|Author||Daniel G. Brinton|
|Publication Date||December 19, 2008|
In accordance with the general object of this series of volumes—which is to furnish materials for study rather than to offer completed studies—I have prepared for this number the text of the most ancient authentic record of American religious lore. From its antiquity and character, I have ventured to call this little collection the Rig Veda Americanus, after the similar cyclus of sacred hymns, which are the most venerable product of the Aryan mind.
As for my attempted translation of these mystic chants I offer it with the utmost reserve. It would be the height of temerity in me to pretend to have overcome difficulties which one so familiar with the ancient Nahuatl as Father Sahagun intimated were beyond his powers. All that I hope to have achieved is, by the aid of the Gloss—and not always in conformity to its suggestions—to give a general idea of the sense and purport of the originals.
The desirability of preserving and publishing these texts seems to me to be manifest. They reveal to us the undoubtedly authentic spirit of the ancient religion; they show us the language in its most archaic form; they preserve references to various mythical cycli of importance to the historian; and they illustrate the alterations in the spoken tongue adopted in the esoteric dialect of the priesthood. Such considerations will, I trust, attract the attention of scholars to these fragments of a lost literature.
In the appended Vocabulary I have inserted only those words and expressions for which I can suggest correct—or, at least, probable—renderings. Others will have to be left to future investigators.
3. [The Gods]
1. Hymn of Huitzilopochtli
2. War Song of the Huitznahuac
3. Hymn of Tlaloc
4. Hymn to the All-Mother
5. Hymn to the Virgin Mother
6. Hymn to the God of Fire
7. Hymn of Mixcoatl
8. Hymn to the God of Flowers
9. Hymn to the Goddess of Artists
10. Hymn to the God of Fishing
11. Hymn of the Otomi Leader
12. Hymn to the Goddess of Childbirth
13. Hymn to the Mother of Mortals
14. Hymn Sung at a Fast every Eight Years
15. Hymn to a Night God
16. Hymn to the Goddess of Food
17. Hymn to the Gods of Wine
18. Hymn to the Master of Waters
19. Hymn to the God of Flowers
20. Hymn to the God of Merchants