Look. There he is. Coqui Bezelao. Mixtec god of death… leaning
against a goblet. He is the handle… and the reminder --with his
wife Xonaxi Quecuya–that death is inevitable.
And in the goblet you ask? Well… wine perhaps. For could it not be
that Coqui Bezelao–also known as Coquechila–might be killing off
the old year whilst getting ready to toast to the new?
Mixtec… Aztec word for (or place of) the cloud-people. And as for
Coqui Bezelao… well… he and his wife were worshipped throughout
the Oaxaca Valley somewhere around Mitla. Who makes these words up, I
ask you? When this whole trek is over and Coqui Bezelao comes a
beckoning… I hope he puts me in a library. So much catching up to
do… so little time in this world.
Wait. I have more. You tell me if you don’t just love the language.
It’s better than merci beaucoup and auf wiedersehen… I’ll tell you
that.; Mitla was known among the Zapotecs as the city of death.
And Coqui Bezelao was also a patron saint to the city of Teocuicuilco
which was home to the temple which housed his idol.
Every 260 days a big party was held. There were brightly colored
feathers. There was quail. There may have been chicken soup with
matzoh balls for all I know. And then there was the party’s
Oh… what an event. A quick trek to the top of a nearby mountain…
and then… oh joy oh joy… autosacrifice! Piercing and letting
blood from their tongues and ears… ostensibly to ensure the city’s
future well being and prosperity.
Well… that’s what they say. Me… I view it differently. I say
they’re trying to purge their tongues and ears from the blockages
that build up from using words like Coqui Bezelao… and
Teocuicuilco … and Oaxaca… and Xonaxi Quecuya. Are these words
harder to say or harder to hear I wonder. Clearly… this was a
dilemma they too faced.
I do hope that this Tidbit does not lead to some ancient Aztec
descendant berating me for being politically incorrect. However… it
will be somewhat disappointing if one does talk to me… and his name
turns out to be Jim… of Bill… or Sue. As to the goblet… I do
not know what it’s made of. Perhaps stone. Perhaps something more
precious. Perhaps something more sinister. But does it relate to
jewelry… even obliquely… that is the question for which I do not
have an answer. Let me know if you know… or even if you have an
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view this Aztec
representation of Coqui Bezelao as he leans against his vessel.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.