Aztec Literary Masterpiece

"Two literary pieces written in Nahuatl and attributed to Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, which have been translated by experts, preserve the Indian cult of mountains in a disguised language, ethnohistory specialist Margarita Loera said.

The literary collection Mercurio Encomiastico, which includes the two texts by Sor Juana and others by 16 Indian chiefs of the 17th and 18th centuries, was translated from Nahuatl to Spanish by experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, with the help of native speakers of that language, Loera said in a statement.

Juana Ines de Asbaje y Ramirez de Santillana, known as Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, lived from 1648-1695 and entered the convent to pursue her vocation as poet, writer and playwright. She was called the 10th Muse and the Phoenix of America.

“The introduction to a play attributable to Sor Juana, but above all the literary pieces by native chieftains, reveal a pantheistic invocation of the forces of nature,” Loera said.

One of the oldest references to the myth of the “love between volcanoes,” of pre-Columbian origin, tells of the “relationship” between the Iztaccihuatl (Sleeping Woman) Volcano and Cerro Venacho mountain, both in central Mexico, Loera said.

What is most noteworthy about the transcript of the literary collection is the glimpse it give us of a language full of cultural disguises used by Indian leaders at the time to conceal the cult of mountains that they wished to preserve." MORE

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