Anales de Tepoztlán

Legend of the Tepozteco:
Mesoamerican and Catholic Mythology

Margarita Vargas Betancourt

December 9, 2002
Aztec and Maya Literature
Prof. Victoria Bricker

The purpose of this paper is to compare different versions from different time periods of the "Legend of the Tepozteco," in order to find the main elements of the story, and then to compare these with important myths from Mesoamerica as well as with Catholic tradition. The celebration of the Tepozteco and its legend every September 8th is probably the event that generates the strongest social cohesion in Tepoztlán, Morelos. Tepoztlán is one of the towns in Mexico that has most strongly preserved its traditions. It is located northeast of Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, under a ridge of mountains known as the "Ridge of the Tepozteco." Most of its traditions revolve around the figure of the Tepozteco. The word "Tepozteco" designates several entities; therefore, it is very confusing. It refers to the Tepoztecatl, the pulque god whose temple is on top of one of the mountains that makes up the ridge, but it also denotes the mountain per se, and sometimes it refers to the wind. Furthermore, it stands for the mythic character that appears in several of the legends that circulate in this town.

The first part of this paper is a review of the historiography that deals with this legend. It is followed by a description of the source of each version, which includes place of publication and historical context. Then comes a table (for practical reasons it will be included as Appendix 1) in which one can see the structure of these accounts, followed by a description of the evolution of the legend. After that the elements that most of the versions have in common are specified, and finally these are compared to some of the most important legendary cycles in Mesoamerica (the Popol Vuh, the legend of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, of Quetzalcoatl, and of Huitzilopochtli) as well as to Catholic mythology. This paper will be more descriptive than analytical because it will function as the starting point for my master’s degree thesis.


Although, many scholars have collected different versions of the legend of the Tepozteco, for instance, Fernando Horcasitas, not many have analyzed the myths per se. In 1953, José Juan Tablada published "El Tepozteco y los brujos Quichés." In it, he compared the legend of the Tepozteco with the Popol Vuh ( In another essay "Resonancias mítico religiosas de un movimiento de resistencia" (1998) and in the book Tradición y modernidad en Tepoztlán. Historias y leyendas de un pueblo en resistencia (1999), Yolanda Corona Caraveo and Carlos Pérez y Zavala analyzed the myth in relation to the 1995 social movement against the golf course. On the other hand, in a research paper "Las cuatro vidas de Tepoztécatl" (1995) Gordon Brotherston analyzed the four distinct "Tepoztecos" that Fernando Horcasitas had previously outlined (Tulane University. 68 Horcasitas Papers. Box 15. Folder 14). This paper will take these studies as a starting point, but it will go beyond them because it will analyze the evolution of this myth throughout the twentieth century.

Versions of the "Legend of the Tepozteco"

The principal object of study of this thesis will be a collection of several versions of the legends of the Tepozteco. These come from different sources found at the Latin American Library at Tulane University, as well as from cultural institutions in Tepoztlán. They cover an extensive period of time. The earliest is from 1928, and the last one is from 2002. For practical purposes each of the versions will be classified with a capital letter.

The first account in chronological order is the one Pablo González Casanova published in 1928 in the Revista mexicana de estudios históricos. In Mexico, a marked interest in folklore began before the Revolution, but it "gained new momentum in the 1920s as Mexico looked to its indigenous roots for inspiration and values" (Kartunnen, 1998: 440). It was then that researchers such as Frans Boas "began to collect what in Nahuatl are called zazanilli (animal fables, moral tales, and the like)" (: 440). The publication of the myth of the Tepozteco might be part of the reevaluation of the indigenous heritage that went on during the 1920s. Moreover, it is very significant that a myth transmitted by oral tradition was published in a renowned periodical that specialized in the history of Mexico. Pablo González Casanova collected three legends: he transcribed them from the original Nahuatl version, and he included a Spanish translation. The first is the transcription of a manuscript that the Tepoztecan Bernadino Verazaluce bequeathed to his son Genaro Verazaluce (Version A). Bernardino was born in Tepoztlan in a humble family, but later in his life he migrated to Mexico City. At the National Museum, he was an assistant of a prominent scholar: Cecilio A. Robelo (González Casanova, 1928: 26-27). Another Indian from Tepoztlán, Maximino Navarrete, recounted another version of the legend to González Casanova (: 26) (Version B). Finally, an Indian from Milpa Alta, Enedina González, is responsible for the third story (: 26) (Version C).

According to Frances Kartunnen, the interest in indigenous culture continued during the 1930s, for in that period "President Lázaro Cárdenas brought the hope of government-sponsored improvements to rural indigenous communities" (Kartunnen, 1998: 439). In 1940, an "Aztec Congress" to define the needs of the indigenous communities took place in Milpa Alta. "Following on the congress, a literacy program was directed especially to the Nahuatl-speaking communities on the southern edge of the federal district and in the state of Morelos" (: 439). The next account of the legend of the Tepozteco corresponds to this time. Apolonio H. Escalada published the legend of the Tepoztecatl in 1937 in the journal Investigaciones Lingüísticas (Version D). Like González Casanova, he incorporated the Nahuatl original and a Spanish translation.

The ethnohistorian, ethnolinguist, teacher and researcher Fernando Horcasitas was one of the most important specialists on Nahua culture during the second half of the twentieth century. His major contribution was his research on "contemporary Nahua narrative" and language (León-Portilla, 1982: 32, 36). His study of Nahuatl theater, El teatro náhuatl, épocas novohispana y moderna, published in 1974 by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, played a fundamental role in the study of Nahuatl religious theater of the sixteenth century. Horcasitas died when he was preparing a second book about modern Nahuatl theater in Mexico. Fortunately, he donated his papers to the Latin American Library at Tulane University. The index of this second book can be found in the guide to the Horcasitas, Fernando Collection. One of the proposed chapters was going to deal with "El reto del Tepozteco". Although Horcasitas died before writing this chapter, folders 14 and 15 of Box 15 of the Horcasitas Papers (Collection 68) include much of the material that surely he would have used to write his book. These papers contain Nahuatl and Spanish versions of the legend of the Tepozteco, which will serve as primary sources for this paper. Apolonio H. Escalada’s "Tepoztécatl" is one of such texts. Another is Robert Barlow’s interview of Genaro Verazaluz which took place in Tepoztlan, Morelos in 1942 (Tulane University. Horcasitas Papers. Box 15. Folder 14). However, since this version is significantly different from the other ones, it will be analyzed separately

Robert Barlow, an anthropologist from Berkeley, was a "driving force" in the collection of Nahua folklore (Kartunnen, 1998: 439-440). After Robert Barlow died at the beginning of the 1950s, Fernando Horcasitas continued his project (: 440). This probably explains the presence of copies of Barlow’s papers in the Horcasitas Collection at Tulane. Pablo González Casanova had published the manuscript provided by Genaro’s father, Bernadino Verazaluce to his son Genaro (González Casanova, 1928: 26-27). Fourteen years later, Barlow collected the oral account of Genaro. It will be interesting to note the similarities and contrasts in both versions, as told by two different generations of the same family.

The next version of the legend is Florence Muller’s Appendix I to her paper Historia Antigua del Valle de Morelos (version E). In 1942, Baldomero Flores, a teacher from the Barrio de los Reyes in Tepoztlán, recorded this story as the old people from the village told it to him (Muller, 1949: 43). The importance of Muller’s paper is that she used the legend of the "Tepoztecatl" to reconstruct the history of the modern state of Morelos. The recognition that her paper received indicates that since that time Mexican scholars recognize myth’s role in the history of Mexico.

The following relation is El Tepozteco según Olivia, a Spanish account that a Tepoztecan maid told to Gail Giachini in 1959 (version F). This text is unpublished primary material. Since it is an informal account provided by an inhabitant of Tepoztlán, it might reflect the oral tradition that was popular in this town around the middle of the twentieth century.

Unlike the former story, the next two versions of the legend are published, and they pertain to the last years of the last century. Angel Zúñiga Navarrete’s Breve historia y narraciones tepoztecas was first published in 1995 (version G). Angel Zúñiga Navarrete was born in Tepoztlan on September 30, 1919. His education was limited to elementary school. Although at first he was a peasant, he later had several positions in the government (Zúñiga Navarrete, 2001: 6-7). In the introduction to his book, Zúñiga Navarrete states that his purpose was to make known the history and the culture of his town (: 4). The fact that one of the inhabitants of Tepoztlán made the effort to write a book, even though he lacked a high degree of scholarship, and to publish it on his own, and the continuous editions of this book, also private, suggest the pride that the Tepoztecans have had in preserving and transmitting their oral tradition.

Urbano Bello Díaz’s "La historia del Tepozteco" (1998) (version H), was part of a project that the Historical Center of Documentation of Tepoztlan organized in 1995. In 1993, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) decided to create the Historical Center of Documentation of Tepoztlan at the "Exconvento de Tepoztlán." Its purpose was to collect data that would enable research on the history of the towns of this municipality (Tostado Gutiérrez, 1998: 9). In 1995, this center organized a contest of stories to "collect and broadcast the historical memory that the Tepoztecans had kept until that moment, so that this would not be lost forever" (: 10. The translation is mine). The call for papers invited the people to retell their memories, so that future generations knew and appreciated the past of their town (: 10). Urbano Bello Díaz participated in the contest with the story of the Tepozteco. Urbano was born in Tepoztlan in 1917. He went to elementary school for only one year. During his life, he was a peasant and a healer (: 25). Although the accounts of Angel Zúñiga Navarrete and Urbano Bello Díaz were published, they still reflect the oral tradition as it was popularly transmitted.

The next story comes from an electronic source (version I). It can be found at the website Red Escolar, a project from the Mexican government designed "to provide current and relevant information to elementary school students and teachers" (The translation is mine). One of the goals of this site is to pass on the oral traditions of different regions, so that the students realize the various regional perspectives of history . This story is important because it reflects an official reading of the legend, one that the national system of education recognizes and broadcasts.

The last version of the legend is an interview that I conducted on August 3rd, 2002 in Tepoztlán (version J). The narrator of this story is an elementary school teacher named Mario Flores Oropeza. On the weekends, he works as a volunteer in the "Museo Carlos Pellicer," where the interview took place. His account reveals that the modern version of the legend has incorporated the various stories in which the Tepozteco appeared as a protagonist.

General evolution of the legend

In the first half of the twentieth century, there were different legends about the Tepozteco, but as time went on, they were incorporated into one long legendary cycle. It is interesting to analyze the three versions that González Casanova collected in 1928, for it is the only case in which we can directly compare the different legends that existed in the same period of time. Versions A and B narrate basically the same story: Tepozteco killed Xochicalcatl, thus freed the people of Morelos from his subjugation, and then he stole the teponaxtli, the symbol of power held by the people of Cuernavaca. Meanwhile, version C is an entirely different story. It even deals with a different hero: the ugly Tepozton. He was the one who raised the bells to the belfries of Mexico City’s cathedral. Muller collected two other legends about the Tepozteco that are so different from the ones included in the table that they did not fit in it. Genaro Verazaluz recorded one of these stories. In it he explained that there were two Tepoztecos: the old Tepozteco, who killed the king of Xochicalco, and the young Tepozteco, who destroyed that city. It is very likely that the story of the former is the one that González Casanova had published in 1928 (version A), especially if we take into account his informant was Genaro Verazaluz. In the latter story, recorded in 1942, Tepozteco was a young foreign warrior who arrived to Tepoztlán; due to his bravery he became the chief of this town. One day he saw the daughter of the king of Xochicalco, and he requested her hand to the king. Since, the king denied it to him, Tepozteco and his people destroyed Xochicalco (Muller, 1949: 47). The informant of the second story, documented by Muller in 1941, was a fourteen-year-old boy named Juan José. In it the king of the Chichimecs fell in love with Chimalma, the daughter of the lord of Tepoztlán. He threw some arrows at her, but she ignored him. Consequently, he turned her into a deer and rode her. They had a son: Tepozteco (: 46-47).

On the other hand, version B includes an important element that is absent in all of the other stories. In other accounts, several towns of Morelos join the people of Cuernavaca when they persecute the Tepozteco after he stole the teponaxtli. In version B, the confrontation is a separate event. After the people from Cuernavaca leave Tepoztlán, five towns (Tlalnepantla, Tlayacapan, Tlayecapa, Huaxtepec, and Yautepec) defy Tepoztlán. This affair is important because it recalls another legend known as "El reto del Tepozteco." In it, other towns of Morelos defied the ruler of Tepoztlán because he had received baptism and thus betrayed their ancient gods. At the end of the play, Tepozteco convinced them to convert. This episode is represented every September 8 in Tepoztlán.

Although in 1937 (version D), the story of Tepozteco and Xochicalcatl is blended with that of Tepozteco and the bells, it is possible to affirm that until 1959, there were several separate legends revolving around the same figure, that of the Tepozteco:
1) The Tepozteco who killed Xochicalcatl and stole the teponaxtli from Cuernavaca.
2) The Tepozteco who raised the bells of Mexico City’s Cathedral.
3) The Tepozteco who fell in love with the princess of Xochicalco.
4) The Tepozteco who was the son of the king of the Chichimecs and of Chimalma, a Tepoztecan princess.
5) The Tepozteco who was confronted by the other towns of Morelos.

By the end of the twentieth century, the most important legends were incorporated into one long cycle (See versions G, H, and J).

Structure of the legend

Throughout the twentieth century, the essence of the episodes that constitute the basic legend remained the same:

I. Tepozteco was conceived in an immaculate manner.

Nine out of the ten versions start with this episode, and the exception (version B) is such because it starts at a later moment in the story. Until 1959, there were different ideas about who was Tepozteco’s mother. In version A, she was an old woman; in C and I, a young woman with no further qualifications; in D and E, a "nun" or priestess, and finally in F, the wife of a polygamous king. Perhaps the last two cases reveal pre-Hispanic influence. Except for I, in the other accounts that pertain to the last years of the century (G, H, J), Tepozteco’s mother was a princess; maybe this displays an influence from European fairy tales. In six out of the nine episodes (A, H, I, C, G, J), the wind, either in a pure manifestation (A, H, I) or in a birdlike one (C, G, J), was the father. In one version (D), he was a bead, and in two (E, F), it was not specified. It is evident, then, that from 1928 up to 2002, the idea that Tepozteco was the son of the wind persisted. Another thought that endured was that Tepozteco was conceived at the bottom of Ehecatepetl mountain, in the place where there is a spring (A, G, I, J). Although version C does not include the exact geographic location, it refers to a cave with a stream; consequently, it might refer to the same place. On the other hand, the place is not specified in versions E, F and H, whereas, in D, it is a "church" or temple.

II. Someone attempted to kill the baby.

In eight out of the ten stories (versions B and C are the exceptions), after the Tepozteco was born, either his mother or his grandparents tried to get rid of him. In four of these cases (A, F, G, H), they followed the same course of action. First they placed him on top of an anthill, but instead of biting him, the ants fed the baby with crumbs. Then, they put him inside the leaves of a maguey plant; however, the leaves bent towards the baby and fed him with their sap. Finally, they put him inside a box and either left him in the river or in the ravine so that when it rained, it would go away. Accounts I and J include the anthill and the maguey motifs, version J even includes the box one, but they present variations. In story I, the father of the princess also threw the baby down a cliff; whereas in account J, the grandparents’ maids also put the baby on top of a stone mound (tezcal).

III. The baby was adopted.

In most of the accounts (A, D, G, H, I, K), an old couple found and adopted the baby. In version E, the adoptive parents were the ruler of Tepoztlán and his daughter, and in F, these were two men.

IV. Tepozteco became a marvelous hunter.

In versions A, E, G, H, and J, as a child Tepozteco revealed magical hunting powers because he was the wind’s son. He shot directly into the sky, and then the game fell. In this manner, he was able to support his "grandparents."

V. Tepozteco decided to confront Xochicalcatl.

In all of the accounts Xochicalcatl lived in Xochicalco and required victims to sacrifice or to eat. In the first accounts, it was characterized as a giant (A, B), as a king (D, E, F), or as a non-specified monster (E, G). In the latest accounts, it was a serpent (H, I) or a dragon (J). This might also reflect influence from western fairy tales, and taking into account the late date of these stories (1995, 2001, 2002), possibly Hollywood impact too. Xochicalcatl requested one or both of Tepozteco’s adoptive parents as tribute, and Tepozteco took the place of the victim. In most of the accounts (A, D, E, F, H), he told his adoptive parents that they would see a column of white smoke if he was successful, of black smoke, if he was unsuccessful.

VI. During his peregrination, he transformed and named the landscape (A, E, G).

In stories A and E, he turned some of his captors into cerros (A) or into rocks (E), whereas in version G, he left the mark of his knees and hands on one rock. On the other hand, in accounts A and G, he drew figures on mountain rocks, perhaps this is an allusion to the paintings found inside some caves from the Tepozteco ridge.

VII. He picked up flints (A, D, E, F, G, H, I, J).

VIII. In Xochicalco, he turned into different animals; thus, Xochicalcatl assistants could not cook him (A, D, G).
In version A, he turned into a rooster, a snake, a fish, a deer, a hawk, a rabbit, a coyote, a wolf and a tiger, while in version G, he became a rooster and a tiger.

IX. Tepozteco defeated Xochicalcatl (A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J).

Xochicalcatl swallowed Tepozteco, but he cut its stomach with the flints, and in this manner, killed Xochicalcatl. As a sign of victory, he sent a column of white smoke.

X. He went to Cuernavaca and stole the teponaxtli (A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J).

In stories A, D, G, H, and J another episode precedes this one. At first, Tepozteco was dismissed from the celebration that was going on in Cuernavaca because he was wearing rags. When he changed clothes, they let him in, but as a protest he poured the food onto his clothes. After this event, in versions A, E, G, H, I and J, he stole the teponaxtli by producing a wind storm that blinded everybody.

XI. He fled to Tepoztlán.

Some of the accounts specify the places that he went through as the people of Cuernavaca persecuted him (A, B, G, H). Another element in common is that with water, either his urine or water from his gourd, he created Cuernavaca’s ravine (A, D, E, F, G, H, I, J).

XII. He arrived to the Ehecatepetl and defeated the people from Cuernavaca.

He climbed to the summit. In some versions his persecutors tried to cut the mountain and left when they realized they could not (A, F, G, I, and J). In others, the wind blew away his enemies (D) or turned them into the stone steps of the mountain (H). In another story, he transformed then into coyotes (E).

XIII. He became the ruler or king of Tepoztlán (G, I).

In other accounts this happened before (J). In general it is implied that when he went to the celebration at Cuernavaca, he did so in the quality of the king of Tepoztlán.

XIV. He raised the bells of Mexico City’s cathedral (C, D, G, H, J).
Although the accounts that González Casanova published in 1928 reveal that this episode was very likely a separate legend in the early part of the century (C), in four later accounts (D, G, H and J) it is incorporated into the main story. Basically this section follows the same structure in the five versions. Tepozteco produced a windstorm to raise the bells. As a reward, he obtained a box with doves that would bring prosperity to Tepoztlán; however, the people of the town opened the box, and the doves flew to other cities. In this manner, Tepoztlán was doomed to poverty.

In general, the continuity of the story is remarkable. Basic elements were repeated over and over through a time span of seventy-four years. The reasons for this are probably the strong interest of the people of Tepoztlán in their oral tradition as well as the fact that the legend was written down first in 1928, and later on in several occasions.

The "Legend of the Tepozteco" and the Popol Vuh

There is a striking similarity between the structure and the content of the "Legend of the Tepozteco" and that of the twin cycle in the Popol Vuh. First of all, like Tepozteco, Hunahpu and Xbalanque were born from a virgin maiden. Blood Moon conceived the twins when she went to the calabash tree in which the skull of One Hunahpu hung. The skull spitted in her hand: "Right away something was generated in her belly, from the saliva alone, and this was the generation of Hunahpu and Xbalanque (Tedlock, 1996: 99). For both the mother of Tepozteco and the mother of the twins getting pregnant implied a transgression; therefore, in both cases, their fathers became very angry with them. In the legend from Morelos, the father of Tepozteco’s mother attempted to kill the baby or she tried to do it herself in order to hide her offense; in the Popol Vuh, the father of the twins’ mother decided to kill her. The second episode is analogous in the two legends. Tepozteco’s grandfather, his emissaries, or his mother tried to get rid of him by taking him to an anthill and afterwards to a maguey plant. Hunahpu’s and Xbalanque’s grandmother and their half-brothers, One Monkey and One Artisan, decided to kill them. First, they took the twins to an anthill, but they did not die: "they slept soundly there" (: 104). So, they placed them over some brambles (: 104). The Tepozteco and the twins survived and flourished.

In the third episode, the Tepozteco and the Popol Vuh heroes became great hunters. In the case of the former, it is stated that it was so because he was the son of the wind. One difference is that the "Legend of the Tepozteco" emphasizes the arrows and the bow as the instruments of the Tepozteco, whereas the twins used blowguns (: 38). In the two stories, the legendary heroes supported their families with the animals they hunted (: 105).

Afterwards, Tepozteco confronted and defeated the giant-king-monster-snake-dragon Xochicalcatl, while Hunahpu and Xbalanque confronted two giant monsters. The first was a "crocodilian monster" named Zipacná who had formerly killed "the gods of alcoholic drinks, the Four Hundred Boys" (: 35). He killed them after they got drunk with the "sweet drink" (pulque) they had made (: 83). Then, they became the Pleiades: "Such was the death of those Four Hundred Boys. And it used to be said that they entered a constellation, named Hundrath after them, though perhaps this is just a play on words" (: 84). The association among the twins, Zipacná and the four hundred pulque gods is probably the most important element that connects the "Legend of the Tepozteco" with the Popol Vuh. Tepozteco, known in pre-Hispanic times as Tepoztécatl was one of the Aztec four hundred gods of pulque. In the Popol Vuh, Zipacná killed the Four Hundred Boys after they had made pulque. It is very likely that this is associated with the Aztec legend of the creation of this alcoholic drink, which, according to Sahagún, was a climactic point in the migration of the Mexica. The woman who discovered "the boring of the maguey was Mayahuel" and the man "who discovered the stick, the root, with which wine was made was Patecatl" (Sahagún, 1961: 193). Then other gods intervened in the creation of pulque: Tepuztecatl, Quatlapanqui, Tlilhoa, Papaiztac, Tzocaca. In the mountain Chichinauhia, they prepared a wine that excelled and that foamed up, because of this they called the mountain Popoçonaltepetl (: 193). The name Chichinauhia probably refers to the Chichinautzin ridge, which is the first mountain that makes up the escarpment where the Tepozteco ridge is located (See Fig. 1).

According to Tedlock, in the Popol Vuh, the death of the Four Hundred Boys "corresponds to early-evening settings of these stars. At the earthly level, among contemporary Quichés, the Pleiades symbolize a handful of seeds, and their disappearance in the west marks the proper time for the sowing of crops" (Tedlock, 1996: 35). Having long ago measured the orientation of the temple located in the Tepozteco ridge (Aveni and Gibbs, 1976), Anthony Aveni believes that the temple was aligned to the celestial events that marked the beginning and the end of the agricultural cycle during the contact period (ca. 1550) (personal communication with Prof. Aveni, March 2002). According to him, five hundred years ago in the last half of March and nowadays in the first half of April, from the entrance to the temple but looking outwards along its perpendicular axis to the west north (25 NW), one could observe that in the evening, the Pleiades set exactly on the axis of the pyramid and just to the west of the sunset point (personal communication with Prof. Aveni, March 2002). This event coincided with the beginning of the agriculture cycle. Therefore, it is very likely that for the Tepoztecans, as for the Quichés, this constellation symbolized seeds and its evening setting, the time to start planting.

Going back to the content of both legends, it is interesting that in the two stories, the heroes defeated their monster enemies through food. Tepozteco killed Xochicalcatl after it swallowed him. Hunahpu and Xbalanque enticed Zipacná into a crevice of a mountain with the promise of food. Then they made the mountain fall on him (: 85). They also killed Earthquake, Zipacná’s brother, with food. They made him eat a bird, which had a spell and was coated with earth. When Earthquake ate it, he died (: 35, 87). In the two stories, food is associated with self-magnification. The Hero twins killed Zipacná and Earthquake with food as a punishment for their arrogance. In the celebration at Cuernavaca, Tepozteco poured the food onto his clothes to protest that the people of this town, only allowed him in when he wore grandiose clothing.

In the next episode, Tepozteco, Hunahpu and Xbalanque accepted their death and literally plunged into it; furthermore, the three deaths are in one way or another related to food. After transforming into different animals in order not to be cooked, Tepozteco jumped into Xochicalcatl’s mouth. Even though Hunahpu and Xbalanque had passed the tests set to them and defeated the lords of Xibalba in the ball game, they knew that their passing away was inevitable (: 130). Their captors teased them because they would be killed inside an oven: "They must come. We’ll go with the boys, to see the treat we’ve cooked up for them" (: 131). When the time came they jumped into the oven: "They grabbed each other by the hands and went head first into the oven" (: 131). However, the twins revived (: 132), and so did the Tepozteco.

After Hunahpu and Xbalanque resurrected, they reappeared "as two vagabonds, with rags before and rags behind, and rags all over too" (: 132). Then they tricked the lords of Xibalba into asking the twins to sacrifice them, and by doing so they defeated these lords (: 138). The Tepozteco arrived dressed in rags to Cuernavaca. However, unlike the twins, because of this he was not accepted. So he changed clothes, and then he tricked the people of Cuernavaca by blinding them with wind, and afterwards, he stole their teponaxtli.

Finally, both stories justify hegemony; the Popol Vuh, that of the Quichés; the "Legend of the Tepozteco," that of Tepoztlán. Nevertheless, a great difference is that as time went on, the people inserted the legend of the Tepozteco and the bells of Mexico City’s cathedral into the basic legend to explain the manner in which Tepoztlán’s destiny switched from one of supremacy to one of poverty.

So far, the resemblance between both stories is extraordinary, for it fits in both content and structure. However, there is one separate event that resembles another one in the "Legend of the Tepozteco", but it doesn’t fit the structure of the story. When the Quiché lords went to Tollan to acquire rulership, they found the Lord Plumed Serpent (possibly Quetzalcoatl), and they were amazed because he turned himself into different animals:

On one occasion he would climb up to the sky; on another he would go down the road to Xibalba.
On another occasion he would be serpentine, becoming an actual serpent.
On yet another occasion he would make himself aquiline, and on another feline; he would become like an actual eagle or a jaguar in his appearance.
On another occasion it would be a pool of blood; he would become nothing but a pool of blood.
Truly his being was that of a lord of genius. All the other lords were fearful before him. (: 186).

These transformations recall those the Tepozteco underwent as the people of Xochicalco tried to cook him:

Entonces cargaron con él los topiles y fueron a ponerlo en una gran cazuela para que se cociese; pero se cuenta que no se cocía, sino que se convertía sucesivamente en gallo, en culebra, en pescado, mientras que el Xochicalcatl desfallecía de hambre […] Se lo llevaron y lo arrojaron al horno, pero apenas cayó dentro empezó a transformarse sucesivamente en diversos animals: venado, gavilán, conejo, coyote, lobo, tigre (González Casanova, 1928: 45).

According to Tedlock, Maya influence in central Mexico mythology can be explained by the fact that in the Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900), after the fall of Teotihuacan, one can evidence "Mayan presence at Xochicalco and Cacaxtla" (Tedlock, 1996: 22). However, the fact that the creation of pulque by the Four Hundred Boys in the Popol Vuh might refer to a legend that is located in the mountains of central Mexico probably proves that the influence was on the other direction, from central Mexico to Guatemala’s highlands. Munro S. Edmonson explained that there were "five waves of major Mexican contact with Guatemala, to judge from archaeological remains: (1) Olmec, (2) Teotihuacano, (3) Toltec, (4) Nahuat, and (5) Aztec" (Edmonson, 1985: 107). During the early postclassic period, Nahua speakers introduced into the "western Guatemalan area" "motifs to Quiche mythology" (: 111). One of these is the Hero twins’ destruction of Seven Parrot and his sons. Being an "extra creation," this episode alters the original cycles of creation (: 111). As it has been said before, this episode is very similar to Tepozteco’s victory over Xochicalcatl.

Consequently, the sources for the Tepozteco might not be Maya but Nahua. For instance, the "Legend of the Tepozteco" has points of contact with important myths and legends from central Mexico, such as the myth of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli.

The "Legend of the Tepozteco" and Nahua mythology

Myth of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli

The Tepoztecan story resembles this myth because most of the versions emphasize that as a child Tepozteco was a hunter who did prodigies with his bow and arrows. This might be an example of the Nahua people’s commemoration of their Chichimec past. According to Torquemada, the Chichimecs were wild people who wore skin clothes; their weapons were bow and arrows, and their principal activity was hunting, and they lived in caves (Torquemada, 1975: 58). Henry B. Nicholson identified Mixcoatl-Camaxtli as the chief of the gods of his category "the Mixcoatl-Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli Complex." These deities represented the way of life of the Chichimec ancestors: hunting and gathering (Nicholson, 1971: 426). Thus, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli was the god of the hunters:

Del Idolo Camaxtli, de quien se ha hecho aqui mencion, eran mui devotos los Caçadores, porque les aiudasse a caçar, teniendolo por favorable, y propicio para el efecto de la caça; y asi, quando querian ir à caçar, ò pescar, primero se sacrificaban, y le ofrecian su sangre, ò otras cosas (Torquemada, 1723: 80).

Like Huitzilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl, in the ancient histories Mixcoatl-Camaxtli is also described as one of the Chichimec leaders who took his people from the north to the Valley of Mexico: "Estos teochichimecas tenían por dios a Camaxtle (que es el mismo que los mexicanos llamaron Huitzilopuchtli), el cual hablaba con ellos y les decía y revelaba todo lo que habían de hacer y en que partes y lugares habían de poblar y permanecer" (Torquemada, 1975: 356).

Another element in common between the Mixcoatl-Camaxtli myth and that of Huitzilopochtli can be found in the Códice Chimalpopoca. Four hundred mixcoas led the Chichimecs during their peregrination. But Itzpapalotl ate them. The only one who escaped was Iztacmixcoatl, also known as Mixcoaxocoyotl or Mixcoatl junior (Códice Chimalpopoca, 1975: 3). Iztacmixcoatl killed Itzpapalotl by invoking the four hundred dead mixcoas. This story resembles a great deal the myth of Huitzilopochtli’s birth as well as the destruction of the Four Hundred Boys or the gods of pulque in the Popol Vuh. The legend of Iztacmixcoatl is also associated to that of Quetzalcoatl.

Myth of Quetzalcoatl

Florencia Muller states that in the tenth century, when the Toltec-Chichimecs began to expand to the Valley of Mexico and then to the south, one of the leaders, Iztac Mixcoatl, married Chimalma, a princess from Morelos, in order to make an alliance with the people from this region (Muller, 1949: 24). According to Muller, Iztac Mixcoatl and Chimalma engendered Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, the great cultural hero of Tula (: 13). Nicholson voices the same idea. According to him, through one myth, Aztec cosmogony blended two consecutive but different eras into one: the "Chichimeca-Mimixcoa Era" with the following one, the "Toltec era" (Nicholson, 1971: 403). This myth asserted that "the most prominent of the Mimixcoa, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli (the terrestrial manifestation of the god)" was the father of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tula (: 403). One primary source that presents the same idea is Torquemada. According to him, Quetzalcoatl was one of the five sons of the "god" Camaxtli and the woman Chimalma. Torquemada also narrates the miraculous conception of Quetzalcoatl. Chimalma conceived him after swallowing a precious green stone, a chalchihuitl. Furthermore, he points to the similarity between this myth and that of Huitzilopochtli (Torquemada, 1723: 80). Although the Códice Chimalpopoca, states that the father of Quetzalcoatl was Totepeuh, one of the rulers of Tula, it coincides on the fact that his mother was Chimalma, and that she conceived him when she swallowed a piece of jade, a chalchihuitl (Códice Chimalpopoca, 1975: 7). The immaculate conception of Quetzalcoatl evokes that of the Tepozteco, especially in version D in which a priestess became pregnant after swallowing a bead.

There is a striking resemblance between the wind’s role in the conception of the Tepozteco and that of Quetzalcoatl as a wind god in the creation of pulque. As soon as the gods had created man, they decided to make something that could provide him with joy. Ehécatl Quetzalcoatl, the wind god, went to the second heaven, to look for the virgin goddess Mayahuel. He kidnapped her from the monstrous Tzitzimime spirit that guarded her, and took her to earth. There, Ehécatl and Mayahuel transformed each into a branch and joined one another in one tree. But the Tzitzimime spirit, sometimes identified as Mayahuel’s grandmother, went after her. Mayahuel tried to flee, but in the attempt, "her grandmother" captured her, broke her apart, and gave the pieces to other Tzitzimime spirits. They devoured them, but left some crumbs behind. When they had left, Quetzalcoatl picked up these pieces; as soon as he touched them, they became bones. He buried them and cried over them. Some time later, a plant with a very peculiar shape grew from that spot. The tears of the wind god had given new life to Mayahuel. Moreover, the tears became the juice in the heart of the plant, which would later be turned into pulque. This heart was surrounded by bone-like leaves with lateral thorns that looked like bloody teats, in order to recall Mayahuel’s suffering (Mateos Higuera, 1994: 11-21). Quetzalcoatl (representing wind) and his tears (representing water) gave life to the maguey and to pulque. The same elements that brought pulque into existence were implicated in the conception of the Tepozteco (a pulque god), for it was the wind or its manifestation (a bird’s feather)which was the substance that impregnated a woman who was bathing in a spring. Consequently, Tepozteco was the son of the wind just as pulque was Quetzalcoatl’s creation.

In the sixteenth or early seventeenth century, Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl wrote an account similar to the birth of the Tepozteco and the mythical creation of pulque. Nicholson included this story among the "Late Probably Distorted, Versions of the Basic Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl of Tollan Tale" (Nicholson, 2001: 100). In it, one manifestation of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was born as the son of "the next-to-last Toltec ruler, Tecpancaltzin or Iztaccaltzin" in the year Ce Acatl (: 124). This boy was named Meconetzin "niño del maguey" (: 117), and his birth recalls that of Tepozteco. A beautiful girl named Xochitl and her parents visited the ruler of Tollan, Tecpancaltzin to offer him what they had discovered: "la miel prieta de maguey" (: 117). Without her parents’ knowledge, Tecpancaltzin made her his concubine, and she gave birth to Meconetzin. Her parents were very distressed when they found out the truth, but the Toltec ruler appeased them when he promised that this boy would be his successor (: 117).

In the Histoyre du Mechique, the resemblance between the "Legend of the Tepozteco" and the myth of the Quetzalcoatl goes further than their birth. In it, Quetzalcoatl is the son of two gods: Camaxtli and Chimalma. Since his mother died at childbirth, his grandparents raised him. Then he was taken to his father. Out of jealousy, his brothers made several attempts to kill him but failed (note the similarity with the Popol Vuh). At the same time, Quetzalcoatl stood out as a great hunter. Since his father had discovered Quetzalcoatl’s brothers’ plan to kill him, they tried to eliminate him, but Quetzalcoatl saved him and killed his brothers (: 13).

Another equivalence between the "Legend of the Tepozteco" and that of Quetzalcoatl is that a peregrination followed a conflict with a major enemy. After defeating Xochicalcatl and stealing Cuernavaca’s teponaxtli, Tepozteco peregrinated from Xochicalco to Cuernavaca and then back to Tepoztlán. Several versions of the legend list how he transformed and named the landscape as he went through it (see p. 11). In the codices Telleriano-Remensis and Vaticanus A, Quetzalcoatl led the Toltecs away from a monster that the people had brought upon them due to their sins (: 71). In the Histoyre de Mechique and in Gerónimo de Mendieta’s Historia eclesiástica indiana, Tezcatlipoca personified this monster. In the former, he terrified Quetzalcoatl because he "transformed himself into several different animals and monsters" (: 14). In the latter account while Tezcatlipoca played ball with Quetzalcoatl (note the similarity with the Popol Vuh), he turned into a jaguar, Quetzalcoatl was horrified and he left with his people (: 59). Tezcatlipoca’s transformations recall those of the Tepozteco (See p. 11). A great difference between Tepozteco and Quetzalcoatl is that the former defeated his enemy, whereas the latter was defeated and thus had to flee. However, both underwent a peregrination. Like Tepozteco, Quetzalcoatl stopped in specific places, modified each place into its final form by his actions, for example, by leaving the mark of his hands on stones: "y puso muy muchas señales en las tierras y caminos según que dicen" (Sahagún, 1997: 203), and named places (: 202), "y dio todos los nombres a las sierras y montes y lugares" (: 204). The fate of Tepozteco’s enemies, the people from Cuernavaca, is analogous to that of some of Quetzalcoatl’s followers. In some versions, with his urine or with water from his gourd, Tepozteco created a ravine that separated him from his enemies. In others, he turned his enemies into cerros or into rocks. In the codices Telleriano-Remensis and Vaticanus A, several of Topiltzin’s followers fell into a ravine that sealed on top of them; others carved a tunnel to pass through a mountain, but the mountain fell on them, and they turned into stone (note the similarity with Zipacná’s death) (Nicholson, 2001: 71). In Mendieta’s Historia eclesiástica indiana, the people who observed the game in which Tezcatlipoca transformed himself into a jaguar, were so frightened "that they stampeded into a barranca, through which a river flowed close by, and drowned" (: 59).

In many accounts, for instance in the Histoyre de Mechique and in Mendieta’s account when Quetzalcoatl arrives to the end of his peregrination, he dies, is cremated, and ascends into the heavens transformed into a star: Venus (: 16, 59). The Histoyre de Mechique emphasizes that the smoke that came from his body turned into Venus (: 16). Perhaps the column of smoke that indicated the victory of Tepozteco evokes this event. As a matter of fact, version G ends when the Virgin of Nativity transformed Tepozteco into the morning star. In many of the stories (I, G, J), like Quetzalcoatl, Tepozteco left to an unknown place. However, almost the same versions (H, I, J) mention that it is very likely that he went to La Casa del Tepozteco.

Quetzalcoatl’s legend blends with that of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli and of Huitzilopochtli. In Diego Muñoz Camargo’s Historia de Tlaxcala, when the Teochichimeca arrived to the province of Teohuitznahua, their leader, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, married one of the principal noble women of the region: Coatlicue. She gave birth to Quetzalcoatl (: 82). In a letter from Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza to his brother Diego de Mendoza, later paraphrased by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Moctezuma’s legend intermingles with that of the three deities. It starts with the coming from the north of four hundred warriors led by captain Orchilobos. After several battles, they settled in the middle of the lake. Orchilobos conquered several towns and then left promising that he would return (: 89). Some years later a priestess of the temple of this deified captain, picked up a feather that had fallen from the idol. She became pregnant and gave birth to Guateçuma. No one believed that this had been an immaculate conception; hence, she was banished from Tenochtitlan. However, Guateçuma grew up to become a great warrior. He entered the Tenochca army and died fighting against Tascala (: 89).

Myth of Huitzilopochtli

The mythical birth of Huitzilopochtli evokes the immaculate conception of the Hero twins, Quetzalcoatl, and Tepozteco, as well as the killing of the Four Hundred Boys in the Popol Vuh. The birth of the "historical" leader of the Mexicas also resembles the birth of the Tepozteco. On the other hand, the story of the Aztec migration to the Valley of Mexico calls to mind the peregrination that Quetzalcoatl and Tepozteco underwent. It seems as though the myth of Huitzilopochtli summoned up all the other stories. Thus, the account reflects how the Aztecs incorporated existing mythology into a legend or myth that would justify their hegemony.

In the Aztec tradition, a woman named Coatlicue lived on a mountain named Coatepec. One day she was sweeping as penitence and she saw a ball of feathers, she took it and put it inside her skirt. Then she became pregnant. Her other children –Coyolxauhqui and the four hundred gods (Centzonhuitznahua) became very angry with her, for she had dishonored the family. So, they decided to kill her. Gradually, they approached the mountain where Coatlicue was. When they got there, Coatlicue gave birth to Huitzilopochtli, who was born as a full man dressed with his accoutrements. He decapitated Coyolxauhqui and threw her body down the hill. When it reached the ground, it broke in pieces. Then, he fought against the four hundred gods. He killed many of them on the Coatepec Mountain, and he chased the ones who had fled to the valley and killed them. Then, he was honored as the god of war (Sahagún, 1997: 191-192). The points of contact between this story and the Tepoztecan one are the following: Huitzilopochtli was conceived on a mountain, by a feather; his siblings tried to kill him and his mother, and he was able to save both. The story also evokes Zipacná’s killing of the Four Hundred Boys, and therefore, the four hundred gods of pulque who became the Pleiades: Eduard Seler interpreted this legend as "the dawning sun fighting off the gods of darkness. With his Xiuhcoatl fire serpent, Huitzilopochtli is the newly born sun shooting out burning rays and, clearly enough, the Centzon Huitznahua are the stars who at every dawn are vanquished by the rising sun…" (Taube, 1993: 47).

Sahagún (1997: 610), Motolinía (1995: 146), and Durán (1967: 28) affirm that the mythical figure that led the Aztecs through their peregrination was Mecitli or Mexitli, because of which the name of the people who founded Tenochtitlan was the Mexicas. Motolinía indicates that such was the name of the Aztecs’ main god: "su principal dios o ídolo el cual tenía dos nombres, conviene a saber, Vitzilipuchtli y el otro Mexitli" (Motolinía, 1995: 46), whereas, Sahagún (1961: 189) and Durán (1967: 28) explain that Mecitli was the name of the priest that guided the Aztecs. According to Sahagún, this word meant maguey-rabbit because me stood for metl –maguey- and citli stood for rabbit (Sahagún, 1997: 610), and its origin as a name was the following story:

It is said that when he was born they named him Citli. And they placed him in a maguey leaf, where he grew strong; wherefore was he named Mecitli. And this one, when he matured, became a priest, a keeper of the god (Sahagún, 1961: 189).

Mecitli’s origin resembles that of Tepoztécatl, for the latter was taken into the wilderness to die, but a maguey leaf protected him and fed him with its juice. In both instances, the plant of maguey is identified as a "mother-earth" that gives and preserves life.

During their peregrination, the Mexicas modified the landscape. According to Durán, the Mexicas did cultivate the land where they stopped. When they continued their pilgrimage, the old and the sick remained in this place. Therefore they had an important role in the process of inhabiting the land (Durán, 1967: 29). On the other hand, the Crónica mexicáyotl details the places they went through one by one, as though someone was marking the itinerary on a map (Alvarado Tezozómoc, 1975: 35). This part of Huitzilopochtli’s story recalls the journey that Quetzalcoatl and Tepozteco carried out, especially because the Mexicas also named the geographic locations they traversed (: 26).

In the stories of Quetzalcoatl and Tepozteco, a conflict had preceded their migration, while in Huitzilopochtli’s it took place during the trip. Sahagún described the confrontation between Huitzilopochtli and Coyolxauhqui in a mythical manner, whereas Durán and Alvarado Tezozómoc explain the historical event behind it. In Coatepec a group of people, under the leadership of Coyolxauh, rebelled against Huitzilopochtli, for they wanted to stay in this place. Therefore, exactly at midnight Huitzilopochtli killed them and took out their hearts (Durán, 1967: 33). He did so to set an example against rebellion and to prove his hegemony (: 34). Alvarado Tezozómoc adds that Huitzilopochtli ate them at night (Alvarado Tezozómoc, 1975: 35). The "eating motif" that characterized the relationship between Xochicalcatl and the people of Morelos appears again in the Crónica mexicáyotl. Copil , the son of the offended sister of Huitzilopochtli, wanted to kill and to eat Huitzilopochtli in order to avenge his mother: "Está bien, oh madre mía; puesto que ya lo sé iré a buscarle adonde se fué a acomodar, a asentarse, e iré a destruirle y comérmele" (: 40. The highlighting is mine). Furthermore, Huitzilopochtli used one of Tepozteco’s most powerful weapons: water. When the Mexicas had first arrived to Coatepec, Huitzilopochtli ordered his priests to change the course of a river, so that it would irrigate the valley (Durán, 1967: 32). After the rebellion at Coatepec, he ordered them to let the river continue its former course. In that manner, the region became sterile (: 34). They left and continued their peregrination.

Finally, Copil’s rebellion recalls the fight of the people from Cuernavaca against Tepozteco, for Copil summoned other people from the region to join him against Huitzilopochtli (: 38), just as other towns joined Cuernavaca against Tepozteco (versions D, E, F, and G).

The "Legend of the Tepozteco" and Catholic mythology

The "Legend of the Tepozteco" is a perfect example of the syncretism that characterizes Mexican folklore. Catholic influence is as, or maybe even more, obvious than pre-Hispanic impact. The immaculate conception of the Tepozteco recalls the marvelous birth of the Hero twins, Quetzalcoatl and Huitzilopochtli, but also that of Jesus in the New Testament. In seven versions of Tepozteco’s story (A, D, E, F, G, H, and J), the baby is put inside a box that is later taken to a stream or a ravine. This recalls the story of Moses in the book of Exodus. After he was born, his mother put him inside a box that she left in the river. The pharaoh’s daughter found him and adopted him. Verson E is an equivalent of this account. In it, the daughter of Tepoztlán’s ruler found Tepozteco and adopted him. However, in other versions, an old couple came across the baby and adopted him. This episode evokes the birth of Isaac in the Bible, especially because in three accounts (A, D, G), the old woman pretends to have given birth and the people of the town are amazed at this event. In the book of Genesis, Sara, Abraham’s wife, conceived and gave birth to Isaac in her old age; thus, the people marveled and considered this birth as God’s miracle. The Tepoztecan legend then retakes Moses’s story. Tepozteco fought against Xochicalcatl in order to free the peoples of Morelos from Xochicalco’s subjugation, just as Moses struggled against Egypt’s pharaoh to obtain the Jews’ freedom. After Tepozteco and Moses defeated their antagonists, they started a peregrination. However, the people of Cuernavaca in the first case, Egyptians in the second, persecuted the heroes. Then, Tepozteco opened the earth with his urine or water from his gourd, and thus, created a ravine that separated him from his persecutors. On the other hand, Moses divided the waters of the sea with his divine staff. When the Jews had crossed, he brought down the water of the sea onto the Egyptians, drowning them.

Furthermore, two of the versions end with episodes in which Tepozteco seems to have taken the place of Jesus. Version G ends when the Virgin of Nativity transformed Christ into the morning star. Although, this event resembles Quetzalcoatl’s end, it also evokes the ascension of Jesus into heavens after his resurrection. On the other hand, account H ends with the statement that Tepozteco will come back at the end of the world, just as Jesus is supposed to come after the final resurrection.

Since colonial chronicles, such as that of Sahagún, Motolinía, Durán, Alvarado Tezozómoc, Torquemada, study indigenous cultures through a European Christian perspective, it is very difficult to distinguish the authentic pre-Hispanic sources of the "Legend of the Tepozteco." It is very likely that Catholic influence also contaminated the myths of Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, Quetzalcoatl, and Huitzilopochtli.


The "Legend of the Tepozteco" reveals the complex processes that have brought and kept into being Mexican folklore. First of all, the continuity of the story in an almost unchanged manner through a time span of seventy-four years is probably the result of two factors. The first is the increasing interest of scholars in recording oral legends. The other is the significance that ancient tradition has always had for the people of Tepoztlán. It is likely that the two dynamics have cooperated in the preservation of the Tepoztecan legend.

Probably, the recording of the story into written accounts served to alter its evolution. For instance, up to 1959, there are several distinct legends about the same character: the Tepozteco. After this time, these stories tend to converge into one longer cycle. Perhaps, this change is also a product of how the Tepoztecans conceived the situation of their town. They might have added the story of Tepozteco and the bells of Mexico City’s cathedral to explain why Tepoztlán lost its destiny to be hegemonic, and was instead doomed into poverty. The last version (J) stresses not the poverty, but the resistant character of Tepoztlán’s inhabitants.

The legend also discloses the process by which two mythologies have come together into Mexican folklore: Mesoamerican and Catholic mythologies. The stories of Tepozteco, the Popol Vuh Hero twins, Mixcoatl-Camaxtli, Quetzalcoatl, Huitzilopochtli, and even those of Jesus and Moses have several things in common: a miraculous conception, a confrontation, and a peregrination. It is very likely that these elements are universal. However, there are several "authentic" Mesoamerican characteristics in the "Legend of the Tepozteco." First of all, Tepozteco was a trickster. He was a trickster-hunter like Hunahpu, Xbalanque, and Mixcoatl-Camaxtli. He is reminiscent of Quetzalcoatl, because like him, Tepozteco embodies the forces of wind and water. His final association with Mesoamerican cosmovision is that he is one of the four-hundred pulque gods that are related to the mountains of the region, to the agricultural cycle, and to the astronomical phenomena of ancient Mexico.

Figure 1. Hills and mountains of Morelos, V. Chichinautzin ridge, VII. Tepoztlán ridge; figure 2, page 31 in Maldonado Jiménez, Druzo. 2000. Deidades y espacio ritual en Cuauhnáhuac y Huaxtepec. Mexico City: UNAM



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