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Yeyi Sekʷisƛi

(The Three Volcanoes)
   


Yeyi sekʷisƛi
The three volcanoes

by
Martín N. Méndez Huaxcuatitla

This story, in the Mösiehuali language (ISO code nhg), was written about 1944. It recounts a traditional legend, in the words of Martín Méndez, and was recorded by Richard Pittman. It, along with four other texts, was published as part of Pittman’s doctoral thesis (1954:59)*

The three volcanoes that are referred to in the text are Popocatepetl, Ixtaccihuatl, and the Nevado de Toluca. All three are visible from Tetelcingo on exceptionally clear days. The Nevado, the most distant of the three, looks like shoulders without a head, like its peak has been lopped off.




Istöcsohuatl hua Popucatepietl

Īstāksowaƛ wa īnāmik Popōkatepēƛ
The White Woman (Iztaccíhuatl) and her husband Popocatépetl



Īnī

this

nonka

here

sekʷisƛi

volcano

kipiya

has

īsowa,

his.wife,

wa

and

īnī

this

nonka

here

sowaƛ

woman

laliw͎is

very

čipāwak.

pure.

This volcano (Popocatepetl) has a wife (Ixtaccihuatl), and his wife is very white.

Asiko

arrive.here

tōnali

day

oksente

other

sekʷisƛi

volcano

okišeliew͎i

lusted.for

īsowa

his.wife

re

of

īnī

this

nonka

here

sekʷisƛi,

volcano,

wa

and

kinekiya

wanted

kikʷihkʷilīs,

he.will.take.her.from.him,

wa

and

nieka

that.one

amo

not

omokā.

allowed.

One day, another volcano (the Nevado de Toluca) desired this volcano’s wife, and wanted to take her away from him, but he wouldn’t let him.

Yekʷākinō

then

opiehki

they.began

momōƛa

they.throw.at.each.other

ka

with

sesen

one.each

perāso

piece

tesiw͎iƛ.

ice

So they started hurling pieces of ice back and forth at each other.

Kʷuāk

when

laliw͎is

very

ka

with

ye

already

omomōƛaki,

they.threw.at.each.other

kači

more

laliw͎is

very

oƛaw͎ielmik

he.got.angry

īnī

this

nānka,

here,

wa

and

okā

he.grabbed

sente

one

tesiw͎iƛ

ice

laliw͎is

very

w͎ieyi

big

wa

and

okitīƛanili,

he.sent.it.to.him,

okihtili

he.saw.it.for.him

miero

merely

pa

on

ikečkʷahyo.

his.neck

When they had thrown a great deal, this one got angrier than ever, and grabbed a huge piece of ice and hurled it at him, aiming right at his neck.

Okasik,

he.reached.him

wa

and

okikečkotō.

he.neck-cut.him

He hit him, and cut off his head.

Īpampahō

for.that.reason

āšā

now

īkaka

he.is

kečkotōktik.

neck-cut

That’s why that volcano is now headless.

Nevado de Toluca

Sekʷisƛi kečkotōktik
The beheaded volcano


Notes

* See the orthographic conventions used in this document.



Photographs used in this document

The photographs that appear with the text are from David Tuggy’s collection.

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