Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/52

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and endless river, flowing from mountains far away to an ever distant sea. On the shore of the river were broad plains where cattle grazed. The mountains, with summits reaching to the heavens, were full of game. The winters were long, but the summers mild and agreeable. There the parents of the Nahuas dwelt long and happily, but at last enemies, whose attacks they had been obliged from time to time to resist, overcame them, and drove them from their homes. It was then they descended towards the south, seeking a land which should remind them of their favored home. Only when they reached the plateau of Auahuac, near the great lakes which reminded them of their mighty river, could they rest. Such legends as these, and the forms of the pyramids found in Mexico and Yucatan, lead naturally to the guess that these races were the descendants of the Mound Builders of the Mississippi Valley, Ohio, and Missouri. The monuments of these prehistoric men are not unlike the teocallis and pyramids of the Nahuas. The "mounds" are artificial hills of earth, constructed with mathematical regularity, round, oval, or square. They are finished at the top by platforms, destined, apparently, to religious rites. Like those in Mexico, the Mounds, in their form and the great number of them, bear evidence to the prolonged existence of the race who built them, to long years of labor, and thousands of workmen employed in their construction. Excavation has brought to light implements of war and household use, which show both taste and skill, and these objects are much alike in their general aspect, whether found in