By morning, Papancin died, and in the evening of the same day she was buried with great pomp at the Chapultepek cemetery next to the imperial ancestors. But this neighborhood, as we will see later, was not to her liking.
On the same day, I learned that being a god is not so easy. It was required of me that I study all kinds of arts, in particular terrible music, although I did not have the slightest inclination to music at all. But in this case no one asked my opinion. My mentors, respectable elderly people who could find a more worthy occupation, came to me with lutes, so that I could learn to play them. Others began to teach me Aztec literacy, poetry and other arts, as they understood them, but I learned this with pleasure. However, I did not forget the prophetic words that the one who multiplies his knowledge multiplies his sorrows. And indeed, what good was all of these sciences to me if they were soon to die with me on a sacrificial stone!
The idea of a damned sacrifice at first led me to despair. However, then I thought that mortal danger had threatened me more than once, but I always came out of the water dry. Maybe I'm lucky this time too? In any case, it was still far from death. While I was a god and wanted, regardless of whether I perish later or survive, I will live the time allotted to me as a god, enjoying all the blessings of life available to God. And I healed with might and main. It is unlikely that anyone ever had more opportunities, and even such unusual ones, and certainly no one would have been able to use them better. Indeed, if it were not for homesickness and for my distant sweetheart, which at times enveloped me with irresistible force, I would feel almost happy. My power was immense, and everything around me is surprisingly unusual. But let's continue the story.
Within a few days after the death of Papancin, the palace and the whole city were mourned. All kinds of strange rumors spread, confusing the minds of people. Every night, a glowing glow illuminated the eastern half of the sky, and every day brought more new signs and wonders or new terrible tales about the Spaniards. Most considered them white-skinned gods, the children of Quetzalcoatl, who returned to their land, which was once owned by their ancestor.
Amid all this confusion, the emperor himself felt the worst of all. Over the past few weeks, he had eaten almost nothing, did not drink, and did not sleep at all. In this state, Montezuma sent messengers to his old rival, the stern and wise Nesaualpilli, leader of the union state of Texcoco. He asked him to come, and Nesaualpilly arrived.
It was an old man with piercing and fierce eyes. I happened to witness his meeting with Montezuma, because as a god I walked freely around the palace and even could attend the council of the emperor with the elders.
When the two monarchs exchanged greetings, Montezuma spoke with Nesaualpilli about the signs, about the appearance of the teulei and asked to dispel the darkness surrounding him with his wisdom. Nesaualpilli stroked his long gray beard and replied that no matter how hard Montezuma had in his heart, he would soon have even harder.
“Listen to me,” the old man said. - I know that the days of our power are numbered. I am so sure of this that I am ready to play the ball with you for my whole kingdom, which you and all your ancestors so wanted to conquer.
- And what mortgage should I put? Asked Montezuma.
- We will play like that. You will put three fighting cocks, and if I win, you will give me their spurs. And I put my whole kingdom of Texcoco.
“The stakes are unequal,” Montezuma said. “There are many roosters, and there are far fewer kingdoms.”
“Well, and what of that?” - objected the old leader. - We play against fate. As the game develops, it will be so. If you win the kingdom, everything will be fine, and if I win cock spurs, then goodbye forever the glory of Anahuak, for our people will cease to be a people and the aliens will take over our lands.
“Well, let’s play and see,” Montezuma agreed, and they headed to the grounds for the game in tlachtle. Tlachtli, or tlachka, is a ritual game in which the players tried to hit the vertically mounted rings with a heavy rubber ball, and it was possible to push the ball only with the body and elbows, this whole episode is described in Aztec chronicles, the author made only one inaccuracy: Nesauualpilly set his kingdom not against the spurs of fighting cocks, but against three turkeys, at that time not known to Europeans.
The game started. Montezuma won first and boasted loudly that he would soon be the ruler of Texcoco.
- Well, if so! Said Nesaualpilli, wise for years, and from that moment luck turned away from the Aztec emperor. No matter how he tried, he never again managed to push the ball into the ring, and in the end Nesaualpilli won his cocks. Music began to play, courtiers crowded around the old leader, congratulated him on his victory. But in response, he only sighed heavily and said:
“It would be better if I lost my kingdom than I won these birds, for then my kingdom would pass into the hands of a man from our people.” But alas! - both my and his possessions will go to strangers who will overthrow our gods and turn all our glory into nothing!
With these words he rose and, having said goodbye to the emperor, left for his country. Fortunately, the old leader soon died, so he did not have to see for himself the fulfillment of his terrible predictions.
The day after the departure of Nesaualpilli, new news arrived about the actions of the Spaniards, which worried Montezuma even more. In fear, he sent for an astrologer, glorified throughout the country by the wisdom of his divination. The astrologer appeared, and Montezuma locked himself in private. I don’t know what he said to the emperor, but apparently there was nothing pleasant in his prophecies, because that same night Montezuma ordered his soldiers to bring down the sage’s house, and he died under the ruins of his own home.
Two days after the death of the astrologer Montezuma, who stubbornly considered me one of the theule, he decided that I could give him the necessary information. At sunset, he sent for me and offered to take a walk with him through the garden. I came accompanied by my musicians, who did not leave me alone for a minute, but then the emperor said that he wanted to talk with me in private and ordered everyone to leave. Following him, holding back a step, I entered the canopy of the mighty, spreading cedars.
“Theul,” Montezuma finally spoke, “tell me about your brothers!” Why did they land on our shores? But look, be careful not to lie!
“They are not my brothers, O Montezuma!” I answered. “Only my mother was from their tribe.”
“I told you to tell only the truth.” Did you hear theul? If your mother was from their tribe, aren’t you the same as them, aren’t you flesh of flesh and blood of your mother’s blood?
“As the lord wishes,” I said with a bow and began to talk about the Spaniards — about their country, about their size, cruelty, and I was an insatiable thirst for gold. Montezuma listened eagerly, but apparently did not believe even half of what I said, for fear made him immensely suspicious. When I fell silent, he again asked me:
“Why did they come to Anahuac?”
“I’m afraid, lord, that they came to seize this land or, at best, to plunder all its treasures and overthrow its gods.”
“What do you advise me, theul?” How to defend yourself against these mighty warriors dressed in metal and galloping on ferocious wild beasts? They have some kind of tubes rumbling like thunder, from the sounds of which hundreds of enemies are strewn, and in their hands are weapons of willows of sparkling silver. How to deal with them? Alas, it is impossible to resist them, for they are the sons of Quetzalcoatl, who returned to take possession of their land. I heard about them from childhood, I was afraid of them all my life, and today they are standing at my doorstep.
“I am only a god,” I answered, “but if the ruler of the earth permits, I will give him simple advice.” Answer force by force! There are few teuli, and against each of them you can put up a thousand soldiers. Attack of them first, do not wait until they find allies, crush them right away!
“And that is advised to me by the one whose mother was from the Teuli tribe,” the emperor said with a malicious smile. “Tell me more, counselor, how can I find out that people are fighting against me, not gods?” How can I know the true desires and intentions of the ethics of people or gods if they do not speak my language, and I do not speak their language?
“It is not difficult to do, O Montezuma,” I answered. “I know their language.” Send me - and I will know everything for you.
As I said these words, I felt hope burning in my heart. If I could get to the Spaniards, I would have escaped from the sacrificial altar! Or maybe even returned to his homeland. After all, they sailed on the ships, and the ships will probably sail back. So far I have nothing to complain about my fate, but, of course, most of all I would like to be among Christians again.
Montezuma silently looked at me for a while, then answered:
“Theul, you probably take me for a fool.” Do you really think that I will send you to them to tell your brothers about my fear, about my weakness and show them all our vulnerabilities? Do you really think I don’t know why you came here? Fool! I know - you are a scout theoule! You made it to us to scout everything about our country! I found out about this on the very first day, and I swear by the god Huitzilopochtli if you had not been dedicated to Tescatlipoca, your heart would have been smoking on the altar tomorrow! Beware, and do not give me more false advice, otherwise you will die much earlier than you think. Know, I questioned you on purpose, for so the gods commanded. I read their will on the hearts of today's victims and spoke to you to elicit your secret thoughts and turn them against you. Do you advise me to fight the theuli? So, I will not fight them. I will meet them with affectionate words and gifts, for I know that you advise me only that which will destroy me!
Montezuma spoke all this quietly, choking with rage, he stood in front of me with his arms crossed on his chest, his head bowed low, and a nervous trembling shook his whole body. I was scared in earnest. Although I was a god, I perfectly understood that just one nod of the earthly ruler was enough to doom me to the most painful death. Nevertheless, most of all at that moment I was struck by the stupidity of this man, who was otherwise so wise and reasonable. He did not trust me and at the same time blindly believed his idols, pushing him to certain death. But why? Only today I found the answer to this question.
Montezuma himself was not to blame, Inevitable rock directed his every move, and fate itself spoke with his mouth. The gods of Anahuac were false gods. I know now that behind their ugly stone sculptures was hidden the living, devilishly cruel mind of the priests - not for nothing that they said that the gods love bloody human victims. But the curse weighed upon them. And when the emperor questioned his idols through the priests, they gave him false advice, dooming to the death of themselves and all who worshiped them, because it was predetermined.
As we spoke, the sun set quickly, and everything plunged into darkness. Only the snowy peaks of the Popocatepetl and Istaxiuatl volcanoes were still illuminated by an ominous blood-red glow.
The figure of a dead woman, resting in her eternal coffin on top of Istaxiuatl, had never loomed with such clarity and perfection as that night. It might have been a game of imagination, but I clearly saw a gigantic, bloody female body lying on my deathbed.
But, obviously, it was not only my imagination, because when Montezuma fell silent, his eyes accidentally fell to the top of the volcano, and he also froze, unable to take his eyes off her.
- Look, theul! He said finally, with a bitter laugh. - Look! There lies the soul of the people of Anahuac, washed with blood and ready for burial. Do you see how terrible it is even in death?
But as soon as he uttered these words and turned to leave, a wild inhuman cry, full of such terrible torment, rushed from the side of the mountain that my blood froze in my veins. Montezuma grabbed hold of my hand in horror, and we both stared at Istaxiuatl, from where these unearthly sobs rushed. It seemed to us that the bloodied, covered with terrible crimson light figure of a sleeping woman rose from her stone coffin. She rose slowly, as if waking from a dream, and finally stood up at her full gigantic height on the top of the mountain. Trembling with fear, we looked at the awakened giantess, wrapped in snow-white robes, as if stained with blood.
For several moments the ghost stood motionless, looking down at Tenochtitlan. Then he suddenly stretched out his hands to him, with a gesture full of compassion, and at the same moment the night darkness consumed him, and mournful moans gradually subsided in the distance.
“Tell me, theul,” the emperor whispered, “Is it not terrible to see such signs every day?” I'm afraid. Listen to the wailing in the city! They also saw this ghost. Do you hear people screaming out of fear? Do you hear how the priests beat the drums to avert the curse from us? Cry, cry, my people! Pray, priests, and multiply the sacrifices, for the day of your death is near! O Tenochtitlan, king of all cities! I see you shattered and scolded. I see your palaces blackened from conflagration, your temples - defiled, beautiful gardens - run wild. I see your noble wives as concubines of strangers, your royal princes as their servants. Your canals are reddened from the blood of your children, your dams are strewn with their charred bones. Death is everywhere, dishonor is your bread, despair is your fate. You raised me, the king of cities, the cradle of my ancestors. And now I tell you - goodbye forever!
So grieve Montezuma in the night darkness, loudly pouring out his grief. But a full moon peeked out from behind the mountains, and its dim radiance leaked through the branches of cedars, hung with ghostly beards of lichens. It illuminated the tall figure of Montezuma, his grief-stricken face, his thin arms, sometimes soaring, sometimes falling in prophetic ecstasy, my shiny jewelry and a handful of courtiers and musicians who had died from fear, who this time forgot about their pipes. A faint gust of wind flew in, rustled rustly in the branches of mighty trees on the slopes and at the foot of the Chapultepec hill and fell silent. I have never seen a stranger and more sinister scene, mysterious and full of unconscious horror. The monarch mourned the fall of his people and his power in advance! Nothing had happened either to him or to his subjects, but he already knew that they were doomed, and words of despair burst from his heart, crushed only by the shadow of impending troubles.
But the wonders of this night have not yet ended.
When Montezuma shouted his prophetic visions in anguish, I carefully asked if I could call the courtiers, who usually surrounded him, but now kept at some distance from us.
“No,” the Aztec emperor answered. “I do not want them to read the suffering and fear on my face.” They may be afraid, but I must seem fearless. Walk a little with me, theul, and if you plan to kill me, kill me, I will not regret it.
I did not answer anything and silently followed Montezuma, he headed down one of the darkest paths, winding between the trunks of cedars. If I wanted, I could easily kill him here, but what's the use? In addition, although I knew that Montezuma was my enemy, my heart was indignant at the mere thought of killing.
The emperor walked a mile or more without saying a word. We walked in the shade of trees, then in an open place among gardens decorated with wonderful flowers, until we found ourselves in front of the gate, behind which was the tomb of the royal house. Just across from the gate was a wide clearing, flooded with bright moonlight. Something white lay in the middle of it, looking like a woman’s body from afar, but I noticed this alone. Seeing nothing around, Montezuma gazed steadily at the gate. Finally he spoke:
“This gate opened four days ago for my sister Papancin.” And so I think - in how many days will they open for me?
When he spoke, the figure on the grass flinched, as if waking from a dream. She started, like a snow woman on a mountain, she also raised herself, stood up to her full height, and extended her arms in the same way. Now Montezuma saw her and trembled, and I felt that trembling beating me too.
The woman — for it was a woman — was slowly approaching us. One could already see that she was dressed in mortal clothes. But then she raised her head, and moonlight fell on her face. Montezuma screamed wildly, and I cried out with him: we recognized the thin pale face of Princess Papancin, the same Papancin who was buried here four days ago.
Walking lightly and inaudibly, as if in a dream, she walked toward us until she stopped in front of a bush, a shadow from which hid us. Here Papancin - or the spirit of Papancin - looked right at us with open, but not seeing anything blind eyes and said in a voice Papancin:
“Montezuma, my brother, are you here?” I feel that you are near, but I do not see you.
Then Montezuma stepped out of the shadows and stood face to face with a ghost.
- Who are you? He said. “Who are you, having assumed the appearance of a dead man and wearing a robe of the dead?”
“I'm Papantsin,” she answered. “I have risen from the dead to bring you the news, my brother Montezuma.”
“What message do you bring to me?” The emperor asked in a hoarse voice.
“The news of death, my brother.” Your kingdom will fall, you will die soon, and with you tens and tens of thousands of your subjects. For four days I was among the dead and there I saw your false gods. These are not gods, but devils! There I saw those who worship them, and priests who serve them. All of them condemned to unbearable torment. The people of Anahuac are doomed because they honor these diabolical idols.
“Papantsin, my sister, do you really have no word of comfort for me?”
“Not a word,” she answered. “If you disown false gods, you may save your soul, but you cannot save your life and the life of your people.”
After that, Papancin turned and disappeared into the shade of the trees, I heard her mortal robes rustling through the grass.
Unbridled rage suddenly seized Montezuma.
“Damn you, my sister Papancin!” He shouted in a thunderous voice. - Why are you resurrected? Is it really just to bring me this black message? If you brought me hope, if you showed me the path to salvation, I would welcome you with joy. And now - go back into the darkness, and let the whole weight of the earth crush your heart forever! And my gods - they were worshiped by my fathers, and I will worship them to the end. Even if they turn away from me, I still will not leave them! The gods are angry, because the victims are impoverished on the altars. From now on I will double them! I will order all the priests to be put on the altars, because they cannot propitiate the gods.
Montezuma raged like a weak man, mad with horror. The courtiers, who were following us in the distance, also now crowded around him, frightened and perplexed.
Finally, Montezuma tore the royal robe on himself and, tearing shreds of hair from his head and beard, rolled in convulsions on the ground. The courtiers picked him up and carried him to the palace.
Three days and three nights of the emperor no one saw. However, what he said about the sacrifices was not empty words, because the next morning the number of victims was doubled throughout the country. The shadow of the cross had already fallen on the altars of Anahuac, but the smoke of sacrifices still rose to the heavens, and from the tops of theocalli the terrible screams of the captives were still heard. The hour of the devilish gods had already struck, but they were still gathering their last bloody harvest, and their harvest was abundant.
I, Thomas Wingfield, saw these signs with my own eyes, but I don’t presume to say what they were - a warning sent from above, or simply an accidental phenomenon of nature. Horror gripped the whole country in those days, and it is quite possible that the restless mind of people mistook for prophetic signs something that at another time no one would have paid attention to.
As for the resurrection of Papancin, this is the true truth, although most likely it did not die at all, but was simply plunged into a deep swoon. She never showed up from that night, and I myself never met her again. However, they told me that Papancin subsequently converted to Christianity and often spoke about the amazing and strange things that she saw in the realm of death. The story of the resurrection of Papancin is given in the historical work of Bernardino de Sahaguna. - Note author Bernardino de Sahagun is one of the first historiographers of the Spanish colonies in America, the author of the multivolume General History of New Spain.
Turkey - Montezuma Bird
Turkeys are the largest poultry. The weight of turkeys reaches 9 kg, and turkeys - up to 16 and more. This domesticated bird descends from a gobbler - a wild American turkey. In the Aztecs under Emperor Montezuma, turkeys and dogs were the only domesticated animals.
Since 1985, roast turkey has become a ritual Christmas dish on the British table. For four centuries, the beloved bird of the Indian Emperor Montezuma conquered the whole world. Turkeys are bred everywhere up to the Far North. Slow behavior of this bird even went into proverbs and sayings. They say: swaggering like a turkey, pouting like a turkey, revelry like a turkey, stupid like a turkey, etc. Although why would he have a mind with such beauty?
In their early maturity, turkeys are superior to geese and ducks, and their meat is excellent, dietary and very useful, especially for children and the elderly. Modern technologies of industrial intensive breeding of turkey poultry broilers allow fattening of young stock for meat up to 3-4 months of age.
Turkeys begin to breed at the age of one. Up to 90 eggs are obtained from one bird per year. The turkey is rushing intensively for only three years.
Despite its wide distribution, there are not very many breeds of turkeys - a little more than a dozen.
Exterior signs of Montezuma oropendola
Oropendola-Montezuma is a rather large bird. The body sizes of males are up to 51 cm, and weight 521–562 grams. Females are smaller, on average 38 - 39 cm, body weight is 246 grams. Males and females have a feather cover of mostly saturated chestnut color.
Oropendola-Montezuma (Psarocolius montezuma).
On the outer feathers of the tail there are shades of yellow. The head is black with a pale, bluish area of skin and a pink chin. The sharp beak is black with patches of orange, while in males the orange hue continues on the forehead. The plumage of young birds is the same color as that of adult oropendol, but the shades are dimmer and body sizes are smaller, and the weight is from 230 to 520 grams.
Monopezuma Oropendola Distribution
Oropendola Montezuma extends on the Pacific coast from the Caribbean coast of Guatemala to the south of Costa Rica. It is found in southern Mexico.
This sedentary bird lives on the lowlands of the Caribbean coast from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.
Montezuma oropendola habitats
Oropendola Montezuma lives in tropical rainforests, savannas, meadows, in areas with trees. It occurs along clearings, glades and along the edges of the forest, in coastal areas, but never lives in a dense forest. Quite often, this species of birds settles next to banana plantations and thickets of bamboo.
Montezuma oropendola breeding
Oropendola Montemuma breeds from January to May. In the mating season, the male attracts the attention of the female, making circular movements around with turns.
The male pecks the yellow feathers of the tail of the female, and he spreads his tail.
If the female reciprocates, then mating occurs. In the colony, the dominant male mates with most females.
Cowbirds sometimes lay their eggs in the oropendola nest during the egg-laying period. To prevent this, the Montezuma oropendola chooses a tree on which hornets live for the construction of the nest, which makes the coubirds stay away from the oropendola nest.
Oropendola Montezuma prefers to stay on sprawling trees.
This is an example of mutualism with Oropendolas, which in turn keeps bees at a distance from hornets. The Oropendols of Montezuma form large colonies, often on one spreading tree or several trees growing nearby. On one tree is located from 30 - 40 to 150 nests. There was a colony of birds with a maximum number of nests of 172.
Oropendola nests are real architectural structures woven from thin branches and banana fibers.
Nests hang in clusters on a tree, like exotic fruits 60 - 180 centimeters long. The construction of the nest lasts 9-11 days. Only the female weaves it. She lays one or two eggs of white or beige color with dark spots. Incubation lasts about 15 days. 15 days after hatching, the chicks can fly.
At the age of 30 days, young oropendols leave the nest and independently obtain food.
They become sexually mature in less than 1 month, but mate only the following year. Mortality among oropendola chicks is very high. Females can mate up to three times per season, but less than half of the chicks survive.
Oropendola-Montezuma nests in colonies with approximately 30 nests.
Toucans, snakes, monkeys and larvae often destroy nests. After the mating season, females fly in flocks until January, they can easily be identified by the yellow tails flickering in the crown of trees. Males feed alone.
Montezuma oropendola behavior features
The Oropendols of Montezuma are known for their strange cries and screams, which are not very pleasant by ear, in which a moaning nagging and clucking is clearly heard.
Males are much larger than females. Since this species of birds is polygamous, only a small part of the males have a chance to dominate the colony. When females build nests and are constantly on the same tree, the male moves around on the branches, protecting his territory and the females. The male not only drives away the other males, but also gives an alarm in case of danger due to his dominant position.
Feathers Oropendola-Montezuma uses the local population.
Monopesuma oropendola food
Oropendola Montezuma eats fruits, nectar, large flowers of a plant such as balsa. There are bananas in her diet.
He finds food in open spaces - meadows, clearings.
It also eats insects and other arthropods. Catches frogs, mice and other small vertebrates. Females feed in small flocks.
Males feed, as a rule, singly. Oropendola Montezuma is on the lookout for food all day, until dark.
The significance of Montezuma oropendola
Montezuma's oropendola feathers in bright chestnut and yellow are used in the manufacture of the national costumes of the Indians inhabiting the Amazon jungle.
The local population puts on a festive outfit decorated with bird feathers on special occasions. National costumes are shown to tourists who simply enjoy such exotic.
Montezuma's oropendol bird experts appreciate bird feathers and loud screams.
The Oropendols of Montezuma lead a rather secretive life, it is rather difficult to observe them in nature, they avoid the presence of man.
The conservation status of Montezuma oropendola
Oropendola Montezuma does not belong to the species of birds that are endangered, so they do not have a special status. However, the area of tropical forests in which birds live is sharply reduced. When developing land for agricultural crops, trees are simply cut down every day, and this process is hardly possible to stop. Oropendola Montezuma adapted to living in an open area, with a sparse forest stand. Perhaps that is why the number of birds remains currently quite stable.
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