robert barkaloff robert at COATLI.COM
Thu Jul 22 19:14:51 UTC 2004

Richley Crapo wrote:

>>>>institute at CSUMB.EDU 07/21/04 20:28 PM >>>
>Nahua language and culture discussion <NAHUAT-L at lists.umn.edu> writes:
>>I've heard it said so. To complicate matters, iirc, coatl may also mean "twin."
>Is your reference here based on the term "cuate" or "mecuate"?  The mecuate derives from that term used to make reference to the "twin" that emerges as the offspring of the agave, metl or teometl, which reproduces itself as a twin via its offspring.
>I've been at home and am not actually sure the source (or even accuracy of my memory about it). It likely was a nonlinguistic source such as "Rain of Darts" and may, therefore, be inaccurate. I'm going up to the office today and will see if I can find it.
Just off the top of my head, mecuate come from two root words: "metl-"
and "-coatl," and yes, "coatl" does also mean "twin."  Sometimes snakes
are shown with two heads, such as when they are used as belts in
sculpture -- I beleive this is a further play on the word for "twin" and
"snake."  Surprisingly, the modern meaning for "coatl" has survived and
is in common use in Mexican Spanish as "cuate," but only as "twin,"
while the word for snake has evolved, at least in some regions, to
"coa," as in "macoa" or "acoa" (atl-coatl).


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