The categories of heavy and light as mythical operators

Blas Román Castellón Huerta*Dirección de Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural, INAH. English translation by Denisse Piñera Palacios.

From the elements related to disease and death mentioned in modern and pre-Hispanic tales, I present a general view on the importance of the concepts of heavy and light in said narrations. This presentation begins, arbitrarily, by a tale registered in the region of Zapotitlán Salinas in the Mixteca Baja [Low Mixteca] of the south of Puebla. Later on, this narration is confronted with others from various regions and times; finally, I give a general interpretation, including other unpublished tales of the same area.

Among the multiple topics that intersect around the concept of heavy we can mention death, disease, sin, and nourishment as causes for a short life; and regarding the light state as its opposite, we can mention spiritual entities, trees as support of the sky, the giants of previous humankinds, the end of an era, hills as magical and dangerous places, Tezcatlipoca, the trickster, or the devil as a deceitful character. These topics may unfold regardless of the heavy and light concepts, but they often relate to them, creating other ways of expression in myths, which may be parallel and translatable to one another.

The subject of heaviness does not always appear in the same context, but it does show coherence with the main Mesoamerican concepts about the structure of the universe, indicating in this way not only the persistence of beliefs (in spite of the introduction of new elements), but mainly the constant and imperious need to preserve and maintain coherence regarding the idea of the cosmos, by the part of the local cultures, in some kind of mental exercise that perpetuates through modernity imposed by European and contemporary schemes.

The myth of reference and its region

I registered this narrative on Thursday, July 8, 1993 at 15:00 hrs, during the daily break of the working day at the archaeological site of Cuthá, Zapotitlán Salinas, Puebla. Alfonso Reyes García, one of the workers, was the narrator, and he told the story on the subject of my remarks on the scenery, especially regarding the nearby hills. Some of his co-workers gave more details while we drank from a pot of mezcal from Oaxaca.

They say that at the ravine of Chilpetín, near the limit between Puebla and Oaxaca, a woman sent her two children (a boy and a girl) to pick up tetechas (fruits of the cactus: Neobuxbaumia tetetzo). When the children were near the hill, they found a well-dressed man (catrín) who greeted them and asked them what they were doing.
They answered that they were picking up tetechas and then the man hugged the girl. Then the two children came back home not far from there, and a little bit latter the girl came down with a high fever. Then they made a stretcher to take her to a doctor, but the way was long and heavy, because they had to cross some very high hills (near San Luis Atolotitlán) to get out of there.
Then they realized that while they climbed, the stretcher where they carried the girl became much heavier and kept making them go back. When they stopped to see why the stretcher was so heavy, they were surprised to see it was empty. Then, in order not to arrive empty-handed, they put some logs on it, to pretend they had been carrying something. The girl disappeared, and supposedly the devil (the catrín) took her.

The narrative above presents aspects that relate it directly to some mythical Mesoamerican tales. In the same way it has happened since the period of European contact, ancient myths and magical-religious beliefs have changed in such a way that sometimes it becomes difficult to recognize their ancient roots. Current narratives cannot be considered simple repetitions of what was narrated 500 years ago or more, because myths and beliefs change dynamically, sometimes enriching themselves with new details, and some others getting impoverished because ancient traditions disappear before the drive of modernity, which brings new beliefs and new symbols.

The narrative I use as an introduction seems to be of the kind that has diminished in content due to a constant loss of ancient identity, which turns into a new one. We must discuss a little the ethnographic context in which this narrative is presented. The people who transmitted it currently belong to the population of Zapotitlán Salinas, south of Puebla. This region is considered to be within the area of influence of the Popoloca, although in the XVI century Mixteco and Náhuatl were spoken there. Along the centuries, some technological aspects have been preserved, such as the exploitation of salt, pulque, plants, (especially Cactacea), and a precarious agriculture because the region is desert-like. However, the native tongues have disappeared completely from these communities which nowadays are of a mestizo character, as in most of the country.

Near Zapotitlán there are some Popoloca-speaking communities such as Los Reyes Metzontla and San Juan Atzingo. It is possible that in these places, narratives such as the one we have presented are still more fully preserved. It is also possible and almost certain that the elements of this narrative have been shared by other native Mesoamerican peoples. Here we present only the preliminary analysis of a major part of this narrative which refers to the relationship between disease, sin and death, and what is heavy and light, to show one more case of the co-influence and permanence of the ancient Mesoamerican religious systems to this day, even in communities where the memory and the sense of these beliefs have been lost.

What is heavy, what is light, and telluric beings in Mesoamerica

The myth of reference has two immediate implications that are worth mentioning. The first one is the category of what is heavy as opposed to the category of what is light as a manifestation of a well-known opposition in Mesoamerica. The second one is the presence of threatening beings in the hills that cause disease and even death. These elements are widely documented both in written sources from previous centuries and in the data provided by modern ethnography. In this case, we will insist on the thematic persistence and the continuity of the ancient magical-religious thought, because it is here that the myth of reference finds its sense. We will also remember that this time we are dealing with a modern and mestizo community that has lost its native tongues -which during the XVI century and until the early XIX century were Popoloca, Mixteco, and Náhuatl-, but not its sense of regional identity nor certain ancient ways of life.

There are many references to heaviness that directly relate to the conceptions of the universe according to the ancient Mesoamericans. López Austin has summarized in various works the sense of these concepts:

Mesoamericans believed in a double composition of earthly beings. All of them -men, animals, plants, minerals, manufactured objects- were made of two types of matter: one light, internal, imperceptible, and another heavy, covering and perceptible. Even their gods covered themselves with a coat of heavy matter when they came to this world! Heavy matter limited the action of the bodies and related them to death.1

Men become mortal because they eat plants and animals, and therefore they participate of earth, which brings along death. Then, men consume what is visible and what is invisible. In exchange, gods only eat the invisible part of things, the light matter, and this is why they travel easily through the cosmos in time and space. 2

Regularly, it is considered that what is related to earth is polluted by disease and death, as an integral and necessary part for a rebirth and a new life, according to the cyclic conception of the universe. However, the more terrestrial or telluric a character, the closer it is to death, to darkness, to what is humid and also to what is heavy, because it is too terrestrial as opposed to what is light, which is closer to what is igneous, celestial and diurnal. However, we must treat with caution these observations that are confirmed in mythical narratives, because categories like the ones we analyzed here, in fact, acquire their sense from the context in which they are immerse, and it is possible that this context changes together with the sense these categories might have.

As to specific cases in which these details appear, there are several references in documents from the XVI century. Here I will mention some of them in which what is heavy is directly related to disease and death. In the first place, I could mention the narrative offered by Brother Diego Durán about the marvelous journey to Aztlán by old Moctezuma’s heralds. The objective of this journey was to find Coatlicue, Huitzilopochtli’s mother, and to offer her presents from the part of her son, protective god of the Mexica. After using magical incantations as their only resource to travel to that place, they find themselves at the foot of the hill called Colhuacan, where the aforementioned goddess dwells. When they try to climb the hillside, they sink in sand up to the waist and they cannot go further after several attempts. Then they are asked what they eat and they answer they eat cocoa beans, to which the inhabitants of this mythical place respond: “that food and those drinks make you, sons of mine, feel grave and heavy, and they do not let you see the place where your fathers were before you, and this has brought about death.”3

Some remarks are needed. Although apparently we are dealing with different cases, the narration of reference has clear transformation relationships with the pre-Hispanic myth. We will remember that initially it is about two children who go by themselves in search for food, and the catrín (owner of the hill) goes out to meet them, to their surprise. When he touches the girl, she falls sick, and some people try to take her out of that place by means of a stretcher which becomes very heavy, preventing them from going out. In the pre-Hispanic case, on the contrary, we are dealing with a whole court of heralds who go in search for the ancestors, owners of the place, and bring presents that are not food, but gifts they have crafted (cultural goods), whereas the children of the first narration did not carry but searched for natural food (tetechas). The objective was to arrive to the Colhuacan hill; however, they do not succeed because they have already eaten cocoa beans, which make them heavy. In the first case, when the girl falls sick, it is a group of people who tries not to arrive to but to go out of the hills and this attempt is frustrated by the weight of the sick girl who disappears. Then we have an inversion of terms between the natural and the cultural, between going up and down, and between individual and collective encounters, which refers us to the presence of a possible greater transformation system, very much in spite of the chronological distance that separates the cases. I will elaborate on the details that might help us in this case.

Mythical cases that are closer to heaviness associated to death and disease may be found in the catastrophes that preceded the ruin of Tula and the fall of their god Quetzalcóatl. In this mythical cycle, the steps that follow the end of an era are described, similar to the closure of a cosmogonical era, only in this case gods and men intervene, with disastrous consequences for the latter.

Emphasis is made in that the Tolteca were very light on their feet and that they could speedily travel long distances without getting tired; this happens before the start of Tula’s ruin. Then, Quetzalcóatl commits a double sin: on the one hand, he drinks part of the maguey liquor, which brings him discomfort and illness, and later on, as a consequence, it is suggested that he has sexual intercourse with his own sister, which constitutes a repetition of the original sexual transgression of the gods in Tamoanchan (Xochiquetzal and Tezcatlipoca), reason why they were cast away from said paradise. Then, several deceptions from the part of Tezcatlipoca-Titlacauan towards the Tolteca are mentioned, and in them we see a clear relationship between death and what is heavy. This god takes the Tolteca “who were running around like crazy” to an abyss, where they fall down and become rocks, that is, they become very telluric and heavy, and therefore, they die.

But the peak of these disasters takes place when the dead body of a person or a child appears, and it gains great weight and starts to stink. Those who smell it die, so people try to get it out of their town, and they tie it with ropes. Together, many men try to move it without much success. When the ropes break, those who are holding them also die.

There are at least five versions of this event. The most complete is the one offered by Sahagún, according to which a nigromant dies for deceiving people at the market of Tula; then his body starts to stink and many people die. After that, they tie the body with ropes but “it is so heavy that the Tolteca cannot carry it”. Many get together to try to move it, but when the ropes break, those who are holding them also die, and it is necessary to chant it verses. Finally, it is taken to the mountain “and those who come back cannot remember what has happened to them because they feel as if they were drunk.”4

In the version of the “Anónimo mexicano”, there is a reference of a giant who used to hold and kill people. The next day, a very beautiful child with a white face appears, but his head is rotten and it stinks, and many die because of this. Finally, the child is taken to a lagoon where he disappears in the water.5 The same subject appears in the Códice Ríos. Here, the dead body appears with the intestines outside the body, and when people drag it to the mountain, they fall into a hollow between two hills which come together and crush them all. The “Leyenda de los Soles”6 indicates that a toothless lad was caught with his mouth filled with dirt, and that after they had killed him, they saw he had nothing inside: no heart, no intestines, no blood, but that it stank and caused death. He was also dragged with ropes. Finally, Ixtlilxóchitl also mentioned the catastrophes of Tula, and the white boy, blond and beautiful. The boy was taken before the king, and his head started to rot, and the stench killed most of the Tolteca.7

To this respect, Graulich believes that the crushing of men and their transformation into rocks are equivalent to the fall of the celestial vault at the end of a cosmogonical era. In the case of the very heavy body, it is considered a representation of sin, understood as the increase of weight of matter in prejudice of internal fire of celestial origin or, as López Austin would say, of light matter. Sin would then be “dust, rubbish, manure, stench, rottenness, pestilence”. Fasting and penitence were practiced to somehow lighten the matter polluted by sin.8

Immediately after the Conquest, these beliefs began to mix with details from European thought and adapted to the new situation. Cases considered sorcery multiplied, but apparently the ancient native concepts remained intact. This may be seen in the case referred by Fray Andrés de Olmos, in which it becomes evident that telluric beings keep causing disease and death even to the Spaniards, as may be seen in the myth with which this text started:

I have been told that in Tezcatépec the Devil appeared to some men as a giant, and asked them to kill the Spaniard guard that guarded the place, named Juan Cordero. But they did not dear, because he was a brave man. They only told him what the Devil had asked them to do. Then he [Juan Cordero] told them: come with me to the place where the giant appeared to you; he took out his sword to hurt him. Only that the devil did not worry about this. In spite of his strength, he [the Devil] had already hurt him much. In that moment, the giant held him; then he was very tired [Juan Cordero] and he got very sick and for many days, and this is why he laid in bed. It is said that he did not make the sign of the Cross, that he did not say: Jesus.9

Heavy objects and men

The category of what is heavy as opposed to light matter extends in other cases to vegetal, animal and mineral beings, as well as to other objects manufactured by men. We also have data about this. To mention only two cases, I will recall the case of the carved stone Moctezuma had made. It is said that this governor sent his best sculptors to look for a great stone one fathom wider and two cubits taller than the one in Huitzilopochtli’s temple. They found it in the place called Acolco, ahead of Ayotzinco, near Chalco, and they needed between ten and twelve thousand Indians to extract it. It was carved by 30 agents who brought it all the way to Iztapalapan with dances and music. After that they could not move it, and suddenly the stone started to speak and refused to move.

After repeated attempts with music and spells, the stone moved a little, but they could not take it very far and it spoke again refusing to move, arguing that Moctezuma’s era was coming to an end. At the Xoloco’s bridge (made of seven-palm thick and nine-palm rim cedar sheets” the stone fell into the water and took with it those who were pulling it and many died, so many that they could never count the people it consumed under the water.” At the end, divers looked for the stone, but it came back to the original place it had been extracted; Moctezuma was satisfied when the sculptors carved his effigy on a rock of the Chapultepec hill. 10

I will now discuss another present-day narration of the same type, from the south region of Puebla, which is equally associated to the end of an era. It is said that after the Coquest, the Popoloca of San Juan Atzingo, community close to Zapotitlán Salinas, wanted to move a stone carved with the image of their god from the Castillo Rinconada hill, ahead of the Cuthá hill, towards the new place where this community settled:

Apparently, not all the inhabitants agreed with the new place. When they tried to move a finely carved stone from one of their ancient temples to the place where the new temple was being built, “it did not want to come”. In the middle of the way, the sky got dark and it started to rain. They had to leave the stone there, abandoned, but when they came back the next day to continue with the moving, the stone was gone, and they found at its original spot. It is also said that the bells of the patron saint of the town can be heard on the way to the Castillo hill, because this is a sacred place of their ancestors.11

We have already seen how “heavy” and “light” manifest, related to the origin of disease and death, but also to subjects such as the beginning or end of an era, or even to situations that give rise to a certain state of things. Such is the case of the body that stinks during Tula’s ruin, or of the carved stone the Popoloca try to move with little success. At the same time, we must note the fact that in the three cases we notice the presence of a sound code, parallel to what is heavy and what is light, which consists in the production of calls, songs, music, verses, spells, and the sound of bells in the last case, all this in order to move objects or people that become very heavy. These details, as we will see further on, are not accidental, nor is accidental another characteristic that cannot go unnoticed: the final destiny of those who die due to disease and heaviness seems to be an aquatic environment. The Tolteca threw the stinking body to a lagoon (terrestrial water), the carved stone Moctezuma had ordered dragged many to the bottom of the lake (terrestrial water), whereas the Popoloca who tried to move the carved stone could not do it because “it got dark and it started to rain” (celestial water). I will mainly focus on the initial opposition and finally I will attempt a summary of what may be behind these narratives.

Some ethnographic cases on what is heavy and what is light

The subject of heavy and light -as well as their implications- is very frequent and appears constantly in various ethnographic references. Here I must specifically mention some of them because they have a lot in common with the narrative of reference. The Otomi from Hidalgo mention the existence of giants in ancient times. They were fragile beings, who were not baptized, and on Christ’s arrival they turned into stone.12 They are evidently telluric beings like those mentioned in XVI century texts; we should remember the case of the giant mentioned by Torquemada: he appears at a dance in Teotihuacan and causes a great massacre when he hugs the dancers.13

The same Otomi have many predictions related to dreams that directly refer us to ancient Mesoamerican mythology. In one of the cases, it is said that when one dreams of dragging a tree or carrying it on one’s back, it means transporting a wounded person on a stretcher, which is a surprising coincidence with the tale of reference in Zapotitlán.14 These Otomi also mention the mythical figure of the Devil whom they conceive as “a shape-changing character, Lord of wealth and women, who controls a pleiad of demons from its underworld dwelling. It is a divinity with which men seal a pact that leads them to death.”15

In another case, among the Mixe of Oaxaca, the Devil is labeled using descriptive terms: “the demon, the very demon, the Devil, the Catrín. This last term […] indicates a type of well-dressed charro, who rides a horse”.16 The Devil in the hills equals the telluric beings that threaten the human beings who cross their territories. These beings may also fall in disgrace and suffer consequences just like humans. Nowadays Lacandon narrate how the gods in their trip to the Metlan came out of the earth through an original hole, but one of them ate human flesh and “could not come out because he became too heavy. 17

Until this point we can see there is persistence in the forms of expression of ancient Mesoamerican thought; the recurrence of topics such as what is heavy, what is light, sin, giants, etcetera, intend to clarify not only the importance of the ancient conceptions of the universe, but also the logical treatment of said categories to account for current diversity and the origin of local features in each case. However, we must mention that there are many other traditions that are not easily assimilated to the Mesoamerican thought. In the typical tale of miracles of Christianity and the saints there are many beliefs related to heaviness that have their origin in European narratives. We will see what happens when we are in the presence of concepts for which we cannot simply appeal to the persistence of the ancient Mesoamerican tradition.

Now I will mention a case that will serve to illustrate the subject matter of this work. In the community of San Juan Parangaricutiro, Michoacán, there are several stories of images of saints that refused to move from a place where they were supposed to be only passing by, becoming very heavy, and so they were adopted as saints of that place:

Four hundred years ago or more, there was a muleteer who carried salt, thread, soap, lye and two boxes. He tried to stay at Maricho’s house, but he could not open the door for the muleteer (because he was crippled). The muleteer found him very ill, having worked hard and having sick hands and feet. The muleteer promised to bring him a remedy. He charged his mules but could not lift the two boxes, which were his smaller load. He left the boxes there and did not come back to get them. After a year they opened the boxes and there were two images of Christ. Maricho said: “if you were to cure me, I would dance for you”, the pain disappeared and he was able to walk. Now there is a festivity and a great market. 18

At first sight we do not find any relationship to the narratives we have reviewed. But if we carefully observe them we find elements of Mesoamerican type such as disease that prevents movement (heaviness) caused by work, and its later transformation into a light state (dance), precisely by virtue of a promise of ritual that implies chanting and music. We must also note that the heaviness of the two boxes directly leads to the beginning of a relationship between Christ and the community, which contrasts with the end of a lifetime or an era, as is the case of the narratives we have already reviewed. What we see here is the resignification of already known concepts, and further more, of a complete inversion of the terms included in European narratives, in the light of local conceptions, which in addition is fairly common. The result is the general outline of an authentic system, from which some of its possible solutions are partially presented.


We must remember that the categories of heavy and light do not have an only meaning, because as in the case of all mythical terms, they are susceptible of changing their sense depending on the context into which they are expressed. This implies relationships of transformation, because if in the initial myth and those we have reviewed there is a sequence: end of an era-light-heavy (death), we have seen how this sequence can change to: heavy (disease)-light-start of an era. In this way, positive and negative connotations of terms are also transformed, because in one case heavy is negative (death) and in another case it is positive, because thanks to the saint’s heaviness, a new relationship is started, which –briefly- may be expressed in terms of the transformation between the terms immobility-mobility. In any case, I would like to draw attention to the risk of interpreting myths and their composition elements as categories with an only and unalterable content, because from that perspective it is impossible to appreciate transformation relationships such as those I have explained here, in the same way it is impossible to access the explanation of many other details of their composition.

Back to the comparison to the last narrative, this could also be interpreted as an unconscious way of indicating differences between native and European traditions. However, in my opinion it is more about conciliating, intuitively, the Christian elements within the ancient or traditional conceptions of the universe, about mythical time and cyclic life: death, rest, movement, life and death again, in this case associated to native traditions versus non-native ones. To deepen into this outline of a system, and its multiple ways of expression, it is necessary to include complementary narratives of this type in the same region and neighboring regions, adding ethnographic context to the analysis. The result would be a complex order of relationships that would present the already mentioned solutions, as well as numerous intermediate cases, which at the same time would refer us to new problems.

It is known that the narratives about saints and characters in hills and caves are very common in Mexico, and that they have strong European roots; we only have to remember the case of Saint Christopher, a giant who carries baby Jesus on his shoulder, and who cannot move when crossing the river (aquatic means), because of the great weight his tiny burden acquires. In the case of the south of Puebla, in the same way it happens in other regions, there is a lot of information about apparitions of this kind.19

As a final contribution of this work, I now present three examples from the Zapotitlán region, related to disease, death and heaviness, which enrich the observations above. These examples confirm not only the Mesoamerican origin of modern beliefs, but also their full validity in nowadays culture. Though brief, the narratives are very enlightening; they were compiled at the community in July, 1995.

Dead people who are heavy

1. Narrative of Pedro Miranda: they say that people who make pacts with the Devil after they die and after they are put in their coffin are very heavy. When they are taken to be buried and the coffin is lifted, it weighs too much and cannot be moved. Then people open the coffin (sometimes the coffin breaks in two due to the weight) to see why it is so heavy and they realize there is nothing inside. The Devil has taken the body away. Then, not to bury an empty coffin, they put rocks inside, so that people cannot say they have buried nothing.

2. Narrative of Pablo Carrillo: near the Cruz del Órgano, travelers said sometimes a dead person climbed on them. They were walking by and suddenly they felt the weight on top of them. When they arrived home, they fell ill with a high fever and some of them died. It was because of the dead person that had climbed on them.

3. Narrative of Vicente Carrillo García: near the Cruz del Órgano the dead climbed on people. This place is at the low part of the Zapotitlán River, where we find the house built by the engineers of the Papaloapan Commission. They say an organ grew there, with its arms forming a cross. They say there was an old organ that dried and then two others grew from it, also with the arms forming a cross. There is a road that goes by that place and they say a traveler felt that a dead person climbed on him and offered him money. Then the dead told him where to find a pot full of money that was buried. But when the traveler got home his daughter fell ill with a fever and she died. This is why he did not want to go back to the place where the money was buried. They say that in the past many people who made money did not want to share it and so they buried it. This is why some spirits wander by the roads and climb on people.


This brief analysis and review on mythical narratives confirms that, in most cases, ancient Mesoamerican conceptions are still valid. What is heavy, the pollution of death, what is earthly, sin and disease are still considered as opposites, and at the same time as complementary of what is light, pure and transcendent. But more than a mere and mechanical continuity of beliefs that may be attributed to Mesoamerican tradition, what we perceive is the ability of the communities to assimilate to their mythical logic more recent objects and categories, thus creating new discursive sets that intend to keep the sense and coherence of their cultural expressions.

An important point of reflection is constituted by the fact that nowadays communities continue to exercise this logic of relationships, even in the case of those that are not considered to be strictly indigenous, as we may see in the cases of Parangaricutiro, Michoacán and Zapotitlán Salinas, in Puebla. Everyday forms of expression easily take the course of mythical thought, and possible external disturbances such as historical contingencies, trends, and the quick penetration of modern media are constantly put under the observation and interpretation of the symbolic language constituted by myths. In the Zapotitlán region, as in most of the rural communities of the country, mythical time is still an important part of culture and identity.

English translation by Denisse Piñera Palacios.


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  1. Alfredo López Austin, El conejo en la cara de la luna. Ensayos sobre la mitología de la tradición mesoamericana, 1994, p. 57. []
  2. Alfredo López Austin, Los mitos del tlacuache. Caminos de la mitología mesoamericana, 1990, p. 179. []
  3. Diego Durán, Historia de las Indias de Nueva España e Islas de Tierra Firme, vol. 2, 1967, p. 219. []
  4. Bernardino de Sahagún, Historia general de las cosas de Nueva España, 1979, pp. 200-2001. []
  5. “Anónimo mexicano”, in Anales del Museo Nacional de México, t. 7, 1903, p. 47. []
  6. “Leyenda de los Soles” [Legend of the Suns], in Códice Chimalpopoca, 1975, pp. 125-126. []
  7. Fernando de Alva Ixtlixóchitl, Obras históricas, vol. 1, 1975-1977, pp. 278-279; cf. Michel Graulich, Quetzalcoátl y el espejismo de Tollan, 1988, pp. 207-218. []
  8. Michel Graulich, op.cit., p. 211. []
  9. George Baudot, “Apariciones diabólicas en un texto náhuatl de fray Andrés de Olmos”, in Estudios de cultura náhuatl, vol. 10, 1972, p. 355. []
  10. Hernando Alvarado Tezozómoc, Crónica mexicana escrita hacia el año de 1598, 1944, pp. 494-499. []
  11. Robert L. Abell, “Los popolocas orientales: un estudio etnológico sobre San Juan Atzingo, Puebla”, master degree thesis, 1974, p. 19. []
  12. Jacques Galinier, La mitad del mundo. Cuerpo y cosmos en los rituales otomíes, 1990, p. 248. []
  13. Michel Graulich, Quetzálcoátl y el espejismo…, op.cit., pp. 209-210. []
  14. Jacques Galinier, La mitad del mundo…,op.cit., p. 203. []
  15. Ibidem, p. 248. []
  16. Walter S. Miller, Cuentos mixes, 1956, p. 182. []
  17. Marie-Odile Marion, “La noche de la vida: la vida en el Metlan”, Report before the Latin American Symposium: Not one but many deaths, August 22, 1995. []
  18. Rosa María Plá, “Los mitos y las leyendas: de cómo una comunidad indígena se apropió de su historia”, in A. Chamorro (ed.), Sabiduría popular, 1983, pp. 435-436. []
  19. Alma Yolanda Castillo Rojas, Encantamiento y apariciones. Análisis semiótico de relatos orales recogido en Tecali de Herrera, Puebla, 1994. []

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