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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
Tlacolula, from whence it is distant a league ant a half to the N.
ACATEPEQUE, S. Franciso de, a settlement of the head settlement of St. Andres de Cholula, and alcaldía mayor of this name. It contains 140 Indian families, and is half a league to the S of its capital.
ACATLAN, a settlement and capital of the alcaldía mayor of this name. It is of a mild temperature, and its situation is at the entrance of the Misteca Baxa. It contains 850 families of Indians, and 20 of Spaniards and Mustees. In its vicinity are some excellent saltgrounds, in which its commerce chiefly consists. The jurisdiction of this alcaldía, which contains four other head settlements of the district, is fertile and pleasant, abounding in flowers, fruits, all kinds of pulse and seeds, and is well watered. They have here large breeds of goats, which they slaughter chiefly for the skin and the fat, salting down the flesh, and sending it to La Puebla and other parts to be sold. In its district are many cultivated lands. It is 55 leagues leagues to the E S E of Mexico. Long. 275° 10' W Lat. 19° 4' N.
another settlement of the same name, with the dedicatory title of S. Andres, in the head settlement and alcaldía mayor of Xalapa, in the same kingdom, situate on a clayey spot of ground, of a cold moist temperature, rendered fertile by an abundance of streams, which in a very regular manner water the lands; although,it being void of mountains and exposed to the N winds, the fruits within its neighourhood do not come to maturity. It contains 180 Indian families, including those of the new settlement, which was established at a league's distance to the S of its head settlement, and which is called San Miguel de las Aguastelas. Acatlan is a league and a half distant from its head settlement.
another settlement, having the dedicatory title of San Pedro, belonging to the head settlement of Malacatepec and alcaldía mayor of Nexapa, in the same kingdom. It contains 80 Indian families, who trade in wool and in the fish called bobo, quantities of which are found in a large river which runs close by the settlement, and which are a great source of emolument to them. It is four leagues N of its capital.
another settlement of the head settlement of Atotonilco, and alcaldía mayor of Tulanzingo in the same kingdom. It contains 115 Indian families, and a convent of the religious order of St. Augustin. — Two leagues N of its head settlement.
ACATLAZINGO, Santa Maria de, a settlement of the head settlement of Xicula, and alcaldía mayor of Nexapa, situate in a plain that is surrounded on all sides by mountains. It contains 67 Indian families, who employ themselves in the culture of the cochineal plant.
ACAXEE, a nation of Indians of the province of Topia. It is well peopled, and was converted to the Catholic faith by the father Hernando de Santaren, and others of the abolished society of the Jesuits, in 1602. They are docile, of good dispositions and abilities. In the time of their idolatry, they used to bend the heads of their dead with their bodies and knees together, and in this posture inter them in a cave, or under a rock, giving them provisions for the journey which they fancied them about to make ; also laying by them a bow and arrows for their defence. Should an Indian woman happen to have died in childbed, the infant was put to death ; for they used to say, it was the cause of her death. These Indians were once induced by a sorcerer to make an insurrection, but it was quelled by the governor of the province, Don Francisco de Ordinola, in the year 1612.
ACAXETE, Santa María de, the head, settlement of the district of the alcaldía mayor of Tepcaca, situate on the slope of the noted sierra of Tlascala. It is of a cold and dry temperature, contains seven Spanish families, 10 of Mustees and Mulattoes, and 176 of Mexican Indians. In its vicinity is a reservoir, formed of hewn stone, which serves at once to catch the waters as they come down from the sierra, and to conduct them to Tepcaca, three leagues N N W of its capital.
[claimed a frank and gentle disposition. It was anhonest face, (says Martyr), coarse, but not gloomy ;for it was enlivened by confidence, and softened bycompassion. Amongst our islanders, an attach-ment to the sex was remarkably conspicuous.Love, with this happy people, was not a transientand youthful ardour only ; but the source of alltheir pleasures, and the chief business of life : fornot being, like the Caribes, opjjressed by theweight of perpetual solicitude, and tormented byan unquenchable thirst of revenge, they gave fullindulgence to the instincts of nature, while the in-fluence of the climate heightened the sensibility ofthe passions. See Oviedo, lib.v. c.S. ' WeLave nearly the same account at this day of theArrowauks of Guayana. “ In their natural dis-position (says Bancroft) they are amorous andwanton and Barrere observes, “ ils sont Intri-gues au supreme degreZ' It is related by Herrera,that a deity similar to the Venus of antiquity,was one of the divinities of the Tlascalans, apeople of Mexico. In truth, an excessive sen-suality was among the greatest defects in theircharacter : and to this cause alone is imputed, bysome writers, the origin of that dreadful disease,witli the infliction of which they have almost re-venged the calamities brought upon them by theavarice of Europe; if indeed the venereal contagionwas first introduced into Spain from these islands;a conclusion to which, notwithstanding all thatLas been written in support of it, an attentive in-quirer will still hesitate to subscribe. Their agi-lity was eminently conspicuous in their dances,wherein they delighted and excelled, devoting thecool hours of night to this employment. “ It wastheir custom (says Herrera) to dance from eveningto the dawn ; and although 50,000 men and wo-men were frequently assembled together on theseoccasions, they seemed actuated by one commonimpulse, keeping time by responsive motions oftheir hands, feet, and bodies, with an exactnessthat was wondertul. These public dances (for theyhad others highly licentious) were appropriated toparticular solemnities, and being accompanied withhistorical songs, were called arietoes ; a singularfeature in their political institutions, of which weshall presently speak. Besides the exercise ofdancing, another diversion was prevalent amongthem, which they called bato; and it appears fromthe account given of it by the Spanish historians,that it had a distant resemblance to the Englishgame of cricket ; for the players were divided intotwo parties, Avhich alternately changed places, andthe sport consisted in dexterously throwing and re-turning an elastic ball from one parly to the other.
It was not however caught in the hand, or re«turned with an instrument, but received on thehead, the elbow, or the foot ; and the dexterityand force with which it Avas thence repelled, Avereastonishing and inimitable. Such exertions belongnot to a people incurably enervated and slothful.
2. Intellects. — The benevolence of these In-dians, unexampled in the history of civilized na-tions, was soon basely requited by the conduct of aband of robbers, whom Columbus unfortunatelyleft in the island, on his departure for Europe.When any of the Spaniards came near to a village,the most ancient and venerable of the Indians, orthe cacique himself, if present, came out to meetthem, and gently conducted them into their habi-tations, and seated them on stools of ebony curi-ously ornamented. These benches seem to havebeen seats of honour reserved for their guests ; forthe Indians threw themselves on the ground, andkissing the hands and feet of the Spaniards, of-fered them fruits and the choicest of their viands ;entreating them to prolong their stay, with suchsolicitude and reverence as demonstrated that theyconsidered them as beings of a superior nature,whose presence consecrated their dAvellings, andbrought a blessing with it. The reception whichBartholomew Columbus, who was appointed lieu-tenant, or deputy -governor, in the absence of theadmiral, afterAvards met with, in his progressthrough the island to levy tributes from the severalcaciques or princes, manifested not only kindnessand submission, but on many occasions munifi-cence, and even a high degree of politeness. Thesecaciques had all heard of the Avonderful eagernessof the strangers for gold ; and such of them aspossessed any of this precious xnetal, willinglypresented all that they had to the deputy-governor.Others, Avho had not the means of obtaining gold,brought provisions and cotton in great abundance.Among the latter Avas Behechio, a powerful ca-cique, Avho invited the lieutenant and his attend-ants to his dominions ; and tlie entertainmentwhich they received from this hospitable chief isthus described by Martyr. “ As they approachedthe king’s dwelling, they Avere met by his Avives,to the number of SO, carrying branches of thepalm-tree in their hands, who first sainted theSpaniards Avitli a solemn dance, accompanied Avitha general song. These matrons Avere succeeded bya train of virgins, distinguished as such by theirappearance; the former Avearing aprons of cottondoth, Avhile the latter Avere arrayed only in the in-nocence of pure nature. Their hair was tiedsimply Avith a fillet over their foreheads, or suf-fered to floAV gracefully on their shoulders and bo-]