MAX R HARRIS
mrharri1 at FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Fri Mar 26 16:16:03 UTC 2004
In Cuetzalan, in 1988, I picked up a little book by Antonio Santiago Aguilar Lara, called Tradicion: Ensayo historico y social del legendario pueblo de Quetzalan, which includes a lengthy digression (pp. 31-80) on the origin of the town's name. The author idientifies eight different theories, but finally settles on the most straightforward, that Cuetzalan is a corruption of Quetzalan, which, he claims, is how the name of the town is spelled in surviving documents from 1555 to 1863, and that it refers to the quetzal bird, with a possible secondary reference to the goddess Xochiquetzal.
I have no way of assessing this theory, but, if you want to pursue your question further, Aguilar Lara's book (if you can find a copy) would be one place to start.
Max Harris, Executive Director
Wisconsin Humanities Council
222 South Bedford Street, Suite F
Madison, WI 53703
----- Original Message -----
From: ANTHONY APPLEYARD <a.appleyard at BTINTERNET.COM>
Date: Friday, March 26, 2004 1:34 am
> A recent underwater cave rescue has put the place name Cuetzalan
> (in Puebla state) in the news. What does the name come from? Is it
> correctly [Cuetzalla_n]? My Nahuatl to English dictionary contains
> [quetzalli] but not [cuetzalli].
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