In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 481 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).

The town has a most curious reputation, as devoted to commerce, and not to manual labor.  In fact, it is considered disgraceful for a man of Huauhtla to indulge in work.  The people of San Lucas, the nearest town, and a dependency, are, on the other hand, notably industrious, and it is they who carry burdens and do menial work for the lordly Huauhtla people.  Mrs. de Butrie told us that she tried in vain to get a cook in the village.  The woman was satisfied to cook and found no fault with the wages offered, but refused the job because it involved the carrying of water, and she feared lest she might be seen at such ignoble labor.  Mr. de Butrie a while ago bought a set of shelves from a man who had them in his house.  As they were dirty, he suggested that they must be cleaned before he would receive them.  The seller said, very well, he would send for a man of San Lucas to clean them.  It was only lately that they condescended to carry stuff to Teotitlan to sell.  In the town-house they cherish two much-prized possessions, the titulo and mapa of the town.  The former is the grant made by the Spanish government to this village, in the year 1763.  It is an excellently preserved document in parchment and the old writing is but little faded.  As for the mapa, it is a strip of native, coarse cotton cloth, seven feet by three feet nine inches in size, with a landscape map of the surrounding country painted upon it in red, yellow, black and brown.  It is a quaint piece of painting, with mountains valleys, streams, caves, trees, houses, churches and villages represented on it with fair exactness.  It was probably painted at the same time that the titulo was given to the village.

The morning after our arrival, we witnessed a quadruple indian wedding in the church at seven.  The brides were magnificent in the brilliant huipilis, and the godmothers were almost as much so, with their fine embroideries.  The ceremony was much like that at Coixtlahuaca, already described.  The bride put a silver ring upon the groom’s finger, and he did the same by her; the priest put money into the man’s hands, he transferred this to the woman, and she to the priest; single chains were hung about the neck of each of the party, both men and women; the covering sheet or scarf was stretched over all four couples at once, covering the heads of the women and the shoulders of the men.

Near the town-house, along the main street, is a series of sheds or shacks used as shops, altogether numerically disproportionate to the population.  Great was our surprise to find that one of these was kept by a Frenchman, who spoke excellent English, and who is married to an English lady.  They were the only white people living in this great indian town.  Monsieur de Butrie has a coffee plantation in the valley a few miles away, at Chichotla, but he finds the climate bad for himself and lady.  Accordingly, they had moved up onto the high land, and it is easy for him,

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In Indian Mexico (1908) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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