Frances Karttunen karttu at NANTUCKET.NET
Tue Jul 6 23:09:05 UTC 2004

on 7/6/04 5:45 PM, Caroline Dodds at ced44 at CAM.AC.UK wrote:

Apologies to all those who have requested that I cite the passage.

The reason that I didn't give more context at the time is the the term is a
title, not part of a text. It comes from the Florentine Codex, Book 10, The
People and is the title to the section presented in the facing text as that
concerning 'The Pervert'. I am doing some research on Aztec gender and
sexuality, which is why I was trying to trace the roots of the word (to try
and examine its implications). I am wondering now whether it is simply a
case that SahagĂșn was told by his informants that this was the meaning of
the term - you would, however, expect some kind of logical root.

I do not have the Nahuatl passage here, but will have to look it up when I
next am in the library. If anyone is able to supply it so that we can
continue the discussion then that would be much appreciated. The original is
from the Florentine Codex, Book 10, The People, p. 37 (from the 1961 Dibble
and Anderson edition). For purposes of identification, the English
translation of the text which follows the  heading Suchioa/Pervert is: "The
pervert [is] of feminine speech, of feminine mode of address. [If a woman,
she is] of masculine speech, of masculine mode of address; [she has] a
vulva, a crushed vulva, a friction-loving vulva. [He is] a corrupter, a
deranger; one who deprives one of his reason. She rubs her vulva on one; she
perverts, confuses, corrupts one."

This begins to make sense.  A:huiyanimeh, 'courtesans, women of pleasure'
(literally 'ones who habitually enjoy themselves') were conventionally
depicted with their hair loosened, standing on water (symbolizing the first
syllable of the word a:huiyani), and holding flowers.  So we are not likely
looking at the verb meaning to blossom, but rather to the possessor

xo:chi-yo:-huah 'one who possesses a bunch of flowers'

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