This article centers on a contextual analysis of the Nahuatl metaphor atoyatl tepexitl as attested in the colonial sources belonging to different genres: from devotional literature, like doctrinal treatises and religious plays, to sacred narratives on pre-Hispanic gods (e.g., the mockeries of Tezcatlipoca in Tula). Due to its compatibility with the Christian negative valuation of falling and the existence of similar expressions in Spanish, this couplet was adopted by friars to render the concept of sin. The article points to possible ambiguities and confusions that establishing such equivalency must have caused early after the conquest, and attempts to unravel the possible pre-Hispanic ramifications of the metaphor.
Nahuatl, sin, hell, difrasismo
Copyright 2019 by American Society for Ethnohistory