years, feast days, and days of ceremony, the books of the first class told of their wars, victories, and defeats, the origin, genealogy, and deeds of the principal lords, and public disasters and their conquests down to the arrival of the Spaniards. This book mentions the peoples who in olden times inhabited the territory of Mexico, and of whom it says confusingly that they came from the Seven Ravines. That first book, says Las Casas in conclusion, is called Xiuhtonalamatl in the Indian language, or "Story of the Counting of the Years."

Ixtlilxóchitl, on his part, makes the following statement about his Mexican ancestors:

"Each tribe had its writers; some wrote annals, arranging in order the things that came to pass during each year, together with the day, month, and hour; others had charge of the genealogy of the descendants of the kings, lords, and persons of lineage, setting down with detailed account those who were born, and in the same manner striking out the names of those who died. Some had the care of the paintings of the boundaries, limits, and landmarks of the lands; whose they were, and to whom they belonged; others had charge of the books of laws, rites, and ceremonies which they followed."

According to Ixtlilxóchitl, Huematzin, the king of Tezcuco, had gathered together all the chronicles of the Tolteca in the Teoamoxtli, or "Divine Book," which contained the legends of the creation of the world, the emigration from Asia of those peoples, the stops on the Journey, the dynasty of their kings, their social and religious institutions, their sciences, arts, and so on.

Herrera, the well-known compiler of the Spanish historical reports of the sixteenth century, repeats the information about these native books which were found "in Yucatan and in Honduras." Oviedo and Gómara, on their part, give an account of the books of the Indians of Nicaragua. "They have," says Gómara, "books of paper and parchment, a hand in width and twelve hands in length, folded like a bellows, on both sides of which they make known, in blue, purple, and other colors, the memorable events which take place."

Bernal Díaz del Castillo, who wrote his Verdadera Historia de la Conquista de la Nueva España, in Guatemala, says that the Indians of Mexico had "booklets of a paper made of the bark of a tree which they called amate [Ficus], and in them made their signs of the times and of past events."

It was very difficult for the natives of Guatemala to renounce the traditions of their forefathers, and for a long time after the Conquest they continued to perform their dances, during which they sang episodes of their ancient history and recited passages of their mythology. The Spaniards were not pleased with this, and as early as the year 1550, Licenciado Tomás López, Oidor of the Audiencia of Guatemala, less tolerant than his predecessor the illustrious Zorita, requested the King that he not permit the Indians to perform their old dances, as they do, singing their ancient, idolatrous histories."

The American Indian's devotion to his ancient beliefs still persisted in Yucatan in the seventeenth century, according to the following paragraphs from Cogolludo's Historia de Yucatán:

"They had very harmful legends of the creation of the world, and some (after they knew how) had written them down, kept them and read them in their gatherings, although they had been baptized Christians. Dr. Aguilar says in his Informe that he had one of these books of legends which he took from a choir-master of the chapel, by the name of Cuytún, of the town of Zucop, from which he [the choir-master] fled, and he could never reach him in order to learn the origin of their Genesis."

With a very liberal and human understanding, befitting real Christian missionaries, the Spanish priests and friars of Guatemala from the beginning of the Colonial Period undertook to teach the Indians to read and write Spanish. Some of the latter made rapid progress, in writing and using the Latin alphabet, and wrote in their own language the chronicles and stories of the ancient times which they had preserved by handing them down by word of mouth, or by means of pictorial characters. The Spanish clergy not only did not oppose this work, but actually encouraged the Indians in it, and thanks to this enlightened policy, valuable documents have

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