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[Tidbits] Tenetl


You ever go to a magic show and say to yourself: How’d he do that? We
love to be baffled. You love to be baffled. Or at least I hope we/you
love to be baffled. For I have a baffler for you. It’s called a

It is made of gold. It is part of the Mesoamerican world of jewelry.
This particular one. this Tenetl. is either a nose plug. or a nose
ornament. or a lip ornament. Or perhaps even all three.

It was probably made by Mixtec jeweler under the guide of
Xipe-Totec–the Aztec god of goldsmiths. As a fascinating aside. the
Nahuatl word for gold was “Teocuitlatl” which, when translated.
means: “the excrement of the sun.” This of course lends itself to the
indisputable fact that the sun’s excrement pretty surely did glisten
the brightest of them all. Or at the very least. this was a truism
which existed before its evolutionary stage took it to the more
explicit rendering with which we are all familiar today: "My
Teocuitlatl is shinier than yours. Or something like that.

I am suspecting dear readers. that when considering last week’s
Tidbits as well as the above deeply incisive analysis. that I am
probably going through a somewhat raunchy period in my writing. But
not to worry. to use a pun. this too shall pass. Oh lord. did I just
write that?

Anyway. speaking of gold. or its alternative descriptive term. I am
here to show you a somewhat unique piece of jewelry. It is in the
form of an eagle’s head. Quite beautiful. Intricate carving. Fierce
expressiveness. Detailed feathering about its head. It even has a
tongue… perhaps for tasting the air as it hunts for prey. Its gaze
is fixed. Its concentration will not be broken.

But here’s the thing of it. For me. it’s a question of attachment. If
it is a nose plug. then I can extrapolate… stretch my imagination
for want of a better description… and figure out how it “might” be
hooked in. jammed up and dangling perhaps from a naris (singular form
of nares)… held by pressure. though may the deities have mercy of
those in proximity should the wearer suddenly succumb to a need to
sneeze. That beak will then come shooting out at you with a strength
of a fuel powered missile. Achoo! Ouch!

However. what if it’s a lip or nose “ornament”… how then will it be
worn? Perhaps chomped on like an old cigar if for the lips. If for
the nose. leaving my previous solution aside. I am baffled. And it is
here dear readers … dear followers of Tidbits. dear jewelry
aficionados… that I seek your advice. Delve deeply into the
recesses of your knowledge bases. and tell me this: How’d they do

So. we come once again to the end. as we are often wont to do. So go.
Take a look. Analyze. And let me know how you think the damned thing
is held in place. You know where. Scroll down.
Left side. Tidbits. Click.

And there ya have it. That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark


I so enjoy your tidbits, thank you for the time it takes to keep us
entertained. I suspect that it is an ear ornament, it looks like the
tip of modern day bungs. My youngest has earlobes that will dangle
down to his knees by the time he is 50. The plug of this eagle looks
like the tips of some of his ear ornaments.

40 above, raining and it is so slick even the dog is doing splits on
the ice. blessings pat


Are you sure this is from Mexico and not Seattle?

Elliot Nesterman