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XIII. Hymn to the Mother of Mortals

XIII. Ciuacoatl icuic.


1. Quaui, quaui, quilaztla, coaeztica xayaualoc uiuiya quauiuitl uitzalochpa chalima aueuetl ye colhoa.

2. Huiya tonaca, acxolma centla teumilco chicauaztica, motlaquechizca.

3. Uitztla, uitztla, nomactemi, uitztla, uitztla nomactemi, açan teumilco chicauaztica motlaquechizca.

4. Malinalla nomactemi, açan teumilco chicauaztica motlaquechizca.

5. A omei quauhtli, ye tonanaya chalmecatecutli ay tziuac y mauiztla nechyatetemilli, yeua nopiltzinaya mixcoatla.

6. Ya tonani, yauçiuatzin, aya tonan yauçiuatzi aya y maca coliuacan y yuitla y potocaya.

7. Ahuiya ye tonaquetli, yautlatocaya, ahuiya ye tonaquetli yautlatocaya moneuila no tlaca cenpoliuiz aya y maca coliuaca y yuitla y potocaya.

8. Ahuia quauiuitl amo xayaualli onauiya yecoyametl amo, xayaualli.

Var. i. Cohoaeztica. 2. Acxoima. 3. Maneuila, cenpoalihuiz, inmaca.


i. Q. n., in quauhcihuatl, ic oxaualoc in coaetztli, ioan in quauhtli yhuitli in moteneua iquauhtzon, ipan iualuicoc yn umpa colhuacan.

2. Q. n., inic motocaya çentli, in mochiuaya teumilpa, ichicauaztlca inic tlatatacaya, inic tocaya.

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3. Uitztla, q. n., nomactemi nochicauaztica inic nitocaya, inic nitlatatacaya.

4. Malinalla, uictli, q. n., uictica in tlachpanaya, id est, iceliniquia, yn uncan teumilpan auh ychicauaztica inic nitlatatacaya, inic tocaya.

5. Q. n., matlactli omei quauhtli yn notonal innamona auh ynan nopilhoan in chalmeca xicuiti in tziuactli xinechtemilica.

6. Q. n., in iyauciuatzin yn amona umpa nochan in coluaca auh in quauiuitl nictemaca ynic oquauhtiuac.

7. Q. n., ca otonac ca otlatuic momochiua yauyutl ma tlainalo tlalpiliuiz nic temaca in quauiuitl.

8. Q. n., aahuia yn otlamaloc in quauiuitl yc moxaua.

Hymn to Cihuacoatl.

1. Quilaztli, plumed with eagle feathers, with the crest of eagles, painted with serpents' blood, comes with her hoe, beating her drum, from Colhuacan.

2. She alone, who is our flesh, goddess of the fields and shrubs, is strong to support us.

3. With the hoe, with the hoe, with hands full, with the hoe, with hands full, the goddess of the fields is strong to support us.

4. With a broom in her hands the goddess of the fields strongly supports us.

5. Our mother is as twelve eagles, goddess of drum-beating, filling the fields of tzioac and maguey like our lord Mixcoatl.

6. She is our mother, a goddess of war, our mother, a

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goddess of war, an example and a companion from the home of our ancestors (Colhuacan).

7. She comes forth, she appears when war is waged, she protects us in war that we shall not be destroyed, an example and companion from the home of our ancestors.

8. She comes adorned in the ancient manner with the eagle crest, in the ancient manner with the eagle crest.


Cihuacoatl was the mythical mother of the human race. Her name, generally translated "serpent woman," should be rendered "woman of twins" or "bearing twins," as the myth related that such was her fertility that she always bore two children at one lying-in. (Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana, Lib. VI., cap. 31.) She was also known by the title Tonan or Tonantzin, "our mother," as in v. 5 and 6. Still another of her appellations was Quilaztli, which is given her in v. 1. (Comp. Sahagun, Historia, Lib. VI., cap. 27.) She was essentially a goddess of fertility and reproduction. The name cihuacoatl was also applied to one of the higher magistrates and war chiefs in the Aztec army (Sahagun). Reference is made to this in v. 6. As a goddess of venerable antiquity, she is spoken of as coming from Colhuacan, "the place of the old men," or of the ancestors of the tribe. This name is derived from coloa, to bend down, as an aged person, colli, an old man. (See my Ancient Nahuatl Poetry, pp. 172-3.)

Next: XIV. Hymn at a Fast.