In Indian Mexico (1908) eBook

Frederick Starr
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 409 pages of information about In Indian Mexico (1908).
But again his assistant made a shrewd suggestion.  Yesterday we were at the jail; to-day we should go to the cuartel, and measure the soldiers.  There were two hundred there, and this would more than see us through.  The jefe himself accompanied us to the barracks and introduced us to the colonel, leaving orders that we should be supplied with every aid, and went off happy, in the sense of a bad job well done.  But out of the two hundred soldiers in the barracks, just ten turned out to be Zoques of pure blood.  And long before the day was over, we were again clamoring at the jefe’s house for thirty-six more subjects.  To tell the truth, we doubted his ability to secure them, and, in order to lose no time, started our goods and plaster by carreta for San Cristobal.  Still, while it was plain that he did not know where to look for help, the good man assured us that we should have our thirty-six subjects the next morning.  Meantime, he sent officials with us to visit certain indian houses which we desired to examine, and arranged that we should see a certain characteristic indian dance at his house, at four o’clock that afternoon.

Tuxtla Gutierrez is a capital city.  It is also a busy commercial centre.  Of course, the population is for the most part mestizo, and not indian.  We had been surprised at finding so many indians in the city as there were.  We were yet more surprised to find to what extent the houses of the city, though admirably built, were truly indian in style, presenting many points of interest.  The walls of the “god-house” were heavy and substantial, smoothly daubed with mud, neatly plastered and often adorned with colored decorations.  The “cook-house,” slighter and less well-built, was made of poles daubed with mud, and rough with heavy thatching.  The granary was elevated above the ground, and sheltered with its own neat thatching.

In the afternoon, at four o’clock, we betook ourselves to the jefe’s house to see the dance.  At Tuxtla, there are two town governments, that of the mestizos and that of the indians.  The indian officials—­“alcaldes indios”—­are recognizable by their dress, which is a survival of the ancient indian dress of the district.  Their camisa, broad hat, and leather breeches, are characteristic.  Around the head, under the hat, they wear a red cloth, and those who have served as indian alcaldes continue to wear this head-cloth after their official service ends.  These indian officials had been commissioned to bring together the dancers, and make all necessary arrangements.  The colonel, the prisoners of state, and one or two other guests were present.  The leader of the dance was gaily dressed, in a pair of wide drawers with lace about the legs below the knee, a pair of overdrawers made of bright-colored handkerchiefs, and a helmet or cap of bright-red stuff from which rose a crest of macaw feathers, tipped with tufts of

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