icnopilli / icnopilt

micc micc at home.com
Fri May 25 23:04:18 UTC 2001

An aside to Enrique's excellent comment is that the "merecimiento" of la danza
Azteca is also based on adherence to the "ancestral" lineage of a person's dance
circle (las animas conquistadoras de nuestros antepasados). Here is is not only
divine intervention as much as it is the  intercession (and thus merit of the
intercession) of the ancestral spirits that come down into the dancers during the
dance ceremony.  I don't know if that makes any sense....

mario e. aguilar

maestas at ccwf.cc.utexas.edu wrote:

> It may be difficult to approach this by looking at English language based
> concepts of merit and may be more productive to consider Spanish and
> Mexican Catholic approaches to "merecimiento". Because of the Catholic
> overtones related to "merecimiento" it is based upon divine intervention
> that is not as far removed culturally as attempts to get at merit through
> an understanding of comparable Nahuatl concepts. In the Catholic Codexes
> of Sahagun and Duran it appears as though both friars engage productively
> in what Lockhart (1991) calls "Double Mistaken Identity" in which a
> concept is used in ways similar enough to grant a semblance of mutual
> understanding but in ways different enough to allow Nahuas and Spaniards
> to continue along with minimal changes in their worldview. Perhaps there
> are direct terms that were used to relate the Nahua and Spanish concepts
> of "merit" that provide clues to understanding the points of difference
> and similarity that allowed "Double Mistaken Identity" to function say in
> conversion and educational processes or in the transition from Nahua to
> Nahua-Spanish mixed forms of political and economic control, i.e. Altepetl
> (Calpulli) system to Cabildo system.
> To bring this closer to the present: Conchero Dance groups in Mexico and
> the US have highlighted the concept of Merecimiento as a cornerstone for
> spititual and community development of what many understand to be a modern
> manifestation of Indigenous Mexican and Spanish mestizaje. Martha Stone
> (1974) and Francis Toor (1948) describe this to a certain degree in Mexico
> and Andres Segura (1973; 1980) and Maestas (1998) describe the spread of
> these traditions into the US. It is possible also that MICCs website
> www.mexicayotl.com may have access to some of these references and
> additional information.
> Enrique Maestas
> On Wed, 23 May 2001, Gingerich Willard P. wrote:
>  > Any consideration of Nahua ideas of merit must also look at the =
>  > concept-clusters in the Florentine, especially Bk VI, around occurrences =
>  > of the phrase in iilhuil in imaceual [A & D translate "the desert, the =
>  > merit" (poss.)], and in iilhuil, in imaceual, in inemac (A & D: "the =
>  > desert, the merit, the lot" of someone: 198 & 203). Also note icnoiotl =
>  > ilhuil, inemac iez (A & D: "misery will be his desert, his lot": 198).
>  > Chapter 36, describing the consultation with in tonalpouhque, in =
>  > tlamatinime on the occasion of a birth, is an especially intense =
>  > meditation on the interactions of tonalli, birth, personal destiny, =
>  > behavior, and merit.
>  > Chapter 20 is another intense discourse on misery, merit and mercy: in =
>  > icnonemiliztli, in nepechtecaliztli: ioan in nenomaiximachiliztli, inic =
>  > uellamachtilo in teteo, ioan in tlalticpac tlaca (A&D: "the humble life, =
>  > the bowing, the knowledge of one's self in order to be pleasing to the =
>  > gods and to man": 105). Humility and the knowledge of self which misery =
>  > and suffering appear to promote are inseparable from divine favor and =
>  > the Tlahtoani's munificence. =20
>  > But perhaps the English word "merit" has served to conflate separate and =
>  > distinct, but interactive, Nahua concepts in these passages? Context is =
>  > crucial.
>  >
>  >
>  > Willard Gingerich
>  > St. John's University
>  > 8000 Utopia Parkway
>  > Jamaica, NY 11439
>  > (718)990-1442
>  > (718)990-1894 FAX
>  > gingeriw at stjohns.edu
>  >
>  >

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