mihtotia, ihtotia, mecehua...to dance?

micc2 micc2 at cox.net
Thu Aug 2 15:11:38 UTC 2007

Piali Compaleh,

I am doing more research on the precolumbian dance traditions of Mexico.

My question is this:

For Nahuatl I have found in Molina:

Bailar o dancar nin, itotia.  ni, maceua
Bailador, netotiani, maceuani
baile o danca, netotiliztli, maceualiztli

In Karttunen:

ihto:tia: to dance; to get someone to dance
I did not find an entry for macehua

Based on Frances' analysis, should  Molina's maceua  (macehua)  be 
derived/related  from/to ma:ce:hualli: subject, commoner, indigenous 
person  or mahce:hualli: merit recompense fortune?

In the book "Victors and Vanquished, edited by Stuart B. Schwartz, a 
section of Francisco Lopez de Gomara's Istoria de la Conquista de Mexico 
says  "...The performed the dance called macehualixtli, which means 
"reward through work" (from macehualli, a farmer)."
(page 160)

I am very much interested in what (if any) were the differences between 
the dances known as netotiliztli/mihtotiliztli, and those called 

My theory is that one is a more social and popular type of dance, 
maceualiztli, (which also had its sacred aspects) and the other 
netotiliztli/mihtotiliztli is much more focused on religious state 
sponsored dance rituals for the gods.

Anyone have an idea where I can do further research on this question?

Miyec Tlazcamati!


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