Gold is shining in your sapodilla house of trogons.
Your home abounds in jade water whorls, O prince,
You’re singing in Anahuac. . . .
You’re hidden away at Seven Caves
where the mesquite grows.
The eagle cries, the jaguar whines; you,
in the midst of the field–a roseate quechol–
fly onward, in the Place Unknown.
ANON. CHRISTIAN AZTEC, 16th century
(adapted from the John Bierhorst translation of Cantares Mexicanos 33:3-8)
You people desired to capture Elder Brother so that you might destroy him. You secured the assistance of Vulture, who made a miniature earth; you saw him at home engaged in this work. He shaped the mountains, defined the water courses, placed the trees, and in four days completed his task. Mounting the zigzag ladders of his house he flew forth and circled until he saw Elder Brother. Vulture saw blue flames issuing from Elder Brother’s heart and knew that he was invulnerable. In his turn Elder Brother knew that Vulture wished to kill him and had made the miniature earth for that purpose.
JOSí‰ LEWIS AND FRANK RUSSELL
“Elder Brother as He Restored Himself to Life” (version of a traditional Akimel O’odham speech/sermon)