Aboriginal American Authors and Their Productions: Especially Those in the Native Languages. A Chapter in the History of Literature

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D.G. Brinton, 1883 - Indian authors - 63 pages
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Page 22 - ... been carried out in full. The southern Atlantic coast of the United States was principally occupied by the Muskokee or Creek tribe, who occupied the territory as far west as the Mississippi. Their language was first reduced to writing in the Greek alphabet, by the Moravian missionaries, about 1733; but at present a modified form of the English alphabet is in use. They had a very definite and curious tribal history, full of strange metaphors and obscure references. It was, according to old authorities,...
Page 18 - They are: — 1. The Maya graphic system was recognized, from the first, to be distinct from the Mexican. 2. It was a hieroglyphic system, known only to the priests and a few nobles. 3. It was employed for a variety of purposes, prominent among which was the preservation of their history and calendar. 4. It was a composite system, containing pictures (figuras), ideograms (caracteres), and phonetic signs (letras).
Page 49 - Is she beautiful? Are her eyes soft as the light of the moon? Is she a strong woman? Didst thou understand her signs during the dance? "I know not whether thou lovest her, Tikaens. "What said the old man, her father, when thou askedst for his pretty daughter? "What betrothal presents didst thou give? "Rejoice, Tikaens! be glad, be happy! "Build thyself a happy home. "This is the song of its building!
Page 49 - Tiakens, thou art married, Thou wilt become famous, thy children wilt name thee among the elders. Think of Tiakens as an old man ! By what name is thy bride known, Is she beautiful? Are her eyes soft as the light of the moon? Is she a strong woman? Didst thou understand her signs as she danced to thee? I know not whether thou lovest her, Tiakens, What saidst the old man, her father, when you asked for his pretty daughter? What betrothal gifts didst thou give her?
Page 57 - Rabinal-Achi is a warrior who takes captive a distinguished foe, Canek, and brings him before the ruler of Rabinal, King Hobtoh. The fate of the prisoner is immediate death and he knows it, but his audacity and bravery do not fail him. He boasts of his warlike exploits, and taunts his captors, like an Iroquois in his death song, and his enemies listen with respect. He even threatens the king, and has to be restrained from attacking him. As his end draws near, he asks to drink from the royal cup and...
Page 26 - ... Tezcuco, and merits quotation as a bit of literary history: — "Autores son de todo lo referido, y de los demas de su vida y hechos los infantes de Mexico Ytzcoatzin y Xiuhcozcatzin, y otros Poetas y Historicos en los anales de las tres cabezas de esta Nueva Espana, y en particular en los anales que hizo el infante Quauhtlazaciulotzin, primer Senor del pueblo de Chiauhtla; y asimismo se halla en las relaciones que escribieron los infantes de la ciudad de Tezcuco, Don Pablo, Don Toribio, Don...
Page 10 - Long winter evenings are often passed in reciting and listening to stories of various kinds. Some of these are simply the accounts given by the men, of their own deeds of valor, their hunts and journeys; some are narrations of the wonderful adventures of departed heroes; while many are fictions, full of impossible incidents, of witchcraft and magic. The latter class of stories are very numerous. Some of them have been handed down through many generations; some are of recent origin; while a few are...

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