cociyobi II (Don Juan Cortés), King of Tehuantepec, wearing a mitre, or hat worn by temple priests, in the Lienzo de Guevea 4.2 Tied corn husk and circular mat in Codex Vindobonensis (1992:13) 4.3 Sacred bundles in the codices 5.1 Temple-plaza-altar (TPA), Mound M, Monte Albán 5.2 Temple-residence-plaza-altar (TRPA) complex 5.3 Different greca mosaic designs from Mitla 5.4 Howard Leigh’s interpretation of some basic greca mosaic designs 5.5 Late Classic Xoo phase Monte Albán temples (TPA) and Lambityeco palace (PPA) 5.6 Groups of structures at Mitla 5.7 Mühlenpfordt’s plan of the South Group, Mitla 5.8 The South Group at Mitla, showing Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation units

5.9 Quadrangle K of the South Group, Mitla, after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavations 5.10 Tomb 7, Liobaa phase (AD 900–1200), Plaza K, South Group, Mitla 5.11 Tomb 3c, Plaza K, South Group, Mitla 5.12 Plan and profile of the North Platform (40) of Quadrangle K, South Group, Mitla 5.13 Reconstruction of the Adobe Group, Mitla 5.14 Remains of the Adobe Group as of July 2011 5.15 Reconstruction of the Arroyo Group, Mitla 5.16 Halls around the North Plaza (H) of the Arroyo Group, Mitla 5.17 Rooms around Patio G in the Arroyo Group, Mitla 5.18 Halls around the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group, Mitla 5.19 Reconstruction of the Church Group, Mitla 5.20 Halls around the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group, Mitla 5.21 Halls around the North Plaza (B) of the Church Group, Mitla 5.22 Rooms around the North Patio (A) of the Church Group, Mitla 5.23 Reconstruction of the Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.24 Altar, the Hall of the Columns, and exterior of the Patio of the Grecas, Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.25 Rooms around Patio (D), Patio of the Grecas, Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.26 East (17) and West (19) Halls of the North Plaza (E), Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.27 Halls and entry platform around the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.28 Carved stone heads from Mitla and other sites in the Valley of Oaxaca 5.29 Tomb 1 and location of cruciform tombs in the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla 5.30 Tomb 2, beneath the East Hall (21) of the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla 6.1 Yagul’s civic-ceremonial center situated atop a bluff 6.2 Plan of the civic-ceremonial precinct of Yagul 6.3 Palace of the Six Patios, Yagul

6.4 Vessels with umbilical cord offerings near offering box, North Patio (B), Central Group, Yagul 6.5 Rooms around the North Patio (B), Central Group, Yagul 6.6 Rooms around the South Patio (E) and offering beneath the patio floor, Central Group, Yagul 6.7 Halls around South Plaza (D) and Tombs 23 and 24, West Group, Yagul 6.8 Rooms around the North Patio (A), West Group, Yagul 6.9 Halls around the South Plaza (F), East Group, Yagul 6.10 Rooms and features of the North Patio (C), East Group, Yagul 6.11 Comparison of Arroyo and Church Groups at Mitla with West and East Groups at Yagul 6.12 Reconstruction of the Patio 1 Group, first phase, Yagul 6.13 Perspectives of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul, first and second phases of construction 6.14 North Hall (1-N) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul 6.15 West Hall (1-W) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul 6.16 East Platform (1-E) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul 6.17 South Platform (1-S) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul 6.18 Patio 4 Group, Yagul 6.19 Altar, cruciform cache, and Tomb 7 in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul 6.20 Tombs 3, 29, and 30 in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul 6.21 Pyramid (4-E) and carved jaguar cuauhxicalli in the Patio 4 Group, Yagul 6.22 South (4-S) and North (4-N) Platforms of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul 6.23 West Platform (4-W) of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul 7.1 Zapotec sweatbath (yaa) in Mitla, AD 1980 7.2 Marriage prognostication scenes in Codex Borgia (1963:58) 8.1 The Nexitzo, Caxonos, and Bixanos regions of the Sierra Juárez 8.2 Aztec trecena, or thirteen-day period, on page 13 of Codex Borbonicus 8.3 Zapotec cociy, or 13-day period, emerging from the House of the Earth 8.4 Page from a seventeenth-century ritual book from Villa Alta showing the 20-day months in a Zapotec solar year

8.5 Pages from a seventeenth-century ritual book from Villa Alta showing the fifty-two years in a calendar round in four groups of thirteen solar years each 8.6 Late Classic and Postclassic Zapotec year glyphs and year bearers 8.7 A comparison of Late Classic Zapotec and Postclassic Zapotec and Mixtec day signs 1–10 8.8 A comparison of Late Classic Zapotec and Postclassic Zapotec and Mixtec day signs 11–20 8.9 Gold pectoral 26 from Tomb 7 at Monte Albán, showing transition to the new system of year bearers 9.1 Mural on lintel of Tomb 2, Group of the Columns, Mitla 9.2 Borders around the murals of the east (a) and north (b) halls in the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group and the east room (c) of the Church Group, Mitla 9.3 Lord 9 Wind Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl with a ray-emitting eye 9.4 Rabbit inside the “inverted omega” moon in the night sky 9.5 Mural on the lintel of the north hall of the south plaza of the Arroyo Group, Mitla 9.6 A carved stone head of a petehue 9.7 Mural on the lintel of the east room of Patio A in the Church Group, Mitla 9.8 Composite offering bundles from the east mural, Church Group, Mitla 9.9 Carved stone figures of bird-men from Teotitlán del Valle 9.10 Two-headed bird-man in Codex Nuttall (1975: plate 16) 9.11 Mural on the lintel of the north hall of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla 9.12 Mural on the lintel of the north hall (1) of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla, continued 9.13 Lord 9 Wind descends a celestial rope from heaven accompanied by two supernaturals carrying temples on their backs in Codex Vindobonensis (1992:48) 9.14 Sketch of some discernible elements at the south end of the west mural, Patio A, Church Group, Mitla 9.15 North part of the mural on the lintel of the west room of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla 9.16 Itzpapálotl in Codex Borgia (1993:12, plate 66)

9.17 Mural on the lintel of the south room of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla

Tables

If the tables in this publication are not displaying properly in your ereader, please contact the publisher to request PDFs of the tables. 2.1 List of Prehispanic Zapotec deities from Córdova’s Vocabulario 2.2 Alternative names for the Zapotec deity Cozaana in Córdova’s Vocabulario, according to Smith Stark (2002:110) 2.3 The Zapotec deities named in the Relaciones Geográficas 2.4 Zapotec deities named in Spanish in the Relaciones Geográficas 3.1 Lists of Zapotec deities provided by Diego Luis of Sola de Vega in AD 1635 and AD 1654 (Berlin 1988:18–19) 3.2 Summary of Zapotec deities 4.1 Human sacrifices listed in the Relaciones Geográficas 4.2 Animal sacrifices listed in the Relaciones Geográficas 4.3 Auto-sacrificial bloodletting listed in the Relaciones Geográficas 5.1 Comparison of the sizes of patios, plazas, rooms, and halls of the Group of the Columns, Church Group, and Arroyo Group at Mitla 6.1 Comparison of the sizes of the patios, plazas, rooms, and halls of the Central, West, and East Groups of the Palace of the Six Patios at Yagul 8.1 A comparison of Aztec and Zapotec names for each of the twenty 13day periods in the sacred calendar 8.2 Zapotec deities and Aztec deities and volatiles associated with the day numbers of each 13-day period 8.3 The Zapotec 260-day sacred calendar, or piye 8.4 The periods of fifty-two days and their associated times, or cociy, of thirteen days in the Loxicha sacred calendar 8.5 A comparison of the Aztec nine companion deities with the Zapotec nine companion deities from Loxicha and the Peñoles region 8.6 The first period of the Loxicha sacred calendar (adapted from Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1)

8.7 Names of the riño (cociy), or 13-day periods, in the Peñoles sacred calendar, the beginnings of cociyo, and ritual activities listed as associated with the riño 8.8 The partially complete Peñoles sacred calendar illustrating the days, companion deities, terms, riño, and cociyo 8.9 The deities that rule the day numbers and their companion deities in a traditional Zapotec sacred calendar: hypothetical examples for the first two cociy 8.10 A comparison of Zapotec and Aztec day names in fixed order 8.11 Four Zapotec terms associated with the same five day names 8.12 The eighteen Zapotec 20-day months, or peo 8.13 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec calendar round of fifty-two years from 1 Xoo to 13 Piya 8.14 Zapotec solar year beginning on March 12 in Tehuantepec, according to Burgoa (1989: II, 391) 8.15 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec 365-day solar calendar, or yza, for AD 1503, 1 Xoo (1 Earthquake) 8.16 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec 365-day solar calendar, or yza, for AD 1502 (13 Piya) leading into AD 1503 (1 Xoo)

Preface

This book grew out of a need to understand something about Zapotec religion as it existed around the time of the Spanish Conquest. The need was related to my research into Mound 190 at Lambityeco, a Late Classic Xoo phase (AD 650–850) site near Tlacolula in the Valley of Oaxaca. Mound 190 contains a palace with a special room adorned with large plaster busts of Cociyo, the Zapotec rain deity. It was reasonable to suppose that Mound 190 represented a series of superimposed palaces occupied by several generations of important priests at Lambityeco. There are, of course, no documents referring to the Late Classic period that might provide information on the nature of Late Classic Zapotec religion. But documents do exist for the Postclassic period leading up to the Spanish Conquest. And because Postclassic Zapotec religion had its roots in the Late Classic period, these documents can provide a model of Late Postclassic Zapotec religion that can be compared with Late Classic archaeological remains to illuminate the similarities and differences between Zapotec religion in both periods. Suffice it to say that a great many changes are evident between Late Classic and Late Postclassic Zapotec religion, and a discussion of these changes will be included in a forthcoming monograph on Mound 190. Upon researching ancient Zapotec religion as it existed at the time of the conquest, I discovered the lack of a comprehensive discussion of Zapotec deities, the Zapotec priesthood, religious rituals and ceremonies, the nature of Zapotec temples, and the sacred and solar calendars that regulated many ritual and religious activities. References to deities, the priesthood, and religious ceremonies were scattered among sixteenth- and seventeenthcentury documents—all in Spanish and most difficult to find. Likewise, articles referring to ancient Zapotec religion were scattered among various scholarly works dealing with specific aspects of Zapotec religion, with little or no attempt to present a unified discussion of the nature of the religion. The purpose of this study is to present a more comprehensive overview of Zapotec religion as it existed at the time of the conquest by bringing this

information together in one place. Several new insights into Late Postclassic Zapotec religion resulted from the research presented in this book. Many people contributed to this study. Marcus Winter, Javier Urcid, Robert Markens, Michel Oudijk, Adam Sellen, Carlos Rincón, Nicholas Johnson, Paul Schmidt, and Catalina Barrientos provided often difficult-toobtain sources. John Pohl, Winter, Urcid, Markens, and Sellen read all or parts of the manuscript and provided very helpful commentaries. In addition, two anonymous readers made very useful comments. I thank them all for their most helpful advice, but because I did not always follow their suggestions, I take full responsibility for any errors I may have committed. Finally, I greatly appreciate the hard work and conscientious effort put forth by Jessica d’Arbonne, acquisitions editor, and Darrin Pratt and the staff and board of the University Press of Colorado for their help in seeing this work through to its completion.

Ancient Zapotec Religion

1 Introduction

This study is about Zapotec religion as it existed around the time of the Spanish Conquest. Our knowledge of ancient Zapotec religion, like ancient Mesoamerican religions in general, comes principally from Spanish colonial documents (Nicholson 1971:396–97). From an analysis of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents, the nature of ancient Zapotec religion will be described and interpreted. This description and interpretation includes an identification of Zapotec deities, the role of ancestor worship, the nature of the Zapotec cosmos, the composition of the Zapotec priesthood, the rituals and ceremonies performed, and the use of the Zapotec sacred and solar calendars in religious activities. This study also relies on the archaeological record from the Postclassic, the time period leading up to the Spanish Conquest. Archaeological evidence of the nature of Postclassic Zapotec temples, tombs, ritual areas of palaces, and representations of deities in murals and artifacts also will be discussed. The role of religion in ancient Zapotec society will be examined in the conclusion to this study. SOCIETY, CULTURE, AND RELIGION To place religion within the context of society and culture requires some definitions. A society is a group of people who have a history of interacting with one another behaviorally, such as the ancient Zapotecs, and a culture is the behavior patterns that characterize their interactions. Together, a society and culture form a sociocultural system. From an analytical perspective, a sociocultural system consists of technology, social organization, and ideology. Technology is the manner in which the members of a sociocultural system interact with their habitat. Social organization involves the interaction of members of a sociocultural system with one another. Ideology represents the ways that the members of a sociocultural system interact with regard to ideas. Ideology encompasses religion.

Anthropologists have found religion difficult to define. Saint Jerome evidently first used the term religion in Western civilization in the late fourth century AD, but the term was not widely used in Christianity until the Reformation (Insoll 2004:6). Edward B. Tylor (1960:202), seeking to define religion universally, as it applies to all human groups, first defined religion in anthropological terms as the “belief in spiritual beings.” More recently, Clifford Geertz (2005:14) has defined religions as “systems of ideas about the ultimate shape and substance of reality.” Marcus Winter (2002:50) simply defines religion as an “institutionalized system of beliefs and practices relating to the supernatural or gods.” Zapotec religion generally conforms to all these definitions. There is no Zapotec word for religion, but instead the concept of “sacred” exists (de la Cruz 2002a:xxix). Approaches to the study of religion reflect approaches to the study of sociocultural systems in general. The neo-evolutionary, or processual, approach regards technology as the driving force in a sociocultural system. Social organization is determined by technology, and ideology or religion functions to reinforce social organization (White 1949; Sahlins and Service 1960). In this view, religion is seen as ultimately determined by technology (Harris 1974). More recently, the post-processual approach, associated with action theory or agency, views ideology as the driving force in the sociocultural system (Bourdieu 1977; Ortner 1984). In this view, the ideas (thoughts and actions) of its individual members determine all aspects of the sociocultural system (Hodder and Hutson 2003:30–31). In this regard, Insoll (2004:22–23, figure 2) has argued that religion determines the sociocultural system. Lars Fogelin has reviewed both processual and post-processual approaches to the study of religion in archaeology. “Archaeologists studying religion often focus on ritual” because “ritual is a form of human activity that leaves material traces, whereas religion is a more abstract symbolic system consisting of beliefs, myths, and doctrines” (Fogelin 2007:56). Processual archaeologists “see rituals as the enactment of religious principles or myths” (Fogelin 2007:55). Post-processual archaeologists focus “on the ways that the experience of ritual and ritual symbolism promotes social orders and dominant ideologies” (Fogelin 2007:55). Herein, Zapotec religion is conceived as a shared worldview that helped integrate Postclassic Zapotec city-state culture, a point that will be explored in the conclusion to this study.

ANCIENT MESOAMERICAN RELIGIONS Ancient Mesoamerican religions are best known for the Aztecs—or more properly and generally, the Nahuas—and the Maya because of the numerous documentary sources pertaining to them combined with the ritual or religious codices and the Classic Maya hieroglyphic records.1 Eduard Seler (1904) pioneered the study of Nahua and Maya religions and wrote extensively about them. Seler (1904:273) also wrote a lengthy article that still stands today as a pioneer study of Zapotec religion, although he noted the limited amount of information available on Zapotec religion compared to the Maya and the Nahuas. An unpublished AD 1910 manuscript by Martínez Gracida also deals with Zapotec religion, although it lacks the scholarly approach of Seler (Adam Sellen, personal communication, 2011). Most recently, Victor de la Cruz and Winter (2002) have published a series of articles that includes a Spanish translation of Seler’s original work and provides new insights into various aspects of Zapotec religion from linguistic, archaeological, ethnohistoric, and ethnographic points of view. Seler (1904:266–75) was perhaps the first to point out a basic unity among Mesoamerican religions. Nahua, Maya, and Zapotec religions, among others throughout Mesoamerica, share many basic concepts, exemplified by the 260-day sacred calendar. Alfonso Caso (1971a) agreed with Seler that a basic unity existed among Mesoamerican religions and argued that we should speak of a Mesoamerican religion instead of Mesoamerican religions. Caso (1971a:199) believed that we can speak of a single Mesoamerican religion from as far back as the Classic period (AD 300–900). de la Cruz (2002b:279), who agrees with Caso about the unity of Mesoamerican religion, has suggested that this unity is best exemplified during the Late Postclassic (AD 1200–1521), when the merchants and soldiers of the Aztec Triple Alliance imposed religious uniformity throughout much of Mesoamerica. Wigberto Jiménez Moreno (1971) opposed this view and considered there to be a plurality of Mesoamerican religions with differences comparable to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Middle East. He argued that the crucible of Western civilization in Mesopotamia, a region comparable to Mesoamerica, produced these identifiably different religions that, despite their differences, share many basic concepts. The same could be said for Mesoamerican religions. The problem of the unity of Mesoamerican religion

will be taken up in the conclusion to this study insofar as ancient Zapotec religion can shed light upon it. More recent studies of ancient Mesoamerican religions, especially Nahua (López Austin 1980; Burkhart 1989) and Maya (B. Tedlock 1992; D. Tedlock 1985) religions, have sought to search out their underlying theological principles. Louise M. Burkhart (1989), in particular, has noted how many colonial documents relating to Nahua religion in reality consist of an active dialogue between Nahuas and Christian missionaries; missionaries learned as much about Nahua religion as the Nahuas learned about Christianity. The underlying theological principles of these religions were at the center of this dialogue. For example, Nahua religion had no concepts of “good” and “evil,” the underlying theological principles of Christianity, but instead manifested the concepts of “order” and “chaos” (Burkhart 1989:34). The research into underlying theological principles has been made more amenable to the study of Nahua religion because of the plethora of colonial documents relating to it. However, attempts have been made to identify the underlying theological principles of Zapotec and Mixtec religions. Kent V. Flannery and Joyce Marcus (1976) have cited the concept of pèe that they relate to “vital force” as an underlying theological principle of Zapotec religion. Also, John Monaghan (1995:127) has considered the concept of yii that he relates to “potency, vitality, or fecundity” as an underlying theological principle of Mixtec religion. Compared to Nahua and Maya religions, the study of Zapotec and Mixtec religions are in their infancy and lack the volume of documentation available for study. No comprehensive study or identification of Zapotec deities exists like those for the Nahuas (Caso 1958; Nicholson 1971) or the Maya (Taube 1992). There is also no comprehensive study of the Zapotec priesthood as there is for the Nahua (Acosta Saignes 1946). The Zapotec sacred and solar calendars have only recently been studied in detail (Alcina Franch 1993; Urcid 2001; Justeson and Tavárez 2007; Tavárez and Justeson 2008), whereas Maya and Nahua calendars have a long history of scholarly research. Zapotec ceremonies and rituals are little known compared to those of the Nahua and Maya, which have received, especially in the case of the former, ample discussion.

It is not the purpose of this book to examine the underlying theological principles of Zapotec religion. Instead, the principal tasks of this book are to present a comprehensive study and a new perspective on ancient Zapotec deities, the priesthood, the sacred and solar calendars, and the rituals and ceremonies. Unlike most other studies of ancient Mesoamerican religions, this book also presents a comprehensive study of the archaeological remains of temples, tombs, ritual spaces in palaces, and murals and artifacts relating to deities. THE ZAPOTECS At the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Zapotecs occupied the southern part of the present-day state of Oaxaca, Mexico, including the large Valley of Oaxaca, the small mountainous valleys surrounding it, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (figure 1.1). The Valley of Oaxaca, the Zapotec heartland, manifests three arms or sub-valleys: the Tlacolula arm in the east, drained by the Río Salado; the Etla arm in the north; and the Zimatlán arm, or Valle Grande, in the south. The Río Atoyac drains both north and south arms (figure 1.2). The small mountainous valleys surrounding the Valley of Oaxaca include the Sierra Juárez to the north; part of the Peñoles region to the west; the Sola, Coatlán, Miahuatlán, and Ejutla Valleys to the south; and the Ozolotepec and Chichicapa regions to the east. Extending east-southeast of the Valley of Oaxaca along the Tehuantepec River drainage are the areas of Nexapa, Jalapa de Marquez, and Tehuantepec that the Zapotecs occupied late in their Prehispanic history. Zapotec is not a dead language; it is still spoken by nearly half a million native speakers today who continue to live in the Valley of Oaxaca, the small mountainous valleys around it, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Figure 1.1. The Zapotecs and their neighbors in Mesoamerica (redrawn and modified after Paddock 1966b: 80, map 1).

Figure 1.2. Approximate extent of Zapotec city-state culture in Oaxaca (community locations after Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática, Map of the State of Oaxaca, 1993).

ANCIENT ZAPOTEC SOCIETY Shortly before the Spanish Conquest, the Zapotecs lived in numerous citystates, or small kingdoms. Called queche in Zapotec, these city-states varied in size and importance but were composed of a capital city that controlled a small territory and the subject communities within it. In the Valley of Oaxaca, at least thirteen different city-states and an unknown number of additional city-states occurred in the small mountainous valleys adjacent to the valley and in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (Oudijk 2002:80–83). A king (coqui) and queen (xonaxi) who lived in a palace (quihui) in the capital city ruled each city-state. They appointed nobles (xoana) to govern components of the citystate and the subject communities within it. In addition, barrio headmen (collaba) collected tribute and organized communal workgroups from their neighborhoods, and guardians (copa) policed their neighborhoods and conscripted citizen soldiers in times of war (Oudijk 2002:77–78). The collaba and copa were commoners. The coqui and xonaxi were hereditary rulers. They traced their ancestry directly back to the real or mythical founders of the city-state who had formed their yoho, or royal house: “The main legitimating aspect of this yoho was the possession of a sacred bundle or quiña, i.e., an actual bundle of paper, cloth, or vegetable material which contained a sacred object symbolizing the deified

founder of the yoho” (Oudijk 2002:77). Lienzos, pictorial genealogies of the rulers of some city-states painted by Zapotecs after the conquest, depict their ancestral Prehispanic rulers as far back as seventeen generations to the real or mythical founders of their royal houses (Oudijk 2008:107). Xoana also traced their yohos back to real or mythical founding ancestors who were secondarily related to the rulers’ founding ancestors as junior or cadet lineages. These nobles also maintained quiña (Oudijk 2002:77). The ancestors of Zapotec rulers and nobles played a very important part as intermediaries with the deities. The role of Zapotec religion within these city-states will be the focus of this study. ZAPOTEC RELIGION There have been basically two different approaches to Zapotec religion. Most experts regard Zapotec religion, like Aztec religion, as being characterized by a pantheon of gods and a hierarchical priesthood (Seler 1904, 2002; Caso and Bernal 1952; Berlin 1988; Whitecotton 1977; Alcina Franch 1972; Smith Stark 2002; and Sellen 2007). Marcus (2003a), however, opposes this traditional view. Although acknowledging a hierarchical priesthood (Marcus 2003a:350), she regards Zapotec religion as animatistic. E. Adamson Hoebel (1958:643) defines animatism as “the attribution of life to inanimate objects.” Marcus (2003a:345) considers Zapotec religion animatistic “because it attributed life to many things we consider inanimate.” In this sense, Monaghan (1995:45–46, 98) found that the Zapotec’s neighbors, the Mixtecs, considered almost everything animate, including the sun and the earth; only fire-cracked rocks were considered inanimate. Marcus (2003a:345) cites the Zapotec concept of pèe as a central principle that imbues inanimate objects with a “sacred life force.” For this reason, lightning (Cociyo) and earthquakes (Xoo) were not conceived as deities but as living supernatural forces filled with pèe.2 Furthermore, she criticizes Fray Juan de Córdova’s (1578a) definition of pitào as “god” or “deity,” maintaining that pi- is the same as pèe and that tào means “great.” Therefore, pitào should be translated as “great wind,” “great breath,” or “great spirit” and not “god” or “deity.” She concludes that pitao “never referred to a specific deity but rather to the great and sacred life force within lightning or a supernatural being” (Marcus 2003a:345).3

For Marcus (2003a:348–49), the different names of the gods, mentioned in the AD 1579–1581 Relaciones Geográficas (Geographical Reports) relating to the Zapotecs and written by Spanish colonial administrators, were not gods but Zapotec rulers (coqui) deified after their deaths and perceived as intermediaries between the people and the supernatural forces. She also maintains that the Zapotec gods mentioned in Córdova’s (1578a) Vocabulario en lengua zapoteca (Dictionary of the Zapotec language) and in Gonzalo Balsalobre’s (1988) report on Zapotec religion, written in AD 1656, were names for the different supernatural forces. Therefore, according to Marcus, the Zapotecs did not have a pantheon of gods that they worshipped but instead attempted to appease supernatural forces through rituals, reciprocity, and the intervention of the spirits of deceased and deified coqui. Alfredo López Austin (1998:8) distinguishes “two great categories of supernatural entities: supernatural forces and gods. Supernatural forces are impersonal entities,” as Marcus proposes, like lightning and earthquakes.4 On the other hand, gods possess a personality “so similar to the human [personality] that they can comprehend the expressed desires of men and so that they are willingly susceptible to being affected by human actions” (López Austin 1998:9).5 Furthermore, as Henry B. Nicholson (1971:408) has observed with regard to Mesoamerican religion, “Most of the deities were conceived anthropomorphically; even those ostensibly in animal form are often portrayed in the disguise (nahualli) of an anthropomorphic deity.” Gods or deities, then, look and act a lot like humans, whereas supernatural forces do not and are impersonal. The Relaciones Geográficas repeatedly refer to “idols” made of stone, wood, or ceramics that represent Zapotec gods. For example, the Relación de Teguantepec (Tehuantepec) reported that “the principal idols that they had were idols of precious green stones [chalchihuites] and ceramics and wood that they worshipped as gods” (Torre de Lagunas 1580:114).6 And according to the Relación de Tecuicuilco (Teococuilco), “all these natives of these towns worshipped the Devil in the figure of a statue made from wood and stone which they called gods” (Villagar 1580:91).7 Furthermore, they mention that these “idols” were “stones carved in the manner of persons” (Zárate 1581:198) with “very ugly faces” (Pérez de Zamora 1580:111), and “they were given different names” (Espíndola 1580:117).8 Likewise, “four green

stone idols, in the shape of men, although deformed and with frightening features,” have been described by Francisco Burgoa (1989: II, 90), a Spanish colonial priest.9 These descriptions clearly indicate that Zapotec idols looked a lot like humans and fit both Nicholson’s characterization of them as anthropomorphic deities and López Austin’s description of gods having human attributes as opposed to being impersonal supernatural forces. Marcus selected two natural but inanimate forces, lightning and earthquakes, to support her animatistic hypothesis. But Córdova (1578a:141) lists a whole series of other Zapotec deities in his dictionary that are much more difficult to accommodate under animatism, including the maize deity, the deity of omens, the deity of hunting, the deity of merchants and good fortune, the deity of misery, and the deity of the underworld. Furthermore, Córdova (1578a:141) defines Cociyo as “dios de las lluvias” or the “rain god,” indicating that his Zapotecs informants considered Cociyo the god of rain, although his name literally means “lightning.” There are two large plaster sculptures of Cociyo attached to the walls of a special room in the palace of a priest from the Late Classic Xoo phase (AD 650–850) archaeological site of Lambityeco in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca (figure 1.3). These sculptures clearly depict Cociyo in anthropomorphic form, although his face might seem quite ugly or deformed to a sixteenth-century Spaniard. Like a Zapotec noble, Cociyo wears a fancy feather headdress, earspools, a necklace with a pendant, and beaded bracelets. His human arms end in human hands with fingernails. In his left hand he carries lightning bolts and his right hand holds a vase with water (rain) pouring from its mouth. The vase is of a type whose neck is frequently adorned with an effigy of Cociyo’s face. This indicates that nearly a millennium before the Spanish Conquest the Zapotecs portrayed Cociyo as an anthropomorphic deity, not an impersonal supernatural force.

Figure 1.3. Plaster sculptures of the rain deity, Cociyo, Mound 190, Lambityeco, ca. AD 775–800: (a) West room of Patio 4, Structure 190-4, Mound 190, Lambityeco; (b) South Cociyo; (c) North Cociyo (photos courtesy of Robert Markens).

Marcus (2003a:345) criticizes Spanish colonial priests and administrators for calling Zapotec supernaturals “gods,” suggesting that they were being ethnocentric by forcing Zapotec sacred beings into their preconceived Western notion of Greek and Roman gods. She likewise criticizes anthropologists for considering animatism to be associated with so-called primitive societies, such as bands and tribes, and not with more complex preindustrial state societies, such as the Zapotecs. With regard to the latter, she is right for the wrong reasons. Zapotec religion was not totally animatistic, but aspects of animatism were in Zapotec religion, such as

worshipping stone, wooden, or ceramic idols of deities thought to be imbued with supernatural forces. It can be argued, however, that all religions have aspects of animatism, including the religions of modern industrial nations, with their plastic dashboard Jesuses, crucifixes, and statues and medallions of saints—inanimate objects thought by many, if not most, practitioners to be imbued with supernatural forces.10 Marcus is absolutely correct in stating that animatism is not restricted to so-called primitive societies but incorrect in characterizing Zapotec religion as solely animatistic and devoid of deities. Zapotec religion included a pantheon of deities. In the following pages, the nature of ancient Zapotec religion will be explored. Chapters 2 and 3 deal with the identification of Zapotec deities and the nature of the Zapotec cosmos. Chapter 4 describes Zapotec temple priests and temple ceremonies. Chapters 5 and 6 examine the nature of Zapotec temples and priestly residences uncovered in archaeological excavations at Mitla and Yagul. Chapter 7 treats Zapotec community priests, or colaní, who lived in their own local neighborhoods and practiced their rituals with the aid of sacred books. Chapter 8 explores the Zapotec sacred and solar calendars and their relationships to religious rituals and ceremonies. Chapter 9 analyzes a series of Prehispanic murals from Mitla and examines their religious content. Chapter 10 concludes with a summary of the nature of ancient Zapotec religion and how it fit into ancient Zapotec society.

Notes 1. Codices are indigenous books made from amate paper or deerskin in the form of screenfolds instead of loose leaf. The only Prehispanic Aztec codex that survives is the Borbonicus (Caso 1967:103–12), which is a religious or ritual codex geared to the sacred calendar with depictions of deities and rituals or ceremonies. Other religious codices include those of the Borgia group: Borgia, Laud, FejérváryMayer, Vaticanus B, and Cospi. Among the Maya religious codices are Dresden, Madrid, and Paris. Return to text. 2. Traditionally, the name of this supernatural being has been written as Cocijo and pronounced Ko see hoe; the correct spelling should be Cociyo and pronounced Ko see yo (Urcid 2001:36n3). Return to text. 3. Marcus unfortunately chose the term supernatural being, which is usually associated with gods or deities. Return to text. 4. Translated into English by the author. Hereafter, only the original Spanish will be quoted. The original Spanish reads, “dos grandes categorías de entes sobrenaturales: las fuerzas sobrenaturales y los dioses. Las fuerzas sobrenaturales son entidades impersonales” (López Austin 1998:8). Return to text. 5. “tan semejante a la humana como para que puedan comprender las expresiones de los hombres y para que tengan una voluntad susceptible de ser afectada por las acciones humanas” (López Austin 1998:9). Return to text. 6. “los principales ídolos que tenían, eran ídolos de piedras de chalchihuites, y de barro y de palo, a los cuales adoraban por dioses” (Torre de Lagunas 1580:114). Return to text. 7. “Adoraban, todos estos naturales destos pueblos, al DEMONIO en figura de estatua, hechas de palo y de piedra, a los cuales llamaban dioses” (Villagar 1580:91). Return to text. 8. “unas piedras labradas a manera de personas” (Zárate 1581:198). Return to text. 9. “cuatro ídolos de piedra verde, con figuras de hombre, aunque disformes, y espantosas en las facciones” (Burgoa 1989: II, 90). Return to text. 10. Among world religions, only Islam has attempted to purge itself of animatism through the teachings of Mohammed, but even it has the meteorite at Mecca as an inanimate object imbued with supernatural force and, some might argue, the Koran and prayer beads as well. Return to text.

2 Zapotec Deities in Sixteenth-Century Documents

Our knowledge of Zapotec deities is derived principally from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century colonial documents prepared by Spanish priests and administrators. The identification of Zapotec deities is complex. Their names are written with highly variable spellings, making it difficult at times to know if one or two separate deities are being cited in different documents. Compounding this difficulty are dialectical differences in Zapotec from different areas. For example, the Zapotec word for “deity” is pitào in the Valley of Oaxaca, betao in the Sierra Juárez, nato in the Peñoles region, and liraa in Sola de Vega. There are no illustrations of Zapotec deities comparable to those of the Aztec deities in Codex Borbonicus (1974), for example, that would allow us to know how they were depicted and what attributes distinguished them. Also, each of the colonial sources approaches Zapotec deities from a somewhat different perspective. For these reasons, it is necessary to analyze each source separately and then compare them to achieve a definition of major Zapotec deities. The discussion begins with the sixteenthcentury documents. SIXTEENTH-CENTURY SOURCES The sixteenth-century documents include Fray Juan de Córdova’s Vocabulario en lengua zapoteca and Arte del idioma zapoteca, both published in AD 1578, and the Relaciones Geográficas (Geographic Reports), written by various Spanish administrators in response to a questionnaire sent out by King Phillip II of Spain between AD 1579 and AD 1581. The information provided by Córdova’s works is more complete than the reports, although the latter provide a wider geographical coverage that makes these two sources complementary to a certain degree. The analysis of Córdova presented herein relies principally on the work of the late Thomas C. Smith Stark (2002), professor and researcher of linguistics at El Colegio de México, who

specialized in colonial Zapotec and made a detailed study of Zapotec religion —deities, priests, and sacrifices—through an analysis of Córdova’s dictionary. ZAPOTEC DEITIES IN CÓRDOVA’S VOCABULARIO Córdova compiled his vocabulario between AD 1572 and AD 1576 at Teitipac in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca (see figure 1.2) and published it in AD 1578 (Whitecotton and Whitecotton 1993:417). Because Córdova had served in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Valley of Oaxaca, his dictionary reflects the Zapotec dialects spoken in these regions and not those spoken by the communities in the small mountain valleys surrounding the Valley of Oaxaca (Whitecotton and Whitecotton 1993:416). The Zapotec words and phrases recorded in the dictionary were written using Spanish orthography—that is, Latin letters. Although Latin letters more or less effectively recorded some Mesoamerican languages—such as Náhuatl, the Aztec language—they served poorly to record Zapotec words. Zapotec is a tonal language with glottal stops, and there are no tones or glottal stops in the Latin alphabet. As a consequence, Zapotec words written identically with Latin letters may have two different meanings—such as loo (“monkey”) and loo (“eye”)—that are differentiated in Zapotec by tones. In addition, because Zapotec never became standardized as a written language, the recordings of Zapotec words in distinct sources, such as Córdova and the Relaciones Geográficas, show a considerable range of variation (Whitecotton and Whitecotton 1993:v). Only a highly competent linguist specializing in colonial Zapotec, such as Smith Stark, is adept enough to navigate through these difficulties and achieve a thorough understanding of Córdova’s vocabulario.1 Córdova cited the Zapotec word pitào as meaning “god,” which he recorded variously as pitáo, pitòo, or bitào, reflecting the different spellings he gave to the majority of Zapotec words (Smith Stark 2002:93).2 Many authors, such as Joyce Marcus (2003a:345), have considered pitao to consist of two words—pi (“spirit, breath, or wind”) and tao (“great”) and have translated it as literally meaning “great spirit, breath, or wind.” However, Smith Stark (2002:94) disagrees and translates pi as “animated being” because it occurs in the names of animated beings in Zapotec. He translates tào as “sacred” because in his contextual analysis, for example, a church is referred

to as yoho tào, “sacred house” not “great house.”3 He concludes that the literal translation of pitao should be “sacred animated being,” or god. Córdova has twenty-four entries for pitao in his vocabulario, the majority of which refer to Prehispanic deities. Smith Stark (2002:93) suggests that many of these names are alternative names for the same deity and that basically nine Prehispanic Zapotec deities are named in Córdova’s vocabulario. Smith Stark’s analysis of the deities in Córdova is substantially correct. But Smith Stark purposefully avoided comparing the deities in Córdova with other sources because he wished to focus exclusively on Córdova’s vocabulario. Including other sources, however, can clarify the nature of some deities. Table 2.1 presents a list of nine Zapotec deities in Córdova based on the above analysis by Smith Stark as well as revisions I have made. I have been able to identify fourteen possible deities. Table 2.1 List of Prehispanic Zapotec deities from Córdova’s Vocabulario.

1 2

3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Huetexi Pea Pitao Cozaana

God who measured the world God who created animals and fish, god of the hunt, creator deity and consort of Huichaana Pitao Huichaana Goddess who created men and fish, goddess of procreation and children, creator deity and consort of Cozaana Pitao Copiycha Sun god Cociyo Rain god Pitao Cozobi God of grain fields (maize) Pitao Pezeelao God of the hereafter Pitao Xoo God of earthquakes Pitao Peeze God of omens Pitao Paa God of merchants, wealth, good fortune, and happiness Pitao Ziy God of misery and misfortune Pitao Xicala God of dreams Pixee Pecala God of love and lechery Coqui Lao God of turkey hens

Before proceeding to Smith Stark’s analysis and my revisions, it is necessary to set the record straight regarding uncritical references to an uncreated Zapotec “creator deity,” without beginning and without end, which Córdova lists as a series of difrasismos. Difrasismo refers to phrases in Mesoamerican languages—such as Náhuatl, the Aztec language—that consist of couplets, or two metaphors expressing a single symbolic thought (Smith Stark 2002:187n9). It is also referred to in English as a parallelism. The following parallelisms are not translated literally by Córdova but simply commented upon by him. Eduard Seler (1904:284), quoting Córdova, lists these as Pije Tào, Pije Xòo (“God without end and without beginning, so they called him without knowing whom”); Coqui-Cilla, Xèe-Tao, Piyee-Xào, CillaTào (“The uncreated lord, who has no beginning and no end”); and Coqui-Xèe, Coqui-Cilla, Coqui-Nij (“God, of whom they said that he was the creator of all things and was himself uncreated”) (Seler 1904:284). Seler (1904:284) was the first to link these terms from Córdova to a Zapotec creator deity and considered him to be similar to the Nahua creator deity Totecuyo, Tloque Nauaque, Ilhuicaua, Tlaticpaque, and Youalli ehecatl. Those who followed Seler’s ideas uncritically include Alfonso Caso and Ignacio Bernal (1952:359), José Alcina Franch (1972:13–14), and Joseph W. Whitecotton (1977:165), among others. It must be remembered that Córdova compiled his dictionary after Zapotecs had been exposed to Christian religion for over fifty years. His informants were well aware of the Christian deity, and the above phrases in Zapotec most certainly refer to the Christian God. It may be safely assumed that the above phrases do not refer to these creator deities but instead describe the Christian deity. Smith Stark (2002:210) provides better translations for the above phrases, but instead of recognizing them as corresponding to the Christian God, he folds them into epithets for the Zapotec creator deity Cozaana. Pitào Cozàana Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of the animals and the hunt. He is the creator of all animals and fish. Although Córdova refers to Cozaana on one occasion as an “engendredora,” or female creator of the animals and fish, in all other instances he refers to him as a god or male deity (Smith Stark 2002:96–97). Mesoamerican deities do occur with dual male-female

attributes, however, especially creator deities. According to Smith Stark (2002:95), Cozaana’s name is derived from a verb, zàana, that means “to give birth,” and the prefix co, which changes some verbs to nouns. Literally, then, Cozaana means “birther,” and Córdova likewise links him with human lineages and ancestors (Smith Stark 2002:96). Smith Stark (2002:110) lists eighteen entries in Córdova that he considers to be alternative names or phrases for Cozaana (table 2.2). Table 2.2 Alternative names for the Zapotec deity Cozaana in Córdova’s Vocabulario, according to Smith Stark (2002:110).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Cozaana tao Copiycha Coqui huechiba tiia

gran engendrador (the sacred creator) sol (the sun) rey encima del linaje (king at the top of the lineage) Huetoco ticha tao gran regidor/juez (the sacred ruler and judge) Coquiche pea rao gran regidor/juez (the sacred ruler and judge) Coço pea tao gran regidor/medidor (the sacred ruler and measurer) Coquice pea rao gran regidor/medidor (the sacred ruler and measurer) Coquixe pea rao gran regidor/medidor (the sacred ruler and measurer) Cobaque pea rao gran regidor/medidor (the sacred ruler and measurer) Collaba pea rao gran regidor/medidor (the sacred ruler and measurer) Huetexi pea (layoo) medidor del mundo dios (measurer of the world god) Hueca pea layoo medidor del mundo (measurer of the world) Nallani nazeni está manado, está abarcado, el cielo, la quiepaa layoo tierra (it flowed forth, it was embraced, the sky, the earth)

14

Hueni xee, hueni cilla

15 16 17

Coqui xee, coqui cilla Coqui nii Piye tao

18

Piye xoo

hacedor de la creación, hacedor del amanecer (maker of creation, maker of dawn) rey de la creación, rey del amanecer (king of creation, king of dawn) rey eterno (eternal king) tiempo grande o sagrado (great or sacred time) tiempo fuerza (time force)

The first alternative name for Cozaana is Cozàana tào, which Córdova defines as “the sacred creator”; he also refers to him as Còla Cozàana tào, “the venerable sacred creator,” and Còla Cozàana quizàha lào, “the venerable creator of everything.” Smith Stark (2002:97) assumes that Cozaana tao is the same deity as Cozaana but points out that the addition of tao and the other qualifiers could change this because Córdova does not refer to Cozaana alone as the creator of everything. By adding tao and the other qualifiers to Cozaana’s name, he becomes “the creator of everything” (Smith Stark 2002:97). These alternate names for Cozaana most likely relate to the Christian deity, as will become apparent. Among the other terms and phrases that Smith Stark considers epithets of Cozaana (numbers 14–18 in table 2.2) are parallelisms cited by Seler but more accurately translated by Smith Stark. For example, Coqui xee, coqui cilla is a parallelism that Smith Stark translates as “king of creation, king of dawn” (table 2.2, number 15), and its counterpart is Hueni xee, hueni cilla, “maker of creation, maker of dawn” (table 2.2, number 14). These parallelisms reflect the Biblical phrase “let there be light.” Coqui nii is “eternal king,” an appropriate reference to the Christian deity (table 2.2, number 16). Piye tao and Piye xoo, which Córdova translates as “without beginning or end,” literally translate as “sacred time” and “time force or movement” (table 2.2, numbers 17, 18). In addition, numbers 3–5 in table 2.2, although not referred to by Seler, are certainly references to the Christian deity. Coqui huechiiba tiia, “king at the top of the lineage,” relates to God creating Adam and Eve, from whom all humans are descended, which therefore makes him the king at the top of the lineage (table 2.2, number 3). Huetoco ticha tao and Coqui pea rao are

translated as “sacred ruler and judge” by Smith Stark. The Christian deity, unlike Mesoamerican deities, is a sacred judge (table 2.2, numbers 4, 5). All must come before him to be judged. It is very likely that the Zapotecs added tao and the other qualifiers to Cozaana to represent the Christian deity. This seems evident where Córdova cites as synonymous for “God the Father of all and who nourishes all the creatures and rules them” the following: Coqui za chiba tiia (Coqui huechiba tiia), “king at the top of the lineage”; Cozaana tao, “sacred creator”; Cola cozaana tao, “venerable sacred creator”; and Huetoco ticha tao, “sacred judge” (Smith Stark 2002:97).4 Coçò pèa tào, Coquìce pèa rào, Coquìxe pèa rào, Cobàque pèa rào, and Collàba pèa rào are all defined as “sacred measurers,” and Huetèxi pèa and Huecà pèa layòo are defined as “measurer” and “measurer of the world,” respectively (table 2.2, numbers 6–12). Smith Stark (2002:102) relates all these to a god who places boundaries and measurements on everything. He cites a description of creation in the Quiché Maya Popol Vuh (Recinos 1950:80) of how the creator deity brought the measuring cord and determined the dimensions of the sky and the four quarters of the earth (Smith Stark 2002:187n17). Although all these names would certainly be applicable to a Zapotec creator deity, Córdova does not connect them directly to Cozaana or Cozaana tao. It seems likely, therefore, that these seven deities are alternative names for a single “measurer” deity separate from Cozaana. Córdova cites this measurer deity as Huetèxi pea, “the measurer of the world god” (Smith Stark 2002:105).5 The parallelism nallani nazeni quiepaa layoo, “it flowed forth, it was embraced, the sky, the earth,” seems to accurately capture Huetexi pea measuring the boundaries of the sky and the earth (table 2.2, number 13). Pitào Copìicha Córdova defines Copiycha as the sun and also refers to him as “pitao” or god. Interestingly, according to Seler (1904:295), the Aztecs also referred to the sun deity as the “sun” (Tonatiuh) or simply “god” (Téotl). However, Smith Stark (2002:98) considers Pitao Copiycha to be an alternative name for Cozaana (table 2.2, number 2).6 Córdova does not link Pitao Copiycha directly to Cozaana but one of his definitions for Cozaana tao quizaha lao is “the sun in accordance with creating the things that it creates” (Smith Stark 2002:98), with no mention of Pitao Copiycha.7 Because the Aztecs, Mixtecs, and Maya all

have sun deities, it would seem logical for the Zapotecs to have a sun deity. Therefore, Pitao Copiycha is not just another name for Cozaana but a separate deity, a point that can be confirmed by seventeenth-century documents to be discussed in chapter 3. Pitào Pezèelào Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of the underworld or hereafter (table 2.1). Smith Stark (2002:111) is unable to determine the literal meaning of “Pezeelao.” Javier Urcid (2001:441) has suggested that Pezeelao is derived from the day name 13 Lord or Face, the last day in the Zapotec 260day sacred calendar cycle. He points out that pece is the thirteenth prefix in the orderly sequence of Zapotec day names documented by Córdova and 13 Lao (Lord or Face), or “pecelao” (structurally equivalent to “pezeelao”), is the last day in the sacred calendar cycle (Javier Urcid, personal communication, 2012). Córdova calls the place where Pezeelao resides capìilla in Zapotec and defines it as the abyss, depths of the earth, or center of the earth; he also refers to it as lichi pezèelào, or the house of Pezeelao (Smith Stark 2002:112). Finally, Córdova mentions nocturnal birds (such as owls) that the Zapotecs considered omens and called xicochìna pezèelao—literally, “messengers from Pezeelao” (Smith Stark 2002:113). Pitào Xòo Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of earthquakes. Xoo literally means “earthquake or force” (Smith Stark 2002:113). Pitào Huichàana Córdova (1578a:141) also refers to this deity as Huichàna, Huichàana, Pitào Huichaana, Huechàna, and Cochàna. She is the goddess of children and procreation, the creator of men and fish, and is associated with the element of water. Although Córdova refers to Huichaana on one occasion as a “criador” or male “breeder” of men and fish, in all other instances he refers to her as a goddess. Again, Mesoamerican deities, especially creator deities, frequently manifest dual male-female attributes. The only other deity referred to in this

manner is Cozaana, as mentioned earlier (Smith Stark 2002:114). Caso and Bernal (1952:361–62) link Huichaana with Cozaana and consider them to be consorts or a pair of male-female creator deities. Smith Stark (2002:115) was unable to determine the literal meaning of this deity’s name. Coquì Lào Córdova (1578a:141) refers to this deity as god of the hens, evidently meaning turkey hens because chicken hens were unknown in Prehispanic times. The name literally means “king’s face” (Smith Stark 2002:115). Despite a thorough analysis, Smith Stark (2002:116–19) was unable to link this deity with any bird. Pitào Pèeze Córdova (1578a:141) also refers to this deity as Pitào Pìizi, Pitòo Pìizi, Pitòo Pèeci, and Pitòo Pìize. Pitao Peeze is the god of omens (Córdova 1578a:141), and his name literally means “god of omens” (Smith Stark 2002:119). Smith Stark (2002:120) also suggests that this deity has two alter egos or different names. However, these two probably constitute separate deities Pitao Paa and Pitao Ziy. Pitào Pàa This deity is defined as the god of merchants and wealth (Córdova 1578a:141). Literally, Paa means “excellent” (Smith Stark 2002:122). He is also the god of profits, happiness, and good fortune. Pitào Zìy This deity is defined as the god of misery (Córdova 1578a:141). He is the god of misfortune, loss, unhappiness, and everything bad that happens (Smith Stark 2002:122, 125). He is also referred to by the epithets Pitào Tée and Pitào Xiñe, which literally mean “the wicked god” and “the bad or evil god,” respectively (Smith Stark 2002:125).

Pitào Cozòbi Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of the grain fields, although he is commonly called the god of corn or maize. Literally, cozòbi means “abundant harvest” (Smith Stark 2002:126). Pitào Xicàla Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of dreams, and he is also referred to as Pitào Pecàla. Both xicala and pecala literally mean “dreams” (Smith Stark 2002:127). Pixèe Pecàla Córdova defines this deity as the god of love and lechery. Smith Stark (2002:128–29) thinks it possible that this deity is related to the god of dreams, Pitao Xicala or Pitao Pecala. He translates pixee as “owl” and pecala as “dream” and suggests that this may be a difrasismo “owl, dream.” He states that this interpretation is based on a difrasismo in Córdova, xìni pixèe xìni pecàla, which is literally “son of the owl, son of the dream,” which Córdova translates as “lecherous male [luxurioso] and greatly lecherous female [luxuriosa grande].” Cocìio Córdova (1578a:141) defines this deity as the god of rain. Literally, his name means “lightning” (Smith Stark 2002:130). Apart from deities, Córdova also lists a variety of “elves, ghosts, fairies, and sprites” that the Zapotecs referred to as xìni pitào, sons of gods, or xìni quela, sons of the night. These are frequently associated with the Zapotec term huichàa (or huechàa), which is one of the words for “witch” (or “warlock”) (Smith Stark 2002:136–38). Within this context is the important Zapotec supernatural concept of the Xicani. Xicani

In his analysis of Zapotec iconography, Urcid has identified an image that is very similar to the Aztec Xiuhcóatl (fire-serpent) and the Mixtec Yahui. As he notes, “To avoid the usage of Mixtec or Náhuatl names to refer to a Zapotec image, the counterpart of the Yahui and the Xiuhcóatl is named arbitrarily ‘Xicani.’ This is the term given by Córdova for sorcerer and necromancer . . . which is [also] the meaning of the Mixtec word Yahui . . . The ‘Xicani’ imagery in Oaxaca is pervasive and of great antiquity” (Urcid 2001:203–4). In a study of the Mixtec Yahui, Manuel Hermann (2009:65), following Maarten Jansen (1997:76), links this figure to the spirit of a nahual, an animal into which a person or deity may transform himself (figure 2.1a). He is also said to be able to fly, being perceived as a ball of fire (meteor or “falling star”) in the night sky and is capable of passing through solid objects such as rocks or mountains (Hermann 2009:75). Urcid (2001:247n18), citing Jansen (1981:94), adds, “the main uses and meanings of the Yahui imagery in the Mixtec corpus [are] as names of individuals, nahual of certain persons who are capable of transforming themselves . . . , a religious speciality of certain priests who performed [human] sacrifices . . . , and image of the mythical entity itself. All these usages are present in the Zapotec corpus” relating to Xicani.

Figure 2.1. Images of Mixtec Yahui and Zapotec Xicani: (a) Mixtec Yahui as a supernatural entity (Codex Nuttall 1975:79); (b) Carved stone Zapotec Xicani, Tomb 7, Mitla (after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:415, Figure 20); (c) carved stone Zapotec Xicani, Ballcourt, Yagul; (d) Zapotec Xicani as a sacrificer, Tomb 1, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978); (e) Zapotec Xicani transformed into a butterfly, center of a polychrome tripod platter, Tomb 2, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978).

The interest here, of course, is if the Xicani should be considered a deity or a supernatural power bestowed on individuals by a deity. According to Hermann (2009:69), the Aztec Xiuhcóatl, or fire-serpent, was most frequently associated with the Aztec god of fire, Xiuhtecuhtli, but also with Tezcatlipoca, the patron deity of sorcerers, and Huitzilopochtli, the patron deity of the Aztecs. However, the Xiuhcóatl does not appear to be a separate deity or an alter ego of these Aztec gods. Urcid (2001:441) suggests that the Zapotec Xicani is associated with Pitao Peeze, the god of omens and patron deity of sorcerers. It seems plausible to consider the Xicani as not a deity or an alter ego of a deity but a supernatural power bestowed on individuals by the deity Pitao Peeze that permits these persons to transform themselves into animals and fly. Archaeological images of Zapotec Xicani in the Valley of Oaxaca date back to 300 BC (Urcid 2001:297, figure 4.108). Postclassic representations of the Xicani as a supernatural entity include carved stone heads from Tomb 7 at

Mitla and the ball court at Yagul (figure 2.1b, c). A low relief plaster sculpture of a Zapotec Xicani as a flying priest sacrificer occurs on the back wall of Tomb 1 at Zaachila (figure 2.1d). Also, from Tomb 2 at Zaachila, a painting on the interior center of a tripod polychrome platter shows an image of a Zapotec Xicani as an individual who has transformed himself into a flying butterfly (figure 2.1e). ZAPOTEC DEITIES IN THE RELACIONES GEOGRÁFICAS The Relaciones Geográficas were written between AD 1579 and AD 1581, nearly the same time that Córdova’s AD 1578 Vocabulario was published. They were in response to a questionnaire sent by King Phillip II of Spain to the corregidores (Spanish magistrates or mayors) of the principal indigenous communities throughout Nueva España, or New Spain, as Mexico was called at that time. The principal communities in the Valley of Oaxaca and the small mountain valleys surrounding it generally had been the capitals of small Zapotec city-states—queche in Zapotec (Oudijk 2002:73)—that existed at the time of the conquest. About twenty-four of these relaciones have survived and been published (Acuña 1984: I, II; Paso y Troncoso 1981; Butterworth 1962).8 All the communities mentioned in the Relaciones Geográficas are located on a map (see figure 1.2). The Spanish magistrates or, occasionally, Spanish priests, of these communities usually called in the oldest Zapotec nobles to aid them in completing the questionnaire. Question number 14 asked, “In pagan times [Prehispanic times] whose kingdom did they belong to and who were their lords and what tribute did they pay them, and the religious worship, rites and customs, good or bad, that they had” (Acuña 1984: II, 18).9 The answers to this question are highly varied with regard to content. Unfortunately, the Relación de Teozapotlan (Zaachila), which was the most powerful Zapotec kingdom in the Valley of Oaxaca until ca. AD 1440 (Oudijk 2008:105), was written by a Spanish priest, Fray Juan de Mata (1580:157–64), who makes absolutely no reference to the Prehispanic Zapotec religion. The same applies to the Relación de Cuylapa (Cuilapan), which was the largest community in the Valley of Oaxaca at the time of the conquest and occupied principally by Mixtecs. Its author, another Spanish priest, Fray Agustín de Salazar (1581:38– 41), also makes no reference to Prehispanic religious practices. Finally, the

Relación de Tecuicuilco (Teococuilco), a Zapotec community in the mountains north of the Valley of Oaxaca, was written by Spanish magistrate Francisco de Villagar (1580:87–102), who plagiarized parts of it from the author of the Relación de Atlatlauaca, the Spanish magistrate Francisco de la Mezquita (Acuña 1984: II, 85–86). Atlatlahuaca is a Cuicatec community about 25 kilometers northwest of Teococuilco (see figure 1.2). Apart from these problems, the Spanish magistrates and the occasional priest serving these Zapotec communities took the time to question the oldest Zapotec nobles regarding their Prehispanic religious practices and deities. Most often they would record a Zapotec name for the local deity or deities, although the spellings of these deities’ names vary considerably. They usually, but not always, gave a Spanish definition or description of what the deity’s name meant. On occasion, a Spanish name or definition, such as dios de las aguas, or “rain god,” would be given instead of a Zapotec name for a deity or deities. Table 2.3 presents all of the deities in the Relaciones mentioned by their Zapotec name. Eighteen different Zapotec deities, and an additional two with Náhuatl names, are listed in fourteen different Zapotec communities. Surprisingly, although written contemporaneously with Córdova, only two of the deities—Cociyo and Pitao Pezeelao on Córdova’s list—are cited in the Relaciones. Although spelled differently from Cociyo, the Gozio of Miahuatlán most likely reflects a dialectical difference in the Zapotec spoken in this community, located in a mountain valley south of the Valley of Oaxaca. Interestingly, this important Zapotec rain deity is mentioned only once in the Relaciones. In contrast, Pitao Pezeelao (variously spelled Bezelao, Coqui Bezelao, and Becaloo) is mentioned in four different communities (Ozolotepec, Mitla, Huitzo, Teococuilco), where he is defined as the “devil.” This is consistent with Córdova’s definition of him as el dios del infierno or “the god of hell”; he also refers to him as demonio or “devil” and diablo grande principal “principal great devil” (Smith Stark 2002:111). It should be noted that demonio and diablo are virtually synonymous in Spanish and mean “the devil,” in the Christian sense of the term. Table 2.3 The Zapotec deities named in the Relaciones Geográficas.

Zapotec Name

Comment

Community

1

2

3

4

5

6

7 8 9

10 11

Zapotec Name Comment Pichanagobeche demonio, quitaba enfermedades (devil, removed illnesses) Pichanato intercesor ante Pichana Gobeche (intercedes with Pichana Gobeche) Gozio (Cociyo) el dios del agua (rain god) Benelaba (7 Rabbit)

Community Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117) Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117) Miahuatlán (Espíndola 1580:127) Coatlán (Espíndola 1580:134)

ídolo de piedra al cual adoraban los hombres (stone idol worshipped by men) Jonaji Belachina ídolo de piedra, esposa Coatlán (Espíndola (Xonaxi de Benelaba, a la cual 1580:134) Belachina) (3 adoraban las mujeres Deer) (stone idol, wife of Benelaba, worshipped by women) Bezelao el demonio (the devil) Ozolotepec (Espíndola 1580:139) Coqui Bezelao señor diablo (lord devil) Mitla (Canseco 1580:149) Becaloo el diablo (the devil) Huitzo (Zárate 1581:198) Coqui Bezelao el principal de los Teococuilco diablos (the principal (Villagar 1580:91) devil) Coquebila none (Lord of the Macuilxóchitl Underworld) (Asensio 1580:101) Ponapi Quecuya mujer de Coqui Bezelao Mitla (Canseco (Xonaxi (wife of Coqui Bezelao) 1580:149) Quecuya)

Zapotec Name Cozichacozee

Comment el dios de las guerras (god of war)

Community 12 Ozolotepec (Espíndola 1580:139) 13 Coque Cehuiyo el demonio (the devil) Tlacolula (Canseco (Coqui Lahuiyo) 1580:145) 14 Coquihuani el demonio de la luz Tlalixtac (Del Río (the demon of light) 1580:179) 15 Guatacazio (brother of Guatacayo) Tetiquipa (Salas 1580:180) 16 Guatacayo (brother of Guatacazio) Tetiquipa (Salas 1580:180) 17 Quezelao el proveedor de los Atepec (Villagar temporales (the 1580:92) provider of seasonal fields) 18 Coqui Nexo el señor de la Zoquiapan (Villagar multiplicación (lord of 1580:92) multiplication) Two deities in Zapotec communities have Náhuatl (Aztec) names: 19 Tlacatecolotl diablo (devil) Miahuatlán (“Owl Man”) (Espíndola 1580:127) 20 Tiacahua capitán (captain) Cozauhtepec (Salas 1580:185) However, it appears that Pitao Pezeelao is also mentioned in other communities although under alternative names. In the Relación de Macuilsuchil (Macuilxóchitl), from the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca, the Spanish magistrate Gaspar Asensio (1580:101) states that “in their town they had an idol that the people worshipped called Coquebila” (table 2.3).10 He does not mention the meaning of the name Coquebila in Spanish. But it will be recalled that capiilla (rendered bila in the relación) is the place where Córdova states that Pezeelao resides: “the underworld” (Smith Stark 2002:112). Coqui means “lord” and therefore Coquebila can be rendered

“lord of the underworld,” which is another name for Pitao Pezeelao. With regard to Tlacolula, whose Prehispanic location was at the archaeological site of Yagul, Alonso de Canseco (1580:145) mentions that they worshipped an idol named Coque Cehuiyo and “correctly” identifies him as “the devil” (el demonio). Fernando Horcasitas and Richard George (1955:16n13), who translated the relación into English and commented upon it, have suggested that cehuiyo should read lahuiyo, which also means “underworld,” and therefore Coque Cehuiyo means “lord of the underworld,” or Pitao Pezeelao. The Relación de Chichicapa states, “They had for the gods they worshipped, the devil and his figures; and thus they gave them different names and the general [commander] was Pichanagobeche whom they revered most because it was he who removed illnesses” (Espíndola 1580:117).11 If by “the general [commander]” Nicolás Espíndola meant “the devil,” as seems to be implied, then Pichanagobeche (table 2.3) might be an alternative name for Pitao Pezeelao in Chichicapa. Pichana means “lord” and gobeche might be the word for “underworld” in Chichicapa, yielding the name “lord of the underworld,” who is Pitao Pezeelao. It should be noted that in Ozolotepec they also referred to Bezelao (Pitao Pezeelao) as the deity who removed illnesses, just as they attributed this same power to Pichanagobeche in nearby Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117, 140). The Relación de Miaguatlan (Miahuatlán) states, “this town had a public house [temple] for their gods, who were called Tlacatecolotl, which is the name of the devil: and Gozio, who was the rain god” (Espíndola 1580:127).12 Gozio, as mentioned earlier, is the rain deity Cociyo. However, Tlacatecólotl, clearly identified as “the devil” by Espíndola, certainly refers to the Zapotec deity Pitao Pezeelao. Pitao Pezeelao (Bezelao, Coqui Bezelao, Becaloo) is always referred to as “the devil” when he is mentioned by name in the Relaciones (numbers 6, 7, 8, 9 in table 2.3); Espíndola clearly states Tlacatecólotl, “which is the name of the devil,” and goes on to name Gozio as the other deity housed in the same temple or “public house.” Therefore, this is not a case of applying the generic name “devil” to all Prehispanic deities, as does occur in some Relaciones. The name Tlacatecólotl is Náhuatl, the Aztec language, and literally means “owl man” (Robelo 1980:571). How did a Zapotec community come to have “the devil,” Pitao Pezeelao, renamed Tlacatecólotl in Náhuatl? Miahuatlán had been an independent Zapotec city-state until the Aztec king Moctezuma took

control and sent his own governors to rule it (Espíndola 1580:127). The Aztecs rarely interfered with local deities, but the fact that a temple was built to house the rain god, Cociyo, and the god of the hereafter, Pitao Pezeelao, is reminiscent of the Great Temple in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, where the rain god, Tláloc, and the Aztec patron deity, Huitzilopochtli, were housed (Broda, Carrasco, and Matos Moctezuma 1987). Evidently, the Aztec governors of Miahuatlán referred to Pitao Pezeelao as Tlacatecólotl or “owl man” because of the latter’s association with owls (see figure 3.8b).13 Finally, the Relación de Iztepeji deserves consideration. In the town of Ixtepeji, in the mountains north of the Valley of Oaxaca, the Zapotecs worshipped a large black (obsidian?) knife decorated with rich green feathers (quetzal feathers?). No name is given for the knife, and the Spanish magistrate Juan Ximénez Ortiz (1579:17–18) states that it measured more than a forearm, or about 50 centimeters long. The people of Ixtepeji worshipped the knife as a god and kept it on an altar in a temple where they made sacrifices to it. It is unfortunate that no Zapotec name was given for the knife or that none of the documents depict or describe the Zapotec deities or the symbols associated with them that could clarify any possible relationship between the knife and a known Zapotec deity. However, a vessel from Tomb 2 at Zaachila has the human skeletal effigy figure of Pitao Pezeelao attached to it (see figure 3.8d). In one hand he holds a large sacrificial knife (Gallegos 1978:110–11). It is possible that the large sacrificial knife worshipped in Ixtepeji symbolized Pitao Pezeelao, but this is uncertain. It is also worth noting that a probable precursor of Pitao Pezeelao, the “God with the bow in the headdress” (Sellen 2007:308), represented by an effigy figure from the Late Classic Xoo phase site of Lambityeco, has a sacrificial knife hanging from a necklace around his neck (see figure 3.1c). Apart from Zapotec names for deities, three Relaciones give names in Spanish for the deities (table 2.4). Nine deities are cited in Spanish in the Relación de Nexapa, coauthored by Spanish priest Fray Bernardo de Santamaría and Juan de Canseco, a Spanish mayor. Two of these are repeated in a nonplagiarized context in the Relación de Tecuicuilco. Another deity is cited in the Relación de Iztepec or Santa Cruz Mixtepec (Ledesma 1581). Of the ten deities, five can be confidently correlated with deities listed by Córdova. The rain god, listed in the relaciones from Nexapa and Teococuilco, refers to Cociyo and the goddess of childbirth refers to Pitao Huichaana. In the

Relación de Nexapa, the god of the sown fields refers to Pitao Cozobi and the god of the hunt and the god of fishing both refer to Cozaana.14 Table 2.4 Zapotec deities named in Spanish in the Relaciones Geográficas.

1

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10

Reference in Spanish Dios de las aguas Dios de las lluvias Dios de los vientos Dios de las sementeras Dios de la caça Dios de las pesquerías Dios de los partos Dios de las guerras Dios de la paz Dios principal de todos los dioses Dios del palacio

English translation Rain god

Zapotec equivalent Cociyo

Source Nexapa Tecuicuilco

Wind god

?

Nexapa

God of the sown fields God of the hunt

Pitao Cozobi Nexapa Cozaana

Nexapa

God of fishing

Cozaana

Nexapa

God of childbirth

Huichaana

God of peace

Nexapa Tecuicuilco (Cozichacoz Nexapa ee?) ? Nexapa

Principal god of all the gods

Huetexi Pea?

Nexapa

God of the palace

?

Iztepec

War god

One deity, the principal god of all the gods (table 2.4), may refer to Huetexi Pea, the deity who measured the earth and sky, but is more likely the God Thirteen. The god of all gods is repeated in seventeenth-century documents, where his Zapotec name is literally the “God Thirteen.” I have

inferred that the God Thirteen might be the one Córdova named Huetexi Pea, the measurer of the world god, although this is uncertain. Another deity, the god of war, is not mentioned by Córdova but is called Cozichacozee in the Relación de Oçelotepeque (Ozolotepec) (table 2.3). It would seem logical for the Zapotecs to have a war god, and he is mentioned in the relaciones from Nexapa and Ozolotepec; however, it is possible that another deity, such as Pitao Pezeelao, mentioned in Ozolotepec, was invoked through an intermediary (deified coqui) in times of war. Córdova or the other Relaciones do not mention three deities: the god of wind, the god of peace, and the god of the palace (table 2.4). Among the Aztecs, Quetzalcóatl, in his guise as Ehécatl, was the wind deity (Caso 1958:22), but it is unknown if one of the known Zapotec deities also had an alter ego who was a wind deity. As far as is known, no god of peace existed in Mesoamerica. Finally, the god of the palace, mentioned by Pedro Ledesma (1581:270) for Iztepec (Santa Cruz Mixtepec), could refer to almost any deity but most likely referred to a deceased and deified coqui. Although Pitao Pezeelao and Cociyo both appear in the Relaciones, apart from the deities listed in Spanish in the relaciones from Nexapa and Teococuilco, no obvious mention is made of any of the other deities on Córdova’s list. Eleven different deities are mentioned in the Relaciones that have no apparent counterparts in Córdova’s list. One of these deities, however, deserves special consideration. Xonaxi Quecuya, rendered “Ponapi Quecuya” in the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla, is said to be the wife of Coqui Bezelao (Pitao Pezeelao) (table 2.3). Referring to Mitla, the relación states, “among them they had a married idol, and the woman [wife] was Ponapi [Xonaxi] Quecuya, and the husband Coqui Bezelao, which in Spanish is ‘Lord devil’: they [people of Mitla] worshipped and sacrificed to them and not only them [people of Mitla] but all the valleys and towns” (Canseco 1580:149).15 This statement is evidenced by the towns in and around the Valley of Oaxaca where Pitao Pezeelao is mentioned as having been worshipped: Mitla, Tlacolula (Yagul), and Macuixóchitl in the Tlacolula arm of the valley; Huitzo in the Etla arm of the valley; Teococuilco and possibly Ixtepeji, in the Sierra Juárez north of the valley; Miahuatlán to the south of the valley; and Ozolotepec and Chichicapa to the southeast of the valley (see figure 1.2). Xonaxi Quecuya, as wife or consort of Pitao Pezeelao, is an additional deity to be added to Córdova’s list.

ANCESTORS AND DEITIES The remaining ten deities mentioned in the Relaciones but not in Córdova’s list are less easily explained. Marcus (2003a:347–49) has suggested that the different names mentioned in the Relaciones Geográficas did not refer to gods but to coqui of the numerous Zapotec queche, who were deified following their deaths and perceived as intermediaries between the people and supernatural forces. In support of her position, she cites the Relación de Oçelotepeque that refers to a coqui named Petela who died ten or twelve years before the relación was written, or in about AD 1568 or AD 1570. Following Petela’s death, the Zapotec town nobles treated him as if he were a god and made sacrifices to him at his burial site. Around AD 1577, the local priest discovered this, sought out Petela’s grave, and burned his bones in public. Six months later, an epidemic hit the town and around 1,200 people died. The nobles then made sacrifices to the ashes of Petela’s bones so that he would intercede with Bezelao (Pitao Pezeelao) to stop the epidemic (Espíndola 1580:139–40). Marcus’s arguments are very persuasive based on the information she presents relative to Ozolotepec and for the following reasons. Each Zapotec queche was ruled by a coqui and xonaxi who descended in a direct line from a historical or semihistorical royal ancestor who founded the kingdom. Because a Spanish magistrate who generally lived in the capital of a former city-state wrote each Relación, and because his information usually was gathered from the oldest nobles of that former city-state, it appears evident that these nobles would cite former coqui who were deified as their principal deities. This could account for the fact that as many as ten deities different from those listed by Córdova are cited in the Relaciones. Marcus’s hypothesis also appears to be confirmed further by the Relación de Oçelotepeque, the Relación de Chichicapa, and the Relación de Coatlán. Ozolotepec—mentioned earlier with regard to Bezelao (Pitao Pezeelao), who was their supreme deity, and his deified coqui intermediary, Petela—states that they also had a war god, Cozichacozee, who was painted to look very fierce and carried bows and arrows in his hands (Espíndola 1580:139; table 2.3). Córdova does not mention Cozichacozee, but Espíndola (1580:139) refers to him as an abogado (advocate or mediator) for Pezeelao because it was Pezeelao that ultimately helped them in wars. Cozichacozee, then, possibly

could be another deified coqui who was invoked to intercede with Pezeelao. However, the depiction of Cozichacozee as an idol painted to look fierce and who carried bows and arrows in his hands tends to indicate that he was a separate deity. Nevertheless, the Relación de Nexapa states that “they carefully preserved the memory of their ancestors as is apparent from the stone statues” (Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34), indicating that stone statues depicted not only deities but also deceased coqui.16 In Chichicapa, the most esteemed deity was Pichanagobeche, who removed illnesses, “and they had another god called Pichanato who was like an intermediary for the god Pichanagobeche” (Espíndola 1580:117; table 2.3).17 Pichanato, like Petela, was probably a deified coqui and exactly like him, he interceded with a deity to stop illnesses. However, in Ozolotepec, Petela interceded with Pitao Pezeelao while in Chichicapa, Pichanato interceded with Pichanagobeche. It is probable that Pichanagobeche is the Zapotec name for Pitao Pezeelao in Chichicapa, as mentioned earlier. In Coatlán, it is stated that they had two deities who were a married couple (table 2.3). Men worshipped the husband, called Benelaba, or 7 Rabbit, and women worshipped the wife, called Jonaji (Xonaxi) Belachina, or 3 Deer (Espíndola 1580:134). Because coqui and xonaxi received their names from the sacred calendar, it is very likely that 3 Deer and 7 Rabbit were the royal couple who founded Coatlán, or an important deceased ruling couple within the town’s dynasty, although deities are also known to have calendar names (Caso 1958:66–67). The Relación de Tecuicuilco, in a nonplagiarized section, gives the names of patron deities from two of its subject communities. The patron deity of Atepec was Quezelao, who is defined as “the provider of seasonal fields” and the patron deity of Zoquiapan was Coqui Nexo, who is described as the “lord of multiplication” (Villagar 1580:91–92). Because subject towns did not have coqui, it seems unlikely that either of these patron deities is a deified coqui. It is possible, however, that the ancestors of the nobles (xoana in Zapotec) who “founded” these subject communities and who were from junior or secondary lineages connected to the royal lineage (Oudijk 2002:77), were deified and invoked as intermediaries who interceded with different deities. The question is, of course, who are Quezelao and Coqui Nexo?18 Neither appears on Córdova’s list. The description of Quezelao as “the provider of

seasonal fields” is a phrase commonly associated with Cociyo, the rain god, in seventeenth-century documents (see chapter 3). However, the name Quezelao is in no way similar to Cociyo. Likewise, the description of Coqui Nexo as the “lord of multiplication” possibly could apply to Pitao Cozaana, as the “birther,” although his name is in no way similar. The simplest explanation is that these are local deified nobles who had ruled the subject communities and who were intermediaries invoked to intercede with Cociyo, Cozaana, and probably other deities. A deity mentioned in the Relación de Tlalistaca (Tlalixtac) may be either a patron deity or a deified coqui. In Tlalixtac, Juan Del Río (1580:179) states that they worshipped an idol called Coquihuani, whose name meant “demon of light” (table 2.3), which could be an alternative name for the sun god, Pitao Copiycha. Or Coquihuani might be a deified coqui who was invoked as an intermediary to intercede with Pitao Copiycha and other deities. In Chichicapa, they had a great ruler called Coquilguany, whose descendants continued to rule in the sixteenth century. Espíndola (1580:117) translates his name as “Señor quesclarece el mundo,” or “Lord who illuminates the world.” Because guany and huani are the same, it would appear that Coquihuani is either another name for Pitao Copiycha, the sun god, as the “Lord who illuminates the world,” or the name of a deified coqui that may have been invoked as an intermediary with the gods. However, because Coquilguany is known as a historical ruler of Chichicapa, it seems more likely that his Tlalixtac counterpart, Coquihuani, was a deified coqui of the same name. The Relación de Tetiquipa, today’s Río Hondo, a town in the mountains south of the Valley of Oaxaca, cites two brothers who were the deities Guatacazio and Guatacayo (Salas 1580:180; table 2.3). Unfortunately, he gives no definition or description of these deities. If guata meant “god” in the Zapotec of Tetiquipa, it could be possible that Guatacazio is their name for Cociyo, but Cociyo is not known to have a brother. Guatacayo appears to include the number five (cayo), which could indicate that these “guatas” were calendar names of deceased and deified coqui. The Relación de Cozautepeque (Cozauhtepec), located south of Tetiquipa and around 20 kilometers from the Pacific Coast, was a subject of the powerful Mixtec kingdom of Tututepec at the time of the conquest. The native language of the community was referred to in its Relación as “corrupt Zapotec,” but all the people also spoke Náhuatl in AD 1580 (Salas 1580:184–

85). The idol they worshipped was called Tiacahua, which the Spanish magistrate Cristóbal de Salas translates as “captain” (Salas 1580:185). Tiacahua is Náhuatl, not Zapotec, and literally means “valiant man” (Acuña 1984:185n16). No relation with any Zapotec deity is apparent. But this term might have been applied to a deceased and deified coqui. The Relaciones provide a provincial view of Zapotec deities from the perspective of the many different Zapotec queche. They also provide important information not contained in Córdova, including one or two deities he failed to mention—Xonaxi Quecuya, wife of Pitao Pezeelao, and possibly Cozichacozee, a war deity. They suggest that each city-state had a patron deity, with Pitao Pezeelao being an overwhelming favorite, cited by as many as nine different city-states in and around the Valley of Oaxaca: Mitla, Macuilxóchitl, Huitzo, Teococuilco, Ozolotepec, Miahuatlán, Tlacolula (Yagul), and possibly Chichicapa and Ixtepeji. In addition, they indicate that subject communities within the city-state also had their own patron deities. By and large, the Relaciones also partially support Marcus’s hypothesis that following death, coqui, the rulers of the city-states, could be deified and invoked as intermediaries to intercede with powerful Zapotec deities but not, as Marcus contends, with impersonal supernatural forces. Half of the deities cited in the Relaciones probably refer to deified coqui. Deified rulers can be identified in at least four different city-states: Petela in Ozolotepec, Pichanato in Chichicapa, Benelaba (7 Rabbit) and Xonaxi Belachina (3 Deer) in Coatlán, and Coquihuani in Tlalixtac. Also, four others—Cozichacozee in Ozolotepec, Guatacazio and Guatacayo in Tetiquipa, and Tiacahua in Cozautepec—may be deified coqui. In addition, ancestors of nobles (xoana) who ruled subject communities within the city-state may have been deified intermediaries with powerful Zapotec deities within the context of the subject community. Two deified nobles can be provisionally identified in two subject communities of Teococuilco: Quezelao in Atepec and Coqui Nexo in Zoquiapan.

Notes 1. The late Thomas C. Smith Stark headed a project entitled El Vocabulario de Juan de Córdova (1578) at the Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios at El Colegio de México in collaboration with Ausencia López Cruz and Sergio Bogard. He developed a computer program called GRAB that scanned Córdova’s Vocabulario for all the references to a given entry. In this manner, the entry could be analyzed linguistically in a multitude of contexts (Smith Stark 2002:92). Return to text. 2. I have retained Smith Stark’s linguistic transcriptions of terms from Córdova’s Vocabulario when they are first introduced and italicize them. Subsequently, I use the terms without diacritical marks or italics, (e.g., pitao). Return to text. 3. Smith Stark (2002:186n6) cites a personal communication from Victor de la Cruz who states that tào does mean “great,” but in the sense of “important,” not in the sense of “big” or “large.” Return to text. 4. “Dios padre de todos y que sustenta a todas las criaturas y las rige” (Smith Stark 2002:100). Return to text. 5. “Medidor del mundo dios” (Smith Stark 2002:105). Return to text. 6. Following Urcid (2001:36n3), I have changed the terms in Córdova written with “ii,” as in Copiicha, or “ij,” as in Cocijo, to “iy” (Copiycha/Cociyo) to more properly reflect the sixteenth-century pronunciation. It should be noted that Adam Sellen (personal communication, 2011) disagrees with this reporting that Smith Stark had told Sellen that the “ii,” “ij,” and “iy” correctly represent the pronunciation. Return to text. 7. “Sol conforme al engendrar las cosas que las engendra” (Smith Stark 2002:98). Return to text. 8. These twenty-four communities include Zaachila, Cuilapan, Huitzo, Tlalixtac, Teitipac, Macuilxóchitl, Teotitlán del Valle, Tlacolula, and Mitla in the Valley of Oaxaca and Teococuilco, Atepec, Zoquiapan, Ixtepeji, Chichicapa, Miahuatlán, Coatlán, Los Peñoles (Totomachapan), Iztepec (Mixtepec), Ozolotepec, Tetiquipa, Cozautepec, Xuchitepec, Nexapa, and Tehuantepec outside the Valley of Oaxaca. Return to text. 9. “Cuyos eran en tiempo de su gentilidad, y el señorío que sobre ellos tenían sus señores y lo que tributaban, y las adoraciones, ritos y costumbres, buenas o malas, que tenían” (Acuña 1984: II, 18). Return to text. 10. “en su pueblo tenian vn ydolo que adoravan el pueblo que se dezia Coquebila” (Asensio 1580:101). Return to text. 11. “Tenyan por Dyoses a quien adoraban, al demonyo y a sus figuras; y asy les tenyan puestos diferentes nonbres y el jeneral era PICHANAGOBECHE y este

era el ydolo a quien ellos mas reberençiaban porque era el que les quitaba las enfermedades” (Espíndola 1580:117). Return to text. 12. “Tenya este dicho pueblo casa publica para sus dioses, que se dezian Tlacatecolotl que es el nombre de diablo: e Gozio, que era el dios del agua” (Espíndola 1580:127). Return to text. 13. A clear iconographic association between Pitao Pezeelao and owls occurs in Tomb 1 of Zaachila, where large plaster sculptures of both occur (see figure 3.8b). Return to text. 14. As evidenced in seventeenth-century documents to be discussed in a later section, Cozaana was the god of the hunt, and an alter ego of Cozaana was the god of fishing. Also, Córdova mentions that both hunters and fishermen made offerings to Cozaana (Smith Stark 2002: 96–97). Return to text. 15. “entre ellos tenian vn ydolo casado, e la muger se dezia Ponapi [Xonaxi] Quecuya, y el marido Coqui Bezelao, que en español se dize “Señor diablo”: a estos adoravan e sacrificauan no tan solo ellos sino todos los valles e pueblos” (Canseco 1580: 149). Return to text. 16. “conservaban mucho la memoria de sus pasados como pareçe por las estatuas de piedra” (Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34). Return to text. 17. “porque era el que les quitaba las enfermedades, y tenian otro Dyos que dezian llamarse Pichanato que era como ynterçesor suyo para ante el Dyos Pichanagobeche” (Espíndola 1580:117). Return to text. 18. Although Quezelao is somewhat similar to Pezeelao, in the same Relación de Tecuicuilco, its author, Villagar (1580), cites Coqui Bezelao as the patron deity of Teococuilco and later names Quezelao as the patron deity of Teococuilco’s subject community Atepec. Therefore, it seems unlikely that he would confuse Quezelao with Bezelao. Furthermore, he defines Quezelao as “the provider of seasonal fields” and not “the lord of the hereafter” or “the devil.” Return to text.

3 Zapotec Deities in Seventeenth-Century Documents

Seventeenth-century documents relating to Zapotec deities were mostly written by Spanish priests. The most important of these was Gonzalo de Balsalobre’s publication titled Relación auténtica de las idolatrías, supersticiones, vanas observaciones de los indios del obispado de Oaxaca (Authentic Report of the Idolatries, Superstitions, Vain Observances of the Indians of the Diocese of Oaxaca), based on his investigations of Zapotec idolatry in a mountain valley south of the Valley of Oaxaca. In addition, two late seventeenth-century documents pertaining to Zapotec deities and the Zapotec cosmos from the mountains north of the Valley of Oaxaca have been analyzed by José Alcina Franch (1972; 1993) and more recently by David Tavárez (2005). Additionally, Ron van Meer (2000) has published a modern copy of a seventeenth-century sacred calendar naming Zapotec deities, which came from Totomachapan in the Peñoles region west of the Valley of Oaxaca. A discussion of the possible archaeological representations of some Zapotec deities will be incorporated in a summary of major Zapotec deities, based on a comparison of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents, followed by a discussion of the Zapotec cosmos at the end of the chapter. SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ZAPOTEC DEITIES From AD 1634 until AD 1665, Gonzalo de Balsalobre, a priest in San Miguel Sola (today known as Sola de Vega), in the Sola Valley, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the Valley of Oaxaca, investigated the continuation of Prehispanic Zapotec religious practices there. He filled page after page of confessions from Zapotecs guilty of practicing the ancient religion. Selecting the most egregious of the confessions, he condensed them into a small book published in AD 1656 (Balsalobre 1988:91–135). Based on Balsalobre’s book and documents in the Archivo General de la Nación de México, and using a modern anthropological approach, Heinrich Berlin (1988:9–89)

recreated the ancient religious beliefs of the Sola Valley Zapotecs in a much more thorough manner than Balsalobre, who viewed them through the eyes of a seventeenth-century Spanish priest—as idolatry and heretical superstitions to be eradicated (Berlin 1988:9–12). In addition, James H. Carmichael (1959) made an English translation of parts of Balsalobre’s treatise. I will follow the more complete study of Berlin but with references to Balsalobre’s original study as well. Balsalobre compiled confessions from Zapotec priests who directed the ancient religious practices and from indigenous Zapotecs who participated in these practices. His investigations uncovered sixty-one Zapotec priests, all named in the documents, who practiced in twenty different communities, principally in the Sola Valley but also in the neighboring valleys of Ejutla, Miahuatlán, and Coatlán (see figure 1.2). All of these Zapotec priests had “books” containing the ancient Zapotec sacred calendar that they used in conjunction with the Zapotec deities to perform their ritual activities (Balsalobre 1988:110–11). It is evident that the books used by the priests were what the Aztecs called the tonalámatl, or “book of the days.” This 260-day sacred calendar depicted thirteen gods who governed the numbers of each 13-day period, or cociy in Zapotec. Today these books are referred to as religious or ritual manuscripts, or codices. In contrast to the Aztec ritual codices and religious codices of the Borgia group, which used glyphs to denote the day signs and depicted deities who govern the day numbers, the seventeenth-century Zapotec ritual codices were written in Zapotec using Spanish orthography, lack glyphs denoting the day signs, and do not depict deities. The Sola documents record between twenty and twenty-five Zapotec ritual books in circulation, but Balsalobre burned them all so none survives (Berlin 1988:25–29). Balsalobre obtained the names of the thirteen deities that rule the day numbers of the sacred calendar from an incorrigible but venerable Zapotec priest from Sola de Vega named Diego Luis. When he imprisoned Diego Luis for the first time in AD 1635, Balsalobre acquired a list of the definitions of the thirteen deities in Spanish (Berlin 1988:19). In AD 1654, he again took the priest prisoner and solicited the names of the thirteen deities and, once again, their definitions in Spanish (Berlin 1988:18–19). At that time, Diego Luis was over eighty years old (Berlin 1988:13), which means he must have been born around AD 1570.

The two lists of deities only coincide in part. In each list, Diego Luis placed the deities in order from one to thirteen. A comparison indicates that at least eight of the deities are identical because their definitions as recorded in Spanish are the same. However, the lists also contradict each other. Only three deities occupy the same positions in the sequence of numbers. Furthermore, the first list contains three deities of the underworld and the second list contains only two. In addition, two deities of medicine can be found in the second list, but none are in the first. In all, five deities in the two lists do not share the same definitions but, in fact, appear to be totally different (table 3.1). Table 3.1 Lists of Zapotec deities provided by Diego Luis of Sola de Vega in AD 1635 and AD 1654 (Berlin 1988:18–19).

First list, AD 1635 1. El dios de todos los trece dioses [The god of all thirteen gods] 2. El dios de la caza

3.

4.

5.

6.

Second list, AD 1654 Liraaquitzino: El dios Trece

[The God Thirteen] Licuicha Niyoa: El dios de los cazadores [The god of the hunt] [The god of the hunters] Dios Padre Coqueelaa: El dios de las riquezas [God the Father] [The god of wealth] El dios de los brujos Loçucui: El dios del maíz y de toda la comida [The god of sorcerers] [The god of maize and all of the food] El dios de los muertos que Leraa Huila: El demonio o dios están en el infierno del infierno [The god of the dead who are [The devil or god of the in the hereafter] hereafter] El dios de los rayos Nohuichana: Diosa del río o del pescador o de las preñadas y paridas

First list, AD 1635 [The god of lightning]

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

Second list, AD 1654 [The goddess of the river or of the fisherman or of pregnant women and women who have given birth] El dios del infierno, Lucifer Lexee: El dios de los brujos o de los ladrones [The god of the hereafter, [The god of sorcerers or Lucifer] thieves] La diosa del infierno, mujer del Nonachi: El dios de las dicho Lucifer enfermedades [The goddess of the hereafter, [The god of sickness] wife of Lucifer] El dios del maíz y de toda la Loçio: El dios de los rayos que comida envía el agua para que se den las sementeras [The god of maize and all the [The god of lightning who food] sends the rain so that the planted fields will yield] El dios que hizo los montes, Xonatzi Huilia: La mujer del árboles, y piedras demonio, a quien sacrfican po los enfermos y por los muertos [The god that made the [The wife of the devil, to whom mountains, trees, and rocks] they sacrifice for the sick and for the dead] La diosa que hizo lo mismo y Cosana: El dios de sus declara ser su mujer antepasados, que está en las honduras del agua, a quien encienden candelas y queman copal antes de pescar

First list, AD 1635 [The goddess who did the same and is said to be his wife]

12.

13.

El dios que hizo todos los hombres [The god who made all men] El dios de sus antepasados

[The god of their ancestors]

Second list, AD 1654 [The god of their ancestors, who is in the depths of the water, to whom they light candles and burn copal incense before fishing] Leraa queche: El dios de las medicinas [The god of medicines] Liraa cuee: Asimismo dios de las medicinas, como el antecedente [The god of medicines, like the previous one]

There are several reasons why the lists may differ. First is because they were recorded nearly twenty years apart; this could account for slight discrepancies but certainly not all of the differences. Second is the very real possibility that Diego Luis was not entirely truthful on either occasion when he presented the lists. Third, and more likely, is the fact that nearly every given Mesoamerican deity had a variety of functions, manifestations, and even names or alter egos (Caso 1958; Nicholson 1971). This is apparent, for example, when Diego Luis names Licuicha Niyoa as the “god of hunting” in the second position in both lists, then goes on to state that Licuicha means “sun” in Sola Zapotec and indicates that he is also the “sun deity,” even though no solar deity appears in either list (Berlin 1988:20). Furthermore, in the first list, where Diego Luis gives only Spanish definitions of the deities, he reports the functions of three of them as (1) “the god that made the mountains, trees, and rocks,” (2) “the goddess who did the same and is said to be his wife,” and (3) “the god who made all men” (table 3.1). None of these divine functions appears in the second list, although it is very probable that the deities who carried out these activities are most likely named in Zapotec in the second list but identified by alternative functions. Berlin (1988:18–20) prefers the second list as the more correct one because it gives the names of the deities in Zapotec, but he does not rely solely on Diego Luis; he verifies the names and functions of the deities by cross-checking them

against those mentioned by numerous other Zapotecs in the large number of confessions collected by Balsalobre over more than two decades. Fray Juan de Córdova’s list of sixteenth-century Zapotec deities from the Valley of Oaxaca and those in the sixteenth-century Relaciones Geográficas will be taken into account in the following discussion of each of the seventeenth-century Zapotec deities identified among Balsalobre’s documents, beginning with numbers 1 through 13 from the second list. In addition, seventeenth-century Zapotec deities listed in the documents from the Sierra Juárez analyzed by Alcina Franch (1972; 1993) and Tavárez (2005)—and those in the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, analyzed by van Meer (2000), will be incorporated into the discussion. Liraaquitzino is also cited in the Sola documents under the names Liraachino, Liraquichino, Leraquichino, and Leraaquichino (Berlin 1988:20) (table 3.1).1 According to Diego Luis, this is “the god of all thirteen gods” or “the God Thirteen” (Berlin 1988:18–19). This deity is evidently the one defined in Spanish in the Relación de Nexapa as the principal god of all the gods (see number 9 in table 2.4). Likewise, this deity also is mentioned as Queechino and Betao ichinoo (both meaning “God Thirteen”) in the two ritual songs examined by Tavárez (2005: table 3) and as Nato Riño (literally, “God Thirteen”) in the sacred calendar from Totomachapan (van Meer 2000:45–46). It is possible that this deity corresponds to Córdova’s Huetexi Pea— presumably, the god who measured the sky and four quarters of the earth—but this is uncertain. Licuicha Niyoa is also named Licuchaniyoa, Liraa Niyoa, Liquicha Niyoa, Licuicha, and Niyoa in the Sola documents (Berlin 1988:20, 63, 66). Diego Luis refers to this deity as “the god of hunting” but also states that the “god that in the language of Sola is called Licuicha . . . in Castilian [Spanish] means sun” (Berlin 1988:20).2 It is interesting that the numerous confessions of hunters and people who participated in communal hunts always refer to this deity as Niyoa—we do not know its meaning in Sola Zapotec—and never refer to him as Licuicha. On the other hand, numerous confessions report that when a person died, offerings were made to Licuicha, the sun deity, without referring to Niyoa (Berlin 1988:53). This suggests that Licuicha was a solar deity. It appears that Licuicha Niyoa is either two different deities (Licuicha and Niyoa) or two different manifestations of a single deity having two different

names and two different functions. In the Valley of Oaxaca, Córdova refers to the sun deity as Copiycha, which is certainly the same as Licuicha in Sola Zapotec (number 4 in table 2.1). Niyoa is not cited as a deity of hunting, nor even mentioned in the Valley of Oaxaca. It is possible that Licuicha may have Niyoa as an alter ego. Among other things, the Maya sun deity “was a famed hunter” (Thompson 1954:227). Thomas C. Smith Stark (2002:110) considers Copiycha to be another name used to describe Cozaana, the creator god and god of hunting, as the sun. However, Diego Luis lists both Licuicha (Copiycha) and Nosana (Cozaana) as separate deities; Licuicha rules the number 2 and Cozaana the number 11 in the sacred calendar, which demonstrates that they are different gods and not different names for the same deity. Copiycha is also mentioned as Cobicha in the two ritual songs from the Sierra Juárez (Tavárez 2005: table 3). In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, Copiycha is referred to as Lguichoriñe or Bichasena (van Meer 2000:45–46). Coquelaa, the deity of wealth, is also called Coquiela in the Sola documents (Berlin 1988:18, 20). He is certainly the same deity as Pitao Paa, god of merchants, wealth, and good fortune that Córdova mentions for the Valley of Oaxaca (number 10 in table 2.1). In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, Pitao Paa is referred to as Oguilo or Oguila (van Meer 2000:45–46), with Ogui being Coqui and lo or la being Paa. Loçucui is also named in the Sola documents as Luçuqui and Leraa Losucui (Berlin 1988:20). According to Diego Luis, “he is the god of maize and of all food” (Berlin 1988:18). Loçucui is the same deity that Córdova calls Pitao Cozobi, the god of grain fields (maize), in the Valley of Oaxaca (number 6 in table 2.1). Likewise, he is mentioned as a married deity, Gozobi tao, whose wife is Xonaxi Gozobi tao, in a ritual song from the Sierra Juárez (Tavárez 2005: table 3). In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, Pitao Cozobi is called Osucui (van Meer 2000:45–46). Leraa Huila is also referred to as Lerahuilaa, Lerahuila, Leraaguila, Letaaguilaa, and Coquiecabila in the Sola documents (Berlin 1988:22). Leraa Huila is the god of death or the lord of the hereafter (Berlin 1988:18). Leraa Huila is the same deity that Córdova calls Pitao Pezeelao, the god of death and the hereafter, in the Valley of Oaxaca (number 7 in table 2.1). As noted, he is mentioned under diverse names in a number of different sixteenth-century Relaciones (numbers 1, 6–10, and 13 in table 2.3). He is referred to as Becelao dao in a ritual song from the Sierra Juárez (Tavárez 2005: table 3).

Diego Luis also gives the name Coquiecabila for Leraa Huila. As mentioned, according to Córdova, capilla means the “underworld.” Because coqui means “lord,” Coquiecabila can be translated as “lord of the underworld” and is certainly an alternative name for Pitao Pezeelao. In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, he is called Nato Bilia (van Meer 2000:45–46), with Nato being “god” and Bilia signifying “the underworld,” which renders the name “god of the underworld.” Clearly, Pitao Pezeelao is the deity most frequently referred to, being mentioned in nine different sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents. Nohuichana is in the sixth position in the second list and probably the eleventh, and perhaps the twelfth, positions in the first list (table 3.1). Also cited as Noguichana, this goddess is the most frequently mentioned deity in the Sola documents (Berlin 1988:22). According to Diego Luis, Nohuichana “is the goddess of the river or fishing or of pregnancies and births” (Berlin 1988:18).3 However, Berlin (1988:22) notes that Nohuichana is rarely mentioned as a goddess of the river or fishing (Berlin 1988:63–87), although Balsalobre (1988:117–18) specifically cites her as the goddess of the river and fishing. She is most frequently mentioned with regard to marriages, conceptions, pregnancies, births, and sickness (Berlin 1988:22, 55–59). In the Valley of Oaxaca, Córdova refers to her as Pitao Huichaana, the goddess of children and procreation, and he also cites her as the creator of fish and men and likewise relates her to water (number 3 in table 2.1). In a ritual song from Sierra Juárez she is referred to as Huichana dao and Huichana quiag tao (Tavárez 2005: table 3) and in the sacred calendar from Totomachapan she is called Bichana (van Meer 2000:45–46). Although this goddess seems to be most closely associated with women and children, her divine scope may have been more encompassing. Heinrich Berlin (1988:22) relates that one witness refers to Nohuichana as “she who makes men,” just as Córdova cites her as a “breeder of men” (Smith Stark 2002:114). Diego Luis cites a “god that made all men” in the twelfth position of the first list that may refer to Nohuichana. In addition, Diego Luis names only two goddesses in each of his lists. In the first list, one goddess defined as “the goddess of hell, wife of Lucifer” definitely corresponds to “Xonatzi Huila, the wife of the devil,” in the second list. By default, then, the second goddess in the eleventh position of the first list, defined as the “goddess who made the mountains, trees, and rocks,” must be Nohuichana, the only other

goddess in the second list. She is stated as having a male deity consort who is in the tenth position in the first list and who also “made the mountains, trees, and rocks” (table 3.1). Nohuichana (Huichaana) in this expanded role seems to have been one of a pair of creator deities whose male consort was probably Nosana (Cozaana) (Caso and Bernal 1952:362). Lexee is the deity of sorcerers and thieves and also seems to be the cause of dreams (Berlin 1988:22). Córdova refers to this deity as Pitao Peeze, god of omens, although he makes no references to sorcerers and thieves (number 9 in table 2.1). In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, Pitao Peeze is named Bexu (van Meer 2000:45–46). Nonachi is in the eighth position in the second list but apparently absent or identified by a different characteristic in the first list (table 3.1). He is the god of sickness (Berlin 1988:19). Córdova may have referred to this deity as Pitao Ziy, the god of misery (number 11 in table 2.1), although this is uncertain because he does not mention diseases in relation to this deity (Smith Stark 2002:122–26). In the sacred calendar from Totomachapan, Pitao Ziy is called Yuache (van Meer 2000:45–46).4 Loçio is the rain deity, and Córdova calls him Cociyo (number 5 in table 2.1; Smith Stark 2002:95). His name means “lightning” and Diego Luis refers to him as the “god of lightning who sends water so that the planted fields will yield” (Berlin 1988:19). “He is also called ‘the god of the planted fields’ and in particular of chili plants” (Berlin 1988:22).5 Next to Leraa Huila (Pitao Pezeelao) and Nohuichana (Huichaana), Loçio (Cociyo) was one of the most important Zapotec deities (Berlin 1988:22). He was referred to as Gaa Gocio and Gocio in the two ritual songs from the Sierra Juárez (Tavárez 2005: table 3), a name also used to refer to him in the Relación de Miaguatlan (Miahuatlán) in the sixteenth century. He is called Yocio in the sacred calendar from Totomachapan (van Meer 2000:45–46). Xonatzi Huila is also cited as Jonatzihuiliyaa, Jonatziguiliyaa, and Xonaxihuila in the Sola documents (Berlin 1988:23).6 Xonatzi Huila is the goddess of death and the consort of Leraa Huila, god of death (Berlin 1988:19). In the Valley of Oaxaca, the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla refers to Xonaxi Quecuya as the goddess of death and consort of Coqui Bezelao (Pitao Pezeelao), god of death (Canseco 1580:149).

Cosana (Nosana) is in the eleventh position in the second list and the thirteenth, and perhaps the tenth, position in the first list (table 3.1). Although Diego Luis evidently cited this deity as Cosana, Berlin (1988:23) did not find a single reference to Cosana in all the documents. Instead, he found numerous references to Nosana and for this reason, he thinks that the initial letter C is incorrect and should be N for “Nosana.” In the first list Diego Luis states that “he is the god of their ancestors,” but in the second list he calls him “the god of their ancestors, who is in the depths of the waters, to whom they burn candles and copal incense before fishing” (Berlin 1988:19). Córdova refers to Pitao Cozaana as the god of the animals and hunting and fishing (number 2 in table 2.1; Smith Stark 2002:95), and in the Sola documents Nosana is repeatedly associated with the hunting of deer, and even called “Lord of the Deer,” but frequently under an alter ego that will be discussed later (Berlin 1988:72). Alfonso Caso and Ignacio Bernal (1952:361–62) link Nosana with Córdova’s Cozaana, whom Córdova also calls the progenitor, and consider this god to be a creator deity and male consort of Huichaana. According to Caso and Bernal (1952:361), Córdova states that Cozaana is the god of hunting and fishing because he is the creator of all the animals. They also state that Diego Luis refers to Cozaana (Nosana) as the god of the ancestors in the same manner as Córdova refers to him as the progenitor (“el engendredor”). If one accepts this argument, then Nosana would also be included in the tenth, as well as thirteenth, positions in Diego Luis’s first list as the “god who made the mountains, trees, and rocks” and “the god of their ancestors” (table 3.1). In a ritual song from the Sierra Juárez he is referred to as Coxana and Betao çoxana (Tavárez 2005: table 3). Leraa Queche is the god of medicines who cures sicknesses and is also mentioned in the Sola documents as Liragueça. Leraa Queche is only mentioned once in the documents (Berlin 1988:23). Liraa Cuee is also cited as a god of medicines (Berlin 1988:19). Apart from the second list, this deity is not cited in any of the other numerous documents. Berlin (1988:23) doubts the existence of two gods of medicine and believes that Liraa Cuee may simply be another name for Leraa Queche. In the Sola documents other deities are mentioned that could be alter egos for any of the thirteen deities who govern the day numbers of the sacred calendar or are completely separate deities. The first two (listed below) appear to be alter egos of Nosana.

Nosana. This deity is also cited in the documents as Noçanaa, Nosana quiataa, Noçanaqueia, Noçanaqueía, Nosanaqueya, Noçanaqueya, and Nosanaquya (Berlin 1988:24) and appears to be an alter ego of Nosana, who functioned as a god of hunting. Frequently referred to in the documents as either Nosana or Nosanaqueya, this deity was also known as “Lord of the Deer” (Berlin 1988:66). Nosanaguela. This deity is the god of the fishermen or participants in communal fishing expeditions and was never referred to as Nosana, as deer hunters often called Nosanaqueya. Balsalobre (1988:117–18) contends that Nosanaguela appears to be an alter ego of the god Nosana or the goddess Nohuichana. Coquietaa. This deity is also cited in the documents as Coquieta, Coquetaa, and Coqueetaa (Berlin 1988:23). In the Valley of Oaxaca, Coqui tao meant “great king” and referred to very important Zapotec kings, but there is no reference to a deity of this name. In Sola Zapotec, Coquietaa also means “great king or great lord,” but it is applied to a deity as well (Berlin 1988:23). According to Berlin, Coquietaa is the god of death and is another name for Leraa Huila. He cites Diego Luis, but in the citation, Diego Luis does not mention Coquietaa; instead, he states that the god of death in Sola Zapotec is called Coquiecabila (Berlin 1988:23), not Coquietaa. Nonetheless, Caso and Bernal (1952:362) also correlate Coquietaa with Pitao Pezeelao in the Valley of Oaxaca. Furthermore, Balsalobre (1988:112) states, “The god of hell, invoked by them under three manifestations . . . Coqueetaa, the great and supreme lord, Leta ahuila, the god of hell, Coqueehuila, the lord of hell. And another goddess there that was said to be his woman [wife], commonly called Xonaxihuilia.” However, an indigenous informant appears to clarify the distinction between Leraa Huila and Coquietaa, stating that upon a person’s death, Diego Luis made sacrifices to four deities that in Sola Zapotec are called Leraa Huila, god of death; Coquietaa, the great lord; Xonatzi Huila, goddess of death; and Licuicha, the sun deity (Berlin 1988:23–24). It appears evident, then, that Coquietaa and Leraa Huila are two different deities. It is uncertain whether Coquietaa was one of the thirteen gods who ruled the day numbers of the sacred calendar—perhaps replacing one of the gods of medicines cited by Diego Luis—or if he was a deity apart from the thirteen.

The inconsistencies between the two lists indicate that Diego Luis was less than truthful with Balsalobre in naming the thirteen Zapotec deities that ruled the day numbers of the sacred calendar (table 3.1). This is especially evident in the first list, where Diego Luis names “Dios Padre” (God the Father) and “Lucifer” among the thirteen deities, which is why Berlin (1988:19–20) correctly views the second list as the more accurate one. But inconsistencies occur even within the second list, especially in the naming of the two deities of medicines as the twelfth and thirteenth deities, as they were not even named in the first list and only one of them is referred to once in the numerous confessions. The lists and the numerous confessions were not intended to constitute a discourse on Zapotec theology by Balsalobre. He wanted to bring to light the continuation of pagan religion by extracting confessions from those who led (priests) and those who participated (ordinary Zapotecs) in these religious practices and eradicate them. Nevertheless, that Diego Luis probably named most of the thirteen deities who ruled the day numbers of the sacred calendar is evident through the cross-checking of these deities with the numerous confessions and the occurrence of many of these same deities in Córdova’s sixteenth-century Vocabulario (see table 2.1) and in the other seventeenth-century documents from the Sierra Juárez and Totomachapan. The material existence of these deities also seems evident. One informant reported that priests kept stone statues of all the Zapotec deities in a cave, named Quelaguegue, outside the town of Lachixio. People went to the cave to sacrifice male turkeys and turkey hens and to burn candles and copal incense before the statues of these gods. He specifically mentions a Zapotec merchant who brought an offering to present to Coqueelaa (Pitao Paa), god of wealth, for good fortune in selling his merchandise; a barren Zapotec woman who brought an offering to Nohuichana (Huichaana), the goddess of procreation, so that she might conceive; farmers who brought offerings to Loçio (Cociyo), god of rain, petitioning him for rain; and hunters who brought offerings to Niyoa, god of hunting, for good fortune in their hunting expeditions (Berlin 1988:77– 78). No one was allowed in the cave without first consulting the priests, who determined a propitious day for them to visit and the proper offerings to make to the appropriate deity (Berlin 1988:80). Likewise, Alcina Franch (1993:71) cites a seventeenth-century document from the Sierra Juárez that states that certain “master artisans” from the town of Betaza were “diligent craftsmen in

carving idols, making their faces, eyes, and noses so that they would never lack these figures.”7 Shrines for these deities also existed. An altar to Nosana (Cozaana), located on a mountaintop, is variously described as a round mound like a pedestal, a black rock round and wide at the bottom and narrow at the top, and a black rock round and wide at the bottom and narrow at the top about a meter and a half tall with some white paintings and holes or signs like the hoof prints of oxen, mules, or deer on its side that faces east (Berlin 1988:66, 69–70, 72). Nosanaguela also had a shrine located on a large rock, shading blue to black, along the bank of a river. On the side of the rock that faced the river was a carving of a fish that represented Nosanaguela (Berlin 1988:68). The rock altar to Nosanaguela was called Quelelaa in Zapotec (Berlin 1988:86–87). In addition, farmers went to a flat area with holes in it near San Sebastian, atop a tall mountain called Queyachona, to sacrifice turkeys and burn copal incense as offerings to Loçio (Cociyo), the god of rain. This shrine was known as the “House of Loçio [Cociyo],” and if the holes were dry before the offerings but showed some water in them later, or if they made noise (presumably from wind blowing over them), then it meant that rain was forthcoming. Finally, in a place called Quiaquiy, about 8 kilometers outside Sola de Vega, are the ruins of a 3-meter-high Prehispanic temple with a preserved 2-meter-wide stone stairway. Atop this temple was a shrine where deer hunters went to burn copal as offerings for Nosana (Cozaana), the god of deer; Lexee (Pitao Peeze), the god of sorcerers and thieves; Nonachi (Pitao Ziy), the god of sickness; and Liraaquitzino, the God Thirteen (Berlin 1988:75). Balsalobre (1988:135) mentions this ruined temple and where, in his day, clear evidence showed that Indians continued to use it as a locus of offerings. He requested and received permission to build a shrine with three crosses in it on top of the ruined temple and to celebrate mass with the Indians, lecturing them about their heretical ways (Balsalobre 1988:120). After nearly 125 years of Catholic proselytizing, the impact of the church on Prehispanic Zapotec deities is apparent. Zapotec priests requested that their followers burn candles as offerings to their Prehispanic deities in the Catholic Church, which brought about an interesting identification of the ancient gods with Catholic figures (Berlin 1988:24). When offerings were made to Liraaquitzino, thirteen candles were distributed among all the altars in the church (Berlin 1988:20). This suggests that Liraaquitzino was possibly a

representation of the Christian god and perhaps not a Prehispanic Zapotec deity. But an indigenous Zapotec, in at least one Sola document, cites Liraaquitzino as one of their “pagan” (Prehispanic) deities (Berlin 1988:70). Nevertheless, the case is much different with other Zapotec deities. Candles placed before the statue of the Virgin Mary were offerings for Nohuichana (Huichaana), the “creator” goddess; those placed before the statue of Christ were for Nosana (Cozaana), the “creator” god and possible male consort of Nohuichana (Huichaana); those placed before the statue of Saint John were for Coqueelaa (Pitao Paa), the god of wealth; those placed before the statue of Saint Peter were for Nosanaguela, the god of fishermen; and those placed before the statue of Saint Simon were for Lexee (Pitao Peeze), god of sorcerers and thieves (Berlin 1988:24–25). Zapotecs were very conscious of what they were doing. One informant reports that they were “carrying wax candles to the church before going on a hunt and placing them on . . . the altar of Christ and offering them, not to the image [of Christ] that is there, but to the god Nosana” (Berlin 1988:25).8 He also reported burning copal incense as an offering to Nosana on an altar with images in his house, although it is not specified if these images were of Catholic or Zapotec figures. The Catholic churches had become the “new” Prehispanic temples, and the statues of Christ and the saints within them had become the embodiments of the Prehispanic deities to whom offerings were brought. ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMAGES OF ZAPOTEC DEITIES In the absence of illustrations of Zapotec deities in the documentary sources, it is necessary to turn to the archaeological record for images of these deities. Each of the city-states (queche) probably had statues of all of the major Zapotec deities within their temples in Prehispanic times, and statues of these gods continued being produced into the late seventeenth century, so that there was never any lack of them (Alcina Franch 1993:71). Ideally, then, archaeological examples of these statues would provide firsthand information on how the Zapotecs visually portrayed these deities during Postclassic times. Both Francisco Burgoa and the Relaciones Geográficas report multitudes of statues of deities among the Zapotecs, noting that they were made of green stone (“chalchihuites”), stone, wood, and ceramics. Burgoa (1989: I, 87) even mentions “figures of metal, that they forged, and made into gods.”9 The most

exquisite statues were made of fine green stone—mistakenly called “jade” by some, but certainly jade-like in appearance—and referred to by Burgoa (1989: II, 353) as “resplendent.” Mesoamerican peoples considered this stone to be more precious than gold. Burgoa (1989: I, 106) states statues of the major deities were made of this hard green stone, which was mined in faraway places and obtained by Zapotec city-states for their temples. He does not identity these faraway places, but the source was perhaps Sierra de las Minas in the Motagua Valley of Guatemala. These “jade” statues of gods were probably relatively small. The documents rarely mention their size, although Burgoa (1989: II, 267) reports that two statues of deities in a cave near Quijecolaani (Quiegolani) measured about half a vara (40 centimeters) tall. He does not specify if they were made of green stone; nevertheless, this would probably be about the maximum size of these statues. Stone statues from the Sierra Juárez at Santo Domingo Roayaga and San Francisco Yobego are also cited as about half a vara tall, and one from San Juan Tagui (see figure 8.1 for locations) was said to be about 26 centimeters tall (Alcina Franch 1972:35–36). An extraordinary small stone figure placed on a masonry altar was said to occur at San Gaspar Xagalasi (Alcina Franch 1972:35). Nicolás Espíndola (1580:134) notes that the statues of Benelaba (7 Rabbit) and Jonaji (Xonaxi) Belachina (3 Deer) from Coatlán were made from “large rocks,” without specifying how large, but they were probably not green stone statues. Likewise, Romero-Frizzi (1994:237–38) cites an AD 1565 document regarding a very large stone idol called “Heart of the People” together with many more idols found and destroyed by a Catholic priest in a cave (Cueva del Diablo) in a high mountain near Mitla. Finally, the stone statue of a woman, found next to a pond of water in the mountains near Quiechapa, is mentioned in an eighteenth-century document that states that animals were sacrificed as offerings to the statue. The Bishop of Oaxaca, Tomás de Monterroso, destroyed the statue between AD 1661 and 1678, so that no trace of it remained a hundred years later (Baptista 1777:275). The statue’s location next to a pond of water and it being a woman makes it seem likely that it represented Pitao Huichaana. Unfortunately, with one possible exception, none of these statues has been recovered in archaeological excavations to know how the deities might have been represented. The exception is the archaeological site of Yagul

(Tlacolula), where a large boulder carved to represent a crouching jaguar, about 1.5 meters tall and 1.8 meters long, has been located (see figure 6.22). This jaguar has a circular basin in its back and certainly served as a cuauhxicalli, or receptacle, for human hearts. Its location at the base of the major temple (Mound 4E) in the Patio 4 Group at Yagul indicates that human sacrifices were carried out in this temple. Zapotec city-states sacrificed a war captive to their principal deity—in the case of Yagul, probably Pitao Pezeelao —on a specified day in the sacred calendar once every 260 days, or ritual calendar round. What deity, if any, the jaguar was intended to represent is uncertain. But it is possible that the jaguar was a nahual of Pezeelao—that is, an animal into which this deity transformed himself. Joseph W. Whitecotton (1983:68–69) reports that an archaic name for Mitla is recorded as Yoopechelichepezelao in the genealogy of Macuilxóchitl. He partially mistranslates this name as “House of the Tiger [sic] [Jaguar], Face of the Serpent [sic].” As noted in chapter 2, Córdova recorded liche pezelao as “lichi pezeelao” and translated it as “the house of Pezelao,” not the “Face of the Serpent.” The reference to Mitla is certainly a difrasismo—“House of the Jaguar, House of Pezeelao”—that appears to associate Pezeelao with the jaguar, perhaps as his nahual. There are several reasons why statues of deities have not been found. First, the Dominican missionaries were very thorough in their destruction of statues of Zapotec deities. Espíndola (1580:134) reports how the Bishop of Oaxaca destroyed the statues of Benelaba (7 Rabbit) and Jonaji (Xonaxi) Belachina (3 Deer) that had been hidden in a cave in Coatlán. Furthermore, Burgoa (1989: I, 106) mentions that Dominican missionaries in the Sierra Juárez went from town to town gathering the idols from temples and burning them in huge bonfires. In addition, he notes that nefarious Spaniards followed the priests, extracting the finest idols from the ashes of the fire that had not damaged them (being made of extremely hard and fine stone), cleaning them off, and selling them. Where these statues ended up is unknown, but some may be in museums or private collections.10 Second, considerable evidence exists that at the time of the conquest the Zapotecs removed many of the statues of deities from their temples and hid them in caves or other places; many were later discovered and destroyed by Dominican missionaries. Finally, only very limited archaeological explorations have been conducted in Postclassic sites, and those that have been done rarely focused on temples or temple contexts.

Hopefully, future excavations or careful searches of museum collections may bring to light some of these statues. The possibility remains that large statues of the Zapotec gods never did exist in the Postclassic. The reason behind this thinking comes from the absence of large statues of deities during the Classic period. Despite extensive excavations at Monte Albán, the largest site in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Classic period, no large statues of gods have been found there. Therefore, Caso and Bernal (1952) sought evidence of images of Zapotec deities among the numerous ceramic effigy vessels, found as offerings in tombs, and sometimes in temples as well. Using the list of gods basically derived from Córdova, they were only able to identify two deities with any degree of certainty, Cociyo and Pitao Cozobi (figure 3.1a, b). Effigy urns portraying these gods were far and away the most frequent at Monte Albán and throughout the Valley of Oaxaca during the Late Classic Xoo phase. In fact, Adam T. Sellen (2005) reports a 55-centimeter-tall stone effigy representing Pitao Cozobi from Zaachila that was remarkably carved in a manner identical to the ceramic effigy urns.11 Although the distinctive characteristics of less frequently portrayed gods allowed Caso and Bernal (1952) to identify them among effigy vessels, they were not able to link them with the deities named by Córdova.

Figure 3.1. Late Classic Xoo phase effigy vessels from the Valley of Oaxaca, representing different deities: (a) Cociyo, Tomb 6 Lambityeco; (b) Pitao Cozobi, Tomb 3, Lambityeco; (c) Pitao Pezeelao, Tomb 6, Lambityeco; (d) Pitao Cozaana (Caso and Bernal 1952:209, Figure 346).

In contrast to Caso and Bernal, Joyce Marcus (2003b) has suggested that the effigy urns do not represent deities but portray deceased Zapotec coqui and xonaxi. As ancestors, these deceased kings and queens served as intermediaries between the Zapotec people and the supernatural forces they wished to placate. However, Sellen (2007:139) has demonstrated that the number of urns in tomb offerings does not correspond to the number of persons buried in the tombs, which casts doubt on their being representations of the coqui and xonaxi buried there. Also, the urns with human faces are not portraits of individual coqui and xonaxi but are instead generic images (Sellen 2007:132). Furthermore, only about 5 percent of the urns have calendar names on them, whereas most would be expected to manifest calendar names if they represented coqui and xonaxi (Sellen 2007:104). All of these factors suggest that the vessels do not portray deceased coqui and xonaxi. Sellen (2007) has conducted a detailed analysis and interpretation of the effigy urns that is highly relevant when considering the nature of Postclassic representations of deities because Postclassic Zapotec religion had its roots in Classic Zapotec religion. Sellen (2007:128) notes that the Zapotecs practiced ancestor worship, a point well documented both archaeologically and ethnohistorically (Lind and Urcid 1983, 2010; Urcid 1983, 1992; Marcus 1978, 2003a; Marcus and Flannery 1996). Sellen (2007:345) agrees with Marcus that the effigy urns represent the ancestors of the Zapotec elite but disagrees that they represent specific coqui and xonaxi. He proposes that they are most probably generic representations of the ancestors of the Zapotec elite. He also agrees with Marcus that these ancestors represented intermediaries between the Zapotec people and supernatural entities but disagrees that these entities were supernatural forces; he agrees with Caso and Bernal that they were gods: “The analysis of the details of the dress suggests that the effigies personified calendrical deities, sometimes wearing the costume of a single deity and other times combining multiple images of the divinities in distinct ways” (Sellen 2007:345).12 Sellen (2007: chapter 5) identifies nine deities among the effigy urns that include, apart from Cociyo and Pitao Cozobi, the deities Pitao Pezeelao and Cozaana, among others (figure 3.1c, d). He concludes that “with the purpose of seeking their supernatural intervention in the matters of life . . . the effigy of the ancestor is like the bearer of the message” (Sellen 2007:353) to the particular god or gods whose attributes he wears.13

Because these effigy urns are most frequently found in tombs that are definitely not public places like temples, and because the Zapotecs did practice ancestor worship and invoked ancestors to intervene with the deities, there is good reason to accept Sellen’s proposals. Therefore, it is possible that the Zapotec ídolos (idols) reported by many Spanish colonial sources were, in fact, not statues of gods but images of elite ancestors impersonating a deity or multiple deities and that Spanish administrators and priests misinterpreted these statues to be idols of Zapotec gods. The Relación de Nexapa seems to support this view in the statement that “they carefully preserved the memory of their ancestors as is apparent from the stone statues” (Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34).14 This clearly indicates that the Zapotecs made stone statues of their ancestors during the Postclassic, and it is known that they also invoked their ancestors as intermediaries with the deities during this same time period. But several points require clarification with regard to statues of ancestors versus statues of gods. The recent concern over whether deities or deity impersonators in the form of priests, the political elite, or ancestors are being portrayed is really a moot point with regard to the identification of deities. If a priest, ruler, or ancestor personifies a particular deity, they are visually portrayed as the god they are impersonating, and it is this deity’s identification that is of concern. In this regard, Sellen (2007:345) points out “the conclusion that divinities associated with the Zapotec calendar are found represented in the effigy vessels is strong proof that the ancient Zapotecs indeed had a pantheon of deities.”15 Furthermore, although Sellen (2007:149) contends that “the effigies are representations of ancestors that in many cases personify deities,” an alternative perspective is possible.16 Sellen (2007:132, 345) demonstrates that the effigy urns with human faces manifest generic features and are distinguished by the costumes they wear that personify a single god and sometimes multiple deities. However, this is exactly how deities are portrayed in the Borgia group codices. Those with human faces have generic features with costumes that distinguish them. In addition, a single god may manifest attributes of other deities (Seler 1963). For example, in the north mural of Patio A of the Church Group in Mitla, the dog-headed deity Xólotl wears the costume of the god Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl and Pezeelao wears the facial paint of Tezcatlipoca (see chapter 9). Therefore, it is possible that the effigy urns with

costumes of deities do indeed represent gods and those without costumes of deities represent ancestors. Most of the effigy urns found in Late Classic Xoo phase temples at Monte Albán represent Cociyo, the rain deity (Martínez 2002:249–54). It is clear from the Monte Albán excavations that the Zapotecs did not produce monumental stone statuary of deities. Instead, they probably represented their gods and ancestors in ceramic effigy urns that range in size from 7 centimeters to 1 meter in height, with most during the Late Classic Xoo phase probably being from 30 to 40 centimeters tall (Adam Sellen, personal communication, 2011). This is basically the most frequent height cited in the documents for Postclassic Zapotec statues of gods. Therefore, it seems likely that the Postclassic Zapotecs followed a similar trend in producing relatively small stone, ceramic, wooden, and gold statues of their deities and ancestors, as reported in the colonial documents cited above. Lacking known statues of Zapotec gods, other archaeological materials that might depict these deities remain to be examined. These include murals, carvings on stone, low relief plaster sculptures, decorated ceramics or ceramic effigies, carved bones, and fragments of a recently discovered Zapotec codex (van Doesburg and Urcid 2009). A major problem in identifying representations of Zapotec deities in these media is that one cannot always be certain what god is actually being depicted because no colonial illustrations of them are available for comparison. Although it is uncertain how Zapotec gods were represented during the Postclassic, Javier Urcid (personal communication, 2009) has suggested that Postclassic Zapotec deities were probably portrayed in the same general Postclassic “Mixteca-Puebla” style as Aztec, Borgia group, or Mixtec deities. The evidence that supports this idea is discussed below. A SUMMARY OF MAJOR ZAPOTEC DEITIES From an analysis of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents, a pantheon of major Zapotec deities can be defined. In general, identification of these principal gods involved comparing all the deities recorded in the documents and determining which ones are repeated in two or more independent documents. Most of the other gods cited only once in the documents are probably avatars, alter egos, or epithets of major deities or ancestors who

were considered intermediaries with the principal gods. A total of twelve principal deities can be identified. Data relating to each of these gods is summarized from the different sources to provide a fuller comprehension of each one. Furthermore, possible archaeological images of these deities, when available, will be incorporated into this summary so that these gods may be visualized. I have used Córdova’s names for all the deities except the first and last, which Córdova does not name (table 3.2). Table 3.2 Summary of Zapotec deities.

Zapotec deities 1. Liraa Quitzino

2. Pitao Cozaana

3. Pitao Huichaana

4. Pitao Copiycha

English meaning God Thirteen, principal god of all the gods Creator deity, God of hunting and animals Creator deity, patron of women and children

Sun God

Sources Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:45; Weitlaner and DeCicco 1962:701 Córdova 1578a:141; Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:19); Tavárez 2005: table 3 Córdova 1578a:141; Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; Villagar 1580:91; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:46; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1 Córdova-1578 (Smith Stark 2002:98) Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:45; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1

Zapotec deities 5. Cociyo

English meaning Rain God

6. Pitao Cozobi Maize God, God of Harvests

7. Pitao Peeze God of Omens, patron of sorcerers and thieves 8. Pitao Paa God of Merchants, wealth, good fortune, and happiness 9. Pitao Ziy God of Misery, loss, misfortune, and unhappiness 10 Pitao Xoo God of . Earthquakes

Sources Córdova 1578a:141; Espíndola 1580:127; Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; Villagar 1580:91; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:19); Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:46; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1 Córdova 1578a:141; Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:45; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1 Córdova 1578a:141; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:19); van Meer 2000:46; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1

Córdova-1578 (Smith Stark 2002:122); Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); van Meer 2000:45; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1 Córdova-1578 (Smith Stark 2002 122, 125); Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:19); van Meer 2000:46; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1 Córdova 1578a:141; Alcina Franch 1993: table 16

Zapotec deities 11 Pitao . Pezeelao

12 Xonaxi . Quecuya

English meaning God of the Underworld

Goddess of the Underworld

Sources Córdova 1578a:141; Asensio 1580:101; Canseco 1580:145, 149; Espíndola 1580:117, 127, 139; Villagar 1580:91; Zárate 1581:198; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18); Tavárez 2005: table 3; van Meer 2000:45; Weitlaner et al. 1958: lamina 1 Canseco 1580:149; Diego Luis-1654 (Berlin 1988:18)

Liraa Quitzino. The name of this deity comes from the second list of Diego Luis. The first apparent mention of him is in the Relación de Nexapa (Santamaría and Canseco 1580), where he is referred to, in Spanish, as the principal god of all the gods, a term also applied to him in some seventeenthcentury documents that consistently refer to him as the “God Thirteen,” which is a literal translation of his name. He always received thirteen pieces of copal incense as an offering and was especially esteemed by hunters and fishermen during the seventeenth-century. The sixteenth- and seventeenth-century sources do not attribute any divine functions to him apart from being the principal god of all gods. However, if this deity is the same as Huetexi Pea, whom Córdova defines as “the god who measured the world,” then it is possible that he is a sacred measurer deity in the Mesoamerican tradition. Presumably, this would be the god who took the measuring cord and created the dimensions of the sky and the four quarters of the earth, like the deity recorded in the Quiché Maya Popol Vuh. Unfortunately, there is no clear connection between Huetexi Pea and the God Thirteen to verify this. However, the repeated independent references to the God Thirteen in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century documents confirm his position as a principal deity in the Zapotec pantheon. No known archaeological images of this god occur. Pitao Cozaana. This god’s name literally means “birther.” According to Córdova, he is the god of hunting; he made all the animals and was especially

esteemed by the hunters and fishermen who made offerings to him. In the seventeenth century, turkeys were decapitated and eight or nine pieces of copal were burned as offering for him. Diego Luis cites him as the god of human ancestors and the deity who made the mountains, trees, and rocks. This indicates that Cozaana is a creator deity. Perhaps after the God Thirteen measured the dimensions of the sky and four quarters of the earth, Pitao Cozaana landscaped the earth and populated it with plants and animals. Cozaana is the male consort of Huichaana, and they appear to form a pair of male-female creator deities. An image in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla depicts a male with a T-shaped ornament in his nose, indicating that he is an earth deity. It is possible that this image may be a Postclassic Zapotec depiction of Pitao Cozaana (figure 3.2a). Likewise, two polychrome vessels from Tomb 1 at Zaachila appear to depict this god with the T-shaped nose ornament. One is a tripod bowl with an interior center that depicts this deity (figure 3.2b). The other is a tripod vase whose exterior wall contains a small image of this god within a large greca (stepped fret) together with other deities (figure 3.2c).

Figure 3.2. Possible images of Cozaana as an earth deity from Mitla and Zaachila: (a) Cozaana in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla (after Marquina 1964:387, Lam. 112); (b) Cozaana on interior center of a tripod bowl from Tomb 1, Zaachila (drawing by author); (c) Cozaana on the exterior wall of a tripod vase from Tomb 1, Zaachila (drawing by author).

Pitao Huichaana. This goddess is also a Zapotec creator deity and female consort of Cozaana. She is the goddess of procreation, childbirth, marriage, and the sweat bath. Women invoked her to protect their children from illnesses.

She is also said to have made men and fish and, like her consort, created the mountains, trees, and rocks. Likewise, she is associated with water and rivers. Again, it is possible that after the God Thirteen measured the limits of the sky and four quarters of the earth, Huichaana helped her consort landscape the earth, provided its rivers and waterways, and populated it with men and fish. In the seventeenth century, spotted turkey hens were decapitated and copal incense was burned as offerings to her. Eduard Seler has identified a representation of a goddess in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla as an earth goddess (figure 3.3a). As Seler (1904:317) observes, she is “a deity who wears a bar in the nose that diminishes in steps, like those by which deities of the earth, Chantico and Xochiquetzal, are characterized in the Borgian codex. The elaborate painting of the face recalls also the Xochiquetzal of the Borgian codex” (figure 3.3b). Xochiquetzal “personified the more youthful side of the earth-mother” and was “especially concerned with pregnancy and childbirth” (Nicholson 1971:421). In this regard, Xochiquetzal overlaps with Pitao Huichaana, who was clearly associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This image, therefore, may be a Zapotec depiction of Pitao Huichaana. In recently discovered fragments of a probable Zapotec codex from Yautepec (van Doesburg and Urcid 2009), there is another depiction of a female deity with a T-shaped ornament adorning the nose that may represent Huichaana (figure 3.3c). Here it should be noted that the stone statue of a woman next to a pond of water in the mountains near Quiechapa (see figure 1.2 for location) is mentioned in an eighteenth-century document, which states that animals were sacrificed as offerings to her. This statue may have represented Pitao Huichaana.17

Figure 3.3. Possible images of Huichaana in Mitla murals and from Codex Yautepec: (a) possible image of Huichaana, North Mural, Church Group (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXVIII); (b) Xochiquetzal as Earth Goddess in Codex Borgia (1993:16, Plate 62); (c) Huichaana in the Codex Yautepec (after van Doesberg and Urcid 2009).

Pitao Copiycha. This deity is the sun god. He is mentioned by Córdova, Diego Luis, and seventeenth-century documents from the Sierra Juárez and Totomachapan. Although Smith Stark and Urcid (personal communication, 2010) consider Copiycha to be an avatar or alter ego of Cozaana, Diego Luis, in his second list, clearly indicates that Copiycha and Cozaana are separate deities and rule over different numbers in the sacred calendar. Pitao Copiycha is perhaps the most frequently depicted deity in the archaeological record. He is portrayed in the center of a typical MixtecaPuebla-style solar disk in a mural in Tomb 2 at Mitla (figure 3.4a), twice in the north mural of the Arroyo Group at Mitla (see figure 9.5a), and in a carving on

a large stone door to Tomb 11 at Yagul (figure 3.4c). In each case his head is depicted in profile inside the solar disk, and in the Yagul example his body is portrayed in a manner similar to an image of Tonatiuh, the Nahua sun deity, on page 23 of Codex Borgia (1963) (figure 3.4d). Seler (1904:322) has identified a number of images in the murals of the Church Group at Mitla as the sun deity (figure 3.4e), and these figures are similar to an image of Tonatiuh on page 70 of Codex Borgia (1993) (figure 3.4f). In the latter cases, the sun deity’s head is not enclosed within a solar disk. Copiycha also occurs in a gold pectoral from Tomb 2 at Zaachila as a three dimensionally full-face bust within a solar disk (figure 3.4b).

Figure 3.4. Images of Copiycha, the sun deity, and Tonatiuh: (a) mural depicting Copiycha and a dwarf, Tomb 2, Mitla (after Caso 2002:2, Figure 1); (b) gold ornament of Pitao Copiycha in a solar disk, Tomb 2, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978:118); (c) full-bodied Copiycha with head in solar disk carved in stone on door of Tomb 11, Yagul (after Paddock 1955:38, Figure 20); (d) fullbodied Tonatiuh, sun deity, with head in solar disk (Codice Borgia 1963:23); (e) figure in murals of Church Group, Mitla, identified as sun deity by Seler (1904:322, Plate XXXIX); ( f) Similar sun deity in Codex Borgia (1993:8, Plate 70).

Cociyo. This deity is the god of rain. His name literally means “lightning,” and he is associated with thunder as well. He is also referred to as the god of the planted fields and was associated with the growing of chili peppers in particular. In Prehispanic times, according to Córdova (Smith Stark

2002:130), children were sacrificed as offerings to him to bring rain or during droughts. Men were sacrificed as offerings to him to ensure bountiful harvests. Thunder represented Cociyo’s voice, and certain types of frogs associated with rain were known as the sons of Cociyo. In the seventeenth century, black turkey hens were decapitated and copal incense burned as offerings to Cociyo, especially during harvest times and droughts (Berlin 1988:33, 59). Although the Classic period representations of Cociyo are quite distinct from those of the rain deity Tláloc (see figure 1.3 and figure 3.1a), some rare representations of the rain deity from Classic period Zapotec sites closely resemble Tláloc as depicted at Teotihuacan (Kowalewski and Truell 1970). Carvings of a frontal view of the head of the rain deity, used as a year bearer (laa meaning lightning), on two stone door jambs in a Postclassic Zapotec tomb from Huitzo (figure 3.5a) and the head of the rain deity, used as a day sign, in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla (figure 3.5c) both portray Cociyo in a manner similar to the Nahua and Mixtec rain deities, Tláloc and Dzahui, as seen on page 25 of Codex Borgia (1963) (figure 3.5d). Likewise, two carved bone battens, one each from Tomb 1 and Tomb 2 at Zaachila, depict Cociyo in a similar manner (figure 3.5b) Therefore, it is evident that Cociyo, the Zapotec rain deity, was portrayed in the general Mixteca-Puebla style during the Postclassic.

Figure 3.5. Images of Cociyo, the rain deity, and Tláloc: (a) carved stone door jamb from Huitzo tomb depicting a frontal view of Cociyo, the rain deity, as a year bearer—note “Mixtec style” year glyph (photo courtesy of Robert Markens); (b) carved bone battens from Zaachila tombs (after Gallegos 1978:86, Figure 54; 109, Figure 70); (c) profile view of Cociyo, the rain deity, as a day sign in the Church Group murals from Mitla (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXVIII); (d) Tláloc, the Nahua rain deity, in Codice Borgia (1963:25).

Pitao Cozobi. This deity is the god of maize, and his name literally means “bountiful harvest.” He is also referred to as the god of all foods. In Prehispanic times, human sacrifices were made to him (Seler 1904:300). In the seventeenth century, the maize harvest was always begun on a day governed by Cozobi. A turkey hen was sacrificed, copal was burned, and the first ears of maize were cut and presented as offerings to him at harvest time. According to one document from the Sierra Juárez, Cozobi was a married deity, and his wife was called Xonaxi Cozobi. No known archaeological representations of this deity occur. Pitao Peeze. This deity is the god of omens and the patron of thieves and sorcerers. His name literally means “god of omens.” Offerings were made to this god when omens appeared within the context of dreams, and hunters and fishermen in the seventeenth century burned copal as an offering to him. It appears very likely that Pitao Xicala, god of dreams, and Pixee Pecala, god of

love and lechery, were alter egos of Pitao Peeze. Córdova is the only source that mentions Pitao Xicala and Pixee Pecala, which suggests that they were not major deities but avatars of Pitao Peeze. There are no known archaeological depictions of this deity, although he appears to be associated with the Xicani, a powerful nahual spirit (see figure 2.1), and perhaps this is how he was portrayed (Urcid 2001:441). Pitao Paa. This deity is the god of merchants, wealth, profits, happiness, and good fortune. The difrasismo pitào quille pitào yàge is associated with this god. Literally, quille means “search or look for” and yage means “increase, multiply, or grow” (Smith Stark 2002:121), implying an invocation to the deity to search for ways to increase the person’s wealth, profits, happiness, and good fortune. Merchants especially esteemed him, and they initiated their trading expeditions on a day he governed. White turkey hens were decapitated and offered to him during the seventeenth century. Those who harvested insects that produced cochineal, a precious red dye, also invoked him . One of the diagnostic characteristics of the Aztec deity Xochipilli is the painting around his mouth (figure 3.6b). Caso (1958:47) describes him as “ ‘the prince of flowers,’ the patron of dances, games, and love, and symbol of summer.” This god was known to the Mixtecs as Lord 7 Flower, who “is associated with precious objects” (Furst 1978:164). A figure similar to Lord 7 Flower is depicted twice in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla (figure 3.6a). His effigy also occurs on a polychrome vessel from Tomb 1 at Zaachila (figure 3.6c) and on another polychrome effigy vessel from Miahuatlán.18

Figure 3.6. Possible images of Pitao Paa, the god of wealth, and Xochipilli: (a) Pitao Paa? (Xochipilli), North Mural, Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXVIII); (b) Xochipilli in Codice Borgia (1963:16); (c) Pitao Paa? (Xochipilli), effigy vessel from Tomb 1, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978); (d) Pitao Paa? (Xochipilli), North Mural, Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXVIII).

It is possible that these images portray Pitao Paa, the Zapotec deity of happiness and wealth. The Mitla mural shows this god with his arm outstretched and his hand holding a large precious jewel that he is offering to another figure (figure 3.6d). In other words, he is offering “wealth” to the other figure, which is characteristic of Pitao Paa as the deity of wealth. The other figure is the earth deity. Therefore, it is possible that the Mitla image of this figure may have been used by the Zapotecs to portray Pitao Paa, although this is uncertain. Pitao Ziy. This deity is the god of misery, loss, unhappiness, misfortune, and everything bad that happens. His name literally means “god of misery.” The difrasismo pitào zìi pitào yàa is associated with this deity. Literally, zii means “misery” and yaa means “dishonor, infamy, condemnation, gossip, or arrogance” (Smith Stark 2002:122–24), implying an invocation to the deity to bring misery to a person through dishonor, infamy, condemnation, gossip, or arrogance. Córdova also lists Pitao Tee, the wicked god, and Pitao Xiñe, the bad or evil god, as probable epithets of Pitao Ziy. He appears to be the same deity as Nonachi, god of disease, mentioned in the seventeenth century by Diego Luis in his second list, and recorded as Yuache in the sacred calendar from Totomachapan. No deity comparable to Pitao Ziy occurs among the Aztecs or Mixtecs. However, a polychrome vessel from Yagul contains possible images of Pitao Ziy in the general Mixteca-Puebla style. Bernal and Lorenzo Gamio (1974:53) describe this tripod polychrome vessel as being decorated “with human figures with red spots, perhaps suggesting some skin disease.”19 It is possible that these pockmarked images represent Pitao Ziy as the deity of disease. Several are represented solely by pockmarked heads atop circular conical supports, which may be how this deity was portrayed. Also, intertwined among these images is a continuous band of flow symbols interrupted by flowers from which human heads lacking pockmarks emerge (figure 3.7).

Figure 3.7. Possible images of Pitao Ziy, the god of disease, with pockmarked face (photo courtesy of John Paddock).

Pitao Xoo. This deity is the god of earthquakes, and his name literally means “earthquake.” The Zapotecs considered earthquakes to be signs of epidemics, famine, war, or rain. In a seventeenth-century document from Villa Alta in the Sierra Juárez, Laxoo, god of earthquakes, is also mentioned (Alcina Franch 1993: table 16). Seler (1904:291–95), in an interesting argument, attempts to link this god with the Nahua deity Tepeyóllotl (Heart of the Mountain). No known images of this deity occur in the archaeological record. Pitao Pezeelao. This deity is the god of the hereafter or death. He is repeatedly cited in the Relaciones as a principal deity by Zapotec city-states throughout the Valley of Oaxaca and in the surrounding mountain valleys, where he is said to alleviate epidemics and illnesses. The center of his religious domain was Mitla. Burgoa (1989: II, 120–25) reports that coqui and xoana from all the valley’s city-states and the surrounding areas, especially the rulers of Zaachila, the most powerful city-state in the valley, went to Mitla to consult the high priest. The high priest was an intermediary between Pezeelao and the spirits of the founders of royal lineages whom the rulers wished to

consult about matters concerning their city-states. In the seventeenth century, male turkeys were decapitated and copal incense burned as offerings to him upon a person’s death and also to ward off illnesses (Berlin 1988:46). Pezeelao was the male consort or husband of Xonaxi Quecuya. The Aztec counterpart of Pitao Pezeelao is Mictlantecuhtli, but he apparently has no Mixtec counterpart.20 Among the representations of Pitao Pezeelao in the archaeological record are two low relief plaster sculptures from Tomb 1 in Zaachila, an effigy attached to a tripod vase from Tomb 2 in Zaachila, and an image in the north mural of the Church Group at Mitla. In all cases, he is portrayed in a manner similar to images of Mictlantecuhtli among the Nahuas, which is in the general Mixteca-Puebla style as seen in Codex Borgia (1993) (figure 3.8a) and unlike his Late Classic Xoo phase countenance (figure 3.1c). However, it must be remembered that Pitao Pezeelao was much more to the Zapotecs than Mictlantecuhtli was to the Aztecs. Pezeelao was the Zapotec’s principal deity in Postclassic times, and his religious center was Mitla, the Zapotec’s premier sacred city (Canseco 1580).

Figure 3.8. Images of Pitao Pezeelao and Mictlantecuhtli: (a) Mictlantecuhtli with owl (Codex Borgia 1993:28, Plate 50); (b) friezes of an owl and Pezeelao in Tomb 1, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978); (c) effigy vessel of Pezeelao, Tomb 1, Zaachila (after Gallegos 1978) (d) Pezeelao in mural of Church Group, Mitla (after Marquina 1964).

In Tomb 1 from Zaachila, excavated by Roberto Gallegos (1978), there are two low relief plaster friezes representing Pezeelao attached to the east and west walls of the main chamber (figure 3.8b). Although not statues, these are the finest representations of Pezeelao in existence. His body is in human form with a skull for a head and he wears a loincloth around his waist. His hands are depicted as humanlike but with fingers and thumbs ending in claws. A sacrificial knife forms his nose. His hair is styled like a mohawk and has two awls, for auto-sacrificial bloodletting, protruding from it. Around his neck is a necklace with a human heart as a pendant. The side of his skull shows the outline of a cross that probably represents the four quarters of the world. The Pezeelao on the west wall of the tomb has a hummingbird flying above him. The Aztecs considered hummingbirds to be the souls of warriors (Caso 1958:58). In addition, two low relief plaster friezes of owls, a bird associated with Pezeelao, occur on the east and west walls of the tomb antechamber (figure 3.8b).21 The tripod vessel from Tomb 2 at Zaachila has a fully three-dimensional ceramic effigy of Pitao Pezeelao attached to it (figure 3.8c). His right hand holds a sacrificial knife and his left hand holds a Y-shaped instrument that may have been used to extract human hearts, or perhaps represents a human heart. A curious feature of this effigy is that the skull was made separately and later articulated to the skeleton (Gallegos 1978:103). In a mural on the lintel of the north room of Patio A in the Church Group at Mitla is an image of Pitao Pezeelao (figure 3.8d). He is depicted as a warrior with face painting reminiscent of Tezcatlipoca. His hair is the wavy hair of the dead, and he sports a feather headdress. He holds a spear in one hand and a round shield in the other and wears the quilted cotton armor of a warrior. His stance is in attack mode, as seen in the Mixtec codices, with one knee on the ground and the other leg stretched forward in the act of hurling a spear. The Relación de Oçelotepeque (Ozolotepec) relates that Pitao Pezeelao aided them in their wars (Espíndola 1580:139). Xonaxi Quecuya. This deity is the goddess of the hereafter or death and the female consort of Pezeelao. She is not mentioned by Córdova but is cited in the sixteenth- century Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla. In the seventeenth century, Diego Luis cites her in his second list under a different name—Xonaxi Huila—and states that male turkeys were decapitated and copal incense was burned as offerings to her upon a person’s death and also to ward off illnesses

(Berlin 1988:53). No archaeological depictions of her are known, but she was probably portrayed in a manner similar to Mictecacíhuatl, the Aztec lady of the hereafter and consort of Mictlantecuhtli. One other deity, Cozichacozee, mentioned twice in two different Relaciones, is the god of war. He is not mentioned in Córdova or in seventeenth-century documents, although the prohibition of indigenous warfare by the Spaniards probably would have made a war deity obsolete by the time these documents were written. Unfortunately, it is not clear from the Relación de Oçelotepeque if Cozichacozee was a separate deity or an intermediary for Pezeelao, although the latter seems more likely from the context. Likewise, the Relación de Nexapa only cites a “war god” in Spanish without mentioning his name in Zapotec. Because Cozichacozee is only mentioned once in Zapotec and not referred to in Zapotec in any other source, it seems most likely that he was not a major Zapotec deity but instead an ancestor who acted as an intermediary with Pitao Pezeelao. The north mural of the Church Group at Mitla depicts Pitao Pezeelao as a warrior (see figure 3.8d). Another deity requires special mention. Córdova cites Coqui Lao, god of (turkey) hens, as a deity. The name of this god, however, literally means “face of the lord.” Diego Luis mentions a deity called Coquietaa that he translates as meaning “great lord.” In the Late Classic Xoo phase, the sign for the last, or twentieth, day in the Zapotec calendar is a glyph with the face of a great lord (Urcid 2001:252). Although it is possible that this great lord is a major Zapotec deity, the connection among these three remains elusive. All other deities are mentioned only once in the sources. Some of them are probably avatars or alter egos of major deities, such as Pitao Xicala, Pixee Pecala, Niyoa, Nosanaqueya, and Nosanaguela. Some are clearly ancestors, such as Petela and Pichanato, who acted as intermediaries with the major gods. Although one would expect at least thirteen principal Zapotec deities to represent the lords of the thirteen day numbers, only twelve can be identified with any degree of certainty. Leraa Queche, the god of medicines, is only mentioned once by Diego Luis, who cites him as one of the thirteen deities of the numbers. He may be a major Zapotec deity, but he is not mentioned in any other source. THE ZAPOTEC COSMOS

Tavárez (2005) has recently discovered that a late seventeenth-century ritual book from the Sierra Juárez depicts the structure of the Zapotec cosmos (figure 3.9). The drawing shows a narrow vertical rectangle at the center of which are five large circles forming a quincunx, symbolizing the five directions: center, east, north, west, and south. A gloss next to the quincunx reads yoo yeche layo that translates as “House of Earth,” indicating the surface of the Earth. Proceeding up the rectangle are eight small circles followed by five large circles at the top, forming another quincunx. A gloss next to the quincunx reads yoo yaba that translates as “House of the Sky.” Descending the rectangle from the “House of Earth” are another eight small circles followed by five large circles at the bottom, forming another quincunx. A gloss next to the quincunx reads yoo gabila that translates as “House of the Underworld.” Tavárez suggests that the four large circles at the corners represent turtles (bego in Zapotec) that hold up the earth, the sky, and the underworld; however, the five large circles clearly represent a quincunx, although this would not necessarily rule out the four large circles at the corners as also being turtles that supported earth, sky, and underworld.

Figure 3.9. The Zapotec cosmos (modified after Alcina Franch 1993: figure 33).

The Aztecs (Nicholson 1971:406–7) and the Maya (Thompson 1954:225– 26) both considered the heavens above the Earth to be composed of thirteen

levels and the underworld below the Earth to be composed of nine levels. However, Henry B. Nicholson (1971:407) points out that some Aztec sources refer to the heavens as being made up of nine, not thirteen, levels, “a notion which may have been more ancient.” The Zapotec cosmos, as depicted in the ritual book studied by Tavárez, shows nine levels of heaven above the Earth and nine levels of the underworld below the Earth. In the Aztec cosmos, a different deity ruled each of the thirteen levels of heaven (Nicholson 1971:407; table 2), but the nine levels of the underworld “were actually hazard stations which had to be successfully passed by each dead soul (with the aid of certain magic talismans and charms burned with the body) before reaching the ninth, lowermost level and achieving eternal rest” (Nicholson 1971:408). Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacíhuatl, lord and lady of the hereafter, ruled the underworld and resided in the ninth or lowest level (Caso 1958:62– 64). The major Zapotec deities probably occupied the different levels of the Zapotec cosmos. Unfortunately, the relationships among them and their precise positions within the Zapotec cosmos remain vague. There is little doubt that Pitao Pezeelao and his wife, Xonaxi Quecuya, resided in the underworld, as Córdova notes. Which of the other principal Zapotec gods identified here, if any, occupied which of the nine levels of heaven is uncertain.

Notes 1. The use of Liraa or Leraa in Sola Zapotec appears to be the equivalent of pitào in the Zapotec of the Valley of Oaxaca, which, according to Córdova, means “god” (Smith Stark 2002:93). Return to text. 2. “Dios que en lengua de Sola se llama Licuicha y en castilla quiere decir Sol” (Berlin 1988:20). Return to text. 3. “es la diosa del río o del pescado o de las preñadas y paridas” (Berlin 1988:18). Return to text. 4. Nonachi and Yuache both end with the particle chi or che, which structurally parallels ziy or zee, forms used by Córdova to refer to Pitao Ziy or Zee. Also, the no of nonachi is similar to the no of nohuichaana, which differentiates the latter in Sola from the huichaana of Córdova. Therefore, the differences between ziy and nonachi and yuache may be dialectical and less different than they appear. Return to text. 5. “Es llamado también el ‘abogado de las sementeras’ y, en particular, del chile” (Berlin 1988:22). Return to text. 6. Xonaxi, here written Xonatzi, means “lady” or “queen” in the Valley of Oaxaca and was used as the title for some goddesses and for queens, the wives of the Zapotec kings, at the time of the conquest. Return to text. 7. “oficiales de labrar ídolos, haciéndoles rostros, ojos y narices para que nunca les falten estas figuras” (Alcina Franch 1993:71). Return to text. 8. “llevando candelas de cera a la iglesia antes de ir a caza y poniéndolas . . . en el altar del Santo Cristo, no a las imágenes que allí están, sino al dicho dios Nosana” (Berlin 1988:25). Return to text. 9. “figuras de metal, que fundían, y hacían de ellas dioses” (Burgoa 1989: I, 87). Return to text. 10. In all likelihood, these statues of Zapotec deities do occur in museums or private collections but have not been recognized as such due to the lack of illustrations of Zapotec deities in the documents with which they might be compared. Return to text. 11. Sellen (2005) cites three other stone effigies also carved in a manner virtually identical to the ceramic effigy urns. Return to text. 12. “El análisis de los detalles de la vestimenta sugiere que las efigies personifican deidades calendáricas, a veces llevando un atuendo que representa a un dios y a veces combinando múltiples imágenes de las divinidades en distintas maneras” (Sellen 2007:345). Return to text. 13. “con el propósito de pedir su intervención sobrenatural en los asuntos de la vida . . . la efigie del ancestro es como el portador del mensaje” (Sellen 2007:353). Return to text.

14. “conservaban mucho la memoria de sus pasados como parece por las estatuas de piedra” (Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34). Return to text. 15. “La conclusión de que las divinidades asociadas al calendario zapoteco se encuentran representadas en las vasijas efigie es una prueba contundente de que los antiguos zapotecos sí tenían un panteón de deidades” (Sellen 2007:345). Return to text. 16. “las efigies son representaciones de ancestros, que en muchos casos personifican dioses” (Sellen 2007:149). Return to text. 17. I would like to thank Catalina Barrientos for bringing this reference to my attention. Manuel Esparza (1994) has compiled a series of Relaciones Geográficas from Oaxaca, written between AD 1777 and 1778, the one cited (Baptista 1777) appears to be the only one that mentions ancient Zapotec religion. Return to text. 18. It should be noted that John Pohl (2009) has suggested that these Xochipilli figures represent the Zapotec deity Pitao Pezeelao. Focusing on the polychrome vessel from Tomb 1 at Zaachila, Pohl notes the prominent row of teeth that he relates to representations from the Classic period of what Caso called “Los Fauces del Cielo” (The Jaws of Heaven). These Classic images also have a row of teeth and consistently occur in mortuary contexts. However, to me it seems clear that the skeletal images most likely represent the Postclassic Pezeelao, lord of the underworld, like his Aztec counterpart, Mictlantecuhtli. Return to text. 19. “con figuras humanas con manchas rojas, tal vez surgiendo alguna enfermedad de la piel” (Bernal and Gamio 1974:53). Return to text. 20. No deity similar to Mictlantecuhtli occurs in the known Mixtec historical codices. A deity called Lady 9 Grass is portrayed with a human skull for a head but not as a full human skeleton, and she is female, not male. Return to text. 21. Tomb 1 has been considered a Mixtec tomb. However, no Postclassic tombs occur in the Mixteca. Instead, Mixtec nobles were buried in caves or sótanos, which are shafts that are excavated into the ground and terminate in small cavelike chambers. The Zaachila tombs and all Postclassic tombs in the Valley of Oaxaca are directly derived from Late Classic Xoo phase Zapotec tombs. Return to text.

4 Zapotec Temple Priests

The information on a hierarchical Zapotec priesthood, as it might have existed in Prehispanic times, is very limited and comes principally from sixteenthcentury sources—Córdova’s Vocabulario and the Relaciones Geográficas— and Francisco Burgoa’s seventeenth-century Descripción Geográfica.1 By and large, all the Prehispanic temples and the priestly hierarchy that staffed them, together with most of the statues of Prehispanic deities and ancestors, were destroyed in the first part of the sixteenth century and replaced with Catholic churches, statues of saints, and Spanish priests. Likewise, the Spaniards abolished certain Prehispanic ceremonial practices, such as human and animal sacrifices and autosacrificial bloodletting. The sixteenth-century documents, in particular, refer to Zapotec priests who staffed and conducted ceremonies within the temples and who were, therefore, the most visible priests in Zapotec society at the time of the conquest. Nevertheless, the Prehispanic sacred calendar, certain religious practices of Prehispanic origin, and the worship of Prehispanic Zapotec deities continued in a clandestine form throughout the seventeenth century and beyond in many Zapotec communities. This was due to the activities of Zapotec priests called colaní, who resided within the neighborhoods of their communities and were much less visible during the sixteenth century. Thomas C. Smith Stark (2002) has done a thorough linguistic analysis of the terms for Zapotec priests in Córdova’s Vocabulario. He is careful to point out the difficulty of distinguishing the Prehispanic Zapotec terms for priests from terms used by colonial Zapotecs to refer to religious positions in the Catholic Church. Likewise, he questions whether or not the term priest, with all its connotations in Western civilization, actually exists as a coherent category from a Zapotec perspective (Smith Stark 2002:138). The fact is, of course, that we do not know. Herein, the term priest will be used to denote a religious specialist. It appears that there were two major categories of Zapotec priests: temple priests and community priests (colaní). These two categories

will be discussed separately, beginning with Zapotec temple priests in this chapter and community priests in chapter 7. ZAPOTEC TEMPLE PRIESTS IN CÓRDOVA AND BURGOA Cordova uses the Zapotec term huìa tào to refer to the high priest, and he also calls him huia tào tào, huia rào rào, vuija tào, or vuija tào tào, although these latter terms may refer to the Catholic pope (Smith Stark 2002:138–39). He variously defines this term as “Pope or priest of the devil, who alone entered the holy sanctuary where the idols were and offered sacrifices” or “high priest or pope.”2 Burgoa (1989: II, 350), referring to the major priests or pontiffs of Mitla as huipatoo, defines the term as literally meaning “great watcher, and he who sees all.” Smith Stark (2002:139) agrees with Burgoa and translates huia tao as “great watcher.” Burgoa points out that this Zapotec term is also used to refer to the Catholic pope. Apart from Córdova and Burgoa, there are apparently no other references in the documents to huia tao. Nevertheless, although acquainted with Córdova’s work, the fact that Burgoa uses the term huipatoo, while Córdova uses huia tao, suggests that Burgoa had independent knowledge of these Zapotec high priests, otherwise he would be expected to follow Córdova’s spelling of the term. Burgoa (1989: II, 121) gives a detailed description of the huia tao of Mitla: “I will tell what I have learned from papers that have come into my hands and traditions from old Indians that were given to [Spanish] priests.”3 He goes on to say that “here [in Mitla] the high priests were so absolute and superior, that the kings of Teozapotlán [Zaachila] viewed them with veneration and respect, regarding them as nearly gods.”4 For important ceremonies, the high priest dressed in a long white cotton gown over which he wore a chasuble (poncho-like garment) decorated with figures of wild beasts and birds. On his head he wore a white cotton mitre (like a bishop’s hat) and his sandals were woven with colored threads (figure 4.1). No commoner was allowed to look in his face for fear of death (Burgoa 1989: II, 123).

Figure 4.1. Cociyobi II (Don Juan Cortés), King of Tehuantepec, wearing a mitre, or hat worn by temple priests, in the Lienzo de Guevea (modified after Marcus 1980).

Burgoa also describes the high priest’s residence, the Patio of the Grecas, which was attached to the long colonnaded north temple hall, or Hall of the Columns, still preserved in Mitla today (see figure 5.23). The palace where the high priest lived and slept included a room with a throne composed of a high cushion with a high back, all covered with jaguar skin and stuffed with feathers or soft plants. The other seats for visitors, even the coqui of Zaachila, were smaller, given the enormous authority of the high priest (Burgoa 1989: II, 124–25). Burgoa (1989: II, 123) relates how the high priest conducted a ceremony. He came into the temple assisted by lesser priests and gravely approached the altar showing great reverence to the idols. He rearranged the incense burners and began to speak to the idols in tongues.5 He persisted in this manner of praying with facial grimaces, roars like a wild animal, and movements that frightened all those present. When he came out of this trance, he related to those present what the idols had revealed to him. From the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla (Canseco 1580:149, 152), it is known that the idols were

Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, Lord and Lady of the Underworld, whose statues were in the long colonnaded temple hall adjoining the high priest’s residence. Burgoa also states that when a human sacrifice took place, the ceremonies and number of priests doubled. Finally, Burgoa (1989: II, 125) states that the high priests did not wed nor had any contact with women. Nevertheless, in certain solemn celebrations single women were brought to them, and if one of the women conceived, she was set apart until she gave birth.6 If a male was born, they raised him to be the successor to the high priest. Otherwise, the closest male relative to the high priest succeeded him. Although the latter is possible, the former scenario is questionable and appears to reflect the fantasies of sixteenth-century Spanish priests attributing debaucheries to the Zapotec high priest more than it reflects reality. In the case of the Aztecs, we know the king appointed the high priests (Acosta Saignes 1946) while in Cholula, the high priests were succeeded by the eldest senior priest in the hierarchy (Lind 2008a:66; Rojas 1927:162). The Relación de Tecuicuilco states that among the Zapotecs, the coqui appointed the priests (Villagar 1580:91). It is interesting that throughout his discourse on the high priest of Mitla, Burgoa never once refers to him as huia tao. Only later in his book, when writing of Don Juan Cortés, coqui of Tehuantepec at the time of the conquest, does he mention this term relative to Mitla.7 Don Juan, seeing that the Spaniards had abolished idolatries in Mitla, brought “from the great temple of Mitla the major priests like pontiffs, whom they call Huipatoo in their language which means great watcher, and he who sees all”8 (Burgoa 1989: II, 350–51). From the above, Burgoa gives the impression that there were several huia tao that came from Mitla, yet in his earlier discussion he refers to only one high priest. This leaves one wondering if huia tao was a title reserved for the high priest, like the Catholic Pope, or if the term referred to a whole group or class of older, experienced priests who formed the highest echelon of Zapotec temple priests, like Catholic cardinals. However, Alonso Canseco (1580:152) in the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla mentions only one high priest in Mitla. Therefore, it seems likely that there was only one huia tao in the major temple of each city-state. Huezàa yèche is another Zapotec term Córdova uses to refer to “pope or other minor priest,” and he also calls them huezá èche, huezá ychi, or huezà

yèche.9 Smith Stark (2002:139) states that huezaa means “builder or maker” and yeche means “pyramid,” or more properly, pyramidal platform. Literally, then, huezaa yeche signifies “builder or maker of pyramids.” Apart from Córdova, apparently none of the other documents refers to huezaa yeche. However, Córdova uses the terms huezàa yéche tào, huezá éeche tào, and huezà ychi cóla to refer to the Catholic pope (Smith Stark 2002:139; 190n53). Eduard Seler (1904:276) translates huezaa yeche as “sacrificer” and states that these priests carried out human sacrifices. Smith Stark (2002:190n53) finds absolutely no basis for Seler’s translation. Seler (1904:276) himself states, “The office of these subordinate priests is given in the description of Father Burgoa.” Burgoa’s description is as follows: “when they had to sacrifice men they doubled the ceremonies and their priests, they stretched the victim over a large stone slab and exposed his chest, with some large flint knives, they ripped him open, with terrible body tremors, and they found his heart, which they tore out with his soul, that the devil took away, and they [gave] the heart to the high priest, so that he could offer it to the idols” (Burgoa 1989: II, 123).10 Burgoa never mentions huezaa yeche or even priests who specialized in human sacrifices, and Córdova never mentions huezaa yeche as priests related to human sacrifices. He only describes them as “pope or other minor priest.” Seler simply deduced this from the above passage in Burgoa, but it was a logical deduction. Seler (1904:276–77) cites Diego de Landa, who refers to a class of Maya priests, nacom, who specialized in human sacrifices, to back up his idea that huezaa yeche might have been Zapotec priests that specialized in human sacrifices. And the fact that Burgoa states that they doubled the number of priests for a human sacrifice probably led Seler to believe that the additional priests were huezaa yeche who specialized in human sacrifices. However, although uncritically accepted by Joseph W. Whitecotton (1977:147) and Joyce Marcus (2003a:350), Seler’s deduction should be rejected because no data support it. Huezaa yeche were certainly Zapotec priests and, at least from the term’s literal standpoint, they may have been involved in building pyramids. It is also possible that the term is a Zapotec metaphor for a certain class of priests, perhaps referring to them in a similar way as our metaphor “building blocks” may be used to refer to a group of people (e.g., teachers are the building blocks of the school). This class of Zapotec priests, beneath the level of the

huia tao, may have been ordinary priests who staffed the temple and were called “builders of pyramids.” Copa pitào, or copa pitòo, is another Zapotec term in Córdova that literally means “guardian of god,” and it has the same meaning as the Náhuatl term teopixqui, “guardian of god” (Smith Stark 2002:140). But teopixqui was simply a general term for all Aztec priests of whatever rank and did not specify a particular class of priests (Acosta Saignes 1946), as the Zapotec term has been considered to do (Seler 1904:276; Marcus 2003a:350, table 9.1). In Córdova’s Vocabulario, Smith Stark (2002:141) found that all the entries relating to copa pitao referred to Catholic religious positions and contexts, not to a Prehispanic context. Burgoa (1989: II, 350) refers to other minor priests called copa vitoo, guardians of the gods, who were brought from Mitla by Don Juan, but that is also the current Zapotec term for Spanish priests.11 These minor priests came to Tehuantepec with the huipatoo (huia tao) of Mitla. Don Juan made a spacious room in his palace well removed from the entryway available as a temple for the six old priests and their idols. Questioned by the Spanish priest regarding the six old men, Don Juan responded that they were very noble lords who had been faithful and sound advisers to his father in Prehispanic times and that he had retained them as counselors (Burgoa 1989: II, 354). Because the six old priests included copa pitao from Mitla, it can be concluded that copa pitao were old priests. Again, apparently no other references to copa pitao occur in the documents apart from Córdova and Burgoa. Smith Stark (2002:141) believes that the term is probably post-conquest. Nevertheless, the fact that he uses the term copa vitoo, while Córdova used copa pitao or copa pitoo, suggests that Burgoa had independent knowledge of this group of Zapotec priests, or he would have been expected to follow Córdova’s spelling of the term. If copa pitao referred to a class of Prehispanic Zapotec temple priests, it apparently referred to a class of the oldest and most experienced priests. Classes of old and experienced priests were known among the Aztecs, who called them cuacuacuiltin (Acosta Saignes 1946:149), and they were also recognized in Cholula, where they were distinguished from other priests by the red capes they wore (Lind 2008a:66; Rojas 1927:161). Pigàana is another term cited by Córdova. Literally, the name means “servant, virgin male, young man, or page” (Smith Stark 2002:142). Córdova

uses the term to refer to young men between the ages of twelve and fifteen and also calls them servants of god (Smith Stark 2002:141–42). Burgoa (1989: II, 167) refers to them as vijanas and states that the name means “dedicated to the gods.” He goes on to provide some detailed information about them: all who came to their altars, had to totally deny lustful desires, . . . and all those that dedicated themselves to the priesthood, from childhood . . . were called in their language vijanas which properly means dedicated to the gods . . . the [obligation] of these young vijanas, so appointed, was to learn the rituals and ceremonies and service to the idols especially of the most celebrated temples where they were raised apart from those who did not receive this dignity and all were second sons of rulers [coqui] and nobles [xoana] and ordinarily many were found with this quality (Burgoa 1989: II, 167–68).12 Burgoa (1989: II, 355) also reports that these pigaana assisted the priests in their ceremonies and rituals. As Smith Stark (2002:142) notes, pigaana were probably apprentices or neophytes in the Zapotec priesthood. Neophytes were recognized as a class of priestly apprentices among the Aztecs, who called them tlamacaztoton (Acosta Saignes 1946:149), and in Cholula, where they dressed in black capes and served a four-year apprenticeship (Lind 2008a:66; Rojas 1927:161). At San Juan Teitipac, in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca (see figure 1.2), Burgoa reports the existence of a “seminary” or school for priests. He states that Teitipac was called Zeetoba in Zapotec, which means “other tomb or place of burials,” where nobles were buried, in contrast to Mitla, where rulers were buried (Burgoa 1989: II, 64–65).13 In more ancient times, Teitipac, upon its founding, was called Quehuiquijezaa, which means “stone palace of teaching and doctrine.” The palace was built atop an enormous stone slab and the coqui of Zaachila placed in it rulers who were extremely knowledgeable regarding the rituals and cult of their gods. As a center of professors of doctrine, this was their seminary of “abominations” (Burgoa 1989: II, 70). Presumably, Teitipac was a major center for the training of Zapotec priests in the Valley of Oaxaca, but Burgoa provides no further details.

Córdova mentions one group associated with the temples that he called the “vestal virgins,” in Zapotec, péni gòna yóna. Córdova states that in ancient times they ground corn for the temple and had to be virgins (Smith Stark 2002:143). Péni gòna yóna literally means “person, woman, virgin” (Smith Stark 2002:144). Presumably, these women prepared the food for the priests in the temples. There is no mention in Córdova, Burgoa, or the Relaciones Geográficas of women temple priests among the Zapotecs. ZAPOTEC TEMPLE PRIESTS IN THE RELACIONES GEOGRÁFICAS The Relaciones Geográficas also mention Zapotec priests associated with temples and most frequently refer to them as bigaña, vigana, or picana, which is an approximation of Córdova’s pigaana. The Relación de Miaguatlan (Miahuatlán) states, “This . . . town had a public house [temple] for their gods . . . they had certain days for the [gods], [when] they sacrificed to them . . . and to do the aforesaid sacrifices they had delegated Indians who were like ‘priests’ that they called bigañas Espíndola 1580:127–28).”14 The Relación de Oçelotepeque reports “they had a public house [temple] where they had their idols and in it Indians in the manner of priests whom they called bigañas, who took care of the temple and of the offering of sacrifices that all others made; all passed through their hands” (Espíndola 1580:138).15 “And . . . the appointed ‘bigañas,’ . . . never left the temple” (Espíndola 1580:139).16 The Relación de Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo) relates that they had a temple on top of a hill and within it stones carved to resemble people that they named “becaloo” (Pezeelao) in Zapotec. Twenty to twenty-five priests, called “picana” in Zapotec, guarded the temple and were in charge of the rituals and ceremonies performed there (Zárate 1581:198). The Relación de Tecuicuilco, in a non-plagiarized section, presents the following commentary: This town of Tecuicuilco had a god that they named in their language Coqui Bezelao [Pezeelao] which means ‘the principal devil’ . . . They had a particular day appointed for his festival, and all the natives came and brought offerings of quail, colored

feathers, and chalchihuites, which are green stones . . . and some blue. This offering they delivered to the priests who were dedicated to the service of that god and who had been named by the ruler, and these [priests] made the sacrifice and offerings. And apart from that offering, they [the priests] offered blood that they drew from their tongues and ears. And these festivities lasted from vespers [sundown] of the day on which they were celebrated . . . until the next day at the same time [sundown]. And the priests always made the sacrifices at night, and they alone entered the temple where they had this god (Villagar 1580:91).17 In Zoquiapan, which was a subject community of Teococuilco, the following was reported. When the festival day of Coqui Nexo, patron deity of Zoquiapan, arrived each townsperson presented the priest with an offering of a quail or a pigeon and told the priest of his need. The priest decapitated the bird in front of the statue of the god and returned the decapitated body to the Indian who had brought it. This Indian presented part of the bird to the ruler and shared the rest with his family, and they had a great feast that day (Villagar 1580:92). Two Relaciones mention temple priests who must have been huia tao but do not refer to them by this term. The Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla, referring to the high priest in Mitla, says, “the bigaña was like the Roman Pontiff, head of the universal church in our religion.” Referring to the palace of the huia tao in the Patio of the Grecas, next to the Hall of the Columns in Mitla, he continues, “This vigana had his house next to these [temple] buildings” (Canseco 1580:152).18 The Relación de Teguantepec provides the following description of a huia tao as a temple priest: “In the part where they had the principal idol of this town and province, ordinarily there was an old and ancient Indian, who had charge of the ceremonies and traditions that . . . they kept and practiced, and he did the sacrifices; and among them they called this [Indian] ‘pope’ or ‘priest’ ” (Torre de Lagunas 1580:116).19 Again, this is a clear description of a huia tao, without naming him in Zapotec.

It is clear that Spanish magistrates used Córdova’s term pigaana, which they variously spelled picana, bigaña, and vigana, to refer to Zapotec temple priests in general. Because the term was used in the relaciones from Mitla (in the extreme eastern end of the valley), Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo) (in the extreme northwestern end of the valley), and in Miahuatlán and Ozolotepec (in the mountains south and southeast of the valley), it is evident that the term was widespread among Spanish magistrates; all of them associated pigaana with temples. The documents cite huia tao, copa pitao, huezaa yeche, and pigaana as Zapotec priests who staffed the yoho pehe, or temple. Although the rank of the huia tao as high priest and the pigaana as neophytes is fairly clear, the relationship between copa pitao and huezaa yeche is not. From Burgoa’s description of copa pitao as old men, it would appear that these were the oldest and most experienced temple priests who occupied the upper echelon of the Zapotec priesthood, just below the high priest. If this is accepted, then it seems possible that the huezaa yeche were younger adult priests who had completed their training as pigaana and were considered “ordained” temple priests. On the other hand, if copa pitao was a post-conquest term, as Smith Stark suggests, then huezaa yeche may have been the Prehispanic term for “ordained” adult temple priests. Córdova does call huezaa yeche “pope or other minor priests,” a description that he does not apply to copa pitao. Nevertheless, the designation of a class of the oldest and most experienced priests was known among the Aztecs and in Cholula and would be expected to occur among the Zapotecs as well. Although the documents are less than ideal, they do provide some insights that suggest a possible reconstruction of the hierarchy of Zapotec temple priests. At the lowest level were the pigaana, dedicated to the gods, apprentice priests perhaps twelve to fifteen years old who were learning all aspects of Zapotec religion, temple ceremonies, and rituals from the senior priests. Next, perhaps, came the huezaa yeche, builders of pyramids, who may have been young adult priests who had completed their training as pigaana and continued to serve in the temple. Above them, perhaps, were the copa pitao, guardians of the gods, who were the oldest and most experienced temple priests. Topping the hierarchy was the huia tao, the great watcher (or he who sees all), who was in charge of the temple and led its major ceremonies. Probably twenty to twenty-five priests (huia tao, copa pitao, huezaa yeche, and pigaana) staffed

the principal temple of the capitals of each Zapotec city-state, if the Relación de Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo) is correct. All of these priests, according to Burgoa, were second sons of rulers and nobles, and therefore all temple priests were of noble descent. All evidently were celibate and appear to have resided in or near the temple. Although one would expect the different classes of priests to wear distinctive attire, the documents for the most part are silent on this point. Burgoa (1989: II, 168) states that for solemn ceremonies all the priests used the same sacerdotal dress —a white cotton robe with a white cotton mitre—and they likewise wore feathers in the mitre and were adorned with jewels. However, in his discussion of the high priest of Mitla, Burgoa (1989: II, 123) notes that the huia tao wore a chasuble decorated with figures of wild beasts and birds over his white robe and had sandals of colored threads that certainly set him apart from other priests. TEMPLE PRIESTS AND TEMPLE CEREMONIES The documents are not precisely clear on which Zapotec temple priests conducted which ceremonies to which deities. Instead, they give a somewhat general description of offerings, rituals, and ceremonies carried out within the context of temples or, following the destruction of temples in the early sixteenth century, some of the clandestine offerings and ceremonies conducted during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that would have been carried out in temples in Prehispanic times. Almost all the Relaciones Geográficas cite human sacrifice (table 4.1), animal sacrifice (table 4.2), and autosacrificial bloodletting (table 4.3) activities carried out by temple priests within the context of temples. Few specify the names of the deities for which these offerings, rituals, and ceremonies were conducted or the specific priests who performed them. Córdova mentions that sacrifices and offerings were made to Cozaana, Huichaana, Cociyo, and Pitao Peeze, but except for Cociyo, he does not specify what sacrifices or offerings were made. He states that for Cociyo, the rain deity, children were sacrificed to bring the rains and men were sacrificed to insure bountiful harvests (Smith Stark 2002:165–66). Table 4.1 Human sacrifices listed in the Relaciones Geográficas.

1. 2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

Relación Geográfica Teotitlán (Asensio 1580:106) Teitipac (Pérez de Zamora 1580:111) Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117) Miahuatlán (Espíndola 1580:127–28)

Type of human sacrifice They sacrificed their children to their idols. Their coqui ordered the people to provide boys and Indian slaves for sacrifice to their gods. War captives whose hearts were taken out and offered to their gods.

War captives who were slaves whose hearts were cut out by priests called bigañas and offered to the gods Tlacatecolotl (Pezeelao) and Cociyo in the temple. Coatlán (Espíndola Male and female war captives whose 1580:134) hearts were cut out and the males’ hearts offered to the male deity Benelaba (7 Rabbit) and females’ hearts to his wife, Xonaxi Belachina (3 Deer), in a cave where their statues were located. Ozolotepec Male and female war captives whose (Espíndola hearts were cut out on a stone, like an 1580:138–39) altar, in the temple of their gods by priests called bigañas. Tlacolula (Yagul) They sacrificed Indians to their god (Canseco Coque Cehuiyo (Pezeelao?). 1580:145) Mitla (Canseco They sacrificed children and men to 1580:149) Coqui Bezelao (Pezeelao) and Xonaxi Quecuya, Lord and Lady of the Underworld. Tlalixtac (Del Río They sacrificed children and men to their 1580:179) god Coquihuani (Copiycha?).

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

Relación Geográfica Huitzo (Zárate 1581:198)

Type of human sacrifice

War captives, one of whom was sacrificed in the temple each (ritual?) year by priests called picana. Iztepeji (Ximénez War captives whose hearts were cut out Ortiz 1579:17–18) and offered to their idol, a large (obsidian?) sacrificial knife decorated with green feathers located in their temple. Evidently no priests existed there. Tehuantepec (Torre War captives were sacrificed. de Lagunas 1580:116) Tetiquipa (Salas Generally, war captives whose hearts 1580:180) were cut out and offered to Guatacayo and Guatacazio. Cozauhtepec (Salas People whose hearts were cut out and 1580:185) offered to Tiacahua.

Table 4.2. Animal sacrifices listed in the Relaciones Geográficas.

1. 2.

3.

4.

Relación Geográfica Teitipac (Pérez de Zamora 1580:11) Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117) Miahuatlán (Espíndola 1580:127) Coatlán (Espíndola 1580:134)

Type of animal sacrifice They sacrificed small dogs to their gods. They sacrificed dogs, quail, turkey hens, and all the animals they hunted in the mountains to their gods. They sacrificed dogs, quail, and birds to their gods. They sacrificed dogs, turkey hens, and quail to their gods.

5.

6.

7.

8. 9. 10. 11.

12.

13. 14.

Relación Geográfica Ozolotepec (Espíndola 1580:138) Tlacolula (Yagul) (Canseco 1580:145) Mitla (Canseco 1580:149) Tlalixtac (Del Río 1580:179) Huitzo (Zárate 1581:198) Iztepeji (Ximénez Ortiz 1579:17) Tehuantepec (Torre de Lagunas 1580:114) Tetiquipa (Salas 1580:180)

Type of animal sacrifice They sacrificed quail, deer, and other creatures they hunted in the mountains to their gods. They sacrificed dogs and turkey hens to their god Coque Cehuiyo (Pezeelao?). They sacrificed small dogs, turkey hens, quail, and pigeons to Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya. They sacrificed quail and small dogs to their god Coquihuani. They sacrificed dogs to their idols. They decapitated turkeys and dogs to their idol, the (obsidian?) sacrificial knife. They sacrificed turkey hens, dogs, creatures, and other birds to their gods.

They killed quail, macaws, small dogs, and turkey hens and offered them to thei gods. Cozautepec (Salas They killed birds and animals and offered 1580:185) their blood to their god Tiacahua. Zoquiapan (Villagar They brought quail and pigeons as 1580:92) offerings to the temple, and the priest received and decapitated them in front of the statue to Coqui Nexo.

Table 4.3. Autosacrificial bloodletting listed in the Relaciones Geográficas.

Relación Geográfica

Types of autosacrificial bloodletting

1. 2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7. 8.

9.

Relación Geográfica Macuilxóchitl (Asensio 1580:101) Chichicapa (Espíndola 1580:117) Ozolotepec (Espíndola 1580:139)

Types of autosacrificial bloodletting

They drew blood from their tongue and ears and offered it to their gods. They drew blood from their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals and offered it to their gods. The coqui and xoana used thin blades to draw blood from their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals, which they gave to the bigañas in the temple to offer to the gods. Huitzo (Zárate The picana in the temple drew blood 1581:198) from their ears and tongue and offered it to the idols. Iztepeji (Ximénez The people kneeled in front of the temple Ortiz 1579:117) with their god—an (obsidian?) sacrificial knife adorned with green feathers—and used sharp flint blades to cut holes in their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals and passed small sticks through the holes and offered the blood to their god. Evidently no priests existed in Iztepeji. Tehuantepec (Torre They drew blood from their ears, tongue, de Lagunas and genitals and offered it to their idols. 1580:114) Tetiquipa (Salas They drew blood from their ears and 1580:180) tongue and offered it to their idols. Cozauhtepec (Salas They drew blood from their ears and 1580:185) tongue and offered it to their idol Tiacahua. Teococuilco The priests in the temple drew blood (Villagar 1580:91) from their tongue and ears and offered it to Coqui Bezelao (Pezeelao).

Burgoa places three classes of priests together in association with a clandestine temple ceremony that took place in Tehuantepec around AD 1560. He refers to the coqui of Tehuantepec, Don Juan Cortés, who brought “from the great temple of Mitla the principal priests like pontiffs, whom they call Huipatoo [huia tao] in their language which means great watcher, and he who sees all; and other minor priests, that they call Copa vitoo [copa pitao], guardian of the gods”20 (Burgoa 1989: II, 350). The Catholic priest of Tehuantepec sent his trusted Indian church warden (fiscal) to spy on Don Juan’s palace and its Mitla contingent, and “he saw many people from different towns who came with presents and small animals hidden away, and incense, with all the things that they were accustomed to use in their sacrifices and the old men [from Mitla] received it and kept the vijanas [pigaana] who are children dedicated to that cult busy” (Burgoa 1989: II, 355); all of which the warden reported back to the Catholic priest.21 The Catholic priest contacted the Spanish secular authorities and together at midnight “they arrived at Don Juan’s door . . . and entering inside went past rooms until they arrived at the temple room, that was [illuminated] with many torches and a multitude of smoking incense burners, some idols placed on an altar, Don Juan dressed in a gown and mitre with feathers like the high priest (see figure 4.1), the six old men [from Mitla] with gowns, all their hands covered with blood from the animals and birds that they were sacrificing” (Burgoa 1989: II, 355).22 The six priests from Mitla (huia tao and copa pitao) were taken to the public jail and Don Juan was taken to the convent to be imprisoned. In this ceremony, Burgoa refers to huia tao, copa pitao, and pigaana but does not mention huezaa yeche. It is also clear from his description that the coqui could function as high priest. Unfortunately, he does not describe which deities the idols represented, the reasons for the ceremony, or the specific offerings that were made, referring only to burning incense and sacrificing animals and birds. Burgoa (1989: II, 87–90) describes another sixteenth-century clandestine temple in San Juan Teitipac. Fray Domingo de Grijelmo, the Catholic priest there around AD 1560 (Jiménez Moreno 1942:15), found nine Zapotec priests conducting Prehispanic rituals and had them arrested. The priests were very obstinate, according to Burgoa, and would not repent. Therefore, Fray Domingo, with Spanish secular authorities, tied them to stakes, placed firewood around them, and threatened to burn them at the stake for their

idolatries. Still they refused to repent, so the priest burned alive the leader of the priests. The other eight immediately repented and confessed their idolatries. Fray Domingo learned of the place where they conducted their rituals, which was in the house of the leader he had burned alive. He found the place dedicated to the idols, between two walls, like a passageway, very well swept and forming a kind of altar on which were four green stone idols, figures of men, although deformed, and frightening in their features with gold necklaces and precious jewels, many incense burners to cense them [the idols], flint blades, for drawing their [the priests’] blood, that they smeared on them [the idols], and other instruments for their rituals, many flowers of various species, now wilted . . . that idolater [burned priest] had had in his house an old Indian, like a sacristan of the idols, who took care of their adornments, [and] cleaned [the passageway “temple”] . . . those that came with their offerings did not see them [the idols], because on purpose he [the old Indian] would not let them enter with him . . . [but] the old sacristan had disappeared [from the house] . . . and there was never a trace of him (Burgoa 1989: II, 90–91).23 Unfortunately, Burgoa fails to identify the deities represented by the four green stone idols or the types of ceremonies for them. He does mention that they were adorned with gold necklaces and precious stones, that the Zapotec priests practiced autosacrificial bloodletting activities and smeared the blood on the statues of the deities as offerings, and that they also offered the deities many kinds of flowers and kept the temple well swept. The old Indian “sacristan” was almost certainly the huia tao or high priest in charge of the temple room, the statues, and the ceremonies and offerings made to them. However, it appears possible that Burgoa (1989: II, 87–91), writing over a hundred years after the incident, may have conflated two different cases of idolatry in Teitipac in his report. In AD 1560, according to a document cited by Michel Oudijk (2000: chapter 4), four Zapotecs from San Dionisio Ocotepec, a subject community of Teitipac, were accused of idolatry, and two were burned at the stake and died. In AD 1574, according to another document cited by Oudijk (2000: chapter 4), the coqui of Teitipac was accused of

practicing idolatry in a room of his house with an old Indian called Domingo, who probably was a huia tao. Burgoa may have fused these two incidents into one in his report. Burgoa (1989: II, 266–67) also describes a cave at Quiegolani (see figure 1.2) that served as a temple, which an indigenous convert reported to Fray Alonso de Espino in the sixteenth century. Two large stone slabs covered the entrance to the cave. After ordering them removed, Fray Alonso entered the cave through a narrow, dark passageway that led into a spacious room illuminated by a small opening. In the room was an altar with two stone idols about 40 centimeters tall. On the floor around the idols were a large number of incense burners, a great amount of copal incense, and bundles of feathers and cotton cloths, all somewhat rotted over time by the humidity of the cave.24 Fray Alonso had the cave filled with firewood and torched it with the idols and offerings inside. It seems likely that the stone statues of the deities were removed from the Prehispanic temple and taken to the cave for safekeeping following the conquest. Unfortunately, Burgoa does not name or describe the deities represented by the statues. Again, at Quiegolani, Burgoa (1989: II, 268–69) describes a ceremony related to corn and Pitao Cozobi, the god of maize. He states that Fray Luis de San Miguel received notice of a ceremony to the god of the cornfields that was carried out each year. At harvest time, the highest quality and best ear of corn was selected and considered the essence of the god of maize. The ear of corn was worshipped as if it were the god himself It was dressed in clothes its size, green stones were hung on it (necklaces?), copal incense was burned in censers placed before it, and unspecified sacrifices and offerings were made to it. After the sacrifices, a great festival was held with joyful songs and dance celebrating the ear of corn (Pitao Cozobi). Following the celebrations, the ear of corn was wrapped in a white cotton cloth by a priest and safely stored away. In the spring, when it was time to plant again, the nobles and priests came together, conferred, and advised the people that a subsequent celebration for the ear of corn was planned. A priest removed the ear of corn from its place of keeping and wrapped it in a clean piece of deerskin. Again, offerings and sacrifices were made, followed by joyful songs and dances celebrating the ear of corn. After the celebrations, a priest, followed by all the townspeople, took the ear of corn wrapped in deerskin to a stone-lined cyst or offering box that

had been placed in the earth in the middle of the cornfields. The priest implored the ear of corn to provide them with a bountiful harvest that year and, with numerous smoking incense burners around as an offering, it was placed in the offering box that was covered with dirt to prevent anyone from easily finding it. If the harvest was bountiful, the offering box was opened, the now rotten ear of corn removed, and pieces of it distributed as highly esteemed sacred relics. Fray Luis went to the town, discovered the ear of corn in its offering box, took it out, called all the people to the church, and stomped on the ear of corn, smashing all of its kernels. Although Burgoa does not directly name Pitao Cozobi, he refers to him as a god of maize that they had in antiquity, which is Pitao Cozobi. Certainly, the ceremonies reported above would have taken place in a Prehispanic temple and before a statue of Pitao Cozobi, probably accompanied by the ear of corn. The Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla says that in Tlacolula (Yagul) “they worshipped . . . Coque Cehuiyo to whom they offered and sacrificed dogs and turkeys and Indians, and the sacrifice completed they got drunk and danced”25 (Canseco 1580:145). As mentioned, Coque Cehuiyo represents Pitao Pezeelao, god of the underworld. With regard to Mitla, the Relación states, “among them they had a married idol, and the wife was called Ponapi [Xonaxi] Quecuya, and the husband Coqui Bezelao [Pezeelao] . . . they worshipped and sacrificed to these [idols] . . . and did their dances in front of them, with musical instruments; they sacrificed children and men, small dogs, turkeys, quail, pigeons; and it was their usual custom to get drunk in front of these idols” (Canseco 1580:149). From the above, it is evident that human sacrifices were performed for Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya and that dogs, turkeys, quail, and pigeons were sacrificed as offerings for them. Following the sacrifices in the temples, dances were performed to music and alcoholic beverages were consumed. The Relación de Macuilsuchil states that the people worshipped Coquebila (Pezeelao) and that the priests (?) fasted for many days, every four days of which they “ate” (chewed?) tobacco (“piçietl”) and during the fast they drew blood from their tongue and ears and offered it to the idols. They also danced and got drunk on pulque (Asensio 1580:101–2). In Teotitlán del Valle, they sacrificed their children to their stone idols and danced and got drunk in front of their gods (Asensio 1580:106).

In Teitipac they had stone idols with very ugly faces and they sacrificed dogs and Indian slaves as offerings to them; afterwards they danced and ate hallucinogenic mushrooms and saw many visions and frightful figures. Their coqui ordered them to provide dogs, boys, and Indian slaves for the sacrifices (Pérez de Zamora 1580:111). In Miahuatlán, two gods, Cociyo and Pezeelao, were stone idols in their temple. On certain designated days, they offered red and green macaw feathers and sacrificed quail, dogs, and birds to these idols. Also, they sacrificed slaves who were war captives, opening them from “tit to tit” with stone knives, removing their hearts, and offering them to Pezeelao and Cociyo. They delegated Indians, like priests that they called bigañas, to carry out the sacrifices (Espíndola 1580:127–28). In Ozolotepec, a temple with their idols was staffed by bigañas, who were in charge of the offerings and sacrifices. The priests made offerings of what everyone else brought to be sacrificed: quail, deer, animals, and everything else they hunted in the mountains. They also sacrificed men and women war captives in the temple by putting them on top of a stone, taking out their hearts, and eating the rest. The coqui and xoana had thin blades that they used to draw blood from their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals that they offered to bigañas who were priests that never left the temple. The name of their principal idol was Bezelao (Pezeelao), who took care to help them in their wars, and his advocate was Cozichacozee, their god of war. For all of their planted fields and trade they also invoked Pezeelao (Espíndola 1580:138–39). In Huitzo, they had a temple on top of a hill with some stone statues carved like people that they called Becaloo (Pezeelao). Twenty to twenty-five individuals called picana served as temple priests and were in charge of the rituals and customs. The priests brought dogs and macaw feathers as offerings to the idols and presented them together with smoking incense burners. They also drew blood from their ears and tongue as offerings. During a festival they celebrated once a year the priests sacrificed a war captive in the temple and prayed for strength and courage in war. The priests and others who had attended the sacrifice then ate the body of the war captive (Zárate 1581:198– 99). In Ixtepeji, a large black (obsidian?) sacrificial knife decorated with green feathers placed on an altar in a temple was worshipped but, surprisingly, the Relación states that the Zapotecs there had no priests or special days for

religious ceremonies. Each person worshipped the sacrificial knife according to his will and whenever he wished. All kneeled in front of the altar and drew blood from their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals, through which they pierced holes with sharp flint blades and passed sticks through the holes; the blood that they drew was offered to the sacrificial knife. Sick people and those that did not want to cut themselves decapitated turkeys and dogs and bathed the sacrificial knife with the blood of these animals. The sacrificial knife went to war with them surrounded by teponaztli (wooden drums) and was well guarded. They immediately sacrificed before the sacrificial knife the first captive they took, then left the body on the battlefield. Other war captives were brought to the town, and all the townspeople danced in front of the altar while they sacrificed the captives to the sacrificial knife. The captives’ hearts were rubbed on the knife, bathing it in blood; the bodies were cut up and cooked, and they ate the meat (Ximénez Ortiz 1579:17–18). In Tehuantepec, the principal idols were made of chalchihuites, ceramics, and wood and were worshipped as gods. They sacrificed turkeys, dogs, animals, and other birds to these gods. They also drew blood from their ears, tongue, and genitals and offered it to the idols together with burning copal incense. When they had a grand festival, they sacrificed a few war captives and ate them (Torre de Lagunas 1580:114, 116). Finally, Burgoa (1989: II, 229–31) reports a ceremony carried out near San Francisco Caxonos in AD 1652 that would have been conducted in front of a temple in Prehispanic times. It took place in a clearing on top of a hill overlooking thick forests well removed from the town and was secretly observed by a Spanish hunter on horseback, who reported it to the Catholic priest in Caxonos. The hunter recognized the coqui of Caxonos, who was a very old man, dressed in a white gown with a mitre on his head, conducting the ceremony. A stone statue of a deity sat in the center of the clearing, surrounded by incense burners filled with smoking copal. In front of the deity was a large circular mat woven from special plants. A large group of townspeople gathered in front of the deity and the old priest. All the people sat in a fetal position with their heads hung down and cried. One by one they came forth with a small cloth bundle from which they removed corn husks tied at the center. The tied corn husks represented the sins they had committed during the previous year. They placed the husks on the circular mat before the deity and kneeled in front of the old priest, beseeching

him to invoke the deity to forgive their sins. Then they drew blood from their ears or tongue and captured it on feathers of different colors that they placed on the circular mat as an offering to the deity. The old priest addressed the deity, imploring him to forgive the sins of his people. Unfortunately Burgoa does not name or describe the deity in front of whom this ceremony was conducted. However, circular mats with tied corn husks next to them are illustrated in the Mixtec codices, such as the one on page 13 of Codex Vindobonensis (1992; figure 4.2).26

Figure 4.2. Tied corn husk and circular mat in Codex Vindobonensis (1992:13).

It is evident from the documents that the Zapotecs had a hierarchical priesthood that occupied the temples. Each city-state probably had at least

twenty-five temple priests who staffed the major temple of its capital city, as mentioned in the Relación de Guaxolotitlan (Huitzo) (Zárate 1581:198). These probably included pigaana (neophytes), huezaa yeche (“ordained” priests), copa pitao (elder priests), and the huia tao (high priest). These temple priests organized and conducted temple ceremonies in accordance with the sacred calendar of 260 days and the solar calendar of 365 days. On a specific day during each ritual year, ceremonies were conducted honoring the patron deity of the city-state, frequently Pezeelao, probably on the last, or 260th, day of the sacred calendar, his namesake 13 Lao (or Pecelao). The ceremonies involved the participation of all the communities within the city-state whose members brought offerings of quail, turkeys, dogs, feathers, and precious stones to the major temple in the capital. The high point of the celebration involved the sacrifice of a war captive who was placed over a sacrificial stone in the temple and had his heart removed and offered to the patron deity. The obligatory ritualized drinking, music, and dancing followed.27 Similar ceremonies were probably held in honor of Cociyo, the rain deity, when a child was sacrificed to bring the rains to water the newly planted crops and again near harvest time, when a man was sacrificed to insure a bountiful harvest. Burgoa (1989: II, 229–31) also noted that the ceremony for forgiving peoples’ sins was carried out once a year, but he does not specify if it was during a ritual year of 260 days or a solar year of 365 days. Although it is possible that the Zapotecs, like the Aztecs, conducted temple ceremonies every twenty days, corresponding to the 20-day “months,” of which there were eighteen in their solar calendar, the documents are relatively silent on this point.28 Nevertheless, Burgoa does appear to refer to one of these ceremonies carried out during the “Day of the Dead”: In false entertainment for children the night of those who expired [Day of the Dead] it happened that these Indians had the malicious superstition that the devil made them defile the pious ceremony of the Church with regard to the suffrage and offerings celebrated for the faithful deceased . . . that those of little capacity made fun of this ceremony persuading the children to place bread or fruits at their tombstones that the dead would look for so that they [the dead] would not frighten them and this being childish innocence,

Satan converted it among these Indians into an iniquity of errors, because since pagan [Prehispanic] times the enemy [devil] was prepared to defile this devout and pious ceremony of the faithful; celebrated in the same month of November, which is the twelfth [month] in their calculation, of the eighteen months that make up the year (Burgoa 1989: II, 390–91).29 Because Burgoa notes that this ceremony was carried out for the dead in the twelfth month of their eighteen-month solar year, it certainly allows for the possibility that ceremonies were also conducted in each of the other months. In addition, seventeenth-century documents from the Sierra Juárez indicate that the Zapotecs celebrated each new solar year with temple ceremonies (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:32–33). Near the end of the seventeenth century, the Zapotec new year was celebrated on February 23 (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:25–26). Apart from temple ceremonies carried out for the public, Zapotec temple priests are also reported to have prayed and offered copal incense to the deities, performed autosacrificial bloodletting rituals, fasted, and ingested hallucinogenic drugs to induce visions. The temple priests almost certainly received offerings on a daily basis from individuals who requested that they pray to a specific deity to alleviate some problem. These latter individuals were probably sent to the temple by community priests (colaní ), as will be seen in chapter 7. It should be noted that the documents also mention temple priests in subject communities within the city-state who carried out temple ceremonies honoring their patron deity on a specific day during each ritual year of 260 days. There were likely fewer temple priests in subject communities compared to the number in the capital of the city-state. Although the Spaniards state that these ceremonies and rituals were performed for deities, it is possible that the temple priests invoked elite ancestors to intervene with the deities on behalf of the community as well. INVOKING ELITE ANCESTORS Mention has been made of nobles invoking deified coqui as intermediaries with the deities and of sacred bundles, or quiña, kept by the Zapotec nobility that contained sacred objects that symbolized the ancestors of their noble house, or yoho. Yet their role in Zapotec religion remains to be explored more

thoroughly. The principal source of nobles invoking deceased and deified coqui as intermediaries with deities comes from the Relación de Oçelotepeque, which states: The natives of this . . . town were governed by a cacique [coqui] who was named Petela in their Zapotec language which in our language means Dog . . . who died ten or twelve years ago; . . . after his death . . . the nobles took him for a god . . . and they sacrificed to him as a god; [the Catholic priest] found out where he was buried . . . with all the bones in place and so he burned them [the bones] publicly; six months later . . . there was a very great epidemic in the . . . town . . . where more than one thousand two hundred souls died, the nobles returned to sacrifice to . . . the ashes of the bones of Petela . . . for him to intercede with Besalao [Pezeelao], who is the devil, to abate the disease30 (Espíndola 1580:139–40). From the above passage it is apparent that Zapotec nobles had been making offerings at the gravesite of the recently deceased coqui for seven to nine years before the Catholic priest became aware of their activities.31 It is stated that they treated the deceased coqui as if he were a god, but later it becomes evident that they were invoking him to intercede with the deities—although which deities and for what purposes during that period of time remains unknown. There is no information concerning the nature of the offerings and ceremonies. Also, there is no indication that the nobles invoked their own ancestors or even the coqui’s founding ancestors. It is evident, however, that when a catastrophic disease struck the community, the nobles invoked the recently deceased coqui to intercede with Pezeelao to remove the illness. Another document from the sixteenth century, cited by Oudijk (2000: chapter 4), states that two individuals from Teitipac were in charge of two different tombs. Diego Quyebelachi was in charge of a tomb called coquytao (Coqui tao, or great lord) that had idols, precious stones, and gold jewels in it. Francisco Tixe was in charge of a tomb called Pecheçopalache that also had idols, precious stones, and gold jewels in it. Although not specified in the document, it is likely that rituals were performed invoking the ancestors buried in these tombs to intercede with the deities. In addition, it provides the names

of the tombs and that specific living people, probably their direct descendants or priests, were in charge of them. One presumably contained the remains of a great coqui and the other may have contained the remains of a noble family. Fray Pedro de los Ríos, who was in Coatlán from AD 1547–1548 (Quiñones-Keber 1995:131), notes the Zapotecs “honored their dead in a way almost like the Spaniards for they built a tomb . . . and placed much food around it” (Quiñones-Keber 1995:254). He further states, “after the bodies had been eaten away, they unearthed the bones from the tomb and put them in ossuaries made of mortar in the patios of their temples” (Quiñones-Keber 1995:254). Fray Pedro appears to have observed the tombs in the patios of temples with disarticulated bones within them, and he assumed that these bones came from previous burials made elsewhere. Archaeological evidence from Mitla and Yagul supports his comments regarding the tombs being located in the plazas of temple complexes. But the disarticulated bones in these tombs do not come from reburying individuals who were buried in a different place but from the Zapotec practice of moving the bones of earlier interments in the tombs to make room for later burials. Nevertheless, Fray Pedro confirms the archaeological evidence that in Prehispanic times the elite were buried in tombs in the plazas of temple complexes, and these tombs were true ossuaries, some having as many as thirty or more individuals buried in them. These tombs were probably where the elite ancestors were invoked in ceremonies carried out by temple priests in the plazas of the temple complexes during Prehispanic times. Apart from ceremonies invoking deceased coqui at their gravesites, evidence shows that stone statues of ancestors were produced. The Relación de Nexapa states that many stone statues of ancestors were revered (Santamaría and Canseco 1579:34). It seems highly probable that these statues represented deceased coqui and xonaxi, but it is possible that they included ancestors of nobles as well. Unfortunately, the Relación de Nexapa is not specific on whose ancestors the statues represented, or if nobles made offerings and performed rituals before these statues invoking them to intercede with the deities, as they most probably did. Burgoa’s (1989: II, 355) description of Don Juan Cortés (Cociyopi II), coqui of Tehuantepec, acting as the high priest performing sacrifices and ceremonies before some “idols” on an altar within his palace, suggests the possibility that these idols were statues of his ancestors. The fact that the

sacrifices and ceremonies took place in his palace and that he was acting as high priest accompanied by temple priests (huia tao, copa pitao, and pigaana) makes it seem likely that he was leading ceremonies invoking his ancestors to intercede with the deities. But this is uncertain. The ceremonies Don Juan performed involved burning incense and sacrificing animals and birds. With regard to invoking ancestors or deceased coqui as intermediaries, the Relación de Chichicapa makes no distinction between offerings to deities and offerings to intermediaries or ancestors. In Chichicapa they worshipped Pichana Gobeche (Pezeelao?) and his intermediary, Pichanato, to whom they offered presents and sacrifices, such as drawing blood from their ears, nose, tongue, and genitals, and they also sacrificed dogs, quail, turkeys, and all the animals that they hunted in the mountains; they sacrificed the hearts of those Indians that they captured in war and ate the rest. It was customary that the heart of whatever they hunted or caught had to be sacrificed to the idols and the remainder they ate; they could not eat until they had sacrificed the heart to the deity or his intermediary32 (Espíndola 1580:117). Other documents that cite probable deified coqui as “gods” list a number of ceremonies and offerings. In Coatlán, they worshipped Benelaba (7 Rabbit) and Xonaxi Belachina (3 Deer), probably a deified coqui and xonaxi, represented by two large stone statues in a cave, to whom they sacrificed dogs, turkeys, quail, and male and female war captives whose hearts they cut out; the men were offered to him and the women to her (Espíndola 1580:134). These statues were probably removed from a Prehispanic temple or the ritual area of a coqui’s palace following the conquest and placed in the cave for safekeeping. In Tlalixtac, they worshipped Coquihuani, who, as mentioned, was probably a deceased coqui who was an intermediary with the deities. They sacrificed children and men to him as well as quail feathers, quail, dogs, and macaw feathers. It was their custom to get drunk and dance in front of this idol with their typical musical instruments (Del Río 1580:179). In Tetiquipa, they worshipped two brothers who were gods, Guatacayo and Guatacazio, probably deceased and deified coqui. They offered them blood that they drew from their tongues and ears. They sacrificed men, who were for the most part war captives, and took out their hearts and offered them to the gods. They also sacrificed quail, macaws, dogs, and turkeys (Salas 1580:180). In Cozautepec,

they worshipped a god called Tiacahua, probably a deceased and deified coqui. They offered him blood that they drew from their tongues and ears. Sometimes they sacrificed people and offered their hearts to the god. Usually, they offered their god the blood of birds and animals (Salas 1580:185). SACRED BUNDLES, OR QUIÑA “The sacred bundle was a central element in Mixtec religion (and Mesoamerican religion in general): it contained a relic or other object of religious value as a symbol of a deity or deified ancestor. . . . the sacred bundle is a cult object that serves to legitimize the power of the dynasty” (Anders, Jansen, and Pérez 1992:87–88n8). Sacred bundles are illustrated in Codex Nuttall (1975) (figure 4.3a) and in Codex Borgia (1992) (figure 4.3b), the latter of which is discussed by Byland (1993:xxiii–xxvi). Like the Aztecs, Maya, and other peoples of Mesoamerica, the Zapotecs possessed sacred bundles. Among the Mixtecs, a high priest was placed in charge of the ruler’s sacred bundles (Pohl 1994:41), but it is unknown if the Zapotec high priest curated the sacred bundles of the coqui.

Figure 4.3. Sacred bundles in the codices: (a) Lord 12 Alligator carrying the sacred bundle on his back, Codex Nuttall (1975:2); (b) an opened sacred bundle with spirits emerging from it, Codex Borgia (1993:42, Plate 36).

Oudijk (2002:77) reports that Zapotec coqui and nobles kept sacred bundles, or quiña, containing objects relating to their ancestors. He cites an AD 1560 document accusing four men (Andrés Pérez, Juan Yupi Quytela, Juan Pilopia, and Juan Tibeo) of performing rituals and sacrifices in a cave near Teitipac involving a painted sacred bundle, feathers, precious green stones, and a ceramic pot (Oudijk 2000: chapter 4). He also cites another sixteenthcentury document from Teitipac, which states that a “Diego Bazquez” had a sacred bundle that contained a small carved yellowish stone “idol” the size of a finger (certainly a penate, see figure 6.6c) and a round green stone, probably a jade-like bead or disk (Oudijk 2000: chapter 4).33 Likewise, Romero-Frizzi (1994:237–38) cites an AD 1565 document stating that 300 sacred bundles were found in a cave (Cueva del Diablo) in a high mountain near Mitla.34 Unfortunately, the nature of the rituals and sacrifices relating to these sacred bundles is not specified in the document. Oudijk (2000: chapter 4) also cites an early eighteenth-century document from the Sierra Juárez that more fully reports the ceremonies involving a sacred bundle. At the foot of a mound at a site called Yabesoa is a hole in the form of a cave in which a sacred bundle was found. Sacrifices dedicated to this sacred bundle involved decapitating turkeys and burning incense. The whole town attended these ceremonies. The colaní, or community priests (see chapter 7), who led the ceremonies, had the men and women bathe themselves and refrain from sexual intercourse for three days preceding the event. After decapitating the turkeys, probably smearing their blood on the sacred bundle, and burning copal incense, the turkeys were cooked and eaten with tortillas that each member of the community brought. They also drank pulque. Before eating or drinking, however, each member of the community had to tear off a piece of a tortilla and throw it in the hole with the sacred bundle. The ceremony was conducted to strengthen the members of the community and remove the epidemic that the community was experiencing. The sacred bundle is described as a rounded cube that contained four flint spear points (sacrificial knives?), four small idols with distinct features (penates; see figure 6.6c), and other lustrous stones.35 The purpose of this eighteenth-century ceremony was the same as the one at the grave of the coqui in Ozolotepec in the sixteenth century—that is, to remove an epidemic that had plagued the community.

José Alcina Franch (1972:37–38) cites another part of the same eighteenthcentury document relating to the town of Lachirio (see figure 8.1 for location), in the Sierra Juárez, in which two more of these quiña are described, apart from the one above. The two were kept in a box by the family of Juan Martín, who stated that a hundred years earlier his great-grandfather, whose Zapotec name was Yailaha, brought them to Lachirio from the town of Yaxachi (see figure 8.1 for location). Juan Martín refers to the sacred bundles as the “root and trunk of their ancestry.”36 These two sacred bundles were formed from the leaves of a tree called yagaguichi in Zapotec. The first bundle contained a small basket with two ears of corn tied with a ribbon made of the same leaves with three lustrous stones (greenstones?) hanging from the ribbon. It also included a small package made of the same leaves that contained a cotton cloth wrapped around some chilies, chía seeds, beans, and pumpkin seeds. The second sacred bundle contained various small bunches of pine needles, two lustrous stones, some feathers, and a small shell wrapped in a black rag. Both bundles were stained with blood from turkeys.37 Although the documents do not specify that the families who had these sacred bundles were nobles, it seems likely that they were. It is evident that the sacred bundles represented their ancestors because of the statement that they were the “root and trunk of their ancestry.” Likewise, it is apparent that they sacrificed turkeys to their ancestors, as represented by the sacred bundles, because the document states that turkey blood stained the bundles. However, it is not known from the documents if these sacrifices were made to invoke the ancestors as intermediaries with the deities, if they were simply in honor of their ancestors, or if both types of activities occurred. Invoking ancestors, whether at gravesites, before their statues, or through sacred bundles, was clearly an elite activity that legitimized the status of nobles before the community. It is noteworthy that during colonial times, elite ancestors were invoked before the entire community in crisis situations. The horrible epidemics that decimated communities following the conquest through diseases introduced by the Spaniards led nobles, accompanied by community priests (colaní), to invoke elite ancestors to intercede with the deities (principally Pezeelao) to remove the disease. In Prehispanic times, although communities probably faced some contagious diseases and epidemics, it seems more likely that Zapotec communities more frequently experienced episodic or

prolonged droughts affecting corn harvests (Winter 2008; Lind and Urcid 2010:334–39). In this regard, the studies of Sellen (2002; 2011), revealing the plethora of symbols relating to water, maize, cornfields, and blood that decorate the effigy urns of the Classic period, reflects this latter type of crisis that probably led nobles to perform ceremonies in temples before the public, invoking the elite ancestors to intercede with the deities (principally Cociyo) to end the drought and bring rains.38

Notes 1. Burgoa, who was born in Oaxaca in AD 1600 to a wealthy Spanish family descended from the first conquistadores in Mexico, was fluent in both Mixtec and Zapotec. In AD 1625 he obtained the rank of priest in the Dominican Order. He wrote his Geografía Descripción in Zaachila, where he was vicar until his death in AD 1681 (Dahlgren 1989:vii–ix). His book, published in two volumes in AD 1674, focuses on Spanish priests of the Dominican Order who converted the Indians and established churches throughout Oaxaca. Only incidentally does he refer to the Indians and their religious beliefs. Return to text. 2. “Papa o sacerdote del demonio, que solo el entraua en sus sancta sanctorum do estauan los ydolos a offrecer sacrificio” [o] “sacerdote summo o papa” (Smith Stark 2002:138). Return to text. 3. “diré lo que he sabido de papeles que han llegado a mis manos, y tradiciones de indios viejos que dieron a religiosos” (Burgoa 1989: II, 121). Return to text. 4. “aquí fueron los sacerdotes sumos tan absolutos y superiores, que los reyes de Teozapotlán [Zaachila] les cataba veneración y respeto, teniéndoles por tan inmediatos a los dioses” (Burgoa 1989: II, 121). Return to text. 5. Many of the seventeenth-century sources refer to Zapotec priests as speaking in tongues (hablar muy entre dientes) so that those around them did not understand what they were saying (see Balsalobre 1988). Return to text. 6. Burgoa uses the term “señoras solteras,” which implies mature single women and not young virgins. Return to text. 7. Cociyopii has traditionally been considered the indigenous Zapotec name of the king of Tehuantepec at the time of the conquest. Cortés ordered that Cociyopii be baptized, and Cociyopii took the Christian name Don Juan Cortés. Although Whitecotton (1990:119–21) has questioned this traditional interpretation of Don Juan’s indigenous Zapotec name as Cociyopii, Oudijk (2000: chapter 3) has clearly demonstrated that he was Cociyopii II. Furthermore, it is clear from the Relación de Teguantepec (Tehuantepec) that the Don Juan Cortés that Burgoa refers to was the king of Tehuantepec at the time of the conquest (Torre de Lagunas 1580:114). These events Burgoa is discussing relative to the Huipatoo relate to the sixteenth century, specifically to AD 1560–1561, when Don Juan was brought before the Inquisition. He died in AD 1562 (Oudijk 2000: chapter 3). Return to text. 8. “del gran adoratorio de Mitla los sacerdotes mayores como pontífices, a quienes llaman Huipatoo en su lengua que quiere decir grande atalaya, y el que lo ve todo” (Burgoa 1989: II, 350). Return to text. 9. “Papa o sacerdote otro menor” (Smith Stark 2002:139). Return to text. 10. “cuando le habían de sacrificar hombres se doblaban las ceremonias y sus ministros, tendían la víctima sobre una gran losa y descubriéndole el pecho, con

unos ravajones de pedernal, se lo rasgaban, entre estremecimientos horribles del cuerpo, y le descubrían el corazón, que le arrancaban con el alma, que se llevaba el demonio, y ellos el corazón al gran sacerdote, para que lo ofreciese a los ídolos” (Burgoa 1989: II, 123). Return to text. 11. “otros sacerdotes menores, que llaman Copa vitoo, guarda de los dioses y asi llaman a los ministros y sacerdotes mercenarios agora” (Burgoa 1989: II, 350). Return to text. 12. “todos los que habían de llegar a sus aras, se había de negar totalmente a la lascivia . . . y todos cuantos se dedicaban para el ministerio del altar, desde niñez . . . llamábanlos en su lengua vijanas que propiamente quiere decir dedicados a los dioses . . . la [obligación] de estos niños vijanas así señalados, era aprender los ritos y ceremonias en el culto y servicio de los ídolos en especial de los más célebres adoratorios para donde los criaban apartados de los que no recibían para esta dignidad y eran todos hijos segundos de los caciques y principales y de ordinario se hallaban muchos con esta marca” (Burgoa 1989: II, 167–68). Return to text. 13. However, the Relación de Teticpac states that Çetoba means “peña sobre peña” (large rock over large rock) (Pérez de Zamora 1580:110). Return to text. 14. “Tenyan este . . . pueblo casa publica para sus dioses . . . en dias situados que para ello tenyan, les çacrificaban . . . y para hazer los dichos sacrifiçios tenian diputados yndios que eran como ‘çaçerdotes’ que ellos llamaban bigañas” (Espíndola 1580:127–28). Return to text. 15. “tenyan casa publica do tenyan sus ydolos y en ella sus yndios a manera de çaçerdotes que ellos llamaban bigañas, los quales tenyan qüido del tenplo y de ofrecer los sacrifiçios que los demas sacrificaban, lo qual pasaba todo por su mano” (Espíndola 1580:138). Return to text. 16. “y . . . los ‘bigañas’ señalados, . . . nunca salyan del tenplo” (Espíndola 1580:139). Return to text. 17. “este pueblo de Tecuicuilco tenía un dios, que le nombraban en su lengua Coqui Bezelao que quiere decir ‘el principal de los diablos’. . . . Tenían particularmente su día señalado para su fiesta, y a ella acudían todos los naturales y llevaban ofrendas de codornices, plumas de colores y chalchihuites, que son piedra verdes . . . y algunas azules. Esta ofrenda entregaban a los sacerdotes que estaban dedicados para el servicio de aquel dios, [a] los cuales nombraba el señor o cacique natural, y estos hacían el sacrificio y sacrificios. Y demas de aquella ofrenda, ofrecían sangre que sacaban de la lengua y orejas. Y estas fiestas duraban desde la víspera del día en que habían de celebrar . . . hasta otro día a la misma hora. Y siempre los sacerdotes hacían los sacrificios de noche, y ellos solos entraban en el templo donde tenían este dios” (Villagar 1580:91). Return to text. 18. “el bigaña era como en nuestra Religión el Pontifiçe Romano cabeça de la vniversal yglesia. Tenia sus casas esta Vigana junto con estos hedefiçios” (Canseco

1580:152). Return to text. 19. “en la parte adonde tenían el ídolo principal desta villa y provincia, había ordinariamente un indio viejo y anciano, el cual tenían a cargo las ceremonias y costumbres que . . . guardaban y usaban, y el que hacía los sacrificios: y a éste le llamaban ‘papa’ y ‘sacerdote’ entre ellos” (Torre de Lagunas 1580:116). Return to text. 20. “del gran adoratorio de Mitla los sacerdotes mayores como pontífices, a quienes llaman Huipatoo en su lengua que quiere decir grande atalaya, y el que lo ve todo; y otros sacerdotes menores, que llaman Copa vitoo, guarda de los dioses” (Burgoa 1989: II, 350). Return to text. 21. “vido que acudieron muchos de diferentes pueblos con presentes y animalejos escondidos, y sahumerios, con otras cosas de las que solían usar en sus sacrificios y los viejos lo recibían y traían ocupados a los vijanas que son niños dedicados a aquel culto” (Burgoa 1989: II, 355). Return to text. 22. “llegaron a la puerta del D. Juan . . . y entrando dentro fueron pasando cuadras hasta llegar a la del adoratorio, que estaba con muchas luces y multitud de braseros humeando, unos ídolos puestos en un altar, al D. Juan vestido de alba y mitra de plumas como Sumo Sacerdote, a los seis viejos con ropas como almáticas, todas las manos llenas de sangre de los animales y aves que estaban sacrificando” (Burgoa 1989: II, 355). Return to text. 23. “halló el lugar dedicado para los ídolos, entre dos paredes, como pazadizo, muy barrido y formado como altar en que estaban cuatro ídolos de piedra verde, con figuras de hombre, aunque disformes, y espantosas en las facciones, con collares de oro y piedras de estima, muchos braseritos para sahumarlos, navajuelas de pedernal, para sacarse la sangre, que les carificaban, y otros instrumentos de sus ritos, muchas flores de varias especies, ya lacias . . . aquel idólatra tenía en su casa a un indio anciano, que como sacristán de los ídolos, cuidaba del adorno, y limpieza de aquella estrecha gruta, que hizo de propósito, porque no pudiesen entrar con él, no los viesen los que venían a sus sacrificios . . . el viejo sacristán desapareció . . . y jamás hubo rastro de él” (Burgoa 1989: II, 90–91). Return to text. 24. Cotton cloths, called mantas (coverlets) by the Spaniards, served as a form of money in Prehispanic Mesoamerica and were highly esteemed. Return to text. 25. “Adorauan . . . Coque Cehuiyo al qual ofrecian e sacrificauan perros e gallinas y indios, e fecho el sacrificio se emborrachauan e dancavan” (Canseco 1580:145). Return to text. 26. Unlike the ritual codices of the Borgia group that primarily deal with the tonalpohualli or “count of the days” of the ritual calendar, the Mixtec historical codices are known to come from the Mixteca and principally treat the history of Mixtec kings (iya), although they also include scenes of ritual activity and depict deities in creation roles. The Mixtec codices include Vindobonensis, Nuttall, Bodley, Selden, Colombino-Becker, and Egerton. Return to text.

27. Obligatory ritualized drinking is still common in villages in Oaxaca today, especially during the celebration of the community’s patron saint. Return to text. 28. John Pohl (personal communication, 2013) considers the veintenas, or twenty day “monthly” ceremonies, to be characteristic of Nahua, not Zapotec or Mixtec, religion. Return to text. 29. “en un engaño de entretenimiento para los niños, las noches de los finados, se pasaba con la maliciosa superstición de estos indios, con que el demonio les hacía profanar la piadosa ceremonia de la Iglesia, acerca de los sufragios y ofrendas que celebran por los fieles difuntos . . . de que han sacado los de poca capacidad burlar con esta ceremonia a los muchachos, persuadiéndoles a que pongan a sus cabeceras pan o frutas, que han de buscar los muertos, porque no los asombren y siendo ésto una puerilidad de inocentes, la convirtió Satanás en estos indios en una sentina de errores, porque desde su gentilidad se previno el enemigo a profanarles esta devota y piadosa ceremonia de los fieles; celebrada en el mesmo mes de noviembre, que es el duodécimo en su cómputo, de diez y ocho meses que dan al año” (Burgoa 1989: II, 390–91). Return to text. 30. “Gobernabanse los naturales deste . . . pueblo por vn caçique que se nonbraba Petela en su lengua çapoteca que en la nuestra quiere decir ‘Perro’ . . . abra diez o doze años que muryo; . . . despues de muerto, . . . un Dyos de los prençipales que abia en el, . . . y les sacrificaban como a Dyos; . . . [el sacerdote Católico] aberiguo tenerlo enterrado . . . puesto de manera que los huesos estaban en su proporçion y ansi los quemo públicamente; abra seis meses . . . una enfermedad muy grande que hubo en el . . . pueblo . . . que murieron mas de myll y duzientas animas, bolvieron los principales a sacrificar al . . . Petela en la çeniza de los huesos . . . por que fuese ynterçeçor con Besalao, ques el demonyo, y que aplacase la enfermedad” (Espíndola 1580:139–140). Return to text. 31. The Relación was written in 1580 and states that Petela died ten or twelve years earlier, which would be in 1568 or 1570. The sickness descended on the town six months after the Catholic priest burned Petela’s bones, and the Relación states that the sickness occurred three years earlier, which would be 1577. Therefore, the Catholic priest probably burned the bones in 1577, which means that the nobles had been making offerings at Petela’s gravesite from 1568 or 1570 to 1577, or for about seven to nine years before the Catholic priest burned the bones. Return to text. 32. “tenían otro Dyos que dezian llamarse Pichanato y este era como ynterçesor suyo para ante el Dyos Pichana Gobeche, a los quales ofreçian presentes y sacrificios, como era sacarse sangre de las orejas y de las narizes y de la lengua y de otros miembros, y les sacrificaban perros y codornices y gallinas y todos los animales que caçaban en los montes, y los que en la guerra mataban, les sacrificaban los coraçones y lo demás se comyan. Era costumbre que qualquier cosa que casacen o matasen o prendiesen abian de sacrificar a los dichos ydolos los coraçones y lo

demás se comyan, y no lo abian de comer hasta aver sacrificado” (Espíndola 1580:117). Return to text. 33. Penates are small carved stone human figures that most likely represent the ancestors of nobles (Lind 2008b:25–26). See figure 6.6c for an illustration of a penate. Return to text. 34. It is possible, but uncertain, that these sacred bundles belonged to the rulers of the Zapotec city-states and were curated for them by the high priest of Mitla who, perhaps, stored them in the cruciform tombs in the Patio of the Tombs (F) in the Group of the Columns or in the long temple halls around the plazas. The Cueva del Diablo, near Mitla, would have been a logical place to hide these sacred bundles from the Spaniards following the conquest. Return to text. 35. “que los sitios en que hacen dichos sacrificios es el primero uno llamado Yabesoa . . . al pie de dicho mogote esta un hollo enforma de cueva, en donde estaba una caxa . . . y que los sacrificios a ella dedicados eran para impetrar fortaleza, degollando Guaxolotes y perfumando dicha caxa con resina . . . a este sacrificio ha asistido todo el Pueblo y que al tiempo de hacerlo decía todo el Pueblo si eres poderosa, quita esta enfermedad que ha venido; que para ir a este sacrificio han observado bañarse hombres y mujeres y separarse por tres días los maridos de sus mujeres y después de hecho el sacrificio come la carne de dichos Guaxolotes y beban pulque; y comen dichos Guaxolotes con unas tortillas . . . que cada uno lleva; y en llegando al dicho sitio las juntan todas, y antes de comerla ba cada uno quitándole un pedasillo y hechandolo en dicho sitio y que los Maestros [colaní] ban dando a cada uno su tortilla y el que la recibe hecha pedasillo. Y aviendose traido por mandado de dicho Juez dicha caxa: que es redonda en forma de cubo . . . abierta se hallaron en ella quatro lansas de pedernal; quatro Ydolos pequeños de piedra con distintas figuras [penates]; Y otras piedras lustrosas . . .” (Oudijk 2000: chapter 4). Return to text. 36. “la raíz y tronco de su descendencia” (Alcina Franch 1972:37). Return to text. 37. “hallaron dos bultos formados de hojas que llaman yagaguichi. En uno hallaron una especie de canastillo que contenía dos mazorcas, liadas con una cinta del mismo papel y pendientes de él tres piedras lustrosas de la misma especie de las arriba. Otro envoltorio del mismo papel y en él unos pimientos, un poco de semilla al parecer chía, unos granos de frijol, unas pepitas de calabaza, todo envuelto en un pedazo de manta. El otro bulto de la misma forma tenía otro envoltorio en un trapo negro y dentro varios manojillos de, al parecer, hojas de Ocotal y dos piedras de lo dicho y unas plumas y un caracol pequeño. Y al parecer ambos dichos bultos están teñidos de sangre que estos declarantes dijeron ser de gallo” (Alcina Franch 1972:37–38). Return to text. 38. It should be noted that Sellen (2011) relates depictions of bloodletting and symbols of blood, maize in various stages of growth, and cornfields to basic Zapotec agricultural rituals during the Classic and Postclassic and not just to droughts. Return to text.

5 Zapotec Temples Mitla

Fray Juan de Córdova defines the term yoho pehe as “temple of the principal priest. Temple of the idols where the Pope or principal priest of the idols was . . . where many enter . . . because many go [there].”1 Thomas C. Smith Stark (2002:143) translates yoho as “house” and notes that Córdova states that pehe means “many enter.” This definition is consistent with the Relación de Miaguatlan and the Relación de Oçelotepeque, which refer to temples as “public houses” (Espíndola 1580:127; 138), indicating a place where the public goes or “many enter.”2 However, this does not mean the sacred sanctuary where the statues of the deities were kept. Instead, it refers to the plazas adjoining the temples that were part of the buildings. Few of the sixteenth-century Relaciones describe temples. The relaciones from Teococuilco and Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo) report temples on the tops of hills outside of the communities, and the latter also mentions the temple there as a “straw house” (“casa de paja”), probably indicating that it had a thatched roof (Villagar 1580:91; Zárate 1581:198). The Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla, however, gives a remarkably detailed description of the temples in Mitla: There are in this town of Miquitlan two buildings of great magnificence and fame [as fine as any] that there are in all of New Spain. They are situated a gun shot from the location of the town proper, toward the north part and on level land. These buildings are of white worked stone [and] they all rise to an equal height of thirty feet. The first building is a quadrangle. It has four halls, each of which has a length of 155 feet and a width of 28. The lintels of these doors are of white stone in one piece; they run 25 feet long and in width they are the height of a medium sized man. The woodwork [(i.e., the roofs)] of these rooms is of logs, thick as a man of medium girth. [The logs] are next to one another

without there being any other woodwork [between them]. Through the middle of these rooms runs a piece of timber (plank or beam) which is supported by columns of stone, one and a half yards thick. [These columns are made] of the same [stone] as the outside parts of [the building]. The [interior] height of these buildings is the same as that of all the buildings as seen from the outside. The walls of these buildings have strange ornamentation in the Roman style. The fretwork (grecas) is all of white stone the width of four fingers, some a little wider. The joining and setting of these stones [was accomplished by] placing one stone upon the other without lime mortar or any other materials. It is a cause of admiration that they did not make of wood that which is worked in stone.3 The courtyard [in front] of this first room has a hollow 21 feet in length [(i.e., a cruciform tomb)]. The courtyard rests above a cruciform [chamber] of columns of white, worked stone. The entrance way of this cruciform chamber is [of the] same [material]. It is two yards wide and two yards long. This place was used to bury the great lords of this kingdom. In the said rooms [above] was their meeting place to deal with the matters of their government; and also they would gather here to get drunk and have other pastimes of their paganism. On from this first building, a distance of ten paces, is another [building] of four rooms in a quadrangle of the same grandness and fine work as the first [quadrangle]. In this house they had their idols and [it was] where they would get together to deal with matters of law. Here they would make sacrifices and rites of their ignorance. Next to this quadrangle was located the house of the Bigaña that was like the Roman Pontiff, in our religion, head of the universal church. Attached to these buildings was the house of the said Vigana. Its ornamentation within and without was curious, all of stone, richly treated. It is of four sections (rooms), each one runs in length forty feet and in width ten [feet]. There are no windows or other apertures in these buildings to let in the light. Light can enter only through the doors. The lintels are of the same grandness as those [previously] referred to. These buildings date back to the ancient past [of these people]. According to the most common account,

they were built more than 800 years ago (Canseco 1580:151–52; English translation by Horcasitas and George 1955:22–23).4 Because these buildings still exist in Mitla, where archaeologists have referred to them as the Group of the Columns, it is possible to determine that Alonso Canseco’s somewhat rambling description of them is reasonably accurate. Although fairly well preserved today, in AD 1580, when Canseco saw them, they must have been in good condition because he could give an accurate description of their roofs, which no longer exist except where they have been reconstructed. Although Canseco’s description of the buildings in Mitla and their function was made nearly sixty years after the conquest, we are fortunate that the first Spanish missionaries to enter Mitla in AD 1533 made a brief description of them. In AD 1524, three years after the conquest, Fray Martín de Valencia led a group of twelve Franciscans, who modeled themselves after the twelve disciples of Christ, into Mexico. Among them was Fray Toribio de Motolinía, who would write Motolinía’s History of the Indians of New Spain between AD 1536 and AD 1541. In AD 1533 Fray Martín led a group of eight Franciscan missionaries to Tehuantepec. Of this expedition, Motolinía (1951:254) writes, During the seven months that Father Martín de Valencia was at Tecoantepec [Tehuantepec], he and his companions were busy teaching and instructing the people of that region, imparting Christian doctrine to them in their Zapotec tongue. Not only to these people did they preach and administer Baptism, but to all the races and towns that they visited. It was then that they passed through a town called Mietla, which in that language means “hell.” Here they found buildings which were more beautiful than in any other part of New Spain. One of them was a temple of the demon and a lodginghouse of the ministers. It was very imposing, especially a hall with an ornamented ceiling. The structure was of stone, on which interlacing lines and adornments were carved. The building had many portals. Each of these comprised three large stones, one on either side and one joining them across the top. The stones were huge and bulky. In the lodginghouse there

was another hall with round pillars. Each pillar was a monolith, so large in circumference that if two men put their arms around a pillar the tips of their fingers would scarcely meet; and these pillars were more than five fathoms in height. Although briefer than Canseco’s description, this account of Mitla upon the entry of the first missionaries in AD 1533 validates Canseco’s statement that the Hall of the Columns was a temple, with the residence or lodging house of the priests attached to it. In fact, it appears that these buildings remained occupied until AD 1560, when the priests (huia tao and copa pitao) were driven from them and fled to Tehuantepec to seek refuge with Don Juan Cortés (Cociyobi II), the coqui of Tehuantepec.5 It also indicates that the hall had a decorated ceiling. However, because the documents do not describe Zapotec temples—even Canseco’s and Motolinía’s descriptions leave a lot to be desired—the only recourse is to turn to the archaeological remains of these temples. CHRONOLOGY Before proceeding with an assessment of Zapotec temples and palaces, a brief discussion of the archaeological chronology is in order. In general, Mesoamerican archaeologists recognize a Classic period from AD 300 to AD 900 and a Postclassic period from AD 900 to AD 1521, the latter date being the time of the Spanish Conquest. These two periods are commonly divided into Early Classic (AD 300–600) and Late Classic (AD 600–900) and Early Postclassic (AD 900–1200) and Late Postclassic (AD 1200–1521). In the Valley of Oaxaca, the ceramics diagnostic of the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase (AD 900–1200) have only recently been identified in a series of studies by Robert Markens (2004; 2008; 2011). Before these studies by Markens, the Postclassic in the Valley of Oaxaca was identified archaeologically by ceramics diagnostic of the Late Postclassic but considered to represent the entire span of the Postclassic, from AD 900 to AD 1521, a time period referred to as Monte Albán V. These Late Postclassic ceramic diagnostics are now known to date from AD 1200 to AD 1521, a time period referred to as the Chila phase. Although the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase ceramic diagnostics were unknown to Alfonso Caso and Daniel

Fernando Rubín de la Borbolla (2003), Ignacio Bernal and Lorenzo Gamio (1974), and John Paddock (1955; 1957) during their excavations at Mitla and Yagul, their illustrations of tomb offerings help to identify Early Postclassic Liobaa ceramics in certain tombs associated with particular structures. Likewise, their classifications of Postclassic or Mixtec usually, but not always, serves to indicate Late Postclassic contexts because they generally used Late Postclassic ceramic diagnostics to identify Postclassic tombs and associated structures. Bernal and Gamio (1974:18) would occasionally refer to a tomb offering as “mixed Zapotec and Mixtec,” which I have found from the associated offerings to be Early Postclassic Liobaa phase. THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL REMAINS OF ZAPOTEC TEMPLES Unfortunately, the only Postclassic temples that have been excavated in the entire Valley of Oaxaca are at Mitla, Yagul, and the temples at Teotitlán del Valle and Zaachila that may have been partially explored. They appear to be quite distinctive from the Classic period temples of Monte Albán, as Cira Martínez (2002:248) was first to point out. She suggests that the Postclassic temples be termed TRPA structures (temple-residence-plaza-altar), in contrast to the designation of Classic temples as TPA structures (temple-plaza-altar), because of their unique architectural characteristics. The Classic temples (TPA) defined by Marcus Winter (1986) include a tall pyramidal platform base, about 10 meters high, with a wide staircase to the top, where a small, narrow single or double chamber temple room, about 3 meters wide and 9 meters long, is located. The temple usually faces a plaza about 30 meters on a side, with low platforms surrounding it and an altar in its center. Javier Urcid (2001: chapter 5; Lind and Urcid 2010:308–9) has interpreted the altars as ancestral memorials.6 The platform on the side opposite the temple is taller and wider than those flanking it and has a wide stairway that ascends it from outside the plaza and another on its opposite side that descends into the plaza. This is the only means of access into and out of the plaza (figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1. Temple-plaza-altar (TPA), Mound M, Monte Albán (modified after Villalobos 1986:50).

In contrast, the Postclassic Mitla and Yagul temples (TRPA) include long, low platforms, 2 to 3 meters high, with wide staircases ascending to three

central entryways that open into long temple halls located on three sides of large plazas with attached priestly residences (figure 5.2). The smaller Classic Monte Albán temple rooms probably housed the statues of only one or two Zapotec deities, but the long Postclassic temple halls could have housed statues of the whole pantheon of deities. However, the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla suggests that the statues of only two deities, Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, were located within the Hall of the Columns at Mitla (Canseco 1580:152), and the Relación de Miaguatlan also reports the presence of only two deities, Pitao Pezeelao and Cociyo, in the temple or “public house” there (Espíndola 1580:127).7

Figure 5.2. Temple-residence-plaza-altar (TRPA) complex (based on the Group of the Columns, Mitla).

Another factor distinguishing the TRPA temples is their decoration. The exterior walls of the temples and attached priestly residences at Mitla, Yagul,

and Teotitlán del Valle all have panels containing greca mosaics.8 Nicolas León (1901) illustrates at least twenty-two different greca designs that decorate the buildings at Mitla, although George Kubler (1975:175) believes that these may be reduced to eight basic designs (figure 5.3). Numerous stones that were individually shaped to fit precisely within the mosaic formed each greca design. William Henry Holmes (1895:264–65) estimated that as many as a million individually shaped stones were used in the greca mosaics decorating the buildings at Mitla. The panels in which the grecas were placed were painted a dark red and the grecas were painted white so they stood out in sharp contrast to the darker background. Double cornices framed the panels of grecas.9

Figure 5.3. Different greca mosaic designs from Mitla (after Kubler 1975:103, figure 27).

Although the meaning of the greca designs is somewhat of an enigma, several interpretations have been offered. Holmes states,

It is not impossible that all the motives were symbolic and served to suggest to the builders some mythologic conceptions appropriate to the building or place. I have even been led to surmise, in view of the universality of symbolism in the native art, that possibly the decorated panels extending around the buildings represent the markings of the body of a serpent deity, and that the doorways, with their teeth-like pillars stand for the mouth of the creature (Holmes 1895:250). Howard Leigh (1958:4; personal communication, 1979) viewed the different greca designs as symbols of the earth, the sky, the cardinal directions, clouds, and lightning (figure 5.4). Kubler (1975:175), noting that the place sign for the important Mixtec yuhuitayu (city-state) of Tilantongo is a black and white greca frieze, suggests that different greca designs may represent the place signs for different city-states. John M. D. Pohl proposes that they are similar to textile designs used as mnemonic devices for storytelling by Tzotzil Maya women weavers from Chiapas. “When they are ‘stacked’ on top of one another on a garment, they resemble the frieze arrangements at Mitla” (Pohl 1999:182). The greca designs in this view may represent parables relating to different deities or stories relating important events. Markens (2013) recently presented a convincing analysis of the stepped greca (see figure 5.4d), interpreting it as a “water serpent.” He notes the presence of the stepped greca in elite contexts such as palaces, tombs, and polychrome vessels and points to its symbolic association with rulers in their role as rainmakers, “a pillar of their political power.” To this I would also add its association with temples and temple priests.

Figure 5.4. Howard Leigh’s interpretation of some basic greca mosaic designs: (a) Earth; (b) Sky; (c) Cardinal Directions; (d) Clouds; (e) Lightning.

TEMPLES AND PALACES

Although the Mitla Group of the Columns and the Yagul Council Hall (Sala del Consejo) are considered temples in this study, they have not generally been recognized as temples. The archaeological literature is full of references to the Mitla “palaces” and archaeologists have dubbed the Yagul temple a “Palace” (Paddock 1955:25) or “Council Hall” (Bernal and Gamio 1974:9). In the Relación de Miaguatlan and the Relación de Oçelotepeque the Spanish magistrate Nicolás Espíndola (1580:127; 138) refers to the temples in each of these communities as a “public house” (casa pública). This indicates that to him they looked more like large public buildings than temples. It also suggests that these types of Postclassic Zapotec temples were not restricted to Mitla, Yagul, Zaachila, and Teotitlán del Valle but might occur in Miahuatlán and Ozolotepec as well. However, more traditional Mesoamerican-style temples (TPA), like those of Classic Monte Albán, also occur in Postclassic Zapotec sites such as Guiengola, Mitla, and Yagul (Winter 1986:57–58). Possible Postclassic TPAs at the latter two sites will be examined in this book. Nothing is ever easy in archaeology, and this is especially true when trying to distinguish Zapotec palaces from temples. The distinction between temples and palaces among the Postclassic Zapotecs is not easy, nor, for that matter, is the distinction between Late Classic Zapotec temples and palaces. For example, two Late Classic temples (TPAs), System IV and Mound M, at Monte Albán are virtually the same as a Late Classic palace (PPA, or palace-plazaaltar), Mound 195-System 195, at Lambityeco built in ca. AD 800 (figure 5.5). The difference between them is that the Monte Albán systems have typical temple rooms on top of their pyramids, but the Lambityeco palace has an elite residence with a tomb on top of its pyramid (Lind 1994a). This indicates that Zapotec temples and palaces have a long history—over 700 years—of being very similarly structured. For this reason, it is necessary to carefully compare the structures from Mitla and Yagul in order to determine the distinctive features that characterize Postclassic Zapotec temples that would distinguish them from Postclassic Zapotec palaces. This chapter examines these structures in Mitla and chapter 6 discusses the structures of Yagul.

Figure 5.5. Late Classic Xoo phase Monte Albán temples (TPA) and Lambityeco palace (PPA) (redrawn after Winter 1986:52).

THE MITLA STRUCTURES Mitla had an estimated population of over 10,500 persons (Kowalewski et al. 1989:321) and was the capital of a city-state (queche) during the Late Postclassic. Archaeologists have defined five different groups of structures in Mitla. Holmes (1895:235) initially named these groups of structures and identified their component parts with letters and numbers (figure 5.6). The northernmost group is called the Group of the Catholic Establishment (or more commonly, the Church Group), which is composed of three quadrangles labeled “A,” “B,” and “C,” from north to south, with the buildings around them numbered from 1 to 11. Next is the Group of the Columns (described above by Canseco), with its three quadrangles labeled “D,” “E,” and “F” and the buildings around them numbered from 12 to 23. Then comes the Arroyo Group, composed of three quadrangles labeled “G,” “H,” and “I” and the buildings

around them numbered from 24 to 35. The Adobe Group has a single quadrangle, labeled “J,” with the buildings around it numbered from 36 to 39.

Figure 5.6. Groups of structures at Mitla (modified after Holmes 1895).

The South Group consists of three quadrangles with mounds around them, as shown in an AD 1831 plan by the German architect Eduard Mühlenpfort (figure 5.7). However, by the time Holmes observed and drew plans of them in AD 1895, the south quadrangle (here labeled “M”) and the mounds around it had disappeared, and the mound (46) on the west side of Quadrangle L no longer existed. Holmes called the middle quadrangle K and numbered the buildings around it from 40 to 43. He named the north quadrangle L and numbered the two mounds still existing on its north and east sides 44 and 45, respectively. As will become evident, however, Quadrangle K is either a Classic period TPA or PPA, a point that will remain uncertain until the excavation of the top of its pyramid.

Figure 5.7. Mühlenpfordt’s plan of the South Group, Mitla (redrawn after Robles 1986: 23, figure 10).

The Prehispanic and early colonial community of Mitla was located on the south side of the Río Mitla. All the groups of structures are located on the

north side of the river, upslope from the community, except for the South Group, so-called because it is on the southern bank of the river. All, except the South Group, then, were isolated and separated from the community and stood on high ground overlooking it, a pattern mentioned for Postclassic Zapotec temples in the Relaciones of Teococuilco and Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo). As the South Group was on the northern edge of the community, it will be discussed first. THE SOUTH GROUP Mühlenpfort’s plan shows the composition of the South Group as three quadrangles arranged next to one another in a north to south direction (figure 5.7). Excavations by Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:354) demonstrate conclusively that the central quadrangle (K) was initially built during the Classic period, and it seems likely that the north (L) and south (M) quadrangles were added at a much later date during the Postclassic. Originally, then, the South Group consisted only of Quadrangle K (figure 5.8).

Figure 5.8. The South Group at Mitla, showing Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation units (modified after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:396, plano).

The main pyramid (41) of Quadrangle K is located on the east side of the plaza (K) and is about 12 meters high. It measures about 45 meters by 35 meters at its base (Robles 1986:18) and 25.3 meters by 18 meters on its flat top (Holmes 1895:274). The north platform (40) measures about 26 meters by 8 meters and is about 3.5 meters high. The west platform (43) is about 3.6 meters high and its top measured about 7.6 meters wide; like the south platform (42), it exhibited a great deal of destruction (Holmes 1895:275). In AD 1895 Holmes noted that a “modern” dwelling already existed inside the plaza and that Quadrangle K was undergoing rapid destruction. A dwelling still occurs within the plaza today, and its south platform (42) no longer exists (Robles 1986:18–19, figure 1). Excavations by Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:354) beneath the plaza floor (K) in front of the west platform (43) uncovered a sacrificial burial made to dedicate the structure (figure 5.9). Burial 1 consisted of two adult male individuals and was found sealed under the earliest plaza floor (K) that dated to the Early Classic Pitao phase (ca. AD 350–550) (Bernal 1966:350). A second sacrificial burial of an adult male, Burial 2, to dedicate a reconstruction of the structure, was found sealed beneath the most recent plaza floor in front of the east pyramid (41) and dated to the Late Classic Xoo phase (ca. AD 650–850) (Bernal 1966:350).

Figure 5.9. Quadrangle K of the South Group, Mitla, after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavations (modified after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:418, figure 24).

Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:418, figure 24) determined that the plaza (K) measures 26.75 meters from north to south and 25.75 meters from east to west (figure 5.9). They also excavated an altar located 7 meters west of the center of the main pyramid (41) in the eastern sector of the plaza. The altar

measures 6.75 meters from north to south and 7.25 meters east to west and consists of two tiers that were preserved to a height of 1.25 meters, where remains of a plaster floor occur atop it (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:379).10 In addition, they located stairways from the plaza to the north (40), south (42), and west (43) platforms. The stairway ascending the south platform (42) from the plaza (K) below was fully excavated. It was not centered on the platform but located east of the center and actually was aligned to the center of the altar in the plaza (figure 5.9). The stairway consists of four steps, is 3.8 meters wide, and has balustrades on either side that measure 1.2 meters wide. At the top of the stairway is a plaster floor that corresponds to the front part of the top of the platform, which is 1 meter above the plaza (K) floor (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:379–80). The platform walls occur on either side of the stairway but were not followed to determine the actual length of the platform, and no excavations were done to determine the width of the platform. The stairway ascending the west platform (43) from the plaza (K) was not fully excavated. However, it is centered on the west platform and consists of three preserved steps. The discovery of a plaster floor on top of the platform above the steps indicates the height of the platform was 1.5 meters high (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:380). No excavations were done to determine the actual length or width of the platform. The north platform (40) was more fully excavated, but no plan or measurements of the actual platform are presented. Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:380) report finding the first step of the stairway ascending the north platform (40) from the plaza (K), and from the location of their excavation pit it appears to be near the center of the platform. However, they do not illustrate the stairway in their plan (figure 5.9) and only mention that its first step was 22 centimeters high. They also report excavating the entire north wall of the platform and locating the northeast and northwest corners but provide no drawings or measurements of the platform (see Caso and Rubin de la Borbolla’s excavation unit 44 in figure 5.8). Nevertheless, from the location of their excavation trenches, it can be estimated that the north platform measured about 26 meters by 8 meters. Although a Classic structure, Quadrangle K was reutilized during the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase. Beneath the plaza (K), at the center of the east side at the foot of the major pyramid (41), Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla

(2003:362–64; 380; 414–18, figures 19–24) found Tomb 7 (figure 5.9). The tomb clearly postdated the construction of the plaza because the uppermost plaza floor was broken through to build it. Furthermore, construction of the tomb partially disturbed Burial 2, the adult male who had been sacrificed to dedicate the Late Classic Xoo phase structure. The tomb was oriented west to east, with its door in the west, a flat roof near its front, and a vaulted roof in its back section (figure 5.10).11 The tomb had an open antechamber in front of it, with walls and a plaster floor but no roof. The walls and floors were covered with red plaster. Inside the tomb were three adult individuals, two primary burials and one disturbed primary. Among the offerings were nine ceramic vessels diagnostic of the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase, a white jadite plaque, and five stone beads (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:415, figures 22 and 23).12 Because no tombs occur in Classic period TPAs, the presence of Tomb 7 indicates that Quadrangle K was reutilized, at least for funerary rituals for nobles, during the Early Postclassic.

Figure 5.10. Tomb 7, Liobaa phase (AD 900–1200), Plaza K, South Group, Mitla (modified after Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:415, figure 20): (top) plan of Tomb 7; (middle) profile of Tomb 7; (bottom) frontal view.

Figure 5.11. Tomb 3c, Plaza K, South Group, Mitla (after Bernal 1966:359, figure 5, 360, figure 6).

In front of the north platform (40), Bernal (1963; 1966:350–51, figures 5 and 6) found Tomb 3c.13 It includes three crypts on the east, north, and west sides of a small antechamber accessed from the plaza above by a stairway on its south side (figure 5.11). The small square floor of the antechamber is sunk

below the level of the crypt floors and has a circular column in its center to support a roof. The crypt roofs are flat and formed by large stone slabs that had collapsed over the floors. The interior walls of the crypts had also collapsed, and greca mosaics had adorned them. The floors, grecas, and all the walls of the tomb were covered with red plaster (Bernal 1963:227–28). A large number of human bones—all disturbed primaries—were found in the tomb together with the complete skeleton of a dog (Bernal 1963:226). Unfortunately, the crypts contained only a small offering, including miniature claw vessels, a miniature bowl, five obsidian blades, a perforated shell, and a jadite bead (Bernal 1963:230). Miniature vessels like these are characteristic of the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase (Herrera 2000), and Bernal (1963:232) obtained an uncalibrated radiocarbon date of AD 840 ± 110 from the tomb.14 Bernal (1966:350) notes that a hall (in the sense of a long, narrow room) like those of the Group of the Columns had been built above Tomb 3c atop the north platform (40) of Quadrangle K. Holmes (1895:275) observed the remains of this hall in AD 1895 and describes it as follows: “The cement floor and portions of the walls of the superstructure are still in place. The length inside was about 80 feet [24.4 meters], and the width 15 feet [4.5 meters]. A partition wall extended the full length of the building, dividing the space into two parts, one being 5 feet [1.5 meters] wide and the other 8 [2.4 meters]. Traces of cross walls occur in two or three places, indicating a separation into rooms of unequal size.” Based on the data provided by Holmes, a hypothetical plan of the north platform with Tomb 3c beneath is presented in figure 5.12a.15

Figure 5.12. Plan and profile of the North Platform (40) of Quadrangle K, South Group, Mitla: (a) plan of Tomb 3c beneath hypothetical reconstruction of the North Platform (40) of Quadrangle K, South Group, Mitla; (b) profile of the North Platform (40) of Quadrangle K (modified after Bernal 1963:225).

Bernal’s profile of the north platform shows five superimposed floors (figure 5.12b). Bernal (1963:231) states that the uppermost floor (Floor 1)

corresponds to the hall described by Holmes. The other four floors probably correspond to rebuildings of the platform during the Classic period. The lowest floor (Floor 5) belongs to the original Early Classic north platform. Floor 4 rests on 27 centimeters of fill placed atop Floor 5 and represents a rebuilding of the platform, probably in the Early Classic. Floor 3 sits atop 27 centimeters of fill placed over Floor 4 and may correspond to a Late Classic rebuilding of the platform. Floor 2 is atop 50 centimeters of fill placed over Floor 3 and corresponds to the final Late Classic north platform. Floor 1 rests on over 1.5 meters of fill placed on Floor 2 and represents the floor of the Postclassic hall described by Holmes. Bernal (1963:231) considers this hall atop the north platform (40) representative of a temple. Bernal (1963:231) believed that Tomb 3c was antecedent to the Late Postclassic cruciform tombs in the South Plaza (F) or the “Patio of the Tombs” of the Group of the Columns (see figure 5.29). The entrance to Tomb 3c, like the cruciform tombs in the South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns, was in the plaza in front of and beneath the stairs, which led to the hall above (figure 5.12a). It is apparent that the floor of the Late Classic period north platform (40) of Quadrangle K was covered with over 1.5 meters of construction fill and an Early Postclassic temple hall built atop it with Tomb 3c beneath it, both of which may have been Early Postclassic precursors to the Late Postclassic Group of the Columns, with its temple halls and great cruciform tombs, as Bernal astutely observed.16 During the Postclassic, Mesoamerican groups commonly used Classic period structures and objects for certain ceremonies (Hamann 2008). The Postclassic Zapotecs carried out ritual activities in the ruins of a Classic Xoo phase TPA atop the South Platform at Monte Albán (Herrera 2000). The Postclassic Mixtecs repaved a ceremonial plaza at the Classic ruins of Yucuñudahui in the Nochixtlán Valley of the Mixteca Alta (Spores 1972:125– 26). The Postclassic Cholultecas maintained a small temple to a rain deity atop the Classic period ruins of the Great Pyramid or Tlalchiualtépetl of Cholula (Lind 2008a:75; Rojas 1927:162–63). It is evident that Quadrangle K was reutilized during the Early Postclassic for both elite funerary rituals and religious ceremonies in the “new” temple hall built atop the north platform. Due to the lack of excavation, it is unknown if a Classic temple (TPA) or palace (PPA) or any Postclassic structures were built atop the Classic ruins of

the main pyramid (41), although remnants of a red plaster floor atop the pyramid were still visible when I visited it in 1980.17 With regard to Quadrangles L and “M,” there is much less information. Mühlenpfort’s AD 1831 plan shows three platforms around the north (44), east (45), and west (46) sides of Quadrangle L, with the south side bounded by the north platform (40) of Quadrangle K (figure 5.7). At the time Holmes drew his plan in AD 1895, the west platform (46) no longer existed. Forty years later, Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:380) excavated in the center of the east mound (45) and along its south, east, and west sides and found no structures or ceramics (see Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation units 45–48 in figure 5.8). They also dug near the southwestern end of the north mound (44) and found the plaster floor on the north side of the plaza (L) of this quadrangle (see Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation unit 49 in figure 5.8). Likewise, they located the plaster floor on the south side of the plaza (L) north of the north platform (40) of Quadrangle K (see Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation unit 44 in figure 5.8). However, the north wall of the north platform (40) of Quadrangle K did not have a stairway connecting it to the Quadrangle L plaza, indicating that this platform was separate and isolated from Quadrangle L. It is also apparent that entrances to the plaza of Quadrangle L occur only at its southeast and southwest corners (figure 5.7). Unfortunately, the absence of ceramics and structures in the east platform (45) of Quadrangle L and the fact that Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla do not report ceramics from their excavations of the plaza floor (L) means that Quadrangle L cannot be dated according to the period of its construction. Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:358) did dig a looted tomb—Tomb 3—just beyond the west end of the north platform (44) of Quadrangle L, at the edge of the Río Mitla (see Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla’s excavation unit 51 in figure 5.8). It was a T-shaped tomb with grecas on its walls, which clearly demonstrated that it dated to the Late Postclassic Chila phase (ca. AD 1200– 1521). The Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico recovered part of the looted offering from this tomb, including six gold bells and eight gold beads, suggesting, again, that it dated to the Late Postclassic Chila phase. Mühlenpfort also shows a quadrangle (“M”) to the south of Quadrangle K, which had three platforms around it on the east (47), south (48), and west (49) sides (figure 5.7). The north side of Quadrangle “M” was bounded by the south platform (42) of Quadrangle K. Again, this south quadrangle (“M”) no longer

existed when Holmes drew his plan. Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:381) excavated a pit in the approximate center of Quadrangle “M” and found a plaster floor that presumably belongs to its plaza (“M”) (see Caso and Rubin de la Borbolla’s excavation unit 50 in figure 5.8). Unfortunately, Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla do not mention ceramics from their excavations in either Quadrangle L or Quadrangle “M” and therefore do not date their plaza floors to either the Classic or Postclassic. Despite being composed of three quadrangles, the South Group is nothing like the other Mitla groups composed of three quadrangles. Clearly, Quadrangle K initially consisted of a Classic period TPA, whose ruins were reutilized in the Early Postclassic, and most likely, the quadrangles to the north (L) and south (“M”) were added during this time or in the Late Postclassic, as the presence of the Late Postclassic Tomb 3 near Quadrangle L suggests. THE ADOBE GROUP The Adobe Group is some distance north of the Río Mitla and about 250 meters west of the Group of the Columns (see figure 5.6). As Nelly Robles (1986:18) notes, it is in the Classic style of Monte Albán (TPA) that includes a large pyramidal platform (37) on the east side of a plaza (J), with an altar in its center and low platforms along its other three sides (figure 5.13). There is no evidence that grecas decorated any of its buildings. However, Paddock’s 1963 excavations there indicated that it was built during the Postclassic period in an area previously unoccupied (Paddock 1966a:213). Paul Schmidt (1963) also reports that the orientation of the pyramid (37) is 3 degrees east of north, making it the same as the Late Postclassic Group of the Columns; the Classic period Quadrangle K TPA of the South Group, on the other hand, is oriented 17 degrees east of north, making it the same as the Late Classic structures at Lambityeco.18 Unfortunately, the top of the pyramid (37) could not be excavated because a Catholic chapel called El Calvario had been built on it in AD 1674 (Robles 1986:21). Therefore, it is uncertain if it was a TPA or a PPA. If it is a Postclassic TPA, as seems most likely, then it represents a Postclassic Zapotec temple in the traditional Mesoamerican style, like the Classic Zapotec temples of Monte Albán.

Figure 5.13. Reconstruction of the Adobe Group, Mitla.

The pyramid (37) is on the east side of a plaza (J) and faces west. According to A. F. Bandelier (1884:288), its base measures 55.5 meters north to south and 41.9 meters east to west and it is 9.2 meters tall.19 “Its western

declivity is so steep as to be almost vertical; the eastern slope is very gradual” (Bandelier 1884:288). Schmidt (1963) notes that the pyramid consists of three tiers on its north and east sides; the south side is too badly damaged to determine its original state. The west side manifests only two tiers, which is probably why Bandelier noted that it was almost vertical, and the east side, with its three tiers, was very gradual in its slope. The stone walls along the bottom of the lowest tier are preserved for a length of 56.4 meters on the east side (Schmidt 1963) but only partially preserved on the north side. The stone walls at the base of the second tier are preserved all the way around the pyramid. The first two tiers of the pyramid contain a solid rock fill. The third tier contains a solid fill of adobes (hence the name Adobe Group), but no stone facing is preserved on this uppermost tier. Holmes (1895:273) estimates that the flat top of the pyramid measures 18 meters east to west and 24 meters north to south.20 The plaza (J) extending from the west base of the pyramid (37) is about 37 meters north to south by 36 meters east to west.21 The platforms around the plaza have a solid adobe fill, but much if not all of their stone facing has been stripped away. The platform (36) along the north side of the plaza is over 3 meters tall, about 8 meters wide, and at least 22.5 meters long in its current partially preserved state. The west platform (39) is over 3 meters tall, about 8 meters in width, and at least 26.5 meters long in its current state of preservation.22 Only a low ridge of earth marked the spot where the south platform once stood (Holmes 1895:273–74) and the altar in the center of the plaza is no longer visible. A prismatic monolith is located about 25 meters west of the west platform. This monolith is aligned to the center of the pyramid (figure 5.13), but its function is uncertain (Robles and Moreira 1990:91); perhaps it marked the winter or summer solstice. As Robles (1986:18) points out, the Adobe Group is in a deplorable state, with the buildings stripped of most of their stone facing, present-day houses built within the plaza and even up against the main pyramid, modern garbage dumps dug into the plaza and platforms, and part of the plaza used as a sports field. Little remains of this group to be described (figure 5.14).

Figure 5.14. Remains of the Adobe Group as of July 2011: (a) east side (back) of pyramid (37); (b) west side (front) of pyramid (37); (c) West Platform (39) of the Adobe Group; (d) North Platform of the Adobe Group.

Paddock’s excavations demonstrated that the Adobe Group was built during the Postclassic period, and its orientation is even the same as the Late Postclassic Group of the Columns. Therefore, there is little doubt that the structures in this group are Postclassic. Schmidt (1963) presents solid evidence that the pyramid (37) on the east side of the plaza (J) shows three phases of construction, which is one more than the Arroyo Group and two more than the Church Group and Group of the Columns. This suggests, but does not prove, that the structures of the Adobe Group (or at least its pyramid) were

the most ancient Postclassic structures built north of the Río Mitla. It is possible that it represents the oldest group of structures and may have been built during the Early Postclassic period. If it were the only group of structures at the time of its original construction, then the Adobe Group initially stood alone in its lofty position on isolated sacred grounds above the town. But whether it represents a temple complex (TPA), as seems most likely, or a palace (PPA) is unknown. THE MITLA “PALACES” The Arroyo Group, the Group of the Columns, and the Church Group are very similar structures (see figure 5.6) that have generally been referred to as the Mitla palaces. Each group is formed by three quadrangles that include two large plazas with buildings on three sides and rooms arranged around a residential patio attached to the north side. Likewise, all had the tops of the exterior walls of their buildings decorated with greca mosaics, although these are no longer preserved in the Arroyo Group. However, Holmes (1895:246) reports finding grecas that had fallen from the walls of the buildings of the Arroyo Group. Excavations by Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003) demonstrate conclusively that these three groups are Postclassic structures. The Church Group, the Group of the Columns, and the Arroyo Group are all built near bedrock and date to the Postclassic period, with no evidence of constructions corresponding to earlier periods beneath them. The buildings of the Arroyo Group in the south appear to be the most ancient of these three groups because they show at least two phases of construction. The remaining two groups, the Church Group in the north and the Group of the Columns at the center, manifest only a single phase of construction (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:355–56). In the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla, Canseco (1580:153) states that the Group of the Columns is 800 years old. However, it must be remembered that the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica used the vigesimal system of counting by twenties, and 400 and 800 are common vigesimal designations. The number 400 years can be used to indicate a long time ago (like our hundreds of years ago) and 800 years can mean a very long time, (like our thousands of years ago). Therefore, when the Mitla Zapotecs told Canseco that the buildings were 800 years old, they most certainly indicated that the buildings were constructed

a very long time ago. As the excavations by Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003) demonstrate, the Mitla palaces date to the Postclassic, most likely the latter half of that period, the Late Postclassic. Certain terminology has been employed to distinguish the different types of buildings arranged around the quadrangles and the different types of quadrangles themselves. Buildings with a central entrance divided by pillars to form three entryways are referred to as halls (in the sense of long, narrow rooms) because they were probably used for formal gatherings, given their triple entryways. Buildings with a single central entrance are called rooms because of their probable use as residences. It should be noted that all measurements, which were made in July 2011 unless otherwise specified, record the interior dimensions of the halls and rooms. The quadrangles around which three halls were arranged are termed plazas because they are the largest quadrangles and were probably used for public purposes. Quadrangles with rooms around them are designated as patios because they are smaller quadrangles and probably served as private residential patios. Measurements for all the halls, rooms, plazas, and patios are presented in table 5.1. Table 5.1 Comparison of the sizes of patios, plazas, rooms, and halls of the Group of the Columns, Church Group, and Arroyo Group at Mitla (all measurements in meters).

Structures North patio

North room/hall South room East room West room North plaza North hall South hall East hall West hall

Group of the Church Group Arroyo Group Columns 9.4 × 9 (No 11.5 × 11.5(15.7 11 × 11(15.6 × raised × 15.7)* 15.6) walkways) 9.1 × 2.62 16 × 2.3 15.7 × 2.3 8.1 × 2.5 13.4 × 2.3 13.2 × 2.3 11.2 × 2.8 16 × 2.5 15.9 × 2.4 17.6 × 2.5 16 × 2.4 15.9 × 2.4 37.8 × 37.8 18.3 × 19.4 18.9 × 19.1 38 × 7 24.3 × 2.3 23.35 × 2.4 Entry platform None Entry platform 27 × 4† 20.6 × 2.3 19.8 × 2.4 27 × 4† 20.6 × 2.6 19.8 × 2.4

Structures South plaza North hall South hall East hall West hall

Group of the Church Group Arroyo Group Columns 35.8 × 35.9 20.1 × 18.6 19.1 × 19.1 26 × 2.5† 20.6 × 2.4 23.15 × 2.4 26 × 2.5† 20.5 × 2.4 Entry platform 34 × 7† 24.4 × 2.4 19.9 × 2.5 Entry platform Entry platform 20 × 2.4

*Incorporates raised walkways encircling the patio. †Measurements calculated from scale drawing in Robles and Moreira 1990:94, figure A.9.

THE ARROYO GROUP Because it shows two phases of construction, the Arroyo Group is evidently the oldest of the three groups (Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla 2003:369). It was located north of the Río Mitla and along the west side of an arroyo, or seasonal waterway, that descends from the mountains to join the river—hence its name, the Arroyo Group (see figure 5.6). The Arroyo Group is composed of two plazas with halls around them and an adjoining residential patio with rooms around it. Unfortunately, there is no recorded orientation with regard to magnetic north for the Arroyo Group, but it is assumed that the orientation was 3 degrees east of north, like the Adobe Group and the Group of the Columns (figure 5.15).

Figure 5.15. Reconstruction of the Arroyo Group, Mitla. *Orientation based on the Adobe Group and the Group of the Columns. **South entry platforms are hypothetically reconstructed.

The North Plaza (H) has halls on its north (28), east (29), and west (31) sides (figure 5.16). A raised walkway about 30 centimeters high and about 2 meters wide encircles the plaza. The halls are about 30 centimeters above the walkway but are not built on raised platforms. All the halls have central

entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.85 meters wide. At one time the halls probably had panels of greca mosaics decorating their exterior walls, but these no longer remain. The North Hall (28) is the largest (table 5.1). The back walls of the halls are not preserved to a height that would allow determination of the presence of niches at their centers and the doorjambs are stripped of their facings, making it impossible to determine if they contained holes, as occur in some halls. The south side was open, giving access to the plaza, probably over a low platform with stairs.

Figure 5.16. Halls around the North Plaza (H) of the Arroyo Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (28) of the North Plaza (H); (b) East Hall (29) of the North Plaza (H); (c) West Hall (31) of the North Plaza (H).

An entryway in the back (north) wall of the North Hall (28) opens into a narrow 1-meter-wide passageway that zigzags, giving access to the southeast corner of a residential patio. The patio (G) has four structures around it. A raised walkway about 25 centimeters high and 2.3 meters wide encircles the patio. The rooms, in turn, are raised 25 centimeters above the walkway, but none is built atop a platform. The North Hall (24) has a central entrance divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.85 meters wide, but the other rooms all have single entries at their centers. The east (25) and west (27) rooms are the largest (table 5.1). Apart from the north hall, obviously special given its central triple entryway, the remaining rooms were most likely residential quarters (figure 5.17).

Figure 5.17. Rooms around Patio G in the Arroyo Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (24) of Patio (G), note triple entryway; (b) East Room (25) of Patio (G); (c) South Room (26) of Patio (G), note entryway to patio; (d) West Room (27) of Patio (G).

The South Plaza (I) was built kitty-corner from the north plaza. Halls occur on the north (32), east (33), and west (35) sides of the plaza. A raised walkway about 25 centimeters high and 2 meters wide encircles the plaza. The halls are 30 centimeters above the walkway but not built atop raised platforms. The south side is open, giving access to the plaza, probably over a low platform with stairs. All the halls were most likely decorated with panels of greca mosaics on their exterior walls, but none of these remain. All have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.85 meters wide (figure 5.18).

Figure 5.18. Halls around the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (32) of the South Plaza (I); (b) East Hall (33) of the South Plaza (I); (c) West Hall (35) of the South Plaza (I).

The North Hall (32) is the largest (table 5.1). The back walls of the halls are not preserved to a height that would allow determination of the presence of niches at their centers and the doorjambs are stripped of their facings, making it impossible to determine if they contained holes, as occur in some halls. The lintels above the entrances to the East (33), West (35), and North (32) Halls of the South Plaza (I) are decorated with murals painted in red and white (Seler 1991: II:185). All murals will be discussed in chapter 9. Jesús Galindo (2008:308), an astronomer from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, notes that, when observed from the center of the South Plaza (I), the sun sets directly over the center of the lintel of the West Hall (35) on April 16 and August 25. These dates are exactly sixty-five days from the summer solstice (June 21), which suggests to him their relationship to the 65day Cociyo periods of the sacred calendar, although the relationship seems tenuous. He also reports that the center of the top of the pyramid (37) of the Adobe Group is aligned with the center of the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group, with only a 41’ deviation from stellar north (Galindo 2008:306), possibly indicating a special relationship between these two groups. THE CHURCH GROUP The name of the Church Group relates to the Church of San Pablo, built around AD 1590 (Robles 1986:21), which is inside its south plaza (Robles and Moreira 1990:98, figure A.10). The north and south plazas, unlike the Arroyo Group and the Group of the Columns, align with one another in a north to south direction instead of being kitty-corner (see figure 5.6). The back side of the North Hall (8) of the South Plaza (C) abuts the south side of the North Plaza (B), leaving entryways to the north plaza at its southeast and southwest corners (figure 5.19). No recorded orientation with regard to magnetic north has been reported for the Church Group, but it is assumed that the orientation was 3 degrees east of north, like the Adobe Group and the Group of the Columns.

Figure 5.19. Reconstruction of the Church Group, Mitla. *Orientation based on the Adobe Group and the Group of the Columns. **Hypothetical reconstruction of the entry platform.

The South Plaza (C) has halls on its north (8), east (9), and south (10) sides, with the west side open, giving access to the plaza, probably over a low platform with staircases. A raised walkway about 25 centimeters high and 2.27 meters wide encircles the plaza. The halls are about 30 centimeters above the raised walkway, but none is built atop a platform. All the halls have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.8 meters wide. The tops of the exterior walls of the halls are decorated with panels of greca mosaics. None has holes near the tops of its doorjambs, as occur in some halls, but all have niches at the centers of their interior back walls. The East Hall (9) is the largest (table 5.1) and has a niche (36 centimeters high, 55 centimeters wide, and 45 centimeters deep) located at the center of its interior back wall, 1.8 meters above the level of the floor (figure 5.20). The North Hall (8) also has a niche (40 centimeters high, 55 centimeters wide, and 48 centimeters deep) located at the center of its interior back wall, 1.8 meters above the level of the floor. The west end of the South Hall (10) was shortened from its original length of about 20.5 meters to 17.7 meters when the church was constructed. It has a niche (40 centimeters high, 55 centimeters wide, and 42 centimeters deep) at the center of the interior back wall, located 1.8 meters above the level of the floor. Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:379) mention traces of a mural in a very poor state of preservation on a wall of the South Hall (10).

Figure 5.20. Halls around the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (8) of South Plaza (C); (b) Niche in North Hall (8); (c) East Hall (9) of South Plaza (C); (d) Interior of East Hall (9) with niche; (e) South Hall (10) of South Plaza (C); (f) Niche in South Hall (10) (photos by Catalina Barrientos).

The North Plaza (B) has halls on its north (5), east (6), and west (7) sides. A raised walkway about 25 centimeters high and about 2 meters wide encircles the plaza (figure 5.21). The halls are about 25 centimeters above the walkway, but none is built atop a platform. All the halls have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.8 meters wide, and all have their exterior walls decorated with greca mosaics. None of the halls has a niche in its back wall or holes in the doorjambs, as occur in some halls. The North Hall (5) is the largest (table 5.1). The West Hall (7) was widened at its northern end and provided with an exterior entrance. These modifications took place during the construction of the Catholic Church, and this area was used as a rectory (Robles and Moreira 1990:100, figure A.11).

Figure 5.21. Halls around the North Plaza (B) of the Church Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (5) of North Plaza (B); (b) East Hall (6) of North Plaza (B); (c) West Hall (7) of North Plaza (B); (d) back wall of North Hall (8) of South Plaza (C)— note church built inside South Plaza (photos by Catalina Barrientos).

An entryway in the back (north) wall of the North Hall (5) opens into a zigzag passageway that leads to the southeast corner of a residential patio. The patio (A) has four structures around it (figure 5.22). A raised walkway about 25 centimeters high and 2.1 meters wide encircles the patio. The rooms are about 25 centimeters above the raised walkway, but none is built atop a platform (table 5.1). Panels of greca mosaics decorate the tops of the exterior walls of all the rooms except the east room (2), where they have been destroyed. None of the rooms has a niche in its back wall or holes in the doorjambs.

Figure 5.22. Rooms around the North Patio (A) of the Church Group, Mitla: (a) North Hall (1) of North Patio (A); (b) East Room (2) of North Patio (A); (c) South Room (3) of North Patio (A); (d) West Room (4) of North Patio (A) (photos by Catalina Barrientos).

The North Hall (1) has a central entrance divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each about 1.8 meters wide, which indicates that it is a special room, like the North Hall (24) of Patio G in the Arroyo Group. The hall and has a recessed lintel above its entryway, 12.3 meters long and 34 centimeters high, with murals in it. The east (2), south (3), and west (4) rooms have single entryways with recessed lintels above them, which contain murals. Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:377; 399–401, figures 3, 4) found a stone “offering box” 1.33 meters beneath the floor, at the center of the east room (2). Four large, flat stones placed on their edges formed the walls of the offering box, which was covered by other large flat stones used as a lid. Inside the offering box they found bird bones, ash, and carbon. Elsie Clews Parsons (1936:27) notes that “in Lachiguirri, a Zapotec town on the route to the Isthmus, before moving into a new house a chicken is buried in the middle of the floor, with a candle under each wing, that no sickness or evil befall the family.” In San Bartolo Loxicha, a Zapotec community south of the Valley of Oaxaca, people bless a new house by killing a turkey, cooking it, eating it without salt or chili, and then burying the bones beneath the center of the house as an offering to mdi (Cociyo) (Carrasco 1951:96). Salt and chili are not eaten because these products are associated with Cociyo. Perhaps the offering box beneath the middle of the floor of the east room served similar purposes.23 THE GROUP OF THE COLUMNS The Group of the Columns is the largest and presumably the most important of the three groups (see figure 5.6). This was the group described above by Canseco (1580:152) and, more briefly, by Motolinía (1951:254); both state that the north quadrangle, or plaza (E) served as a temple complex, with the residence of the high priest, Patio D, attached to its north side (figure 5.23). Both the north and south plazas had red plaster floors (Saville 1909:160). The North Plaza (E) contains a large square altar 7.8 meters to a side at its center. A raised walkway, 40 centimeters high and 1.1 meter wide, encircles the plaza. Large halls, with floors that sit atop platforms that are elevated 2.6 meters above the plaza floor, are located on the north, east, and west sides of the plaza.24

Figure 5.23. Reconstruction of the Group of the Columns, Mitla. *South entry platform is hypothetically reconstructed.

The North Hall (16) is the largest and is reached from the plaza by an 11.2meter-wide staircase consisting of nine steps (table 5.1). Along the center of

the hall are six round monolithic columns, 3.3 meters tall, that supported the roof and give this hall its name: the Hall of the Columns. Panels of grecas framed by double cornices decorate the exterior walls of this hall (16). The central entrance to the North Hall (16) consists of three entryways separated by two wide, square pillars topped by monolithic lintels (Marquina 1964:373– 81). The doorjambs and pillars had holes in their centers just below the lintel. “Within the doorways, portions of the polished and painted surfaces still remain and in the better protected parts slight traces of painted figures are seen” (Holmes 1895:262), indicating that these areas were decorated with murals no longer visible. In the wall behind the central entryway is a rectangular niche, about 1.4 meters above the level of the floor and measuring 30 centimeters high, 45 centimeters wide, and 49 centimeters deep (figure 5.24).25

Figure 5.24. Altar, the Hall of the Columns, and exterior of the Patio of the Grecas, Group of the Columns, Mitla: (a) North Plaza (E) with Altar and North Hall (16) or “Hall of the Columns,” note niche in back wall and holes in door jambs; (b) interior of the North Hall (16) or “Hall of the Columns”; (c) exterior north and west walls of the “Hall of the Columns” and the “Patio of the Grecas” (photos by Catalina Barrientos).

An entryway in the back (north) wall of the North Hall (16) opens onto a narrow L-shaped passageway that leads to the southeast corner of a small patio. Four rooms with single central entryways 1.8 meters to 1.9 meters wide surround the patio (D) (table 5.1). The west room (15) is the largest. The interior walls of these rooms are the only interior walls of all the groups in Mitla decorated with grecas (figure 5.25). Grecas also decorated the exterior walls of this entire residence, hence its name: Patio of the Grecas (see figure 5.24).

Figure 5.25. Rooms around Patio (D), Patio of the Grecas, Group of the Columns, Mitla: (a) North Room (12) of Patio (D); (b) interior of the North Room (12); (c) East Room (13) of Patio (D); (d) interior of East Room (13) (e) South Room (14) of Patio (D); (f) interior of South Room (14); (g) West Room (15) of Patio (D); (h) interior of West Room (15) (photos by Catalina Barrientos).

Canseco (1580:152) and Motolinía (1951:254) mention in their discussions of the Patio of the Grecas that this was the residence of the high priest (huia tao) of Mitla. When the Relacion de Oçelotepeque referred to priests “who never left the temple,” it meant that they lived in priestly residences, like the Patio of the Grecas, that were directly attached to the temple.26 The function of the four rooms around the patio of this priestly residence is uncertain. But priests of different ranks may have occupied each room, with the pigaana, or neophytes, in one room; the huezaa yeche, or young adult priests, in a second room; the copa pitao, or elderly priests, in a third room; and the huia tao in the fourth room. The East (17) and West (19) Halls of the North Plaza (E) are not as well preserved as the North Hall (figure 5.26). They also manifest remains of monolithic columns along their centers. Two of the four columns remain

standing in the East Hall along with the stump of one in the West Hall. Originally, both halls had four columns along their centers. Five columns were removed from these halls. One remains on the floor of the North Plaza (E) in front of the West Hall; two were moved to the entrance of the Catholic rectory behind the east wall of the East Hall (6) of Plaza B of the Church Group; one is in front of the Palacio Municipal (City Hall of Mitla); and one was used as an “obelisk” to adorn an avenue in the City of Oaxaca (Robles and Moreira 1990:96–97).

Figure 5.26. East (17) and West (19) Halls of the North Plaza (E), Group of the Columns, Mitla: (a) East Hall (17) of the North Plaza (E)—note stone from door lintel collapsed in front of hall; (b) West Hall (19) of the North Plaza (E)— note displaced column stone on plaza floor in front hall (photo by Catalina Barrientos); (c) columns removed from halls and placed outside on the exterior east wall of the East Hall (6) of the North Plaza (B) of the Church Group.

The halls atop the platforms are accessed by 10.85-meter-wide stairways leading to central entrances divided by two square pillars that form three entryways facing the plaza (table 5.1). Panels of grecas that no longer survive decorated the exterior walls of these halls (Marquina 1964:373). The south side of the plaza has a low platform with no buildings on it but with stairways that give access to the plaza from the outside (Saville 1909:160–61). The remnants of the north stairway of this platform remain and measure 10.8 meters

wide. The halls probably had niches in their back walls and holes in their doorjambs, but these features no longer survive. The South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns was somewhat smaller than the north plaza (table 5.1). It is located kitty-corner from the north plaza so that its east side is aligned with the west side of the north plaza (see figure 5.23). A raised walkway 1.3 meters wide and about 30 centimeters high encircles the plaza. The south plaza contains three large halls on the north (20), south (22), and east (21) sides built on platforms raised 2.6 meters above the plaza floor (figure 5.27). Stairways 9.65 meters wide ascend the platforms to central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways. The exterior walls of these halls still retain sections decorated with grecas. All the halls have niches in their back walls, holes at the center of their doorjambs and pillars just below the level of the lintel.

Figure 5.27. Halls and entry platform around the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla: (a) North Hall (20) of the South Plaza (F)—note niche in back wall and holes in door jambs; (b) East Hall (21) of the South Plaza (F)— note niche in back wall and holes in door jambs; (c) South Hall (22) of the South Plaza (F)—note niche in back wall and holes in door jambs. (d) West Entry Platform (23) of the South Plaza (F).

The East Hall (21) is the largest (table 5.1).27 As Holmes reported, the width of this hall (21), equal to that of the “Hall of the Columns” (16), would require columns along its center to support its roof. However, no columns occur, nor does the floor show any “sockets into which columns could have been inserted” (Holmes 1895:271). The other two halls were smaller. The west side of the plaza contained a low platform that was excavated by Marshall Saville (1909:160–62). No building occurs atop it, but Saville found stairways ascending to the top from outside the plaza in the west that descended the opposite side of the platform into the plaza, thereby providing access to the South Plaza and its associated halls. The entryways of the halls around the North (E) and South (F) Plazas of the Group of the Columns had holes centrally placed near the tops of their pillars and doorjambs, just beneath the lintel (see figures 5.24, 5.27). The holes in the North Hall (16), or Hall of the Columns, measure 25 centimeters wide, 22 centimeters high, and 36 centimeters deep. Holmes (1895:260, 269) considered these holes to be for poles used to support awnings above the entryways. However, Saville (1909:161, plate II) uncovered a carved stone human head in the rubble in front of the North Hall (20) of the South Plaza (F) and illustrated it after placing it in one of the holes (figure 5.28a). The head had a tenon at the back to insert into the hole so that it protruded from the doorjamb.

Figure 5.28. Carved stone heads from Mitla and other sites in the Valley of Oaxaca: (a) carved stone head placed in hole in the door jamb of the North Hall (20) of the South Plaza (F) (after Saville 1909:164/165, Plate II); (b) carved stone heads from Mitla and other sites in the Valley of Oaxaca (modified after Seler 1991:II, 199, figs. 107–110).

Eduard Seler (1991: II, 199, figures 107–109, 110a, 110b) has illustrated one of these heads from Mitla and others from the Valley of Oaxaca (figure 5.28b). He reports that one head from Dr. Sologuren’s collection was found in ruins on the road to Tehuantepec and “was said to have been built into the side of a door by way of its tenon at a spot where, in the Mitla palaces, one also regularly sees holes in the walls” (Seler 1991: II, 201). These anthropomorphic heads may represent deities or, more likely, elite ancestors (some have the wrinkles of old age) and were placed at the sides of the entryways to some temples, but no specific study of them has been made. The carved stone heads also occur in the doorjambs of tombs at both Mitla and Yagul, where they almost certainly represent elite ancestors (see figure 6.20). The North (20) and the East (21) Halls of the South Plaza (F) have large cruciform tombs beneath them, with central crypts that pass directly beneath the central entryways to the halls (figure 5.29), which has led to the South Plaza (F) being named the Patio of the Tombs. The presence of these tombs confirms Pedro de los Ríos’s statement that the Zapotecs buried their dead “in ossuaries made of mortar in the patios of their temples” (Quiñones-Keber 1995:254). Stairways carved in bedrock below the plaza in front of the halls lead up to the crypts beneath the halls. The cruciform tomb (Tomb 1) under the North Hall (20) has a crypt 10.7 meters long that was crossed at right angles by another crypt 13.7 meters long. A monolithic column supports the tomb roof at the point where the two crypts cross at right angles. The crypts were about 2 meters high and 1.7 meters wide, with grecas decorating their walls (Saville 1900:207–8).28 Saville (1900:215–16) also reports, “In tomb 1 at Mitla two heads were found projecting from the front wall of the vault, one on either side of the door, slightly above the line of the lintel.” The cruciform tomb (Tomb 2) under the East Hall (21) has a crypt 13.6 meters long that was crossed at right angles by another crypt about 12.9 meters long (figure 5.30). The crypts were about 2.5 meters high and 1.4 meters wide, and their walls were decorated with grecas (Saville 1909:169). Caso (2002) located the remnants of a mural in a small rectangular antechamber at the top of the stairs at the entrance to the west crypt of Tomb 2.29

Figure 5.29. Tomb 1 and location of cruciform tombs in the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla (modified after Kubler 1975:101, figure 26; originals after Holmes 1895:268, figure 97 [above] and Saville 1909:162, figure 1 [below]).

Figure 5.30. Tomb 2, beneath the East Hall (21) of the South Plaza (F), Group of the Columns, Mitla (modified after Saville 1909:167, figure 3).

Canseco (1580:151) mentioned in his description of the Patio of the Tombs (F) that Tomb 1 “was used to bury the great lords of this kingdom.” Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:355), evidently following Burgoa (1989: II, 123),

suggest that one of the tombs was the burial place for the high priests of Mitla and the other for Zapotec kings. Unfortunately, both tombs were completely empty when found by archaeologists. However, Saville (1909:166) located the stone door slab (1.2 meters by 1.4 meters by 20 centimeters) originally used to seal the entry to Tomb 2 but that was removed and placed to one side of the entryway, where he found it, and “under it were found fragments of two human skeletons and several pottery vessels of the common type found in the tombs— a grayish black ware.” Canseco (1580) referred to the South Plaza (F), or Patio of the Tombs, his first quadrangle, as an area in which government affairs were treated. The term he uses in Spanish for this plaza complex is ayuntamiento, which means “town hall.” However, the Patio of the Tombs, or South Plaza (F), certainly functioned for elite funerary rituals and ceremonies invoking the ancestors to intercede with the deities. Given its unique characteristics, when compared to the other two groups, it seems more likely that the Group of the Columns was basically a religious complex and that the halls around the two quadrangles or plazas were temples. The two other groups, the Arroyo Group and the Church Group, are the most likely candidates for “palaces” or civic-residential structures, with their corresponding “town halls.” COMPARISONS AMONG THE THREE GROUPS A comparison of the Arroyo Group, the Group of the Columns, and the Church Group reveals that they are very similar structures. Each contains two large plazas with long halls on three sides. Each of the long halls has a central entrance divided by two square pillars to form three entryways that face the plazas. Each of the plazas is open on one side with no building or hall evident. Saville’s (1909:160–62) excavations in the Group of the Columns determined that the open sides of the plazas there contained low platforms with no buildings atop but with stairways ascending them from outside the plazas and stairways descending them into the plazas, thereby providing access to the plazas from the outside. Each group also contains a small patio (A, D, G) north of its north plaza that has four rooms around it. In each group, this smaller patio is accessed through a narrow entryway toward the east end of the back (north) wall of its north hall (5, 28, 16). A narrow blind (zigzag or L-shaped) passageway leads from this entryway to the smaller patio with four rooms

around it. All of the exterior walls of all the halls and all the rooms in each group are decorated with panels containing greca mosaics. With all of these characteristics in common, it would appear that the three groups are virtually identical. Yet differences also occur. The Arroyo Group and the Group of the Columns share the distinctive feature of having their southern plazas (F and I) constructed kitty-corner to the west of their northern plazas (E and H). The southern plaza of the Church Group (C) is directly south of its northern plaza (B). The reasons for this difference are not readily explicable. On the other hand, the Church Group and the Group of the Columns have halls with niches. All the halls (8, 9, 10) in the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group and those (16, 20, 21, 22) around the North (E) and South (F) Plazas of the Group of the Columns have niches in their interior back walls directly behind the middle of the three entryways. Their absence in the halls of the Arroyo Group and in the halls (17, 19) of the North Plaza (E) of the Group of the Columns is most likely a matter of preservation. These latter halls did not have back walls preserved to a height for their probable niches to be detected. The Arroyo Group and the Church Group share a number of distinctive features that separate them from the Group of the Columns. Both the Church and Arroyo Groups have halls only a step above the walkways around their plaza floors. The halls of the Group of the Columns are built atop platforms raised 2.6 meters above the level of their plazas and are accessed by broad stairways. Furthermore, the plazas of the Church and Arroyo Groups are much smaller than the plazas of the Group of the Columns (table 5.1). This means that the halls alongside the plazas of the Church and Arroyo Groups generally are not as long as those of the Group of the Columns. All the halls around the plazas of the Church and Arroyo Groups are of similar widths, but some of the halls of the Group of the Columns are much wider. All the halls around the North Plaza (E) of the Group of the Columns have large, round monolithic columns along their centers, but no monolithic columns occur in the halls of the Church and Arroyo Groups. The Group of the Columns has an altar at the center of its North Plaza (E) and the South Plaza (F) has two large cruciform tombs. No altars or tombs occur in the plazas of the Church and Arroyo Groups. The temple halls in the north and south plazas of the Group of the Columns have holes in their pillars and doorjambs that once held

anthropomorphic stone heads. No such holes occur in the pillars or doorjambs of the halls in the Church and Arroyo Groups. The residential patios of the Church and Arroyo Groups are larger than the residential patio of the Group of the Columns (table 5.1). Including raised walkways that encircle the patios of the Church and Arroyo Groups expands their patio area, making it significantly larger than the residential patio (D) of the Group of the Columns that lacks raised walkways around it. The North Halls (1, 24) in the residential patios (A, G) of the Church and Arroyo Groups have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways. All the rooms around the residential patio (D) of the Group of the Columns have single central entryways. On the other hand, all the rooms around the residential patio (D) of the Group of the Columns have their interior walls adorned with grecas, but none of the interior walls of the rooms in the Church and Arroyo Groups is decorated with grecas. The presence of murals on the lintels above the doors of three halls (32, 33, 35) in the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group and four rooms (1, 2, 3, 4) around the residential patio (A) of the Church Group, as well as their absence in the Group of the Columns, is almost certainly due to differential preservation. It seems likely that all the lintels above the doors of all the halls and rooms of all three groups had murals decorating them, and murals may have occurred on their interior walls as well. This detailed comparison among the three groups reveals that eleven distinctive features set the Group of the Columns apart from the Church and Arroyo Groups, which, in turn, share eleven distinctive features with one another. Therefore, it seems highly probable that the Group of the Columns was a temple complex with a small associated priestly residence. On the other hand, the Church and Arroyo Groups were most likely “palaces,” or civicresidential structures, with fairly large associated residences occupied by the rulers of Mitla (table 5.1). The north halls of these residences with triple entryways probably served as council halls, where the coqui met with his closest advisors. Because the Church and Arroyo Groups are almost certainly palaces, it appears highly probable that the Adobe Group was a temple complex instead of another civic-residential complex. At Mitla, then, there appear to have been two different Postclassic Zapotec temple complexes that differed in style. One was the Adobe Group, which is a typical Classic TPA, with a tall pyramid

supporting a temple on the east side of a large plaza with low platforms around it and an altar in its center. This complex faced west. The other was the Group of the Columns, which is what Martínez (2002:248) called a TRPA complex, and it faced south. The Group of the Columns included two large quadrangles, or plazas. Each plaza had long 2.6-meter-high platforms around three of its sides, with long temple halls atop them reached by broad staircases from the plaza below, and with central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways facing the plaza. The fourth side of each plaza contained a low platform with no building on top but with stairways providing access to the plaza from the outside. A residential patio attached to the north side of the north plaza included the residences of the priests who staffed the temples. THE MITLA TEMPLES AND PALACES A final point needs to be made with regard to temples and palaces to avoid leaving the impression that palaces were strictly secular places. No separation of church and state existed among the Zapotecs. Temple priests were recruited from the second sons of nobles, according to Burgoa (1989: II, 168), and these nobles formed the political elite. Nobles undoubtedly participated in the major religious ceremonies alongside temple priests and, according to Burgoa (1989: II, 355), the coqui could even function as the high priest in religious ceremonies. As Urcid (personal communication, 2011) has cogently pointed out, palaces were multifunctional structures. These included the coqui’s residence, a town hall dealing with civic matters, and a ritual component. These features are amply illustrated in archaeological remains of the Church Group at Mitla. The Church Group included Patio A, the coqui’s residence, as well as a council hall, the North Hall (1), where matters of state and religion could be discussed with high-ranking individuals. It likewise included the North Plaza (B), the halls of which probably constituted a town hall, where more inclusive meetings could take place, including lower ranking individuals, and perhaps areas where justice could be dispensed and feasts for nobles might take place. The South Plaza (C), however, was unique because its halls were almost certainly dedicated to ritual and religious activities. This is evident from the presence of a niche in the interior back wall, behind the middle of three

entryways into each of the halls, and it requires assessing the function of the niches. All the halls (8, 9, 10) in the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group and all the temple halls around the North (E) and South (F) Plazas of the Group of the Columns have niches in their interior back walls directly behind the middle of the three entryways.30 Given the size of the niches and their locations well above the hall floors (1.4 meters to 1.8 meters), it seems likely that they were meant to house small statues of deities or elite ancestors. No monumental stone statues of deities like those of the Aztecs have ever been found in Oaxaca, with the exception of one from Tututepec in the Mixteca de la Costa. Therefore, it must be presumed that the Zapotecs preferred small (30 to 40 centimeters in height) and elegantly carved precious greenstone statues of their deities that would easily fit into the niches. Canseco (1580:152) states that the temple halls in the North Plaza (E) of the Group of the Columns contained their “idols,” Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, and Motolinía (1951:254) also cites the Hall of the Columns, or north temple hall (16), as the location of “the temple of the demon.” The niche in the Hall of the Columns is 30 centimeters high by 45 centimeters wide by 49 centimeters deep (or 43 centimeters high by 76 centimeters wide by 54 centimeters deep, if one accepts Holmes’s [1895:242] measurements) and could have contained small, elegantly carved greenstone statues of Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya. The niche, centered in the middle entryway, is easily visible from the center of the North Plaza (E) (figure 5.24). The niches, centrally located behind the middle entryway in the other temple halls of the South Plaza (F), are likewise easily visible and probably contained additional small, elegantly carved greenstone statues of other deities or elite ancestors (figure 5.27).31 The halls around the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group are not temple halls because they are not built atop platforms; however, the presence of niches in each of them suggests that they were places where ritual activities were carried out within the context of the palace. There is a precedent for this in a Late Classic Xoo phase palace at Lambityeco called Structure 195–3, occupied between ca. AD 775–800. The northern part of this two-patio palace was the residence of the coqui and his family (Structure 195–3NE) and the southern patio was the civic-ritual sector (Structure 195–3SE). The east room of the civic-ritual sector contained an altar to the coqui’s ancestors before which rituals invoking their spirits and honoring them were probably carried

out. Directly south of the east altar room was a second special room (southeast corner room) where rites and prayers to Cociyo, the rain deity, were probably performed (Lind and Urcid 2010:162–69). The halls around the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group probably served similar functions. Each has a niche located 1.8 meters above the level of the floor and measuring from 36 to 40 centimeters high, 55 centimeters wide, and from 42 to 48 centimeters deep. One or two small statues may have been placed in each niche. One hall might have been dedicated to the founding ancestor of the royal house of the coqui, with a statue portraying him in the niche, and another might have contained a statue of the most recently deceased coqui or, perhaps, a sacred bundle (quiña). Rituals invoking their spirits and honoring them were probably performed in these special halls. A third hall might have been dedicated to a special deity, such as Cociyo, whose statue was placed in the niche and to whom prayers, rituals, and offerings were made by the coqui. The South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group might also have been the locus of similar ritual activity. Unfortunately, the back walls of all of the halls there were mostly destroyed, precluding the preservation of any niches they might have had. EVOLUTION OF THE MITLA GROUPS The evolution of the temple and palace complexes at Mitla during the Postclassic is represented in the remains of the five groups. Following the collapse of Monte Albán at the end of the Late Classic Xoo phase around AD 850, the Quadrangle K TPA of the South Group that belonged to this period was evidently abandoned. Sometime after its abandonment, its ruins were reutilized in the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase with the burials and funerary rituals for the nobles buried in Tomb 7. This was probably followed by the building of a temple hall on the ruins of the north platform (40) of Quadrangle K for religious activities, with a triple crypt tomb, Tomb 3c, beneath it and funerary rituals for an unknown number of coqui, nobles, or high priests buried in it. This complex may have continued in use into the Late Postclassic period. Perhaps around AD 1200, at the beginning of the Late Postclassic Chila phase, a Classic style TPA, the Adobe Group, was built north of the Río Mitla. Its orientation 3 degrees east of north indicates that the Adobe Group corresponds to a new Late Postclassic orientation of structures, differing from

the 17 degree east of north orientation of the Late Classic Xoo phase Quadrangle K TPA of the South Group. Probably at the same time the first phase of construction of the Arroyo Group, the palace of the coqui of Mitla, took place. The Adobe Group, as a temple, and the Arroyo Group, as a palace, occur near one another on the west side of the arroyo that drains into the Río Mitla (see figure 5.6). Furthermore, the temple (37) of the Adobe Group is directly north of the center of the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group. Because no tombs are associated with the Adobe or Arroyo Groups, the coqui and priests may have continued to be buried in Tomb 3c, the triple crypt tomb in Quadrangle K of the South Group, and the temple hall on the north platform may have continued in use for certain religious activities not conducted in the Adobe Group TPA temple complex. Also, it was probably at this time that two quadrangles were added to the north (L) and south (“M”) of Quadrangle K in the South Group. The presence of a Late Postclassic elite burial with an offering of gold in the T-shaped Tomb 3, located just west of the north platform (44) of Quadrangle L, indicates that funerary rituals for the elite were carried out in Quadrangle L of the South Group during the Late Postclassic. Finally, later in the Late Postclassic, the Group of the Columns, a huge TRPA temple complex, and the Church Group, the new palace of the coqui of Mitla, were constructed east of the arroyo and near one another. The old palace of the Arroyo Group was remodeled, perhaps for use by close relatives of the coqui, and the Adobe Group also underwent renovation, indicating its continued use, probably for certain religious ceremonies not conducted in the Group of the Columns. Burials and funerary rituals were conducted for the coqui and priests in the Patio of the Tombs or the South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns. The South Group also may have continued in use for religious activities and burials of nobles during this time. Although based on available data, this evolutionary scenario is hypothetical and requires additional data to verify, or more likely modify, it.

Notes 1. “templo del mayor sacerdote. Templo de idolos donde estaua el papa o mayor sacerdote de idolos. . . . donde entran muchos . . . porque va muchos” (Smith Stark 2002:143). Return to text. 2. Marcus (2003a:346) lists yoho pèe as “temple” and considers it to mean “house of the pèe,” or supernatural force. Return to text. 3. In this awkward sentence, it appears that Canseco is trying to say that it is amazing that the stonework is done like a woodcarving. Return to text. 4. “ai en este pueblo de Miquitla dos edificios de la mayor grandeza y nonbre que ai en esta Nueva Spaña: estan situados a vn tiro de arcabus del asiento del propio pueblo, hazia la parte del norte y en tierra llana: son estos edifiçios de piedra blanca labrada, suben todos igualmente en vn peso de treinta pies. El primer hedifiçio esta en quadra, tiene cuatro salas, que cada vna tiene de largo ciento y cinquenta e cinco pies, e de ancho veynte e ocho: los umbrales destas puertas son de piedra blanca de una pieça, corren veynte e çinco pies de largo, e de canto y ancho tiene vn estado de hombre mediano; la maderaçion destas salas es de morillos gruesos como vn hombre de mediana corpulençia, los quales estan juntos vnos con otros, sin que haya otra madera; por el medio destas salas corre una plancha de madera, a la qual sustentan marmoles de piedra, de canto de vara y media de medir el mismo de las salas por todas las partes de fuera, y el alto es el mismo de las salas por todas las partes de fuera, y tienen las paredes destas salas labores estrañas al modo rromano; son las labores todas de piedra blanca del tamaño de quatro dedos, poco mas algunas, las junturas e asiento destas piedras es vna piedra sobre otra sin ninguna mezcla de cal ni otra cosa, que es cosa de admiraçion, que de madera no se hiziera lo que esta labrado de piedra. El patio de esta primera sala esta de dentro hueco tres estados de hombre; estriba este patio en vn cruçero quehazen marmoles, de piedra blanca labrados, la entrada deste cruçero es ygual, de dos baras de medir en ancho e otras dos en largo; hera este lugar para entierro de los señores grandes deste rreino. En estas salas referidas era su ayuntamiento para tratar cosas del gouierno de su rrepublica, y tambien se ayuntavan a enborracharse e a tener otros pasatiempos de su gentilidad. Adelante deste primer hedifiçio, distancia de diez pasos, esta otro de quatro salas en quadra de la mesma grandezas e labor que el primero. En esta casa tenian sus ydolos e (era) donde se juntavan a tratar cosas de su rreformacion e aqui asian a sus ydolos los sacrifiçios e rreitos de su ceguedad. Junto con esta quadra tenia su casa EL BIGAÑA que era como en nuestra Religion el Pontifiçe Romano cabeça de la vniversal yglesia. Tenia su casa esta VIGANA junto con estos hedefiçios: sus labores por de adentro e fuera son estrañas todas de piedras xaspeadas: es de quarto cuadras; cada vna

corre de largo quarenta pies y diez de ancho, no ai en estas casas bentana ni otra cosa por donde entre luz mas que solas las puertas, los umbrales de las quales es de la misma grandeza que los rreferidos. Son estos edifiçios de su antiguedad, e segund la mas comun quenta a mas de ochocientos años que son edefiçios” (Canseco 1580:151–53). Return to text. 5. The fleeing of the Mitla priests to Tehuantepec, where they sought refuge in the palace of Don Juan, is fairly well dated, as is the subsequent trial of Don Juan before the Inquisition in AD 1561–1562 (Oudijk 2000: chapter 3). The first Catholic Church, a church that no longer exists, was built in Mitla in AD 1575, and construction on the Church of San Pablo began in AD 1590 inside the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group (Robles 1986:21). Furthermore, Mitla did not even have a resident Spanish corregidor (mayor or magistrate) in AD 1580. The corregidor, Alonso de Canseco, lived in Tlacolula. Although a Spanish priest, Cristóbal Ruíz Maldonado, is mentioned in the Relación de Tlacolula y Mitla (Canseco 1580:153) as having Mitla as part of his curado (parish), it does not state that he lived there; he apparently lived in Tlacolula and visited Mitla from time to time. It appears that no Spanish administrative or religious authorities lived in Mitla as late as AD 1580 (Robles 1986:17). From the first short-lived presence of the Franciscans, from AD 1533 until AD 1560, then, it appears that the priests maintained their residence in the Group of the Columns, and the Mitla coqui (king) and nobles (xoana) probably occupied their own residences as well. Return to text. 6. The function of these altars is uncertain. As mentioned, Urcid (2001: chapter 5) considers them to be ancestral memorials, based on his excellent analysis of examples from Monte Albán. Lind (Lind and Urcid 2010:308) suggests that the altar might have served as a podium or stage for public ceremonials or rituals, which does not contradict its function as an ancestral memorial. Return to text. 7. Canseco (1580:152) states, “En esta casa tenian sus ydolos . . . e aqui asian a sus ydolos los sacrifiçios e rreitos de su ceguedad.” Presumably, he is referring to Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, whom he calls the “ydolos” of Mitla in an earlier section (Canseco 1580:149). Return to text. 8. The interior walls of all four rooms of the priestly residence associated with the Group of the Columns are also decorated with greca mosaics, and some tombs at Mitla, Yagul, and Xaaga have greca mosaics decorating their façades and interior walls. It should be noted that panels with simple greca designs also occur on some Late Classic Xoo phase structures at Monte Albán, Atzompa, and Lambityeco. Return to text. 9. Double cornices (called dobles escapularios in Spanish) are characteristic features of Classic Zapotec architecture at sites such as Monte Albán and Lambityeco and therefore predate the Postclassic period by many years, although the Zapotecs used them throughout the Postclassic period. Return to text. 10. A Late Classic Xoo phase PPA at Lambityeco has a plaza measuring 27 meters north to south and 25.7 meters east to west, with an altar measuring 5.18 meters

north to south and 4.68 meters east to west that is located 6.84 meters in front of its “pyramid,” making it very similar to Quadrangle K of the South Group at Mitla (see Lind and Urcid 2010). Both are unusual in having their altars located in the eastern sector of their plazas instead of in the center, which is more typical for Monte Albán (see figures 5.1, 5.5). Return to text. 11. This is similar to Tomb 4 at Yagul, an Early Postclassic Liooba phase tomb, which also had a flat roof in front and a vaulted roof in the back. Return to text. 12. The Early Postclassic Liobaa phase ceramic diagnostics have only recently been defined by Markens (2004; 2008; 2011) and were unknown to Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:363–64) who report, “Ninguno de estos objetos . . . tiene decoración y es en consecuencia difícil determinar la época a la que corresponde con relación a los entierros de Monte Albán, aunque podría ser contemporánea de la última época zapoteca de esta ciudad.” (None of these objects . . . has any decoration and as a consequence it is difficult to determine the period to which they correspond in relation to the burials of Monte Albán, although it could be contemporary with the last Zapotec period of that city.) Return to text. 13. Bernal (1963) used the “c” to denote that the tomb is cruciform. But it is not a true cruciform tomb because it lacks four crypts. Like some tombs from Yagul (Tombs 3, 29, and 30), it is a triple tomb built around a common antechamber (Wicke 1966). Return to text. 14. This date, when calibrated, ranges from AD 670 to AD 1160 (Markens, Winter, and Martínez 2010:357). Furthermore, it appears that Bernal misread the radiocarbon years for the date. He gives the date of AD 1110 instead of subtracting the radiocarbon years from AD 1950 (1950-1110 = 840), which would have given a date of AD 840 (Drennan 2003:367). The above calibration has taken this into account; its midpoint would be AD 915. Return to text. 15. In my opinion, the room Holmes mentions was not partitioned in half but represents a temple hall with a walkway in front of it. The hall is represented by the two parallel walls Holmes illustrates and, as he states, has an interior dimension of 24.4 meters long and 2.4 meters wide that is precisely the interior dimensions of the east hall of the south plaza of the Church Group. Likewise, the north halls of the north and south plazas of the Arroyo Group have similar interior dimensions. Most halls at Mitla are 2.4 meters wide, and many have walkways in front of them about 1.5 meters wide, which is the measurement Holmes gives for the “second” half of the “partitioned” room. Return to text. 16. Bernal dug Tomb 3c as a salvage excavation. The Mitla family that owned the property was mining the north platform for building stones and earth for adobes. During the destruction of the mound, someone reported to the authorities that the roof stones of Tomb 3c had been uncovered, and they contacted Lorenzo Gamio, director of the Museo Regional de Oaxaca. Gamio informed Bernal, and in December 1960, they both went to salvage the tomb. Although Bernal determined the tomb was under the stairway from the plaza to the north platform that Caso

and Rubín de la Borbolla had excavated in the 1930s, the Mitla property owners had removed the stones from the stairway for building material so the stairway no longer existed. Furthermore, their mining of the mound had destroyed all the floors above the tomb, which made it impossible to determine under which floor the tomb might have been sealed. In the profile of the mound left by their digging, Bernal identified five superimposed plaster floors corresponding to rebuildings of the platform. He identified the uppermost red plaster floor as corresponding to the hall that Holmes had recorded in 1895 atop the north platform. The older four floors probably correspond to remodelings of the north platform during the Classic period, as shown by the smaller regularly spaced fill among them (Bernal 1963:225, Plano de la Tumba). The top red plaster floor was placed over 1.5 meters of fill. This indicates that during the Early Postclassic, the Zapotecs built the tomb, placed a “new” red plaster floor over 1.5 meters of fill atop the older floor of the last Late Classic remodeling of the platform, and constructed their “new” temple hall on top of the platform. Bernal inexplicably thought the tomb corresponded to the fifth, or oldest, floor, which seems highly doubtful because the fifth floor almost certainly corresponds to the Early Classic north platform floor. Return to text. 17. An examination of excavated—and therefore known—Classic temples at Monte Albán indicates that they are all 10 meters tall or taller. Because the pyramid (41) of Quadrangle K is 12 meters tall, it most likely represents a temple and Quadrangle K a typical TPA. Palaces (PPA) like Mound 195-System 195 are built atop smaller pyramids about 6 meters tall. Return to text. 18. Dr. Paul Schmidt was a student on Paddock’s excavation of the Adobe Group in 1963 and kindly sent me a copy of his field report. His part of the excavations focused on the 9-meter-tall pyramidal platform (Holmes’s Building 37) of the Adobe Group and provides the subsequent information on this pyramid. Return to text. 19. Robles and Moreira (1990:91) give a height of 11 meters for the pyramid (37). Return to text. 20. Holmes’s measurements have been converted from feet to meters. Return to text. 21. Holmes (1895:273) gives a measurement of 45 meters per side for the plaza (J), but the dimensions are actually about 36 meters by 37 meters. Return to text. 22. The author made these measurements of what remains of the platforms in July 2011, although it was apparent that the platform lengths were incomplete because the ends of both platforms were destroyed. Return to text. 23. A similar offering box occurs in Patio 1 at Yagul but contains a very different offering (see chapter 6). Return to text. 24. These are the only halls in Mitla on platforms elevated above their plazas. The halls of the Arroyo and Church Groups are not located on elevated platforms (Bandelier 1884:286). Return to text.

25. These measurements were made in July 2011. Holmes (1895:242) gives the dimension of this niche as 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide, 17 inches (43 centimeters) high, and 23 inches (54 centimeters) deep. The discrepancies are difficult to account for, but Leopoldo Batres, who reconstructed the Hall of the Columns in 1901 (Adam Sellen, personal communication, 2012), placed a plaque with his name on it above this niche. He may have reduced the size of the niche while reconstructing the hall and placing the plaque. Except for the width, Holmes’s measurements, made before Batres’s reconstruction, are compatible with those of the niches in the halls around Patio C of the Church Group. Return to text. 26. “los bigañas señalados, que nunca salyan del tenplo” (Espíndola 1580:139). Return to text. 27. The halls around Plaza F were fenced, prohibiting access, in July 2011. Their dimensions have been estimated from a scale drawing in Robles and Moreira (1990:94, figure A.9). Return to text. 28. Saville’s measurements have been converted from feet to meters. Return to text. 29. For some reason, Robles and Moreira (1990) reversed the numbers of these tombs and refer to Tomb 1 as Tomb 2 and Tomb 2 as Tomb 1. Both Saville (1909), who excavated Tomb 2, and Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003) locate Tomb 1 beneath the North Hall (20) and Tomb 2 beneath the East Hall (21). Robles (1986) also reverses the numbers in an earlier study. Return to text. 30. The back walls of the East (17) and West (19) Halls of the North Plaza (E) in the Group of the Columns have been mostly destroyed, so any niches they might have had were not preserved. Because all the other halls around the North (E) and South (F) Plazas have niches in their better-preserved back walls, it is assumed that the east and west halls of the north plaza also had niches in their back walls. Return to text. 31. It was not possible to measure the niches in the halls around the South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns because they were fenced off by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and not open to inspection. Return to text.

6 Zapotec Temples Yagul

Yagul had an estimated population of over 6,300 persons (Kowalewski et al. 1989:321) and was the capital of a city-state (queche) located about 10 kilometers west of Mitla during the Late Postclassic. The civic-ceremonial center of the city was built atop a steep bluff that rises abruptly from the valley floor (figure 6.1). The residential sector of the community, composed mostly of commoner houses, is located on the lower slopes near the base of the bluff. This appears to follow the Postclassic Zapotec pattern of building temples and palaces in a lofty area somewhat separated and isolated from the community. Because of the restricted space on top of the bluff and, more likely, because Yagul was not an important religious center like Mitla, the Yagul civicceremonial structures are closely spaced and do not include groups composed of three adjoining quadrangles (figure 6.2).

Figure 6.1. Yagul’s civic-ceremonial center situated atop a bluff.

Figure 6.2. Plan of the civic-ceremonial precinct of Yagul (modified after Bernal 1966:353, figure 8).

THE YAGUL STRUCTURES Not all of the structures in the civic-ceremonial center of Yagul have been excavated. Those that have include what Ignacio Bernal and Lorenzo Gamio (1974) call El Palacio de los Seis Patios (The Palace of the Six Patios); Patio 1, which includes the “Council Hall”; a ball court; and a temple-plaza-altar (TPA) called Patio 4.1 Excepting the ball court, each of these groups of structures will be described, beginning with the most complicated, the Palace of the Six Patios. The purpose of this description is to provide comparable data from Yagul to test the ideas concerning the nature of Postclassic Zapotec palaces and temples generated by the Mitla structures. THE PALACE OF THE SIX PATIOS These Yagul buildings consist of three groups of structures composed of two quadrangles each, with buildings arranged around them and separated from one

another by narrow streets or alleys (Bernal and Gamio 1974:87). The West Group contains Patios A and D, the Central Group contains Patios B and E, and the East Group contains Patios C and F. The last phase of construction of the Central Group included numerous modifications and additions that I have eliminated in the plan in figure 6.3 but that are fully discussed in the excellent descriptions of the group by Bernal and Gamio (1974) and can be appreciated in the general plan of the civic-ceremonial center of Yagul in figure 6.2. The measurements of all the plazas, patios, halls, and rooms are presented in table 6.1. Table 6.1 Comparison of the sizes of the patios, plazas, rooms, and halls of the Central, West, and East Groups of the Palace of the Six Patios at Yagul (all measurements in meters).

Structures North patio

Central Group 7.7 × 7.7(12.4 × 12.4)*

North room/hall South room East room West room South patio/plaza

11.2 × 2.15 11.1 × 2.2 10.2 × 2.1 10.4 × 2.1 7.9 × 9.9(12.3 × 14.3)*

North room/hall South room/hall East room/hall West room/hall

11.25 × 2.2 11.25 × 2.2 Entry platform 12.4 × 2.1

West Group East Group 12.55 × 7.5 × 9.9(11.3 × 11.9(15.85 × 13.7) 15.2)* 15.1 × 2.1 13.8 × 2.2 12.9 × 2.9 9.2 × 2.2 14.85 × 2.4 11.6 × 2.2 15.1 × 2.2 9.7 × 2.2 13.4 × 16.7 × 14.6(16.7 × 16.7(20.7 × 17.9)* 20.7) 15.2 × 2.6 21.2 × 2.6 15.8 × 2.2 17.4 × 3.3 15.8 × 2.1 15.6 × 2.3 Entry platform 15.6 × 2.3

* Incorporates raised walkways around patios and plazas.

Figure 6.3. Palace of the Six Patios, Yagul (modified after Bernal and Gamio 1974: plano 2).

THE CENTRAL GROUP: PATIOS B AND E The Central Group (Patios B and E) is clearly distinct from the West (Patios A and D) and East (Patios C and F) Groups, as can easily be seen in the plan (figure 6.3). The thin adobe room walls of the Central Group are only half as thick as the massive adobe room walls of the East and West Groups. All the rooms of the Central Group have single entries, as opposed to the East and West Groups, which have several rooms with triple entries. Furthermore, the Central Group has small rooms along its west side that were later additions to the main structure; they manifest only one stage of construction and were built

over Late Postclassic deposits (Bernal and Gamio 1974:33). I eliminated them in figure 6.3, but they can be seen in figure 6.2. The two patios (B and E) of the Central Group are about the same size, but those of the East and West Groups have larger plazas on their south sides and smaller patios on their north sides (table 6.1). Furthermore, the Central Group patios were built over Late Postclassic deposits, but the quadrangles of the East and West Groups were built over Late Classic deposits (Bernal and Gamio 1974:17–18; 26; 38, 40; 61). The patios of the Central Group have white plaster floors (Bernal and Gamio 1974:35), but the East and West Group quadrangles have red plaster floors. When excavating palaces in the Mixteca, it was noted that Prehispanic Postclassic structures had red plaster floors, but the Early colonial or post-conquest structures built over them had white plaster floors (Lind 1979). The Central Group manifests two phases of construction, both built over Late Postclassic remains. Therefore, it seems likely that at least the last construction phase of the Central Group, which has white plaster patio floors, was built in Early colonial times, most likely by Zapotecs rather than Spaniards. Further, the circular columns at the corners and along the sides of Patios B and E are evidence of Spanish influence. They provide support for a porch or veranda around the patios and in front of the rooms, in typical Spanish style. Unlike the Mitla columns, the small circular columns of Yagul are made from numerous stones instead of a single stone, and they occur in front of the rooms instead of within the rooms. The East and West Groups have no such columns. Ignoring the later additions, the Central Group manifests two patios with rooms around them (figure 6.3). The North Patio (B) has four rooms around it (table 6.1). A raised walkway, 10 centimeters high and 2.35 meters wide, encircles the patio. Bernal and Gamio (1974:37) found an empty offering box under the center of the patio floor. In the area around the offering box, but evidently not associated with it, were five pairs of ceramic vessels. The pairs were scattered somewhat randomly, and each consisted of an upright bowl with another bowl inverted on top of it to form a lid. These offerings are now well known, and Zapotecs continue to use them today. When a baby is born, the umbilical cord is placed in a bowl, another bowl is inverted on top of it, and the two vessels are buried under the patio of the house (Lind and Urcid 2010:276–77; Parsons 1936:76). These are referred to as “umbilical cord offerings” (figure 6.4).2

Figure 6.4. Vessels with umbilical cord offerings near offering box, North Patio (B), Central Group, Yagul (after Bernal and Gamio 1974: foto 41).

The North Patio (B) has circular columns, 60 centimeters in diameter, at its corners and at the centers of each of its four sides (figure 6.3). As mentioned, these columns served to support the roof of a porch or veranda in front of the rooms around the patio and clearly represent Spanish influence. All the rooms around the patio (B) have single central entryways 1 meter wide. The north and east rooms are raised 10 centimeters above the walkway, but the south and west rooms have their floors at the same level as the walkway (see table 6.1 for patio and room sizes). Bernal and Gamio (1974:36) report finding metate fragments on the floors of the east and south rooms and a bone weaving batten on the floor of the north room (figure 6.5).

Figure 6.5. Rooms around the North Patio (B), Central Group, Yagul: (a) North Room of North Patio (B), Central Group; (b) East Room of North Patio (B), Central Group—note Columns at northeast corner of patio; (c) South Room of North Patio (B), Central Group—note entryway to patio at southeast corner; (d) West Room of North Patio (B), Central Group—note entryway to patio at northwest corner.

The only entryways to the North Patio (B) from the outside are at the northwest and southeast corners. In the northwest corner, a narrow entryway,

95 centimeters wide, occurs between the north and west rooms. In the southeast corner, a narrow entryway, 95 centimeters wide, opens from the outside alleyway into a narrow passageway, 2.6 meters long and 95 centimeters wide, that runs along the south side of the east room. Unlike the East and West Groups, the Central Group has no direct access between the North (B) and South (E) Patios. A series of small rooms was later added to the northwest corner and west side of Patio B. These rooms, probably residential quarters, closed the alleyway between the West Group and the Central Group, and entryways were built linking the Central Group to the West Group (see figure 6.2). The South Patio (E) has a raised walkway, 15 centimeters high and 2.2 meters wide, around its north, south, and west sides (figure 6.3). The patio also has circular columns, 60 centimeters in diameter, at its northwest and southwest corners and at the centers of its north, west, and south sides, which support a Spanish-style veranda in front of the three rooms around it (figure 6.6 a, b). The northeast and southeast corners of the patio had ollas (jars) sunk in their floor and the rims were flush with the patio floor. The jars probably provided fresh water for the households that occupied the rooms around the patio (Bernal and Gamio 1974:40–41).

Figure 6.6. Rooms around the South Patio (E) and offering beneath the patio floor, Central Group, Yagul: (a) South Room of South Patio (E), Central Group; (b) North Room of South Patio (E), Central Group, with pillars around patio; (c) Greenstone bead necklace with penate pendant from offering beneath the South Patio (E), Central Group (after Bernal and Gamio 1974:Lam. 1f).

The east side of the patio was originally open, facing the alleyway between the Central and East Groups, with a staircase with two steps ascending from the alleyway to the patio. Later, a wall with a narrow central entryway, 95 centimeters wide, was built, with a stairway of three steps ascending from the alleyway to the entryway. This provided the only access to the South Patio (E). Bernal and Gamio (1974:41–43) found a large and scattered umbilical cord offering below the center of the patio. It consisted of ten pairs of vessels and also included a stone sculpture of a phallus and a necklace of greenstone beads with a penate as a pendant (figure 6.6c). Penates are small human figures carved in stone with closed eyes and arms over the chest, which probably portray the ancestors of nobles (Lind 2008b:25–26). The three rooms around this patio (E) have single central entryways 1 meter wide and are between 10 centimeters and 20 centimeters above the walkway (figure 6.3; table 6.1). Likewise, all three rooms have hearths composed of four flat stones placed on their edges to form a box set into the floor. Bernal and Gamio (1974:16) refer to these hearths as tlecuiles. Bernal and Gamio (1974:43–44) found a large olla on the floor of the north room and the burial of an adolescent with no offering beneath the same room floor. THE WEST GROUP: PATIO A AND PLAZA D The West Group has remains of earlier periods beneath it, including Early and Late Classic deposits.3 According to Bernal and Gamio (1974:17), the last structures of the West Group all date to the Postclassic. Bernal and Gamio (1974:21–22) obtained two uncalibrated radiocarbon dates of AD 1213 ± 100 and AD 1593 ± 100 in association with the West Group, suggesting that it was built early in the Late Postclassic and occupied into Early colonial times.4 The presence of Iglesia Polychrome, an Early colonial ceramic type (Lind 1987; 1994b:81), on the room floors of the West Group, as well as the other groups, support the idea that the entire Palace of the Six Patios was occupied in Early colonial times. Yagul was probably inhabited until about AD 1560 when, in accordance with the Spanish congregación policy, the population was moved to the new settlement of Tlacolula. The South Plaza (D) is the larger of the two quadrangles of the West Group (figure 6.3; table 6.1). At the center of the plaza are two tombs at right angles to one another, Tomb 23 and Tomb 24. Both tombs consist of a single chamber

with two steps descending into it from the doorway. Tomb 23 is oriented west to east, with its door in the west; its lintel is painted red and framed by a double cornice (figure 6.7). It contained the remains of at least six individuals, all disturbed primaries. Tomb 24 is oriented north to south, with its door in the north; its lintel is also painted red but has no cornice above it. It contained the remains of twenty-four individuals, twenty-two disturbed primaries and two primaries. The two primaries were an adult male and female placed side by side within the tomb (Bernal and Gamio 1974:23–25). The offerings in these tombs belong to the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase (Bernal and Gamio 1974: láminas 2, 3). In addition to the two tombs, the South Plaza (D) had three Postclassic burials beneath it—two on its west side and one on its east side. One was a fetus and none had offerings.5

Figure 6.7. Halls around the South Plaza (D) and Tombs 23 and 24, West Group, Yagul: (a) North Hall of the South Plaza (D), West Group; (b) East and South Halls of the South Plaza (D), West Group; (c) Tombs 23 and 24 beneath the South Plaza, West Group (modified after Bernal and Gamio 1974: dibujo 3).

The South Plaza (D) has halls along three of its sides; the west side is open, providing ample access to the plaza (figure 6.7; table 6.1). A raised walkway, 22 centimeters high and 1.65 meters wide, occurs around the north, south, and east sides of the plaza. All the halls have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each 1.5 meters wide, facing the plaza. The floors of the halls are 25 centimeters above the walkway, but none is built atop a platform. The east hall has an unusual altar built behind its southernmost entryway, consisting of a semicircular base with a square altar atop it. The altar is clearly a later addition to the hall, having been built atop the hall floor (Bernal and Gamio 1974:28). The north hall has a narrow entryway in its east wall that opens onto a corridor, 6.5 meters by 1.5 meters, that runs south to north and has hearths at its north and south ends (figure 6.3). Halfway down the corridor is an entryway in its east wall that opens outside to the alleyway between the West and Central Groups. The corridor also has an entryway on the west side of its north end that opens into a small vestibule, 3 meters north to south by 2.2 meters east to west. The vestibule has an entryway in its northwest corner that opens onto the southeast corner of the North Patio (A). This is the only means of access between the North Patio (A) and the South Plaza (D). The North Patio (A) of the West Group has rooms on all four sides (figure 6.3). A raised walkway, 30 centimeters high and 1.65 meters wide, encircles the patio. Bernal and Gamio (1974:18) found the burials of a woman and child beneath the center of the patio accompanied by an offering, including two penates and a necklace with 201 stone beads. Beneath the east side of the patio is a tomb, Tomb 4, oriented west to east with its door in the west. It has a rectangular chamber with a plain façade and, like the Early Postclassic Tomb 7 from Mitla, a roof that is flat in the front and vaulted in the back (Brockington 1955:71; Bernal and Gamio 1974: fotos 3–4). The tomb contained sixteen individuals, all disturbed primaries (Bernal and Gamio 1974:18). The offerings all belong to the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase (Bernal and Gamio 1974: lámina 1). From its offering, Tomb 4 certainly appears to be more or less contemporaneous with Tombs 23 and 24 of Patio D (see Bernal and Gamio 1974: láminas 1–3). All the rooms around Patio A are 30 centimeters above the patio walkway (figure 6.8; table 6.1). The north hall has a central entrance divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each 1.5 meters wide. It has a square

hearth formed by four stones sunk in its floor near the east end. At the west end of the room is a raised bench about 1 meter wide and 10 centimeters high (Bernal and Gamio 1974:21). The east, west, and south rooms have single central entryways about 1.5 meters wide.

Figure 6.8. Rooms around the North Patio (A), West Group, Yagul: (a) North Hall of North Patio (A), West Group; (b) East Room of North Patio (A), West Group—note Tomb 4 and entry in the southeast corner; (c) South Room of North Patio (A), West Group—note entry to patio from vestibule in the southeast corner; (d) West Room of the North Patio (A), West Group.

THE EAST GROUP: PATIO C AND PLAZA F The East Group is very similar to the West Group and has rooms arranged around two quadrangles (C and F). The South Plaza (F) is the largest and has a raised walkway, 25 centimeters high and about 2 meters wide, around it. The plaza manifests three phases of construction, the oldest of which was built over Late Classic deposits (Bernal and Gamio 1974:61). Beneath the center of the plaza floor, Bernal and Gamio (1974:58) found a partially looted offering that consisted of vessels corresponding to two umbilical cord offerings. Originally, the plaza had three halls around it, but a fourth was added at a later date, leaving the only entryways to the plaza at its southeast and southwest corners (see figure 6.3). All the halls have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each 1.6 meters wide, and all have hearths embedded in their floors. The hall floors are 30 centimeters above the walkway, but none is built atop a platform (figure 6.9). The south hall, a later addition (Bernal and Gamio 1974:87), as evidenced by its thin adobe walls and white plaster floor, has its back wall facing the plaza. The north hall is the largest (table 6.1). A narrow entryway in its back (north) wall, near the east end, opens into a narrow Lshaped passageway that leads into the southeast corner of Patio C.

Figure 6.9. Halls around the South Plaza (F), East Group, Yagul: (a) North Hall of South Plaza (F), East Group; (b) East Hall of South Plaza (F), East Group; (c) West Hall of South Plaza (F), East Group; (d) South Hall of South Plaza (F), East Group.

The North Patio (C) has a raised walkway, 15 centimeters high and 1.9 meters wide, around it (see figure 6.3). Beneath the center of the patio floor, Bernal and Gamio (1974:49–51) found an offering box with a child buried in it accompanied by two necklaces with penate pendants. Above the offering were four Late Postclassic ceramic vessels. Another child burial was found a short distance away with a necklace of 131 beads and three penates (figure 6.10).

Figure 6.10. Rooms and features of the North Patio (C), East Group, Yagul: (a) North Hall of the North Patio (C), East Group; (b) East Room of North Patio (A)—note entry in southeast corner; (c) South Room of North Patio (A)—note entry in southeast corner; (d) West Room of North Patio (A), East Group; (e) Wall of “storage area” within the West Room of North Patio (A)—note small rectangular opening at base. (f) offering box and burials beneath North Patio (A).

Four rooms occur around the patio, and their floors are 30 centimeters above the raised walkway (figure 6.10). The north hall is the largest and has a central entrance divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, each 1.6 meters wide, and also has a hearth embedded in its floor near the east end. The remaining three rooms have single central entryways 1.6 meters wide (table 6.1). The west room has its southern end blocked off by a tall wall to form a small “closet-like” space, 1.65 meters by 2.2 meters (Bernal and Gamio 1974:53). A small rectangular opening, 40 centimeters high by 33 centimeters wide, in the middle of the base of the wall at floor level, provided the only access to the room but was too small for a person to pass through it. This blocked-off space probably served to store shelled corn, keeping it safe from rodents and allowing it to be retrieved as needed via the small opening at its base.6 However, a Late Postclassic tripod polychrome vase was found on the floor of this “granary,” so it might have been an area to secure valuables (figure 6.10). A rectangular nook (see figure 6.3) off the narrow alleyway between the East and Central Groups is formed by the exterior walls, where the west and south rooms of Patio C meet the exterior wall of the north hall of Plaza F. This nook, about 1.9 meters by 2.8 meters, is open on its west side facing on the alleyway. Bernal and Gamio (1974:47) found the nook to be filled with large amounts of carbon, animal bones, and broken vessels, including ollas, comales (ceramic griddles for cooking tortillas), and tripod bowls dating to the Late Postclassic. The carbon yielded an uncalibrated radiocarbon date of AD 1393 ± 120 but with a note from the radiocarbon lab stating “a not completely satisfactory run” (Bernal and Gamio 1974:47n60).7 Nevertheless, the date appears acceptable, given the Late Postclassic context. PALACE COMPARISONS: MITLA AND YAGUL

In contrast to the Central Group, the East and West Groups at Yagul are very similar to the Arroyo and Church Groups at Mitla, as Bernal and Gamio (1974:94) observe, and may be compared with their Mitla counterparts (figure 6.11). The only major difference is that the Mitla groups include three quadrangles with rooms or halls around them while the Yagul groups contain only two. This can be attributed to the fact that the Yagul structures are built on a steep bluff that did not provide enough horizontal space for three quadrangles or—more likely—because Yagul was not as important a center as Mitla.

Figure 6.11. Comparison of Arroyo and Church Groups at Mitla with West and East Groups at Yagul.

A closer look reveals that the north residential patios of the Yagul and Mitla groups are smaller than their plazas to the south and in each case are accessed via a blind (L-shaped or zigzag) passageway behind the north hall of the plaza south of them. The north halls of the residential patios have central entrances with three entryways, but the remaining rooms have only single central entrances. The plazas south of the residential patio have three halls around them with triple entryways; the fourth side is open, providing access from the outside over a low platform. An exception to this is the Church and East Groups that have a fourth hall whose back faces the south side of the plaza, leaving entryways at the southeast and southwest corners. All the rooms or halls are only a step (15 centimeters to 30 centimeters) above the raised

walkways around the patio or plaza floors and not built atop platforms. Furthermore, the Yagul palace was evidently decorated with grecas because many of the stones forming greca mosaics were found around it; none of the greca mosaics was preserved on the walls (Bernal and Gamio 1974:87). There are some differences between the Mitla and Yagul groups. Some of the Yagul rooms and halls have hearths in their floors, but none of the Mitla groups does. The West Group at Yagul has two tombs in its South Plaza (D) and one in its North Patio (A). No tombs occur in the Mitla Arroyo and Church Groups or in the Yagul East Group. These three tombs date to the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase and are rectangular with plain facades. They appear to differ from the clearly Late Postclassic Chila phase Yagul (and Mitla) tombs that frequently have their facades decorated with grecas and are T-shaped (Paddock 1957:14).8 This seems to indicate that the West Group was initially built in Early Postclassic times, when it was possibly the only extant palace at Yagul, although it continued being occupied into Early colonial times. Bernal and Gamio (1974:89) have made a strong case for considering these structures at Yagul palaces instead of temples from strictly an archaeological perspective. They observe that the Yagul structures constitute a palace occupied by the ruler, his family, and retinue, because of an abundance of artifacts for daily household use, such as serving and cooking vessels, water storage vessels, manos and metates, weaving battens, projectile points, bone and copper awls, obsidian blades, and a lack of ceremonial paraphernalia associated with the structures (Bernal and Gamio 1974:88–89). Furthermore, burials of individuals of both sexes and all ages (fetus to adult) are associated with the structures, which would be expected in a palace but not in temples (Bernal and Gamio 1974:90). Finally, umbilical cord offerings associated with newly born babies also occur—something that would be expected in a domestic but not a religious setting. Considering the Palace of the Six Patios at Yagul a palace or civicresidential structure via the artifactual evidence also strengthens the case for the Arroyo and Church Groups at Mitla being palaces instead of temples, even though they lack reported evidence of associated artifactual remains. Interestingly enough, two palaces, or civic-residential structures, can be identified at both Mitla and Yagul. The East and West Groups at Yagul can be considered two separate palaces, with their residential quarters around the North Patios (A and C) and their civic buildings around the South Plazas (D

and F). Because the West Group at Yagul was probably initially built during the Early Postclassic, it appears similar to the Arroyo Group at Mitla in being the first or older palace. The East Group at Yagul, like the Church Group at Mitla, was probably the more recent palace, although this is uncertain. The Central Group is clearly residential and may have housed lesser nobles of the royal family or concubines of the coqui and (in the northwest part) servants of the ruler. It was clearly built later than the other two groups and later still connected to the West Group, or “old palace.” However, the East Group, or “new palace,” remained separated and isolated from the Central Group by an alley. The numerous umbilical cord offerings suggest that many children (at least fifteen) were born to women in the Central Group. Nothing comparable to the Central Group at Yagul exists at Mitla. THE PATIO 1 GROUP: THE “PALACE” OR “COUNCIL HALL” The Patio 1 Group is directly south of the West Group of the Palace of the Six Patios (see figure 6.2). A narrow street or alleyway running along the south side of the Palace of the Six Patios separates the West Group from the Patio 1 Group by a mere 3 meters. Paddock and a group of students from Mexico City College (now Universidad de las Américas Puebla) excavated the Patio 1 Group in the mid-1950s (Paddock 1955; 1957). Within the last few years (2010–2011), the Centro Regional del Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de Oaxaca (Regional Center of the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Oaxaca) has pursued limited excavations amplifying the work of Paddock. Paddock (1955:25) referred to the Patio 1 Group as the “Palace” but labeled the plaza “Patio 1” and the buildings around it “1-N” (north), “1S” (south), “1-E” (east), and “1-W” (west). The Patio 1 Group manifests two phases of construction, both dating to the Postclassic. During its first phase, the plaza was nearly square, measuring about 34 meters on a side (Paddock 1955:29), making it much larger than any of the quadrangles in the Palace of the Six Patios (figure 6.12; table 6.1). Two tombs, Tomb 1 and Tomb 2, built at right angles to one another, occur beneath the plaza floor near the center of its east side, similar to the placement of the two tombs (23 and 24) in the South Plaza (D) of the West Group of the Palace of the Six Patios (see figure 6.3). Both tombs are rectangular. Tomb 1 has a plaster floor, measures 2.05 meters north to south and 95 centimeters east to

west, with a height of 1.08 meters, although its roof was missing (Oliver 1955b:100). 9 It is oriented north to south, with its door facing south, and it had one primary and eighteen disturbed primary burials within it.10

Figure 6.12. Reconstruction of the Patio 1 Group, first phase, Yagul.

Tomb 2, much better constructed than Tomb 1, is oriented east to west, with its door facing west, and it had thirty-three disturbed primary burials within it. It has a plaster floor that measures 2.53 meters east to west and 1.05 meters north to south, and its height varied from 80 centimeters to 1.05 meters. Its roof was flat in the front half and vaulted in the rear half, like the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase Tomb 4 of the West Group at Yagul and Tomb 7 of

Quadrangle K of the South Group at Mitla. Both tombs share an open antechamber located in front of their doors. Plaster covered the walls of this antechamber (Oliver 1955b:100–2). The offerings in the tombs correspond to the Postclassic.11 Both tombs had their stone doors and entryways sealed with plaster.12 The back half of Tomb 2 was subsequently covered by the construction of a later addition to the East Platform (1-E) along the east side of the plaza (Paddock 1955:27; 1957:20, table 1; Brockington 1955:70–71). This suggests that the tombs were sealed and abandoned prior to the second phase of construction, and no later tombs replaced them in the Patio 1 Group. During this second phase of construction, which involved extending the East Platform (1-E) 6 meters westward onto the plaza floor and reducing the size of the plaza from 34 meters on a side to 34 meters north to south by 28 meters east to west, a new plaster floor was placed directly on top of the previous plaza floor (figure 6.13). Under the center of this “new” plaza floor, a stone offering box containing over thirty greenstone artifacts was found (Paddock 1955:29). These include three greenstone disks and a number of greenstone heads and penates (Paddock 1955:24, figure 5b; 30, figure 10; 31, figure 11a, d, e). The stone offering box is made of six well-shaped flat rectangular stones, four around the sides of the box and two forming a lid over its top (Paddock 1955:29, figure 9).13 The ritual or religious significance of this offering is unknown, although the presence of the penates and greenstone disks suggests an offering in honor of the ancestors because these artifacts are commonly found in quiña, or sacred bundles.

Figure 6.13. Perspectives of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul, first and second phases of construction (after Oliver 1955a:53, figure 32a, b).

During its first phase, the Patio 1 Group had at least two, and possibly three, long halls built atop 1.6-meter-high platforms along the north (1-N),

west (1-W), and possibly east (1-E) sides of a 34-meter-square plaza. A raised walkway, 25 centimeters high and 1.1 meters wide, encircles the plaza. The extant north and west halls have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways facing the plaza (figure 6.12). The staircases, each consisting of seven steps, ascend both platforms and are 7.6 meters wide. The entryways of the West Hall (1-W) are 2 meters wide and those of the North Hall (1-N) are 2.4 meters wide. The presence of an East Hall (1-E) cannot be confirmed archaeologically, although its existence is probable (Oliver 1955b:46–47). Figure 6.13 presents James P. Oliver’s reconstruction of the first phase of Patio 1, including the hypothetical East Hall (1-E). All the buildings had been decorated with greca mosaics, as evidenced by the hundreds of greca elements found in the debris around them (Oliver 1955a:60; Paddock 1957:29). However, except for the North Hall (1-N), no greca decoration is preserved on the walls of the other buildings. On the exterior of the south wall (front or façade) of the North Hall (1-N), “the grecas begin about .50 meters from the floor and continue upwards for the height of eleven tiers, which is the same height used on the front of the Hall of the Columns at Mitla” (Oliver 1955a:60). Also, a row of grecas is preserved along the lower exterior part of the north wall of the north hall, facing the street or alleyway that separates this building from the West Group (figure 6.14) (Bernal and Gamio 1974:30–31).

Figure 6.14. North Hall (1-N) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul: (a) North Hall (1-N) of the Patio 1 Group; (b) north wall of North Hall (1-N) with panel of grecas; (c) detail of a greca mosaic in north wall; (d) comparison of the North Halls (1N/16) at Yagul (Patio 1) and Mitla (Group of the Columns) (modified after Oliver 1955a:48, figure 29).

The North Hall (1-N) is the largest and best preserved of the three halls, measuring 34 meters by 7 meters (Oliver 1955b:34), making it very similar in size to the Hall of the Columns, or north temple hall (16), in the North Plaza (E) of the Group of the Columns at Mitla (figure 6.14). Bernal and Gamio (1974:9) named the north hall at Yagul the Sala del Consejo (Council Hall). A pit excavated through the floor of the north hall revealed that it had been remodeled once when its earlier red plaster floor was covered by 15 centimeters of construction fill and a new red plaster floor was built on top of it (Oliver 1955a:50). This appears to have been the extent of its second phase of construction. Traces of a niche occur in the interior back (north) wall of the North Hall (1-N), directly behind the central entryway (Oliver 1955b:34), like the niches in the halls of the South Plaza (C) of the Church Group and the halls of the North (E) and South (F) Plazas of the Group of the Columns at Mitla.14 A low altar or bench is also located along the interior back (north) wall of the North Hall (1-N), beneath the niche and directly opposite the central entryway (Oliver 1955a:49). The altar measures 3.34 meters by 90 centimeters, but only its basal row of stones is preserved. Four stone offering boxes, or hearths, were found embedded in the floor of the north hall—one directly in front of the altar near its west end and the other three next to each of the three entryways (figure 6.12). The boxes, measuring 68 centimeters north to south by 46 centimeters east to west, were full of ash and “the offerings consisted of obsidian blades, thimble-size miniature cajetes [bowls] and spiny clawvessels of very crude manufacture, a fair number of small stones . . . and considerable numbers of chips of flinty stones” (Paddock 1955:25–26). The obsidian blades and flint flakes are consistent with autosacrificial bloodletting rituals carried out by priests within the temples that documents such as the Relación de Guaxilotitlán (Huitzo) mention (Zárate 1581:198). The doorjambs and pillars of the central entrance were not preserved to a height to permit determination of whether or not they had holes in them like the halls of the Mitla Group of the Columns. The West Hall (1-W) measures 22.10 meters by 2.85 meters and is not as well preserved as the north hall, although its floor is intact together with the lower parts of its walls (figure 6.15). A stone offering box, measuring 38 centimeters north to south by 60 centimeters east to west, was found embedded in its floor at the center of the three entryways. “The box was full of ashes,

with a few obsidian blades, a couple of small and very poor cajetes, and nothing else” (Paddock 1955:44–47). The obsidian blades, again, provide evidence of autosacrificial bloodletting rituals. The floor is red and had been refinished five times, as indicated by five thin superimposed layers of red plaster. This seems to be the extent of its second phase of construction. Recent excavations by the Centro Regional de Oaxaca cleared and consolidated the west wall of the platform that supports the hall and uncovered a narrow stairway, 80 centimeters wide, that descends the platform at its southwest corner (figure 6.15). In addition, a stairway behind (west of) the west platform provides access to the terrace below (figure 6.12).

Figure 6.15. West Hall (1-W) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul: (a) West Hall (1-W) of the Patio 1 Group; (b) interior of the West Hall (1-W)—note “offering box” or hearth in floor; (c) exterior west wall of the West Hall (1-W); (d) stairs at southwest side of the west platform.

Unlike the halls on the north and west sides of the plaza of the Patio 1 Group, the buildings on the east side (1-E) underwent considerable modifications during their two or more phases of construction. Oliver (1955a:52–53) attempted to reconstruct the last two phases of construction based on the 1955 excavations. During the first phase, a possible East Hall (1E) was constructed atop a 1.6-meter-high platform (figure 6.13). Oliver evidently hypothetically reconstructed this hall, although apparently no foundations were recovered in excavations to confirm its existence or none was reported. He hypothesized that the East Hall (1-E) was probably very similar to the West Hall (1-W). However, farther back (east) on the platform, he illustrates a small patio with rooms around it that is based on archaeological data. Two long rooms with single central entryways occur on the north and south sides of the patio. The other two rooms are at the east end of the patio and in front of the eastern parts of the long rooms. These small rooms are completely open on one side, facing a hallway or corridor between them that leads to a second single central entryway at the back (east) of the structure. It is clear that the east hall, if it existed, had a residence attached to its east side in a manner similar to the Mitla Hall of the Columns (16) in the Group of the Columns, with a residence called the Patio of the Grecas (D) attached to its north side. The second, or last, phase of construction of the structure on the east side (1-E) of Patio 1 is not as well preserved atop the platform (figure 6.13). First, the walls of the east hall, assuming it existed, must have been completely leveled. Next, the platform was extended about 6 meters westward onto the plaza of Patio 1, and a stairway, 3 meters wide with five steps, was built at its center. The newer stairway and east wall of the platform extension are built partly over the top of the earlier Tomb 2. Evidently, the east hall was replaced or had been destroyed, leaving no trace of its walls. Oliver simply illustrates two long walls separated by several meters and running parallel west to east across the central part of the platform. Two pairs of short walls running north to south project from the long walls, acting like baffles and narrowing the passageway between them partway down and at the east end. At the southeast side of the long south wall is a room with a single entryway in its northwest corner. The interior of the north wall of this room has remnants of a mural decorating it (figure 6.16).

Figure 6.16. East Platform (1-E) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul: (a) East Platform (1-E) of the Patio 1 Group; (b) southeast room on top of the East platform (1E); (c) remnant of a mural from the southeast room of the East platform (1-E) (after Paddock 1955:28, Figure 8a, drawn by Charles Wicke).

The mural, painted in red and white, like the Mitla murals to be discussed in chapter 9, is at the base of the wall and appears to have provided a border for a probably more informative mural above that is now destroyed. This border is composed of the intertwined bodies of two serpents with celestial eyes (stars) at intervals in the loops of the serpents’ bodies. One serpent has spots on his body, which Caso identified as the ocelocóatl or “Jaguar-Serpent” (Oliver 1955a:63). The other serpent has a series of closely spaced short vertical lines along the edge of his body, like those in depictions of feathers. The Jaguar-Serpent probably represents the earth and the other serpent may represent water or clouds (Catalina Barrientos, personal communication, 2011). The celestial eyes are frequently associated with sacrifice. It is possible that this border relates to sacrifices for rain to water the earth. Charles Wicke, who sketched the mural, observed that it had a number of motifs in the same arrangement as occurs on Aztec III (Tenochtitlan Black on Orange) ceramics (Oliver 1955a:64). It is apparent that the East Platform (1-E) was very complex. Oliver (1955a:52) reports that at least three and possibly as many as six construction phases were uncovered in excavations, and that he only attempted to reconstruct the last two phases, pending completion of the excavations. He also reports that the top of the East Platform (1-E) was equal in height to the North Platform (1-N)—that is, 1.6 meters—and that “superpositions of the walls and floors indicated considerable complexity in the history of the buildings” (Oliver 1955b:46). Paddock (1955:30) mentions some adobe walls with paint directly on them deep within the east platform that he believes correspond to structures that predate the construction of Patio 1. However, it appears that excavation of the east platform was never finished to work out the sequence of constructions or, at least, no published material has reported completion of the excavations or findings beyond those presented by Oliver (1955a; 1955b). The east platform was 34 meters north to south by about 20 meters east to west in its final phase of construction, which provided ample room for a hall with a residence behind it. Oliver (1955a:52–54) notes that there was also room for a hall with a residence behind it in its earlier phase of construction, when the platform was 34 meters north to south by about 14 meters east to west, although such a residence would have been relatively small in its eastto-west dimensions. However, no archaeological evidence for a hall has been

reported; only archaeological remains of walls and floors, probably corresponding to residences, have been found. Therefore, it seems plausible to suggest that the east platform served as the base for a series of superimposed residences. The narrow 3-meter-wide stairway supports the idea that the last phase, at least, most likely was a residence because the north (1-N) and west (1-W) temple halls have stairways 7.6 meters wide, making them much more accessible and over twice as wide as the 3-meter-wide east platform stairway. Unfortunately, until the east platform is more thoroughly explored, its function as a temple hall plus residence or just a plain residence remains in doubt. The south side (1-S) of the plaza of the Patio 1 Group had a very low platform with no buildings atop it (figure 6.17). “Some indications of stairs in front of it suggested that access to the patio might at one time have been over a low platform” (Paddock 1955:30). The stairway is 7.6 meters wide. With regard to this area, Paddock reports the following: At the front of the heap of stones called Mound 1-S, a pit revealed that remains of a low wall of rough stones run parallel to 1-S and in front of it, but under the double stucco floor [of the plaza]; under the first [oldest] of these floors and between the wall and 1S were found six burials, in a long line. All were children, adolescents, or young adults, and they are therefore presumed to be sacrifices. All were buried in . . . [a] seated posture . . . and they had . . . cajetes over their heads (Paddock 1955:47). A similar seated burial of a child six to eight years old with a bowl on his head and dating to the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase occurs at Lambityeco.15

Figure 6.17. South Platform (1-S) of the Patio 1 Group, Yagul: (a) South Platform (1-S) of the Patio 1 Group; (b) exterior (south) wall of the South Platform (1-S) of the Patio 1 Group.

It is possible that these burials date to a time before the construction of the Patio 1 Group and have no relationship to it. However, at the Mitla Quadrangle K of the South Group and at Lambityeco Mound 195-System 195 there is clear evidence of individuals having been sacrificed and placed beneath the side of the plaza opposite its major temple or palace during the Classic period. In each case, the sacrificial burials were made and later sealed beneath the newly constructed plaza floor. Although no such sacrificial burials have been reported from the Late Postclassic plazas of the Group of the Columns at Mitla, the presence of these burials aligned with the south side of the plaza of the Patio 1 Group at Yagul and opposite its principal building, the North Hall (1-N), is fully consistent with the Classic sacrificial burials at Mitla and Lambityeco, which “suggests that the buried individuals were sacrificed and placed as dedicatory offerings to consecrate the edifices (Urcid 2005:30–31; Figure 3.4)” (Lind and Urcid 2010:309). Finally, immediately south of the low south platform is a steep cliff. At the base of this cliff, Paddock (1955:41) found “such an accumulation of large pieces of the distinctive crude late Yagul-Mitla ware used for incensers, together with abundant bits of charcoal, as to suggest strongly the existence of a refuse heap where priests had dumped used and broken ceremonial pieces.” Recent excavations by the Centro Regional de Oaxaca have uncovered and consolidated the south wall of the south platform together with a stairway (figure 6.17). The discovery of the south wall made possible a determination of the width of the platform at 3.6 meters. Its length appears to be 34 meters, and there is no indication of a building atop it. Therefore, it certainly served as a platform that gave access to the Patio 1 Group. Confirmation of this comes from the recent discovery of a wide stairway that ascends the cliff from the terrace below and connects directly with the stairway on the south side of the platform (figure 6.12). THE PATIO 1 GROUP AND THE PALACE OF THE SIX PATIOS At Yagul, a clear distinction obtains between the Palace of the Six Patios and the Patio 1 Group. The Patio 1 Group has a much larger plaza than any of the patios or plazas of the palace (table 6.1). The halls of the Patio 1 Group are longer than any of the rooms or halls of the palace. Likewise, the halls of the Patio 1 Group are built atop 1.6-meter-high platforms accessed by wide

stairways, in contrast to the rooms and halls of the palace that are all a step (15 centimeters to 30 centimeters) above the raised walkways around their patios or plazas. The North Hall (1-N) of the Patio 1 Group is 7 meters wide, and no room or hall of comparable width occurs in the palace. Two Early Postclassic tombs (Tombs 1 and 2) occur in the Patio 1 Group and, although no tombs occur in association with the Central and East Groups of the palace, three Early Postclassic tombs (Tombs 4, 23, and 24) occur in the West Group, a point that will be discussed later. The Patio 1 Group appears to have a dedicatory offering of six sacrificed individuals beneath the southern edge of its plaza, and no similar dedicatory offering was found associated with the palace. The artifact assemblage associated with the palace indicates a household occupation, but the artifacts (obsidian blades and flint flakes) found in the north and west halls of the Patio 1 Group indicate autosacrificial bloodletting rituals associated with priests, and the refuse heap at the base of the cliff behind the south platform, with its numerous incense burners and ceremonial ware, clearly associates the Patio 1 Group with religious ceremonial activities. Therefore, the Patio 1 Group is a Postclassic Zapotec temple complex (TRPA) clearly distinguished from the Palace of the Six Patios, which is a civic-residential complex. THE PATIO 1 GROUP AND THE GROUP OF THE COLUMNS As Postclassic Zapotec TRPAs, the Yagul Patio 1 Group and the Group of the Columns at Mitla share a number of distinctive features. Both have plazas that are much larger than the patios and plazas of the palaces in their corresponding communities, and the halls along these plazas are much longer. They have halls with triple central entryways built atop platforms 1.6-meters to 2.6 meters in height on three sides of their plazas, with one open side formed by a low platform with no building on top of it and stairways that provide access to the plaza from the outside. The exterior walls of their halls are decorated with greca mosaics. Both have a north temple hall of comparable length and width that was probably the most important temple within the temple complex. Both have niches in the back (north) walls of their north temple halls, directly behind the central entryway. They have two tombs beneath their plaza floors. Finally, both probably have priestly residences attached to and accessed

through an entryway in the back wall of one of their temple halls, if Oliver’s reconstruction of Yagul is accepted. Differences also occur. The Group of the Columns has two plazas with temple halls, but the Patio 1 Group has only one that can be explained both by the terrain at Yagul that did not provide the space for an additional plaza and the supreme religious importance of Mitla. The Patio 1 Group lacks an altar in the center of its plaza. The temple halls in the Group of the Columns lack offering boxes in their floors and an altar along the center of their back walls. The priestly residence at Mitla is attached to the back of its north (16) temple hall, but the possible one in Yagul may have been attached to the back of its hypothetical east (1-E) temple hall. Again, this can be explained by terrain and building logistics. The north temple hall (1-N) at Yagul is less than 3 meters from the West Group of the Palace, which does not provide space for the addition of a priestly residence there. The West (1-W) and South (1-S) Platforms occur next to steep cliffs, leaving the probable east (1-E) temple hall as the only logical place behind which a priestly residence could be constructed. Finally, the holes at the tops of the pillars and doorjambs, where carved stone heads were inserted in the temple halls at Mitla, cannot be verified at Yagul because the tops of these features were not preserved there. All in all, the Group of the Columns in Mitla and the Patio 1 Group at Yagul share nine distinctive features that indicate that they are Postclassic Zapotec temple complexes and that likewise distinguish them from Postclassic Zapotec palaces. THE PATIO 4 GROUP The Patio 4 Group at Yagul is located to the east of the Patio 1 Group and on a lower terrace with the ball court between them (figure 6.2). Marcus Winter (1986:57) has identified the Patio 4 Group as a TPA that possibly dates to the Postclassic. Like a typical TPA, it has a 9-meter-high pyramid on the east side of a plaza, with an altar in its center and platforms on the other three sides. Paddock (1955) named the plaza Patio 4; the four buildings around it 4-E (east), 4-W (west), 4-N (north), and 4-S (south); and the altar in the center of its plaza 4-C (center). With regard to the Patio 4 Group, Paddock (1957:21) observed, “Patio 4 may well have been the most sacred place at Yagul. Enclosing it are the city’s highest pyramids” (figure 6.18).

Figure 6.18. Patio 4 Group, Yagul (modified after Bernal 1966:353, figure 8).

The plaza (Patio 4) measures about 37.1 meters north to south by 35 meters east to west and has an altar (4-C) near its center that measures 9 meters north to south and 7.8 meters east to west. The altar’s lower walls are preserved, and they are decorated with panels of simple greca mosaics framed by double cornices (figure 6.19a). A stairway on the west side of the altar consists of two preserved steps, but it was estimated that it originally included four steps, the number necessary to reach its top. Looters gutted the interior of the altar,

but a small patch of plaster corresponding to the floor on top of it was located, although its height has not been reported. Although the altar manifests two phases of construction, it was not possible to assign a Classic or Postclassic date due to the extensive looting of its interior (Paddock 1957:23–24).

Figure 6.19. Altar, cruciform cache, and Tomb 7 in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul: (a) altar in plaza of the Patio 4 Group; (b) cruciform cache and Tomb 7, Patio 4 Group (after Paddock 1957:35, Figure 14).

Beneath the plaza floor in front (east) of the east side of the center of the altar was a cruciform cache (figure 6.19b). The cache “consisted of four

adobe-lined nearly cubical chambers, opening off a square central shaft. It was oriented diagonally with respect to the Yagul buildings” (Paddock 1957:25). A series of small stone columns shaped to resemble logs covered the top of the cache. Paddock (1957:24) observes the marked similarity of this cruciform cache to one from Yatachio in the Mixteca Alta that contained the remains of Cociyo effigy urns dating to the Late Classic. The Yagul cruciform cache was empty, probably having had its offering removed when a later Postclassic tomb, Tomb 7, was built partially over its top. Although Tomb 7, whose façade is located 4 meters east of the altar, was thoroughly looted in recent times, it was determined from the remaining pieces of the offering to be a Late Postclassic rectangular tomb oriented east to west, with its door in the west facing the east side of the altar. Because part of the cruciform cache was sealed beneath the intact plaster floor of the plaza, and Tomb 7 was cut through this same plaster floor at a later date, the cache was considered to date to the Late Classic period. The religious significance of this cache appears obvious. It relates to the four world directions and the center over which the rain deity, Cociyo, ruled and is a common Late Classic Xoo phase Zapotec religious theme (Lind 2011). About 6 meters west of the altar, three tombs (Tombs 3, 29, and 30) were discovered beneath the plaza but not sealed by the plaza floor (figure 6.20). All are Late Postclassic T-shaped tombs built at right angles to one another that share a common “open antechamber” or space in front of their entryways that is accessed from the plaza by a stairway consisting of four steps (Wicke 1966:336). This makes this triple tomb most similar to Tomb 3c in the South Group at Mitla that Bernal excavated, although the Mitla Tomb 3c does not contain T-shaped crypts. Tomb 3 is oriented east to west, with its door in the west, and it had been recently looted (Paddock 1957:20, table 1). Tomb 29 is oriented north to south, with its door in the north, and it also had been looted, although the looters overlooked the offering of Late Postclassic fine grayware in the lateral extensions of the T. It also has a single carved stone anthropomorphic head projecting from the front wall to the right (west) of its entryway (Wicke 1966:336).

Figure 6.20. Tombs 3, 29, and 30 in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul: (a) plan of Tombs 3, 29, and 30 in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group (after Wicke 1966:338, Figure 1); (b) the entrance of Tomb 30 with carved stone heads on either side.

Tomb 30 is oriented south to north, with its door in the south. It too had been looted, with the stone slabs that formed its roof and walls removed except for the slab that sealed the entryway, the slabs forming its doorjambs and front walls, and one of the inside wall slabs that had collapsed over the floor of the western lateral extension of the T before the tomb was looted. Grecas adorn the door slab, the front walls on either side of the doorjambs, and the walls inside the tomb, like the Mitla cruciform tombs and Tomb 3c. Beneath the collapsed stone wall were the skeletal remains of nine individuals —one primary burial and eight disturbed primaries—together with an offering of three polychrome vessels and a copper finger ring. Two carved stone human heads project from the center of the tops of the doorjambs, one on either side of the door (Wicke 1966:337–43). These stone heads probably represent the elite ancestors of those buried in the tomb (figure 6.20). Also beneath the plaza floor, but not sealed by it, is Tomb 12, located near the center at the foot of the large West Platform (4-W). Tomb 12 is a Late Postclassic T-shaped tomb oriented east to west, with its door in the east. Its lintel is framed by a single cornice and two small carved stone human heads project from the front wall of the tomb, one on either side of the door, slightly below the line of the lintel, like the ones Marshall Saville reported from Tomb 1 at Mitla (Paddock 1955:42). There was one primary burial and from one to three disturbed primaries in the tomb (Brockington 1955:70). The pyramid on the east side of the plaza (4-E) is the tallest structure at Yagul, measuring 9.2 meters high (Paddock 1955:44). Unfortunately, it has been gutted by looters, who scooped out its center to a depth of 5 meters in addition to digging dozens of large pits and hundreds of smaller pits. Recent excavations by the Centro Regional de Oaxaca have uncovered and consolidated the base of the west wall of the pyramid and its 12.9-meter-wide staircase with seventeen preserved steps (figure 6.21). The west wall of the pyramid occupies the full 37.1 meters along the east side of the plaza.

Figure 6.21. Pyramid (4-E) and carved jaguar cuauhxicalli in the Patio 4 Group, Yagul: (a) Pyramid (4-E) on the east side of the plaza of the Patio 4 Group; (b) staircase of the pyramid (4-E) of the Patio 4 Group—note carved jaguar at base of steps; (c) carved jaguar cuauhxicalli, frontal view; (d) side view of carved jaguar cuauhxicalli—note receptacle for human hearts; (e) Mexica (Aztec) carved jaguar cuauhxicalli, Tenochtitlan (Museo Nacional de Antropología de Mexico).

In removing the loose debris left by looters along the pyramid’s west side, Paddock (1955:42) discovered a large and somewhat crudely carved stone representation of a crouching jaguar near the center of the base of its stairway (figure 6.21). The jaguar is 1.8 meters long (head to tail), 1.5 meters high, and 1.5 meters wide, and it had been covered with plaster and painted, probably originally making it an imposing sculpture. A circular basin was carved into

the center of the jaguar’s back, indicating that it had probably served as an Aztec-style cuauhxicalli, or receptacle for the hearts of human sacrificial victims. The similarities between the Aztec and Yagul examples of a jaguar cuauhxicalli are clear, even given the crudeness of the Yagul jaguar. Both jaguars have large circular eyes. The presence of the jaguar cuauhxicalli is a very clear indicator that structure 4-E was a temple used, if not built, in Late Postclassic times to carry out religious activities involving human sacrificial ceremonies. The platforms on the north (4-N) and south (4-S) sides of the plaza (Patio 4) experienced only limited excavations by Paddock (figure 6.22). However, recent excavations by the Centro Regional de Oaxaca uncovered the base of the north wall of the south platform that extends from the southeast corner of the plaza to within 5 meters of the southwest corner, making it about 30 meters long. Looters had seriously damaged the South Platform (4-S). However, Paddock (1955:44) uncovered remains of sections of steps near its upper north side, facing the plaza. The North Platform (4-N) is built on the terrace above the Patio 4 Group. It contains an 8.3-meter-wide stairway consisting of seventeen preserved steps. It extends the full length of 35 meters along the north side of the plaza and has been excavated to show that its width is about 15 meters.

Figure 6.22. South (4-S) and North (4-N) Platforms of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul: (a) South Platform (4-S) of the Patio 4 Group; (b) North Platform (4-N) of the Patio 4 Group; (c) Staircase of the North Platform (4-N) of the Patio 4 Group.

Excavations atop the North Platform (4-N) revealed two tombs, Tombs 8 and 22. Tomb 8 is T-shaped, oriented east to west, with its door in the west, and is located near the center of the top of the platform. Although looted, some of its offering remained, including a few copper, turquoise, pearl, shell, and jade-like beads, indicating it is Late Postclassic (Paddock 1955:42; 1957:19, 20, table 1). Tomb 22, located toward the east part of the top of the platform but aligned with Tomb 8, is rectangular, with a flat roof and oriented east to west, with its door in the west. It has been totally looted (Paddock 1957:19, 20, table 1). The walls around all four sides of the large West Platform (4-W) were uncovered in narrow trenches and more recently were fully exposed (figure 6.23). They indicate that the platform measures about 37.1 meters north to south by about 30 meters east to west. Only its west side was more extensively excavated, revealing a monumental stairway 14.5 meters wide that provides access to the Patio 4 Group from the outside. Evidence of a large stairway is also located on its east side, descending into the plaza, but it is mostly destroyed. Stairways also occur on the north and south sides. A plaster floor occurs on top of the platform, but no evidence of any building was found. Excavations indicated the presence of an earlier plaster floor 1.8 meters beneath the upper floor, and other information indicated that the platform manifested at least three phases of construction (Paddock 1957:21–23).

Figure 6.23. West Platform (4-W) of the Patio 4 Group, Yagul: (a) West Platform (4-W) of the Patio 4 Group; (b) Exterior (west side) of the West Platform (4-W) of the Patio 4 Group; (c) wide staircase on the exterior (west side) of the West Platform (4-W) of the Patio 4 Group.

Additionally, two tombs (15 and 16) were discovered on top of the West Platform (4-W), in the middle of the west side where the upper floor was broken. The tombs are built at right angles to one another, are T-shaped, and date to the Late Postclassic. Tomb 15, oriented north to south, with its door in the south, is intact and has its façade adorned with greca mosaics framed by double cornices. Its offering is mentioned as a “good one,” but none of the objects is identified, discussed, or illustrated. Tomb 16, oriented east to west, with its door in the west, had been partially dismantled in Prehispanic times and was “almost emptied,” but again, any artifacts associated with its offering are not identified, discussed, or illustrated (Paddock 1957:15, 20, table 1). Finally, the monumental stairway, about 14.5 meters wide on the west side of the west platform, is clearly the major entryway into the Patio 4 Group TPA. Almost certainly a second monumental stairway occurs on the east side of the platform, providing access to the plaza of the Patio 4 Group TPA. These monumental stairways are clearly designed to accommodate the large number of commoners who occupied the lower terraces on the hill, providing them access to the religious ceremonies carried out in the Patio 4 Group temple complex. A very narrow set of stairs at the northwest corner of the plaza was designed to accommodate the elite (nobles and priests), who occupied the upper terrace to the north of the Patio 4 Group, providing them a private entryway into the temple complex (figure 6.18). Apart from these two means of access, no other entryways into the Patio 4 Group temple complex are apparent. THE PATIO 4 GROUP AND THE ADOBE GROUP The Patio 4 Group at Yagul and the Adobe Group at Mitla are typical TPAs, temple complexes in the Classic style of Monte Albán. Both have 9.2-metertall pyramidal platform bases on the east side of a large plaza with an altar in its center and three platforms around its remaining sides. In both cases, the west platform is the largest of the three platforms and provided the main entryway into the plaza from the outside via broad staircases, although the existence of these staircases cannot be verified in the Adobe Group due to extensive destruction. Despite the similarities, differences do occur. Five tombs occur in the plaza of the Patio 4 Group and an additional two tombs each in its north and

west platforms, for a total of nine tombs. No tombs are reported from the Adobe Group, but this is possibly due to its deplorable state of preservation. None of the Classic period TPAs at Monte Albán has an associated tomb. Also, unlike the Patio 4 Group, no cruciform cache or large stone jaguar cuauhxicalli has been reported from the Adobe Group. Paddock’s 1963 excavations demonstrated that the Adobe Group was constructed in the Postclassic; however, Paddock does not assign either a Classic or Postclassic date to the Patio 4 Group. It may have been built during the Late Classic Xoo phase, like Quadrangle K of the South Group at Mitla, but was probably at least partially remodeled and definitely reutilized during the Postclassic. THE YAGUL TEMPLES AND PALACES Like Mitla, the evolution of the Yagul temples and palaces during the Postclassic is represented in the remains of the five groups. The West Group, the palace of the coqui of Yagul, appears to have been constructed initially during the Early Postclassic, as evidenced by the offerings in the three tombs (Tombs 4, 23, and 24) associated with it. From the presence of these tombs in the West Group palace, it appears that the coqui were buried in the tombs and had their funerary rituals conducted initially in the privacy of the residence (Patio A, Tomb 4) and subsequently in the more public town hall/ritual part of the palace (Plaza D, Tombs 23 and 24) during Early Postclassic times. The Patio 1 Group TRPA is located directly south of the West Group palace, with only a narrow street or alleyway, about 3 meters wide, separating them, and it also appears to have been constructed initially during the Early Postclassic. Evidence of its first phase of construction included six sacrificed children buried in a manner characteristic of another dated Liobaa phase burial at Lambityeco and sealed beneath the plaza floor as offerings to consecrate the temple complex. Tombs 1 and 2 were centered in front of the possible east (E1) temple hall, with the priestly residence attached to it, and probably represent the locus of the burials and funerary rites for the priests that staffed the temple during this time. During the Late Postclassic, it appears that a new palace, the East Group, was constructed for the coqui of Yagul. Also at this time, it is likely that the Patio 1 temple complex experienced its final phase of construction and Tombs 1 and 2 were sealed, abandoned, and partially covered by the later east

structure (E–1). Because no tombs occur in the East Group palace, and none is associated with the last phase of construction of the Patio 1 temple complex, it appears that burials of the coqui and priests during the Late Postclassic took place in the plaza of the Patio 4 TPA and the platforms surrounding it, where nine tombs have been found. Apart from burials and funerary rituals, the Patio 4 TPA was also used during the Late Postclassic for religious ceremonies, including human sacrifices, as indicated by the jaguar cuauhxicalli. The “old” palace, West Group, remained in use during the Late Postclassic, and the Central Group was later constructed between it and the “new” East Group palace but with streets or alleyways separating them. The Central Group was strictly residential and probably used to house the concubines and servants of the coqui and/or lesser members of his royal family. Finally, entryways were opened between the West and Central Groups at an even later date, providing access between them, and a newer south hall was added to the South Plaza (F) of the East Group that, however, retained its isolation, with no direct access between it and the other groups. Although based on available data, this evolutionary scenario of Yagul is hypothetical and will require additional data to verify or, more likely, modify it. POSTCLASSIC ZAPOTEC TEMPLES During the Postclassic period leading up to the Spanish Conquest, the Zapotecs made use of two different styles of temples: traditional TPAs (temple-plazaaltar) and “newly” devised TRPAs (temple-residence-plaza-altar). TPAs, in the Classic style of Monte Albán’s System IV and Mound M, occur at both Mitla and Yagul. The Adobe Group TPA at Mitla was built in Postclassic times while the Patio 4 Group TPA at Yagul, like the Quadrangle K TPA of the South Group at Mitla, may have been a Late Classic temple complex that was reutilized during the Postclassic. The presence of a large carved stone jaguar cuauhxicalli at the center of the base of the stairway of the major (9.2-metertall) temple (4-E) is clear evidence that Late Postclassic religious ceremonies involving human sacrifices were conducted in the Patio 4 Group TPA at Yagul and, by extension, in the Adobe Group TPA at Mitla, although in the case of the latter, evidence is lacking to confirm this. According to the Relaciones, ceremonies involving human sacrifices to the patron deity of the queche (citystate), generally Pitao Pezeelao, were conducted every 260 days, or ritual

year, most likely on the last day of the ritual year (Pece Lao). Other human sacrifices to Cociyo, the rain deity, also took place during the solar year (Villagar 1580; Espíndola 1580; Zárate 1581). The presence of nine Late Postclassic elite tombs in the plaza and north and west platforms of the Patio 4 Group TPA at Yagul is unusual because no tombs have been reported from the Classic period TPAs at Monte Albán or the Late Postclassic Adobe Group at Mitla, although Postclassic tombs occur in the Quadrangle K TPA of the South Group at Mitla. The presence of these nine tombs indicates that the Patio 4 Group TPA at Yagul was also used during the Late Postclassic for funerary rituals related to the elite—probably the coqui (ruler) and his family, who occupied the nearby East Group of the Palace of the Six Patios, where no tombs have been found. It is also possible that some of these tombs were the burial places of the priests who staffed the Patio 1 Group temple complex. It will be recalled that their apparent tombs, Tombs 1 and 2, had been sealed and partially covered by a later extension of the East Platform (1-E). Because no other tombs replaced these earlier tombs, it is probable that priests may have been buried in some of the tombs of the Patio 4 Group TPA in Late Postclassic times. It should be noted that although the skeletal remains from these tombs have not been analyzed, other Late Postclassic tombs at Yagul with large numbers of burials contain the remains of only adult males and females, indicating that children and adolescents were not buried in tombs (Estrada et al. 1972).16 Evidently, children and adolescents were buried beneath the patios, plazas, or room floors, as evidenced by their presence in these areas of the Yagul palaces. The lack of tombs in the Mitla Adobe Group TPA and in the Arroyo and Church Group palaces suggests that initially the Mitla elite and priests were buried in Tomb 3c of the Quadrangle K TPA in the South Group during the oldest phase of occupation of the Arroyo Group, before the Group of the Columns was completed. Subsequently, the coqui and the priests probably were buried in one of the large cruciform tombs beneath the North (21) and East (22) Halls in the South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns, as Canseco (1580) reported. Other Mitla nobles may have been buried in the tombs of the North (L) and South (M) Quadrangles of the South Group. TRPAs were a Postclassic Zapotec innovation in building temple complexes. The Postclassic TRPA differed from the Classic TPA. The Classic TPA had a large 9-meter-tall pyramidal platform, with a small one or two

chamber temple room atop it on the east or west side of a plaza, with an altar in its center. Two low platforms or walls occurred along the two sides of the plaza adjacent to the temple. A larger, taller platform was located across the plaza opposite the temple. This larger platform provided the only access into and out of the plaza by means of two broad stairways ascending the platform from the outside and descending it from the opposite side into the plaza. No priestly residences are directly attached to TPAs. In contrast, the Postclassic TRPA had long, narrow platforms, 1.6 meters to 2.6 meters high, along three sides of a large plaza. Long temple halls with greca mosaics adorning their exterior walls sat atop these platforms. All the temple halls were accessed by broad stairways leading to wide central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways facing the plaza. The temple hall on the north side of the plazas at Mitla and Yagul was generally the longest, widest, and presumably most important but was no taller than the other temple halls.17 One side of the plaza had a very low platform, with stairways on opposite sides providing access from the outside into the plaza. An entryway in the back wall of one of the temple halls opened into a passageway that led to a residential patio with four rooms around it. These were the residential quarters for the priests who staffed the temples. The TRPAs at Mitla (the Group of the Columns) and Yagul (the Patio 1 Group) manifest two tombs each. The Postclassic Zapotec temples are very similar to the Postclassic Zapotec palaces (civic-residential buildings) occupied by the coqui and his family. Both have greca mosaics decorating the exterior walls of their rooms and halls. Both have long halls with central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways along three sides of a plaza, with the fourth side open or bordered by a low platform with stairways on opposite sides to provide access from the outside into the plaza. Both have entryways in the back wall of one of their halls leading to a passageway that opens onto a residential courtyard surrounded by four rooms. Despite these marked similarities, several features distinguish the palaces from the temples. Temples, like in the Group of the Columns at Mitla and the Patio 1 Group at Yagul, have their temple halls built atop platforms 1.6 meters to 2.6 meters high that are accessed from the plaza below by broad stairways. Palaces, like in the Arroyo and Church Groups at Mitla and the East and West Groups of the Palace of the Six Patios at Yagul, have their town/ritual halls

only a step above the raised walkways encircling their plaza floors. The temple plazas are almost double the size of the palace plazas; the temple halls are much longer, and in certain cases, much wider than any of the halls of the palaces. On the other hand, the residential quarters in the palaces occupied by the coqui are larger than the residential quarters of the priests, as would be expected (table 5.1). In addition, the north halls of the residential quarters of the coqui have central entrances divided by two square pillars to form three entryways, but the priestly residential quarters have rooms with only single central entryways. The north halls with three entryways in the residential quarters of the palace almost certainly constituted council halls, where the coqui met in private with his closest advisors that included both high priests (huia tao) and senior elderly priests (copa pitao), according to Burgoa (1989: II, 354). The archaeological record provides a realistic view of the Late Postclassic temples staffed by Zapotec temple priests. It presents an insight into the nature of these temples, or yoho pehe, and the actual residences of the temple priests who staffed them. It also provides information on Postclassic TPAs or Classic period TPAs reutilized in the Postclassic period. The information from Yagul suggests that the TPAs were used for religious ceremonies involving human sacrifices. Although there is no evidence that temple priests staffed the TPAs, like at the TRPAs, their locations at both Yagul and Mitla demonstrate that these TPAs were very close to the TRPAs where the temple priests resided and therefore were readily accessible to them. At Yagul, the Patio 4 Group TPA appears to have also served as a locus of funerary ceremonies for the elite, perhaps both priests and nobles, during Late Postclassic times. At Mitla, the South Plaza (F), or Patio of the Tombs in the Group of the Columns, appears to have been the location for funerary ceremonies for both the coqui and the priests, given the absence of tombs in the palaces. These funerary ceremonies included not only the burials of coqui and priests but subsequent ritual activities invoking their spirits as intermediaries with the deities throughout the years following their deaths.

Notes 1. Portions of Mound 5-W and Building U, both cited by John Paddock (1955:36–41; 1957:30) as Late Postclassic temples, were also excavated, but very little was reported on them; Paddock indicated that both structures contained Classic remains. One tomb within Mound 5-W, Tomb 10, was clearly Late Classic Xoo phase, and two stratigraphically later tombs, Tombs 11 and 13, contain Early Postclassic offerings. Although Paddock reports a Postclassic penate from the floor of the temple room atop Building U, he notes that most of the structure dates to the Classic or earlier periods. Pedro Ramón, an archaeologist from the Centro Regional de Oaxaca who recently worked on Building U, contends that it is entirely a Late Classic Xoo phase structure (personal communication, 2011). Although there may be Postclassic temples built over these Late Classic Xoo phase structures, not enough information is available on these remains to clearly determine this. Return to text. 2. Bowls with another bowl as a lid also occur as offerings in other contexts that do not imply an umbilical cord offering. These particular bowls, however, occur in a residential context beneath a patio floor, which conforms to the present-day Zapotec umbilical cord offerings in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca, where Yagul is located. It is not known if this practice occurs in other parts of the Valley of Oaxaca. Return to text. 3. The Early Classic Pitao phase or Monte Albán IIIA (AD 350–550), included a burial beneath a house floor built on a thin layer of deposits overlying bedrock. A meter above this was an elite house that probably belongs to the Late Classic Xoo phase (AD 650–850). Bernal and Gamio (1974:17–18) note that the construction technique of the latter was entirely different from that of the West Group built above it that they relate to the Postclassic. Return to text. 4. Calibrated, these dates are AD 1040–1440 and AD 1460–1680 (Markens, Winter, and Martínez 2010:359). Their midpoints are AD 1240 and AD 1570. Return to text. 5. Additional burials occur beneath the plaza floor that date to periods earlier than the Postclassic. Return to text. 6. Bernal and Gamio (1974:53) suggest that this area was used as a temazcal, or sweatbath. I examined this structure in 1980, and several factors indicate that it was definitely not a sweatbath. First, at 33 centimeters wide and 40 centimeters high, its opening is too small for even a Zapotec. Second, it lacks any evidence of a steam production locus. Third, the walls of this small room are at least 2 meters high, which is far too high for a sweatbath. Finally, all the sweatbaths at Lambityeco (Lind and Urcid 2010: 133–36) and a present-day one I examined in Mitla are located outside rooms of the house, never in them. The Yagul

“sweatbath” was probably a granary for shelled corn placed in the corner of the room. It was most likely filled with shelled corn poured over the top of the tall wall and the corn retrieved for use from the opening at the center of the base of the wall. Return to text. 7. Calibrated, this date is AD 1260–1480 (Markens, Winter, and Martínez 2010: 359). Its midpoint is AD 1370. Return to text. 8. See Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:358–62) for Late Postclassic T-shaped tombs (Tombs 3, 4, and 5) decorated with grecas from Mitla. Return to text. 9. Donald Brockington (1955:71) reports it had a very rough flat roof that was poorly placed. Return to text. 10. Brockington (1955:70) reports eighteen disturbed primaries in Tomb 1, but James P. Oliver (1955b:100) cites the presence of only eight disturbed primaries. Return to text. 11. Paddock (1955: 27; 28, figure 7) does not discuss the offerings and only shows a photo of a few of the ceramic vessels from the very front of Tomb 2 in situ. A couple of these vessels appear from the photo to be Late Postclassic, although most likely corresponding to the earlier part of that period. Tomb 1 contained ten jars and bowls, five sahumadores (incense burners), and six pieces of jadeite. Tomb 2 had 28 jars and bowls, one sahumador, a mano, the remains of a petate (woven mat), and various bone, shell, and obsidian beads. Tombs 1 and 2 shared a common open antechamber in front of their doors that contained fourteen jars and bowls and a metate. None of these objects is illustrated, and none is identified as to phase or period (Brockington 1955:70). Return to text. 12. Oliver (1955b:100) reports that “the door to Tomb 1 was completely hidden by this coating of stucco.” Return to text. 13. This offering box is like the one found by Caso and Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:377; 399–401, figures 3, 4) beneath the floor of the east room (2) of Patio A of the Church Group in Mitla. Return to text. 14. Oliver (1955b:34) reports the presence of a flat stone that formed the base of the niche in the wall, but the remaining stones along the sides, back, and top of the niche had been destroyed together with the wall in this section. Return to text. 15. Burials of this type have been associated with the Early Postclassic Liobaa phase. At Lambityeco, about 4 kilometers west of Yagul, a child of six to eight years old was found buried in a seated position with a cajete on his head, with associated archaeomagnetic dates of AD 1035, 1050, and 1065 (Urcid 1983; Lind 2008c: 175–76; Lind and Urcid 2010:340). Return to text. 16. Paddock (1958) excavated three Late Postclassic tombs built around a common antechamber at Yagul that contained about forty burials. The skeletal remains from these burials were analyzed by Estrada et al. (1972), who report the presence of adult males and females ranging in age from twenty-one to fifty-five-plus years at their time of death. No adolescents or children were found among the skeletal remains. Return to text.

17. In the South Plaza (F) of the Group of the Columns at Mitla, the east temple hall (22) is the largest, the widest, and presumably, the most important. Return to text.

7 Colaní Zapotec Community Priests and Their Rituals

During the sixteenth century, missionaries of the Dominican order established friaries and convents and built churches in order to convert Zapotecs in the Valley of Oaxaca and the surrounding areas from their pagan beliefs to Catholicism. The Dominicans eliminated the most obvious and visible aspects of Zapotec religion: temples, statues of deities and ancestors, temple ceremonies, and the Zapotec temple priests who conducted them. For this reason, the sixteenth-century documents refer to temple priests, but with the exception of Fray Juan de Córdova, the Zapotec community priests, who were not directly associated with the temples and lived with their families in community barrios (neighborhoods), passed unnoticed. Seventeenth-century documents are replete with references to Zapotec community priests, but except for Francisco Burgoa, they never mention Zapotec temple priests. Zapotec community priests are repeatedly referenced in regard to the continuation of Zapotec idolatry during the seventeenth century, and they provoked a conflict between the Dominican order and the Roman Catholic Church. The King of Spain, Phillip II, through a privilege granted to him by Pope Pius V and later confirmed by Pope Gregory XVI, allowed the Dominicans to continue administering to the religious needs of the Zapotecs without being beholden to bishops and other ecclesiastical authorities of the Catholic Church (Alcina Franch 1993:17). As early as the sixteenth century, the church appointed bishops to oversee Oaxaca and began establishing parishes with regular priests in charge. This led to conflicts with the Dominican missionaries, who objected to being displaced by parish priests. The bishop of Oaxaca sanctioned the investigations by Gonzalo Balsalobre, a parish priest, into Zapotec idolatries in the Sola Valley, south of the Valley of Oaxaca, and used them to justify the creation of parishes staffed with regular

priests because the Dominicans had failed to eradicate pagan religious beliefs after over a century of proselytizing (Berlin 1988:9). Zapotec community priests who perpetuated these religious activities are mentioned in virtually all the seventeenth-century sources, except Burgoa, a Dominican. ZAPOTEC COMMUNITY PRIESTS Balsalobre’s investigations in the Sola Valley uncovered sixty-one Zapotec community priests. These priests were called letrados (literate ones) or maestros (masters or teachers) in Spanish and colaní in Zapotec (Berlin 1988:25–28). Córdova defines colaní as a category of Zapotec priests who were diviners, soothsayers, learned in religious rituals, initiators of religious ceremonies, and sorcerers (Smith Stark 2002:144). According to Córdova, colaní had religious manuscripts (codices) that recorded the sacred calendar and the deities governing the day numbers, which they used to name newborns, predict the compatibility of prospective brides and grooms, and determine the appropriate days in which to carry out diverse activities. They also interpreted dreams, diagnosed illnesses, and cast lots to determine the will of various deities with regard to certain situations (Smith Stark 2002:144). In short, colaní were full-fledged priests educated in Zapotec theology but, unlike temple priests, did not staff temples, were not celibate, and resided with their families in neighborhoods within their communities. Balsalobre, writing nearly a century later, cites the same basic activities of colaní as Córdova: They have continually shown the same errors that they had as pagans. They have books or hand-written manuscripts that are employed for this doctrine and in them the use and teaching of thirteen gods, with men’s and women’s names, to whom various effects are attributed . . . from which with sorcery they take the variety of their magical and ritual answers. For all kinds of hunting, for whatever fishing, for the harvest of maize, chili, and cochineal; for whatever sickness and for the superstitious medicine to cure it; in order to ease workloads and so that death will not come to their houses, for success in their women’s pregnancies and births; so that their children will succeed, for the

songs of birds and animals that are omens to them, for dreams and their explanation and success in this or that endeavor; to treat sufferings that they experience, finally for anything they need they go to one of these letrados or maestros [colaní] who cast lots with thirteen grains of corn in reverence to the thirteen gods. They [colaní] teach them to do horrendous idolatries and sacrifices to the devil of small dogs and turkey hens and male turkeys decapitating them and smearing their blood on thirteen pieces of copal incense . . . and burning it and offering it in sacrifice to the god whom they expect to remedy the need that they pretend to alleviate for which they fast for twenty-four hours . . . mixing [the fasts] with many superstitious rituals and ceremonies (Balsalobre 1988:110–11).1 The documents record between twenty and twenty-five Zapotec ritual books in circulation in Sola, but Balsalobre burned them all so none survives (Berlin 1988:25–29). However, the documents that Balsalobre compiled provide considerable data about the Zapotec deities, the colaní and their use of the sacred calendar, and Zapotec religious practices. The Zapotecs had the sacred calendar as early as 550 BC, more than two thousand years before the seventeenth century, and therefore the religious practices and deities associated with the sacred calendar have a very long history in Oaxaca (Caso 1971b:333). The sixty-one colaní recorded by Balsalobre included five women, one of whom was a colaní’s widow and the other was a colaní’s daughter (Berlin 1988:25–28). Although colaní were predominantly males, the inclusion of women is not surprising in Zapotec culture where, since Prehispanic times, males and females were relatively equal in status (Lind and Urcid 2010:11). From the list of sixty-one colaní cited by Heinrich Berlin (1988:25–28), it is apparent that the children of colaní often became colaní themselves. A number of colaní are cited as sons of colaní, including the two sons of Diego Luis (Balsalobre 1988:115–16), and a female colaní was the daughter of a colaní (Berlin 1988:26–27). However, according to Berlin (1988:25), anyone acquiring a book, finding a colaní to take them as an apprentice, and willing to study could become a colaní. Barbara Tedlock (1992:53) has detailed how candidates for apprenticeship among present-day Quiché Maya priests

(counterparts of the Zapotec colaní) should be born only on certain days in the sacred calendar and should experience a series of “divine” dreams or certain illnesses. The priests train their apprentices, even making them recite from memory all 260 days of the sacred calendar, in order, both forward and backward (B. Tedlock 1992:8). Although none of the books of the colaní of Sola survives, descriptions of them occur in the documents. It is said they were handwritten in Zapotec using Spanish orthography. One had lines, numbers, and signs on its last page and was eleven pages long (Berlin 1988:29). The books contained the names of all twenty days, as they were called in Zapotec in ancient times, and the names of the thirteen deities that governed each of the day numbers of the sacred calendar. The deities determined which days were good and bad for certain activities (Berlin 1988:30). The books also evidently specified the nature of the offerings and what sacrifices to make to the deities and also contained other drawings and characters (Berlin 1988:31). In short, the books were clearly the seventeenth-century Zapotec version of a Prehispanic ritual codex or tonalámatl, “the book of the days.”2 Only one modern copy fitting the above description of these ritual books survives. It comes from Totomachapan, in the Peñoles region to the west of the Valley of Oaxaca, and was studied by Ron van Meer (2000) (see chapter 8). Other ritual books from later in the seventeenth century from the Sierra Juárez lack the names of the deities. RITUALS The ritual books were as essential to a Zapotec colaní as the Bible is to a Catholic priest or Protestant minister and were used to carry out the many rituals they performed. Diego Luis said he used his ritual book “to respond to consultations those in need made to him regarding the explanation of dreams, the outcomes of illnesses and deaths, the songs of birds and other ominous animals, and to show what penances were necessary for those that died, and the sacrifices needed as offerings to . . . their pagan gods” (Berlin 1988:35).3 Those for whom the rituals were performed were required to provide the turkeys, dogs, copal, and candles necessary for the offerings and occasionally paid the colaní a monetary fee (Berlin 1988:48–49).

BIRTH RITUALS The colaní consulted their books and cast lots to determine if a pregnant woman would have a live birth or a stillbirth (Berlin 1988:35). According to Diego Luis, If the thirteen grains of corn remained the same with their faces down, it predicted that the baby would die and it always happened that way, and also, when nine of the grains landed face up and four face down it predicted sickness and death and grave tidings and then . . . the lot fell on the god of death [Pezeelao] and to appease him with sacrifices ordinarily meant . . . [going] to the mountain with a male turkey and copal incense and there decapitate the turkey and smear his blood on the . . . copal incense and burn it as an offering to the . . . god of death (Berlin 1988:35–36).4 To ensure a successful delivery, the colaní warned the parents not to sleep together for three days and told them to bathe at dawn on three consecutive days. The Nahuas, and probably the Zapotecs as well, viewed ritual bathing as a way of purifying one from pollution of the body and “soul,” and saw sexual intercourse as a polluting activity (Burkhart 1989:113). Also, the colaní decapitated a spotted turkey hen as an offering to Huichaana, goddess of childbirth, and requested that the parents make offerings (probably candles) to Liraa Quitzino, the God Thirteen (Berlin 1988:42). The day of birth, the colaní went into the room where the baby was born, decapitated a spotted turkey hen, smeared its blood on pieces of copal, ignited the copal, and sprinkled the remaining blood around the room as offerings to Huichaana (Berlin 1988:42–43). After the birth, the colaní warned the parents to abstain from sexual intercourse for three days. Next, the ritual of the sweatbath for birth mothers was carried out (figure 7.1). The colaní entered the sweatbath with the mother, decapitated a spotted turkey hen, and burned copal as offerings to Huichaana, also the goddess of sweatbaths (Berlin 1988:43–44). Córdova (1578b:216) also states that they poured a libation of pulque within the sweatbath and lit candles. Finally, the colaní consulted the ritual book to give

the baby an indigenous or calendar name consisting of the Zapotec name and number of the day on which the baby was born. The parents were told of the proper offering to make to the Zapotec deity who governed the baby’s day of birth. Likewise, the colaní declared the baby’s adult vocation (Berlin 1988:32–33).

Figure 7.1. Zapotec sweatbath (yaa) in Mitla, AD 1980.

In the sixteenth century, Córdova (1578b:202) notes that the calendar name was the person’s principal name, but they also had an additional name. This additional name was their birth order name. For boys, it included yobi (number one son), tini (number two son), tixi (number three son), payo (number four son), yee (number five son), yopiye (number six son), and so on.5 For girls, it was zaa (number one daughter), xoñi (number two daughter), nijo (number three daughter), laxi, (number four daughter), zee (number five daughter), zaaye (number six daughter), and so on. Additional sons or daughters simply added the suffix ye to the first five terms, so that, for

example, tiniye would be number seven son and xoñiye would be number seven daughter (Córdova 1578b:212–13). Burgoa (1989: II, 396–97) adds an important piece of information regarding colaní, although he refers to them only as soothsayers. He states that once a child reached the age of reason, his parents took him to a colaní, who told the child the name of the animal companion that had been determined upon his or her birth. The child accompanied the colaní to the countryside, made an offering there, and located the animal companion. The colaní pointed out the animal to the child so that he or she would always be able to recognize it. The child was then instructed to imitate the movements of the animal, which sealed the pact between the child and the companion animal.6 Today the Zapotecs call their companion animal their tona.7 MARRIAGE RITUALS Males usually married at the age of fourteen and females at the age of twelve. Widows and widowers frequently remarried and did not remain alone for long. Colaní were involved in first marriages and all subsequent remarriages (Berlin 1988:36–37). Prior to marriage, the colaní consulted his ritual book to determine the compatibility of the prospective couple’s days of birth so that they might marry. These marriage prognostication scenes occur in ritual codices, such as Vaticanus B (Anders and Jansen 1993:247–56) and Codex Borgia (Peter van der Loo, personal communication, 1997) (figure 7.2).

Figure 7.2. Marriage prognostication scenes in Codex Borgia (1963:58).

Córdova (1578b:202–3) states that the colaní compared the calendar names of the bride and groom and then cast lots to determine their compatibility. He added together the numbers of their calendar names to determine the number of beans to use. First, he counted the beans two by two, and if one was left over he told them they would have a boy. Then he counted by threes, and if any beans were left over it was a good sign that they would have a boy. Next, he counted by fours, and if any beans were left over it indicated that they would have a boy or girl. At last, he counted by fives. If no beans were left over during the counts, it indicated that they would not have children and could not marry (Córdova 1578b:216–17). Córdova (1578b:218) also indicates that if their calendar names (day and number) were incompatible, they could not marry; presumably, this meant if they had the same day name, such as 1 Deer and 3 Deer, or the same day number, such as 7 Serpent and 7 Rabbit, they could not marry. The couple was ordered to bathe at dawn for three consecutive days before the marriage. The marriage had to take place on a day ruled by Huichaana. On that day, the colaní decapitated a spotted turkey hen in the patio of the groom’s house and burned copal smeared with its blood as offerings to Huichaana. He then said a prayer or an incantation in tongues— that is, in a low unintelligible voice. The bride and groom were warned not to consummate the marriage until three days after this ceremony (Berlin 1988:39). DIVORCE Although the colaní were not involved in divorces, Córdova (1578b:217) lists seven reasons for divorce. The principal reason was if the couple had no children. If a noble woman married a commoner, the marriage was annulled. Other reasons for divorce: if one spouse was lazy, especially the wife; if one spouse was overly aggressive or abusive; if the husband worked his wife like a beast without her consent; if the wife committed adultery (or sometimes the husband); or if a man took a wife and later found she did not suit him, he left her and took another, although this was not very common. Sickness Rituals

When a person suffered a relatively serious illness, a close relative usually went to a colaní, who consulted his ritual book to determine which deity or deities might have caused the sickness. Córdova (1578b:203) states that the colaní had to know the day in the ritual calendar on which the illness started, presumably to determine which deity ruled that particular day. Cociyo, Liraa Quitzino, Huichaana, Pitao Paa, Pezeelao, and Coquietaa were most frequently cited as causes of sickness in the Sola documents. After determining the deity or deities responsible, the colaní told the relative the proper offerings and penances necessary to placate the deities and cure the sick person. These were to be carried out either immediately, on a day determined propitious by the colaní, or, in some cases, as promised offerings and penances to be made after the sick person had recovered (Berlin 1988:55–56). Cociyo, in particular, was considered responsible for accidental injuries such as broken bones, serious cuts, and thorns in the eye. To appease Cociyo, the colaní decapitated a black turkey hen and burned copal smeared with its blood. The customary penances of ritual baths at dawn for three consecutive days and three days of fasting were imposed to complete the ritual healing (Berlin 1988:55). Not recorded in the documents are the specific types of illnesses reported by individuals when “sickness” befell a family member and a colaní was consulted. For this reason, it is not possible to specify which illnesses may have been attributed to a specific deity or deities (Berlin 1988:55). Among the cases involving one deity, a grandfather who consulted a colaní regarding the illness of his granddaughter was told that Huichaana was responsible. To appease the deity, the colaní decapitated a spotted turkey hen and burned copal smeared with its blood and told the grandfather to take candles to the church on a day ruled by Huichaana and light them as an offering to her. Another man consulted a colaní regarding the sickness of his daughter and was told to sacrifice a turkey hen to Leraa Queche, god of medicine (Berlin 1988:57–58). In a final case involving one deity, a sick man went to a colaní, who consulted his ritual book, cast lots, and determined that Pezeelao, the god of death, was responsible for the illness. He told the man to take ritual baths at dawn for three consecutive days and fast for three days. On each of the first

two days of his fast, the colaní decapitated male turkeys and burned copal smeared with their blood as offerings to Pezeelao. On the third and final day of the man’s fast, the colaní decapitated a small dog (puppy) and burned copal smeared with its blood as a final offering (Berlin 1988:58). Among cases involving more than one deity, a woman consulted a colaní about her father’s illness and was told that Pitao Paa, god of wealth, and Liraa Quitzino, the God Thirteen, were responsible. The colaní decapitated a white turkey hen and burned copal smeared with its blood as offerings to Pitao Paa. He ordered the woman to take ritual baths and fast, probably for three consecutive days. When her father recovered, she was to go to the church on a day governed by Liraa Quitzino and light candles as an offering. In another case, a father with a sick daughter consulted a colaní and was told that Copiycha, the sun god; Pezeelao, the god of death; and the goddess Huichaana were responsible. The colaní decapitated a spotted turkey hen and burned copal smeared with its blood as an offering and ordered the father to take ritual baths and do the customary penance (fasting?). The deity who was to receive the offering is not specified, but spotted turkey hens are offerings specific to Huichaana. No other offerings were mentioned for the other two deities (Berlin 1988:55–56). DEATH RITUALS When a person died, the relatives prepared the body for burial. They washed the hair with indigenous soap (amole in Náhuatl, piya in Zapotec). They combed and braided a woman’s hair, entwining the braids with a white cotton cord, in the traditional manner of Zapotec women. They also washed the body in cold water (if a woman) or hot water (if a man). The deceased was dressed in his or her newest garments; women wore two or three skirts (naguas) and two or three blouses (huipiles). Then they were wrapped in a shroud. Inside the shroud, they placed nine small tortillas and nine cacao, or chocolate, beans. Also, if a colaní had cast lots regarding the illness of the deceased before death, these lots were tied in a small cloth bundle and placed inside the shroud (Berlin 1988:44–45).8 After preparing the body, a colaní was consulted regarding the status of the soul of the deceased and the penances required. After consulting his ritual book and casting lots, the colaní warned the family not to pick up anything

with their hands and give it to another person for a number of days not specified in the documents. Next, he required them to bathe at dawn every day for nine days. The number nine is ritually significant and associated with death in the Aztec religion, where the dead must pass through the nine levels of the underworld, and probably has an even longer history associated with death among the Zapotecs. The colaní also told them to fast for twenty-four hours—from sunset to sunset—on the last day. Finally, he requested turkeys and copal as offerings to a deity or deities so that no more sickness or death would enter the house (Berlin 1988:45–47). The documents vary with regard to the number of turkeys and the particular deity or deities. It is possible that the number of turkeys and pieces of copal solicited from a family depended upon their economic status or the manner of death of the deceased, although this is not specified in the documents. Combining information from thirteen different documents cited by Berlin, it is possible to determine a general pattern for the death rituals as conducted by four different colaní. The colaní requested turkeys and copal from the family of the deceased to carry out the final rituals once they had completed the nine days of ritual bathing, the last day of which included fasting. The evening of the final day of fasting, the family usually accompanied the colaní to a place in a deep ravine (barranca) called Quesoquasa, referred to as “the road that comes from the underworld,” but sometimes they went to a flat area in the country outside of town called Quiaacuquiji. There, three or four 30-centimeters-deep holes were dug in a row next to one another. The colaní placed a certain number of pieces of copal in each hole. Then he decapitated three or four male turkeys, one at each hole, and sprinkled its blood on the copal within. He then ignited and burned the copal. Afterwards, he tossed a sacrificed turkey into each of the holes and filled them. Then he said a prayer that most documents report to have been in tongues but that one records as “You made here a very large and leafy tree; see this service I have done for you and be very careful not to let evil or strife pass from here to your servants” (Berlin 1988:50–51).9 The deities to whom the offerings were made were Pezeelao, god of death; Coquietaa, the great lord; Xonaxi Quecuya, the goddess of death; and Copiycha, the sun deity. Following this ritual, the colaní went with the family to the house of the deceased and entered the room where the person had died. He burned copal on the exact place where the person succumbed and

decapitated a spotted turkey hen, sprinkling the whole room with its blood as an offering to Huichaana (Berlin 1988:45–54). AGRICULTURAL RITUALS Because food production is vital for a community’s survival, it is not surprising that colaní were consulted regarding different agricultural activities. The documents do not record any ritual activities associated with the planting of maize or chili. However, they do mention specific rituals associated with the harvesting of maize and chili. Farmers went to colaní regarding the proper day or days to begin the maize harvest. The colaní consulted his ritual book and cast lots to determine which day or days the god of maize, Cozobi, indicated were propitious to initiate the harvest. Farmers were required to take ritual baths at dawn and to abstain from sexual intercourse for three consecutive days before the proper day to harvest. Farmers kept the first ears of corn they harvested. The colaní came to the house, decapitated a turkey hen, smeared its blood on the first ears of corn and on pieces of copal, and sprinkled the remaining blood around the patio of the house as offerings to Cozobi (Berlin 1988:20–22). After igniting the copal, the colaní mumbled an unintelligible prayer or incantation. Finally, he requested the farmer to take one or two candles to the church and offer them to Cozobi (Berlin 1988:60). One document states that following this ceremony, the first ears of corn were shucked and cooked and the sacrificed turkey was prepared. The family ate the ears of corn and the turkey, the latter on tortillas smeared with beans but with no salt or chili (Berlin 1988:61). In the recent past, Zapotecs from San Bartolo Loxicha also ate sacrificed turkeys without salt or chili in honor of Cociyo, the rain deity (Carrasco 1951:95). The rituals regarding the harvest of chili were much the same except that the god of rain, Cociyo, was invoked. The colaní consulted his ritual book and cast lots to determine which day or days Cociyo indicated were propitious for the harvest. Farmers were required to take ritual baths at dawn for three consecutive days and to abstain from sexual intercourse for three days prior to the proper day to harvest. The first chilies harvested were kept and the colaní came to the house, decapitated a black turkey hen, smeared its blood on the chilies and on pieces of copal, and sprinkled the remaining blood around the patio of the house. The colaní ignited the copal and recited an unintelligible

incantation or prayer. Finally, he requested the farmer to take one or two candles to the church and offer them to Cociyo. In some of the documents Cociyo—not Cozobi—is cited as the deity invoked for the maize harvest (Berlin 1988:60); it is clear that a very close connection existed between Cociyo, who made the maize grow, and Cozobi, who insured an abundant harvest. Because the maize harvest involved a majority of the farming community, it appears likely that a person either offered or was selected by the community to consult the colaní regarding the proper day to begin the harvest. Diego Luis states that a noble (principal in Spanish, xoana in Zapotec) consulted him over four different years regarding the proper day to begin the corn harvest. He also cites a blacksmith and a singer for the church, both respectable professions, who consulted him (Berlin 1988:21). Furthermore, one document regarding the maize harvest states that “the word spread quickly among everyone about the day that it was to be” (Berlin 1988:61).10 The same probably applied to the chili harvest, with a person either offering or being selected from among those who grew chili to consult the colaní regarding the proper day to begin the harvest. In Prehispanic times, temple priests probably conducted ceremonies regarding the planting and harvesting of maize and chili (see chapter 4). Unlike maize or chili, the planting of prickly pear cactus (nopal) involved a colaní. Those planting prickly pear cacti went first to a colaní, who consulted his ritual book and cast lots to determine which day or days Pitao Paa, the god of wealth and merchants, indicated were propitious for planting. The person was required to take ritual baths for three consecutive days and to abstain from sexual intercourse for three days before planting. On the day of planting, the colaní decapitated a white turkey hen and burned copal smeared with its blood as offerings to Pitao Paa. These same rituals were performed when the cochineal was harvested from the prickly pear cacti (Berlin 1988:62). Planting prickly pear cacti was a commercial activity rather than an agricultural one, so it fell under the auspices of Pitao Paa, the god of wealth and merchants (Berlin 1988:62). These cacti were hosts for insects, Coccus cacti; the dried bodies of the females produced cochineal, a red dye that was sold in the market. Cochineal was a valuable product in Prehispanic times and

continued to be a valuable commodity until the middle of the nineteenth century, when chemical dyes replaced it. It should be noted, however, that prickly pear cacti also produce edible fruits, called tunas in Spanish, and the flat, pear-shaped leaf was also harvested, sliced, and cooked like greens. Therefore, prickly pear cacti also served as a food resource. HUNTING RITUALS Venison was highly prized and restricted to nobles in Prehispanic times. Both professional hunters and communities consulted colaní regarding deer hunting rituals, and one document cites rituals for hunting iguanas (loguachis in Zapotec) and other unspecified game as well (Berlin 1988:84). With regard to professional hunters who sought deer, the documents state that atop a ruined Prehispanic temple 8 kilometers outside Sola de Vega, they burned copal to the deities Cozaana (or his alter ego, Nosanaqueya), lord of the deer; Pitao Peeze, the god of omens; Pitao Ziy, the god of sickness; and Liraa Quitzino, the God Thirteen (Berlin 1988:75), apparently without the intervention of a colaní. Likewise, one hunter reports burning copal on his household altar as an offering to Cozaana prior to going deer hunting (Berlin 1988:25). Professional hunters do report visiting colaní before hunting deer in the belief that failure to do so would result in a lack of success. One states that the colaní, Diego Luis, consulted his ritual book, cast lots, and determined that a day governed by Niyoa (alter ego of Copiycha), the god of hunting, and Coquietaa, the great lord, was the proper day to begin his deer hunt.11 He was required to abstain from sexual intercourse for three days before the hunt, and both he and his wife were ordered to fast for twenty-four hours the day prior to hunting. The day of the hunt he was ordered to take a ritual bath at dawn, burn eight pieces of copal in his hearth, and pass his bow through the smoke from the incense. Then he was to proceed to the mountaintop altar of Cozaana (Nosanaqueya) with a candle, nine pieces of copal, and a male turkey and decapitate the turkey, burn the copal, and light the candle as offerings to be placed on the altar. Upon bringing each deer he killed to his house, he was required to light a candle, burn copal and waft its smoke around the deer’s nose, pour pulque in the deer’s mouth, eat a raw piece of venison from the deer’s loin, and not permit any dog to eat any part of the deer. He stated that this ritual was a very common and a very ancient custom (Berlin 1988:74).

Apart from professional hunters, deer hunting was also carried out on a communal basis at the level of the barrio, the community, or the province (“city-state”) composed of the smaller communities under the jurisdiction of Sola de Vega (Berlin 1988:85). Each year the indigenous ruler and political leaders organized communal deer hunts for the entire province.12 The ruler consulted a colaní, most frequently Diego Luis, to determine the proper day and the rituals necessary to carry out the hunt. Barrio headmen were ordered to collect the candles and copal necessary for the rituals from the members of their neighborhoods.13 Evidently all able-bodied men participated in the hunt (Berlin 1988:63–64; 69). The rituals were basically the same for individual professional hunters and all levels of communal hunts (barrio, community, and province), except that communal hunts involved the direct participation of the colaní and the hunting methods were different from those of professional hunters. The colaní consulted his ritual book and cast lots stating that the hunt must be done on a day ruled by the god of hunting. All participants were required to abstain from sexual intercourse and take ritual baths at dawn for three days prior to the hunt. Early on the morning of the hunt, the colaní, accompanied by several others, went to the church to place three candles before the statue of Christ that represented the lord of the deer, and prayed to him for a successful hunt (Berlin 1988:69). After being reunited with the other hunters, all ascended the mountain to a place where it was decided to hang the nets to trap the deer. The colaní and a few other hunters, sent by the ruler and nobles to accompany him, went to the top of the mountain to the altar of Cozaana. There the colaní lit a candle and eight or nine pieces of copal and prayed to Cozaana for a successful hunt and to keep them safe from the bites of poisonous snakes. In addition, pieces of copal were burned on the altar as offerings to various gods: six to the god of omens; seven to the god of sickness; and thirteen to the God Thirteen (Berlin 1988:69–70). The colaní made them all promise in a loud voice that if they killed a deer they would follow the prescribed rituals in honor of Cozaana. The hunt evidently involved driving deer into the nets and dispatching them there. Each hunter who killed a deer was required to carry it on his shoulders down the mountainside. Arriving in the community, the hunters would place the deer on

a bed of leaves. Each deer had a candle lit and placed before it. Copal was lit, and each deer’s head and nose was wafted with the smoke and pulque was poured in its mouth as offerings of gratitude to Cozaana, whose name was spoken aloud. Small amounts of meat were removed from the deers’ loins and passed around so that each hunter ate a bit of the raw venison. Dogs were not permitted to eat any part of the deer (Berlin 1988:64, 72). All the above rituals were carried out for communal deer hunts organized by the ruler of the province, community deer hunts organized by political heads of towns, and neighborhood communal deer hunts organized by barrio headmen (Berlin 1988:73). Berlin (1988:85) also mentions similar hunts organized by the guild of church singers. It is interesting that the hunts were always conducted on a day ruled by Niyoa, the god of hunting, but no offerings are ever cited as being made to Niyoa with regard to hunting. Also, with respect to the “Licuicha Niyoa” cited by Diego Luis as the god of hunting (table 3.1), Licuicha (Copiycha), the sun deity, is never mentioned nor accorded any offerings with regard to hunting. FISHING RITUALS Fishing was carried out by professional fishermen and communal fishing expeditions involving the entire province (“city-state”) but not, evidently, individual barrios or communities (Berlin 1988:68). The documents only cite trout fishing and do not mention other fish. Professional fisherman used a three-pronged fish spear, but, as in the case of the communal deer hunts, communal fishing expeditions used nets (Berlin 1988:81). Fishing occurred in a river in the mountains near the town of Juchiatengo (Juchatengo).14 All fishermen consulted colaní concerning the proper rituals (Berlin 1988:68). Unlike hunting, the documents cited no special day governed by a specific deity regarding fishing, nor were any ritual baths, sexual abstention, or fasts required (Berlin 1988:86). Professional fishermen consulted colaní on the rituals necessary for a successful catch (Berlin 1988:74). One states he was advised to light a candle and burn eight or nine pieces of copal on the riverbank as an offering to Nosanaguela (alter ego of Cozaana), lord of the fish (Berlin 1988:74). Another states that he burned copal on the riverbank as offerings to Pitao Peeze, Pitao Ziy, and Nosanaguela. In addition, he offered a lighted candle to Nosanaguela for a successful catch (Berlin 1988:80–81).

The ruler organized communal fishing expeditions for the entire province, an ancient activity that had continued since “pagan” (Prehispanic) times, according to the documents. The ruler ordered the barrio headmen to collect copal and candles from the members of their barrios to carry out the rituals that the colaní had determined were necessary for a successful catch. The colaní took candles to the church of Juchatengo, offered them, and prayed at the statue of Saint Peter, which was considered the deity Nosanaguela. Then the colaní proceeded to the edge of the river, where the rock with the carving of a fish representing Nosanaguela was located, and lit candles and burned copal as offerings. A prayer was said: “We humbly come before your presence so that you might grant us good fortune in catching many trout and for this reason we offer you these candles and copal incense” (Berlin 1988:86– 87).15 In addition, six pieces of copal were burned as an offering to Pitao Peeze; seven pieces to Pitao Ziy, and thirteen pieces to the God Thirteen (Berlin 1988:68–69). Having completed these rituals and praying to Nosanaguela, the nets were cast into the river (Berlin 1988:81). Unlike the deer hunt, no rituals of gratitude to the deity for a successful catch are cited in the documents, nor are any special rituals performed on the fish as they were on the deer (Berlin 1988:86). DREAMS, OMENS, AND ACTIVITIES Colaní were also consulted with regard to dreams, omens, and other diverse activities. One example cited in the documents concerned a man who saw a dead person in a dream. The colaní consulted his ritual book, cast lots, and determined that the goddess Huichaana was responsible for the dream. So that nothing bad would happen to the man, he was ordered to take ritual baths at dawn for three consecutive days and take a candle to the church on a day ruled by Huichaana (Berlin 1988:88). Diego Luis states that people frequently consulted him about dreams and omens, such as bird songs or animal sightings; he consulted his ritual book, and depending on the deity that ruled the day or night of the dream or omen—frequently Pitao Peeze, god of omens —he determined the required penances and offerings (Berlin 1988:88–89). He also reports being consulted by a barrio headman on the proper day to start construction of a new house and by a cobbler about how to make more money (Berlin 1988:89).

Córdova (1578b:214) states that serpents, called pel la, were the most important omens, but their many species meant that colaní determined their significance. Other omens he mentions include owls (tama), gophers (pechijça), scorpions (nioxobi), and the call of a mountain bird; he does not state the significance of these omens. He does report that when people were standing around talking and one of these animals appeared or was heard, it was said that the “devil” (Pezeelao) sent his messenger to hear what they were talking about and see what they were doing. Córdova (1578b:215) reports that crossroads were the loci of many ominous animals—as places where bad things happened, people should fear them. It was a bad omen when someone accidentally walked into a spider web. If people inside their houses heard a noise outside and couldn’t discover the source of the noise, they said a god (pitao) was coming and it was necessary to make a sacrifice and offering. When they spotted an ominous animal in a large tree, they called it the sign of the presence of a king (coqui) or noble (xoana). If they spotted an ominous animal in a tree near a commoner’s house, they thought something was going to happen to the commoner who owned the house. A lunar eclipse signaled the death of a king or noble. A solar eclipse indicated the end of the world was approaching and was a sign for warfare. Dwarves were thought to be made by mandate of the sun god (Copiycha) and were killed if they entered anyone’s house during a solar eclipse. People believed that whatever happened to the father of an unborn child would directly affect the unborn child. A pregnant woman was not allowed to see a dead person or jump over a small stream or death would occur. An omen appearing to the parents of a child on the day he or she was born or two or three days before or after the birth was considered a very powerful omen (Córdova 1578b:215–16). Balsalobre’s data provide insight into the nature of the ancient Zapotec deities, especially the thirteen that governed the day numbers of the sacred calendar. They additionally present a rather detailed overview of the most important ritual activities conducted by the colaní within the context of their community. These activities related to the life cycle (conception, childbirth, child naming, companion animals, marriage, illness, and death) as well as to community food production and commerce (agriculture, professional hunting,

communal hunting, professional fishing, communal fishing, cochineal production, and merchants’ commercial activities). It is evident, as well, that when the colaní told people to take candles to the church on a day governed by a specific deity in Prehispanic times, they would have sent them to a temple to be received by the Zapotec temple priests. No other sources are known that present such detail regarding the ritual activities of colaní and those who participated in these rituals. Little detail, however, is presented in Balsalobre regarding dreams, omens, or other activities, although Córdova does provide important data from the sixteenth century. For example, although Balsalobre (Berlin 1988:88) refers to birdcalls, especially owls, as omens, neither he nor Córdova mention the significance of owl calls, the deity or deities to which they might be attributed, or the penances and rituals prescribed for whoever heard them. It is known that the Zapotecs considered owl calls to be omens heralding death, but this is not mentioned. Córdova (1578b:216) is similarly vague, although he states that people consulted colaní regarding omens and that the colaní sacrificed a dog, a quail, or another animal and advised them to deposit it alongside the road on their way home so that the danger would not follow them to their house. In addition, when Diego Luis states that a barrio headman consulted him regarding the proper day to begin construction of a new house, he does not mention the deity or deities concerned or the penances and rituals prescribed for them. As mentioned in chapter 5, people in Lachiguirri buried a chicken in the middle of the floor before moving into a new house (Parsons 1936:27), and in San Bartolo Loxicha, a turkey was cooked and eaten and its bones buried under the floor of a new house as an offering to Cociyo (Carrasco 1951:95). Balsalobre (1988:120) bemoaned the fact that the Indians were “oldfashioned” in clinging to the Prehispanic religious beliefs that were “rooted in their hearts” and that large numbers of colaní and their followers led to the result “that very few natives of this province escape this contagion.”16 He also pointed out that “the Indians from neighboring provinces [the small mountainous valleys of Coatlán, Ejutla, and Miahuatlán, south of the Valley of Oaxaca] observe the same thirteen gods, commonly worshipping them in the same manner as they do in the Province of Sola with the same sorcery, rituals, and superstitions, differing only in dialect, and that is why [Diego Luis] points

out that the colaní he knows in neighboring provinces follow more or less the same practices” (Balsalobre 1988:118–19).17 It seems obvious, as well, that the Chatinos, close linguistic relatives of the Zapotecs living south of the Valley of Oaxaca, carried out these same religious practices, given the fact that Diego Luis’s ritual book was originally written in Chatino (Berlin 1988:28–29). The biggest gap in Balsalobre’s data concerns the ritual books that he burned. Fortunately, ritual books from colaní who lived during the latter half of the seventeenth century in the small mountainous valleys of the Sierra Juárez help fill this gap and are the subject of chapter 8.

Notes 1. “han enseñado continuamente los mismos errores que tenían en su Gentilidad, para lo qual han tenido libros y quadernos manuescritos, de donde se aprovechan para esta doctrina, y en ellos el vsso, y enseñança de treze Dioses, con nombres de hombres, y mugeres, á quienes atribuyen varios efectos . . . de donde con sortilegios sacan la variedad de sus respuestas magicas, y agoreras; como para todo genero de caza, para qualquiera pesca; para la cosecha de Maiz, Chile, y Grana; para qualquiera enfermedad, y para la medicina supersticiosa con que se ha de curar; para atajar los trabajos, y muertes, que no lleguen a sus casas; para el buen sucesso en las preñeces, y partos de sus mugeres; para que se logren sus hijos; para los cantos de pajaros, y animales, que les son agueros; para los sueños, y su explicación, y el sucesso que han de tener de lo vno y en lo otro; para reparar los daños que les pronostican; finalmente para qualquiera cosa de que necessitan, ocurren a vno de estos Letrados, ó Maestros: los quales echando suertes con trece maizes, en reverencia de los dichos trece Dioses, les enseñan á hazer horrendas idolatrias, y sacrificios al Demonio, de perrillos pequeños, y de gallinas y pollos de la tierra, degollandolos y roziando con su sangre treze pedazos de copale, ó incienso de la tierra, y quemandolo, y ofreciendolo en sacrificio al Dios de quien esperan el remedio de la necessidad que pretenden reparar: para lo qual hazen ayunos de veinte y quatro horas . . . mezclandolos con muchos ritos, y ceremonias supersticiossas” (Balsalobre 1988:110–11). Return to text. 2. The description indicates that the books were very similar to a modern copy of a seventeenth-century book from Totomachapan, in the Peñoles region west of the Valley of Oaxaca, studied by Ron van Meer (2000). This book includes the names of the days, the deities that governed them, and some of the rituals and ceremonies. The 103 books discovered by Alcina Franch (1993) from the Sierra Juárez from later in the seventeenth century unfortunately do not appear to name the deities who governed the days and do not cite rituals and ceremonies, although this material is still in the process of being analyzed. Return to text. 3. “para responder a las consultas que le hacen los que lo han menester sobre declaración de sueños, sucesos de enfermedades y muertes, cantos de pájaros y otros animales agoreros, y para enseñar qué penitencias se ha de hacer por los difuntos que mueren, y qué sacrificios se han de ofrecer . . . a los dioses de su gentilidad” (Berlin 1988:35). Return to text. 4. “si los trece maíces quedan todos parejos con el rostro abajo, pronostica que se ha de morir y que así sucede siempre y, asimismo, cuando los maíces nueve de ellos van el rostro arriba y cuatro abajo pronostica enfermedades y muertes y malos sucesos y entonces . . . cayó la suerte en el dios del infierno y que lo aplaquen con sacrificios lo ordinario es mandarles que vayan al monte y lleven un pollo de

la tierra [guajolote] y copal y allí degüellen el . . . pollo [guajolote] y rocien con su sangre el . . . copal y lo ofrezcan al . . . dios del infierno” (Berlin 1988:35–36). Return to text. 5. Córdova (1578b:213) makes a mistake by listing yopiye as the fifth son, when he is actually the sixth son. The sons are named after the fingers of the hand, beginning with the right hand, and yee is the fifth, or little, finger of the right hand, as Córdova notes in another section. Return to text. 6. “generalmente en estos reinos, por medio des sus ministros y agoreros [colaní] que señalan a los que sus malos padres les presentan, y en teniendo ya uso del razón, instruyen al muchacho en los errores en que ha de consentir para tener por amigo y familiar al animal que le cupo en suerte, y para que se determine al consentimiento, lo llevan al campo y le hacen que ofrezca algún género de sacrificio y con las astucias de Satanás, le traen el animal delante, para que lo reconozca o el enemigo que toma aquella figura de manso y familiar, para conformarse ambos y representarle en la fantasía los movimientos que el bruto hace, como si fuera propios suyos, y queda asentado el pacto, tan persuadidos a que aquella compañía fue suerte con que nació, y que es inseparable la unión con el animal” (Burgoa 1989: II, 396–97). Return to text. 7. Rutilio Martínez, a Mitla Zapotec, informed Michael Lind in 1980 that the people of Mitla still have their tona. To determine the tona, they spread ashes or sand in a place outside of town and return the next day to see what animal has left its tracks in the soft material. This animal becomes the tona of their newly born child. The tona is very important. If the tona is injured, the person whose companion animal it is will also suffer the same injury. Return to text. 8. Archaeological evidence for the use of shrouds in the form of petates, or reed mats, can be documented for the Late Classic Xoo phase (Lind and Urcid 2010) and also occur in a Postclassic tomb at Yagul (Brockington 1955:70). Return to text. 9. “Haráste aquí un árbol muy grande y copado; mira que ya te he hecho este servicio, que tenga mucho cuidado, no pasen de aquí los males y trabajos a tus deudos” (Berlin 1988:50–51), Return to text. 10. “luego corre la voz entre todos del día que ha de ser” (Berlin 1988:61). Return to text. 11. It is interesting that Diego Luis would cite two different deities as governing the day propitious for the hunt and cite Coquieta—who he does not name as a deity ruling a day number of the sacred calendar in either of his lists—as one of them. Return to text. 12. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish introduced the Indian cabildo (town council) to principal indigenous communities called cabeceras (head towns or capitals), such as San Miguel Sola. Usually the cabecera had within its province and under its jurisdiction several smaller communities called sujetos (subject communities).

The cabildo was headed by an indigenous gobernador (governor) who, although technically prohibited by law, was usually the cacique (indigenous ruler), as the Spaniards called him, or the coqui (ruler), in Zapotec, who were in a direct line of descent from the Prehispanic ruler of the cabecera. The town council was composed of Indians who were principales, as the Spaniards called them, or xoana (nobles) in Zapotec. The cabecera also contained Spanish civil authorities such as the corregidor (magistrate or mayor) and Spanish religious authorities. It was the indigenous authorities, the coqui and xoana, who organized the communal deer hunt, cited in the documents as an ancient custom commonly practiced in Prehispanic times (Berlin 1988:66, 69). Return to text. 13. Barrio headmen were called collaba, “tally men” in Zapotec; the Spanish referred to them as golaba or used the Aztec term tequitlato or the Spanish term mandones (bosses) because they were indigenous Prehispanic political positions, not Spanish ones. The collaba was charged with collecting taxes from the members of his barrio and conscripting barrio members for communal work projects. Collaba were commoners under the control of the coqui and xoana both in Prehispanic and colonial times. Return to text. 14. This town is now listed on modern maps as Juchatengo (see figure 1.2). Return to text. 15. “Venimos a tu presencia humildemente para que seas servido de darnos ventura, que pesquemos truchas y para eso te ofrecemos estas candelas y copal” (Berlin 1988:86–87). Return to text. 16. “por estar los sugetos tan envejecidas en ellas, y ellas tan arraygadas en sus coraçones, y ser tantos los Maestros, y culpados, que muy pocos naturales del dicho Partido se escapan deste contagio” (Balsalobre 1988:120). Return to text. 17. “los indios de las jurisdicciones circunvezinas observan los dichos treze Dioses, praticandolos corrientemente, como, y de la manera que lo hacen en el dicho Partido de Zola, y con los mismos sortilegios, ritos, y supersticiones; diferenciado solamente en lengua, y para esto señala el susodicho los Maestros que conoce en cada doctrina circunvezina, los quales dice que son más o menos de una mesma ley” (Balsalobre 1988:118–19). Return to text.

8 Zapotec Ritual Books and Sacred Calendars

In the late 1600s and early 1700s, Fray Ángel Maldonado, Bishop of Oaxaca —over objections from the Dominicans—wanted to create new parishes in the small mountainous valleys in the Sierra Juárez, north of the Valley of Oaxaca. Under a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for idolatries, he demanded that the cabildos, or indigenous town councils, of over one hundred communities deliver their communal confessions of pagan ritual activities to his representatives during a period beginning in September 1704 and ending in January 1705. “Among other writings, were 103 full or partial copies of the 260-day Zapotec ritual calendar” (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:22). Unlike Gonzalo Balsalobre, who burned the ritual books of Sola, Bishop Maldonado used them in proceedings against the Dominicans to support his demand for new parishes staffed by parish priests. The ritual books finally ended up in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain, where José Alcina Franch (1966; 1972; 1993) first brought them to the attention of the academic world. Between 2005 and 2008, linguists David Tavárez and John Justeson made detailed analyses of different aspects of these Zapotec calendars. I will follow their studies here and will also reference an earlier study by Alcina Franch (1993). In addition, I will also include information regarding two Zapotec sacred calendars—one from the seventeenth century from the Peñoles area, to the west of the Valley of Oaxaca, studied by Ron van Meer (2000), and one from the twentieth century from the Loxicha communities, south of the Valley, investigated by Roberto Weitlaner, Gabriel DeCicco, and Donald Brockington (1958).1 The ritual books come from about forty separate communities in three neighboring areas of the Sierra Juárez, north of the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca: Caxonos, Bixanos, and Nexitzo (Tavárez and Justeson 2008:67) (figure 8.1).2 Like the ritual books of the Sola Valley, they are written in Zapotec using Spanish orthography and reflect the distinct dialects of Zapotec from their three different areas of origin (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:23). All contain the sacred calendar—piye in Zapotec—but one also “presents detailed

data on the internal structure of the 365-day Zapotec solar year,” or yza (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:25).

Figure 8.1. The Nexitzo, Caxonos, and Bixanos regions of the Sierra Juárez (redrawn and modified after Alcina Franch 1993:39, mapa 2).

THE ZAPOTEC SACRED CALENDAR, OR PIYE3 The sacred calendar was composed of twenty fixed days, similar to our seven days of the week. Each of the day names was combined with a number from 1 to 13, just as our day-of-the-month numbers—from 1 to 31—can be combined with days-of-the-week names (e.g., Monday, the 1st; Tuesday the 2nd; etc.). The thirteen numbers combined with the twenty fixed days resulted in a sacred calendar of 260 days (13 × 20 = 260). After 260 days, the same day and number combination would be repeated, completing a sacred calendar cycle. The Zapotec sacred calendar always began on the day 1 Chilla, or 1 Alligator

(Justeson and Tavárez 2007:23) and ended on the day 13 Lao or 13 Face or Lord. Fray Juan de Córdova (1578b:202) states, “And these days and signs [of the sacred calendar] some were taken for good and others for unlucky or bad.”4 He does not explain which days were good or bad and how the Zapotecs determined this. The Aztec sacred calendar also had good, bad, and indifferent days, for which considerable documentation exists. According to Alfonso Caso (1971b:339), the Aztec priests “had to determine the nature of a given day on the basis of five criteria, and for this reason calculations were very complex.” These criteria include the fact that each day was ruled by a god (“Lord of the Day”); each day was one of a group of thirteen days, and this group was ruled by a patron deity or deities that affected all the days in the group; the day was composed of a number and a sign, and either the number or the sign could be good, bad, or indifferent; and each day’s ruling deity occurred in different combinations with another deity (“Lord of the Night”) that could likewise affect its nature. Caso does not mention the volatiles, or flying creatures, usually birds, that accompanied the Lords of the Day, but they probably had an influence on the nature of the day as well. COCIY, OR 13-DAY PERIOD The thirteen numbers and a 13-day period were at the core of the sacred calendar. All of the Zapotec sacred calendars had the day names grouped into 13-day periods called trecenas in Spanish and cociy in Zapotec (Córdova 1578b:202). The days in each cociy were numbered from 1 to 13 and the cociy were numbered from 1 to 20 to complete the sacred calendar cycle (13 × 20 = 260) of 260 days (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:23). The twenty Zapotec cociy, like the Aztec 13-day periods, were named after the day on which they began (Alcina Franch 1993:181). For example, the first cociy began on the day 1 Chilla (Alligator) and was named Cociy 1 Alligator; the second cociy began on the day 1 Peche (Jaguar) and was called Cociy 1 Jaguar. In the Aztec sacred calendar, each of the 13-day periods was ruled by one or, more commonly, a pair of deities, as seen in Codex Borbonicus (1974; figure 8.2; table 8.1).

Table 8.1 A comparison of Aztec and Zapotec names for each of the twenty 13-day periods in the sacred calendar.

Zapotec cociy Cociy name* Houses Cociy–1 1 Chilla (1 Earth Alligator)

Cociy–2 1 Peche Sky (1 Jaguar) Cociy–3 1 China (1 Earth Deer)

Terms † Xi

Zobi

Tzaba

Aztec trecena name‡ 1 1 Cipactli (1 Alligator)

Aztec patron deities Tonacatecuh li and Tonacacihuat l 2 1 Ocelotl (1 Quetzalcoatl Jaguar)

3 1 Mazatl (1 Tepeyololhtli Deer) and Quetzalcoatl Cociy–4 1 Lao (1 Underwo Niti 4 1 Xochitl (1 Huehuecoyot Lord) rld Flower) and Ixnextli Cociy–5 1 Quiy (1 Earth Xi 5 1 Acatl (1 Chalchiutlicu Reed) Reed) e and Tlazoteotl Cociy–6 1 Laana Sky Zobi 6 1 Miquixtli Tonatiuh and (1 Death) (1 Death) Tlamatzincat Cociy–7 1 Lape (1 Earth Tzaba 7 1 Quiahuitl Tláloc and Rain) (1 Rain) Chicomecoat l Cociy–8 1 Piya (1 Underwo Niti 8 1 Malinalli Mayahuel Soaproot) rld (1 Grass) and Xochipill Cociy–9 1 Zee (1 Earth Xi 9 1 Coatl (1 Tlahuizcalpan Serpent) Serpent) tecuhtli and Xiuacatl Cociy– 1 Lopa (1 Sky Zobi 1 1 Tecpatl (1 Tonatiuh and 10 Flint 0 Flint Knife) Mictlantecuh Knife) li Cociy– 1 Loo (1 Earth Tzaba 11 1 Ozomatli Patecatl 11 Monkey) (1 Monkey)

Cociy Cociy– 12 Cociy– 13

Zapotec cociy Terms name* Houses † 1 Lachi (1 Underwo Niti Lizard) rld

1 2

Cociy– 14

1 Xoo (1 Earth Earthquak e) 1 Tella (1 Sky Knot)

Cociy– 15 Cociy– 16

1 Lalaa (1 Earth Tzaba Night) 1 Loo (1 Underwo Niti Eye) rld

1 5 1 6

Cociy– 17 Cociy – 18 Cociy – 19

1 Niza (1 Earth Water) 1 Laa (1 Sky Lightning) 1 Naa (1 Earth Corn)

1 7 1 8 1 9

Cociy – 20

1 Lapa (1 Underwo Niti Rabbit) rld

Aztec trecena name‡ 1 Cuetzpallin (1 Lizard) 1 Ollin (1 Movement)

Xi

1 3

Zobi

1 1 Itzcuintli 4 (1 Dog)

Xi Zobi Tzaba

1 Calli (1 House) 1 Cozcacuaut li (1 Vulture) 1 Atl (1 Water) 1 Ehecatl (1 Wind) 1 Cuauhtli (1 Eagle)

Aztec patron deities Ixtlacoliuhqui

Ixcuina and Tezcatlipoca Xipe Totec and Quetzalcoatl Itzpapalotl Xolotl and Tlachitonatiu h Chalchiutotot Chantico

Xochiquetzal and Tezcatlipoca 2 1 Tochtli (1 Itzapaltotec 0 Rabbit) and Xiutecuhtli

* Zapotec cociy names are after Alcina Franch (1993:181). Houses of the Zapotec cosmos are after Justeson and Tavárez (2007:71n7). † These terms refer to the four world directions and accompany each day within a thirteen-day period (cociy). Each of the twenty cociy begins and ends with a day accompanied by the term listed next to it. Cociy 1, 1 Chilla, begins and ends on a Xi (east) day; Cociy 2, 1 Peche, on a Zobi (north) day; Cociy 3, 1 China, on a Tzaba (west day); Cociy 4, 1 Lao, on a Niti (south) day. This

indicates that each cociy is related to a world direction. The terms are after Justeson and Tavárez (2007:71n7). ‡ Aztec trecenas, or 13-day periods, and their patron deities are after Caso (1971b:338).

Figure 8.2. Aztec trecena, or 13-day period, on page 13 of Codex Borbonicus (after Caso 1967: lámina II).

Unlike the Aztec sacred calendar, in which patron deities ruled the 13-day periods, each cociy in the Zapotec sacred calendar was said to emerge from a house in the Zapotec cosmos (figure 8.3). Odd numbered cociy (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19) emerged from the House of the Earth, Laoyoo or Yoo yeche layo in Zapotec. Cociy numbered 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 emerged from the House of the Sky, Yoho ye baa or Yoo yaba in Zapotec. Cociy numbered 4, 8,

12, 16, and 20 emerged from the House of the Underworld, Yoho gabila or Yoo gabila in Zapotec (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:71n7; Tavárez 2005). These houses are recorded in the Zapotec cosmos and indicate that the cociy were passing through the levels of the cosmos (table 8.1; see figure 3.9).

Figure 8.3. Zapotec cociy, or 13-day period, emerging from the House of the Earth (after Alcina Franch 1993: figure 7)

Also, unlike Aztec and other known sacred calendars, each of the 260 days in the Zapotec sacred calendar is accompanied by one of four terms (xi, zobi,

tzaba, and niti) that occur in repetitive cycles. Victor de la Cruz has suggested that these four terms are associated with the world quarters, or directions (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:71n7). It is noteworthy that each cociy begins and ends with a day associated with one of these terms. The first cociy begins and ends on a xi day, associated with the east; the second cociy begins and ends on a zobi day, associated with the north; the third cociy begins and ends on a tzaba day, related to the west; and the fourth cociy begins and ends on a niti day, tied to the south (table 8.1). This strongly suggests that each cociy was associated with a particular direction. The thirteen deities of the day numbers rule the days in each cociy. Following the second list of the thirteen deities given by Diego Luis, and employing the terms for deities from Córdova when available, the first day of each cociy would be governed by Liraa Quitzino, the God Thirteen; the second day by Pitao Copiycha, the sun deity; the third day by Pitao Paa, the god of wealth; etc. The name of the day did not matter; number one was ruled by Liraa Quitzino, number two was ruled by Pitao Copiycha, and number three by Pitao Paa, etc. The thirteen deities of the day numbers are repeated for each cociy, or 13-day period (table 8.2). Table 8.2 Zapotec deities and Aztec deities and volatiles associated with the day numbers of each 13-day period.

1

2

3

13 Zapote deities c days of the days Chilla Liraaquit (1 zino Alligato r) Laa (2 Pitao Lightni Copiych ng) a Lalaa Pitao (3 Paa Night)

Aztec days

Aztec 13 deities of the days*

Aztec volatiles*

1

Cipactli (1 Alligator)

Xiutecuhtli

Blue hummingbird

2

Ehecatl (2 Wind)

Tlaltecuhtli Green hummingbird

3

Calli (3 House)

Chalchiuhtli Hawk cue

4

5

6

7

8

9 10

11

12

13

13 Zapote deities c days of the days Lachi Pitao (4 Cozobi Lizard) Zee (5 Pitao Serpen Pezeela t) o Laana Pitao (6 Huichaa Death) na China Pitao (7 Peeze Deer) Lapa Pitao Ziy (8 Rabbit) Niza (9 Cociyo Water) Tella Xonaxi (10 Quecuya Knot) Loo Pitao (11 Cozaana Monke y) Piya Leraa (12 Queche Soapro ot) Quiy Liraa (13 Cuee? Reed)

Aztec days

Aztec 13 deities of the days*

Aztec volatiles*

4

Cuetzpallin (4 Lizard)

Tonatiuh

Quail

5

Coatl (5 Serpent)

Tlazoteotl

Eagle

6

Mizquitli (6 Death)

Teoyaomiq Screech owl ui

7

Mazatl (7 Deer)

Centeotl

Butterfly

8

Tochtli (8 Rabbit)

Tláloc

Eagle

9

Atl (9 Water) Quetzalcoa Turkey tl 10 Itzcuintli (10 Tezcatlipoc Horned owl Dog) a 11 Ozomatli (11 Mictlantecu Macaw Monkey) htli

12 Malinalli (11 Grass)

Tlahuizcalp Quetzal antecuhtli

13 Acatl (13 Reed)

Ilamatecuht Parrot li

* Aztec deities and volatiles after Caso (1971b:336).

Each of the thirteen deities of the day numbers in the Aztec sacred calendar is accompanied by a volatile, usually birds but also a butterfly, as seen in Codex Borbonicus (figure 8.2; table 8.2). The Zapotec sacred calendar had words preceding the day names that Justeson and Tavárez call “augments” and whose meanings are unknown (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:19). Javier Urcid (2001:102–3) has suggested that these augments might represent the volatiles that accompany the thirteen deities of the day numbers known from the Aztec sacred calendar. The cociy of thirteen days was the basic unit of the Zapotec sacred calendar and, indeed, of all Mesoamerican sacred calendars or tonalámatl, the book of the days. This is demonstrated by the fact that all the seventeenthcentury Zapotec ritual books dedicate a separate page to each of the twenty cociy (figure 8.3) and, likewise, the Prehispanic ritual codices dedicated a separate page to each of the 13-day periods (figure 8.2). Furthermore, each cociy was named after the one particular day on which it began, which was different for each of the twenty cociy. Likewise, each began and ended on days that relate to a particular world direction, and each emerged from one of the houses in the Zapotec cosmos (table 8.1). Finally, each cociy formed a unit within which the thirteen deities of the day numbers occurred (table 8.2). It seems evident that the cociy, or 13-day period, was at the core of the Zapotec sacred calendar. COCIYO, OR 65-DAY PERIOD Unlike most other sacred calendars, the Zapotec sacred calendar also had 65day periods, each composed of five cociy (5 × 13 = 65) called cociio, or lightning, the first of which begins with cociy 1 through 5. There were four cociyo, which totaled (4 × 65 = 260), the 260 days of the sacred calendar cycle (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:19–21). Gonzalo Balsalobre (1988:110) also mentions these cociyo for the Sola Valley, calling them rayos in Spanish, which translates as “lightnings,” the literal meaning of cociyo in Zapotec. Córdova (1578b:203–4), who refers to them as cociyos or pitaos (gods), states that each of the four had its proper name. The first was called quia chilla (1 Alligator), the second quia lana (1 Death), the third quia goloo (1

Monkey), and the fourth quia guilloo (1 Eye). Each of these names is the day in the sacred calendar on which each of the respective cociyo begins. The first cociyo begins on the day 1 Chilla (1 Alligator), the second on the day 1 Laana (1 Death), the third on the day 1 Goloo (1 Monkey), and the fourth on the day 1 Guilloo (1 Eye) (table 8.3). The ritual significance of these four cociyo probably relates to the four quarters of the world, according to de la Cruz (2002b:303). Table 8.3 The Zapotec 260-day sacred calendar, or piye.

FIRST COCIYO (1 Chilla or 1 Alligator) (Córdova 1578b:203) (House of (House of (House of (House of the (House of the Earth) the Sky) the Earth) Underworld) the Earth) Cociy 1–1 Cociy 2–1 Cociy 3–1 Cociy 4–1 Cociy 5–1 Chilla Peche China Lao Quiy Day Day Day Day Day nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter e m* e m e m e m e m 1 Chill Xi 1 Pec Zobi 1 Chin Tza 1 Lao Niti 1 Qui Xi a he a ba y 2 Laa Zobi 2 Naa Tza 2 Lap Niti 2 Chill Xi 2 Pec Zob ba a a he 3 Lala Tza 3 Loo Niti 3 Niza Xi 3 Laa Zobi 3 Naa Tza a ba ba 4 Lac Niti 4 Xoo Xi 4 Tella Zobi 4 Lala Tza 4 Loo Niti hi a ba 5 Zee Xi 5 Lop Zobi 5 Loo Tza 5 Lac Niti 5 Xoo Xi a ba hi 6 Laa Zobi 6 Lap Tza 6 Piya Niti 6 Zee Xi 6 Lop Zob na e ba a 7 Chin Tza 7 Lao Niti 7 Quiy Xi 7 Laa Zobi 7 Lap Tza a ba na e ba 8 Lap Niti 8 Chill Xi 8 Pec Zobi 8 Chin Tza 8 Lao Niti a a he a ba 9 Niza Xi 9 Laa Zobi 9 Naa Tza 9 Lap Niti 9 Chill Xi

1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3

Tella Zobi 1 0 Loo Tza 1 ba 1 Piya Niti 1 2 Quiy Xi 1 3

Lala a Lac hi Zee Laa na

ba Tza 1 Loo Niti ba 0 Niti 1 Xoo Xi 1 Xi 1 Lop Zobi 2 a Zobi 1 Lap Tza 3 e ba

a 1 Niza Xi 0 1 Tella Zobi 1 1 Loo Tza 2 ba 1 Piya Niti 3

a 1 Laa Zob 0 1 Lala Tza 1 a ba 1 Lac Niti 2 hi 1 Zee Xi 3

SECOND COCIYO (1 Laana or 1 Death) (Córdova 1578b:204) (House of (House of (House of the (House of (House of the Sky) the Earth) Underworld) the Earth) the Sky) Cociy 6–1 Cociy 7–1 Cociy 8–1 Cociy 9–1 Cociy 10–1 Laana Lape Piya Zee Lopa Day Day Day Day Day nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter e m* e m e m e m e m 1 Laa Zobi 1 Lap Tza 1 Piya Niti 1 Zee Xi 1 Lop Zob na e ba a 2 Chin Tza 2 Lao Niti 2 Quiy Xi 2 Laa Zobi 2 Lap Tza a ba na e ba 3 Lap Niti 3 Chill Xi 3 Pec Zobi 3 Chin Tza 3 Lao Niti a a he a ba 4 Niza Xi 4 Laa Zobi 4 Naa Tza 4 Lap Niti 4 Chill Xi ba a a 5 Tella Zobi 5 Lala Tza 5 Loo Niti 5 Niza Xi 5 Laa Zob a ba 6 Loo Tza 6 Lac Niti 6 Xoo Xi 6 Tella Zobi 6 Lala Tza ba hi a ba 7 Piya Niti 7 Zee Xi 7 Lop Zobi 7 Loo Tza 7 Lac Niti a ba hi 8 Quiy Xi 8 Laa Zobi 8 Lap Tza 8 Piya Niti 8 Zee Xi

9 Pec he 1 Naa 0 1 Loo 1 1 Xoo 2 1 Lop 3 a

Zobi 9

na Chin a Lap a Niza

Tza ba Niti

e ba 9 Lao Niti

9 Quiy Xi

9 Laa na Tza 1 1 Chill Xi 1 Pec Zobi 1 Chin ba 0 0 a 0 he 0 a Niti 1 Xi 1 Laa Zobi 1 Naa Tza 1 Lap 1 1 1 ba 1 a Xi 1 Tella Zobi 1 Lala Tza 1 Loo Niti 1 Niza 2 2 a ba 2 2 Zobi 1 Loo Tza 1 Lac Niti 1 Xoo Xi 1 Tell 3 ba 3 hi 3 3 a

Zob Tza ba Niti Xi Zob

THIRD COCIYO (1 Loo or 1 Monkey) (Córdova 1578b:204) (House of (House of the (House of (House of (House of the Earth) Underworld) the Earth) the Sky) the Earth) Cociy 11–1 Cociy 12–1 Cociy 13–1 Cociy 14–1 Cociy 15–1 Loo Lachi Xoo Tella Lalaa Day Day Day Day Day nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter e m* e m e m e m e m 1 Loo Tza 1 Lac Niti 1 Xoo Xi 1 Tella Zobi 1 Lala Tza ba hi a ba 2 Piya Niti 2 Zee Xi 2 Lop Zobi 2 Loo Tza 2 Lac Niti a ba hi 3 Quiy Xi 3 Laa Zobi 3 Lap Tza 3 Piya Niti 3 Zee Xi na e ba 4 Pec Zobi 4 Chin Tza 4 Lao Niti 4 Quiy Xi 4 Laa Zob he a ba na 5 Naa Tza 5 Lap Niti 5 Chill Xi 5 Pec Zobi 5 Chin Tza ba a a he ba 6 Loo Niti 6 Niza Xi 6 Laa Zobi 6 Naa Tza 6 Lap Niti ba a 7 Xoo Xi 7 Tella Zobi 7 Lala Tza 7 Loo Niti 7 Niza Xi

8 Lop a 9 Lap e 1 Lao 0 1 Chil 1 a 1 Laa 2 1 Lala 3 a

Zobi 8 Loo Tza ba Tza 9 Piya Niti ba Niti 1 Quiy Xi 0 Xi 1 Pec Zobi 1 he Zobi 1 Naa Tza 2 ba Tza 1 Loo Niti ba 3

a ba 8 Lac Niti hi 9 Zee Xi

8 Xoo Xi

9 Lop a 1 Laa Zobi 1 Lap 0 na 0 e 1 Chin Tza 1 Lao 1 a ba 1 1 Lap Niti 1 Chil 2 a 2 a 1 Niza Xi 1 Laa 3 3

8 Tell Zob a Zobi 9 Loo Tza ba Tza 1 Piya Niti ba 0 Niti 1 Qui Xi 1 y Xi 1 Pec Zob 2 he Zobi 1 Naa Tza 3 ba

FOURTH COCIYO (1 Loo or 1 Eye) (Córdova 1578b:204) (House of (House of the (House of (House of (House of the Underworld) the Earth) the Sky) the Earth) Underworld) Cociy 16–1 Cociy 17–1 Cociy 18–1 Cociy 19–1 Cociy 20–1 Loo Niza Laa Naa Lapa Day Day Day Day Day nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter nam Ter e m* e m e m e m e m 1 Loo Niti 1 Niza Xi 1 Laa Zobi 1 Naa Tza 1 Lap Niti ba a 2 Xoo Xi 2 Tella Zobi 2 Lala Tza 2 Loo Niti 2 Niza Xi a ba 3 Lop Zobi 3 Loo Tza 3 Lac Niti 3 Xoo Xi 3 Tell Zob a ba hi a 4 Lap Tza 4 Piya Niti 4 Zee Xi 4 Lop Zobi 4 Loo Tza e ba a ba 5 Lao Niti 5 Quiy Xi 5 Laa Zobi 5 Lap Tza 5 Piya Niti na e ba 6 Chill Xi 6 Pec Zobi 6 Chin Tza 6 Lao Niti 6 Qui Xi

a he 7 Laa Zobi 7 Naa Tza ba 8 Lala Tza 8 Loo Niti a ba 9 Lac Niti 9 Xoo Xi hi 1 Zee Xi 1 Lop Zobi 0 0 a 1 Laa Zobi 1 Lap Tza 1 na 1 e ba 1 Chin Tza 1 Lao Niti 2 a ba 2 1 Lap Niti 1 Chill Xi 3 a 3 a

a ba 7 Lap Niti a 8 Niza Xi

7 Chill a 8 Laa

9 Tella Zobi 9 Lala a 1 Loo Tza 1 Lac 0 ba 0 hi 1 Piya Niti 1 Zee 1 1 1 Quiy Xi 1 Laa 2 2 na 1 Pec Zobi 1 Chin 3 he 3 a

y Xi 7 Pec Zob he Zobi 8 Naa Tza ba Tza 9 Loo Niti ba Niti 1 Xoo Xi 0 Xi 1 Lop Zob 1 a Zobi 1 Lap Tza 2 e ba Tza 1 Lao Niti ba 3

* The four terms xi, zobi, tzaba, and niti occur with the days in a repetitive cycle. They represent the four quarters of the earth: east, north, west, and south.

A complete Zapotec sacred calendar (minus the deities that rule the day numbers) is presented in table 8.3. Like the ritual books from the Sierra Juárez, it is composed of twenty cociy, or 13-day periods, numbered from 1 to 20 (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:23). The cociy are grouped into cociyo composed of five cociy each, or 65-day periods, and are always named after the day on which they begin, as mentioned. It is significant that each cociyo always begins on the same day, (e.g., the first cociyo always begins on the day 1 Chilla [1 Alligator]), but it also always begins on a day accompanied by one of the four terms. Therefore, the first cociyo always begins and ends on a xi (east) day, the second begins and ends on a zobi (north) day, the third begins and ends on a tzaba (west) day, and the fourth begins and ends on a niti (south) day. This strongly suggests that each cociyo is associated with a particular quarter of the world. As Caso (1967:77) and Urcid (2001:84) have pointed out, the sacred calendar is basically the same throughout Mesoamerica, with virtually the same twenty day names in the same fixed order, numbers from 1 to 13, 13-day

periods (cociy in Zapotec), thirteen deities that rule the day numbers, and a 260-day cycle. That we know more about the Aztec sacred calendar is only a result of the historical timing of the conquest (Urcid 2001:84). The Zapotecs had the sacred calendar at least as early as 550 BC, making it the oldest known calendar in Mesoamerica. Like the Aztec sacred calendar, the Zapotec sacred calendar had the thirteen deities that ruled the day numbers, as we know from Sola, and also had the Nine Lords of the Night, as reported in Zapotec sacred calendars from the Loxicha communities and the Peñoles region. THE NINE LORDS OF THE NIGHT, OR COMPANION DEITIES The Nine Lords of the Night (a misnomer) are deities known to be associated with the days of the Aztec sacred calendar and also occur in Maya calendars (Caso 1967:117). Caso (1967:112–29) has done a thorough analysis of these deities with regard to the Aztec sacred calendar. He refers to them more properly as “companion” deities to the thirteen deities that rule the day numbers. Like the thirteen deities, their nine companion deities repeat in a continuous cycle in association with the days of the sacred calendar. This is clearly depicted in Codex Borbonicus (1974) that Caso (1967:103–12) has convincingly demonstrated is the only extant Prehispanic Aztec codex (figure 8.2). Unlike the thirteen deities, each of which is associated with a particular number from 1 to 13, the nine companion deities are neither associated with a particular number or a particular day name in the sacred calendar. Also, nine does not divide equally into the 260 days of the sacred calendar. Instead, the nine deities repeat twenty-nine times within each sacred calendar cycle of 260 days (9 × 29 = 261), resulting in one extra deity (the last one). To compensate for this, the Aztecs assigned two deities to the last day (day 260) of the sacred calendar so that it could begin anew with the first of the nine companion deities (Caso 1967:112–29). Interestingly, in the Aztec sacred calendar, six of the nine companion deities are the same as six of the thirteen deities that rule the day numbers and Xiuhtecuhtli is both the first of the thirteen deities that rule the day numbers and the first of the nine companion deities. THE LOXICHA ZAPOTEC SACRED CALENDAR

In 1949 Pedro Carrasco (1951:91–92) came across a sacred calendar still in use by ritual specialists called zahorí (colaní) in the Zapotec communities of San Bartolo Loxicha, San Agustín Loxicha, and Candelaria Loxicha, to the south of the Coatlán and Miahuatlán Valleys (see figure 1.2 for locations). Between 1955 and 1956, Weitlaner, DeCicco, and Brockington (1958:296) made a detailed investigation of this sacred calendar and expanded the study to include the Zapotec communities of Magdalena Loxicha and Santa Lucía Loxicha.5 The Loxicha sacred calendar lists groups of numbers from 1 to 13, with no accompanying day names. Each group of thirteen is called a “time” (tiempo), and each has its name in Zapotec. These times, of course, are Zapotec cociy (13-day periods) without the day names. However, instead of being placed in groups of five to form a 65-day cociyo, these cociy are placed in groups of four called a “period.” Each period is named after its first cociy, and each period contains 52 days (4 × 13 = 52). There are five periods that make up the 260 days of the sacred calendar (5 × 52 = 260) (Weitlaner et al. 1958:297– 98). Of special interest are the names of the cociy within each period. As noted, each period of 52 days is named after its first cociy. The first period is named ze gon, which is also the name of its first cociy. However, the remaining three cociy in this period are named sgablodios, sgabgabil, and sgablyu (Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1). These terms may be rendered as follows: sgablodios, “House of the Sky”; sgabgabil, “House of the Underworld”; and sgablyu, “House of the Earth.”6 This clearly reflects the Zapotec cosmos, where the cociy move through the Houses of the Sky, the Underworld, and the Earth, as seen in the traditional Zapotec sacred calendar (tables 8.1 and 8.3). These three names are repeated for each of the three cociy that follow the first cociy, which names each of the five periods and represents a modified version of the traditional Zapotec sacred calendar (table 8.4). Table 8.4 The periods of fifty-two days and their associated times, or cociy, of thirteen days in the Loxicha sacred calendar.

Periods of 52 days

Cociy 1 Cociy 2 or or Time 1 Time 2

Cociy 3 orTime 3

Cociy 4 or Time 4

Periods Cociy 1 of 52 or Time 1 days Period 1: Ze Gon Ze Gon

Cociy 2 or Time 2

Sgablodios (House of the Sky) Period 2: Ze Sgablodios Ze Blazgach (House of the Blazgach Sky) Period 3: Ze Yate Sgablodios Ze Yate Tan (House of the Tan Sky) Period 4: Ze We Sgablodios Ze We (House of the Sky) Period 5: Ze Blagay Sgablodios Ze (House of the Blagay Sky)

Cociy 3 orTime 3

Cociy 4 or Time 4

Sgabgabil (House of the Underworld) Sgabgabil (House of the Underworld) Sgabgabil (House of the Underworld) Sgabgabil (House of the Underworld) Sgabgabil (House of the Underworld)

Sgablyu (House of Earth) Sgablyu (House of Earth) Sgablyu (House of Earth) Sgablyu (House of Earth) Sgablyu (House of Earth)

the

the

the

the

the

Within the Loxicha sacred calendar, nine deities occur in a repetitive cycle in association with the day numbers (Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1). Informants gave Weitlaner and DeCicco (1962) the names for the nine deities of the Loxicha sacred calendar and their meaning in Spanish, and they are listed in English in table 8.5. As can be seen, nearly all of the nine Loxicha deities correspond to the first nine of the thirteen deities that rule the day numbers listed by Diego Luis for Sola and in exactly the same order, from 1 to 9, with two possible exceptions. The second deity is called the God Nine and referred to as the “patron of the earth” (Weitlaner and DeCicco 1962:701). The eighth deity is called the Earth god. Weitlaner et al. (1958:299) noted a certain similarity between these nine deities and the nine Lords of the Night in the Aztec sacred calendar. In fact, three of the nine deities are the same for the Aztecs and Loxicha and even occupy the same positions (table 8.5). Table 8.5 A comparison of the Aztec nine companion deities with the Zapotec nine companion deities from Loxicha and the Peñoles region.

Aztec 9 companion deities (Caso 1971b:336) 1 *Xiuhtecuhtli– God of fire(1)

Loxicha 9 companion deities (Weitlaner and DeCicco 1962) 1 Ndozin–the God Thirteen (Liraaquitzino) 2 Ndo’yet–the God Nine

2 Itztli or Tecpatl– Obsidian or Flint Knife 3 Piltzintecuhtli– 3 Beydo–God of Lord of princes riches (Pitao Paa) 4 *Centéotl– 4 †Ndubdo–God God of corn (7) of corn (Pitao Cozobi) 5 5 †Kedo–King of *Mictlantecuhtli– evil (Pitao God of death Pezeelao) (6) 6 6 Ndan– *Chalchiutlicue– Ancestors’ god Goddess of (Pitao Cozaana) water (3) 7 *Tlazotéotl– 7 Mse–Evil god Goddess of love (Pitao Ziy) (5) 8 Tepeyóllotl– 8 Mbaz–Earth Jaguar, Heart of god the Mountain 9 *Tláloc–Rain 9 †Mdi–Rain god (8) god (Cociyo)

Peñoles 9 companion deities (van Meer 2000) 1 Natoriño–the God Thirteen 2 Lguichoriñe– Pitao Copiycha

3 Oguilo–Pitao Paa

Deities of the day numbers 1–9, after Diego Luis (Berlin 1988:18–19) 1 Liraaquitzino– the God Thirteen 2 Licuicha Niyoa–Pitao Copiycha 3 Coqueelaa– Pitao Paa

4 †Osucui–Pitao 4 Loçucui–Pitao Cozobi Cozobi 5 †Natobilia– Pitao Pezeelao

5 Leraa Huila– Pitao Pezeelao

6 Bichana–Pitao 6 Nohuichana– Huichaana Pitao Huichaana

7 Bexu–Pitao Peeze

7 Lexee–Pitao Peeze

8 Yuache– Nonachi/Pitao Ziy 9 †Yocio– Cociyo

8 Nonachi–Pitao Ziy 9 Loçio–Cociyo

* Denotes Aztec deities that also rule the day numbers and their positions (), from 1 to 13 in the list of the thirteen deities. † Aztec and Zapotec deities that are the same and occupy the same positions.

The names of the nine deities are repeated alongside numbers from 1 to 13 until the 260 days of the sacred calendar are complete (Weitlaner et al. 1958v:297–98). Unlike the Aztecs, who placed two deities on the last day of the sacred calendar to compensate for the extra deity, the Loxicha placed two deities—Cociyo and Liraa Quitzino—on the first day of the sacred calendar (table 8.6). Likewise, the cociy numbers from 1 to 13 follow a boustrophedon (“as the ox plows”) pattern—that is, the first cociy is numbered 1 to 13 from top to bottom, but the second cociy is numbered 1 to 13 from bottom to top, the third from top to bottom, and the fourth from bottom to top (Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1).7 Table 8.6 The first period of the Loxicha sacred calendar (adapted from Weitlaner et al. 1958: lámina 1).*

Period 1–Ze Gon Cociy 2–1 Cociy 3–1 Peche China (Sgablodios– (Sgabgabil– Sky) Underworld) 1 Cociyo/Liraaqu 1 Pitao Ziy 1 Cociyo (Mdi) itzino 3 (Mbaz) (Mbi/Ndozin) 2 Pitao 1 Pitao Peeze 2 Liraaquitzino Copiycha 2 (Mse) (Ndozin) (Ndo’yet) 3 Pitao Paa 1 Pitao 3 Pitao (Beydo) 1 Huichaana Copiycha (Ndan) (Ndo’yet) 4 Pitao Cozobi 1 Pitao 4 Pitao Paa (Dubdo) 0 Pezeelao (Beydo) (Kedo) Cociy 1–1 Chilla (Ze Gon)

Cociy 4–1 Lao (Sgablyu– Earth) 1 Pitao Peeze 3 (Mse) 1 Pitao 2 Huichaana (Ndan) 1 Pitao 1 Pezeelao (Kedo) 1 Pitao Cozobi 0 (Dubdo)

Period 1–Ze Gon Cociy 1–1 Chilla (Ze Gon) 5 Pitao Pezeelao (Kedo) 6 Pitao Huichaana (Ndan) 7 Pitao Peeze (Mse) 8 Pitao Ziy (Mbaz) 9 Cociyo (Mdi) 1 Liraaquitzino 0 (Ndozin) 1 Pitoa 1 Copiycha (Ndo’yet) 1 Pitao Paa 2 (Beydo) 1 Pitao Cozobi 3 (Dubdo)

Cociy 2–1 Cociy 3–1 Peche China (Sgablodios– (Sgabgabil– Sky) Underworld) 9 Pitao Cozobi 5 Pitao Cozobi (Dubdo) (Dubdo)

Cociy 4–1 Lao (Sgablyu– Earth) 9 Pitao Paa (Beydo)

8 Pitao Paa (Beydo)

8 Pitao Copiycha (Ndo’yet) 7 Liraaquitzino (Ndozin)

7 Pitao Copiycha (Ndo’yet) 6 Liraaquitzino (Ndozin) 5 Cociyo (Mdi) 4 Pitao Ziy (Mbaz) 3 Pitao Peeze (Mse) 2 Pitao Huichaana (Ndan) 1 Pitao Pezeelao (Kedo)

6 Pitao Pezeelao (Kedo) 7 Pitao Huichaana (Ndan) 8 Pitao Peeze (Mse) Pitao Ziy (Mbaz) 1 Cociyo (Mdi) 0 1 Liraaquitzino 1 (Ndozin) 1 Pitao 2 Copiycha (Ndo’yet) 1 Pitao Paa 3 (Beydo)

6 Cociyo (Mdi) 5 Pitao Ziy (Mbaz) 4 Pitao Peeze (Mse) 3 Pitao Huichaana (Ndan) 2 Pitao Pezeelao (Kedo) 1 Pitao Cozobi (Dubdo)

* Note the numbers of each cociy, or 13-day period, occur in a boustrophedon pattern (top to bottom, bottom to top). Names of Loxicha Zapotec deities are in parentheses ().

THE PEÑOLES ZAPOTEC SACRED CALENDAR

More recently, van Meer (2000:57–58) has studied a modern copy of a seventeenth-century ritual book that most likely comes from the Zapotec community of San Pedro Totomachapan in the Peñoles region, west of the Valley of Oaxaca.8 Each page represents a 13-day period, or cociy, and is titled “riño,” which in Peñoles Zapotec means “thirteen” (van Meer 2000:51). Unfortunately, only thirteen of the twenty cociy are preserved, leaving seven cociy missing (van Meer 2000:40–42, 57). van Meer (2000:42) has shown that the cociy 1 through 12 and 20 are complete, with cociy 13 through 19 missing. Also, the second and third cociy were inverted in the modern copy, so that riño 2 should be riño 3 and riño 3 should be riño 2 (van Meer 2000:41–42). The modern copy is somewhat haphazard and contains many errors (table 8.7). Table 8.7 Names of the riño (cociy), or 13-day periods, in the Peñoles sacred calendar, the beginnings of cociyo, and ritual activities listed as associated with the riño.

Docu ment page nos. 1 3* 2* 4 5 6

7

Ritual activities Riño Zapotec Beginnin associated with each (cociy)num name of gs of riño (van Meer 2000: 67– ber riño cociyo 71) Riño 1 Ricauto first Para el cerro (For the cociyo mountain) Riño 2 Belacheb Para atajar animals (To e restrain animals) Riño 3 Betleche Para hacer suerte (To bagota make lucky) Riño 4 Yache Oración para agua (Prayer baliche for water) Riño 5 Bayeche Para pedir los bacunas (To ask for cattle) Riño 6 Exu second Para la siembra (For becena cociyo planting fields) guicha Riño 7 Bayeche Para susto (For supernatural fright)

Docu ment page nos. 8

Ritual activities Riño Zapotec Beginnin associated with each (cociy)num name of gs of riño (van Meer 2000: 67– ber riño cociyo 71) Riño 8 Baliche Para mal informar (To ballete misinform) 9 Riño 9 Bayeche Para el rayo (For the lightning [Cociyo]) 10 Riño 10 Baliche Para la casa (For hunting? bese [caza?]) 11 Riño 11 Guila third Para quitar enfermo (To gola cociyo remove sickness) 12 Riño 12 Baliche Para pedir todos los animales (To ask for all the animals) 13 ‡Riño 13 See Riño 20 14† ‡Riño 14 [Baliche Este oración sirbe para Bece] sacar el hechiso del cuerpo (This prayer serves to remove a curse from the body.) 15† ‡Riño 15 [Beche] Oración para mujer (Prayer for women) 16† ‡Riño 16 [Obena] fourth Para cueba (For the cave) cociyo ‡Riño 17 ‡Riño 18 ‡Riño 19 *Riño 20 Baliche Para temescal (For the bece sweatbath)

* Page 3 of the document records Riño 2 and page 2 records Riño 3. Riño 20 is recorded on page 13 of the document.

† Page 14 of the document presents a prayer but also lists Riño baliche bece. Pages 15 and 16 of the document present Riño beche and Riño obena, respectively, but these riño lack day names and appear to correspond to a different sacred calendar. ‡ Riño 13 through 19 are missing from the document.

Apart from the thirteen cociy, or riño, there are three additional pages numbered 14, 15, and 16. Page 14 is a prayer to remove curses from the body but also contains the name of Riño baliche bece (van Meer 2000:70). Pages 15 and 16 contain riño with the names of the deities and four terms related to the four quarters of the world repeated, like the other thirteen riño but without the day names (van Meer 2000:71). However, it appears that pages 14, 15, and 16 do not correspond to the calendar represented by the other thirteen pages of the document. Certain terms occur associated with each of the cociy. These terms seem to name the 13-day periods, since they are recorded as “Riño baliche,” “Riño bayache,” and “Riño bece.” However, a careful examination of the distribution of the terms among the extant riño shows that the riño or cociy that occur at the beginning of cociyo, or 65-day periods, are unique and almost certainly name the four different cociyo as Ricauto, Exu becena guicha, Guila gola, and Odena. The other terms associated with the riño center around repetitions of the words baliche, bayache, and bece. These latter terms probably relate to the houses of the Zapotec cosmos, but their order appears somewhat confused (table 8.7). In addition, a series of phrases in Spanish accompany each riño and appear to relate to ritual activities associated with each 13-day period (van Meer 2000:51). The Peñoles sacred calendar is presented in table 8.8, in comparison with a traditional Zapotec sacred calendar, like the one in table 8.3, to help illustrate errors made by the modern copyist. Like the seventeenth-century sacred calendars from the Sierra Juárez, the Peñoles sacred calendar has the twenty day names, numbers from 1 to 13, and four terms that are continually repeated throughout the 260 days. Although the four terms (ricauto, yacabe, yalleco, and gabilia) are different from the four terms from the Sierra Juárez (xi, zobi, tzaba, and niti), van Meer (2000:49–50) independently came to the conclusion that the terms are associated with the four quarters of the world— east, north, west, and south—just as they are in the Sierra Juárez (table 8.8).

Table 8.8 The partially complete Peñoles sacred calendar illustrating the days, companion deities, terms, riño, and cociyo.* (Riño 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 missing.)

FIRST COCIYO—RICAUTO Riño 1—Ricauto Day 1 Chilla (Yach e) 2 Laa (Belo)

3 Lalaa (Belo)

Comp anion deity Liraaq uitzino (Nator iño)† Copiy cha (Lgua choriñ e) Pitao Paa (Oguic o)

4 Cozob Lachi i (Bela) (Osuc ui) 5 Zee Pezee (Vexu) lao (Nato bilia) 6 Huicha Laana ana (Belo) (Bicha na)

Riño 2—Belabeche

Comp Day anion deity 1 Cociy China o (Yachi (Igosi na) oó) 2 Liraaq Lapa uitzino (Olacu (Nator a) iño)

Term Term Yallec o (Yalle co) Gabili a (Gabili a)

3 Niza Copiy Ricaut (Osas cha o a) (Lguic (Ricau horiñe to) ) 4 Tella Pitao Yacab (Onas Paa e a) (Oguil (Yaca o) be) 5 Loo Cozob Yallec (Belo) i o (Osuc (Yalle ui) co) 6 Piya Pezee Gabili (Belab lao a e) (Nato (Gabili bilia) a)

Yacab e (Yaca be) Yallec o (Yalle co)

Riño 3—Betleche bagota Comp Day anion Term deity 1 Cociy Yalleco China o (Yallec (Yachi (Igosi o) na) oó) 2 Liraaq Gabilia Lapa uitzino (Gabilia (Olac (Nator ) ua) iño)

Gabili 3 Niza a (Osas (Gabili a) a) Ricaut o (Ricau to) Yacab e (Yaca be) Yallec o (Yalle co)

4 Tella (Onas a) 5 Loo (Belo)

6 Piya (Belab e)

Copiy cha (Lguic horiñe ) Pitao Paa (Oguil o) Cozob i (Osuc ui) Pezee lao (Nato bilia)

Ricauto (Ricaut o)

Yacabe (Yacab e) Yalleco (Yallec o) Gabilia (Gabilia )

FIRST COCIYO—RICAUTO Riño 1—Ricauto Comp Day anion Day deity 7 Peeze 7 Quiy China (Bexu) (Bexu) (Belal a) 8 Pitao 8 Lapa Ziy Peche (Olach (Yuac (Belic e) he) he) 9 Niza Cociy 9 Naa (Belan o (Onaz a) (Yocio o) )

Yallec o (Yalle co) Gabili a (Gabili a)

Riño 3—Betleche bagota Comp Day anion Term deity 7 Quiy Huicha Ricauto (Bexu) ana (Ricaut (Bicha o) na) 8 Peeze Yacabe Peche (Bexu) (Yacab (Belic e) he) 9 Naa Pitao Yalleco (Onaz Ziy (Gabilia o) (Nato ) guach e) 10 Cociy Gabilia Loo o (Yallec (Onaz (Igosi o) a) oó) 11 Liraaq Ricauto Xoo uitzino (Ricaut (Bena (Nator o) zo) iño)

Ricaut o (Ricau to)

12 Lopa (Bena culla)

Riño 2—Belabeche Comp anion deity Huich aana (Bicha na) Peeze (Bexu)

Term Term

Ricaut o (Ricau to) Yacab e (Yaca be) Pitao Yallec Ziy o (Nato (Gabili guach a) e) 10 Liraaq 10 Cociy Gabili Tella uitino Loo o a (Belo) (Nator (Onaz (Igosi (Yalle iño) a) oó) co) 11 Copiy 11 Liraaq Ricaut Loo cha Xoo uitzino o (Nalo) (Lgua (Bena (Nator (Ricau choriñ zo) iño) to) e) 12 Pitoa 12 Copiy Yacab Piya Paa Lopa cha e (Yach (Oguil (Bena (Lguic (Yalle e) o) culla) horiñe co) )

Gabili a (Gabili a) Ricaut o (Ricau to) Yacab e (Yaca be)

Copiy Yacabe cha (Yallec (Lguic o) horiñe )

FIRST COCIYO—RICAUTO Riño 3—Betleche bagota Comp Comp Day anion Term Term Day anion Term deity deity 13 Pitao Yallec Yacab 13 Pitao Yalleco Lape Paa o e Lape Paa (Yacab (Bujo (Oguil (Yaca (Yaca (Bujo (Oguil e) lacoca os) be) be) lacoca os) ) )

Riño 1—Ricauto Comp Day anion deity 13 Cozob Quiy i (Bela) (Osuc ui)

Riño 2—Belabeche

THIRD COCIYO—GUILA GOLA Riño 11—Guila gola

Riño 12—Baliche

Comp anion deity Pezee lao (Nato bilia) Huicha ana (Bicha na) Peeze (Bexu)

Comp anion deity Cociy o (Igosi go) Liraaq uitzino (Nator iño) Copiy cha (Iguich oriñe)

Day 1 Loo (Gola)

2 Piya (Belag uella) 3 Quiy (Olu)

Term Day Yallec o (Yalle co) Gabili a (Gabili a) Ricaut o (Ricau to)

1 Lachi (Gogu iche) 2 Zee (Bexu usu) 3 Laana (Olac ua)

Term Gabili a (Gabili a) Ricaut o (Ricot o) Yacab e (Yaye co)

FOURTH COCIYO— OBENA? Riño 20—Baliche bese Comp Day anion Term deity 1 Pezee Gabilia Lapa lao (Ricoto (Olac (Nato ) ua) bilia) 2 Niza Huicha Ricauto (Benis ana (Yacab a) (Bicha e) na) 3 Tella Peeze Yacabe (Natel (Bexu) (Yallec a) o)

THIRD COCIYO—GUILA GOLA Riño 11—Guila gola Day 4 Peche (Belac hi) 5 Naa (Ona)

Comp anion deity Pitao Ziy (Nato guach e) Cociy o (Osío)

6 Loo Liraaq (Balo) uitzino (Nator iño) 7 Xoo Copiy (Belas cha o) (Iguich oriñe) 8 Pitao Lopa Paa (Olacu (Oguil a) o) 9 Cozob Lape i (Belac (Osuc ua) ui)

Riño 12—Baliche

Comp Term Day anion deity Yacab 4 Pitao e China Paa (Yaca (Yachi (Oguil be) na) o) Yallec o (Yalle co) Gabili a (Gabili a) Ricaut o (Ricau to) Yacab e (Yalle co) Yallec o (Ricot o)

5 Lapa (Belac ua) 6 Niza (Belac ina)

Cozob i (Osuc ui) Pezee lao (Nato bilia) 7 Tella Huicha (Natel ana a) (Bicha na) 8 Loo Peeze (Lus) (Besu)

Term Yallec o (Gabili a)

Gabili a (Yalle co) Ricaut o (Gabili a) Yacab e (Ricau to) Yallec o (Yaca be) 9 Piya Pitao Gabili (?) Ziy a (Nato (Yalle guach co) e)

FOURTH COCIYO— OBENA? Riño 20—Baliche bese Comp Day anion Term deity 4 Loo Pitao Yalleco (Oloa) Ziy (Olache (Nato ba) guach e) 5 Piya Cociy Gabilia (Belab o (Ricaut illa) (Osig o) o) 6 Quiy Liraaq Ricauto (Balos uitzino (Yacab a) (Nator e) iño) 7 Copiy Yacabe Peche cha (Yayec (Balic (Iguich o) he) oriñe) 8 Naa Pitao Yalleco (Belan Paa (Gabilia a) (Ogue ) los) 9 Loo Cozob Gabilia (Belac i (Ricoto ua) (Igosu ) cui)

THIRD COCIYO—GUILA GOLA Riño 11—Guila gola Comp Day anion deity 10 Pezee Lao lao (Bach (Nato asu) bilia) 11 Huicha Chilla ana (Becel (Bicha la) na) 12 Peeze Laa (Yexu) (Belic he) 13 Pitao Lalaa Ziy (?) (Nato guach e)

Riño 12—Baliche

Term Day Gabili a (Gabili a) Ricaut o (Ricot o) Yacab e (Yaca be) Yallec o (Gabili a)

10 Quiy (Belab ella) 11 Peche (Belu) 12 Naa (Belac he) 13 Loo (Belos a)

Comp anion deity Cociy o (Ososi o) Liraaq uitzino (Nator iño) Copiy cha (Oguil o) Pitao Paa (Bexu)

Term Ricaut o (Gabili a) Yacab e (Ricau to) Yallec o (Yaca be) Gabili a (Gabili a)

FOURTH COCIYO— OBENA? Riño 20—Baliche bese Comp Day anion Term deity 10 Pezee Ricauto Xoo lao (Yacab (Belas (Nato e) oó) bilia) 11 Huicha Yacabe Lopa ana (Ricoto (Belac (Bicha ) ua) na) 12 Peeze Yalleco Lape (Bexu) (Gabilia (Belas ) a) 13 Pitao Gabilia Lao Ziy‡ (Ricoto (Bexu) (Nato ) guach e)

* Upper days and companion deities follow the traditional Zapotec sacred calendar. The upper terms are those that should occur in the Peñoles sacred calendar. Lower terms in parentheses () follow the modern copy of the Peñoles sacred calendar (van Meer 2000: 67–71). † Two companion deities, Cociyo (Yocio) and Liraaquitzino (Natoriño), should start the first day of the sacred calendar. ‡ The last day (260) of the sacred calendar ends with the eighth of the nine companion deities, Pitao Ziy (Natoguache). As in the Loxicha sacred calendar,

the first day of the Peñoles sacred calendar should have two companion deities, Cociyo (Yosio) and Liraaquitzino (Natoriño).

These terms clearly functioned to begin and end a cociy (riño), or 13-day period, as can be seen in ten of the thirteen preserved riño (2, 4–10, 12, 20), thereby ascribing them to a world direction. The other three (Riño 1, 3, 11) appear to contain errors committed by the modern copyist. These terms also functioned just like the Sierra Juárez terms to begin and end a cociyo, or 65day period. Riño 1 through 5, or the first cociyo, begins and ends with a ricauto day, or eastern day.9 Riño 6 through 10, or the second cociyo, begins and ends on a yacabe day, or northern day. Riño 11 begins on a yalleco, or western day, and its cociyo, the third cociyo, probably ended at Riño 15 on a yalleco day, although Riño 13 through 15 are not preserved. Likewise, Riño 20, the last riño, corresponding to the fourth cociyo, ends on a gabilia, or southern day, and probably began at Riño 16 on a gabilia day, although Riño 16 through 19 are not preserved (van Meer 2000:67–70). This ritual book also lists nine deities in association with the sacred calendar. The names of the deities and their positions from 1 to 9 appear to be the same in the Peñoles and Loxicha sacred calendars and seem to correspond precisely to the first nine deities that rule the day numbers in the second list of Diego Luis. The single possible exception in the Peñoles calendar is the second deity, Lguichoriñe, which is similar to Licuicha, the sun god, in Sola. Also of interest is the fact that Lguichoriñe is listed as Bichasena on pages 15 and 16 of the Peñoles document (van Meer 2000:71), which is similar to Copiycha and helps relate this deity in the second position to Pitao Copiycha (table 8.5). Despite the fact that no translations of the names of the Peñoles deities are available, the remaining eight are very similar to the deities listed by Diego Luis. For example, the first deity, Natoriño, is clearly the God Thirteen because riño means “thirteen” in Peñoles Zapotec and Nato is probably the same as pitao (god). The third Peñoles deity, Oguilo, is clearly the same as Diego Luis’s Coquelaa with the C dropped and the gui voiced, as opposed to the voiceless que and the laa modified to lo; in fact, the name of this deity is written as Oguela on pages 15 and 16 of the Peñoles document (van Meer 2000:71) and is clearly equivalent to Coquelaa and Pitao Paa, in the third position. Likewise, the fifth deity, Natobilia, is clearly Pitao Pezeelao, since

Nato is “deity” (pitao) and bilia means “underworld,” rendering a translation of “god of the underworld.” The remaining deities from Peñoles are closer cognates with the Sola deities, as van Meer (2000:45–46) points out (table 8.5). The Loxicha and Peñoles sacred calendars are not identical. The Peñoles sacred calendar is very similar to the seventeenth-century sacred calendars from the Sierra Juárez. Both have the day names and numbers, four terms associated with the four quarters of the world, and are divided into four cociyos of sixty-five days each. The Loxicha sacred calendar lacks the day names and the four terms associated with the four quarters of the world and is divided into five periods of fifty-two days each. However, both the Loxicha and Peñoles sacred calendars have nearly the same nine companion deities in the same order, although the extra companion deity placed on the first day in the Loxicha sacred calendar is missing in the Peñoles sacred calendar. It is noteworthy that the nine companion deities are exactly the same and in the same order as the first nine deities that rule the day numbers listed by Diego Luis. Of significance, however, is the fact that neither the Loxicha nor the Peñoles sacred calendars list the deities that rule the thirteen day numbers and that Diego Luis never listed the nine companion deities.10 The presence of the nine companion deities in two Zapotec sacred calendars separated in time by as much as three hundred years and in space by over 100 kilometers clearly indicates that the Zapotecs, like the Aztecs and Maya, made use of the Nine Lords of the Night in their sacred calendars. The fact that the nine Zapotec companion deities are not precisely the same or in the same order as the nine Aztec companion deities indicates that the Zapotecs did not copy these deities from Nahua sources during either pre-conquest or post-conquest times. Furthermore, the Zapotecs placed the extra companion deity on the first day of the sacred calendar, but the Aztecs placed this deity on the last day. Because the Zapotecs had the sacred calendar nearly two thousand years before the Aztecs, it seems highly likely that the nine companion deities have a very long history among the Zapotecs. Table 8.9 presents the first two cociy of a hypothetical example of a traditional Zapotec sacred calendar incorporating the thirteen deities of the day numbers and their nine companion deities.

Table 8.9 The deities that rule the day numbers and their companion deities in a traditional Zapotec sacred calendar: hypothetical examples for the first two cociy.

Cociy 1—1 Chilla or 1 Cociy 2—1 Peche or 1 Alligator Jaguar 13 9 13 9 Zapotec deities compani Zapotec deities compan days of the on days of the on days deities days deities 1 Chilla (1 Liraaquitz Cociyo/Li 1 Peche (1 Liraaquit Pitao Alligator) ino raaquitzin Jaguar) zino Pezeelao o 2 Laa (2 Pitao Pitao 2 Naa (2 Pitao Pitao Lightning) Copiycha Copiycha Corn) Copiycha Huichaan a 3 Lalaa (3 Pitao Pitao 3 Loo (3 Pitao Pitao Night) Paa Paa Eye) Paa Peeze 4 Lachi (4 Pitao Pitao 4 Xoo (4 Pitao Pitao Ziy Lizard) Cozobi Cozobi Earthqua Cozobi ke) 5 Zee (5 Pitao Pitao 5 Lopa (5 Pitao Cociyo Serpent) Pezeelao Pezeelao Flint Pezeelao Knife) 6 Laana (6 Pitao Pitao 6 Lape (6 Pitao Liraaquit Death Huichaan Huichaan Rain) Huichaan zino a a a 7 China (7 Pitao Pitao 7 Lao (7 Pitao Pitao Deer) Peeze Peeze Lord) Peeze Copiycha 8 Lapa (8 Pitao Ziy Pitao Ziy 8 Chilla (8 Pitao Ziy Pitao Rabbit) Alligator) Paa 9 Niza (9 Cociyo Cociyo 9 Laa (9 Cociyo Pitao Water) Lightning Cozobi ) 10 Tella (10 Xonaxi Liraaquit 1 Lalaa (10 Xonaxi Pitao Knot) Quecuya zino 0 Night) Quecuya Pezeelao

Cociy 1—1 Chilla or 1 Cociy 2—1 Peche or 1 Alligator Jaguar 13 9 13 9 Zapotec deities compani Zapotec deities compan days of the on days of the on days deities days deities 11 Loo (11 Pitao Pitao 11 Lachi (11 Pitao Pitao Monkey) Cozaana Copiycha Lizard) Cozaana Huichaan a 12 Piya (12 Leraa Pitao 1 Zee (12 Leraa Pitao Soaproot Queche Paa 2 Serpent) Queche Peeze ) 13 Quiy (13 Liraa Pitao 1 Laana Liraa Pitao Ziy Reed) Cuee? Cozobi 3 (13 Cuee? Death) The function of the nine companion deities is not well understood. However, Caso has suggested that they must be considered in conjunction with the deities that rule the day numbers. According to Cristóbal del Castillo, a Texcocan noble who wrote in AD 1596, the deity that ruled the day number accompanied the day from midnight until noon, when a companion deity took over and accompanied the day from noon until midnight (Caso 1967:115, 121). In Codex Borbornicus (1974), each of the thirteen Lords of the Day and nine lords or companion deities can be seen opening their arms to receive the day, one from the other (figure 8.2). Others, such as Eduard Seler, have suggested that the nine companion deities are associated with the nine levels of the underworld, although Caso (1971b:335–36) points out that there is little evidence to support this. RITUALS AND THE SACRED CALENDAR The sacred calendar played a very important role in the lives of the ancient Zapotecs. Córdova (1578b:204) states the colaní were the experts in the use of the sacred calendar, although it seems certain that the Zapotec temple priests were also knowledgeable in its use.11 Several Relaciones point to the use of the sacred calendar by temple priests. The Relación de Tecuicuilco, in a non-

plagiarized section, states, “They made a sacrificial feast to this god [Pezeelao] every two hundred and sixty days, which they counted as a year. They had a particular day appointed for his feast” (Villagar 1580:91).12 Likewise, the Relación de Guaxilotitlan (Huitzo) reports that “each year they celebrated a feast in the temple [where] they killed a war captive” (Zárate 1581:198), and the Relación de Miaguatlan notes that they had fixed days for sacrifices to Pezeelao and Cociyo (Espíndola 1580:127).13 It is evident that the temple priests conducted a major celebration for the patron deity of the city-state once every 260 days on a specific day within the sacred calendar dedicated to the deity and that this celebration usually included a human sacrifice. It seems most likely that the last day of the sacred calendar, 13 Lao or Pecelao, was the day appointed for this sacrifice to Pezeelao, the preferred patron deity of many city-states. It seems likely, as well, that in Prehispanic times the temple priests were involved in organizing rituals for the city-state involving the planting and harvesting of corn, communal hunts and fishing expeditions, and communal confessions. They also certainly conducted rituals involving the sacrifice to Cociyo of children to bring rains and adults to insure bountiful harvests. Finally, they almost certainly conducted public rituals involving the births, investitures, marriages, and funerals of public figures such as coqui and important nobles within the city-state. Among these activities, Córdova (1578a:92) cites the huia tao as conducting ceremonies surrounding the investiture of coqui and Burgoa (1989: II, 123–24) cites the funeral services for coqui. All of these activities almost certainly involved consulting the sacred calendar to determine which day was propitious for the ceremony or ritual under consideration. The colaní, of course, as Córdova (1578b:203) notes, were experts in the use of the sacred calendar. Their use of the sacred calendar was detailed in chapter 7 and may be summarized in the words of Córdova: These days and names served for many things touching the life of man. First they served for births because the name they had, how they named the boy or girl, was the day on which they were born. And this was their principal name . . . They also served for marriages, because when they were to marry it was necessary to see if they were compatible because the day of birth of one had to

conform to the other according to the count that they had. All of which the letrados or sorcerers [colaní] determined by casting lots. They also served for omens. Because if they found things that they took for omens, they would see what day it was to know what was going to happen to them. They also served for dreams, because from there [the sacred calendar] they learned what was going to happen to them. They also served for illnesses, because if a child or adult fell ill, they would know what day it was, and if they would get well or not. And this science was not known by all but only those who had this profession. Those who were called Colaní (Córdova 1578b:202–3).14 In Prehispanic times, the colaní probably conducted their rituals principally for the benefit of commoners. THE SOLAR YEAR, OR YZA The solar year of 365 days was called yza in Zapotec (Caso 1965:943). Although Córdova (1578b:201–12) presented a detailed discussion of the 260day sacred calendar (piye), he was unaware of the solar calendar. He states, “And it seems that they had no term situated for the beginning of the [solar] year, as we do” (Córdova 1578b:201).15 The sacred cycle of 260 days, of course, is repeated without regard to the beginning or end of the solar year, indicating that Córdova was unaware of the existence of the Zapotec solar year. Burgoa (1989: II, 391), on the other hand, was well aware of the nature of the Zapotec solar year, noting that it was composed of eighteen “months” of twenty days each, with an additional “small month” of five or six days at the end to complete the solar year of 365 or 366 days. Unfortunately, he does not name the months. Whereas the thirteen numbers and the cociy, or 13-day period, were at the core of the sacred calendar, the twenty day names and the eighteen 20-day months are at the heart of the solar calendar. THE TWENTY ZAPOTEC DAYS

The Zapotec day was called chiy, or sun (Caso 1965:943). Córdova (1578b:212) states that the Zapotec day began at noon and ended at noon the next day.16 Caso (1971b:345) also notes that the Aztec day began at noon, based on the AD 1596 writings of Cristóbal del Castillo (Caso 1967:114). However, Heinrich Berlin (1988:46) states that the Zapotec day began at sunset and ended at sunset the following day, evidently basing this on Sola colaní Diego Luis, who ordered people to fast for a full day, from sunset to sunset. Furthermore, the Relación de Tecuicuilco, in a non-plagiarized section, states in reference to a cyclical religious celebration, “And these feasts lasted from vespers [sunset] of the day on which they were to begin . . . until the next day at the same time [sunset]” (Villagar 1580:91).17 From a study of annotations of a lunar eclipse and a solar eclipse in the Zapotec calendars from the Sierra Juárez, Justeson and Tavárez (2007:46) report that “these eclipse records . . . establish that the day of the ritual calendar did not change between about 9:30 AM and 9:30 PM; . . . The likely times for the change are therefore midnight and sunrise; neither noon nor sunset is consistent with these data.” However, after studying annotations in other sacred calendars amenable to determining the time of day change, they found that “the more numerous set of annotations” provided the strongest evidence that the day changed at noon (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:54). Nevertheless, they conclude, “it does not seem possible at present to reliably resolve . . . the timing of the change of day” (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:54). Although by the late seventeenth century the Zapotecs may have adopted the European system of beginning the day at midnight, it seems likely that the day began at noon in Prehispanic times. The period of twenty days constituted a month, or peo, “moon” in Zapotec (Caso 1965:943). “The spellings of the day names [in the sacred calendars from the Sierra Juárez] vary, but can be orthographically equated with those given by Córdova” in his sixteenth century Arte del idioma zapoteca from the Valley of Oaxaca (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:23). Caso (1967:77) and Urcid (2001:84) have pointed out that the twenty day names are basically the same and in the same fixed order throughout Mesoamerica. Because twenty day names were common throughout Mesoamerica, the much more ancient Zapotec day names are compared with the Aztec day names to point out the similarities and differences (table 8.10).

Table 8.10 A comparison of Zapotec and Aztec day names in fixed order.

Zapotec name 1 Chilla 2 Laa* 3 Lalaa* 4 Lachi 5 Zee 6 Lana 7 China 8 Lapa 9 Niça

10 Tella* 11 Loo 12 Piya* 13 Laa [Quiy] 14 Lache [Peche] 15 Naa*

Meaning (classic glyph) Alligator (Alligator) Lightning (Cociyo) Night (Owl) Ballgame (Lizard) Bad omen? (Serpent) Smell of meat (Skull) Deer (Deer) ? (Rabbit) Water (Flowing Water) Knot (Tied Knot) Monkey (Monkey) Soap plant (Soap plant) [Reed] (Reed) Heart? (Jaguar) Cornfield (Corn plant)

Aztec name

Meaning

Patron deity

Cipactli

Alligator

Ehécatl*

Wind

Calli* Cuetzpalin

House Lizard

Cóatl

Serpent

Miquiztli

Death

Tonacatecu htli Quetzalcóat l Tepeyolohtli Huehuecóyo tl Chalchiutlicu e Tecciztécatl

Mázatl Tochtli Atl

Deer Rabbit Water

Tláloc Mayahuel Xiuhtecuhtli

Itzcuintli*

Dog

Ozomatli

Monkey

Mictlantecu htli Xochipilli

Malinalli*

Grass

Patécatl

Acatl

Reed

Ocelotl

Jaguar

Itztlacoliuhq ui† Tlazoltéotl

Cuauhtli*

Eagle

Xipe Totec

Zapotec name 16 Loo*

17 Xoo

18 Lopa

19 Lape 20 Lao*

Meaning (classic glyph) Eye (Eyeball with volutes) Earthquake (Four part oval) Damp, dew, cold (Flint Knife) Raindrop? (Xicani) Ruler, lord (Lord’s face)

Aztec name

Meaning

Patron deity

Cozcacuauh Buzzard tli*

Izpapálotl

Ollin

Movement

Xólotl

Técpatl

Flint Knife

Chalchiuhto olin†

Quiáhuitl

Rain

Xóchitl*

Flower

Chantico/To natiuh Xochiquétza l

* Differences between Zapotec and Aztec day names † Or Tezcatlipoca

Thirteen of the Aztec day names are the same as the more ancient Zapotec ones and are in precisely the same positions in the fixed order of days. This is especially apparent when the Late Classic Zapotec glyphs for the day names are considered. Translating the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Zapotec day names written in Spanish orthography has been especially difficult. The day names written in Zapotec include augments of unknown meanings (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:19) and may represent archaic Zapotec terms. A patron deity ruled each of the twenty days in the Aztec solar calendar, but it is unknown if patron deities were associated with the day signs in the Zapotec solar calendar (table 8.10). However, because the four terms were associated with the different day names, it is apparent that each day was associated with one of the four world directions. Each of the directions was associated with a group of

five days (20 ÷ 4 = 5). The same five days were always tied to one of the directions: east, north, west, or south (table 8.11). Table 8.11 Four Zapotec terms associated with the same five day names.

Xi—East Chilla (Alligator) Zee (Serpent) Niza (Water) Quij (Reed) Xoo (Earthquake)

Zobi—North Laa (Lightning) Laana (Death) Tella (Knot) Peche (Jaguar) Lopa (Flint Knife)

Tzaba—West Lalaa (Night) China (Deer) Loo (Monkey) Naa (Corn) Lape (Rain)

Niti—South Lachi (Lizard) Lapa (Rabbit) Piya (Soaproot) Loo (Eye) Lao (Lord)

PEO, OR ZAPOTEC 20-DAY MONTHS Alcina Franch (1993:185–86; tabla 31; figure 6) discovered a seventeenthcentury Zapotec solar calendar from the Sierra Juárez that lists the Zapotec 20day months and their names, and Justeson and Tavárez (2007) have studied this calendar and others in detail (figure 8.4). Although the Zapotec names for the months are known from this document, few of these names have been translated (table 8.12). Justeson and Tavárez (2007:33) note that the first month, toohua, can be translated as “mouth,” which is a Zapotec metaphor for “beginning”; the ninth month, gogaa, appears to relate to a phrase Córdova mentions as cogaa peo that he translates as “agora nueue meses,” or “now nine months.” In addition, Urcid (2001:87) points out that Córdova’s entry for cocij cogaa reads, “Resting time when one cannot work because of rain and wind, forbidden.” Continuing, Urcid (2001:87) notes “that the month of gogaa fell in August, which is precisely the final part of the rainy season.” Table 8.12 The eighteen Zapotec 20-day months, or peo.

1 Toohua 2 Huitao 3 Tzegag

February 23 to March 14 March 15 to April 3 April 4 to April

1 Go naa 0 11 Gaha 1 Tina

August 22 to September 10 September 11 to September 30 October 1 to October

4 Lohuee 5 Yag queo 6 Gabe na 7 Gola goo 8 Cheag 9 Gogaa Quicholla

23 2 20 April 24 to May 1 Zaha October 21 to 13 3 November 9 May 14 to June 1 Zahi November 10 to 2 4 November 29 June 3 to June 1 Zahuao November 30 to 22 5 December 19 June 23 to July 1 Yetilla December 20 to 10 6 January 8 July 11 to 1 Yecho January 9 to January August 1 7 28 August 2 to 1 Go hui January 29 to February August 21 8 17 February 18 to February 22 (Five ending days not counted as a month)

Figure 8.4. Page from a seventeenth-century ritual book from Villa Alta showing the 20-day months in a Zapotec solar year (after Alcina Franch 1993: figure 6).

The Zapotec month, or peo, consisted of the twenty fixed day names (table 8.10). There were eighteen months in the solar year (18 × 20 = 360) and a named period of five or six (in the case of leap year) extra days (360 + 5/6 = 365/366) to complete the solar year. The named period of five or six extra days was called quicholla (Alcina Franch 1993:185; figure 6), and, as Burgoa (1989: II, 391) reports, “they left an erratic and variable month of five [days], giving it every four years like our leap year, other more days which made six and it was the last [month] of their year and because of this variability, they called it the smallest month, disconnected and left over from the others, and they did not count it within the eighteen [months].”18 Although many experts deny that the leap year was taken into account in Mesoamerican solar calendars (Taube 1993; Edmonson 2000), Rafael Tena (2000), citing Fray Bernardino Sahagún and Diego de Landa, has provided evidence that an extra day was tabulated every four years to account for the leap year among the Aztecs and the Maya, just as Burgoa asserts for the Zapotecs. The sacred calendar and the solar calendar were interrelated so that every day in the solar calendar had the same name and number as that day in the sacred calendar. Because of the five extra days at the end of the solar year, each new solar year began five days later than the previous solar year. For this reason, the solar year could begin on only one of four days of the twenty fixed days (20 ÷ 5 = 4). These four days are called the year bearers, and among the Zapotecs they included Xoo (Earthquake), Laa (Lightning), China (Deer), and Piya (Soaproot). These same year bearers are recorded in glyphs carved in stone on Stela 12 at Monte Albán that dates to around 500 BC, and they also occur in ritual books from the Sierra Juárez that date to the late seventeenth century (AD 1695). This indicates that these same year bearers persisted in the Zapotec calendar for over two thousand years (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:35). In a leap year, the days of the year would be advanced by one. To avoid this problem, Tena (2000) has presented evidence that the Aztecs counted the fifth day twice, or what he refers to as the biquinto, or bi-fifth, instead of counting the next day; the Zapotecs may also have employed this system, but this is uncertain. Because each of the four year bearers, as all days, occurs with numbers from 1 to 13, they do not begin to repeat until after fifty-two years (4 × 13 = 52). This 52-year period was referred to by the Aztecs as a xiuhmolpilli, or “tying of years,” and is commonly referred to as an Aztec century or calendar

round (Caso 1971b:347); the Zapotec name for this period of time is unknown. More than fifty of the ritual books from the Sierra Juárez list all the years in a 52-year calendar round, and all begin with the year bearer Yagxoo, 1 Xoo or 1 Earthquake (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:34–35; Alcina Franch 1993: figures 28–31). This suggests that the calendar round began with the year 1 Xoo and ended with the year 13 Piya or 13 Soaproot (figure 8.5). Urcid (2001:133, 150, 154), likewise, has discovered that Xoo was the senior year bearer in the corpus of Zapotec hieroglyphs from Monte Albán during Prehispanic times.

Figure 8.5. Pages from a seventeenth-century ritual book from Villa Alta showing the fifty-two years in a calendar round in four groups of thirteen solar years each (modified from Alcina Franch 1993: figures 28–31).

Table 8.13 presents a hypothetical example of a 52-year calendar round beginning in the year 1 Xoo, or AD 1503, and ending in the year 13 Piya, or AD 1554. It should be noted that although the date 1 Xoo has been correlated to the year AD 1503, based on regressing from the date of 11 Xoo that correlates with the year AD 1695 in the Sierra Juárez (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:41), it is possible that changes in the Zapotec year took place within this 200-year period that would invalidate this regression, and therefore it is used only as an example. At the end of a 52-year calendar round, the solar year (yza) and the sacred calendar (piye) ended on the same day and number because a calendar round of fifty-two solar years is the same as seventy-three sacred calendar cycles of 260 days (Urcid 2001:83). Table 8.13 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec calendar round of fifty-two years from 1 Xoo to 13 Piya.*

Zapote c year 1 Xoo 2 Laa 3 China 4 Piya 5 Xoo 6 Laa 7 China 8 Piya 9 Xoo 10 Laa 11 China 12 Piya 13 Xoo

Year AD 1503 1504 1505 1506 1507 1508 1509 1510 1511 1512

Zapote c year 1 Laa 2 China 3 Piya 4 Xoo 5 Laa 6 China 7 Piya 8 Xoo 9 Laa 10 China 1513 11 Piya

Year AD 1516 1517 1518 1519 1520 1521 1522 1523 1524 1525

Zapote c year 1 China 2 Piya 3 Xoo 4 Laa 5 China 6 Piya 7 Xoo 8 Laa 9 China 10 Piya

Year AD 1529 1530 1531 1532 1533 1534 1535 1536 1537 1538

Zapote c year 1 Piya 2 Xoo 3 Laa 4 China 5 Piya 6 Xoo 7 Laa 8 China 9 Piya 10 Xoo

Yea AD 1542 1543 1544 1545 1546 1547 1548 1549 1550 1551

1526 11 Xoo

1539 11 Laa

1552

1514 12 Xoo

1527 12 Laa

1553

1515 13 Laa

1528 13 China

1540 12 China 1541 13 Piya

1554

* The Zapotec year 1 Xoo would begin again in AD 1555, according to the Justeson and Tavárez (2007) correlation, which equates the Zapotec year 11 Xoo with the Christian year AD 1695.

While condemning a Prehispanic Zapotec ritual honoring the dead that coincided more or less with the Catholic Day of the Dead on November 2, Burgoa made reference to the Zapotec solar calendar and the date for the beginning of the Zapotec solar year: From their [the Zapotec’s] pagan [Prehispanic] times, the enemy [Devil] prepared them to defile this devout and pious ceremony of the faithful [Day of the Dead] celebrated in the month of November [November 2] which is the twelfth month of their count of the eighteen months that make up the year beginning on the twelfth of March, a point they reckoned as their equinox (Burgoa 1989: II, 391).19 If the Zapotec new solar year began on March 12, then Burgoa’s citing of November 2 as falling within the twelfth Zapotec month should be accurate. Table 8.14 shows the Zapotec solar year beginning on March 12 and, indeed, as Burgoa states, the Zapotec celebration honoring the dead occurs near the end of the Zapotec twelfth month (Tina). Burgoa also cites March 12 as the beginning of the Mixtec solar year in Yanhuitlán (Burgoa 1989: I, 289). From their study of the Códice de Yanhuitlán, Wigberto Jiménez Moreno and Salvador Mateos Higuera (1940:69–76) established December 4 as the beginning of the Mixtec solar year in Yanhuitlán, although Howard and Mary Cline (Cline and Cline 1975:278) consider this date inaccurate. Furthermore, the Clines indicate that March 12 would have been the beginning of a new solar year among the Mixtecs and Zapotecs during the years from AD 1556 to 1560 (Cline and Cline 1975:288). Based on their studies of an AD 1695 Zapotec solar calendar from the Sierra Juárez, Justeson and Tavárez (2007:41) found that the Zapotec new solar year there began on February 23. Table 8.14 Zapotec solar year beginning on March 12 in Tehuantepec, according to Burgoa (1989: II, 391).

Zapote c month s 1 Toohua 2 Huitao 3 Tzegag

Corresponding dates Mar. 12 Apr. 1 Apr. 21

4 May Lohuee 11 5 Ya May queo 31

6 Gabe June na 20

7 Gola goo 8 Cheag

July 10 July 30

9 Aug. Gogaa 19

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 M 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 a y 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 J 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 u 0 n e 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

2 3 1 2 2

2 4 1 3 3

2 5 1 4 4

2 6 1 5 5

2 7 1 6 6

2 8 1 7 7

2 9 1 8 8

3 0 1 9 9

3 1 2 0 1 0

2 2 1 1

2 3 1 2

2 4 1 3

2 5 1 4

2 6 1 5

2 7 1 6

2 8 1 7

2 9 1 8

3 0 1 9

J ul y 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 3 A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 u 0 g. 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

2 2 1 1

2 3 1 2

2 4 1 3

2 5 1 4

2 6 1 5

2 7 1 6

2 8 1 7

2 9 1 8

3 S 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 e pt . 1

Zapote c month s 10 Go naa 11 Gaha

Corresponding dates

Sept 9 1 1 .8 0 1 Sept 2 3 O . 28 9 0 ct . 1 12 Tina Oct. 1 2 2 18 9 0 1

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1

2 2 1 2

15 Dec. 1 1 2 Zahuao 17 8 9 0

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 N 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 o v. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 D 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 e 0 1 c 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1

16 Yetilla 17 Yecho

Jan. 7 8 9 6 Janu 2 2 2 ary 7 8 9 26

1 0 3 0

18 Go hui

Febr 1 1 1 1 uary 6 7 8 9 15

13 Nov. 8 9 1 Zaha 7 0 14 Zahi Nov. 2 2 3 27 8 9 0

2 3 1 3

2 4 1 4

2 5 1 5

2 6 1 6

2 7 1 7

2 3 4 5 6 *

2 2 1 2

J a n. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 3 F 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 e 0 b 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 M 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ar . 1

2 3 1 3

2 4 1 4

2 5 1 5

2 6 1 6

2 3 4 5

2 2 1 1

2 3 1 2

2 4 1 3

2 5 1 4

3 4 5 6

Zapote c Corresponding dates month s Quichol Mar 8 9 1 1 la ch 7 0 1 * Day of the Dead—November 2.

These different dates for the beginning of the Zapotec solar year are not necessarily contradictory. Jiménez Moreno (1959) has shown that the Aztecs began their new solar year on January 25 in AD 1519. During this very same year, the new solar year began on January 5 in Texcoco, on February 4 in Cuitláhuac, on March 6 in Culhuacán, on May 5 in Cuauhtitlán, and on June 14 in Chalco. All of these city-states (altepeme) were located in the Valley of Mexico, yet each began their new solar year on different dates. Therefore, it is entirely possible that different Zapotec city-states, or queche, began a new solar year on different dates.20 Unfortunately, Burgoa did not provide the information necessary to correlate the Zapotec solar year with the Christian year. Nevertheless, Justeson and Tavárez (2007) have been able to establish the correlation of the Christian Gregorian calendar and Zapotec solar years based on their studies of Zapotec ritual books from the Sierra Juárez. They have correlated February 23, 1695 with the beginning of the Zapotec solar year 11 Xoo or 11 Earthquake (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:41). Furthermore, they contend that the Zapotec solar year was named after the day on which it began (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:36). However, Caso (1967:56) and Urcid (2001:154) contend that the Zapotec year was named after the last (360th day) of the previous year, and not on the day it began. Table 8.15 presents a hypothetical example of a complete Zapotec solar calendar correlated to the year AD 1503, 1 Xoo or 1 Earthquake, beginning on February 23, the day 1 Xoo, in accordance with the idea that the year was named after the day on which it began (Justeson and Tavárez 2007:36). Presumably, this would have been the beginning of a new Zapotec “century” or 52-year calendar round because 1 Xoo is listed in over fifty ritual books as the beginning of a calendar round. However, it should be noted that this example is

based on a regression from the year AD 1695 (11 Xoo), and it is possible that there was a change in Zapotec years over this 200-year period as well as a change in the date for the beginning of the year. Table 8.15 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec 365-day solar calendar, or yza, for AD 1503, 1 Xoo (1 Earthquake).* This example is based on the contention by Justeson and Tavárez (2007:36) that the solar year was named after its first day.

(Mo L L nth Xoo o a s) † p p PE a e O Too 1 2 3 huà AD Feb. 2 2 150 23 4 5 3

C L hi a ll o a

L a a †

L al a a

4 5 6 7

CHIY (Days) L C L L Z a hi a a e a n c p e n a hi a a † 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2 2 3 4 5 6

2 2 2 M 6 7 8 ar . 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 2 3 0 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

Huit ao

8 9 1 0 Mar. 1 1 15 6 7

Tze gag

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 Apr. 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 4 0 1 2 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3

Loh uee

P P N T L Q e N iy iz el o ui c a a a la o y h a † e 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3

1 1 1 3 5

1 2 1 4 6

1 1 3 1

1 2 A pr . 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3

L o o 7 1 4

1 1 3 2 3

7 8 2 2 2 3 1 2

(Mo L L nth Xoo o a s) † p p PE a e O Apr. 2 2 24 5 6

Yag que o

C L hi a ll o a

L a a †

L al a a

2 2 2 3 7 8 9 0

3 4 5 6 7 8 9

CHIY (Days) L C L L Z a hi a a e a n c p e n a hi a a † M 2 3 4 5 a y 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3

P P N T L Q e N iy iz el o ui c a a a la o y h a † e 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2

1 3

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

May 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 J 14 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 u n 1 Gab 10 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 e nà 1 2 3 0 1 2 3 June 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Gol 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a 0 1 2 3 goo June 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 J 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 23 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 ul 0 1 y 1 Che 11 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 ag 2 3 0 1 2 3 July 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Gog aa

L o o

2

3 2 2 1 0 1 2

4

A u g 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 2 3 0 1

(Mo L L nth Xoo o a s) † p p PE a e O Aug. 3 4 2 Go 12 1 1 naa 3 Aug. 2 2 22 3 4

C L hi a ll o a

2 3 4 5 2 2 2 2 5 6 7 8

6 7 8 9 1 0 Sept 1 1 1 1 . 11 2 3 4 5 Tina 13 1 2 3 4

Zahi

L al a a

5 6 7 8

Gah a

Oct. 2 3 1 Zah 7 8 9 a Oct. 2 2 21 2 3

L a a †

1 1 1 6 5

1 2 1 7 6

4 5 6 7 1 0 2 4

1 1 2 5

1 2 2 6

CHIY (Days) L C L L Z a hi a a e a n c p e n a hi a a † 9 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 6 7 8 9 1 0 2 3 3 S 2 9 0 1 e pt . 1 1 1 2 3 4 3 1 1 2 2 2 8 9 0 1 2 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 3 4 5

1 3 2 2 2 3 3 7 8 9 0 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 Nov. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Zoh 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 uao 0 1 2 3

1 1 2 0 5

P P N T L Q e N iy iz el o ui c a a a la o y h a † e 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

5 6 7 8 9 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 1 1 2 3 4 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 N 2 3 4 5 6 7 o v. 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2

L o o 2 1 5 1 0

1 1 2 9 5

1 2 3 0 6

1 9 1 2 8

2 0 1 3 9

6 7 2 2 8 9 1 1 3

(Mo L L nth Xoo o a s) † p p PE a e O Nov. D 2 30 e c. 1 Yetill 2 3 4 a Dec. 2 2 20 1 2

Yec ho

Go hui

9 1 0 Jan. 1 9 0 3 4

1 1 1 1 5

Jan. 3 3 29 0 1

Quic holla

C L hi a ll o a

L a a †

L al a a

3 4 5 6

CHIY (Days) L C L L Z a hi a a e a n c p e n a hi a a † 7 8 9 1 1 8 0 1

5 6 7 8 9 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 2 1 2 6

1 3 1 3 7

1 2 3 4 5

1 1 1 1 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 F 2 3 4 5 6 e b. 1 1 1 2 3 ‡ 2 2 2 1 2 3

10 1 1 1 2 Feb. 1 2 18 9 0 Five extra days

1 1 2 9

1 8 1 2 7

1 2 3 0

P P N T L Q e N iy iz el o ui c a a a la o y h a † e 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 1 2 3 4 5 3 3 J 2 3 4 5 1 a n. 1 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 4

L o o 1 9

6 7 8 6 7 8

1 3 2 6 7

1 2 2 2 7 8 8 9

1 1 1 5 6 7

* Correlation based on data provided by Tavárez and Justeson (2008:76), who state that the Zapotec year 11 Xoo correlates to February 23, 1695. Dates adjusted to the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Julian calendar in AD 1582; Julian calendar dates would be ten days earlier. † Year bearers ‡ 2 Laa, AD 1504, February 23

Table 8.16 presents a hypothetical example of a complete Zapotec solar calendar correlated to the year AD 1502 (13 Piya) leading into the year AD 1503 (1 Xoo), in accordance with the idea that the year was named after the last (360th) day of the previous year (Caso 1967:56; Urcid 2001:154). It will be noted that the last day of the eighteenth month—the 360th day of the previous year—names the forthcoming year. This is because this day is considered to be the one “that carries the date from a completion of a cycle to the opening of the following one” (Urcid 2001:154). In this case, 13 Piya names the year AD 1502. However, 13 Piya is followed by the five extra days, so the count of the new solar year actually begins with the day 6 Lopa, March 1. The year AD 1503 is named after the day 1 Xoo that is the last day (360th) of the year AD 1502, as shown in table 8.16. Barbara Tedlock (1992:202–3) has shown how the present-day Quiché Maya do not view the “new year” as replacing the previous or “old” year but instead see it as being added on to the previous year and overlapping with it. The Zapotecs and other Mesoamerican groups probably had the same conception of time as accumulative. Therefore, the ideas of Caso and Urcid seem to me the correct ones, although it is possible that by AD 1695, the Zapotecs had changed to naming the year after its first day, following the influence of the Spanish New Year. Table 8.16 A hypothetical example of a Zapotec 365-day solar calendar, or yza, for AD 1502 (13 Piya) leading into AD 1503 (1 Xoo).a This example is based on the contention by Caso (1967) and Urcid (2001) that among the Zapotecs, the forthcoming year was named after the day the previous year ended.

Pre L C vio L Lop a hi us a a p ll Yea o e a r

L a a d

L al a a

L C P L L P X Z a hi N T L Q e N L a a iy o e a n iz el o ui c a o c p a o e n a a la o y h a o hi a d d a d e

AD 12 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 150 3 0 1 2 3 1 12 Feb 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 F Chin . 8 0 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 e a b. 2 3 c CHIY (Days) L C (Mo L C L L L a hi L Pi nths a L hi a al a Z a n a Ni T L y )PE Lop p a ll a a c e n a p z el o a O a e o a d a hi e a d a a la o d Too 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 huà 0 1 2 3 AD Mar 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 150 .1 0 1 2 3 4 5 2 Huit 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 ao 0 1 2 3 Mar 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 M 2 3 4 . 21 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 a y 1 Tze 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 gag 0 1 2 3 Apr. 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4

1 2 3 4 5 2 2 2 2 2 4 5 6 7 8

Q ui y 8

P e c h e 9

N a a 1 0 1 1 1 6 7 8

L o o 1 1 1 9

X o o d 1 2 2 0

2 3 4 5 6 5 6 7 8 9

9 1 0 2 2 5 6

1 1 2 7

1 2 2 8

1 3 2 9

Loh uee

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 Apr. M 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 a y 1 Yag 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 que 0 1 2 3 o May 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 20 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Gab e nà

Gol a goo

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 Jun 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 e9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 0 1 2 3

1 1 1 8 5

1 1 1 0

1 2 1 1

1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 3 3 J 0 1 u n e 1 1 1 1 2 3 1 2 2 9 0 1 6 7 8

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 9 1 1 1 0 1 2

2 2 2 6 7 8 1 1 2 3

Jun 3 J 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 e 29 0 ul 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 . 1 Che 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ag 0 1 2 3

Jul. 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 A 19 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 u g. 1 Gog 10 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 aa 1 2 3 0 Aug 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 .8 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Go 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 naa 0 1 2 3 Aug 2 3 3 S 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 . 28 9 0 1 e 0 pt . 1 Gah 11 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 a 2 3 0 1 Sep 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 t. 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 17 Tina

5 6 7 8 9 1 0 Oct. 8 9 1 1 1 7 0 1 2 Zah 12 1 1 2 3 4 a 3

1 1 1 3 5

1 2 1 4 6

2 3 4 5 6 7

1 1 2 2 5

1 2 2 3 6

1 3 2 4 7

1 2 3

2 2 2 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6

1 2 O ct . 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 3 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3

1 1 2 3 4 3 2 3 4 5 6

7 8 9 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4

1 1 2 6 5

Oct. 2 2 3 3 N 27 8 9 1 1 o v. 1 Zahi 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1 Nov. 1 1 1 2 2 16 7 8 9 0 1

Zoh uao

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 4 5

1 2 2 2

13 1 2 3 4 5 6

Dec 7 8 .6 Yetil 7 8 9 la Dec 2 2 . 26 7 8

1 2 1 3 J 2 3 4 5 a n. 1 Yec 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 ho 0 1 Jan. 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 15 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5

Go hui

9 1 0 1 1 0 1 2 3 9 0

1 1 1 2 3 1

1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 D 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 e c. 1 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 0 1 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

9 1 1 1 0 1 2 2 3 4 5

3 4 5 6

2 2 1 0 6 7 8 9 1 1 0 1

1 2 2 6

2 3 1 1 1 2

1 1 2 3 4 5 3 2 2 2 3 3 F 7 8 9 0 1 e b. 1 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 0 1 2 3 0 1 2

2 4 1 2 1 3

2 5 1 3 1 4

6 7 2 3

1 1 3

Quj choll ae

Feb 5 6 7 8 9 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 F .4 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 e b. 2 3 e 2 3 4 5 6

Feb 2 2 2 2 . 24 5 6 7 8 Five extra days to be followed by day 7 Lalaa, March 1 a. Correlation based on data provided by Tavárez and Justeson (2008:76), who state that the Zapotec year 11 Xoo correlates to February 23, 1695. Dates are in the Gregorian calendar, which replaced the Julian calendar in AD 1582; Julian calendar dates would be ten days earlier. b. Five extra days, followed by 6 Lopa, March 1. c. 13 Piya AD 1502 d. Year bearers e. 1 Xoo, February 23, AD 1503

RITUALS AND THE SOLAR CALENDAR The Zapotec temple priests probably most extensively employed the solar calendar (yza), although the colaní were certainly knowledgeable of its

workings. The Zapotecs celebrated the new solar year on February 23 in the seventeenth century. Justeson and Tavárez (2007:32–33) report that the Sierra Juárez towns of Juquila, Zoogocho, and San Pedro Yaneri (see figure 8.1 for locations) celebrated the vigil of Saint Matthias, an obscure saint, on February 23, even though Saint Matthais was not a patron saint of any of these communities. It is clear that they were celebrating the Zapotec New Year and not the saint’s day. Furthermore, a colonial document from San Francisco Yobego (see figure 8.1 for location) in the Sierra Juárez states that they had an idol “made of rough stone, little more than half a vara (40–50 centimeters) tall, pecked on one side in a manner that seems to be an animal” that they used to make the first sacrifice of the New Year (Alcina Franch 1972:35–36).21 Unfortunately, the idol is not named in Zapotec to know what deity it might have represented. In Prehispanic times, it seems likely that the temple priest organized ceremonies in their city-state to celebrate the Zapotec new year, as well. In addition, the end of a 52-year calendar round undoubtedly occasioned a great celebration, like the Aztec New Fire Ceremony, yet it is unknown how the Zapotecs celebrated the end of a calendar round. Furthermore, the Aztecs celebrated ceremonies in their temples during each of the eighteen months of the solar year. It seems possible that the Zapotec temple priests did the same. Burgoa complained that the Zapotec ceremony in honor of the dead took place in the twelfth month of the Zapotec solar calendar that more or less corresponded to the Catholic Day of the Dead celebrated on November 2. This piece of evidence certainly suggests that Zapotec temple priests organized ceremonies in the temples that probably involved the entire city-state during each of the eighteen months of the solar year. Colonial documents from the Sierra Juárez provide some additional information on possible monthly celebrations. In San Bartolomé Yaxoni (see figure 8.1 for location) in the month of February (Zapotec months of Go hui or Toohua), they made sacrfices to Betahoxana (Cozaana), the deity of their ancestors; in San Miguel Tiltepeque they made offerings and sacrifices to Laxoo (Pitao Xoo), the deity of earthquakes, during the month of May (Zapotec months of Lohuee or Yagqueo) (Alcina Franch 1972:23–24). Unfortunately, the nature of these monthly ceremonies and most of the deities to whom they were dedicated remain unknown. POSTCLASSIC ZAPOTEC CALENDARS AND RITUAL BOOKS

A final problem with the Zapotec calendars concerns the naming of the Zapotec year bearers, the nature of the Zapotec year glyph, and the Zapotec day signs during the Postclassic period (AD 900–1521). Justeson and Tavárez (2007:35) have shown that the Zapotec year bearers in the seventeenth century in the Sierra Juárez are the same ones—Xoo (Earthquake), Laa (Lightning), China (Deer), Piya (Soaproot)—as those used by the Zapotecs in ca. 500 BC and also known through the Late Classic Xoo phase (ca. AD 650–850). However, Urcid (2001:142–43; 150, figure 4.49; 151, figure 4.50) considers the Zapotec year glyph and the year bearers to have changed some time after the collapse of Monte Albán at the end of the Classic Period in ca. AD 850. He presents evidence that the Zapotec year glyph changed to a Mixtec-style year glyph and that later the year bearers advanced one position to become like Aztec and Mixtec year bearers—Reed, Flint Knife, House, and Rabbit— during the Postclassic. However, as he comments, “The shift in year bearers was not general because certain regions of Oaxaca and Guerrero retained type II annual markers even after Pre-Columbian times” (Urcid 2001:143). Type II annual markers are Earthquake, Lightning, Deer, and Soaproot in the traditional Zapotec system. The carved stone doorjambs of a looted Postclassic Zapotec tomb recently discovered by Robert Markens and Cira Martínez in Huitzo depict a Mixtecstyle year glyph with the head of the rain deity, Cociyo (Lightning or Laa), as a year bearer (see figure 3.5a). This suggests once again that Urcid is correct in stating that the year sign changed before the year bearers. The Mitla murals, which will be discussed more fully in chapter 9, further support Urcid’s evidence. The east and north murals of the Church Group clearly depict the year glyph in a manner similar to the Mixtec-style year glyph and unlike the Classic Zapotec year glyph. Furthermore, the year bearers Reed (Quiy), Flint Knife (Lopa), and House (Laala) are all shown in the murals. Urcid (2001:151; figure 4.50) also reports the year bearer Rabbit (Lapa) carved on a stone in front of Tomb 5 from Suchilquitongo, near Huitzo (figure 8.6).

Figure 8.6. Late Classic and Postclassic Zapotec year glyphs and year bearers: (a) Late Classic Zapotec year glyph, Monte Alban (after Urcid 2001:117, Figure 4.7); (b) Late Postclassic Zapotec year glyph, Mitla (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXIX); (c) Late Classic Zapotec year bearers (after Urcid 2001:124, Figure 4.16; 122, Figure 4.14; 128, Figure 4.23; 120, Figure 4.12); (d) Postclassic Zapotec year bearers (after Seler 1904:Plate XXXVIII; Rabbit after Urcid 2001:151, Figure 4.50).

Córdova’s sixteenth-century names for the twenty days from the Valley of Oaxaca, which Justeson and Tavárez (2007:23) state are the same as the seventeenth-century day names from the Sierra Juárez, indicate that the Zapotecs retained the same day names during the Postclassic. However, the

Zapotecs changed some of their day signs from the Late Classic to the Postclassic and replaced them with Mixtec and Aztec day signs, although the Zapotec day names probably retained the same meaning. For example, the day sign House, as shown in the north mural at Mitla (figure 8.7), was still called “Owl” (Lalaa) by the Zapotecs; the Mixtecs also employed the day sign House but called it “Night.” This day sign was clearly borrowed from Nahuas, who depict it as a House and called it “Calli,” or House. Likewise, the day sign Flower is depicted in the Mitla murals and the Zapotec Códice de Yautepec (figure 8.8). Again, this is clearly a Nahua importation of Xóchitl (Flower) to represent this day that the Zapotecs still called “Face” or “Lord.”

Figure 8.7. A comparison of Late Classic Zapotec and Postclassic Zapotec and Mixtec day signs 1–10: (a) Late Classic Zapotec Day Signs (after Urcid 2001:252, Figure 4.151); (b) Postclassic Zapotec Day Signs (Codex Yautepec and Mitla murals); (c) Postclassic Mixtec Day Signs (after Smith 1973:24) (drawings of day signs fromCodex Yautepec after van Doesburg and Urcid 2009:figure 20).

Figure 8.8. A comparison of Late Classic Zapotec and Postclassic Zapotec and Mixtec day signs 11–20: (a) Late Classic Zapotec day signs (after Urcid 2001:252, Figure 4.151); (b) Postclassic Zapotec day signs (Codex Yautepec and Mitla murals); (c) Postclassic Mixtec day signs (after Smith 1973:25) (drawings of day signs from Codex Yautepec after van Doesburg and Urcid 2009:Figure 20).

The Zapotec day sign for Rain (named Lape), the nineteenth day, probably was represented in the Mitla murals by the image of Cociyo (Lightning) as the rain deity (figure 8.8), just as Tláloc, the Nahua rain deity, and Dzahui, the Mixtec rain god, represented the nineteenth day sign in the Aztec and Mixtec calendars. Cociyo originally represented the second day, Laa (Lightning), and seventeenth-century ritual books continued to record the second day as Laa. If Cociyo did represent the nineteenth day sign in the Postclassic, then the second day sign probably was replaced by the day sign Wind, in the Mixtec and Aztec systems, as shown on pectoral 26 from Tomb 7 at Monte Albán (Urcid 2001:143–44, figure 4.41). This famous Postclassic pectoral has the year dates 10 Wind (Laa-Lightning) and 11 House (Lalaa-Owl), demonstrating the shift from the old system to the new system of year bearers (Caso 1969:83–92, lámina VI). The pectoral seems to confirm the use of the day sign Wind for the second day in place of Cociyo (figure 8.9), but additional examples are required. These data clearly indicate that in Mitla, the most holy and sacred city of the Zapotecs in Late Postclassic times, the year sign, the year bearers, and the day signs of the traditional Classic Zapotec calendar were not used. Instead, a calendar most similar to the Mixtec calendar was employed.22

Figure 8.9. Gold pectoral 26 from Tomb 7 at Monte Albán, showing transition to the new system of year bearers (after Caso 1969: lámina VI).

In 2001, pursuant to her study of historic organs in Oaxaca, Cicely Winter discovered two fragments of a Prehispanic codex in San Bartolo Yautepec, a Zapotec speaking community near Nexapa (see figure 1.2 for location). The fragments formed part of the binding of a seventeenth-century hymnal containing Gregorian chants. Sebastian van Doesburg and Urcid (2009) have studied these fragments and determined them to be from a ritual or religious codex similar, yet not identical, to the Borgia group codices. From these fragments they were able to identify ten of the twenty Zapotec day signs that are similar to Mixtec day signs. This suggests that the Zapotec day signs were

the same as the Mixtec day signs during the Late Postclassic and somewhat different from the Zapotec day signs of the Late Classic. To these ten Zapotec day signs in the Codex Yautepec may be added four more day signs from the Mitla murals to be discussed in chapter 9. This makes a total of fourteen of the twenty Zapotec day signs that can be identified for the Late Postclassic, and all fourteen are similar to the Mixtec and Aztec day signs. Only the day signs for Wind, Lizard, Death, Monkey, Grass, and Vulture remain to be identified (figures 8.7 and 8.8), although Wind is shown on the Tomb 7 pectoral (figure 8.9), and it is also the same as the Mixtec and Aztec day signs for Wind. Winter’s discovery of the Prehispanic ritual or religious Zapotec Codex Yautepec is exceedingly important. Although most scholars had suspected that the Zapotecs had ritual codices during the Late Postclassic (Paddock 1959), this discovery demonstrates that the Zapotecs, like the Mixtecs, the Nahuas, and the Maya, possessed ritual or religious codices in Prehispanic times similar to the codices of the Borgia group. Hopefully, future discoveries of Zapotec codices will be made.

Notes 1. Other twentieth-century sacred calendars still in use by the Mixe, neighbors of the Zapotecs, have been reported as well (Mann and Chadwick 1960; Lipp 1991). Return to text. 2. John K. Chance (1989) has presented an excellent study of the historical development of these Nexitzo, Bixano, and Caxono communities from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Return to text. 3. “Llamaba assi a todo el año junto con cada, 65 dias. Pije. 1. piya. a. Tiempo, o duracion de tiempo” (Córdova 1578b:202). Note that although Córdova refers to the sacred calendar as “piye,” he also points out that this term simply means “duration of time.” The Aztecs called the sacred calendar tonalpohualli or the “count of the days.” The proper Zapotec term for the sacred calendar is uncertain, but following other scholars, I will use the term piye. Return to text. 4. “Y estos dias y signos a vnos tenian por bueno y a otros por aziagos y malos” (Córdova 1578b:202). Return to text. 5. Although Carrasco and Weitlaner et al. refer to these communities as Zapotec, their vocabulary terms, especially with regard to the deities, are so different from Zapotec terms as to suggest that these communities may be Chatino, close relatives of the Zapotecs. Return to text. 6. van Meer (2000:50n14) translates these terms as follows: siglo del dios (century of god), siglo del infierno (century of the underworld), and siglo de la tierra (century of earth). However, van Meer was unaware of the levels of the Zapotec cosmos that had not been identified when he wrote his study. It is clear that dios (god) refers to the House of the Sky, or heaven; infierno (underworld) to the House of the Underworld; and tierra (earth) to the House of the Earth. An informant translated sga as siglo, or century, for Carrasco (1951:100). However, sga most likely means “sigla” (sigil or sign) and not “siglo” (century). Return to text. 7. The boustrophedon pattern is also used in a number of Mixtec codices in which the first line is read from left to right and the next line from right to left; vertically placed “lines” in the Mixtec codices are also read from top to bottom and then from bottom to top (Smith 1973:10; 217, figure 1). None of the ritual codices that devote a page to each trecena, or 13-day period, follows a boustrophedon pattern. Return to text. 8. In 1980 the modern copy was given to Luis Reyes, a prominent Mexican ethnohistorian, by a Mixtec native healer (curandero) from the Peñoles community of San Antonio Huitepec, who complained he could not read or understand the words in it because they were in Zapotec, not Mixtec. San Antonio Huitepec is only 10 kilometers from the Zapotec community of San Pedro Totomachapan, which has a famous large cave where rituals were conducted and that is mentioned

in the ritual book (van Meer 2000:37–40). Therefore, van Meer (2000:57–58) believes the ritual book comes from San Pedro Totomachapan and that the original from which it was copied probably dates to the seventeenth century, based on the written names of the deities, which are close to those of Sola de Vega. Return to text. 9. The terms in the first riño, which is labeled “ricauto” at the top, are jumbled and do not become regularized until the ninth day of the first riño (van Meer 2000:49–50; 67). Return to text. 10. There is an outside possibility that the Zapotec sacred calendar never did have thirteen gods that ruled the day numbers, like the Aztecs, but instead had only nine. The fact that the first nine deities listed by Diego Luis are the same and in the same order as the Peñoles calendar, and nearly the same and in the same order as the Loxicha calendar, makes this seem possible. For the Late Classic period, Sellen (2007) was only able to identify nine gods associated with the days of the calendar. Furthermore, the four additional gods cited by Diego Luis are strange, especially the last two; he cites them as deities of medicine when he did not even cite a deity of medicine in his first list. Additionally, although Diego Luis cites Lucuicha (Copiycha) as the hunting god, in practice he treats Cozaana as the “lord of the deer” and as the god of hunting and fishing. Cozaana is not one of the first nine deities listed by Diego Luis and does not appear in the Peñoles and Loxicha calendars. If only nine deities occurred, then Cozaana, whom Diego Luis cites as the eleventh deity of the day numbers, and also clearly includes in practice as a hunting and fishing deity, and Lucuicha (Copiycha), whom he cites as the second deity of the day numbers and also lists as the god of hunting, could be alter egos, as Smith Stark and Urcid have suggested. However, Urcid (personal communication, 2013) is of the opinion that there were thirteen gods who ruled the day numbers of the Zapotec calendar. Return to text. 11. “Los que quenta con estos signos, años, meses, y dias eran los Colanij” (Córdova 1578b:204). Return to text. 12. “A este dios le hacían fiesta de sacrificio cada doscientos y sesenta días, que ellos contaban por un año. Tenían particularmente su día señalado para su fiesta” (Villagar 1580:91). Return to text. 13. “en vna fiesta que çelebrauan en el año dentro de la casa de sus sacrificios, matauan vno de los presos” (Zárate 1581:198). Return to text. 14. “Estos dias y nombres seruian para muchas cosas tocantes a la vida del hombre. Lo primero servian para los nacimientos porque como tenia el nombre, el dia, assi llamauan al niño o niña que en el nacia. Y esto era su principal nombre . . . Seruian tambien para los casamientos, porque quando se auian de casar auia se de ver si eran para en vno. Porque para ello auia de cuadrar el dia del nacimiento con el del otro conforme a la quenta que ellos tenian. Lo cual auerigauauan los letrados o hechiceros echando sus suertes.

Seruian tambien para los agueros. Porque si encontraban con alguna cosa de las que ellos tenia por agueros, y van aver el dia que era para saber lo que les auia de subceder. Seruian tambien para los sueños, porque por alli sacaban lo que les auia de subceder. Seruian tambien para las enfermedades, porque si caya enfermo niño o adultos, yuan a saber el dia que era, y si auia de sanar o no. Y esta ciencia no estaua en todos sino en los que lo tenian por officio. A los que les llamauan Colanij” (Córdova 1578b:202–3). Return to text. 15. “Y assi parece que no tenian termino situado donde començase el año, como nosotros tenemos” (Córdova 1578b:201). Return to text. 16. “Y contauase el dia del medio dia, hasta otro medio dia” (Córdova 1578b:212). Return to text. 17. “Y estas fiestas duraban desde la víspera del día en que se habían de celebrar . . . hasta otro día a la misma hora.” (Villagar 1580:91). Return to text. 18. “dejaban un mes errático y variable de cinco, dándole a cada cuatro años como a nuestro bisiesto, otros días más que lo hacía de seis y era el último de su año y por esta variedad, le llamaban mes pequeño, desconcertado y sobra de los demás, y no lo contaban entre los diez y ocho” (Burgoa 1989: II, 391). Return to text. 19. “desde su gentilidad se previno el enemigo a profanarles esta devota y piadosa ceremonia de los fieles; celebrada en el memso mes de noviembre, que es el duodécimo en su cómputo, de diez y ocho meses que dan al año empezando de doce de marzo, en que dieron punto a su equinoccio” (Burgoa 1989: II, 391). Return to text. 20. This, however, does not mean that their day dates were different. Caso (1967:48, 78) has argued that most Mesoamerican calendars were synchronized with regard to their day dates in the sacred calendar so that the day 1 Alligator was the same throughout most of Mesoamerica. What differed was the day a city-state chose to begin its new solar year. This is comparable to New York celebrating a new year on January 1, Chicago on February 1, Denver on March 1, and Los Angeles on April 1. January 1 would still be January 1 in all of these cities, but it would be the new year only in New York. Likewise, April 1 would still be April 1 in all of these cities, but it would be the new year only in Los Angeles. It should be noted that Edward E. Calnek (2007) disagrees with Caso regarding the synchronization of the days of the sacred calendar. Return to text. 21. “hecho de piedra bruta, de poco más de media vara, comida por un lado de manera que parece animal” (Alcina Franch 1972:35–36). Return to text. 22. It would appear that the Postclassic Zapotec and Mixtec calendars were virtually the same in some Zapotec city-states. They made use of the same year glyph, which was unlike the Aztec year glyph, and the same day signs, some of which (House and Flower) were clearly borrowed from the Nahuas. Return to text.

9 The Mitla Murals

The remnants of Late Postclassic murals occur in palaces and in a cruciform tomb at Mitla. William Henry Holmes (1895:262) also reports traces of murals on doorjambs and pillars in the Hall of the Columns, and Alfonso Caso and Daniel Fernando Rubín de la Borbolla (2003:379) mention traces of murals on an interior wall of the south hall in the south plaza of the Church Group at Mitla. This indicates that murals probably decorated the interior walls, entryways, and lintels of most of the temples and palaces. Of these potential murals, only a few remains survive. These remnants will be described and analyzed for the insights they provide on ancient Zapotec religion at its most sacred city, Mitla. Apart from the Tomb 2 mural, which was illustrated by Caso (2002), the remaining illustrations of murals are from Eduard Seler (1904), with some additions from Susana Díaz, Laura Piñeirúa, and Dionisio Rodríguez (2005). THE TOMB 2 MURAL Caso (2002) located the remains of a mural in a small rectangular antechamber at the top of the stairs at the entrance to the east crypt of Tomb 2 (see figure 5.30). The antechamber measures 1 meter by 2 meters, is 1.8 meters high, and its walls were made of smooth stone covered with plaster and painted red (Saville 1909:167–69). Caso (2002:2) reports that the lower half (90 centimeters) of the walls were painted dark red but that a mural had encircled the walls of the antechamber above this red band. But the murals were only partially preserved at the center of a lintel 2 meters long and 35 centimeters high that framed the door. The murals had been outlined on white plaster with a pointed object that left an impression in the plaster and then painted in red. Caso was able to identify a symbol of the sun disk with a human head inside it that he interpreted as the sun deity, Pitao Copiycha (figure 9.1). Beneath the sun disk are traces of a full-bodied jaguar in profile, with his

head to the right and tail to the left of the solar symbol. Part of the hindquarters, with spots and tail emerging from it, are clearly visible to the left. The tail is partially adorned with sacrificial knives and curls around to nearly touch the sun disk. The lines forming the jaguar’s back, head, ear, eye, mouth, and fangs are sketchy. The jaguar probably symbolizes the earth’s surface below the sun disk, although it is more likely that the sun in the night sky of the underworld is being represented (Catalina Barrientos, personal communication, 2012). Emerging from the right side of the sun disk is a feather cord attached to what Caso interpreted as “some kind of animal” but what is most likely a dwarf (Pohl 2005:114). Dwarves are considered by the Zapotecs to be made by the sun deity, and his creations were thought to be sought by him as sacrificial victims (Córdova 1578b:215).

Figure 9.1. Mural on lintel of Tomb 2, Group of the Columns, Mitla (after Caso 2002:2, figure 1).

Another sun disk occurs to the right of the first, but its center is destroyed. Above this disk is a trilobe element that Caso (2002:5) interprets as a cloud, but it could possibly be the Zapotec day sign Piya, or Soaproot (Urcid 2001:188; 192, figure 4.94, see especially number 32), which is also a year bearer (see figure 8.6). Below is a double stepped line, possibly representing temple stairs, and perhaps indicating that this sun disk rested atop a temple to the sun god. The walls of this possible temple are directly to the left of the second sun disk. Directly to the right of this sun symbol are remnants of the

tail feathers of an eagle, a symbol of the sun, and it is probable that the eagle’s head was inside this solar disk. Between the two suns is an apparent annual date with what Caso (2002:4) interprets as a partly preserved year glyph in the Mixtec (also Postclassic Zapotec) style, with a year bearer that is difficult to define but that Caso reads as possibly 11 or 12 Flint Knife in the Mixtec and Postclassic Zapotec system of year bearers. The identification of the year glyph is highly debatable, and the seven dots (six in a vertical column and one to the right) are directly above a day sign for Reed that would record the day 7 Reed. Because of the two suns, Caso (2002:5) suggests that the mural might represent a myth similar to the myth of the creation of the sun and moon at Teotihuacan but admits that this interpretation has little validity. The depiction of Pitao Copiycha, the sun deity, in this mortuary context is consistent with his invocation in Zapotec funerary rituals during the seventeenth century (Berlin 1988:23–24; 53). Likewise, a carving on a 1-meter-square stone slab that sealed the entry to a Late Postclassic tomb—Tomb 11—at Yagul, has a similar depiction of Pitao Copiycha within a solar disk and also portrays his monstrous body, again indicating his presence in a mortuary context (see figure 3.4c; Paddock 1955:38, figures 19, 20). The thematic motifs in this mural—the solar disk containing the head of Copiycha in profile situated above a full-bodied jaguar, a celestial rope emanating from the solar disk with a dwarf on it, and the second solar disk to the right of the first—are repeated in the north mural of the Arroyo Group. THE ARROYO GROUP MURALS The lintels above the entrances to the north, east, and west halls of the south plaza of the Arroyo Group are decorated with murals painted in red and white (Seler 1991: II:185). Only indecipherable fragments of the upper part of the west mural survive (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:333). All that remains of the east mural is a small portion of the upper border that represents a night sky (as indicated by a dotted background) in which symbols of Venus alternate with sacrificial knives flanked by narrow vertical rectangular strips atop small circles (figure 9.2a). According to Seler (1991: II, 185–86), these strips “appear in the Mexican sun glyph quite commonly among the four rays and which, as may be clearly recognized from these paintings, have also been

developed from the drawing of the eye (more exactly, perhaps, the eye emitting rays of the bored-out eye)” (figure 9.3). Caso (1969:99) refers to these as “colgajos de chalchihuite” or “strips from which greenstone beads hang.” Based on what is known from other murals at Mitla, the border went all the way around the mural, framing its top, sides, and bottom.

Figure 9.2. Borders around the murals of the east (a) and north (b) halls in the South Plaza (I) of the Arroyo Group and the east room (c) of the Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:312/313, plate XXXVII).

Figure 9.3. Lord 9 Wind Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl with a ray-emitting eye (Codex Laud 1961:19).

THE NORTH MURAL The mural on the north hall lintel is somewhat better preserved, although little of its span of approximately 12 meters remains. A sky band forms the border; the upper part is a night sky (represented by numerous dots) and the lower part is a clear daytime sky (with sun rays). Within this sky band, alternating with the sun rays, are downward-looking human heads in profile encircled by oblong wings, with hands flanking the chins and foreheads. Semicircular elements with semicircular dots inside them occur on the foreheads, above and below the ears, and on the chins and noses of the human heads. Together with a circular eye, which indicates that the individual is on a celestial or

supernatural plane or in a drug-induced trance, these elements form a quincunx (like the five dots on dice) that represent the five world directions— center, east, south, north, and west (Figure 9.2b). Seler (1904:311) interprets the human head with oblong wings and hands as symbols of “sun eyes.” John M. D. Pohl (2005:111) considers them to be Venus gods, like the Venus god known as 1 Motion in Codex Selden (1964). J. Daniel Flores (2008:367), an astronomer from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), has suggested that they represent the “dead moon,” or moon in its phase a day or two before the new moon. However, the moon is traditionally represented in Mesoamerica by a symbol similar to an inverted omega-like motif, frequently with a rabbit inside it (figure 9.4).

Figure 9.4. Rabbit inside the “inverted omega” moon in the night sky (Codex Borgia 1993: plate 71).

At the center of the mural is a solar disk with a partly preserved human head in profile inside it, representing Copiycha, the sun deity, like the one in the Tomb 2 mural (figure 9.5a). Beneath and extending to either side of the sun disk is a partly preserved full-bodied jaguar in profile, like the one beneath the solar disk in the Tomb 2 mural. The jaguar’s head is to the left (west) of

the solar disk and a sacrificial knife represents his ear. His tail is visible to the right (east) of the sun disk and over both his shoulder and rear haunches are partly preserved capes or small blankets (or nets?) decorated with a row of four sacrificial knives. Díaz (2008:501, figure 14.23–1; 503, figure 14.26) interprets all of these capes in the Mitla murals as “hill glyphs,” although she does not explain what places these hill glyphs might represent and why they are placed on animals instead of the animals being placed on the hill glyph, as is consistently done in the codices and other iconographic media.

Figure 9.5. Mural on the lintel of the north hall of the south plaza of the Arroyo Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:312/313, plate XXXVII).

Two five-tiered temple platforms resting on the jaguar’s back flank the sun disk.1 Emanating from either side of the sun disk are celestial ropes draped over the tops of the temples and decorated with stars. Traditionally, celestial ropes are used by supernaturals to descend from the heavens, as shown in the Mixtec codices—for example, Codex Vindobonensis (1992), page 48 (see figure 9.13). Two Venus symbols are attached to the celestial rope. One is over the jaguar’s haunches to the right (east) of the solar disk and probably represents Venus as the morning star. The other is over the jaguar’s head to the left (west) of the solar disk and probably represents Venus as the evening star (figure 9.5a). The celestial rope to the left (west) of the central solar disk has a dwarf descending it, like the one in the Tomb 2 mural. Zapotecs, as mentioned, considered dwarves to be made by the sun deity (Córdova 1578b:215). The

dwarf’s back rests on the shoulders of the jaguar. The celestial rope to the right (east) of the sun disk has a partially preserved small monkey head above the jaguar’s back between the temple and the symbol of Venus as the morning star. Next, a curly-haired man grasps the celestial rope as he emerges from a cleft in the celestial band into a cave in a celestial mountain. The mountain is depicted in a horizontal position and the dark cave within it is indicated by numerous dots (figure 9.5a). The celestial mountain could represent the Pleiades (Pohl 2005:112), an open cluster of bright stars (six of which are visible) in the constellation of Taurus. The curly-haired man has a circular eye that is associated with the dead, a drug-induced trance, or individuals on a supernatural plane in the Mixtec codices. Frequently, curly hair is also associated with the dead or deities of death. Continuing east (right) is a second solar disk with the partly preserved head of Copiycha inside and, like the second sun disk in the Tomb 2 mural, it is located to the right of the first sun disk. An unidentifiable animal head (jaguar?) with two dots attached occurs on top of the second solar disk. The preserved eastern section of the mural ends with a large monkey head, a Venus symbol with a star attached to it, and a scorpion with two stars above it. “The scorpion could represent either the constellation Scorpio or the constellation Ursa Major in the cosmology of highland Mexican peoples. Conjunctions of these celestial bodies with Venus were used to calculate major rainfall and planting cycles throughout Mesoamerica” (Pohl 2005:112). If the scorpion represents a constellation, both the large and small monkey heads probably represent constellations. Or perhaps each represents a single “monkey” constellation located directly west (left) of each Venus symbol (figure 9.5a). Turning to the west side (left) of the central solar disk, another individual emerges from a cleft in the celestial band and grasps the celestial rope (figure 9.5a). A row of six dots and a partly preserved eagle head follows, perhaps indicating the day 6 Eagle. It is also possible that the eagle head represents the headdress of an individual. Behind the eagle is a sacrificial knife with a scroll alongside it. Following a small damaged gap in the mural is a rectangular object that may represent the top of a temple (figure 9.5b). After another very large damaged gap (about 1.5 meters), the mural continues with two penitents (Seler 1991: II, 186) or dead people (Pohl 2005:111), in seated positions

with a mat between them, into which two bone bloodletting awls are stuck. This is followed by a curved mountain and a rectilinear object fringed with flowers that may be the top of a temple. After another damaged gap are two serpent heads facing in opposite directions. Lastly, a human head occurs facing west (left), with sacrificial knives in his headdress and a vertical stripe through his eye and across his face that Seler (1991: II, 186) and Pohl (2005:112) identify as the deity Xipe Totec. Seler interprets the murals on the east and north halls of the south plaza as indicating that this entire complex was dedicated to the sun deity. “This supposition is confirmed by the fact that in the middle of the north side . . . in a conspicuously prominent place, there is a sun glyph, in the middle of which was doubtless a representation of the sun god” (Seler 1904:306). Pohl (2005:109) interprets this mural as portraying a “Zapotec cosmology, specifically one relating to the foundation of the royal house of Zaachila by ancestors who descended from the heavens at Monte Albán.” Following his interpretation, the central sun disk symbolizes the first sunrise representing the beginning of a new age (the Postclassic). The jaguar beneath the solar disk identifies the place of the sunrise as the ruins of Monte Albán. The two serpent heads “generally accompany foundation events” (Pohl 2005:118). The curved mountain, temple, and the depiction of Xipe Totec indicate that the place being founded was Zaachila, which Pohl (2005:119) relates to a place sign on page 33 of Codex Nuttall (1992) depicting Xipe Totec inside a temple next to a curved mountain. Furthermore, Caso (1966:319–29) has related the Xipe Totec headdresses and the calendar names of two individuals depicted in low relief plaster sculptures from Tomb 1 at Zaachila to rulers in a Xipe dynasty portrayed in the Mixtec codices and associated with Zaachila. Xipe Totec is a well-known Aztec deity called “our lord the flayed one” because he wears the skin of a flayed sacrificial victim. The Aztecs considered him the “god of spring and of jewelers,” and he is said to have originated in the border region on the Pacific Coast between Guerrero and Oaxaca that was occupied by Tlapanecs (Caso 1958:49–51; Caso and Bernal 1952:249) (see figure 1.1). Fray Bernardino de Sahugún, whose twelvevolume Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain is a virtual encyclopedia of Aztec life, states of Xipe Totec, “He was the god of the seashore people, the proper god of the Zapotecs” (Sahagún 1970: book 1,

39). The problem with this statement is that the Zapotecs are not a seashore people, although the Tlapanecs are, and there is no mention of any deity similar to Xipe Totec in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Zapotec documents. Nevertheless, Juan de Córdova cites petehue as a Zapotec word for “a flayed human face and head stuffed with straw and worn during their ancient dances” (Urcid 2001:197) but does not cite this as a deity. Caso and Ignacio Bernal (1952:249–60) consider a number of effigy vessels from all phases of Monte Albán to represent Xipe Totec, but only the head and faces of these objects—probably petehue and not Xipe Totec, as known to the Aztecs— seem to be flayed. Seler (1991: II, 199, figure 104) illustrates a carved stone head of one of these possible petehue “from ruins on the road to Tehuantepec” (figure 9.6). The head from Dr. Fernando Sologuren’s large collection of Zapotec and Mixtec artifacts “was said to have been built into the side of a door by way of its tenon at a spot where, in the Mitla palaces, one also regularly sees holes in the walls” (Seler 1991: II, 201). The identification of Xipe Totec in the Mitla murals by Seler and Pohl is not to be doubted because several apparently non-Zapotec deities are depicted in other murals at Mitla, as will be noted and discussed.

Figure 9.6. A carved stone head of a petehue (after Seler 1991: II, 199, figure 104).

Recently two astronomers from the UNAM have investigated the south plaza of the Arroyo Group and its north mural in search of data of

astronomical significance. Jesús Galindo (2008:310) notes that the presence of the Venus glyphs on either side of the solar disk suggests a temporal placement for the mural when the planet as the evening star appears for the last time before the winter solstice and reappears for the first time as the morning star following the winter solstice. He found that in AD 1332 Venus set as the evening star on December 16 and reappeared as the morning star on December 26—that is, Venus as the evening star disappeared five days before the winter solstice (December 21) and reappeared as the morning star five days after the winter solstice (December 26). Furthermore, Galindo assumes these five days are related to the temples with five tiers on either side of the solar disk. Flores (2008:362–64) contends that the first symbol attached to the celestial rope to the east (right) of the central solar disk is Venus but that the second Venus symbol actually represents the planet Mars. He points out that the symbols are different (see figure 9.5a). The first is composed of a “stellar eye” (star) enclosed within an inverted omega-like element that has three oblong wings with ray-emitting eyes within them and four triangular rays separating them, indicating a brightly shining object like Venus. The second symbol has a stellar eye with an upright omega-like element capping it and four oblong wings with three curvilinear lines near their tops, indicating a less luminous celestial object that could represent Mars. He notes that Venus and Mars appear together in the Scorpio constellation once every thirty-two years around the time of the winter solstice (December 21) and suggests the mural was painted during one of these thirty-two-year periods, specifically in either AD 853 or AD 885, dates that are certainly far too old. However, the dates could be adjusted to any thirty-two-year period. THE MURALS OF THE CHURCH GROUP The murals that decorated the lintels above the entryways to north, east, south, and west rooms of Patio A in the Church Group (see figure 5.22), the probable residence of the coqui, or ruler, of Mitla, are executed in red and white and are mostly destroyed along their lower halves. There are also gaps within them where they have been totally destroyed. Seler (1991: II, 185) reports, “Only a few months before my arrival at Mitla and incidental to the infamous erection of a pigsty within the court of the first palace [Patio A],

which had hitherto served—as it does today—as a stable for the rectory [in Patio B], a large and important part of the paintings was knocked down and what is left is cracking in all directions.”2 This damage to the murals has made interpretations of them extremely difficult. Furthermore, it is uncertain whether all or some of the murals are to be viewed all at once, as events or a moment in time, or if they are narratives. If all or some are narratives, it is unknown whether they were to be read from left to right or right to left. Finally, it is uncertain if all four murals were intended as related themes. Following the indigenous conception of directions, the murals will be described in detail beginning in the east and proceeding to the north, west, and south (Pohl 1999:191). EAST MURAL The mural on the lintel of the east room measures 5.44 meters by 33.5 centimeters (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:299) and has a border around it nearly identical to the border of the mural on the north hall of the south plaza of the Arroyo Group (see figure 9.2c). The border includes Venus gods alternating with sun rays flanked by ray-emitting eyes and frames the entire mural around its top, bottom, and sides. However, there are some differences between the two murals. The human heads in the east mural do not have semicircular elements decorating their faces, like the Arroyo Group. Instead, each has two parallel lines that descend from the hairline to the chin, passing in front of the ear. A series of short lines occur perpendicular to the parallel line next to the ear. Furthermore, the border represents the night sky, as indicated by numerous dots, instead of a night sky band followed by a clear daytime sky band, as occurs in the Arroyo Group mural. Finally, the human heads in the east mural have a horizontal band of scallops between them and four oblongs crowning them, but no scallops occur and only three oblongs crown the human heads in the Arroyo Group. The original north (left) end of the mural is only partly preserved in a narrow strip below the border. Only two scrolls and a couple of precious stone beads are preserved from the very top of what might have been the headdress of an individual or deity followed by two full-body birds shown in profile facing one another (figure 9.7a). María de Lourdes Navarijo (2008:271–72) has identified the birds as great curassows (Crax rubra),

native to Oaxaca, that are the largest of the American pheasant-like birds, weighing up to 5 kilos and measuring from 75 centimeters to 90 centimeters in size.

Figure 9.7. Mural on the lintel of the east room of Patio A in the Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:312/313, plate XXXVII).

Two serpents facing in opposite directions occur next. Navarijo and Ubaldo Guzmán-Villa (2008:289–91) identify these serpents as black-tailed rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus) that are native to Oaxaca. The serpent on the left has his head and neck preserved but the serpent on the right has only his upper jaw with fangs and part of his eye preserved. Both have a composite offering bundle that extends horizontally across the top of their eyes. Because this bundle is repeated in this mural and is found in other murals as well, it is illustrated and labeled in figure 9.8. It most commonly consists of a precious stone with two smoke scrolls from copal incense at its base. Above the precious stone are two ovals with painted centers that probably represent pieces of copal. On opposite sides of these ovals are maguey thorns, used as autosacrificial bloodletting instruments. Above the ovals is a flower with feathers stuck in it. Because all these elements are associated with offerings, this complex motif will be referred to throughout this study as the “composite offering bundle” (figure 9.8).

Figure 9.8. Composite offering bundles from the east mural, Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904: 312/313, plate XXXVII).

Following the serpents is the depiction of a deity known to the Aztecs as Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl, the wind god, and to the Mixtecs as Lord 9 Wind, the god who descended from the heavens and established the Mixteca (figure 9.7a). He is identifiable by his conical jaguar skin hat with a bone awl and maguey thorn stuck into it and by a fanlike feather ornament at the nape of his neck (Seler 1904:314–15). The peak of his conical hat is decorated with a simplified composite offering bundle. Directly in front of Lord 9 Wind Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl is a pair of awls with a feather and scroll on each side that he may have held in front of him. He faces left (north) and has a complex element at his back. At the top of the complex element two horizontal branches emerge from a short vertical trunk and diverge in opposite directions. A row of feathers decorates the tops of the branches whose bottoms have flow scrolls moving in opposite directions. A thick stripe with a serrated top occurs along the center of the branches. Both the left and right branches end in a composite offering bundle. Below the branches is a long, narrow horizontal strip with a thick stripe along its center. The top of the stripe is decorated by a row of tiny white hooks resembling water waves. The stripe frames the top of an area that is filled with vertical wavy lines that may represent a waterfall. At the center of the waterfall is a partly preserved individual (deity?) whose face and hand are preserved but whose headdress is damaged (figure

9.7a). His eye is circular, indicating a drug-induced trance or that an individual has entered a supernatural plane. A vertical stripe decorates the outer corner of the eye and two short horizontal stripes occur beneath the eye. He faces left (north) and points toward the preserved upper right-hand corner of a rectangular frame within the waterfall. Above the frame are two “teardrop” elements, and a third descends in front of the frame. These elements are almost certainly snail shells. Outside the waterfall and to the right this segment of the mural ends with two vertically placed awls. Following a damaged gap in the mural, a small preserved section occurs (figure 9.7b). This section begins with two bloodletting awls. Next is the left half of a very complex element similar to the waterfall element. At the top of the element is the left portion of a horizontal branch, similar to the branches above the waterfall mentioned earlier. The top of the branch is decorated with a row of feathers and its bottom features a row of flow scrolls. Its center has a thick stripe with a serrated top. The left end of the branch is adorned with a composite offering bundle. Below the branch is a rectangular frame whose left corner is partly preserved (figure 9.7b). The frame is white with a thick stripe along its center. Its top has a row of tiny white hooks resembling water waves. The background within the frame has many tiny dots, indicating that it encloses a dark area, perhaps a cave. Within the cave the back part of the head of an individual (deity?) is visible along the extreme right edge. He is facing right (south). Although much of the back part of his fancy headdress is visible, his face is not preserved. Behind him within the cave is the probable back of a seat or throne on which the deity sits. A branch protrudes horizontally from the side of the cave and then bends upward to parallel the exterior of the cave. The top side of the branch is decorated with a row of trimmed feathers and its underside is adorned with round tip feathers. Along its center, the branch has a thick stripe with its left side serrated. The tip of the branch is decorated with a composite offering bundle. Following a damaged gap is a very small preserved segment of the mural (figure 9.7b). It depicts Lord 9 Wind. He is identifiable by his conical jaguar skin hat with a bone awl and maguey thorn, sacrificial bloodletting instruments, stuck into it (Seler 1904:314–15). Only the conical hat is preserved in the mural.

This short segment is followed by a long section of the mural (figure 9.7b). This section begins with an individual whose face looks upward at an angle toward the upper border of the mural. His eye is circular, indicating either a drug-induced trance or that he has entered a supernatural plane. The top half of his face is covered by a bird helmet, identical to the great curassow birds in the first segment of the mural. His right arm-wing is bent upward and the palm of his hand-claw faces upward toward the upper border of the mural. The arm-wing has a thick line at its center that is topped by a serrated edge, like the branches in the waterfall and cave scenes. He wears a short shoulder cape on his back that is decorated with thin, wavy vertical lines at the top and a rectangle with a thick horizontal stripe in it at the bottom. Next to his earspool is a preserved dot. Next to the bird-man’s right arm-wing is a vertical row of at least four preserved dots, although more may have occurred in the damaged area below (figure 9.7b). Next is a composite offering bundle vertically positioned atop the point of a maguey thorn. The next element is only partially preserved in its upper section and appears to depict the head of a jaguar. Its ear is in the form of a sacrificial knife and two sacrificial knives occur above its eye. Directly to the left of its ear is the symbol of an eye (?) with a scroll emerging from its left side. Two scrolls, each decorated with a precious bead, follow; the second scroll also has two long feathers adorning it. Another bird-man, who likewise has the upper half of his face covered by the bird helmet, follows (figure 9.7b). He wears a T-shaped ornament that projects horizontally from his nose and ends in a precious bead. His eye is circular, indicating a drug-induced state or that he has entered a supernatural plane. He looks directly toward the upper border of the mural. His arm-wings stretch upward and the palms of his hand-claws face the upper border of the mural. A thick line with a serrated edge occurs along the center of his armwings, like the thick lines with serrated edges in the branches in the waterfall and cave scenes. The final preserved part in this long section of the mural has a composite offering bundle with a dot or precious stone on its left side and a human eye on its right (figure 9.7b). The human eye could possibly correspond to an individual whose face is no longer preserved. Directly to the right of the

human eye are two diagonally positioned feathers followed by a pair of vertically placed maguey thorns. The last section of the mural is preserved in its upper part to its original southern end (figure 9.7c). It begins with a horizontal row of three preserved dots, although more may have occurred in the damaged section to the left. This is followed by horizontal branches, like those in the waterfall and cave scenes but much smaller, in a miniature and simplified version. A row of white triangles (feathers?) occurs along the tops of the branches. The ends of the branches are adorned with a simplified composite offering bundle. This is followed by a bird-man whose face looks directly toward the upper border of the mural (figure 9.7c). Unlike the previous bird-men who have half of their faces covered by the bird helmet, his face is completely human and he wears a bird headdress. His eye is circular, indicating a druginduced trance or that he has entered a supernatural plane. His arm-wings stretch upward and the palms of his hand-claws face the upper border of the mural. Directly to the right of the bird-man are two miniature horizontal branches that emerge from a tiny vertical trunk and diverge in opposite directions, like the branches in the waterfall scene but in miniature form (figure 9.7c). A row of white triangles (feathers?) occurs along the tops of the two branches. The ends of the branches are adorned with a simplified composite offering bundle. A small break in the mural, but not the border, is followed by a horizontal row of seven dots (although there could have been more in the damaged area) that appear to be connected with a horizontal flower, possibly representing the day sign 7 Flower. The flower has one preserved dot beneath it that might also render the day 1 Flower. Beneath the row of seven dots is the possible day sign Earthquake (Motion) with a preserved dot below it, rendering the day 1 Earthquake or 1 Motion, although more dots could have been present in the damaged area below. To the left of the day sign is the upper part of a birdman’s headdress, indicating the presence of another bird-man. Seler (1904:313–14) notes the pair of birds at the north end of the mural and follows their transformation into half-birds half-men that culminates in the south end with their complete transformation into men, with human faces and bird headdresses. He relates these bird-men to carvings of bird-men on stones from Teotitlán del Valle, a community near Mitla in the Tlacolula Valley, and

suggests that they represent sun birds, the principal deity of Teotitlán (figure 9.9). Seler cites Francisco Burgoa’s (1989: I, 119) account of the principal deity of Teotitlán having descended from the sky as a flaming constellation in the form of a bird. This deity of Teotitlán was considered an oracle and visited by peoples from afar who asked questions and listened to his responses “uttered . . . in a terrific, rumbling voice, which sounded as if it came from the depths of the earth” (Seler 1904:296). In Náhuatl, “Teotitlan” means “near the sun god,” according to Seler, and teotl (god in Náhuatl) was also commonly used to refer to the sun (Seler 1904:295–96). Because of these sun birds and their location on the lintel of the east room, which Seler (1904:314) calls the house of the sun, he relates the east mural to the sun bird deity of Teotitlán del Valle (figure 1.2).

Figure 9.9. Carved stone figures of bird-men from Teotitlán del Valle (after Seler 1991: II, 190, figure 76a, b).

Pohl (1999:185) has related this east mural to Mixtec cosmogony and specifically to the origin of Mixtec kings “born from the trees that grew along the banks of rivers in the Valley of Apoala in the Mixteca Alta.” The first royal couple was named Lord 1 Flower and Lady 13 Flower, as shown on page 40 of Codex Bodley (1960) and pages 35 and 36 of Codex Vindobonensis (1992). In both codices they are shown wearing bird helmets, and in the latter, helmets that cover the upper half of their faces, like some of the bird-men in the mural. Pohl also notes the association of the day glyph

flower with these bird men that could relate to the day names 1 Flower and 13 Flower, although the numerals near the day glyph have been partly destroyed, precluding a definitive identification of these individuals. Also, an illustration on page 16 of Codex Nuttall (1975) shows a two-headed bird-man similar to the bird-men in the east mural (figure 9.10).

Figure 9.10. Two-headed bird-man in Codex Nuttall (1975: plate 16).

There remains much to be explained in this mural. The transformation of birds into men, when read from left to right, or from men to birds, when read from right to left, is clearly important. However, the large complex elements

depicting the waterfall and the cave seem to occur near the center of the mural and appear to be flanked by figures of the deity Lord 9 Wind, whose back frames them like a pair of bookends. These two elements seem to be repeated in a much smaller form near the south end of the mural, where they occur on either side of a bird-man. If these complex elements do represent a waterfall and a cave, they could very well relate to sacred places in Apoala that include a large waterfall and an enormous cave.3 Likewise, trees occur in association with the waterfall and the cave and the Mixtec lords were born from the trees in Apoala. Furthermore, the two serpents facing opposite directions are located in front of Lord 9 Wind. Elsewhere, Pohl (2005:118) has related these serpents to foundation events, and these serpents could correspond to the foundation of the Mixtec royal lineages. All these factors lend support to Pohl’s interpretation. NORTH MURAL Spanning three entryways, the north mural is the longest of the four murals, measuring 12.3 meters by 33.5 centimeters (Díaz, Piñeirúa and Rodríguez 2005:276). Its border is composed of a series of circles, each with a tiny circle inside, that represent precious stone beads. This border goes all the way around the mural, framing its top, bottom, and sides (figure 9.11). It appears that this mural was intended to be read from right (east) to left (west), as suggested by some of its content.4

Figure 9.11. Mural on the lintel of the north hall of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla: (a) to be read from east to west; (b) to be read from right to left; (c) to be read from right to left (after Seler 1904: [a] 322/323, Plate XXXIX; [b–c] 318/19, Plate XXXVIII).

The upper part of the original east (right) end of the mural is preserved intact (figure 9.11a). It begins with a frontal view of part of a probable temple whose top has three triangles with stepped edges. The triangles have sun rays inside them and precious stones between them. A spiny fruit tree grows horizontally from the side of the temple’s roof. The fruit is represented by tiny circular berries that Pohl (1999:190) identifies as nanches. An individual (deity?) is seated inside the temple. Unfortunately, only the very top and back part of his headdress are visible, his face having been destroyed. The headdress, however, is distinctive in having a row of three curvilinear hooks and ending with a rectilinear hook. Below the spiny fruit tree are two scrolls, or volutes, emerging from the side of the temple. Near the top of the mural, directly to the left of the temple and separated from it by a precious stone, is a stepped triangle with a sun ray inside that forms the roof decoration of another similar temple (figure 9.11a). Unfortunately, the area of the mural occupied by the rest of this second edifice

is missing in Seler’s drawing. A 1928 drawing of these murals by Luis Orellana (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:275; 297, desplegado 50) shows a second stepped triangle near the center of this second temple followed by another precious stone and part of a third stepped triangle. This drawing is confirmed because the extant section of the mural preserves these elements to the present day. Therefore, a second temple occurs next to the first and is probably nearly identical to it. After a damaged gap of approximately 40 centimeters in the mural is a very small section with a partly preserved representation of Lord 9 Wind, with his conical jaguar skin cap, ray-emitting eye, rectangular nose, and beaklike mouth (figure 9.11a). He is facing east, looking toward the temples, and directly in front of him is a year glyph bearing the year 1 Reed. The year 1 Reed (Ce Ácatl in Náhuatl) is the year the Aztecs attribute to Quetzalcóatl’s birth (Caso 1958:25). According to Pohl (1999:186), the year 1 Reed “is associated with the beginning of time in the Mixtec codices.” Jill Leslie Furst (1978:91) notes, “As Caso (1956:493) has pointed out, the Year 1 Reed is the first in the 52-year cycle and the day 1 Alligator the first in the 260-day ritual calendar. Thus, in combination they represent the initiation of both solar and ritual cycles. In the Mixtec genealogical codices the date is extended as a metaphor to define events at the beginnings of individual human lives and in the initiation of dynasties.” Although the day 1 Alligator is not depicted, it is possible that it occurred in the damaged section to the right of the year glyph. Following a damaged gap in the mural is another partially preserved image of Lord 9 Wind with his conical jaguar skin cap (figure 9.11a). His arm is stretched upward in front of his face with the palm of his hand upward, as if beckoning to a serpent in front of him or conjuring up the serpent. The serpent appears to emerge from eight oblong-like vertical projections filled with cross-hatching. According to Navarijo and Guzmán-Villa (2008:293), the serpent is an eyelash palm pit viper (Bothriechus schleglii), a venomous snake native to Oaxaca that commonly inhabits palm plants. Therefore, it is possible that the area from which the serpent emerges is a palm plant. The serpent, whose body is decorated with precious stone beads, looks east, with his head facing Lord 9 Wind. Directly behind the serpent is a flower in a horizontal position, with a column of four dots in front of it, perhaps signifying the day 4 Flower.

After another damaged gap is a very small piece of the mural (figure 9.11a), which begins with a temple that has a thatched conical roof. These types of temples are usually associated with Lord 9 Wind. The tail of a possible serpent body that ends in a composite offering bundle occurs directly in front of the temple roof. Next to the tail is a flower with one preserved dot next to it, perhaps rendering the day 1 Flower. Following a damaged gap in the mural is a large representation of Lord 9 Wind, who faces east, apparently looking toward his temple (figure 9.11a). His eye is normal—it is not a ray-emitting eye—and he has a thick vertical stripe with a thin stripe on each side that descends from his forehead to the top of his eye. In front of Lord 9 Wind’s hat is a small human head with wild hair looking down toward the bottom of the mural. Directly behind Lord 9 Wind is a large representation of Pitao Pezeelao, known to the Aztecs as Mictlantecuhtli, who faces west with his back to Lord 9 Wind’s back (figure 9.11a). Pezeelao is ready for battle and in attack mode, as seen in the Mixtec codices, with one knee down and the other leg stretched forward, holding a spear thrower, or atlatl, ready to launch a spear. He wears a cotton armor vest, holds a circular shield in front of him, wears a sacrificial knife as an ear ornament, and two large horizontal stripes adorn his face, like those that decorate the face of the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca. His head is covered with the curly hair of the dead and decorated with a feather headdress. Volutes emerge from his mouth, indicating that he is speaking. In front of him is the head of a deer, which may indicate the day sign Deer, but no associated numerals are visible. After a damaged gap in the mural is a large representation of Lord 9 Wind, facing east across the gap toward Pezeelao (figure 9.11b).5 Only the back part of Lord 9 Wind is preserved, making it impossible to determine if he is carrying a shield, spear thrower, and spears and is in an attack mode, like Pitao Pezeelao in the previous scene. However, four animals in attack mode follow directly behind Lord 9 Wind and appear to be his allies. The first figure is a jaguar in attack mode, his forelegs stretched out before him and his claws fully extended. An eagle, identified by Navarijo (2008:276–77) as an American harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), follows the jaguar. His back is decorated with feathers resembling sacrificial knives and his beak is open as if in attack mode. The last two figures are serpents, one above the other, with

mouths open and fangs exposed. The lower serpent slithers out from behind the head of the upper one. Following a damaged break in the mural is a partly preserved person (deity?), facing west, with his arm raised in front of his face and the palm of his hand turned upward toward the head of a serpent in a vertical position (figure 9.11b). From his headdress it seems possible that this person or deity was the one portrayed inside the temple in the first scene at the beginning of the mural. Both individuals have a distinctive headdress composed of curvilinear hooks ending in a rectilinear hook. Unfortunately, the face of this individual, like the first one, is not preserved. Navarijo and Guzmán-Villa (2008:291) identify the serpent in front of this individual as the Atlantic coral snake (Micrurus diastema), which is native to Oaxaca. The serpent also faces west (left) and has a bird with a long speckled beak and head facing him. Navarijo (2008:280) identifies it as a white-eared hummingbird (Hylocharis leucotis) or a broad-billed hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris), both of which are native to Oaxaca. The bird has at least six preserved dots behind him, but any day sign to which they might have been attached would have occurred in a damaged section. Next comes another large representation of Lord 9 Wind who faces east toward the individual with the serpent and bird in front of him. His conical jaguar skin cap, rectangular nose, and ray-emitting eye are clearly visible. He holds a circular shield in front of him, the center of which is decorated with the cross section of a conch shell, his famous wind shell jewel. Emerging from the top of the shield is a probable spear thrower and a wrist strap of the type that attaches to spear throwers. Behind Lord 9 Wind is a probable symbol of Venus with two down feather balls attached to its lower side. Beneath this symbol is a partly preserved circular shield fringed with feathers and with the shafts of spears emerging from its top, perhaps a symbol for war. Next is a horizontal depiction of the head of Lord 9 Wind that descends from the heavens, or the top of the mural (Figure 9.11b). His eye is normal (not ray emitting) and a pair of vertical stripes, one thick and one thin, pass from his forehead across his eye to his cheek. To the left of this and in the area where Lord 9 Wind’s beak-like mouth should be are a series of four small oblongs with thick stripes within them. These small oblongs diminish in length as they approach the area where Lord 9 Wind’s mouth should be and might

represent a frontal view of a staircase ascending a temple. The top two oblongs have a depiction of the sole of a human foot that appears to be descending the stairs. To the left of this and below the neck of Lord 9 Wind is a horseshoe or inverted omega-shaped element that probably depicts the moon. Following a damaged gap in the mural is a large flowering nanche fruit tree with a hummingbird in it (figure 9.11c). The bird has a speckled head, and a speech scroll emerging from his beak indicates that he is singing. He faces east and appears to be the same bird depicted in the earlier scene with the coral snake. A column of seven dots curves to the right over a top branch of the tree and connects with the day sign Reed that is next to the bird, rendering the day 7 Reed. Under the column of dots is an object that might be the day sign Earthquake or Motion with two large dots below it, perhaps rendering the day 2 Earthquake or 2 Motion (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:298). A large representation of Lord 9 Wind faces the large flowering nanche fruit tree with the bird in it (figure 9.11c). In this depiction of Lord 9 Wind, his head is fully preserved and he faces east. He wears his conical jaguar skin hat with a maguey thorn and bone awl stuck in it and has a ray-emitting eye protruding from its socket. His nose is rectangular and his mouth is in the form of a beak. A vertical stripe occurs above his eye socket. He carries a circular shield, the center of which is decorated with vertically placed semicircular bands with a thick line in their centers. Emerging from the top of his shield is a probable atlatl. The next section of the mural has two large year glyphs, one above the other (figure 9.11c). The upper one carries the year bearer Flint Knife. A dot at the center of the year glyph may indicate that the year is 1 Flint Knife, although this is uncertain. The lower year glyph carries the year bearer Reed and also has a partially preserved dot at its center that may indicate the year 1 Reed. Directly to the right of the year glyphs is a column of at least nine preserved dots that curves to its right at the top of the mural. This column of dots does not seem to be associated with the year glyphs but with the figure of Lord 9 Wind that occurs to the right. The column of nine dots that curves toward him probably were attached to the day sign Wind, which most likely

occurred in the damaged area following the last dot and that would have rendered his Mixtec name Lord 9 Wind. Next comes a scene with two mountains or hills depicted in horizontal positions at the top of the mural (figure 9.11c). Each hill has a person below it who is also in a horizontal position and who carries the hill on his back with a tumpline as if descending from the heavens with it. A similar scene is depicted in Codex Vindobonensis (1992), page 48, where two deities descend from the sky with temples on their backs (see figure 9.13). The first hill has a turkey head atop it, indicating that it is the Hill of the Turkey. The person (deity?) who carries this hill on his back is also in a horizontal position and is seated. He has three vertical stripes across his face, two from the temple to the jaw and one from the forehead through the eye to the jaw. The vertical stripes across the face are generally assumed to be associated with the deity Xipe Totec (Seler (1991: II, 186; Pohl 2005:112). This individual’s eye is circular, indicating a drug-induced trance or that he has entered a supernatural plane. A speech scroll emerges from his mouth. Above his head are six preserved dots and the day sign for House, suggesting that his name is 6 House or that the event is occurring on the day 6 House. The second hill has a temple with a tree on its roof with nanche fruit growing on its branches and its roots drooping over the sides of the roof (figure 9.11c). Inside the hill are wavy lines (water?) with two solid dots circumscribed by concentric circles. These dots may be “mirrors” that represent caves in the hill (Pohl 1999:188). The person (deity?) who carries the hill on his back is walking toward the bottom of the mural. Only his legs, feet, and the back of his headdress are preserved. Next follows a mountain with a peak on its east end (right) and a flat area extending from the base of the peak that ends in a cliff from which four scrolls emerge, representing smoke (figure 9.11c). Both the flat area and the peak have temples on them. The flat area has a temple with a single entryway and a tree growing from its roof. The branches of the tree are laden with nanche fruit. The roots of the tree dangle over the sides of the roof. This temple is exactly like the one carried from heaven by the individual in the previous scene. To the left (west) of the tree is a day sign with numerals rendering it 2 Earthquake or 2 Motion.

The temple on top of the peak has three entryways, and its roof has roots similar to those of the tree roots on the other temple but without the tree (figure 9.11c). Inside the peak of the mountain upon which the temple rests is a quincunx consisting of four dots around a central dot, representing the world directions—east, north, south, west, and center. It seems evident that the person with the hill with the temple with a tree on his back descended from the heavens and “delivered” them to Earth. A full-figure deity with the head of a dog who Seler (1904:317–18) identifies as Xólotl, Quetzalcóatl’s twin brother, follows (figure 9.11c). He wears Lord 9 Wind’s conical jaguar skin hat and snail shell necklace. Speech scrolls emerge from his mouth, indicating that he is speaking. In front of him is the day sign 2 House. His arms are outstretched, with the palms of his hands facing outward toward a temple. The temple has a thatched conical roof characteristic of temples of Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl. A full-body serpent, with feathers decorating his tail and snail shells adorning his back, passes through the roof of the temple. The serpent wears Lord 9 Wind’s conical jaguar skin hat, and its eye is pulled from the socket, indicating that it is a ray-emitting eye. A speech scroll emerges from the serpent’s mouth. The lintel above the door to the temple has a row of at least five precious stones decorating it. Inside the doorway, extending within from its jambs, are two vertically placed semicircular bands with thick lines inside them that stretch from the threshold to the lintel. This same motif decorates the center of Lord 9 Wind’s shield in an earlier scene. Following a damaged gap in the mural about 30 centimeters wide, a large representation of Lord 9 Wind occurs, with his conical jaguar skin cap, rectangular nose, and his eye pulled from its socket, indicating it is a rayemitting eye (figure 9.12a). He faces east where, across the damaged gap in the mural, his temple stands. It would appear that Lord 9 Wind is approaching a temple dedicated to him, moving toward the east while his twin brother, Xólotl, is approaching it from the opposite side moving west. Quetzalcóatl and Xólotl represent the planet Venus as the morning star and the evening star, respectively, and this scene may relate to the setting of Venus as the evening star (Xólotl) and, sometime later, its reappearance in the east as the rising morning star (Quetzalcóatl), with the serpent passing through the roof of the temple representing the disappearance of Venus until its re-emergence. Xólotl

was probably portrayed in the costume of Quetzalcóatl precisely to indicate that he is the twin representing the evening star.

Figure 9.12. Mural on the lintel of the north hall of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla, continued, to be read from right to left (after Seler 1904:318/319, plate XXXVIII).

Directly left (west) of Lord 9 Wind is a large composite glyph, including a mountain with a turkey head, a temple on the mountainside, and a year glyph with an annual date (figure 9.12a). The mountain with the turkey head is shown in an earlier scene, where a deity (Xipe Totec?) descends from the heavens with the mountain on his back. Pohl (1999:188) has located a mountain 3.5 kilometers east of Mitla called “Hill of the Turkey,” or Guhdz Bedkol in Mitla Zapotec, that he correlates with the glyph of the mountain with the turkey head. The manner in which the turkey head is attached to the mountain suggests that it may represent a large cave in the mountain. The temple on the side of the mountain has a stairway with balustrades ascending to a room on top that appears to be depicted from a bird’s-eye view or in plan form with its four surrounding walls. The temple room has three precious stones within it that Robert Markens (personal communication, 2011) believes to be columns within the room as seen from above. The year glyph is directly to the left of the temple with the year bearer Flint Knife attached to it and has at least seven preserved dots associated with it, indicating the year 7 Flint Knife (Seler 1904:317). Beneath the year glyph is a

band emerging from the side of the temple and curving downward. The band is filled with small dots, indicating darkness, and teardrop-shaped stars, possibly depicting falling stars or a meteor shower. Directly left of the Hill of the Turkey are two large representations of deities (figure 9.12a). The deity with his back to the Hill of the Turkey is identified by Seler (1904:317) as the sun deity and by Pohl (1999:187) as Lord 7 Flower, a Mixtec counterpart of the Aztec Xochipilli (Furst 1978:164), who is characterized by the butterfly head on the front of his headband. Pohl (1999:187) also notes the presence of a flower glyph in front of Lord 7 Flower, but any numerals associated with it have been destroyed. The second deity has a stepped nose ornament associated with earth deities, which suggests that he is the Zapotec deity Pitao Cozaana, although this is uncertain. Directly to the left of this second deity is the head of the rain deity, Cociyo, with at least three dots preserved below him, probably rendering the Zapotec day sign 3 Rain. This second deity (Cozaana) faces east; his left arm is outstretched and the palm of the left hand faces outward as if greeting Lord 7 Flower. His right arm is outstretched, and he holds a bowl in his right hand as if offering it to Lord 7 Flower. Speech scrolls emerge from his mouth, indicating that he is speaking to Lord 7 Flower. Lord 7 Flower also has speech scrolls emerging from his mouth, indicating that he is speaking to the second deity. Likewise, his right arm is outstretched and the palm of his right hand faces outward as if greeting the second deity. His left arm is outstretched, and he holds a large precious stone in his left hand as if offering it to Cozaana. Pohl (1999:187– 88) relates the Hill of the Turkey, the temple, and Lord 7 Flower to a scene on page 31 of Codex Bodley (1960): Lord 7 Flower seated in a temple on the side of a mountain called Hill of the Turkey. Elsewhere it has been suggested that Lord 7 Flower may represent the Zapotec deity of wealth, Pitao Paa. A temple to the left of the day sign 3 Rain is the same as the one mentioned at the beginning of the mural (figure 9.12a). It has stepped triangles with sun rays inside them. A flowering tree with nanche fruit grows from the front of the temple and rests on the same platform as the temple. The inside of the temple is decorated with a vertical row of three precious stone disks and the top of the platform on which the tree rests is composed of a horizontal row of precious stone disks.

A deity is seated on a throne and faces west with his back to the temple (figure 9.12a). To Seler (1904:317), he appears to be the sun deity, with the precious stone beads in his headband, two lines bordering the corner of his eye, and a bird head at the front of his headdress. Pohl (1999:190), however, correctly refers to the “bird’s head” as a “butterfly head.” Furthermore, the painting around his mouth is characteristic of the Aztec deity Xochipilli. This deity, also known as Lord 7 Flower, also appears in the previous scene with his back to the temple on the Hill of the Turkey, where he wears the same headdress. Lord 7 Flower (Xochipilli) has his right arm stretched in front of him with the palm of the right hand facing outward as if in a greeting. Two speech scrolls appear above the hand, indicating that he is speaking. His left arm is also outstretched, and in his left hand he holds a bowl with a stirring stick for chocolate protruding from it. Below it is a flower glyph with no preserved numerals but that may have rendered his name, Lord 7 Flower. Again, it has been suggested that this deity may have been called Pitao Paa in Zapotec. Following a damaged gap in the mural is a very small preserved segment with two individuals or deities (figure 9.12a). The first deity faces east and is only represented by the back part of his headdress. However, he seems to be facing Lord 7 Flower, on the other side of the damaged gap in the mural, who greets him and offers him a bowl containing a beverage, probably chocolate. The second deity appears to be female from the hairstyle, with ribbons woven in the hair. She faces west, with her back to the first deity, and her elaborate face painting consists of vertical stripes on her temple and vertical wavy lines on the lower part of her face. She wears a fancy necklace adorned with precious stone beads and seems to be speaking, indicated by a partly preserved speech scroll emanating from her mouth. Following a damaged gap in the mural is a person facing west (left) and seated on a throne decorated with precious stones (figure 9.12b). Seler (1904:317) identifies this person as “a deity who wears a bar in the nose that diminishes in steps, like those by which deities of the earth, Chantico and Xochiquetzal, are characterized in the Borgian codex. The elaborate painting of the face recalls also the Xochiquetzal of the Borgian codex” (see figure 3.3b). From this earth deity’s hairstyle of ribbons woven in the hair, she is almost certainly a goddess or female deity, perhaps Pitao Huichaana. She points a finger toward a bird in front of her and is speaking. The bird has a

long, pointed beak and may be the same as the speckled hummingbird bird seen in earlier scenes, although this bird is not speckled. The bird approaches the branch of a tree that has tiny circles on its end that represent nanche fruit. Only the top of the flowering tree is preserved. A small section is missing from the mural, but not the border between the flowering tree with the bird and a temple (Figure 9.12b). The tree is clearly associated with the temple. The very recognizable temple, mentioned in earlier scenes, has stepped triangles with sun rays inside them and precious stones between them. Unfortunately, only the top of the temple is preserved. To the left of the temple is a rectangle filled with cross-hatching with an image in its center. To the left of the cross-hachure rectangle is the back of a headdress with drooping feathers. Unfortunately, the individual wearing this headdress is in a damaged section of the mural. Next, two interlaced serpent bodies, heads facing in opposite directions, emerge from a narrow, wavy watery band (figure 9.12b). Only the head of the serpent body on the left (west) is preserved, and it appears to be the head of a bird that has a crest of vertical feathers with spaces between them. Beneath the head of each birdserpent are flowering trees with trunks growing from a wavy watery band. Directly to the left of the serpents is a large representation of a person. Only the back part of the headdress, with a precious bead set in it and the two lines at the corner of the eye, are visible. Seler (1904:317) identifies this individual as the “sun deity,” based on the headdress and face paint. The sun deity is facing west and approaches the back of a platform with a temple on it from the east (figure 9.12b). The platform has five preserved steps on its west side, and its top has a flowering tree in the front part and a temple in the back part. The temple is topped by stepped triangles with sun rays inside them and precious stones between them. Enclosed in the temple is a small, seated figure (deity?) with one arm raised, with the palm of his hand facing outward as if in greeting. Below the temple is the figure of an animal (jaguar?) within what appears to be an enclosure; its curved border is composed of a double row of precious stone disks. This temple is almost certainly the same as the earlier ones with stepped triangles decorating their roofs. Another large figure, facing east and approaching the front of the platform from the west, is also identified by Seler (1904:317) as the sun deity, who

“can be recognized by the headband, which is set with disks representing precious stones and has a bird’s head in front, and by two lines which border the outer corners of the eyes” (figure 9.12b). However, the figure appears to have a serpent head, not a bird head, at the front of his headdress, which calls into question Seler’s identification of him as the sun deity. The sun deity carries a bag containing copal incense, and it appears that the person in the temple is greeting him. Two small human figures, one above the other, appear to be walking east, following the sun deity. The lower figure has his arms extended in front of him. Neither of the small figures heads are preserved but they appear to be dressed in jaguar suits. The fragmented west, or left, part of the mural ends with a depiction of an anthropomorphic figure, preserved only from the waist down, appearing to walk toward the west, or left. Seler (1904:317) notes that the western (left) part of the mural is “pretty thoroughly destroyed” and “shows in general only disconnected remains.” Consequently, apart from identifying a few elements there, he restricts his interpretations to the eastern (right) part of the mural. He notes the repeated illustrations of the deity Lord 9 Wind Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl in this part of the mural (Seler 1904:314). Seler concludes that the eastern part of the mural deals with “the transformation of Quetzalcóatl into the morning star” (Seler 1904:318), which indeed does appear to take place in one section of the mural (figures 9.11c, 9.12a). Pohl (1999:186) relates this mural to Zapotec cosmogony and especially Mitla and its territory. As mentioned above, he cites the Hill of the Turkey, 3.5 kilometers east of Mitla, where a Zapotec counterpart of the Mixtec deity Lord 7 Flower is shown next to a temple where he serves as an oracle (Pohl 1999:187–88). Pohl (1999:189) identifies the fruit trees next to the temples as the place sign for Mitla, as shown on page 124 of Codex Ríos, which illustrates the Aztec conquest of Mitla. He identifies the fruit trees as nanches, whose small circular yellow or orange fruits grow in clusters like those depicted in the murals. Furthermore, he notes that the slope on which the Group of the Columns and Church Group are built is referred to by Mitla Zapotecs as Roogeuii, meaning “at the nanche tree,” and that many of these trees grow around the ruins today. Finally, he cites the representation of a deity seated in front of one of the temples with a fruit tree next to it as Pitao Pezeelao, whom he sees as a counterpart of Lord 7 Flower (Pohl 1999:190).

The north mural is very long and very complex. The only two deities that are clearly identified as Zapotec in this mural are Pitao Pezeelao and Cociyo. Pezeelao is depicted in attack mode, going into battle, and indeed, the Relación de Oçelotepeque reports that Pezeelao aided them in their wars (Espíndola 1580:139). Only the head of Cociyo is portrayed, probably representing the Zapotec day sign Rain, but he is depicted in a manner similar to the Aztec and Mixtec rain deities, Tláloc and Dzahui, respectively, and not in the image that represents him in the Late Classic period. The female earth goddess, identified by her T-shaped nose ornament, could possibly represent Pitao Huichaana, although this is uncertain. Likewise, the male earth god, identified by his T-shaped nose ornament, could possibly represent Pitao Cozaana, although this is also uncertain. It is clear that various supernaturals, such as Tonatiuh (the Nahua sun deity), Lord 9 Wind Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl, Xólotl, and Lord 7 Flower Xochipilli, can be and were identified by Seler and Pohl because images of them in the mural are very similar to known representations of Aztec and Mixtec deities. But it must be remembered that it is not known how the Zapotec deities cited in the documents were visually portrayed because no representations of them occur in these documents. It is possible that the Zapotecs represented Pitao Paa, the deity of wealth, in a form similar to Lord 7 Flower. According to Pohl (personal communication, 2013), Lord 7 Flower represents Pezeelao as the deity who presided over what Burgoa refers to as the Elysian Fields, where royalty went when they died. Pohl, again following Burgoa, considers Mitla to be the place where Zapotec royalty (coqui) were buried and Teitipac where nobles (xoana) were buried. Furthermore, he interprets the skeletal images of Mictlantecuhtli, which I have identified as Pezeelao, to be another deity of the hereafter that presided over the underworld where nobles went following death. No deities similar to Xólotl and Lord 9 Wind are described in the documents relating to Zapotec gods. For the Aztecs, Xólotl represented Venus as the evening star and was the twin brother of Quetzalcóatl, who represented Venus as the morning star (Caso 1958:24). Xólotl is only depicted once in the mural, where he appears next to the temple of Quetzalcóatl. Lord 9 Wind is the most frequently depicted deity in the north mural, appearing at least eight times, plus twice in the east mural. He is not

mentioned or described among the Zapotec deities cited in the documents, with the single exception of a “wind deity” (dios de los vientos) cited once in Spanish in the Relación de Nexapa in conjunction with a list in Spanish of nine Zapotec deities (Santamaría and Canseco 1580:34; table 2.4). The fact that he is always depicted in the mural with his rectangular nose and beak mouth indicates that he is more closely related to the Mixtec Lord 9 Wind, who is always represented in this manner in the Mixtec codices, than to Quetzalcóatl in the Aztec documents, who is not always represented with these attributes. In this respect, rather than a wind deity, he is a creator deity who established the Mixteca and is seen on page 48 of Codex Vindobonensis (1992) descending from heaven along a celestial rope accompanied by two deities who carry temples on their backs, like the two deities in the north mural (figure 9.13). These temples, like the ones on the mountains in the north mural, are “delivered” to Earth in a later scene in Codex Vindobonensis.

Figure 9.13. Lord 9 Wind descends a celestial rope from heaven accompanied by two supernaturals carrying temples on their backs in Codex Vindobonensis (1992:48).

Perhaps the Zapotecs represented Pitao Cozaana, the creator deity, in a manner similar to Lord 9 Wind. Otherwise, Lord 9 Wind’s repeated

appearance in the north mural hardly supports the idea that this mural relates to Zapotec cosmogony. It is clear that Lord 9 Wind plays an important role in the eastern (right) part of the mural and the temples with roofs decorated with stepped triangles with nanche trees next to them certainly play a major part from the beginning to the end of the mural. It is possible that the stepped triangles on the roofs of these temples are intended to portray the Mitla temples decorated with greca mosaics. In fact, the two structures side by side at the beginning of the mural might represent the Group of the Columns and the Church Group, although this is uncertain. In any event, Pohl’s (1999) interpretation of the north mural as a Zapotec cosmogony that may depict the foundation of sacred places within Mitla and within its territory is the most enlightened approach to this mural. However, as he cogently observes, “there is still more to be examined in the paintings” (Pohl 1999:191). WEST MURAL The west mural measures 5.44 meters by 34 centimeters (Díaz, Piñeirúa and Rodríguez 2005:310) and has a border around it composed of a row of stars in a night sky (figure 9.14). Although the direction in which this mural is to be read is uncertain, some of its contents suggest it was meant to be read from south to north (left to right). The left (south) end of the mural, although damaged, is somewhat preserved in its upper section for a distance of about 90 centimeters, but most of the bits and pieces of figures within it are scarcely discernible. Seler did not record this segment. However, Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez (2005:310, desplegado 78–81) have recorded this section with excellent photos, and I have drawn a sketch of some identifiable elements based on these photos (figure 9.14).

Figure 9.14. Sketch of some discernible elements at the south end of the west mural, Patio A, Church Group, Mitla.

The very south end of the mural begins with the depiction of the upper part of a rocky enclosure (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:310, desplegado 78). It probably represents a cave, although the lower part is destroyed (figure 9.14). The right (north) edge of the cave appears to have an opening because the lines forming it seem to terminate well above the damaged section (Pohl, personal communication, 2011). A figure with a possible headdress (deity?) appears to occur within the cave. This is followed by the tops of two or three spears, like the spears carried by most of the figures in the mural (figure 9.15).6 A heavily damaged 25 centimeter section follows; identifiable elements are difficult to discern in the remaining bits and pieces of the mural. This is followed by a part of a headdress (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:310, desplegado 80) worn by an individual whose eye and part of the face are visible (figure 9.14). A line curving around the outside corner of the eye indicates that he probably wears a face mask, resembling a Lone Ranger– style mask (Pohl 1999:183), like many of the other figures in the mural (figure 9.15). He faces north, and his partially preserved face is adorned with small circles, like a number of other figures in the mural. In front (north) of the individual is a bundle of spears that he seems to carry. A second individual occurs in front of first and appears to wear a cotton cap or helmet decorated with down feather balls (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:310, desplegado 81), like some of the other figures in the mural. Like the first figure, he faces north (right), and his face is also decorated with small circles. He appears to wear a similar Lone Ranger–style mask and seems to carry a bundle of spears in front of him.

Figure 9.15. North part of the mural on the lintel of the west room of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:322/323, plate XXXIX).

Following a space of about 60 centimeters, in which identifiable elements are basically indiscernible, the mural continues in a prolonged section; Seler’s identification of these images will be used from this point on (figure 9.15a). The first scene involves two additional figures—the third and the fourth—with a deer between them. Only the head of the third figure is preserved but, like the first two figures, his face is decorated with small circles, except for the area around his eye and nose. This latter area is painted a solid color and resembles a Lone Ranger–style face mask. He has a circular eye, indicating that he is in a drug-induced trance or on a supernatural plane, and wears a circular earspool. His teeth are filed to points. A speech scroll emerges from above his nose and he holds spears in one hand. He wears a cotton cap or helmet that is adorned with down feather balls topped by a large fancy headdress attached toward the back of his head. A horizontal row of dots passes above his head and curves around the front of the spears. There are eight evenly spaced dots but no indication of any day sign associated with them. The third figure faces north (right), apparently looking at a deer directly in front of him (figure 9.15a). The deer, originally a full-body figure in profile, has only the posterior half of its body preserved, in a vertical position descending from the top of the mural as if he is falling from the sky. It is identifiable by its two hind legs that end in deer hooves and by the fur on its

body, legs, and tail. Its haunches are covered with a cape or net (?) with a row of three diagonally positioned sacrificial knives decorating the top and a row of six sacrificial knives along the bottom. A spear penetrates the deer’s back. Following the deer is a fourth figure who faces left (south) and also appears to be looking at the deer (figure 9.15a). He wears down feather balls on his head, a headdress with long feathers positioned horizontally, a Lone Ranger–style mask, a jaguar skin strip hanging from the earspool, a necklace decorated with a row of triangles, and a jaguar skin shirt. His face is decorated with thin vertical stripes in front and thin horizontal stripes in back. He has a circular eye and teeth filed to points. He wears “a tusklike curved plug under the lip” that is an ornament worn by Tolteca-Chichimeca soldiers from Tlaxcala and Huexotzingo “in the historical picture writings” (Seler 1904:322). Although he holds spears in one hand, his other hand appears to hold a scroll instead of an atlatl. However, this scroll could be part of the leather wrist strap attached to the spear thrower and could indicate that he has thrown a spear, probably at the deer. Next comes the large representation of a full-body eagle in profile (figure 9.15a). The eagle is facing left (south), and a single dot is located above his tail feathers. His wing feathers are tipped with sacrificial knives. A forked tongue descends from his mouth and two sound scrolls emerge from his beak, indicating that he is screeching. The beak has small circles decorating it. The next scene involves an additional two figures—the fifth and the sixth —with a deity between them (figure 9.15a). The fifth figure differs in some respects from the first four. He has thin vertical stripes decorating his face, a circular eye, filed teeth, a beard, a jaguar skin strip hanging from his earspool, a tusk-like curved lower lip ornament, a necklace decorated with a row of triangles, and a jaguar skin shirt. He also holds a spear thrower in one hand and spears in the other and a speech scroll emerges from above his mouth, indicating that he is speaking. He especially differs from the others in his headgear, which seems to be a fur helmet or cap instead of down feather balls, and the two horizontal black bands that frame his eye instead of a Lone Ranger–type mask. The two horizontal bands are characteristic of the Aztec deity Tezcatlipoca. This fifth figure faces right (north) and appears to be attacking the deity.

Although much of the large deity is damaged, Pohl (1999:184, figure 8.5b) has identified her as the goddess Itzpapálotl, the obsidian butterfly, by matching her attributes to a representation of her on page 66 of Codex Borgia (figure 9.16). “She is recognizable by the configuration of her hair featuring a crown with a large rosette, by her clawed jaguar skin feet, and by the obsidian knife border of her skirt” (Pohl 1999:183). The mural depicts her as descending or diving down from the heavens. Her legs, which are decorated with stripes and precious stone beads, end in feet formed by jaguar paws with the claws fully extended. Apart from this, only her fancy headdress and headband and part of the hair on her head are preserved (figure 9.15a).

Figure 9.16. Itzpapálotl in Codex Borgia (1993:12, plate 66).

The sixth individual faces left (south) and also appears to be attacking Itzpapálotl. His face is decorated with thin vertical stripes and he wears a Lone Ranger–style mask. His teeth are filed to sharp points, his eye is circular, and he has a beard. He wears a tusk-like curved lower lip ornament. A strip of jaguar skin hangs from his earspool and a necklace decorated with a row of triangles adorns his neck. Beneath the necklace is a jaguar skin shirt, a row of sacrificial knives dangles from its bottom. His head is adorned with

down feather balls and a headdress formed by long feathers positioned horizontally. He holds an atlatl in one hand and spears in the other. A speech scroll emerges from above his mouth, indicating that he is speaking (figure 9.15a). After a damaged area of about 30 centimeters is a depiction of a twoheaded deer whose heads face in opposite directions (figure 9.15b). The presence of antlers on the deer heads indicates that they represent male, or stag, deer. The neck of the deer is decorated with a necklace of precious stone beads. A large partly preserved spear appears to penetrate the deer on its right (north) side, and two smaller spears enter from the left (south) side. To the left of the deer are three vertically positioned spears with their tips pointing toward the bottom of the mural. Following another damaged area is a partly preserved element that appears from its sinuous form to be the back part of a serpent (figure 9.15b). Near the end of its tail are what appear to be rattles, suggesting it is a rattlesnake. The tail is tipped with a sacrificial knife. A cape or net (?) fringed with sacrificial knives partly covers the first bend in the body, and next to it is a circular object, inside of which are groups of diagonal lines alternating in different directions (indicating that it is made of stone) with a hole in its center. This circular stone is like the one worn on the shirt of the fourth figure in the mural (figure 9.15a). On top of the circular stone are two sacrificial knives. Next to the circular stone is another cape or net (?), its top decorated with scrolls. Above this is a rectangular area filled with narrow vertical stripes and topped by what appears to be part of a headdress. The next 20 centimeters of the mural are damaged. It is extremely difficult to discern any identifiable element among the remaining bits and pieces. This is followed by a scene including a plant and, at the very north end of the mural, a final seventh individual (figure 9.15b). Only the head is preserved. His face is decorated with thin vertical stripes and he wears a Lone Ranger– style mask that is colored white rather than being darkened. Instead of down feather balls, a series of sacrificial knives adorns his head, and he wears a fancy headdress. His teeth are filed to sharp points and his circular eye suggests a drug-induced trance or being on a supernatural plane. He holds an atlatl in one hand and spears in the other. He is facing left (south) and appears to be looking at a large flowering spiny plant in front of him.

Each of the branches of the plant has a row of precious stone beads within it and is topped by a flower (figure 9.15b). Three of the preserved branches on the right side of the plant have spears stuck in their flowers that he may have thrown. Next to the left side of the plant are two sacrificial knives, one above the other. Above the sacrificial knives are three dots in a row with the day sign Earthquake or Motion, which, when combined with the three dots next to it, would render the day 3 Earthquake or 3 Motion (Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez 2005:320). Seler (1904:318–19) considered the five individuals he identified in the mural to be representations of the same deity, Mixcóatl, the Aztec god of hunting, who was also known by the Tlaxcaltecas as Camaxtli, the god of hunting and the principal deity of Tlaxcala. “The style of dressing the hair and ornament vary somewhat in other particulars, but one has the impression that these were mere calligraphic variants or different forms of the same deity” (Seler 1904:322). He suggests that the mural represents the evening twilight that corresponds to the west. It is located on the lintel of the west room and is framed by a border of stars in the night sky. However, to consider all seven individuals (or at least the five identified by Seler) as “mere calligraphic variants” of a single deity seems to oversimplify the iconography that appears to indicate at least two different groups of individuals—those with tiny circles decorating their faces and those with thin vertical lines adorning their faces. Pohl (1999:183) relates this mural to the Tolteca-Chichimeca cosmogony, specifically to their culture hero, Mixcóatl-Camaxtli. According to their legends, Mixcóatl and his brothers, the Mimixcoa, were leading the ToltecaChichimeca on a pilgrimage from the legendary cave of Chicomoztoc to a promised land when a two-headed deer fell from heaven and was transformed into the hideous demon Itzpapálotl. She devoured everyone save Mixcóatl, who hid then returned to kill her and free everyone. They burned her body and rubbed the ashes on their faces, hence the Lone Ranger–style face masks they wear. The mural begins at the south end with a rocky place that probably represents the cave of Chicomoztoc with an apparent opening to the north. It seems likely that a series of Tolteca-Chichimeca emerge from this opening and proceed northward, including the first three identifiable individuals, all of

whom have small circles decorating their faces that represent stars in the night sky (Pohl, personal communication, 2011). These individuals are probably the star-faced Mimixcoa who are following Mixcóatl. The fourth individual, with thin vertical stripes decorating his face, is almost certainly Mixcóatl, who has thrown his spears into the deer falling from heaven. It will also be noted that Mixcóatl has a head twice the size of the third individual, a Mimixcoa who is on the south side of the deer (figure 9.15a). It was common practice in Mesoamerica to depict the most important individual as being much larger than less important individuals. The eagle following Mixcóatl is also contained in the legend of the pilgrimage, where it is stated that the Cihuacóatl transformed into an eagle to attack the Tolteca-Chichimeca (Pohl, personal communication, 2011). In the following scene, the fifth individual (a Tolteca-Chichimeca with two horizontal bars painted across his face to resemble the deity Tezcatlipoca) and a sixth individual, who again is most certainly Mixcóatl, attack the deity Itzpapálotl. Following this are a two-headed deer, a serpent, a spiny flowering plant, and a seventh individual who is probably Mixcóatl. Pohl’s interpretation is brilliant because it reasonably accounts for most of the identifiable elements depicted in the west room mural. SOUTH MURAL Although it measures 5.33 meters by 33 centimeters (Díaz, Piñeirúa and Rodríguez 2005:308), only a relatively small section, about 2 meters long, of the mural on the lintel of the south room survives. This section begins about 1.5 meters from the east end and terminates about 1.5 meters before the west end, making it more or less the central section of the mural. Like the north mural, a row of precious stone beads forms the border around the south mural (figure 9.17). The entire preserved section contains representations of six individuals who appear to be walking in a procession that proceeds from east to west.

Figure 9.17. Mural on the lintel of the south room of Patio A, Church Group, Mitla (after Seler 1904:322/323, plate XXXIX).

Reading from right to left (west to east), the first preserved figure, unlike the other figures, has a circular eye, indicating he is in a drug-induced trance or on a supernatural plane (figure 9.17). A thick vertical stripe with a thin vertical line on each side of it crosses his face above and below the eye. Behind this stripe his face is adorned with concentric semicircles. He wears a fancy headdress with a butterfly head at its front. His arm is outstretched before him, and his hand holds the middle of a composite offering bundle with five long feathers or paper strips emerging from the top. A tiny sacrificial knife occurs atop the middle feather or paper strip and another is directly to the right of the last feather or paper strip, indicating that it is a sacrificial offering. A maguey thorn awl directly stuck in the top of this individual’s wristband suggests that the offering involves an autosacrificial bloodletting ritual. The second figure, behind (east of) the first, has a similar fancy headdress fronted by a butterfly head (figure 9.17). His eye is normal and his face is painted with simple lines. His arm is outstretched in front of him, and his hand holds a bundle of sticks. Down feather balls occur around the side and top of the bundle. Four smoke scrolls descend from the upper border above the bundle, suggesting it may be a torch. One scroll has two small feathers or paper strips dangling from it and two tiny smoke scrolls that indicate that the feathers or paper strips are burning or to be burnt. A maguey thorn awl is stuck into the top of this individual’s wristband. The third figure wears remnants of a fancy headdress fronted by a butterfly head (figure 9.17). His eye is normal and he manifests fancy face painting. A narrow rectangular band filled with cross-hatching frames the outer corner of his eye and extends along the lower jaw. The side of his nose is decorated

with a circle filled with cross-hatching. His arm is outstretched before him, and his hand holds the middle of a composite offering bundle with five feathers or paper strips emerging from the top and a sacrificial knife directly to the right of the last feather or paper strip. The bundle extends below his hand in the form of a bunch of sticks with smoke scrolls descending along its sides. A maguey thorn awl is stuck in the top of his wristband. The fourth figure also wears the fancy headdress with the butterfly head at its front (figure 9.17). Directly behind the headdress is a disk with a quincunx inside, indicating the world directions. His eye is normal, and he has two lines around the outer corner of the eye. The side of his nose is decorated with a solid circular dot with tiny dots around it. His arm is outstretched in front of him, and his hand holds the middle of a composite offering bundle with seven feathers emerging from the top. The bundle extends below his hand, which shows it to consist of what appear to be a bunch of sticks with smoke scrolls descending the sides. This figure also has the other hand and part of the arm preserved. The hand has the palm facing upward and outward toward the bundle, suggesting that the bundle is an offering. A maguey thorn awl is stuck in the top of his wristband. The fifth figure has its face destroyed and its fancy headdress fronted by the butterfly head is only partly preserved (figure 9.17). The figure’s arm is outstretched before him, and his hand holds the middle of a composite offering bundle with three feathers or paper strips emerging from the top. Directly to the right of the middle of the bundle is another disk with a quincunx inside, indicating the world directions. A maguey thorn awl is stuck in the top of his wristband. The sixth figure has a fancy headdress that is mostly destroyed (figure 9.17). His eye is normal and his face is painted with simple lines. The figure’s arm is outstretched in front of him, and his hand holds the middle of a composite offering bundle with three small feathers or paper strips emerging from the top. He wears a wristband decorated with cross-hatching that has a maguey thorn awl stuck in the top of it. Pohl (1999:183) simply refers to the individuals in the south mural as “a procession of . . . unnamed deities,” without further comment. Seler (1904:322), however, states that they “are all different forms or calligraphic variants of the sun god.” In support of this, Seler notes that, where they are

preserved, the headdresses fronted by butterfly heads (he calls them “conventionalized birds’ heads”) are virtually identical on all the individuals and that this type of headdress is characteristic of the sun deity.7 But only the fourth figure has face painting typical of the sun deity; in fact, where it is preserved, the face painting of each figure is different, suggesting that each individual is different. Therefore, an alternative to Seler’s interpretation is required. The procession of individuals may represent priests instead of deities or, perhaps, priests impersonating deities. The order in which the priests proceed is significant. The first priest is in a drug-induced trance that has placed him on a supernatural plane where he can communicate directly with the deity or deities for which the ceremony is intended. He also carries the largest offering bundle with the longest feathers or paper strips. In fact, the size of the offering bundles probably reflects the rank of the priest who carries it. The first priest is probably the highest ranking one (huia tao) followed by the second priest (copa pitao), who is in charge of igniting a fire for the ceremony. The next two priests are probably middle ranking (huezaa yeche) because their offering bundles contain shorter feathers or paper strips. The last two priests are most likely the lowest ranking (pigaana) because they carry offerings bundles that contain only three short feathers or paper strips. Because the first priest is in a drug-induced trance, it is also possible that the ceremony being performed is like the one described by Burgoa, where the high priest in a drug-induced trance communicates with Pitao Pezeelao to answer questions from rulers concerning affairs of state or other problems. Pezeelao was probably portrayed in the damaged west end of the mural toward which the priests proceed. Because all of the priests have maguey thorns stuck in the top of their wristbands, it appears that this ceremony also involves an autosacrificial bloodletting ritual. In these rituals, priests pricked their earlobes, noses, tongues, or genitals in order to draw blood that they captured on feathers or strips of paper. These were then burned as offerings to the gods. All of the priests in the procession, except one, carry bundles of feathers or paper strips used to capture blood. The exception—the second priest—carries a bundle of sticks or a torch with smoke symbols above it, presumably to ignite the blood-smeared feathers or paper strips and send them as offerings to the deity.

THE RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MITLA MURALS To understand the religious significance of the Mitla murals, it is necessary to take into account their architectural context (Pohl 1999:193). Of initial interest is the Tomb 2 mural and the mural on the lintel of the north hall of the south plaza of the Arroyo Group. Both have as a central element a sun disk with the head of Pitao Copiycha, the solar deity, inside. Each has a dwarf associated with the solar disk and a celestial rope extending from it. In both cases, the sun disk rests atop the back of a jaguar, and both murals have a second smaller solar disk to the right of the first. This suggests the possibility that both murals may have a related theme, yet one occurs in a large cruciform tomb (Tomb 2) under the east hall of the south plaza in the Group of the Columns, a temple complex, and the other occurs on the lintel of the north hall of the south plaza in the Arroyo Group, a palace, but probably the ritual area of the palace. The Arroyo Group was most likely the “old” palace of the coqui of Mitla and was probably built, occupied, and remodeled at the time when the coqui tao (great rulers) of Zaachila had established hegemony over all or most of the queche (city-states) in the Valley of Oaxaca and the small mountainous valleys surrounding it—that is, between AD 1280–1440 (Oudijk 2008:105). Pohl (2005:109) has interpreted the mural on the north hall of the Arroyo Group as a “Zapotec cosmology, specifically one relating to the foundation of the royal house of Zaachila by ancestors who descended from the heavens at Monte Albán.” A mural depicting the divine foundation of the royal house of Zaachila in the south plaza, probably forming the ritual area of the palace of the coqui of Mitla, is consistent with Mitla’s role as the principal religious center in the Valley of Oaxaca and Zaachila’s role as the principal political center. It seems likely that the coqui tao of Zaachila provided much of the funding for the construction and maintenance of the Mitla structures, and it seems possible that the mural was painted to honor Zaachila. Alonso Canseco (1580:151–52) states that the cruciform tomb in the south plaza of the Group of the Columns was the burial place of the coqui of “this kingdom,” leaving it uncertain if he is referring just to the kingdom of Mitla or to Zapotec city-states in general. Burgoa (1989: II, 123) is less ambiguous and states that one tomb was the burial place for the coqui tao of Zaachila and the other for the huia tao (high priests) of Mitla. If this were the case, it is

possible that Tomb 2 was the burial place for the coqui tao of Zaachila, and the Tomb 2 mural included a theme concerning the divine foundations of the royal house of Zaachila similar to the one on the lintel of the north hall in the south plaza of the Arroyo Group. Although possible, it seems highly unlikely that the coqui tao of Zaachila would be transported all the way to Mitla for burial following their deaths. If Canseco was referring to the kingdom of Mitla, as seems to be the case, it is much more plausible to assume that the coqui of Mitla were buried in one tomb and the temple priests in the other. It appears likely that the Tomb 2 mural relates to the role of Pitao Copiycha in a mortuary context, especially knowing that he was invoked during funerary rituals in the seventeenth century and is depicted in a large carving on a 1-meter-square stone door slab to Tomb 11 at Yagul, another mortuary context (see figure 3.4c; Paddock 1955:38, figures 19, 20). The murals of the Church Group occur within the residential quarters (Patio A) of the “new” palace of the coqui of Mitla that may have been constructed and occupied following Zaachila’s loss of hegemony over many of the Zapotec queche in the Valley of Oaxaca and the small mountainous valleys surrounding it between AD 1440–1521 (Oudijk 2008:104–5). During this time, the Zapotec elite of Zaachila moved into Tehuantepec, Mixtecs moved into Cuilapan near Zaachila in the Valley of Oaxaca, and the Aztec empire began its expansion. Pohl (1999:194) has proposed that a number of alliance corridors were formed among Tolteca-Chichimeca, Mixtec, and Zapotec groups extending from Puebla into Oaxaca. Each of these groups had its divine origin myths and, according to Pohl (1999:196), Mitla “did not subscribe to any one of the several competing alliance corridors that defined Tolteca-Chichimeca, Mixtec, and Zapotec factionalism, but rather . . . represented a sacred space in which all were united and recognized as equals.” Canseco (1580:152) likens the huia tao of Mitla to the Catholic pope and Burgoa (1989: II, 121) states that the huia tao was venerated and viewed like a god even by the coqui tao of Zaachila. Coqui from queche throughout the Zapotec region came to Mitla to consult the huia tao concerning affairs of state or other problems. The huia tao went into a drug-induced trance to communicate with Pitao Pezeelao, the god of the underworld, and upon

emerging from the trance delivered the response (Burgoa 1989: II, 123). Evidently, the huia tao could communicate via Pitao Pezeelao with the divine ancestors, who founded the royal houses of the coqui, requesting information and revealing replies. The reputation of Mitla as a sacred city may have spread along these alliance corridors or may have existed throughout Oaxaca and beyond before their formation. It is necessary to recall that the political leaders (coqui and xoana) and the religious leaders (temple priests, second sons of coqui and xoana) were nobles who formed a tightly knit group and, as Burgoa (1989:355) notes, the coqui could act as high priest as well. There was no separation of church and state in Mitla among the Zapotec nobility or throughout Mesoamerica in general. With the above in mind, the murals of the Church Group can be discussed within their architectural context inside the private residential quarters (Patio A) of the coqui of Mitla. Pohl (1999) has proposed that the mural on the lintel of the east room relates to the Mixtec cosmogony in which Mixtec kings (iya) descended from divine ancestors born from the sacred trees in Apoala. He contends that the mural on the lintel of the north room is a Zapotec cosmogony relating to the origin of sacred places in Mitla and its territory. He proposes that the mural on the lintel of the west room is a Tolteca-Chichimeca cosmogony relating to Mixcóatl and the origins of the Tolteca-Chichimeca. Although he does not deal explicitly with the mural on the lintel of the south room, in the earlier analysis I suggested that this mural deals with a ceremony in which the huia tao, in a drug-induced trance and accompanied by copa pitao, huezaa yeche, and pigaana, is preparing to communicate with Pitao Pezeelao to deliver responses to questions posed by rulers. The presence of these murals on the lintels above the rooms in the private residential quarters (Patio A) of the new palace of the coqui of Mitla is consistent with his role. As coqui he would be required to greet visiting dignitaries coming to Mitla and present them to the huia tao. These meetings most likely took place in the north “council” hall with its three entryways in the residential quarters. The murals would be open to any Zapotec, Mixtec, or Tolteca-Chichimeca ruler who visited Mitla to consult with the huia tao. From the triple entryways in the north council hall, the mural of the huia tao and temple priests engaged in a ceremony in which the high priest communicates with Pitao Pezeelao would be clearly visible on the lintel of the south room across the patio.

Although the foregoing is clearly hypothetical and by no means certain, it does offer an explanation for the non-Zapotec deities represented in the murals. Seler and Pohl have clearly identified these deities by relating them to known Nahua or Mixtec representations of deities. Lord 9 Wind EhécatlQuetzalcóatl, Lord 7 Flower Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal-Chantico, Xólotl, Mixcóatl-Camaxtli, Iztpapálotl, Tonatiuh, and Xipe Totec are all non-Zapotec deities that are not recorded in any of the sixteenth- or seventeenth-century documents relating to Zapotec religion yet are portrayed in the Mitla murals. In addition, Pohl (personal communication 2013) has suggested that the Tolteca-Chichimeca, Mixtec, and Zapotec elite shared in the worship of these non-Zapotec deities as part of the elite interaction sphere formed by the alliance corridors but that the Zapotec commoners worshipped their own Zapotec deities. It seems more probable to me that the Zapotec elite worshipped their own deities but for political reasons acknowledged Mixtec and Tolteca-Chichimeca deities.

Notes 1. An anonymous reader of this manuscript suggested the possibility that the temples actually represent the sides of a ballcourt in profile and noted the association of the movement of the sun with ballcourts. Return to text. 2. Seler (1904:256) reports that he and his wife were in Mitla during June AD 1888. Return to text. 3. Díaz (2008:502, figure 14.23–1) suggests the waterfall might represent Hierve el Agua, a site to the northeast of Mitla. A large cave, Cueva del Diablo, also occurs to the east of Mitla and is visited by colaní who make offerings there to this day. Return to text. 4. The upper part of the original east end of the mural is preserved intact. Near its beginning is an annual date 1 Reed that can denote the beginning of time (Pohl 1999:186), suggesting that this is the first part of a narrative. Also, in another scene, two individuals are shown descending from heaven with mountains and temples on their backs. Following this scene, the mountains and temples are depicted in place on the ground. If the reading were from left to right, the mountains and temples would first be on the ground and later, descending from heaven. Return to text. 5. Unfortunately, Seler does not specify how large a gap occurs between Pezeelao and Lord 9 Wind, which is unfortunate because it is difficult to determine if they are facing one another in battle or if another figure or series of figures occurs between them that they are attacking together as allies. In some cases, but not the present one, the gaps Seler illustrates can be determined from the photographic foldouts (desplegados) of these murals that accompany the study of Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez (2005:268–337). When the distances between gaps illustrated by Seler are determinable, these distances are cited. Return to text. 6. Díaz, Piñeirúa, and Rodríguez (2005:310) cite these as three feathers. Return to text. 7. Although the butterfly head fronting the headdress does occur on images of the sun deity (Tonatiuh), it is also present fronting the headdresses of other deities, including Xochipilli, Xochiquetzal, Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl, Cintéotl, Tonacatecuhtli, Mayahuel, Chalchiutlicue, Yacatecuhtli, and Tlazotéotl, as seen in Codex Borgia. Therefore, it is not restricted to the sun deity. Return to text.

10 Religion in Ancient Zapotec Society

Religion was an integral part of ancient Zapotec society. The pantheon of major Zapotec deities and the Zapotec cosmos, a hierarchical temple priesthood and community priests, rituals and ceremonies both within and outside temple contexts, nobles invoking deceased deified coqui as intermediaries with the deities, sacred bundles, and sacred and solar calendars were the principal components of Zapotec religion. The Zapotec cosmos structured the Zapotec view of the world that included the surface of the earth or the House of the Earth (yoo yeche layo or laoyoo), divided into the four world quarters—east, north, west, south—and the center. Above the surface of the earth were nine heavens, the uppermost of which was called the House of the Sky (yoo yaba or yohoyebaa), which was likewise divided into the four quarters and the center. Below the surface of the earth were nine underworlds, the lowest of which was called the House of the Underworld (yoo gabila or yoho gabila), and it too was divided into the four quarters and the center. It is most likely that the deities Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, Lord and Lady of the Hereafter, resided in the ninth and lowest underworld, Córdova’s lichi Pezeelao, or House of Pezeelao. It is likewise possible that the consort pair Pitao Cozaana and Pitao Huichaana, the creator deities “who made the mountains, trees, and rocks” and created the animals, fish, and men, resided in the House of the Sky, although this is less certain. Where the major deities were located with respect to the Zapotec cosmos remains unknown. Major Aztec deities occupied the different heavens and the levels of the underworld were hazard stations through which the dead must pass to reach eternal rest in the lowest level, inhabited by the deities of the hereafter, Mictlantecuhtli and Mictecacíhuatl. It is unknown if the Zapotecs possessed similar beliefs. THE CALENDARS AND THE COSMOS

The piye, or sacred calendar of 260 days, was thoroughly integrated within the Zapotec cosmos. The twenty days swept horizontally like the second hand of a clock from east (xi) to north (zobi) to west (tzaba) to south (niti) through the four quarters of earth, sky, and underworld, with five days alternately appearing in the xi east (Chilla, Zee, Niza, Quiy, Xoo), the zobi north (Laa, Laana, Tella, Peche, Lopa), the tzaba west (Lalaa, China, Loo, Naa, Lape), and the niti south (Lachi, Lapa, Piya, Loo, Lao). The cociy, or 13-day periods, moved vertically through the cosmos but more slowly, like the minute hand of a clock, from the House of the Earth to the House of the Sky to the House of the Earth to the House of the Underworld to the House of the Earth to complete a five cociy cycle or a 65-day cociyo period. The 65-day cociyo periods moved horizontally through the cosmos very slowly, like the hour hand of a clock, from east (Cociyo 1 Chilla, 1 Alligator) to north (Cociyo 1 Laana, 1 Death) to west (Cociyo 1 Loo, 1 Monkey) to south (Cociyo 1 Loo, 1 Eye) as they passed through the four quarters of earth, sky, and underworld. The east cociyo (1 Chilla, 1 Alligator) began and ended on an east day and began and ended on a cociy emerging from the House of the Earth. The north cociyo (1 Laana, 1 Death) began and ended on a north day and began and ended on a cociy emerging from the House of the Sky. The west cociyo (1 Loo, 1 Monkey) began and ended on a west day and began and ended on a cociy emerging from the House of the Earth. The south cociyo (1 Loo, 1 Eye) began and ended on a south day and began and ended on a cociy emerging from the House of the Underworld. The pattern is clear, but its significance is not. Presumably, the priests had to take into account the positions of the day, cociy, and cociyo within the cosmos in determining their prognostications. The thirteen numbers related to the days were ruled by the deities of the thirteen day numbers that carried the day from midnight to noon and their nine companion deities that carried the day from noon to midnight. Their positions were certainly taken into account by the colaní in making their prognostications. However, their relationship to the Zapotec cosmos is unknown. Although among the Aztecs, some experts associated the deities of the thirteen numbers with the thirteen heavens and the nine companion deities with the nine levels of the underworld, Alfonso Caso (1971b:337) cogently declares, “This point . . . is debatable” and “this hypothesis does not appear

to me to be demonstrated.” Furthermore, there appear to be only nine heavens in the Zapotec cosmos and not thirteen, as among the Aztecs and Maya. The yza, or solar calendar of 365 days, is not as easily understood within the context of the Zapotec cosmos. However, the year bearers were certainly related to the four quarters of earth, sky, and underworld. Xoo (Earthquake) years were related to the east and were fertile and healthy years; Laa (Lightning) years were related to the north and were variable; China (Deer) years related to the west and were good for human propagation; and Piya (Soaproot) years related to the south and were excessively noxious, dry, and hot (Burgoa 1989: I, 289). Perhaps the priests had to take into account the positions in the cosmos of the year, as well as the cociyo and cociy within which a day occurred, in order to make their prognostications. THE ZAPOTEC DEITIES The major deities in the Zapotec pantheon were certainly well known to all Zapotecs who had reached the age of reason. Although only twelve major deities can be identified from the documents with certainty, there had to be at least thirteen deities of the day numbers, and probably a few more major deities existed as well. These deities gave meaning to the Zapotec cosmos and to Zapotec life. Presumably the limits of the sky and the earth had been measured and fixed by the God Thirteen, principal deity of all the deities, known in Sola Zapotec as Liraa Quitzino, among the Sierra Juárez Zapotec as Betao Ichino, in the Los Peñoles region as Natoriño, among the modern Loxicha communities as Ndozin, and perhaps as Huetexi Pea to the sixteenth-century Valley of Oaxaca Zapotec. The earth was landscaped with mountains, rocks, and rivers and populated with plants (trees), animals, fish, and men by the two creator deities: Pitao Cozaana, patron of hunters and fisherman, and Pitao Huichaana, patroness of women and children. Pitao Copiycha, the sun deity, provided life-giving sunlight for men, animals, and plants. Cociyo, the rain deity, watered the fields where cultivated plants supplied sustenance for the people; and Pitao Cozobi, the maize deity, insured bountiful harvests of ripe maize, the “staff of Mesoamerican life.” Pitao Paa enriched merchants and spread happiness and good fortune. Pitao Xoo released earthquakes and

Pitao Ziy caused misfortune, misery, and disease. Pitao Peeze sent omens and was patron of sorcerers and thieves. Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya, Lord and Lady of the Hereafter, received the dead in the House of the Underworld, helped people overcome diseases and epidemics, and aided city-states (queche) in their wars with enemies. To the Zapotecs, these deities caused everything that happened. The documentary evidence for the role of the ancestors in Zapotec religion is also present. It is known that the Zapotec nobility invoked a recently deceased and deified coqui at his gravesite to intercede with the deities on behalf of the community in a crisis situation, but the document does not mention noble ancestors or even the founding ancestors of the recently deceased coqui being invoked. A sixteenth-century document also mentions that the tombs had names, which probably related to the ancestors buried therein, and also that certain living persons were in charge of the tombs, probably marking the importance of the tombs as a ritual locus for invoking the ancestors. It is also known that carved stone statues were made of Zapotec ancestors, but the Relación de Nexapa is not specific about whose ancestors and does not mention them as being invoked to intercede with deities. An early eighteenth-century document from the Sierra Juárez gives a fairly detailed account of ceremonies involving a sacred bundle in which the entire community participated in a crisis situation, but the document does not mention to whom the sacred bundle belonged. It may be assumed that it belonged to the coqui, whose ancestors were being invoked to intercede with the deities, but this is not mentioned in the document. The same document also mentions other sacred bundles and states that they were the “root and trunk of their ancestry” and that turkeys were sacrificed and their blood smeared on the bundles, but for what reason is left unstated. Presumably it was to invoke the ancestors to intercede with the deities on behalf of the community or family with the sacred bundle. Much remains to be discovered about the role of elite ancestors in Zapotec religion. It seems clear that they were invoked to legitimize the role of the ruling class to intercede with deities when the community faced a crisis. At such times, nobles and priests in public ceremonies invoked the ancestors to intercede with the deities to end the crisis.

THE ZAPOTEC PRIESTHOOD Zapotec priests were an integral part of Zapotec society. There were two categories of priests: temple priests and colaní, or community priests. Temple priests staffed the temples (yoho pehe) of the capital and communities within the city-states. Being second sons of nobles, they were aligned with the political elite of these city-states. They resided near the temples in which they served and were celibate. Their meals were prepared and served by “vestal virgins” or virgin women (peni gona yona) who attended them and worked for the temple. Young male adolescents entered the priesthood and served an unknown number of years as apprentices, or pigaana, “those dedicated to the gods,” learning the rituals and ceremonies from the senior priests they assisted. Following this apprenticeship, they evidently became “ordained” as huezaa yeche, “builders of pyramids,” or adult priests. Once they were old and experienced priests, they became copa pitao, or “guardians of the gods.” Within the hierarchy of temple priests— from pigaana to huezaa yeche to copa pitao—the huia tao was the high priest, or “he who sees all,” but it is uncertain how he attained this position, whether appointed by the coqui or selected by consensus from among the copa pitao. The colaní were not directly associated with the temples. During the seventeenth century they lived with their wives and families in the barrios, or neighborhoods, of the communities they served, and it appears likely that they did the same in Prehispanic times. Likewise, they appear to have been commoners who served the religious needs of other commoners. They were experts in the use of the sacred calendar and acquired their knowledge as apprentices to established colaní during the seventeenth century and probably also in Prehispanic times. Colaní were most commonly the sons (but occasionally the daughters) of colaní, but evidently any commoner who could find a colaní tutor could study to become a colaní. However, Barbara Tedlock (1992:53) reports that among the present-day Quiché Maya, individuals had to be born on certain days of the sacred calendar or experience certain illnesses or dreams to become eligible, and the Zapotecs may have had similar requirements. Being commoners, the colaní were aligned with other commoners.

CEREMONIES AND RITUALS According to the Relación de Guaxolotitlan (Huitzo), some twenty-five priests (pigaana, huezaa yeche, copa pitao, and the huia tao) staffed the principal temple in the capital of the city-state. Throughout the year, the huia tao and his staff held a number of major religious ceremonies at the principal temple within the capital that involved the participation of all the citizens within the city-state. A major ceremony in honor of the patron deity of the city-state, usually Pezeelao, was held on a specific day assigned to him in the sacred calendar, perhaps the last day of the ritual cycle, 13 Lao or Pece Lao, his probable namesake. Because this day was in the sacred calendar of 260 days, it was a moveable ceremony with respect to the solar year and could even occur twice within a given solar year, although 260 days apart. This ceremony involved a human sacrifice, usually a war captive, and was accompanied by feasting, drinking, music, and dancing, as were all major ceremonies. Other major ceremonies involving human sacrifice were those invoking Cociyo, the rain deity. These ceremonies involved the sacrifice of a child to bring rains following the sowing of crops and the sacrifice of an adult to insure a bountiful harvest during the growing season. In the event of a drought, an additional child or children were sacrificed to bring rain. These ceremonies were geared to the agricultural cycle (May through September) and therefore scheduled in accordance with the solar calendar or as circumstances demanded. Two other major ceremonies related to the agricultural cycle involved Cozobi, the deity of maize. The first occurred just before planting the cornfields in the spring and the second upon harvesting the maize crop in the fall. The first ears harvested from each field were dedicated to Cozobi, and presumably the finest ear of corn was considered his essence and retained for future ceremonies prior to planting in the spring. According to Seler (1904:300), these major ceremonies to Cozobi involved human sacrifices and included feasting, drinking, music, and dancing. Another major ceremony involved the beginning of the Zapotec new solar year; which deity or deities were invoked is unknown, although documents report feasting, drinking, music, and dancing, and one document cites the first

sacrifice of the new year to an unnamed deity. A major celebration was certainly conducted at the beginning of a new 52-year solar calendar round. The Aztecs celebrated the beginning of a new calendar round with the New Fire Ceremony. It involved extinguishing all fires and having the priests start a new fire on the chest of a sacrificial victim and then distributing the new fire to all the communities, neighborhoods, and houses (Vaillant 1961:195– 96). Unfortunately, there is no documentary evidence relating how the Zapotecs celebrated the beginning of a new calendar round. An additional major ceremony involved the confessions of sins committed over a year by citizens of the city-state. However, whether this meant a solar year or a ritual year of 260 days is not known, nor is the deity who absolved these sins. This ceremony is not reported to have been accompanied by feasting, drinking, music, and dancing but did involve autosacrificial bloodletting rituals and offerings of precious feathers on a large circular mat woven from a special plant. During each of the eighteen 20-day months of the solar calendar, major ceremonies may have been conducted at the principal temple in the capital of each city-state that probably involved all or most of the citizens.1 Unfortunately, it is unknown which deities were honored during these ceremonies. According to Francisco Burgoa, one major ceremony honoring the dead occurred in November, the twelfth month of the Zapotec calendar. The Aztecs had two consecutive months—the tenth and the eleventh—in which ceremonies honoring the dead occurred: Miccaihuitontli, “Small feast of the dead,” from July 23 to August 11, and Hueymiccaihuitl, “Great feast of the dead,” from August 12 to 31 (Caso 1971b:340–41). The first was in honor of Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec patron deity and the second honored Huehuetéotl, the old god of fire. Documents from the Sierra Juárez indicate ceremonies and offerings to Pitao Cozaana during February and Pitao Xoo during May. Although the Zapotec deities honored during these monthly ceremonies are mostly unknown, it is certain that the ceremonies involved feasting, drinking, music, and dancing. David Tavárez (2005) has reported ritual songs in early eighteenth-century documents from the Sierra Juárez that relate to Zapotec deities. It seems likely that these ritual songs were sung at one or another of these ceremonies honoring each of these deities. In Zapotec, the

songs were called dij dola nicachi, or “wooden drum songs,” and were performed in a plaza in front of the entire community by musicians (belao in Zapotec) including singers who sang the songs to the beat of wooden drums (nicachi in Zapotec; teponaxtli in Náhuatl). The deities honored in the songs include Liraa Quitzino (Betao ichino), the God Thirteen or principal deity of all deities; Pitao Copiycha, the sun deity; Cociyo, the rain deity; Pezeelao, deity of the hereafter; Pitao Huichaana, the creator goddess; and Pitao Cozobi, the maize deity, and his wife, Xonaxi Cozobi (Tavárez 2005: table 3). Apart from being scheduled, certain other major ceremonies were occasioned by events. When the coqui of a city-state died, a major public funeral ceremony was held and evidently conducted by the huia tao and his staff. Burgoa (1989: II, 123–24) states that the coqui was attired in his finest clothes, feather capes, and headdress, and wore necklaces of gold and precious stones. In his left hand was a shield and in his right the javelin he used in war. They played very sad and somber music and, sobbing, carried him to his resting place while singing about his life and deeds. Unfortunately, he does not mention the activities of the priests in these funeral ceremonies. Fray Juan de Córdova (1578a:92) states that the huia tao conducted a major ceremony upon the investiture of the new coqui, but he does not specify how the high priest conducted this ceremony. It is likely, but uncertain, that the huia tao and the copa pitao performed the same types of rituals for the coqui and nobles that the colaní performed for the commoners—that is, consulting the ritual books to name their children, determine appropriate marriage partners, cure illnesses, and reveal the meanings of omens and dreams. Finally, the documents report that temple priests devoted a considerable amount of time to worshipping the deities in their temples. They continually burned copal incense as offerings before their statues. They also practiced autosacrificial bloodletting, drawing blood from their earlobes, tongues, noses, and genitals and offering it to or rubbing it on the statues. They sacrificed dogs, turkeys, quail, and other birds and offered their blood to the deities along with flowers, precious feathers, and jewels. In addition, they fasted for periods of time with the aid of tobacco as they prayed before the statues and ingested hallucinogenic drugs to receive visions and messages from the deities and to communicate with them.

The colaní used their ritual books to serve the needs of commoners, although it is possible that nobles consulted them as well. Tavárez (2008:75) notes that seventeenth-century colaní separated their ritual activities into del común (communal) and de particulares (individual). The communal role was almost certainly taken over by colaní following the conquest, when the Spaniards eliminated the temple priests, who had conducted communal rituals and ceremonies in Prehispanic times, and their temples. Therefore, it seems probable that colaní primarily dealt with individuals in Prehispanic times and with commoners in particular. Colaní were involved in the life of every Zapotec commoner from the day they were born until the day they died. Colaní gave Zapotecs their principal names based on the day in the sacred calendar on which the latter was born. The infants’ vocations were likewise predicted by colaní. When children reached the age of reason, colaní introduced them to their tona, or animal companion, who accompanied them throughout life. When people planned to marry, colaní determined the compatibility or incompatibility of the couple and predicted if their first child would be a boy or a girl. Upon pregnancy, colaní predicted if the child would be born alive, die, or be gravely ill. Following birth, the colaní performed the ritual of the sweat bath for the new mother and sacrificed a turkey to Pitao Huichaana in the new parents’ home. Any serious illness or injury that a person suffered required consultation with a colaní, who would determine from the sacred calendar the deity responsible and perform the necessary rituals to appease that deity. Cociyo was considered to cause most injuries, such as broken bones, while serious illnesses were generally attributed to Cociyo, Liraa Quitzino (the God Thirteen), Pitao Huichaana, Pitao Paa, and Pitao Pezeelao. In addition, colaní requested that the afflicted person or a family member take an offering to the temple priests to pray to the deity to complete their recovery. When a person died, the family consulted colaní who offered sacrifices to Pitao Pezeelao, to keep further death and disease away from their doors, and to Pitao Huichaana, to purify the room in which the deceased had succumbed. Additional sacrifices were made to Pitao Copiycha, the solar deity; Xonaxi Quecuya, the consort of Pitao Pezeelao; and Liraa Quitzino, the God Thirteen.

The omens and dreams a person experienced were interpreted by colaní who consulted ritual books and determined the deity responsible, usually Pitao Peeze, the god of omens. If an object were lost or stolen, colaní were contacted to secure its recovery. Colaní were also consulted regarding propitious days for merchants to begin their trading expeditions, for hunters and fishermen to undertake their hunting or fishing expeditions, and even for persons who planned to construct a new house. ZAPOTEC TEMPLES During the Postclassic, the Zapotecs worshipped in two different types of temples. One was a traditional Classic-style temple called a TPA (templeplaza-altar) that consisted of a tall pyramidal platform with a small, narrow single or double room temple on top. This pyramidal temple was usually located on the east side of a plaza with an altar at its center and the other three sides surrounded by low platforms. The platform opposite the pyramidal temple, usually located on the west side of the plaza, was taller than the platforms adjacent to it and had a wide staircase ascending it from outside the plaza and descending it on the opposite side into the plaza. This was the only access into or out of the temple complex, and no priestly residences were directly attached to this type of temple complex. Postclassic Zapotecs either made use of older Classic period TPAs or constructed new ones to carry out certain rituals and ceremonies. Evidence indicates that human sacrifices were conducted in the temples atop the pyramidal platform, and funerary rituals for the elite were also carried out within some of these temple complexes. The other type of temple was a Postclassic Zapotec innovation called a TRPA (temple-residence-plaza-altar). It consisted of large temple halls located on three sides of a large plaza that sometimes, but not always, had an altar in its center. The fourth side of the plaza had a low platform with no building atop it but with wide staircases ascending it from outside the temple complex and descending it on the opposite side into the plaza. This was the only access into or out of the temple complex. The temple halls were built atop low platforms, 2 meters to 3 meters high, which were accessed from the plaza below by wide staircases. Greca mosaics—with multiple designs that

remain an enigma—decorated all the exterior walls. The north temple hall was usually the largest (at least at Mitla and Yagul), and presumably the most important, and probably housed the principal deity or deities of the city-state. A priestly residence was attached to one of the temple halls and accessed through an L-shaped or zigzaggy corridor, with an entrance located in the back wall of the temple hall. The corridor led to a small patio with four rooms around it in which the priests resided. It is possible that these four rooms were designed as living quarters for the four ranks of priests who staffed the temples—the neophytes, the younger adult priests, the elderly priests, and the high priest. Many of the city-state’s major religious ceremonies were conducted within the TRPA temple complexes. The temple halls probably housed statues of many of the major Zapotec deities placed in niches in the rear wall directly behind the central entryway. These were the places where most of the members of the city-state probably attended the eighteen different monthly ceremonies throughout the solar year and where individuals brought offerings to temple priests to pray to specific deities to address their needs. These were the temples where the Zapotec new solar year and new 52-year calendar round were most likely celebrated and where people came to confess their sins each year. These were the temples in which temple priests offered the deities copal incense and their own blood from autosacrificial bloodletting rituals. These were the temples where priests sacrificed dogs, turkeys, and quail and offered precious feathers and jewels to their deities. These were the temples where priests fasted and ingested hallucinogenic drugs to receive visions from the deities and communicate with them. Mitla was called the Vatican of the Zapotec religion by Spanish chroniclers. The Group of the Columns temple complex (TRPA) at Mitla is an architectural masterpiece and is rightly world renowned. The Hall of the Columns was dedicated to the Zapotecs’ principal deity, Pitao Pezeelao. Attached to this temple hall was the Patio of the Grecas, the residence of the huia tao, likened by Spanish chroniclers to the Catholic Pope. In all, there are six large temple halls around two large plazas in the Group of the Columns at Mitla, indicating the supreme importance of this center for Zapotec religion. Apart from the Hall of the Columns, it is unknown what Zapotec deities may have been worshipped in the other five temple halls. However, the east hall

of the south plaza, or the Patio of the Tombs, is nearly as large as the Hall of the Columns and probably housed an important Zapotec deity or deities. The large cruciform tombs beneath the north and east temple halls of the Patio of the Tombs indicate that funerary rituals were conducted for the elite, probably the high priest and the royal family, within the south plaza. Likewise, the ancestors of the coqui were probably invoked to intercede with the deities within the south plaza and in the temples above the tombs. It is possible that the statues of deities and the 300 sacred bundles found in the Cueva del Diablo (Romero-Frizzi 1994:237–38) came from the Mitla temples or tombs and were hidden in the cave following the conquest. The Mitla TRPA is a very special place, and it was unlikely rivaled or duplicated by any other city-state in the Valley of Oaxaca. CONCLUSIONS On the eve of the Spanish conquest, the Zapotecs lived in numerous contiguous city-states, or queche, distributed throughout the Valley of Oaxaca and the surrounding mountainous regions, extending into the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. These contiguous city-states formed what Mogens Herman Hansen (2000:16) calls a city-state culture that consists of a number of neighboring city-states that occupy a region and whose members generally speak the same language and have a centuries-long history of interacting with one another. Zapotec religion was a very important unifying factor both within the Zapotec city-state and within the larger Zapotec city-state culture. Arthur A. Joyce (2010:56–63) has made a compelling argument that religion among the Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and Chatinos served to legitimate the elite. His argument is sound, reasonable, and certainly correct. However, religion encompassed more than legitimating the elite. It also served to create a unifying force within any given Zapotec city-state. Ceremonies across entire city-states, organized by the elite—the temple priests and political leaders—probably occurred every twenty days in honor of one or another of the Zapotec deties. Both commoners and the elite participated in these ceremonies—the elite as active participants and the commoners as participant observers who enjoyed the music, feasting, and perhaps dancing that accompanied these ceremonies. In this manner, the temple priests brought

the worship of the deities to the public, and the colaní, who were commoners, reinforced the worship of these gods throughout the life of every commoner by making apparent these deities’ influence over the commoners’ daily lives. Worshipping the same deities was an important integrative force shared by all in each Zapotec city-state. A common religion also united the many different Zapotec city-states that composed Zapotec city-state culture. They all worshiped the same deities and probably participated in the same ceremonies. However, the integrative force for Zapotec city-state culture centers on Mitla and the worship of Pitao Pezeelao. According to Alonso Canseco (1580:149), Pitao Pezeelao and Xonaxi Quecuya were worshipped in Mitla as well as in all the valleys and towns throughout the Zapotec region. Pitao Pezeelao appears to be a Zapotec patron deity in the same manner that Lord 9 Wind was the Mixtec patron deity and Huitzilopochtli the Aztec patron deity. Francisco Burgoa (1989: II, 121) mentions how all the coqui and nobles from city-states throughout the Zapotec region came to Mitla to see the huia tao, whom Canseco (1580:152) likens to the pope of Zapotec religion. The religious importance of Mitla cannot be overstated. In the twentieth century, pilgrims still came to Mitla seeking pieces of stone from the ruins to take home as sacred relics (Howard Leigh, personal communication, 1979). Likewise, twentieth-century Zapotecs in the Sierra Juárez believed the souls of their dead resided in Mitla and traveled on the backs of grasshoppers to visit their hometown on the Day of the Dead (Leigh 1960:3). Even in the twenty-first century, colaní from as far away as Miahuatlán continue to make offerings at the Cueva del Diablo near Mitla (Robert Markens, personal communication, 2011). Other neighboring city-state cultures, such as the Mixtec (Lind 2000), did not share the exact same deities with the Zapotecs (Furst 1978), had a different patron deity (Lord 9 Wind), different sacred cities (Apoala, Achiutla, and Chalcatongo), and a structurally different type of priesthood (Pohl 1994), setting Zapotec city-state culture apart from neighboring Mixtec city-state culture. The ancient Zapotec ritual calendar also served to integrate Zapotec citystate culture. Every Zapotec was named after a Zapotec day name in the sacred calendar, and these day names were in Zapotec. Near the end of the Late Postclassic, the day signs in some areas seem to have changed to conform to Mixtec and Aztec day signs but retained their original Zapotec

names; the Aztec day sign House was still called Owl in Zapotec even though it was designated by a glyph for House. Likewise, unlike other known Mesoamerican sacred calendars, the 13-day periods in the Zapotec sacred calendar were not governed by deities but emerged from houses in the Zapotec cosmos. Furthermore, unlike other known Mesoamerican religions, the Zapotec cosmos had only nine heavens above the earth, not thirteen. Also, apparently unlike other regions, the Zapotecs introduced new types of temples (TRPA) within which to worship their deities and house their temple priests, as evidenced in Mitla and Yagul. All the Zapotec city-states shared these factors, which helped integrate Zapotec city-state culture through common names, identical sacred calendars, the same conception of the cosmos, the worship of the same deities, and unique temple complexes formed by long halls that were different from other neighboring city-state cultures. The debate about whether Mesoamerica had a unified religion or different religions will probably continue into the future and will likely depend on whether or not one adopts a structural or content-based viewpoint. Structurally, much unifies Mesoamerican religions: a pantheon of deities, the sacred calendar of 260 days, the solar calendar of 360 days, the association of the calendars with the four world directions, and the different levels of the cosmos. However, when viewed from a fundamental content-based perspective, many differences occur, some of which have been mentioned above. For example, the Zapotecs did not have exactly the same deities as the Nahuas or Mixtecs, their sacred calendar did not have its 13-day periods ruled by deities, and their cosmos had only nine heavens. Furthermore, their unique TRPA temples were apparently different from other regions of Mesoamerica. Nevertheless, it could be argued that changes were occurring in Zapotec religion that brought it more into alignment with Nahua and Mixtec religious practices. The solar calendar among Zapotec city-states seems to have been undergoing a change during the Postclassic. Initially, the Zapotecs appear to have adopted the Mixtec year glyph at some point following the Classic period in AD 850, but precisely when is not known. They retained their year bearers Xoo (Earthquake), Laa (Lightning), China (Deer), and Piya (Soaproot), as indicated by the carved doorjambs from a looted tomb in Huitzo that manifest the Mixtec-style year glyph in association

with the Zapotec year bearer Laa (see figure 3.5a). Later, some Zapotec citystates seem to have adopted the Mixtec and Aztec year bearers (Reed, Flint Knife, House, and Rabbit), at least during the Late Postclassic, as shown by the murals of the Church Group in Mitla. This suggests that the Zapotecs were aligning their solar calendar with the Nahua and Mixtec solar calendars. The appearance of the Nahua and Mixtec year bearers in some Zapotec city-states presumably coincided with the presence of some Nahua and Mixtec deities, as indicated by the murals of the Arroyo Group and Church Group in Mitla. Lord 9 Wind, patron deity of the Mixtecs, occurs ten times in the murals of the Church Group in Mitla (eight times in the north mural and twice in the east mural) and also occurs on two polychrome vessels from Tombs 1 and 2 at Zaachila. Likewise, Lord 7 Flower-Xochipilli occurs on two polychrome vessels, one from Tomb 1 in Zaachila and one from Miahuatlán, as well as in the murals of the Church Group in Mitla. In addition, the Nahua deities Xipe-Totec, Mixcóatl, Itzpapálotl, Xochiquetzal, Tonatiuh, and Xólotl appear in the Mitla murals. This likewise suggests that the Zapotecs were adopting Mixtec and Nahua deities and thus aligning their religion with Mixtec and Nahua religion. Victor de la Cruz (2002b:279) has suggested that during the Late Postclassic, merchants and soldiers of the Aztec Triple Alliance spread Nahua religion throughout Mesoamerica, leading to a unity of Mesoamerican religion. This could account for changes in the Zapotec solar calendar and the presence of Aztec deities in the Mitla murals and a Zaachila tomb. However, these deities were not limited to the Aztecs but also occurred among the Eastern Nahuas (Tolteca-Chichimeca) of Tlaxcala and the Valley of Puebla. Their presence in the Mitla murals and Zaachila tomb is therefore best explained by John M. D. Pohl’s (1999) idea of Tolteca-Chichimeca, Mixtec, and Zapotec alliance corridors. In fact, Mixtec and Nahua deities are only known from the Mitla murals and Zaachila tombs. Zaachila was the primary political center and Mitla the principal religious center of Zapotec city-state culture, precisely the places that were in these alliance corridors (Pohl 1999:194, figure 8.10). Nevertheless, not all of the Zapotec city-states adopted the Mixtec and Nahua year bearers. Many retained the original Zapotec year bearers, as the

late seventeenth-century calendars from the Sierra Juárez make clear. Furthermore, none of the colonial documents cites any of the Mixtec or Nahua deities with regard to the Zapotec pantheon of deities. Zapotec religion was unique to Zapotec city-state culture and different from the religion of the Nahuas or of Mixtec city-state culture. Religious practitioners generally view their religion in concrete fundamental terms, not in more abstract structural concepts. Although structural similarities exist with other Mesoamerican religions, practitioners of Zapotec religion certainly regarded their religion as different from other Mesoamerican religions, which contributed to a common identity within Zapotec city-state culture. Virtually all the Zapotec city-states worshipped the same deities, had Pitao Pezeelao as a patron deity, and recognized a single city, where the souls of their dead resided, as their most sacred and holy center of religion: Mitla, “House of the Jaguar, House of Pezeelao.”

Note 1. The Aztecs had these “monthly” ceremonies, but in a few it appears that only nobles participated. Again, John M. D. Pohl (personal communication, 2012) considers these ceremonies to be characteristic of the Nahua, not the Zapotecs or Mixtecs. Return to text.

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Index

Acosta Saignes, Miguel, 4, 78, 79, 80, 81, 353 action theory, 2 Acuña, René, 24, 33, 34n9, 353 Adobe Group, Mitla, 117, 118, 128–31, 133, 134, 138, 139, 157, 159, 160, 164n18, 206, 208, 209, 210 Alcina Franch, José, 4, 7, 16, 37, 41, 47, 49, 57, 66, 71, 72n7, 100, 105n36, 106n37, 215, 232n2, 235, 236, 237, 239, 240, 267, 268, 269, 270, 274, 281, 289n21, 353 alleyway, 172, 174, 176, 180, 185, 187, 208, 209 alliance corridors 335, 336, 337, 352 altar, 28, 47, 48, 49, 72n8, 77, 80, 85, 88, 89, 92, 97, 102n12, 103n22, 111, 112, 113, 115, 120, 128, 129, 145, 146, 156, 157, 159, 162n6, 162n10, 167, 176, 188, 197, 198, 199, 200, 206, 209, 210, 227, 228, 347 altepeme (city-states), 272 alter egos, 20, 22, 29, 34n14, 39, 42, 45, 46, 55, 59, 64, 69, 226, 227, 229, 288n10 amole, 223 ancestors, 6, 16, 30, 31, 33, 41, 45, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 69, 75, 95–98, 100, 101, 105n33, 152, 154, 158, 159, 174, 187, 201, 215, 250, 281, 299, 334, 336, 342, 349 ancestor worship, 1, 53 Anders, Ferdinand, 98, 220, 353 animal sacrifice, 47, 50, 59, 62, 75, 84, 86, 90, 91, 92, 97, 98, 99, 100, 217, 222, 224, 225, 231, 342, 346, 348 animated being, 15 animatism, 7, 9, 10, 11n10 antechamber, 67, 122, 152, 163n13, 186, 200, 213n11, 214n16, 291, 292 Apoala, 308, 309, 336, 350 apprentices, 80, 81, 217, 343 archaeomagnetic dates, 214n15 Archivo de Indias, Seville, 235 Archivo General de la Nación, Mexico, 38 armor, 69, 312 Arroyo Group, Mitla, 59, 118, 131, 132, 133–38, 142, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 163n15, 184, 210; murals, 293–301, 302, 334, 335, 351 Asensio, Gaspar, 25, 26, 34n10, 57, 85, 87, 91, 353

astronomer, 137, 296, 300 Atepec, 26, 31, 33, 34n8, 35n20 atlatl, 312, 313, 314, 327, 328, 329 Atzompa, 162n8 autosacrificial bloodletting, 75, 84, 87, 89, 95, 189, 190, 197, 304, 331, 334, 344, 346, 348 awls, 67, 184, 299, 304, 305 ayuntamiento (town hall), 154, 161n4 Aztec, 3, 6, 11n1, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21, 22, 27, 29, 38, 55, 64, 65, 67, 69, 70, 73n18, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 94, 98, 158, 203, 204, 223, 234n13, 281, 282, 299, 300, 304, 311, 312, 318, 319, 321, 322, 327, 329, 335, 340, 341, 344, 345, 350, 351, 352 Aztec III ceramics (Tenochtitlan Black on Orange), 192 Aztec calendar, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 247, 248, 249, 250, 261, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 272, 286, 287n3, 288n10, 289n22 Aztec century, 269 Aztec new fire ceremony, 281, 344 ball court, 22, 167, 198 Balsalobre, Gonzalo, 8, 37, 38, 39, 41, 43, 46, 47, 48, 101n5, 216, 217, 230, 231, 232, 232n1, 234n16, 235, 242, 353 Bandelier, A. F., 128, 164n24, 354 baptism, 109 Baptista, Fr. Mariano, 50, 73n17, 354 barranca, 224 Barrientos, Catalina, 72n17, 140, 141, 143, 146, 147, 149, 192, 292 barrio, 215, 227, 228, 229, 234n13, 343 barrio headman (collaba), 5, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 234n13 Batres, Leopoldo, 164n25 batten, 62, 63, 172, 184 Bazquez, Diego, 98 beads, 11n10, 122, 127, 174, 178, 180, 204, 213n11, 294, 302, 309, 312, 318, 319, 327, 328, 329, 330 beans, 100, 221, 223, 225 Becaloo (Pezeelao), 25, 26, 27, 82, 91 Becelao dao (Pezeelao), 43 bedrock, 131, 152, 213n3 bego, 70 Belachina (3 Deer), 26, 31, 33, 50, 85, 97 belao, 345 bench, 178, 188,

Benelaba (7 Rabbit), 26, 31, 33, 49, 50, 85, 97 Berlin, Heinrich, 7, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 56, 57, 62, 67, 69, 72n2, 72n3, 72n5, 72n8, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 354 Bernal, Ignacio, 7, 16, 20, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 65, 73n19, 110, 114, 119, 120, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 163n13, 163n14, 163n16, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 180, 183, 184, 187, 199, 200, 213n3, 213n6, 299, 300, 354, 355, 362 betao, 13 Betao çoxana, 45 Betao ichinoo, 41, 341, 345 Betaza, 47 Bexu, 44, 250, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 260 Bezelao (Pezeelao), 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 35n15, 35n20, 44, 82, 85, 87, 90, 91, 102n17 Bichana, 43, 250, 255, 256, 257, 258, 259, 269 Bichasena (Copiycha, Lguichoriñe), 42, 254 bi-fifth, 269 bigaña, 81, 82, 83, 85, 87, 91, 102n14, 102n15, 102n16, 103n18, 108, 161n4, 164n26 birds, 19, 76, 84, 86, 88, 91, 92, 97, 98, 217, 218, 237, 240, 302, 307, 308, 333, 346 bird-men, 307, 308 birther, 16, 32, 57 birth order name, 219 bishops, 215, 216 Bixanos, 236 Blanton, Richard, 359 bloodletting, 67, 75, 84, 87, 89, 95, 106n38, 189, 190, 197, 299, 304, 305, 331, 334, 344, 346, 348 bluff, 167, 168, 183 Bogard, Sergio, 33n1 bones, 30, 55, 95, 96, 104n31, 123, 142, 180, 222, 231, 346 Bourdieu, Pierre, 2, 354 boustrophedon pattern, 249, 251, 287n7 bowls, 180, 189, 212n2, 213n11 branches, 304, 305, 306, 307, 315, 329 breath, 8, 14 Brockington, Donald, 178, 186, 201, 213n9, 213n10, 213n11, 233n8, 236, 248, 354, 366 Broda, Johanna, 27, 354

Brumbaugh, Robert, 357 Building U, Yagul, 212n1 Burgoa, Francisco, 9, 11n9, 49, 50, 66, 72n9, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 88, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 97, 101n1, 101n3, 101n4, 101n6, 102n7, 102n8, 102n9, 102n11, 102n12, 103n20, 103n21, 103n22, 103n23, 104n29, 154, 157, 211, 215, 216, 219, 233n6, 263, 264, 268, 271, 272, 273, 281, 289n18, 289n19, 307, 322, 334, 335, 336, 341, 345, 350, 354, 356 burial 1, South Group, Mitla, 119 burial 2, South Group, Mitla, 119, 122 burials, 81, 96, 122, 159, 160, 163n12, 176, 178, 182, 184, 185, 194, 195, 196, 208, 209, 210, 212, 213n5, 214n15, 214n16 Burkhart, Louise M., 4, 219, 354 butterfly, 22, 23, 240, 241, 318, 319, 327, 331, 333, 338n7 Butterworth, Douglas, 24, 354, 364 Byland, Bruce E., 98, 354 cabecera, 104n29, 234n12 cabildo, 234n12, 235 cacao, 223 cajetes, 189, 190, 194 calendar name, 31, 32, 53, 219, 220, 221, 299 calendar round, 50, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 281, 344, 348 Calli, 239, 241, 266, 282 Calneck, Edward E., 289n20, 354 Camaxtli (Mixcoatl), 329, 337 candles, 41, 45, 47, 48, 218, 219, 222, 223, 225, 227, 229, 231, 235n17 Canseco, Alonso, 25, 26, 30, 44, 57, 67, 77, 78, 82, 85, 86, 90, 103n18, 104n25, 108, 109, 110, 111, 116, 131, 145, 154, 158, 160n3, 161n4, 161n5, 162n7, 210, 335, 336, 350, 354 Canseco, Juan, 28, 31, 35n16, 53, 55, 56, 57, 72n14, 97, 322, 364 capes, 80, 81, 296, 345 capilla, 43 capital, 5, 24, 27, 30, 84, 93, 94, 95, 116, 167, 234n12, 342, 343, 344 Carmichael, James H., 38, 355, 362 Carrasco, David, 27, 354 Carrasco, Pedro, 142, 225, 231, 248, 287n5, 287n6, 355 carved bones, 55, 62, 63 carved stone human heads. See stone heads Caso, Alfonso, 3, 4, 7, 11n1, 16, 20, 23, 29, 31, 39, 44, 45, 46, 51, 52, 53, 61, 64, 67, 71, 73n18, 110, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 126, 127, 131, 132, 133, 138, 142, 152, 154, 162n12, 163n16, 165n29, 192, 213n8, 214n13, 217, 237, 238,

239, 240, 247, 248, 250, 261, 263, 264, 265, 269, 272, 274, 278, 282, 286, 289n20, 291, 292, 293, 294, 299, 300, 311, 322, 341, 345, 355 Castillo, Cristóbal, 261, 265 Catholic, 48, 49, 75, 76, 79, 116, 128, 142, 148, 161n5, 215, 271, 281; cardinals, 78; pope, 76, 78, 336, 348; priests, 50, 84, 88, 95, 104n31, 218 caves, 47, 49, 50, 51, 73n21, 85, 89, 97, 98, 99, 253, 287, 298, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 315, 316, 324, 329, 330, 337n3, 349 Caxonos, 92, 236 Ce Ácatl (1 Reed), 311 celestial, 295, 298; eyes, 192, 301; rope, 293, 296, 298, 301, 322, 323, 334 Central Group, Yagul, 168–75, 180, 183, 184, 185, 209 ceremonies, 1, 4, 10, 11, 11n1, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 101, 104n28, 126, 154, 157, 160, 204, 206, 209, 212, 215, 216, 217, 226, 232n2, 263, 274, 281, 339, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 352n1 Chadwick, Robert, 287n1, 360 chalchihuites, 8, 11n6, 49, 82, 92, 103n17 Chalco, 272 Chance, John K., 287n2, 355 Chantico, 59, 239, 266, 319, 337 chasuble, 76, 84 Chatinos, 231, 349 chía, 100, 105n36 Chiapas, 114 Chichicapa, 5, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34n8, 85, 86, 87, 97 Chicomoztoc, 329, 330 Chila phase. See Late Postclassic chilies, 100, 225 China, 266, 267, 269, 281, 340, 341, 351 chiy, 265 chocolate, 223, 319 Cholula, 78, 80, 81, 83, 126 Christ, 48, 49, 109, 227 Christian deity, 16, 17, 18, 48 Christianity, 2, 3, 4 chronology, 110 churches, 15, 48, 49, 75, 101n1, 215 Church Group, Mitla, 116, 117, 131, 132, 138–55, 156, 157–59, 160, 161n5, 163n15, 164n24, 164n25, 183, 184, 188, 210, 211, 214n13, 282, 291, 294, 351; murals, 301–34, 335, 336, 351 Church of San Pablo, Mitla, 138, 161n5

Cintéotl, 338n7 circular eyes, 204, 295, 298, 305, 306, 307, 315, 326, 327, 329, 331 circular mat, 92, 93, 344 city-state (altepeme), 5, 6, 24, 27, 30, 33, 49, 50, 66, 67, 78, 84, 93, 95, 105n34, 112, 114, 116, 209, 227, 228, 263, 272, 274, 281, 289n20, 289n22, 334, 335, 342, 343, 344, 345, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352; culture, 3, 7, 349, 350, 352 civic-ceremonial center, 167, 168, 169 civic-residential structure, 155, 157, 184, 197, 211 classic period, 3, 51, 62, 73n18, 101, 110, 111, 118, 122, 125, 126, 128, 163n16, 194, 199, 208, 209, 212, 281, 288n10, 321, 347, 351 claw vessels, 123, 189 cleft, 298 Cline, Howard, 272, 355 Cline, Mary, 272, 355 Coatlán, 5, 26, 31, 33, 34n8, 38, 50, 85, 86, 96, 97, 231, 248 Cobicha (Copiycha), 42 Coccus cacti, 226 cochineal, 64, 216, 226, 231 cociy, 38, 237–42, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 261, 262, 264, 340, 341 Cociyo (rain deity), 7, 9, 10, 11n2, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 34n6, 44, 47, 48, 52, 53, 54, 56, 62, 63, 84, 85, 91, 94, 101, 111, 142, 159, 198, 199, 209, 222, 225, 231, 241, 249, 250, 251, 255, 262, 263, 266, 282, 283, 318, 321, 341, 344, 345, 346 cociyo (65-day period), 137, 242–47, 248, 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 340, 341 Cociyopii, 77, 97, 101n7, 109 Codex Bodley, 104n26, 308, 318, 355 Codex Borbonicus, 11n1, 13, 237, 238, 240, 247, 355 Codex Borgia, 11n1, 38, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 98, 99, 104n26, 220, 221, 284, 286, 296, 319, 327, 328, 338n7, 355, 356 Codex Colombino, 104n26, 356 Codex Cospi, 11n1, 356 Codex Dresden, 11n1, 356 Codex Egerton, 104n26, 356 Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, 11n1, 356 Codex Laud, 11n1, 295, 356 Codex Madrid, 11n1, 356 Codex Nuttall, 23, 98, 99, 104n26, 299, 308, 309, 356 Codex Paris, 11n1, 356 Codex Selden, 104n26, 295, 356 Codex Vaticanus B, 11n1, 220, 356 Codex Vindobonensis, 93, 104n26, 298, 308, 314, 322, 323, 356

Codex Yautepec, 59, 60, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286 cogaa peo, 267 colaní, 10, 75, 76, 95, 99, 101, 105n35, 215, 216–18, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233n6, 248, 263, 264, 265, 274, 288n11, 289n14, 337n3, 340, 342, 343, 345, 346, 347, 349, 350 collaba, 5, 234n13 columns, 108, 145, 148, 149, 156, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 198, 316 comales, 180 communal fishing, 46, 228, 229, 231 communal hunts, 42, 227, 263 community priests, 10, 76, 95, 99, 215, 216, 339, 342 companion animal, 220, 231, 233n7, 346 companion deities, 247, 249, 261 composite offering bundle, 302, 304, 305, 306, 307, 312, 331, 333 confessions, 38, 39, 42, 46, 47, 92–93, 235, 263, 344 congregación, 176 constellation, 298, 301, 307 convents, 215 copa, 5 copa pitao, 79–80, 83, 84, 88, 93, 97, 109, 145, 211, 333, 336, 343, 345 copal incense, 41, 45, 47, 48, 55, 57, 59, 62, 67, 69, 89, 90, 92, 94, 99, 217, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 304, 320, 346, 348 Copiycha (Bichasena, Lguichoriñe), 15, 17, 19, 32, 34n6, 42, 56, 59–62, 85, 223, 224, 227, 228, 230, 240, 241, 250, 251, 254, 255, 288n10, 292, 293, 296, 298, 334, 335, 341, 345, 347 Coquebila, 25, 26, 34n10, 91 Coquelaa, 42, 254, 261 Coque Cehuiyo, 25, 26, 85, 86, 90, 104n25 coqui, 5, 8, 25, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 43, 51, 53, 66, 77, 78, 80, 81, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100, 109, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162n5, 185, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 230, 234n12, 234n13, 263, 301, 322, 334, 335, 336, 339, 342, 343, 345, 349, 350 Coquiecabila, 43, 46 Coquietaa, 46, 69, 222, 224, 227 Coqui Lao, 15, 20, 69 Coqui Nexo, 27, 31, 32, 33, 82, 86 Coquihuani, 26, 32, 33, 85, 86, 97 coral snake, 313, 314 Córdova, Juan, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 33n1, 34n2, 34n6, 34n14, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 50, 51, 55, 56, 57, 59, 62, 64, 69, 71, 71n1, 72n4, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 107, 215, 216, 219,

220, 221, 222, 230, 231, 233n5, 237, 240, 242, 263, 264, 265, 267, 282, 287n3, 287n4, 288n11, 289n14, 289n15, 289n16, 292, 298, 300, 339, 345, 356, 359, 365 corn, 21, 81, 89–90, 100, 101, 108, 213n6, 217, 218, 225, 263, 344 cornfields, 89–90, 101, 106n38, 344 corn husks, 93 corregidores, 24, 161n5, 234n12 corridor, 176, 178, 190, 348 cotton: armor, 69, 312 cosmology, 298, 299, 334 cosmos, 1, 10, 37, 70–71, 238, 242, 248, 252, 287n6, 339, 340, 350, 351 counselors, 80 Council Hall, Yagul, 114, 167, 185, 187 council halls, 157, 211, 336, 337 Coxana, 45 Cozaana, 15, 16–18, 19, 20, 28, 29, 32, 34n14, 42, 44, 45, 47, 48, 52, 53, 56, 57– 58, 59, 84, 226, 227, 228, 229, 281, 288n10, 318, 321, 322, 339, 341, 345 Cozaana tao, 17–18 Cozichacozee, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 69, 91 Cozobi, 15, 21, 28, 29, 42, 51, 52, 53, 56, 62, 89–90, 225, 241, 250, 251, 255, 341, 344, 345 creator deity, 15–16, 18, 45, 56, 57, 58, 322 crosses, 48, 67 crossroads, 230 cruciform, 105n34, 108, 126, 152, 153, 156, 163n13, 198, 199, 200, 201, 208, 210, 291, 334, 335, 348, 354, 364 Cuacuacuiltin, 80 Cuauhtitlán, 272 cuauhxicalli, 50, 203, 204, 208, 209 Cueva del Diablo, 50, 98, 105n34, 337n3, 349, 350 Cuilapan, 24, 34n8, 335 Cuitláhuac, 272 Culhuacán, 272 culture, 1–2, 217; hero, 329 curado, 162n5 curassows, 302, 306 curses, 252 cyst, 90 Dahlgren, Barbro, 101n1, 356 dance, 64, 90, 91, 92, 97, 300

Day of the Dead, 94, 271, 273, 281, 350 day numbers, 38, 45, 46, 47, 70, 216, 218, 230, 240, 241, 242, 247, 248, 249, 250, 254, 261, 262, 288n10, 340, 341 day signs, 38, 62, 63, 267, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 289n22, 292, 293, 307, 312, 313, 314, 315, 318, 321, 326, 329, 350 decapitation, 57, 59, 62, 64, 67, 69, 82, 86, 92, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227 DeCicco, Gabriel, 56, 236, 248, 249, 250, 366 decorated ceramics, 55 deer, 45, 46, 47, 48, 86, 91, 226, 227, 228, 229, 234n12, 288n10, 312, 326, 327; skin, 11n1, 90; two-headed , 328, 330 deified coqui, 8, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 51, 95, 97, 98, 339, 342 deities, 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11n1, 11n3, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 deity impersonators, 53, 54, 333 de la Cruz, Victor, 2, 3, 34n3, 238, 242, 352, 356, 361, 364, 365, 367 de la Fuente, Beatrice, 357, 362 demon, 11n7, 25, 26, 32, 34n11, 40, 101n2, 102n10, 104n29, 104n30, 109, 158, 232n1, 330 de particulares, 346 del común, 346 Del Río, Juan, 26, 32, 85, 86, 97, 357 designs, 111, 112, 114, 115, 162n8, 348 devil, 8, 25, 26, 27, 30, 35n18, 40, 41, 44, 76, 79, 82, 94, 95, 217, 230, 271 Díaz, Giselle, 354, 356 Díaz, Susana, 291, 293, 296, 302, 309, 311, 314, 324, 326, 329, 330, 337n3, 338n5, 338n6, 357 Diego Luis, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 55, 56, 57, 59, 65, 69, 70, 217, 218, 225, 227, 228, 229, 231, 232, 233n11, 240, 249, 250, 254, 261, 265, 288n10 difrasismo, 16, 21, 50, 64 dij dola nicachi, 345 dimensions, 18, 57, 132, 163n15, 164n21, 164n27, 194 disease, 44, 65, 66, 95, 96, 100, 101, 342, 347 divorce, 221–22 dogs, 86, 90, 91, 92, 94, 97, 98, 217, 218, 228, 346, 348 Don Juan Cortés, 77, 78, 84, 97, 101n7, 109 domingo, 89 dominicans, 215, 216, 235 double cornices, 111, 145, 162n9, 198, 206 dreams, 15, 21, 44, 62, 64, 216, 217, 218, 229–30, 231, 264, 343, 346, 347 Drennan, Robert D., 163n14, 357

drums, 92, 345 drunkenness, 90, 91, 97, 108 dwarves, 61, 230, 292, 293, 298, 334 dynasty, 31, 98, 299 Dzahui, 62, 282, 321 eagle, 293, 298, 313, 327, 330 Early Classic, 110, 119, 125, 126, 164n16, 213n3 Early Postclassic (Liobaa phase), 110, 122, 123, 126, 128, 131, 159, 162n11, 162n12, 163n16, 176, 178, 184, 186, 194, 196, 208, 212n1, 215n15 earspool, 9, 306, 326, 327 East Group, Yagul, 168, 171, 174, 178, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 196, 208, 209, 210 Edmonson, Munro S., 268, 357 Effigies, 9, 28, 51, 52, 53, 54, 64, 65, 67, 68, 72n11, 101, 198, 300 Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl, 29, 54, 239, 266, 295, 304, 311, 315, 316, 321, 322, 337, 338n7 Ejutla, 5, 38, 231 Ekholm, Gordon, 355, 362 El Calvario, 128 El Colegio de México, 14, 33n1 elite, 53, 54, 96, 100, 114, 115, 126, 154, 157, 160, 206, 209, 210, 212, 213n3, 335, 337, 343, 347, 348, 349 elite ancestors, 53, 95, 96, 100, 101, 152, 158, 201, 342 epidemics, 66, 100, 101, 342 epithets, 16, 18, 20, 55, 64 equinox, 171 Eritta, Elena, 357 Esparza, Manuel, 72n17, 354, 357 Espíndola, Nicolás, 9, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 34n11, 34n12, 35n17, 49, 50, 56, 57, 69, 81, 85, 86, 87, 91, 95, 97, 102n14, 102n15, 102n16, 104n30, 105n32, 107, 111, 115, 164n26, 209, 263, 321, 357 Espino, Fray Alonso, 89 Estrada, Alejandro, 210, 214n16, 357 ethnocentric, 9 Etla, 5, 30 evening star, 298, 301, 316, 322 evil god, 20, 64, 250 evolution, 2, 159, 160, 208, 209 extra deity, 247, 249 Exu becena guicha, 252, 253, 257

eye, 14, 38, 47, 174, 222, 239, 242, 246, 266, 292, 293, 295, 299, 302, 305, 306, 312, 313, 315, 319, 320, 324, 326, 327, 331, 333, 340. See also celestial: eyes; circular eyes; ray-emitting eyes eyelash palm pit viper, 312 facial paint, 31, 54, 59, 64, 69, 319, 320, 326, 330, 331, 333 Fahmel, Bernd, 357 famine, 66 farmers, 47, 225 fasting, 91, 95, 217, 222, 223, 224, 227, 229, 265, 346, 348 feathers, 9, 28, 69, 77, 82, 84, 85, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 97, 98, 100, 192, 293, 304, 305, 306, 307, 312, 313, 316, 320, 326, 327, 328, 329, 331, 333, 334, 338n6, 344, 345, 346, 348 feather cord, 292 Feinman, Gary, 359 feasts, 82, 158, 263, 265, 344, 345, 349 Finsten, Laura, 359 fiscal, 87 fishermen, 34n14, 40, 46, 48, 55, 57, 62, 228, 229, 341, 347 Flannery, Kent V. 4, 53, 357, 361 Flint Knife, 250, 262, 266, 267, 281, 282, 293, 314, 316, 318, 351 flint tools, 79, 87, 88, 92, 100, 189, 196 Flores, J. Daniel, 296, 301, 357 flowers, 64, 66, 88, 89, 299, 329, 346 Fogelin, Lars, 2, 357 four quarters of the earth, 18, 41, 57, 59, 67, 242, 246, 252, 261, 339, 340, 341 Franciscans, 109, 162n5 friaries, 215 funerary rituals, 122, 126, 154, 159, 160, 208, 209, 210, 293, 335, 347, 348 Furst, Jill Leslie, 64, 311, 318, 350, 357 gabila, 70, 238, 339 Galindo, Jesús, 137, 138, 301, 357 Gallegos, Roberto, 23, 28, 61, 63, 65, 67, 68, 358 Gamio, Lorenzo, 65, 73n19, 110, 114, 163n16, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 180, 183, 184, 187, 213n3, 213n6, 354 Geertz, Clifford, 2, 358 George, Richard, 25, 108, 358 glottal stops, 14 glyphs, 3, 38, 63, 69, 265, 266, 269, 270, 281, 282, 283, 289n22, 293, 296, 299, 301, 308, 311, 314, 316, 318, 319, 350, 351

gobernador, 234n12 God Nine, 249, 250 God Thirteen, 28, 40, 41, 48, 55, 56, 57, 59, 219, 223, 226, 228, 229, 240, 250, 254, 341, 345, 346, 347 God with the bow in the headdress, 28 gogaa, 267, 269, 273 golaba, 234n13 gold, 49, 54, 61, 62, 88, 89, 96, 127, 160, 284, 345 good and bad days, 218, 237 gophers, 230 GRAB, 33 granary, 180, 213n6 graves, 30, 95, 96, 100, 105n31, 342 great curassows. See curassows Great Temple, 27 grecas (mosaics), 58, 108, 111–14, 115, 122, 127, 128, 131, 134, 138, 142, 145, 148, 152, 155, 156, 162n8, 183, 184, 187, 189, 197, 198, 201, 206, 210, 211, 213n8, 323, 348 Gregorian calendar, 272 Gregorian chants, 284 Grijelmo, Fray Domingo, 88 Group of the Catholic Establishment, Mitla. See Church Group Group of the Columns, Mitla, 105n34, 108, 113, 114, 116, 117, 123, 126, 128, 130, 131, 132, 134, 138, 142–55, 156, 157, 158, 160, 162n5, 162n8, 165n30, 165n31, 187, 188, 189, 190, 195, 197, 198, 210, 211, 212, 214n17, 321, 323, 334, 335, 348 Guatacayo, 26, 32, 33, 85, 98 Guatacazio, 26, 32, 33, 85, 98 Guatemala, 49 Guhdz Bedkol, 316 Guiengola, 115 Guila gola, 252, 253, 259 guild, 228 Guzmán-Villa, Ubaldo, 302, 312, 313, 362 hair, 67, 69, 223, 298, 302, 312, 319, 327, 329 Hall of the Columns, Mitla, 77, 82, 109, 111, 145, 146, 148, 151, 158, 164n25, 187, 190, 291, 348 halls, definition of, 132 hallucinogenic, 91, 95, 346, 348 Hamann, Byron Ellsworth, 126, 358

Hansen, Mogens Herman, 349, 358, 360, 362 Harris, Marvin, 2, 358 headdress, 9, 69, 298, 299, 302, 305, 307, 311, 312, 313, 315, 319, 320, 324, 326, 327, 328, 329, 331, 333, 338n7, 345 Heart of the People, 50 hearths, 174, 176, 178, 180, 184, 188, 191, 227 heaven, 70, 71, 73n18, 287n6, 298, 299, 304, 313, 314, 315, 316, 322, 323, 327, 330, 334, 337n4, 339, 340, 341, 350, 351 hegemony, 334, 335 helmet, 306, 307, 308, 326, 327 heretical, 38, 48 Hermann, Manuel, 22, 358 Herrera, Alicia, 123, 126, 358 Hierve el Agua, 337n3 high priest. See huia tao; Mitla high priest Hill of the Turkey, 315, 316, 318, 319, 321 Hodder, Ian, 2, 358 Hoebel, E. Adamson, 7, 358 Holmes, William Henry, 111, 112, 116, 117, 118, 119, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 129, 131, 145, 148, 152, 153, 158, 163n15, 163n16, 164n18, 164n20, 164n21, 164n25, 291, 358 Horcasitas, Fernando, 25, 108, 358 House of Earth, 70, 238, 240, 243, 248, 249, 287n6, 339, 340 House of the Sky, 70, 238, 243, 248, 249, 287n6, 339, 340 House of the Underworld, 70, 238, 243, 248, 249, 287n6, 339, 340, 342 huezaa yeche, 78–79, 83, 88, 93, 145, 333, 336, 343 huia tao, 76–78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 88, 89, 93, 97, 109, 145, 211, 263, 333, 335, 336, 337, 343, 345, 348, 350. See also Mitla high priest huichàa, 21 Huichaana, 14, 19–20, 28, 29, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48, 50, 56, 57, 58–59, 60, 72n4, 84, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 229, 241, 250, 262, 319, 321, 339, 341, 345, 346, 347 huipatoo, 76, 78, 80, 84, 102n7, 102n8, 103n20 huipiles, 223 Huitepec, 287n8 Huitzilopochtli, 22, 27, 345, 350 Huitzo, 25, 26, 30, 33, 34n8, 62, 63, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 93, 107, 118, 190, 263, 282, 343, 351 human sacrifice, 22, 50, 62, 75, 77, 78, 79, 84, 85, 90, 91, 92, 94, 97, 98, 122, 194, 196, 208, 209, 212, 263, 344, 347 hummingbirds, 67, 241, 313, 314, 319 hunters, 34n14, 40, 42, 46, 47, 48, 55, 57, 62, 92, 226–28, 341, 347

Hutson, Scott, 2, 358 hymnal, 283 ideology, 2 idolatry, 37, 38, 89, 215 idols, 8, 9, 47, 50, 51, 53, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 97, 100, 107, 108, 158 Iglesia Polychrome, 176 iguanas, 226 illness, 25, 26, 27, 31, 59, 66, 67, 69, 96, 216, 217, 218, 222–23, 231, 264, 343, 346 impersonal supernatural force, 8, 9, 33 inanimate forces, 7, 9, 10, 11n10 incense. See copal incense incense burners, 77, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 197, 213n11 indifferent days, 237 Inquisition, 102n7, 161n5 intermediaries, 6, 8, 30, 32, 33, 51, 53, 54, 55, 70, 95, 97, 100, 212, 339 Insoll, Timothy, 2, 358 investiture, 263, 345 Islam, 3, 11n10 Isthmus of Tehuantepec, 5, 14, 142, 349 Itzpapálotl, 239, 327, 328, 330, 351 iya, 104n26, 336 Iztepec (Santa Cruz Mixtepec), 28, 29, 34n8 jaguar, 50, 77, 192, 201, 203, 204, 208, 209, 237, 250, 266, 267, 292, 293, 296, 298, 299, 304, 305, 306, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 320, 326, 327, 334, 352 Jalapa de Marquez, 5 Jansen, Maarten, 22, 98, 220, 353, 358 jars (ollas), 174, 213n11 Jiménez Moreno, Wigberto, 3, 88, 272, 359 Joyce, Arthur A., 349, 359 Juchatengo, 229, 234n14 Judaism, 3 Juquila, 274, Justeson, John, 4, 94, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 242, 265, 267, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 280, 281, 282, 359, 365 King Phillip II, 14, 22 Koran, 11n10

Kowalewski, Stephen, 62, 116, 167, 359 Kubler, George, 111, 112, 114, 153, 359 Laa, 62, 239, 243, 266, 267, 269, 271, 281, 282, 340, 341, 351 Laala, 282 Lachiguirri, 142, 231 Lachirio, 100 Lachixio, 47 Lady 9 Grass, 73n20 Lambityeco, 9, 10, 28, 52, 115, 116, 128, 158, 162n8, 162n9, 162n10, 194, 196, 208, 213n6, 214n15 Landa, Fray Diego, 79, 268 Lapa, 239, 241, 266, 267, 282, 340 Lape, 239, 243, 266, 267, 282, 340 Late Classic, 9, 28, 51, 52, 54, 67, 69, 73n21, 110, 115, 116, 120, 122, 126, 128, 158, 159, 162n8, 162n10, 164n16, 170, 174, 178, 198, 199, 208, 209, 212n1, 213n3, 233n8, 265, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 288n10, 321 Late Postclassic, 3, 110, 116, 126, 127, 128, 130, 132, 159, 160, 167, 170, 176, 180, 184, 195, 199, 201, 204, 206, 208, 209, 210, 212, 212n1, 213n8, 213n11, 214n16, 283, 285, 286, 291, 293, 350, 351, 352 Latin, 14 laxi, 219 Laxoo, 66, 281 Ledesma, Pedro, 28, 29, 359 Lexee, 39, 44, 48, 250 Leigh, Howard, 112, 115, 350, 359 León. Nicolas, 111, 359 Leraa Huila, 40, 43, 44, 46, 250 Leraa Queche, 41, 45, 70, 222, 241 letrados, 216, 217, 232n1, 264, 288n14 Leyenaar, T. J., 358 Lguichoriñe (Bichasena, Copiycha), 42, 250, 254, 255 libations, 219 lichi pezeelao, 19, 50, 339 Licuicha, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 72n2, 228, 250, 254 lienzos, 6 Lind, Michael D., 53, 78, 80, 81, 101, 105n33, 111, 115, 126, 159, 162n6, 162n10, 170, 171, 174, 176, 196, 199, 213n6, 214n15, 217, 233n7, 233n8, 350, 358, 359, 360, 361 Liobaa phase. See Early Postclassic Lipp, Frank J., 287n1, 360

Liraa Cuee, 41, 45, 241, 262 Liraa Quitzino. See God Thirteen Loçio, 40, 44, 47, 48, 250 Lone Ranger–style face mask, 324, 326, 327, 329, 330 Loo, 14, 239, 241, 242, 266, 267, 340 Lopa, 239, 243, 266, 267, 274, 282, 340 López Austin, Alfredo, 4, 8, 9, 11n4, 11n5, 360 López Cruz, Ausencia, 33n1 Lord 7 Flower, 64, 318, 319, 321, 322, 337, 351 Lord 9 Wind, 295, 304, 305, 308, 309, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 321, 322, 323, 337, 337n5, 350, 351 Lords of the Day, 237, 263. See also thirteen deities of the day numbers Lords of the Night. See companion deities Los Fauces del Cielo, 73n18 lots, 216, 217, 218, 220, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227, 229, 264 Loxicha, 142, 225, 231, 236, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 254, 261, 288n10, 341 lunar eclipse, 230, 265 macaws, 86, 98 maestros, 105n35, 216, 217, 232n1, 234n16, 234n17 maguey thorns, 304, 306, 334 maize, 9, 15, 21, 40, 42, 56, 62, 89, 90, 101, 106n38, 216, 225, 226, 232n1, 341, 344, 345 Maldonado, Fray Ángel, 235 mandones, 234n13 Mann, Charles E., 287n1, 360 manos, 184 mantas (cotton cloths), 89, 90, 100, 104n24 Marcus, Joyce, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11n3, 14, 30, 31, 33, 51, 53, 77, 79, 160n2, 357, 360, 361, 364 Markens, Robert, 10, 63, 110, 114, 162n12, 163n14, 213n4, 213n7, 282, 316, 350, 358, 361 Marquina, Ignacio, 58, 68, 145, 148, 361 marriage, 43, 58, 220–21, 231, 263, 264, 346 Mars, 301 Martín, Juan, 100 Martínez, Cira, 54, 111, 157, 163n14, 213n4, 213n7, 282, 358, 361 Mata, Fray Juan, 24, 361 Mateos Higuera, Salvador, 272, 259 Matos Moctezuma, Eduardo, 27, 354

Maya, 3, 4, 11n1, 18, 19, 42, 57, 70, 79, 98, 114, 217, 247, 261, 268, 274, 286, 341, 343 Mayahuel, 239, 266, 338n7 McAuliffe, Dennis, 357 Mdi, 142, 250, 251 Mecca, 11n10 Merchants, 3, 9, 15, 20, 42, 47, 56, 64, 226, 231, 341, 347, 352 Mesoamerica, 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 14, 16, 18, 20, 29, 39, 49, 55, 98, 104n24, 110, 115, 126, 128, 131, 242, 247, 265, 268, 274, 289n20, 296, 298, 330, 336, 341, 350, 351, 352 Mesopotamia, 3 metate, 172, 184, 213n11 Mexico City College, 185 Mezquita, Francisco, 24 Miahuatlán, 5, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34n8, 38, 44, 64, 81, 83, 85, 86, 91, 115, 231, 248, 350, 351 Mictecacíhuatl, 69, 71, 340 Mictlantecuhtli, 67, 68, 69, 71, 73n18, 73n20, 239, 241, 250, 266, 312, 322, 340 Middle East, 3 midnight, 88, 263, 265, 340 Mimixcoa, 329, 330 Mitla, 10, 25, 26, 29, 30, 33, 34n8, 50, 66, 67, 78, 81, 83, 85, 86, 96, 109, 110, 115, 116, 117, 118, 131, 148, 152, 157, 161, 162n8, 167, 183, 184, 197, 209, 213n6, 220, 233n7, 283, 291, 301, 307, 316, 321, 322, 323, 335, 336, 337, 348, 349, 350, 352 Mitla high priest, 66, 76–78, 80, 82, 84, 102n8, 105n34 Mitla murals, 11, 54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 192, 282, 284, 285, 286, 291, 294, 296, 300, 321, 351, 352. See also Arroyo Group: murals; Church Group: murals; Tomb 2 missionaries, 4, 50, 51, 109, 215, 216 mitre, 76, 77, 84, 88, 92 Mixcóatl, 329, 330, 336, 337, 351 Mixe, 287n1 Mixteca Alta, 126, 198, 308 Mixteca de la Costa, 158 Mixteca-Puebla, 55, 59, 62, 65, 67 Mixtec calendar, 282, 283, 289n22 Mixtec codices, 69, 93, 104n26, 287n7, 298, 299, 311, 312, 322 Mixtec day signs, 284, 285 Mixtec deities, 55, 321, 351 Mixtec religion, 4, 98, 104n28

Mixtecs, 7, 19, 24, 64, 65, 98, 126, 272, 282, 286, 304, 335, 349, 351, 352n1 Mixtec solar year, 271, 272 Mixtec style year glyph, 63, 281, 282, 351 Moctezuma, 27 Mohammed, 11n10 mohawk, 67 Monaghan, John, 4, 7, 361 monkey, 14, 239, 241, 242, 266, 267, 286, 298, 340 monoliths, 109, 130, 145, 148, 152, 156 Monte Albán, 51, 54, 111, 112, 115, 116, 126, 128, 159, 162n6, 162n8, 162n9, 162n10, 162n12, 164n17, 206, 208, 209, 269, 270, 281, 282, 283, 284, 299, 300, 335 Monte Albán IIIA period, 213n3. See also Early Classic Monte Albán V period, 110 Monterroso, Tomás, 50 months, 94, 264, 267–73, 281, 344, 345 moon, 265, 293, 296, 314 Moreira, Alfredo, 130, 132, 138, 142, 148, 164n19, 164n27, 165n29, 363 morning star, 298, 301, 316, 321, 322 Motagua Valley, 49 Motolinía, Fray Toribio, 109, 110, 145, 158, 362 Mound 195, Lambityeco, 115, 164n17, 194 Mound M, Monte Albán, 112, 115, 209 mosaics. See grecas Mühlenpfort, Eduard, 118, 126, 127 murals. See Arroyo Group: murals; Church Group: murals; Mitla murals; Tomb 2; Yagul Museo Regional de Oaxaca, 163n16 mushrooms, 91 musical instruments, 90, 97 nacom, 79 naguas, 223 Nahua, 3, 4, 16, 59, 62, 63, 66, 67, 104n28, 219, 261, 282, 286, 289n22, 321, 337, 351, 352 nahual, 22, 50, 64 nahualli, 8 Náhuatl, 14, 16, 21, 25, 27, 33, 79, 223, 307, 311, 345 nanches, 311, 321 Nato, 13, 254, 261 Nato Bilia, 43, 250, 255, 261

Natoriño, 41, 250, 254, 255, 341 Navarijo, María de Lourdes, 302, 312, 313, 362 necklaces, 9, 28, 67, 88, 89, 90, 174, 175, 178, 180, 315, 319, 326, 327, 328, 345 neighborhood, 5, 11, 75, 215, 216, 227, 228, 343, 344 neo-evolutionary approach, 2 neophytes, 80, 83, 93, 145, 348 nets, 228, 229, 296, 326, 328, 329 New Year, 94, 274, 289n20, 344 New Spain, 24, 107, 109 Nexapa, 5, 28, 29, 31, 34n8, 35n15, 41, 53, 55, 69, 96, 97, 283, 322, 342 Nexitzo, 236, 287n2 nicachi, 345 niches, 134, 135, 138, 140, 142, 145, 146, 148, 150, 155, 158, 159, 164n25, 165n30, 165n31, 188, 197, 214n14, 348 Nicholas, Linda, 359 Nicholson, Henry B., 1, 4, 8, 9, 39, 59, 70, 71, 360, 362 night sky, 22, 292, 293, 294, 296, 302, 324, 329, 330 nijo, 219 Niti, 238, 239, 240, 243, 247, 252, 267, 340 Niyoa, 39, 40, 41, 42, 47, 69, 227, 228, 250 nobles, 5, 6, 9, 24, 30, 31, 32, 33, 73n21, 80, 81, 84, 90, 95, 96, 97, 98, 100, 101, 104n31, 105n33, 122, 157, 158, 159, 160, 162n5, 174, 184, 206, 210, 212, 221, 225, 226, 228, 230, 234n12, 261, 263, 322, 336, 339, 342, 345, 346, 350, 352n1 Nochixtlán Valley, 126 Nohuichana, 40, 43–44, 46, 47, 48, 250 Nonachi, 40, 44, 48, 65, 72n4, 250 noon, 263, 265, 340 nopal, 226 Nosana, 42, 44, 45–46, 47, 48, 72n8 Nosanaguela, 46, 47, 48, 69, 229 Nosanaqueya, 45, 46, 69, 226, 227 nose ornament, 58, 318, 321. See also t-shaped nose ornaments Oaxaca, 5, 7, 9, 13, 14, 22, 24, 25, 28, 30, 32, 33, 34n8, 37, 38, 39, 42, 43, 44, 46, 50, 51, 52, 66, 71n1, 72n6, 73n17, 73n21, 81, 101n1, 104n27, 110, 142, 148, 151, 152, 158, 212n2, 215, 216, 217, 218, 231, 232, 235, 236, 250, 265, 281, 282, 283, 299, 302, 312, 313, 334, 335, 336, 341, 349 obelisk, 148 obsidian, 28, 85, 86, 87, 92, 123, 184, 189, 190, 196, 213n11, 327 ocelocóatl, 192

Ocotepec, San Dionisio, 89 Odena, 252 offering box, 90, 142, 164n23, 171, 172, 180, 182, 187, 188, 190, 191, 197, 214n13 offerings, 34m14, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 57, 59, 62, 67, 69, 82, 84, 86, 88, 89, 90, 91, 94, 95, 96, 97, 105n31, 110, 122, 159, 171, 176, 178, 184, 185, 186, 189, 196, 208, 212n1, 212n2, 213n11, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 281, 304, 333, 334, 337, 344, 345, 346, 348, 350. See also composite offering bundle Oliver, James P., 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 192, 194, 197, 213n10, 214n12, 214n14, 362 ollas. See jars omens, 9, 15, 19, 20, 22, 44, 56, 62, 217, 226, 228, 229–30, 231, 264, 266, 342, 346, 347 order and chaos, 4 orientations, 128, 130, 133, 134, 138, 139, 159 Ortner, Sherry B., 2, 362 ossuaries, 96, 152 Osucui, 42, 250 Oudijk, Michel, 5, 6, 24, 32, 89, 96, 98, 102n7, 105n35, 161n5, 334, 335, 362 owls, 19, 21, 27, 28, 34n13, 67, 68, 230, 231, 241, 266, 282, 350 Ozolotepec, 5, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34n8, 69, 83, 85, 86, 87, 91, 100, 115 Paa. See Pitao Paa Paddock, John, 6, 61, 66, 110, 114, 128, 130, 164n18, 184, 185, 186, 187, 189, 190, 192, 193, 194, 196, 198, 200, 201, 204, 206, 208, 212n1, 213n11, 214n16, 286, 293, 335, 354, 355, 359, 362, 363, 366 pagan, 24, 47, 48, 94, 108, 215, 216, 218, 229, 235, 271 Palace of the Six Patios, Yagul, 167, 168, 170, 171, 176, 184, 185, 196, 197, 210, 211 palaces, 1, 4, 5, 9, 29, 77, 80, 81, 82, 87, 97, 110, 114, 115, 116, 126, 131, 132, 152, 155, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161n5, 164n17, 167, 168, 170, 183, 184, 185, 194, 197, 198, 208, 209, 211, 212, 291, 300, 301, 334, 335, 336 panels, 111, 112, 134, 138, 142, 145, 148, 155, 162n8, 189, 198 pantheon, 7, 8, 10, 54, 55, 57, 111, 339, 341, 351, 352 parallelism, 16, 18 parish, 162n5, 216, 235 Parsons, Elsie Clews, 142, 172, 231, 363 Paso y Troncoso, Francisco, 24, 353, 354, 357, 363, 364, 367 passageways, 88, 89, 134, 142, 145, 155, 172, 180, 183, 192, 211 Patio 1 Group, Yagul, 185–96, 197, 198, 208, 210, 211

Patio 4 Group, Yagul, 50, 198–206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 212 Patio A, Church Group, Mitla, 54, 67, 157, 214n13, 301, 335, 336 Patio of the Grecas, Mitla, 77, 82, 145, 146–47, 190, 348 Patio of the Tombs, Mitla, 105n34, 126, 152, 154, 160, 212, 348 patron deity, 22, 27, 31, 32, 33, 35n18, 82, 93, 94, 95, 209, 237, 263, 266, 267, 343, 345, 350, 351, 352 payo, 219 pèe, 4, 7, 8, 160 Peeze. See Pitao Peeze penances, 218, 222, 223, 230, 231 penate, 98, 100, 105n33, 105n35, 174, 175, 178, 180, 187, 212n1 penitents, 299 Peñoles, 5, 13, 34n8, 37, 218, 232n2, 235, 247, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 287n8, 288n10, 341 peo, 265, 267–68 Pérez, Andrés, 98 Pérez, Aurora, 98, 353 Pérez de Zamora, Pedro, 9, 85, 86, 91, 102n13, 363 petate, 213n11, 233n8 petehue, 300 Petela, 30, 31, 33, 70, 95, 104n30, 104n31 Pezeelao (Becaloo, Bezelao), 15, 19, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34n13, 35n18, 43, 44, 46, 50, 52, 53, 54, 57, 66–69, 71, 73n18, 77, 82, 85, 86, 87, 90, 91, 93, 95, 96, 97, 101, 111, 158, 162n7, 209, 218, 222, 223, 224, 230, 241, 250, 251, 255, 261, 262, 263, 312, 321, 322, 334, 336, 337, 337n5, 339, 342, 343, 345, 346, 347, 348, 350, 352 phallus, 174 Pichanagobeche, 25, 26, 27, 31, 34n11, 35n17 Pichanato, 26, 31, 33, 35n19, 70, 97, 105n32 pigaana, 80–81, 83, 87, 88, 93, 97, 145, 333, 336, 343 pigeons, 82, 86, 90, 91 pillars, 109, 112, 132, 134, 138, 140, 142, 145, 148, 151, 155, 156, 157, 175, 176, 178, 180, 187, 190, 197, 211, 291 Pilopia, Juan, 98 pine needles, 100 Piñeirúa, Laura, 291, 293, 302, 309, 311, 314, 324, 326, 329, 330, 338n5, 338n6, 357 pitao, 8, 13, 14, 15, 19 Pitao Copiycha. See Copiycha Pitao Cozaana. See Cozaana Pitao Cozobi. See Cozobi

Pitao Huichaana. See Huichaana Pitao Paa, 15, 20, 42, 47, 48, 56, 64, 65, 222, 223, 226, 240, 241, 250, 251, 255, 261, 262, 318, 319, 322, 341, 346 Pitao Pecala, 15, 21, 64, 69 Pitao Peeze, 15, 20, 22, 44, 48, 56, 62, 64, 84, 226, 229, 230, 241, 250, 251, 255, 342, 347 Pitao Pezeelao. See Pezeelao Pitao Tee, 20, 64 Pitao Xicala, 15, 21, 64, 69 Pitao Xiñe, 20, 64 Pitao Xoo, 15, 19, 57, 66, 281, 341, 345 Pitao Ziy, 15, 20, 44, 48, 57, 64–66, 72n4, 226, 229, 241, 250, 251, 255, 341 Pixee Pecala. See Pitao Pecala Piya, 223, 239, 241, 243, 255, 266, 267, 269, 270, 271, 274, 275, 278, 281, 292, 340, 341, 351 piye, 236, 242, 264, 270, 287n3, 340 plaster sculptures, 9, 10, 22, 34n13, 55, 67, 299 platforms, 78, 111, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 132, 134, 138, 140, 142, 145, 148, 151, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 163n16, 164n18, 164n22, 164n24, 171, 176, 180, 183, 186, 187, 190, 192, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 201, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 296, 318, 320, 347 plazas, definition of, 132–33 Pleiades, 298 Pohl, John M.D., 73n18, 98, 104n28, 114, 292, 295, 298, 299, 300, 302, 308, 309, 311, 315, 316, 318, 319, 321, 322, 323, 324, 327, 329, 330, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 337n4, 350, 352, 352n1, 363 Pope Gregory XVI, 215 Pope Pius V, 215 Popol Vuh, 18, 57 populations, 116, 167, 176 porch, 171, 172 PPA, 115, 116, 118, 126, 128, 131, 162n10, 164n17 processual approach, 2 projectile points, 184 post-processual approach, 2 prayers, 11n10, 159, 221, 224, 225, 229, 252, 253, 254 prickly pear cactus. See nopal procreation, 15, 20, 43, 47, 58 prognostication, 220, 221, 340, 341 protestant, 218

public house, 27, 81, 107, 111, 115 pulque, 91, 99, 105n35, 219, 227, 228 pumpkin seeds, 100 pyramids, 78, 79, 83, 111, 115, 118, 120, 122, 126, 128, 129, 130, 131, 137, 157, 162n10, 164n17, 164n18, 164n19, 198, 201, 203, 206, 210, 343, 347 Quadrangle K, South Group, Mitla, 118–23, 126, 127, 128, 159, 160, 162n10, 164n17, 186, 194, 208, 209, 210 Quadrangle L, South Group, Mitla, 118, 126–27, 128, 160 Quadrangle “M”, South Group, Mitla, 118, 126, 127, 128, 160 quadrangles, 108, 116, 118, 131, 132, 133, 145, 154, 157, 167, 168, 170, 176, 178, 183, 185 quail, 82, 86, 90, 91, 94, 97, 98, 231, 241, 346, 348 queche, 5, 24, 30, 33, 49, 116, 167, 209, 272, 334, 335, 336, 342, 349 Quehuiquijezaa, 81 Quelaguegue, 47 Quelelaa, 47 Quesoquasa, 224 Quetzalcóatl. See Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl Queyachona, 47 Quezelao, 26, 31, 32, 33, 35n18 Quiaacuquiji, 224 quia chilla, 242 quia goloo, 242 quia guilloo, 242 quia lana, 242 Quiaquiy, 48 Quiché Maya, 18, 57, 217, 274, 343 quicholla, 268, 269, 273 Quiechapa, 50, 59 Quiegolani, 49, 89 quihui, 5 quiña. See sacred bundles quincunx, 70, 295, 315, 331, 333 Quiñones-Keber, Eloise, 96, 152, 360, 363 Quiy, 239, 241, 243, 266, 282, 340 Quyebelachi, Francisco, 96 rabbit, 239, 241, 262, 266, 267, 281, 282, 283, 296, 351; 7 Rabbit, 26, 31, 33, 50, 85, 97, 221 radiocarbon dates, 123, 163n14, 176, 180

Ramón, Pedro, 212n1 ray-emitting eyes, 295, 301, 302, 311, 312, 313, 314, 316 rayos, 40, 242, 252 rebuildings, 125, 126, 163n16 Recinos, Adrián, 18, 363 rectory, 142, 148, 301 red plaster floors, 145, 170 reed, 239, 241, 266, 267, 281, 282, 293, 311, 314, 337n4, 351 Relaciones Geográficas, 8, 13, 14, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 33, 39, 43, 49, 66, 69, 72n17, 75, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 87, 107, 118, 209, 263 relics, 90, 350 religion, definitions of, 2 Reyes, Luis, 287n8 ricauto, 252, 253, 254, 255, 288n9 riño, 250, 252, 253, 254, 255, 288n9 Riño bayache, 252 Riño baliche, 252 Riño baliche bece, 252 Riño bece, 252 Río Atoyac, 5 Río Mitla, 118, 127, 128, 131, 134, 159, 160 Ríos, Fray Pedro, 96, 152 Río Salado, 5 ritual books, 38, 70, 217, 218, 219, 220, 222, 223, 225, 226, 227, 229, 230, 232, 235, 236, 242, 250, 254, 268, 269, 270, 272, 281, 282, 287n8, 345, 346, 347 rituals, 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 11n1, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 88, 91, 95, 96, 97, 98, 106n38, 159, 162n6, 216, 217, 218, 220, 222, 231, 232n2, 263, 264, 274, 287n8, 339, 343, 345, 346, 347; Agricultural, 224–26; Bloodletting, 189, 190, 197, 334, 344, 348; Fishing, 228–29; Funerary, 122, 126, 154, 159, 160, 208, 209, 210, 223–24, 293, 335, 347, 348; Hunting, 226–28 Roayaga, Santo Domingo, 49 Robelo, Cecilio, 27, 263 robes, 76, 84 Robles, Nelly, 118, 119, 128, 130, 132, 138, 142, 148, 161n5, 164n19, 164n27, 165n29, 360, 361, 363 Rodríguez, Dionisio, 291, 293, 302, 309, 311, 314, 324, 326, 329, 330, 338n5, 338n6, 357 Rojas, Gabriel, 78, 80, 81, 126, 363 Romero Frizzi, María de los Ángeles, 50, 98, 349, 363 Roogeuii, 321

Rubín de la Borbolla, Daniel Fernando, 23, 110, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 126, 127, 131, 132, 133, 138, 142, 154, 162, 163, 165n29, 213n8, 214n13, 291, 355 Ruggles, Clive, 354, 359 Ruíz Maldonado, Cristóbal, 161 sacred bundles (quiña), 5, 6, 95, 98–100, 105n34, 159, 187, 339, 342, 349 sacred calendar, 3, 11n1, 19, 31, 37, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 50, 59, 65, 75, 93, 137, 216, 217, 218, 230, 233n11, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 242, 243, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 268, 270, 287n1, 287n3, 288n10, 289n20, 340, 343, 346, 350, 351 sacrificer, 22, 23, 78 sacrifices, 14, 28, 30, 41, 46, 76, 81, 82, 83, 84, 90, 95, 97, 98, 108, 192, 218, 230, 263, 274, 281, 344, 347. See also animal sacrifice; human sacrifice sacrificial knife, 28, 67, 85, 86, 87, 92, 296, 298, 306, 312, 328, 331 sacristan, 88, 89, 103n23 Sahagún, Fray Bernardino, 268, 299, 364 Sahlins, Marshall D., 2, 364 Saint John, 48 Saint Matthias, 274 Saint Peter, 48, 229 saints, 10, 49, 75 Saint Simon, 48 Salas, Cristóbal, 26, 32, 33, 85, 86, 87, 98, 364 Salazar, Fray Agustín, 24, 364 salt, 142, 225 sandals, 76, 84 Santamaría, Fray Bernardo, 28, 31, 35n16, 53, 55, 56, 72n14, 96, 322, 364 San Miguel, Fray Luis, 89 Satan, 94 sahumadores, 213 Saville, Marshall, 145, 148, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 165n28, 165n29, 201, 291, 364 Schmidt, Paul, 128, 130, 164n18, 364 scorpio, 298, 301 scorpions, 230, 298 scrolls, 298, 302, 304, 305, 306, 311, 329; flow, 304, 305; smoke, 304, 315, 331; speech, 314, 315, 316, 318, 319, 326, 327, 328 seated burials, 194, 214n15 second sons, 80, 84, 157, 336, 342 Seler, Eduard, 3, 7, 16, 18, 19, 54, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 78, 79, 136, 151, 152, 263, 283, 291, 293, 294, 295, 297, 299, 300, 301, 303, 304, 305, 307,

308, 310, 311, 315, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 324, 325, 326, 329, 332, 333, 337, 337n2, 337n5, 344, 364 Sellen, Adam T., 3, 7, 28, 34n6, 51, 53, 54, 72n11, 72n12, 72n13, 72n15, 72n16, 101, 106n38, 164n25, 288n10, 364, 365 seminary, 81 serpents, 50, 112, 192, 230, 239, 241, 262, 266, 267, 299, 302, 304, 309, 311, 312, 313, 316, 320, 328, 330; fire, 21, 22; water, 114 Service, Elman R., 2, 364 sexual intercourse, 99, 219, 225, 226, 227 sgabgabil, 248, 249, 251 sgablodios, 248, 249, 251 sgablyu, 248, 249, 251 shells, 100, 123, 204, 213n11, 305, 313, 315, 316 shield, 69, 312, 313, 314, 316, 345 shrines, 47, 48 shrouds, 223, 233n8 Sierra de las Minas, 49 Sierra Juárez, 5, 13, 30, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 49, 51, 59, 62, 66, 70, 94, 98, 100, 218, 232, 232n2, 235, 236, 242, 252, 254, 261, 265, 267, 269, 270, 272, 274, 281, 282, 341, 342, 345, 350, 352 sins, 93, 94, 344, 348 skeletal remains, 201, 210, 214n16 sky, 17, 18, 28, 41, 57, 59, 70, 112, 115, 294, 302, 307, 314, 326, 340, 341; night, 22, 292, 293, 294, 296, 302, 324, 329, 330. See also House of the Sky slaves, 84, 91 Smith, Mary Elizabeth, 284, 285, 287n7, 363, 365 Smith Stark, Thomas C., 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 33n1, 34n2, 34n3, 34n4, 34n5, 34n6, 34n7, 34n14, 42, 43, 44, 45, 56, 59, 62, 64, 71n1, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 101n2, 102n9, 107, 160n1, 216, 288n10, 365 social organization, 2 society, definition of, 1 sociocultural system, definition of, 2 Sola (Sola de Vega), 5, 13, 37, 38, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, 71n1, 72n2, 72n4, 216, 217, 222, 226, 227, 231, 234n12, 235, 236, 242, 247, 249, 254, 261, 265, 288n8, 341 solar calendar (yza), 1, 4, 11, 93, 94, 209, 236, 264, 267, 268, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 278, 281, 289n20, 311, 339, 341, 344, 348, 351, 352 solar eclipse, 230, 265 solar year. See solar calendar solstice, 130, 137, 301 songs, 41, 42, 43, 44, 90, 217, 218, 230, 345

soothsayers, 216, 219 sorcerer, 21, 22, 40, 44, 48, 56, 62, 216, 264, 342 South Group, Mitla, 117, 118–28, 159, 160, 162n10, 186, 194, 200, 208, 209, 210 Spanish administrators, 8, 9, 13, 14, 53 Spanish Conquest, 1, 5, 6, 9, 24, 32, 51, 72n6, 75, 78, 80, 83, 89, 97, 100, 101n7, 105n34, 109, 110, 170, 209, 247, 261, 346, 349 Spanish magistrates, 25, 28, 30, 33, 83, 115. See also corregidores Spanish orthography, 14, 38, 218, 236, 267 Spanish priests, 13, 14, 24, 28, 37, 38, 75, 76, 78, 80, 101n1, 161n5 speaking in tongues, 77, 101, 221, 224 spears, 69, 100, 228, 312, 313, 324, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330 spear thrower. See atlatl spider webs, 230 spiny fruit tree, 311 spirit, 2, 8, 14, 22, 64, 66, 99, 159, 212 Spores, Ronald, 126, 364, 365 statues, 8, 10, 31, 47, 48, 49–51, 53, 54, 59, 67, 72n10, 75, 77, 82, 85, 86, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 97, 100, 107, 111, 158, 159, 215, 227, 229, 342, 346, 348, 349 Stela 12, Monte Albán, 269 stone heads, 22, 151, 152, 156, 197, 201, 202 Structure 195-3, Lambityeco, 158 sujetos, 234n12 sun, 7, 19, 39, 42, 82, 137, 293, 307, 337n1, 341 sun bird, 307, 308, sun disk, 292, 293, 296, 298, 299, 334 sun eyes, 295 sun god, 19, 42, 60, 299, 307, 318, 320, 333. See also Copiycha; Tonatiuh sun rays, 294, 302, 311, 318, 320 sunrise, 265, 299 sunset, 224, 265 supernatural being, 8, 11n2, 11n3 supernatural entities, 8, 22, 23, 53 supernatural forces, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11n10, 30, 33, 51, 53, 160n2 supernatural plane, 295, 298, 305, 306, 307, 315, 326, 329, 331 supernatural power, 22 supernaturals, 9, 298, 321, 323 superstitions, 38, 94, 231 Swanton, Michael, 365 sweat bath, 59, 220, 346 System IV, Monte Albán, 115, 209 System 195, Lambityeco, 115, 164n17, 194

t-shaped nose ornaments, 57, 58, 59, 306, 321 t-shaped tombs, 127, 160, 184, 199, 200, 201, 204, 206, 213n8 Tagui, San Juan, 49 tama, 230 Taube, Karl, 4, 268, 365 Taurus, 298 Tavárez, David, 4, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 56, 70, 94, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 242, 265, 267, 269, 270, 271, 272, 274, 275, 281, 282, 345, 346, 359, 365 technology, 2 Tedlock, Barbara, 4, 217, 274, 343, 365 Tedlock, Dennis, 4, 365 Tehuantepec, 5, 8, 14, 34n8, 77, 78, 80, 84, 85, 86, 87, 92, 97, 101n7, 109, 152, 161n5, 273, 300, 335, 349 Teitipac, 14, 34n8, 81, 85, 86, 88, 89, 91, 96, 98, 322 temple priests, 10, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 114, 157, 211, 212, 215, 216, 226, 231, 263, 274, 281, 335, 336, 337, 339, 342, 343, 346, 348, 349, 350. See also copa pitao; huezaa yeche; huia tao; pigaana temples, 1, 4, 27, 28, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 101, 105n34, 107, 109, 110, 111, 114, 115, 116, 118, 126, 128, 145, 152, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 160n2, 163n15, 164n16, 164n17, 167, 168, 184, 187, 190, 194, 197, 198, 204, 206, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 212n1, 214n17, 215, 216, 226, 231, 263, 281, 291, 292, 293, 296, 298, 299, 301, 309, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 334, 337n1, 337n4, 339, 342, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350. See also TPA; TRPA Tena, Rafael, 268, 269, 365 Tenochtitlan, 27, 192, 203 Teococuilco, 8, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 33, 34n8, 35n18, 82, 87, 107, 118 teopixqui, 79 Teotitlán del Valle, 34n8, 85, 91, 110, 111, 115, 307, 308 Tepeyóllotl, 66 teponaztli, 92 tequitlato, 234n13 Texcoco, 272 Tezcatlipoca, 22, 54, 69, 239, 241, 266, 312, 327, 330 theological principles, 4 thirteen deities of the day numbers, 38, 39, 45, 46, 47, 70, 218, 240, 242, 247, 248, 249, 250, 261, 341 Thompson, J. Eric S., 42, 70, 365 throne, 77, 305, 318, 319 Tiacahua, 27, 33, 85, 86, 87, 98

Tibeo, Juan, 98 tiers, 120, 128, 187, 301 Tilantongo, 112 Tiltepeque, 281 Tina, 269, 271, 273 tini, 219 tiniye, 219 Tixe, Francisco, 96 tixi, 219 Tlacatecólotl, 27–28, 34n12, 85 Tlacolula, 5, 9, 14, 25, 26, 29, 30, 33, 34n8, 44, 50, 69, 77, 78, 81, 82, 85, 86, 90, 107, 111, 131, 161n5, 176, 212n2, 236, 307 Tlalixtac, 26, 32, 33, 34n8, 85, 86, 97 Tláloc, 27, 62, 63, 239, 241, 250, 266, 282, 321 tlamacaztoton, 81 Tlaticpaque, 16 Tlaxcala, 326, 329, 352 Tlaxcaltecas, 329 Tlazotéotl, 239, 241, 250, 338n7 tlecuiles, 174. See also hearth Tloque Nauaque, 16 tobacco, 91, 346 Tolteca-Chichimeca, 326, 329, 330, 335, 336, 337, 352 Tomb 1, Mitla, 152, 153, 154, 165n29, 201 Tomb 1, Yagul, 185, 213n10, 214n12 Tomb 1, Zaachila, 22, 23, 34n13, 58, 62, 64, 65, 67, 68, 73n18, 73n21, 299, 351 Tomb 2, Mitla, 59, 61, 152, 154, 165n29, 291, 292, 296, 298, 334, 335 Tomb 2, Yagul, 185, 186, 192, 213n11 Tomb 2, Zaachila, 22, 23, 28, 61, 62, 67 Tomb 3, Lambityeco, 52 Tomb 3, Mitla, 127, 128, 160, 213n8 Tomb 3, Yagul, 163n13, 199, 200, 202 Tomb 3c, Mitla, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 159, 160, 163n16, 200, 201, 210 Tomb 4, Mitla, 213n8 Tomb 4, Yagul, 162n11, 178, 179, 186, 208 Tomb 5, Mitla, 213n8 Tomb 5, Suchilquitongo, 282 Tomb 6, Lambityeco, 52 Tomb 7, Mitla, 22, 23, 122, 123, 159, 178, 186, Tomb 7, Monte Alban, 282, 286 Tomb 7, Yagul, 198, 199, 200

Tomb 8, Yagul, 204 Tomb 10, Yagul, 212n1 Tomb 11, Yagul, 59, 61, 212n1, 293, 335 Tomb 12, Yagul, 201 Tomb 13, Yagul, 212n1 Tomb 15, Yagul, 206 Tomb 16, Yagul, 206 Tomb 22, Yagul, 204 Tomb 23, Yagul, 176, 177, 178, 208 Tomb 24, Yagul, 176, 177, 178, 208 Tomb 29, Yagul, 163n13, 199, 200, 202 Tomb 30, Yagul, 163n13, 199, 200, 201, 202 tona. See companion animal Tonacatecuhtli, 239, 266, 338n7 tonal language, 14 tonalámatl, 38, 218, 242 tonalpohualli, 104n26, 287n3 Tonatiuh, 19, 59, 60, 61, 239, 266, 241, 321, 337, 338n7, 351 Toohua, 267, 269, 273, 275, 281 Torre de Lagunas, Juan, 8, 11n6, 83, 85, 86, 87, 92, 102n7, 103n19, 365 tortillas, 99, 105n35, 180, 223, 225 Totecuyo, 16 Totomachapan, 34n8, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 59, 65, 218, 232n2, 250, 287n8 town hall (ayuntamiento), 154, 155, 157, 158, 208 TPA, 111, 112, 115, 116, 126, 128, 131, 157, 159, 160, 164n17, 167, 206, 208, 209, 210, 212, 347 trance, 77, 295, 298, 305, 306, 307, 315, 326, 329, 331, 333, 334, 336 trecenas, 237, 238, 239, 287n7 trout, 228, 229 TRPA, 111, 113, 157, 160, 197, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351 Truell, Marcia, 62, 359 tunas, 226 turkeys, 15, 20, 47, 57, 59, 62, 64, 67, 69, 86, 90, 92, 94, 97, 98, 99, 100, 142, 217, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 231, 241, 315, 316, 318, 319, 321, 342, 346, 348 tusk-like lip ornament, 326, 327 Tututepec, 32, 158 Tylor, Edward B., 2, 365 Tzaba, 238, 239, 240, 243, 247, 252, 267, 340 Tzotzil Maya, 114

umbilical cord offerings, 171, 172, 174, 178, 184, 185, 212n2 Urcid, Javier, 4, 11n2, 19, 21, 22, 34n6, 53, 55, 59, 60, 64, 69, 101, 111, 157, 159, 162n6, 162n10, 171, 196, 213n6, 214n15, 217, 233n8, 242, 247, 265, 267, 269, 270, 272, 274, 278, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 288n10, 292, 300, 360, 361, 365, 366 urns, 51, 52, 53, 54, 72n11, 101, 198 Ursa major, 298 Urton, Gary, 354, 359 Valencia, Fray Martín, 109 Vaillant, George C., 344, 366 Valle Grande, 5 Valley of Oaxaca. See Oaxaca van Doesburg, Sebastian, 55, 284, 285, 365, 366 van Meer, Ron, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 56, 218, 232n2, 235, 250, 252, 253, 254, 260, 261, 287n6, 287n8, 288n9, 366 vara, 49, 161n4, 274, 289n21 veintenas, 104n28 venison, 226, 227, 228 Venus, 293, 295, 298, 301, 302, 313, 316, 322 veranda, 171, 172, 174 vespers, 82, 265 vestal virgins, 81, 343 vestibules, 178, 179 vigesimal, 131 Villa Alta, 66, 268, 270 Villagar, Francisco, 8, 11n7, 24, 26, 31, 34n18, 56, 78, 82, 86, 87, 103n17, 107, 209, 263, 265, 288n12, 289n17, 366 Villalobos, Alejandro, 112, 366 Virgin Mary, 48 visions, 91, 95, 346, 348 vocation, 219, 346 volatiles, 237, 241, 242 volutes, 266, 311, 312 war, 5, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 66, 69, 313, 321, 342, 345 war captives, 50, 85, 91, 92, 94, 97, 98, 263, 344 waterfall, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 337n3 Wauchope, Robert, 355, 362 Weitlaner, Roberto, 56, 236, 248, 249, 250, 251, 287n5, 366

West Group, Yagul, 168, 169, 170, 171, 174–79, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 196, 197, 208, 209, 211, 213n3 White, Leslie A., 2, 266 Whitecotton, Joseph W., 7, 14, 16, 50, 79, 101n7, 366 Whitecotton, Judith Bradley, 14, 366 white plaster floors, 170, 180 Wicke, Charles R., 163n13, 192, 193, 200, 201, 202, 366 Winter, Cicely, 283, 286 Winter, Marcus, 2, 3, 101, 111, 115, 116, 163n14, 198, 213n4, 213n7, 356, 358, 360, 361, 364, 365, 367 world directions. See four quarters of the earth worldview, 3 Xaaga, 162n8 Xagalasi, San Gaspar, 49 xi, 238, 239, 240, 243, 247, 252, 267, 340 Xicani, 21–22, 23, 64, 266 xicochina pezeelao, 19 Ximénez Ortiz, Juan, 28, 85, 86, 87, 92, 367 xini quela, 21 Xipe Totec, 239, 266, 299–300, 315, 316, 337, 351 Xiuhcóatl, 21, 22 xiuhmolpilli, 269 Xiuhtecuhtli, 22, 248, 250, 266 xoana, 5, 6, 31, 33, 66, 80, 87, 91, 162n5, 225, 230, 234n12, 234n13, 322, 336 Xochipilli, 64, 65, 73n18, 239, 266, 318, 319, 321, 337, 338n7, 351 Xochiquetzal, 59, 60, 239, 266, 319, 337, 338n7, 351 Xóchitl, 239, 266, 282 Xólotl, 54, 239, 266, 315, 316, 321, 322, 337, 351 Xonatzi Huila, 44, 46 Xonaxi, 5, 30, 31, 51, 53, 72n6, 97 Xonaxi Belachina, 26, 31, 33, 50, 85, 97 Xonaxi Gozobi, 42, 62, 345 Xonaxi Quecuya, 26, 29, 30, 33, 35n15, 44, 57, 67, 69, 71, 77, 85, 86, 90, 111, 158, 162n7, 224, 241, 262, 339, 342, 347, 350 xoñi, 219 xoniye, 219 Xoo. See Pitao Xoo Xoo phase. See Late Classic Xuchitepec, 34n8

Yabesoa, 99, 105n35 Yacabe, 252, 254, 255 Yacatecuhtli, 338n7 yagaguichi, 100, 105n37 Yagul, 10, 22, 23, 25, 30, 33, 50, 59, 61, 65, 85, 86, 90, 96, 110, 111, 114, 115, 116, 152, 162n8, 162n11, 163n13, 164n23, 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 179, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 191, 193, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 212n2, 213n6, 214n15, 214n16, 233n8, 293, 335, 348, 350 Yagxoo, 269 Yahui, 21, 22, 23 Yailaha, 100 yalleco, 252, 254, 255 Yaneri, 274 Yanhuitlán, 271, 272 Yatachío, 198 Yautepec, 59, 283 Yaxachi, 100 Yaxoni, 281 year bearers, 269, 277, 281, 282, 283, 286, 293, 341, 351, 352 yee, 219, 233n5 yii, 4 Yobego, 49, 274 yobi, 219 yoho, 5, 6, 95 yoho pehe, 83, 107, 160n2, 212, 342 yoho tao, 15 Yoopechelichepezelao, 50 Yoo gabila, 70, 238, 339 Yoo yaba, 70, 238, 339 Yoo yeche layo, 70, 238, 339 yopiye, 219, 233n5 Yucuñudahui, 126 yuhuitayu, 112 Yupi Quytela, Juan, 98 yza. See solar calendar zaa, 219 Zaachila, 22, 23, 24, 28, 34n8, 34n13, 51, 58, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 73n18, 73n21, 76, 77, 81, 101n1, 101n4, 110, 115, 299, 334, 335, 336, 351, 352

zaaye, 219 zahorí, 248 Zapotecs, 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 18, 19, 21, 28, 29, 38, 39, 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 64, 66, 67, 76, 78, 81, 83, 89, 92, 93, 94, 96, 98, 115, 126, 131, 152, 157, 158, 162n9, 164n16, 170, 171, 209, 215, 217, 219, 220, 221, 225, 231, 237, 247, 261, 263, 265, 268, 269, 272, 274, 278, 281, 282, 283, 286, 287n1, 287n5, 292, 298, 299, 300, 321, 322, 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352n1 Zárate, Bartolomé, 8, 11n8, 26, 57, 82, 85, 86, 87, 92, 93, 107, 190, 209, 263, 288n13, 367 ze gon, 248, 249, 251 Zee, 219 Zeetoba, 81 Zimatlán, 5 Ziy. See Pitao Ziy Zobi, 238, 239, 240, 243, 247, 252, 267, 340 Zoogocho, 274 Zoquiapan, 27, 31, 33, 34n8, 82, 86