Page:The Story of Mexico.djvu/70

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IV.

CHICHIMECS.

According to the old version of Anahuac story, the proud, brilliant dynasty of the Toltecs shone like a jewel upon the background of the savage tribes surrounding it, who remained during the period it flourished in the same condition as when the Toltecs came. It was from one of these less cultivated races that the Toltecs took their first chief, Chalchiuhtlatonac, son of the so-called Emperor of the Chichimecs, to whose account is attributed a line of fourteen monarchs, and a duration of over two hundred years, but all this is very uncertain and vague; on the other hand, Baudelier is of opinion that there was no Chichimecan period in Mexico. The word Chichimecatl signifies indiscriminately a savage, a good hunter, or a brave warrior. The far-off region from which they immigrated like the other tribes upon Anahuac, called by them Amaquemecan, like the Huehue-Tlapallan of the Toltecs, was a fertile country of their dreams, pleasant to work in, and free from earthly disasters.

Probably they came from the same region as the Toltecs; their language is classed with the Nahuatl, though their dialect was their own. They called

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