The tower situated in the southern court is considered by Waldeck as the crowning work of all. The picture is a reduction from Waldeck’s drawing, and no doubt indicates the true number of its stories, as well as the remarkable growth of vegetation upon its roof. The descent of the little roots and tendrils of the trees above in quest of nourishment, furnish a striking illustration of the luxuriant vegetable growth which pervades the region.
Another representation of the Elephant-headed Rain god. He is holding thunderbolts, conventionalised in a hand-like form. The Serpent is converted into a sac, holding up the rain-waters.
Reproduction of a Picture in the Maya Codex Troano
I reproduce here a remarkable drawing from the Codex Troano, in which this god, whom the Maya people called Chac, is shown pouring the rain out of a water-jar (just as the deities of Babylonia and India are often represented), and putting his foot upon the head of a serpent, who is preventing the rain from reaching the earth. Here we find depicted with childlike simplicity and directness the Vedic conception of Indra overcoming the demon Vritra. Stempell describes this scene as "the elephant-headed god B standing upon the head of a serpent"; while Seler, who claims that god B is a tortoise, explains it as the serpent forming a footstool for the rain-god.
The image of the sun is held up by a man in front of his face; two men blow conch-shell trumpets; another pair burn incense, and a third pair make blood-offerings by piercing their ears.
Rich mines of silver existed in the new world, particularly in Mexico and Peru. The conquest of Mexico by Cortes in 1519 was speedily followed by the development of the rich silver mines of that country. From a very early period the Aztecs had been familiar with silver, and wrought it into many ornamental and useful articles. The mines were opened and extensively worked by the Peruvians in Guanajuato, Zacatecas, and other districts, and their production was greatly increased by the abundance of quicksilver, and its employment in the reduction of ores. Quicksilver is used for this purpose to a greater extent in Mexico and Peru than in other countries.
Wherever there are real roads in Mexico, there you may see the quaint old-fashioned ox-carts with wheels often made from solid blocks of wood cut to shape. Two oxen are generally yoked to each, but when heavy loads are to be dragged, four, six, or even more are used at once.
We have spoken only of the mestizos. The Indians are also interesting. There are many tribes, all with their own customs, and many with their old languages still in use. In the State of Oaxaca alone there are fifteen languages still spoken. Among the many Mexican Indian tribes perhaps the Aztecs, Otomis, Tarascans, Zapotecs, and Mayas are the best known.
In Central Mexico water is precious, and in the cities special men make it a business to sell water from house to house. The water-carriers of different towns greatly differ in the form and size of the jars they use and in the mode of carrying them. In the city of Mexico, where they are becoming an uncommon sight, the man carries two water-jars of metal, one in front, one behind, hanging by straps from his shoulders and cap; in Guadalajara a number of round pottery water-jars are set into a sort of a frame mounted on a cart or barrow; in San Luis Potosi there are four oval jars set into a wheelbarrow with an enormous wheel; in Guanajuato they use great slender jars nearly as tall as the man himself, with a ring of wood at the bottom to hold them when they are set on the ground.
Of all the officers who have commanded the army and enjoyed the presidency, Santa Anna has occupied the most distinguished position since the death of Iturbidé.
Battle of Palo Alto 8th. May 1846
Maya God of War
Mayan God of War
This represents the “Adoratorio or Alta Casa, No. 3” of Palenque. This is nothing else than the temple of the god Huitzilopochtli and of his equal, Tlaloc.
The Palenquean Group of the Cross
Tablet at Palenque
Statue at Copan
Statue at Copan
Maya War God
This represents Huitzilopochtli, or rather, the Yucatec equivalent of this Aztec god.
This I take to be the sorcerer Tlaloc. He is blowing the wind from his mouth; he has the eagle in his head-dress, the jaw with grinders, the peculiar eye, the four Tlaloc dots over his ear and on it, the snake between his legs, curved in the form of a yoke (this is known to be a serpent by the conventional crotalus signs of jaw and rattles on it in nine places), the four Tlaloc dots again in his head-dress, etc. He has a leopard skin on his back (the tiger was the earth in Mexico) and his naked feet have peculiar anklets which should be noticed.