The arts and rituals of Nahua featherworkers, past and present, ca. 1570

English Translation
This so-called glue-hardening was all of common feathers; for they came first of all, at the start, in order to accomplish the feather work. This, to begin with, became the basis, the bed, on which all the precious feathers were bedded. Perhaps yellow dyed ones were glue-hardened, or heron, or scarlet ones, or blue parrot, or green parrot feathers, or some feathers dyed in one color, dyed in many. They took note, they tried out, they matched whatsoever kind would harmonize, would serve as the basis for the precious feathers. Blue cotinga were provided blue parrot feathers as a basis; they [also] matched scarlet macaw feathers. And for trogonorus, they used green parrot feathers as a basis. And for the red spoonbill, the molted feathers of the same spoonbill, or red dyed feathers, became the basis. And for yellow parrot feathers, yellow dyed feathers became the basis; in the same way, they used molted yellow parrot feathers to form the basis...

And then a thin board was set out; a paper was glued on it; on this once again was painted the trimmed pattern, which had become the work design. On this was the feather work completed; on it all the feather base was glued, perhaps to be pictures of flowers, or of plants, or of some image which was to be made, of whatever design which was pleasing.
   

Nahuatl Original
Inin motenehoa tlaoatzalli: çan oc moche in maceoalihuitl, ca iehoatl uel quiiacana, quiiacatia inic iecaui ihuitlachioalli: iehoatl achto tlapepechiotl, ipepech mochioa quimopepechtia, in isquich tlaçoihuitl, aço coztlapalli in motzacoatza, anoço aztatl, anoço chamolin, anoço cuitlatexotli, anoço cochoihuitl, anoço itla ihuitl çan tlapalli, tlatlapalpalli: ipan mouelitta, moiehecoa, monanamictia, in catlehoatl quimonamictiz, quimopepechtiz tlaçoihuitl, in xiuhtototl, iehoatl mopepechiotia, in cuitlatexotli ihuiio: iehoatl quisoaltia in alo: auh in tzinitzcan, iehoatl quimopepechtia in cochoihuitl: auh in tlauhquechol: iehoatl ipepech mochioa in çan ie no ei iialapachio tlauhquechol, anoço tlatlapalpalli ihuitl auh in toztli ipepech mochioa in coztlapalli ihuitl, çan no ie quimopepechtia in tozcuicuil....

Auh in icoac centetl momana: oapaltontli ipan moçaloa ce amatl, oc ceppa ipan micuiloa in omocuicuic machiotl, in tlacuicuitl omochiuh: iehoatl ipan iecaui in ihuitlachioalli, ipan mocençaloa in ihuitl oapalli, aço suchitlacuilolli, aço quillacuilolli, anoço itla tlaixiptlaiotl in mochioaz, in çaço quenami tlamachtli, intla uel ittalli.
   








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