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).
to San Antonio, and, by coach to Teotitlan del Camino and by horse beyond, penetrated to the great Mazatec town of Huauhtla.  Chinantecs, Chochos, and Mazatecs are tribes of Oaxaca.  Leaving that state, we traveled by rail to Tulancingo.  From there, by coach and on horseback, we visited Otomi, Aztec, Tepehua and Totonac towns in the states of Puebla and Hidalgo.  With the field season of 1901, our work in Indian Mexico ended.  It was pursued in three separated areas.  From the City of Mexico, we went by rail to Tampico.  From that point, a journey by canoe and horse enabled us to see the Huaxtecs of the state of Vera Cruz.  Returning to Tampico, a trip by steamer across the gulf brought us to Yucatan.  Progreso and Merida were visited, and our work was done upon the Mayas living near the town of Tekax.  A second trip on the gulf brought us to Coatzacoalcos, whence the railroad was used to Tehuantepec and San Geronimo.  From the latter point, an ox-cart journey of ten nights, across the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, brought us to Tuxtla Gutierrez.  By horse we continued through Chiapas to El Salto, where we took steamer for Frontera.  From there, by steamer to Vera Cruz and then by rail, we traveled to the City of Mexico.  Zoques, Tzotzils, Tzendals, and Chols were studied in this portion of the journey.



Oaxaca, Mexico, March 1.—­Prof.  Frederick Starr, of the University of Chicago, is deep in the midst of his savages.  He is manipulating primitive town governments, wielding the authority of federal and state governments, county police, and that of the clergy as well.  He is threatening, cajoling, clapping in jail, when necessary, and in general conquering his series of strange nations.  I found him doing all this, and more, in a little native village fifty miles from the city of Oaxaca, Feb. 2nd.  The fat little man was complete master of the Zapotec town of Mitla, far distant from the end of the last of the railroads, a town famous for its ruins.  He bustled about like a captain in a war haste, dressed in a massive Indian sombrero, from which a white string floated picturesquely behind, a necktie of slim, dusty black, which seemed not to have been unknotted for many a day, a shirt less immaculate than the one he may wear at the entertainment shortly to be given him in London, and no coat.  The professor’s trousers are not Indian.  They are farm trousers, of an original type, with double seat for the saddle.

The professor’s blood was up.  A grand native feast—­in which drunken dances, bull-fights, and a state of accumulated irresponsibility are the rule—­had delayed him three days.  The Indians could no more be measured and “busted”—­as the professor calls the making of plaster casts—­than could the liquor they had drunk.  After three days of pleading, threatening, and berating, in which orders from every government and church official in the country, from lowest to highest, had failed, Prof.  Starr seized the black-bearded and wiry president of the town council, the chief potentate of the reeling set, called him a drunken scoundrel, threatened in deep seriousness to imprison every man in the town, and finally won his point—­but not until the feast was done.  When feasts are over, the people are kindly, suave, gracious.

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