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annually to 140,000 loads of mantas and One of the Mexican paintings belongmantillas, besides 19,000 loads of dresses ing to Botturini's collection is very well for women (huipiles and naguas). If, made out, both as to the events recordas stated by Don Fernando d'Alva, each ed and the period when they took place such load consisted of twenty dresses, The history covers a period of 186 the aggregate would amount to an years, and relates to the migrations of a annual tribute of more than three mil- people. It is difficult to ascertain prelions of dresses. This may be exagge- cisely with what years in the Christian rated ; but there can be no doubt that, era this period corresponds. The concompared with the other articles, the clusion arrived at, however, by aid of quantity was very large. All semi- the Mexican dates which are given on barbarous nations are extremely fond each of the paintings, as well as the of external ornaments; and it is pro- number of years that each event filled, bable that the personal property of the is that the annals embraced in the paintwealthy Mexicans consisted principally ings terminated between the years 1247 of articles of dress. When Montezuma, and 1251. Clavigero gives the date of at the request of Bernal Diaz, gave the year 1245. We therefore have him an Indian girl, he told him: “This events recorded in this painting that ocis the daughter of one of my principal ocurred from the year 1061 to 1247, or nobility ; treat her well, and her friends 186 years. Mr. Gallatin suggests the will give you gold and mantles, as much publication of this Mexican painting enas you can desire;” and the emperor tire, as it is the most important of all that gave him at the same time three plates have come down to us. Lord Kingsof gold and two loads of mantles. borough has given it in his magnificent
Amongst the miscellaneous articles work on the Antiquities of Mexico, but we find copal, amber, shells, Indian- the rarity and great expense of this, rubber, cochineal, 4000 bales of cotton, places it beyond the reach of all save 4000 reams of paper (eight plegos per the most wealthy, and these are seldom ream), 13,500 chocolate and cacao interested in subjects of this kind.* drinking-cups, 4000 deer, tiger, and After pointing out the most important bird-skins, 577 stands of arms, 54,000 facts that have been obtained from the loads of reeds for arrows and other uses, Mexican pictures and hireoglyphics, upplanks, timber, and lime, 31,000 hand- on which reliance can be placed, the fuls and twenty bags of feathers, forty author arrives at the conclusion that, strings, &c., of precious stones, 530 as records of historical events, few of copper axes and 80 copper bells. To them possess much interest.
Judg. these must be added a moderate quantity ing of the value of the historical reof gold; to wit: two shields, two collars, cords which may have been destroyed, a diadem, a head net, sixty cups of dust by those which have been preserved, gold, each containing two almozadas, the loss is perhaps less to be regretted sixty tissues (texuelas), one inch wide than is generally supposed. That and as thin as a wafer, and ten tablets which is preserved consists so much of twenty-four inches long, three inches what has been properly called picture wide, as thick as a skin.
writing : the bieroglyphics of the signiThe aggregate of the annual tribute ficant names of days, places, and perof articles of food, maize, frijoles, and sons, have preserved such similitude gnautli, amounts to about 600,000 with the objects intended to be reprebushels. With the exception of the sented ; those which, like that of nature, dresses, the amount of the other items have a symbolic character, are so few', makes up a very large sum. It seems that it may be doubted whether the improbable that the tributes here enume- perfect art of writing of the Mexicans rated were only those which were enabled them to keep records more deapplied to defray the expenses of the tailed or instructive than those exhibited court of Montezuma, of the priests, of in Mendoza's collection, and in the the nobility, and of numerous inferior Codex Tellerianus. attendants.
“ Whatever may have been the value
We are gratified to learn that a copy of this splendid work in seven very large folios, with the plates colored in imitation of the original paintings, is in the pos. session of our townsman James Lenox, Esq.
of the Mexican paintings destroyed by prior to the twelfth century. The most the Spanish clergy, it has now been ancient actually designated, is that of shown that those which have been
pre- the year 1246.
He gives the served contain but a meager account of names, duration of reigns and dates, as the Mexican history, for the one hun- he received them from the oral commadred years preceding the conquest, and nications of the best informed Indians hardly anything that relates to prior in each place respectively." events. The question naturally arises, The coincidence between the statefrom what source those writers derived ments of this author and the Mexican their information, who have attempted painting belonging to Botturini's collecto write not only the modern history of tion, heretofore described, is a strong Mexico, but that of more ancient times ? evidence of the correctness of the date It may, without hesitation, be answered, affixed to the latter. that their information was traditional. Another early writer on Mexican bisThe memory of important events is tory was Don Fernando D'Alva Ixtlilxogenerally preserved and transmitted by chitl, the Indian interpreter of the Vicesongs and ballads, in those nations royalty of Spain. He begins with the which have attained a certain degree of fabulous accounts of the Mexicans recivilisation, and had not the use of let- specting the successive ages of the ters. However blended with fable and world and renewals of the sun. The poetical ornaments, the truth may still destruction of the world by a flood, the in many instances be extracted.' Un- existence of giants, and other traditions, fortunately, if we except the hymns of form a part of his history. He dates the great monarch of Tezcuco, which the arrival of the Toltecs' in Old Tiaare of recent date, and allude to no his- pallan, from California, in the year 387 torical fact of an earlier date than his after Christ. The reigns of various own times, no such Mexican remnants sovereigns, their wars, conquests, and have been transmitted to us, or at least civil history, together with the periods been published. On the other hand, the in which they respectively took place, recollection and oral transmission of are given with great precision. events may, in Mexico, have been aid- “ The account given by Fernando ed by the hieroglyphics, imperfect as D'Alva shows clearly that the knowthey were. Thus, those of the signifi- ledge of these events was not derived cative names of a king and of a city, from any painted records, kept at the together with the symbol of the year, time when the supposed events took would remind the Mexicans of the his. place, but from a vague tradition disfitory of the war of that king against gured by fables.
He was evithat city, which had been early taught dently credulous and ignorant. He behim, whilst a student in the Temple. lieved in the miraculous feeding of milIt appears to me indubitable that the lions of people, without suspecting that, knowledge of their code of laws as de- if true, it was miraculous ; and he mainscribed in the most valuable memoir oftains seriously that, three hundred years Zurate, must have been transmitted before the time when he wrote, it was orally in some snch manner, and could no unusual occurrence amongst his annot have been expressed intelligibly by cestors to attain the age of 300 years." their hieroglyphics alone.”
Subsequent writers have attempted Among the early Spanish writers to reconcile the gross inconsistencies of was Sahagun, a Franciscan monk, who D'Alva ; and Clavigero, in speaking of went to Mexico in the year 1529. His him, says, that "he was so cautious in work is considered among the best, as writing, that, in order to remove any well as the most ancient authority. It grounds for suspicion of fiction, he made is referred to and quoted by modern his accounts conform exactly with the writers, though it has been but lately historical paintings, which he inherited published.
from his illustrious ancestors.” Yet, in “ The most remarkable feature in the course of his history, he rejects Sahagun's historical notices is, that he, D'Alva's dates, and substitutes others, the most early Spanish author who as being more consistent with common collected Indian traditions and paintings, sense. whilst his accounts are substantially the Mr. Gallatin proceeds to examine the same as those of subsequent writers, works of the several writers on Mexico, does not attempt to give a single date comparing their statements, and shuf.
ing discrepancies were they occur. He of their foundation.” Some of the has exhibited the principal events in ruins of Central America and Yucatan Mexican history in tables, with the are to be classed with the older Mexican dates assigned them in Mendoza's col- monuments, though the majority are lection, in the Codex Tellerianus, and doubtless to be assigned to the age imby the historians Acosta, Siguenza, mediately preceding the conquest. “The D'Alva, Sahagun, Veytia and Clavi- style of the sculpture and ornamental gero. A great discrepancy appears in architecture of the edifices of Mitla in the dates of those who go back beyond Oaxaca, of Palenque, and Yucatan, apthe middle of the 13th century, but from pears superior to that of the Mexican that time to the conquest there is not monuments; and there is a far greater much variation in the dates assigned to number of buildings in a tolerable state particular events. But even these va. of preservation in Yucatan than in riations our learned and correct author Mexico. This last circumstance is deems inexcusable.
accounted for by the fact, that the “ If the difference of dates between Spaniards in Mexico almost universally the several authors, even for the events occupied the sites of the Indian towns, which took place within one hundred which they utterly destroyed, and on years of the Spanish conquest, throws their ruins erected new cities.' some doubts on the authenticity of the The origin of civilisation among the documents from which they were de- Mexican nations forms one of the most rived, there can be no doubt with re- interesting chapters in this learned esspect to more ancient times. It is say, as the conclusions arrived at are evident that the accounts given by the deduced from a rigid investigation inseveral authors are not derived from to their languages, arithmetic, science, any contemporaneous historical records, history, chronology, etc., although our and are purely traditional. Facts may space will not permit us to go into debe misunderstood or misrepresented by tail
as much as we wish to. contemporaneous writers.
But men The most striking points of resemwho keep a diary, priests charged with blance between the Americans and the the care of recording facts as they oc- inhabitants of the other hemisphere recur, cannot be mistaken as to the dates fer to Asiatic countries. The physical of such plain and simple facts as the type of the Americans more nearly death of a king and the accession of his approximates to that of the Eastern successor, which take place in their Asiatics than with that of other natown and under their eyes. We may tions. Their proximity, or greater fasafely conclude, therefore, that within a cility of communication is in favor of few years after the conquest, there did Asia. Some of the manners and cusnot exist a single original historical toms of our aborigines bear a striking painting, in which events prior to the resemblance with those of some of the 15th century were faithfully recorded Asiatic nations, but when the test of under the proper date."
language is applied, not the least resemMr. Gallatin believes that a civilisa- blance is apparent, either in etymology tion much more ancient than the Mex- or grammatical construction. Philoican and Tezcucan dynasties existed in logy has not yet enabled us to draw any that region. "The memory was pre- positive inferences on the subject, nor served of the dismemberment of an is it probable that vocabularies alone ancient monarchy as extensive as that can throw any light on it. We find in of the Mexicans, and founded by a America more than an hundred lanpeople of the same language and family. guages which, however similar in The monuments still existing, which structure, differ entirely in their vocabuthe Mexicans ascribed to their prede- lary or words. This difference must cessors, or to some more ancient na- have originated either before or after tion, and the numerous ruins of ancient America was inhabited. The first supcities, beyond the limits of Montezuma's position implies that of America having empire, are speaking and irrecusable been settled, not by a few distinct naevidences of that ancient civilisation, tions, which is very possible, but by the date of which is unknown to us. more than one hundred distinct tribes of The comparative dilapidated state of nations of different origin, and speaking those ruins indicates rather the time entirely different languages. This supwhen they were abandoned, than that position, so utterly improbable in itself,
VOL. XVII.-NO. LXXXV. 5
is moreover inconsistent with the great mentary language; yet it is most cersimilarity in their physical type and the tain that man has in the main been left structure of their languages, between al- to his own resources, and that the whole most all the several nations and tribes mass of his present knowledge and acwho inhabited America, when discovered quirements is the result of a progressive in modern times by the Europeans. If, accumulation, and a gradual develope. as is highly probable, the prodigious sub-ment of his faculties. "This, if correct, division of languages took place in would only show the possibility of simiAmerica, after making every allow- lar progressive improvement in Amer. ance for the greater changes to which ica; but the question of fact, in the tounwritten languages are liable, and for tal absence of historical documents, is the necessary subdivisions of nations, in one of probabilities and conjecture.” the hunter state, into separate commu- Mr. Gallatin is exceedingly cautious in nities, yet, for producing such radical all his statements. He arrives at condiversities and great multiplication of clusions only on the strongest evidence, languages, we want the longest time and his conjectures are offered with as
are permitted to assume. much caution as most writers would There is the highest probability, that use in adopting theories. This chapter America was inhabited, at a date as of the volume is full of interest, and is early as is consistent with the laws the most satisfactory we have seen on which govern the multiplication of the the subject of ancient Mexican civilisahuman species, and with the time tion. necessary for the spreading of men to The author has put in an appendix the extreme shores of the other hemi- his grammatical notices of the lansphere."
which come within the scope of The question of Mexican civilisation, his investigations. These are the Mex: as found at the period of the discovery ican, the Tarasca, the Huasteca, and of this continent, is one of the most the Otomi of Mexico ; the Maya of interesting topics for consideration. Yucatan and the Poconchi of Guati“ Was this civilisation of domestic or mala. In these notices Mr. Gallatin foreign origin? Had those civilized has given a grammatical analysis of nations another origin than those of the each in the most lucid and comprehenother American tribes ? and, of the sive manner. The inflections of the same family and stock, did they receive nouns, the system of compounding, and their knowledge from a foreign quarter, the conjugations of the verbs are exor did it naturally and gradually grow hibited with great clearness, which is among themselves without any foreign not an easy task for such complicated assistance ? This is the most in- languages as those of Mexico. For teresting problem of the obscure and, it these facts the learned anthor studied may be said, unknown antiquities of the original grammars and dictionaries Ainerica. It involves two most im- of the several languages in question. portant questions in the history of man: This chapter closes with a table or that of the presumed inferiority of some comparative view of the most common races; and whether savage tribes can, words in each language, which is useof themselves and without any foreign ful for those who would make only an assistance, emerge from the rudest and etymological comparison. lowest social state, and gradually attain A second appendix is devoted to an even the highest degree of civilisation examination or analysis of the great known to us. If only a certain portion work of Lord Kingsborough on the anof mankind has reached that point, and cient paintings of Mexico, which is of even supposing an indelible inferiority of interest, as so little is known in this the red to the white race, it is at least country of this celebrated and costly certain that the Mexicans and Peruvi- work. ans had faculties sufficient to acquire -- An account of some ancient remains the degree of knowledge and civilisa- in Tennessee, by Dr. Troost, of Nashtion which they possessed prior to the ville, makes the second article in this Spanish conquest. If we ascend to volume. In this we have an account the first stages of man's existence, of the mummies found in the saltperre though we may believe that the benifi- caves of Tennessee, and of the extencent Creator gave liim something more sive burial places in that State, as well than his bare faculties, probably an ele- as in the adjoining States of Kentucky
and Missouri. Much has been said about the bodies found in these graveyards, from the fact that they were buried in stone coffins. Their stature, too, being only about four and a half feet, it was said that they must have belonged to a race of pigmies, which once inhabited that region. “ Within the space of ten miles there are six of these extensive burial-grounds. * As to the form of the graves, they are rude fabrics, composed of rough, flat stones. Each flat stone was laid on the ground, in an excavation made for “Of the general type of the alphabet the purpose ; upon it were put (edge (from which this inscription is comwise) two similar stones, about the posed) but one opinion has been exsame length as the former, and two pressed by philologists who have made small ones were put at both extremities, an incipient examination of it; while so as form an oblong cavity lined with the particular nation and people who stones, of the size of a man. When a employ it, and the language itself, are coffin was to be constructed next to it, unknown. This species of alphabet, one of the side stones served for both, consisting of simple strokes, intersectand, consequently, thus lay in straighting each other at right or acute angles, rows, in one layer only." From an was in use by the Phænicians prior to examination of trinkets and other arti- or cotemporary with, the introduction cles found within the coffins, Dr. Troost into that border of the Mediterranean is of opinion that they came from some of the Hebrew alphabet. Modifications tropical country.
of it existed in the Etruscan, Pelasgian, The most curious part of this essay Oscan and Arcadian, as exhibited in is the evidence that the Phallic worship Gesenius and other kindred works. It was once practised in that region. is seen that this geometrical style of Many idols have been found, engrav- alphabet extended westward over Euings of which accompany this paper, rope, spreading through ancient Gaul showing that such was probably the and the Spanish peninsula, and followcase. This worship was extensively ing the Celtic and Saxon stocks to the practised among the ancients, of Europe British Isles. Modifications of it existed as well as of Asia. Mr. Stephens, too, throughout Scandinavia and the northfound traces of it in Yucatan.
ern confines of Europe. That it came The third article is on the “Grave- from the East to the West, crossing the Creek Mound in Western Virginia; Atlantic, at some early and unknown the antique inscription discovered in period, on the tide of early maritime adthe excavation ; and the connected evi- venture, or wafted by adverse winds, dences of the occupancy of the Missis- would seem to have been not an imsippi Valley during the Mound period, probable extension.” and prior to the discovery of America Of the twenty-two characters, which by Columbus," by Henry R. School- are confessedly' alphabetic, ten correscraft.
pond, with general exactness, with the The great Tumulus of Virginia, Phænician of Gesenius; fifteen coincide which forms the subject of Mr. School with the Celtiberic, as exhibited by Mr. craft's article, is the most remarkable in Rafn, in the Mémoires de la Socié'é the United States, not only as being the Royale des Antiquaries du Nord, Copen. largest known, but for the inscribed hagen, 1810-43; fourteen correspond tablet and other relics found within it. with the old British or Anglo Saxon, as Engravings of the inscription and the exhibited by the same author; five covarious articles found in the mound ac- incide with with the old Northern, or company the paper. As the tablet is Runic proper; but four with the Etrusthe most interesting, we shall appropri- can; six with the ancient Gallic; four ate what space we have to its notice. with the ancient Greek; and seven with The annexed engraving is an exact the old Erse. This comparison is given copy or fac-simile of the tablet and in- from data not complete in all cases, and scription, from an impression taken by without attempting to have entered on Mr. Schoolcraft, in wax.
a critical study of the inscription. It