Mexico. Departamento de Antropología.

Introduction, synthesis and conclusions of the work The population of the valley of Teotihuacan online

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instruct our personnel stationed in the valley to vaccinate the child len
living within our jurisdiction and to instruct the people in general about
the danger of infection if this is not done.

The archives of the Department contain a list of 1,500 people, children
and adults, who were vaccinated with the names of their home towns and
a copy of this list has been sent to the Department of Health.

One of the most important activities in the local school stablished by
the Department and which will also contribute to the improvement of the
general physical conditions among the children, consis1/S in teaching them
various sports like games of hall, jumping and running (plate 57, b) as
well as bathing in the baths specially built in the archaeological zone
and which have been placed at the disposal of the children and the pu-
blic in general.

One of the greatest obstacles in this region as well as in other parts
of the country to the education of the children is their organic weakness.
This is due in part to malnutrition, in part to the frequently excessive
woik which they have to do at home and which impairs their powers of
attention. In order to improve this condition and help the children who
attend the local school, milk and bread is distributed among them; and
prosperous citizens have been asked to contribute with donations of meat
and vegetables to improve their diet.

The exaggerated use of pulque by the adult population who consi-
ders this necessary in order to replace the tack of food, does not only
injure them socially and morally, but it is followed by different disorders
of the organism affecting especially their digestion. Absolute prohibition
is for the present at least impracticable, but the Department of Anthro.
pology has given strict orders to the effect that whenever any of the
approximatelly three hundred workers in the archaeological zone pre-
sents himself in a state cf intoxication from too much apulqueit he be im-
mediately, discharged. This rule has had very good results. "We must not



THIS ]'OI'ULAT,ON OF TKOTIHUAC'AN



Introduction. FJate 57.




a). — EOAD, FROM THK ARCH AKOLOQICAL ZOKE TO THK TILLAQK OV SaK MaRtIn

JIK LAS I'lliAMlDKS, S-UliV KYKIJ ]iT ENGIKEKKS OF 'JHE

DKPAK'rMKNT (jF An'JHROPOLOGT.




h). — ChILDRKN of THK KkQIONAT. SCHOOL CRKATKI) BY THK DePARTM BKT OF AntKOPOLOQY

DUKINQ GYMNASTIC EXERCISKS. '



THE POPULATION OF TEOTIHUAcIN



liilroductioii. Plate 58.




a). — Childbkn of the Ekgional School making brkad.
(Industry implanted there by the Department of Anthropology.)




6). — (Jhildbkn of thk Ekgional School kkgagIiu in the wkavikg of articles or straw.
(Industry implanted Iheru by the D^partmeot of Anthropology.)



THE POPULATION OF TEOTIHTJACAN



lutioductioii. Plate 59.




a). — Children of thk Kkqional School kkoaqkd in thk makutacturk of ckramics.
( Industry implanted there by the Department of Anthropology. )




b). — OVKN FOK BAKING CKRAMICS, CON>TRUUTKU THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF
THE DkPARTMKKTOF ANTHROPOLOGY.



INTEODTJCTION, SYNTfllCSIS AND CONCLUSIONS LXXXIX

forget that those workers, being better paid, are able to improve their
mode of life considerably, hence have less excuse to commit such excesfees
than their fellows. On his part the teacher in the school points out to
bis pupils the many sorrows that result from an excessive use of this
beverage.

When corn reaches exborbitant prices on account of its scarcity,
thereby causing epidemics and an increased mortality, as happened dur-
ing the epidemic of influenza in the year 1917, it is distributed by the
government or by its orders At prices below cost.^

As there are no surgeons residing in the valley, patients who needed
immediate surgical attention died invariably under the care of a empi-
rical medicine-men. Whenever the Department is informed of such cases
the patients are sent immediately to the Red Cross in Mexico city.

Among these we may mention the cases of the boy Patrocinio Mendez
who suffered from a fractured femur with torn muscles and consequent he-
morage which threatened to develop into gangrene; Angel Huesca who
had a dangerous abcess on the shoulder, and the case of Venancio Juarez
who also suffered from a fracture of the femur. All these cases were well
taken care of by the above mentioned humanitarian institution.

Art and industry. — The Department has had two objects in view in
this respect: 1°'— The endeavor to develop in the children who attend the
local school, artistic or industrial talent by means of drawing, modelling
..or moulding of objects, landscapes, animals, plants, aud edifices found
in the valley. From time to time they are taken to the workshops where
pottery ip fashioned or where textiles are woven, etc., teaching them the
means of improving the production. Finally, they receive special ins-
truction in the industrial improvement of raw material existing in the
region: pottery, hats, basketry, textiles and cords of maguey fibre;
the making of bread, etc., etc. (plates 5Sand 59, a). An attempt has
furthermore been made to impress them with the advantages and con-
venience of modern agricultural methods, naturally adapting the expla-
nations to the understanding of children and at the same time of local
agricultural conditions. 2"* — The encouragement of local industrial pro-
duction amongthe adults. The comparatively most successful local trade
has always been the manufacture of pottery because of the superior qua-
lity of the clay found there and the hability and experience of the potters
who have inherited their art through countless generations. Textiles were
well woven and economical, but as sheep are scarce in the locality, or ra-
ther because of the inability of the weavers to obtain their raw material
there, this industry has almost completely vanished. For this reason the
manufacture of pottery has been given preference and its production was
modernized and turned into and industry, improving ancient methods
which threatened to stop it. In the first place the best potters were se-
lected and they were sent to practice their art in the factories of the citj
of Puebla. This taught them the manufacture of the Talavera type of
pottery which is far more in demand and commands a better price than
■the regular type of the valley altough this is continually manufactured.

iNTRODtlCTION.— 12



Xe THE POPUI.ATION OF THE VALLEY OF TEOTIHUACAN

As soon at the apreiiticeship was over, these potters retufned from Pue-
bla, a special oven was constructed (plate 59, b) and the application of
special substances to produce tte enamel and the coloring of vessels was
theoretically and practically studied. At the present time this pottery
(plate 60, a) commences to find a market in the valley itself, at the sta-
•tioiis of the Interoceanic and the Mexican Kail way and in the capital of
•the Republic, lu all probability the future will bring a greaterprodnction
making export possible as happens with the pottery of Puebla. We must
not forget that the Department only tries to industrialize the production
and sate of pottery according to modern methods, and it allows at the
-same time ful freedom to the potters to express and disvelop their own
artistic taste and personality.

For the sake of aesthetic propaganda the citizens of the region have
been and are continually warned not to paint, reform, mend or destroy
"the beautiful samples of ancient architecture, sculpture and painting
which exist throughout the valley.

This Department presented to the citizens of the town of Sa,n Martin
de las Piramides an architectural plan of colonial design for their city
hall {plate 60, b) improving the one they had and adapting in part its
foreign style which was inadequate for the geographic conditions, the
historic background of the valley and its population. The habitations
of the valley have also been the object of serious study and the endeavor of
improving their great deficiencies has prompted many projects, suggest-
iirg a system of economic as well as hygienic construction adapted to
their geographical surroundings and the social status of the inhabitants
ipiate 61).

In order to show the wealth of decorative motives in evidence throug-
hout the valley of pre-Spanish as well as colonial origin and-their ap-
plication in contemporaneous art, several of them have been selected as
ornamental designs on cornices, capitels and pinnacles shown in this
work, as well as for mural decorations of the local Museum.

The music and text of local songs were gathered and reproduced so
that national composers might use and improve the funda,mental themes
remodelling them to suit modern taste.

The abundance of melliferous plants naturally suggested the installa-
tion of beehives in accord with modern methods. The hives were placed
in the garden of the archaeological zone; the bees being imported from
Italy and donated by the Department of Agriculture.

The same Department has also assisted in the planting of mulberry-
trees for the foundation of the silk industry. The silk worms will be pla-
ced on the trees later on.

Efforts are made to turn the manufacturing of cords, textiles and
-sacks ot awagueyi) Abre into a business enterprise because the raw mate-
rial is very abundant throughout the region.

By means of the cinematograph the inhabitants of the valley have
become acquainted with many industries, until now unknown to them.



THE POPULATION OF TEOTIHUACAN



Introduction. Plate 60.




a). — MOBKKN KNAMKLED CKKA.MICS OF THK VALLKY OF TkOTTHTJACAN.

(Industry implanted there by the Department of Anthropology )




iiSSi



ftllijiliJ'jl







J). Project for thk erection of thk municipal palace op San MartIn de las Piramidks,

ARRANQKD IN THE DePARTMKNT OF ANTHROPOLOGY.



THE 1'OPULATION OF TICOTIHUACAN



Introduction. Plate 61.




TrOJBCT von FA9ADB AND PLANS FOR HABITATIONS SUITABLE TO THB CONDITIONS EXISTING
IN THK VALLEY OF TrOTIHUACAN AKRANQBD IN TUK DePARTIISNT OF ANTHROPOLOGY.



INTHODUCTION, SYNTHESIS AND CONCLUSIONS XCl

Education.— The, educational plans formulated and specially adapted
to the mode of life of the people of the valley, consist of two different
parts: 1"*— Education of the children. 2°*— Education of the adults.

!'*• — A local school was established and it serves as model to th«
other schools already established in the valley. After a good many tests
and selections a contract was made with a very satisfactory and compe-
tent teacher who fully meets all the requirements of the profession. From
a technical standpoint, his antecedents are most excellent. He is a pro-
fessor of the normal school of Jalapa, of the school of Rebsamen: he be-
longs to the Indian race; and therefore knows all its idiosyncrasies and
works enthusiastically within his sphere for its redemption and being a
native of a rural town of the State of Oaxaca, he is practically acquaint-
ed with agricultural cultivation in every line.

The school hours are short and this was done not only with a view
not to tire the pupils but also to allow them time enough for the work
they have to perform in the household and which unfortunately cannot
be avoided on account of the general poverty of their parents. Special
care is devoted to their personal cleanliness, the school being provided
with a bath and with clean clothes for the pupils.

To complement their hygienic and physical instruction all pupils of
the school were vaccinated and received the necessary instruction as
to the advantages of such a measure. For their physical development
they are thaught diverse sports.

Their literary instruction, if such we may call the teaching from text-
books, was worked out in accordance with the very best pedagogical
methods with the only difference that these methods were especially fitt-
ed to suit the condition of the pupils who for the greater part are In-
dians and Mestizoes. Therefore certain phases of instruction were changed
as for instance geography, to suit local conditions physically as well as
politically, which later on will be broadened to meet general instruction.

The one educational feature to which perhaps greatest attention was
paid is teaching the pupils the best way to improve the natural resources
of the region for industrial and agricultural purposes.

Slowly the true conception of the meaning of fatherland, nationality
and humanity is instilled into their minds, which is a most indispensable
work because their conception of all this was always doubtful, beginning
with the fatherland which to a great many people meant scarcely any-
thing more than the respectivd villages or towns where they were born.

2°"*.— The education of adults was started with the workmen employ-
ed in the archaeological zone and it has been a very diflScult task to solve
satisfactorily They very obediently attended the local school in the hours
set aside for them. But, three unsurmountable obstacles have always
interfered with anything that required a mental effort on their part. 1^'. —
The physical exhaustion from their daily labours. 2""* — The physical de-
cay due to lack of proper nutrition and other reasons. S'**— The desire
to spend the hours given to the school in house or field work. It was
easy to understand that, while the economic situation of the workers dM



XCII THE POPULATION OP THE VALLEY OF TEOTIHUACAN

not improve, it was of little advantage to them to attend Bchool, aud
for this reason a few individuals were selected who volunteered for an
aprenticeship and for the rest it was agreed that they should not be
forced to attend classes, trying to educate them by some other means,
one consisting in distributing pamphlets on different industries, methods
of cultivation, hygiene, morale, etc., in order that those who were able to
read them might impart to others the knowledge they acquired. Fur-
thermore the practical instruction on industries which was given to the
children was repeated to them. Finally the graphic instruction by means
of cinematographic exhibitions was initiated gratuitously, a system
which has given such wonderful results when tried by the Bureau of Com-
mercial Economics in Washington, D. C.

As the problem of the education of adults is so very difficult, every-
thing possible to solve it was done, and we are continuously giving it our
best attention. But first of all we shall intensify and enlarge in every
sense the education of the children whose judgement, free ^'om prejudices,
can be efficiently shaped to grasp the ideals and practices of modern ci-
vilization.

Observation and artistic representation of the valley and its
inabitants. — By different scientific methods, alluded to in previous pa-
ges, we have been able to study, describe and classify more or less effecti-
vely, the different characteristics of the valley, such as the oro-hidrogra-
phical, the climatical, geological, botanical and zoological phases and the
anthropology, ethnology, sociology, psychology, etc., of its inhabitants.

Although the study of determined characteristics by scientific means
affords a comparatively satisfactory knowledge of the life of a people and
of the surroundings in which their daily life develops, there are neverthe-
less certain aspects that do not come under this pbservation because
they cannot be obtained with the aid of scientific research but are rather
detected and expressed in the various artistic moods.

The powerful influence which the landscape has had from remote ti-
mes on the mind of the inhabitants of the valley could not be appreciated
by any of the different scientific methods mentioned above, not even by
mechanical means such as photography. For this reason it was necessa-
ry that a true painter, an artist of clear technique, of broad vision, of
extreme sensibility and a profound anilitical criterion, should go and live
in the valley for a length of time necessary to identify himself without
prejudice or hurry with the wonderfully clear blue sky, the cold aridity of
the mountains, the lowlands, always verdant, the ancient colonial tem-
ples with their pompous legend, the thousand-year old ruins evoking
great mythological dramas, and the miserable huts of the people, held
in the thorny grip of nopal trees and maguey plants. He must live and
fr9,tei:nize with the man of the valley making his customs, his ideals, his
sorrows and his pleasures, his superstition and his happiness, his whole
existence in short, part of bis own.

This was done; Francisco Goy tia, one of the most sincere and vigorous
of Mexican painters, went to live at TeotihuacS,n for many months in



THE POPULATION OF TEOTIHUACAN



Ivtioduction. Plate 62.




a). — Chuech of San Fuancisco.
(Copy of an oil-painting made by Mr. Francisco Goytia.)




b). — Pyramid of the Moon.
( Copy of an oil-painting made by Mr. Francisco Goytia. )



THE POPULATION OP TEOTIHUACAN



Introduction. Piute 6.9




«).— Paqadk of chukch San AqustEn Acot.man.
( Copy of a dniwing in pastel made by Mv. Francipco Goytia. )




b). — Nativk Indian dancers.
(Copy of a drawing in pastel made by Mr. Francisco Goytia.)



THE POPULATION OF TEOTIHUACAN



Introduction. Plate 64-




n). — OLAEiyK'l'S USED VY THK NATIVE INDIAN MUSICIANS IN THE VALLEY OF TBOTIHCACAN.






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l>). — bLa. BoLAn.

(A native music which is executed by means of the Indian clarinets, shell instruments,
and drum, in the valley of Teotihuacan.)



'J'HB POI'ULATlOiV OF TKOTIHUACAN



Jntrodaction. Plate 6oi




a). — Ckntkal Exposition opened in the offices of tub Dkpartment
OF Antrhopoloqy in Mkxico City.




l>). — IvOCAL Exposition opened in the abchaeological zone of TnoTimiACAN,



INTRODUCTION, SYNTHESIS AND CONCLUSIONS f XCIII

quiet retreat until he had become identified with the beings and the
things that surrounded hina and he felt his soul vibrate with the same
emotions which filled his surroundings with mysterious contrasts, and
then he started to produce a work, perhaps not to the taste of superfi-
cial, tinsel-loving critics, but which will bring surprise and unusual
pleasure to all those who take the trouble to study the hidden and little
known life of this region of Mexico {plates 62 and 63).

Concerning sculpture, similar plans have been initiated and will be
pursued until accomplished.

The music and local songs have naturally received special attention
because they are the quintessence of the artistic sentiments of the people
outside of painting and sculpture {plate 64).

Finally, legends, tales, superstitions and so forth have, aside from
their value to folk-lore, purely artistic sides which are highly interesting
and for these reasons a large and careful collection was made of them.

Central exhibition,— In order to facilitate to all readers of this work
and to the public in general the study of and comments on the investi-
gations and conclusions herein disclosed, the Department opened at 4,
Filomeno Mata street a hall where everything described in these pages is
objectively represented from the precolonial epoch to the colon 1^,1 and
the present time: architecture, sculpture, painting, ceramics, industrial
implements and such for home-use, ritual objects, armament, apparel,
agricultural products and so forth. There are also specimens of the local
flora and fauna on exhibition, as well as duly classified samples of the
minerals of the valley and all articles manufactured from them. Lastly
there are maps registering all the towns, the census of their inhabi-
tants, the interurban and urban roads and the local oro-hydrographic
formation etc., {plate 65, a).

This hall is largely frequented, not only by Mexican and foreign stu-
dents but also by groups of school children as well as by people unable to
read and in such cases the perssonel of the Department furnishes the ne-
cessary oral explanations.

This exhibition together with the work done, not only comprises and
represents the valley of Teotihuacan, but also embraces regions in the
States of Hidalgo, Mexico, Puebla and Tlaxcala. In the future, exposi-
tions corresponding to other representative zones will be established,
until all the different regions of the country are typically represented.
Local expositions. — While the importance of such a central exposi-
tion is general, it has particular attraction and interest to the inhabi-
tants of the valley of Teotihuacan and it was therefore decided to
establish a similar one in the valley itself, endeavoring to make it more
extensive and larger and more profusely provided with specimens espe-
cially those from pre-Spanish and colonial times as well as products ma-
nufactured with the raw material from this locality. The use of this raw
material was not known until the Department of Anthropology estar
blished manufacturing plants there to turn out hats, textiles and ropes,
made of ma^aej fibre, fine pottery etc. etc. (p7a*e 65, fo). .



xciv THE Population of the valley of teotihuacan

, In other representative regions, such as Yucatan, Oaxaca, Baja Ca-
lifornia, etc., which are going to be studied in the near future, similar ex-
positions will be established.

The popularization of this work.— All chapters of this book are
now being synthesized and put in very plain language especially those
touching upon or dealing with an immediate improvement of the popu-
lation. As soon as this is done, they will be distributed freelj' among the
people the first chapters being those on physical development, irrigation,
improvement of cultivation, etc. etc.



§ 6. — STJGESTIONS MADE 'BY THE DEPARTMENT OP ANTBOPOLOCtY

San Juan TeotihuacS,n is on the eve of being the most important
town of the region for its very central goegraphical situation and for the
beauty of its surroundings, as well as on account of its proximity to
the archaeological zone, visited by thousands of people. It would there-^
fore seem fit to declare it the capital of the district, which district
should remain naturally limited by the mountains which surround the
valley. In this manner communication will become more economical,
easier and quicker, greatly facilitating commercial transactions and offi-
cial intercourse between the capital and the different municipalities. At
present the valley belongs to two different districts, the capitals of which
are Otumba and Texcoco, both towns relatively distant and situated
outside the natural borders of the valley.

In the valley, as in all the rest of the Republic, the majority of the
population belongs to the primitive Indian civilization which is quite
different from the modern civilization professed by the minority of
the white people. The constitutions and laws which were intended for this
white minority in accord with their characteristics, their aspirations and
necessities are very different. We suggest therefore that these constitu-
tions and laws be revised and their application suited to govern efficient-
ly, adequately and profitably, not only that small part of the popula-
tion which is white and of modern culture, but especially the numerous
Indian and Mestizo groups which constitute the large majority. Such
reforms should be made after careful observation and scientific study of
all the different social components of Mexico, because experience has do-
lefully demonstrated that all reforms made by other means, including
violent ones, have always produced, with but very few exceptions, disas-
trous results.

As the administration of justice is entirely deficient and inadequate
in the region, means should be studied and implanted by those to whom
the means of improvement belong, organizing first of all honorable de-
fences by which means the most unjustifiable prejudiced may be avoided,
which today are suffered inevitably by those who have no other resources.
- The representatives of the region in both houses should know and


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Online LibraryMexico. Departamento de AntropologíaIntroduction, synthesis and conclusions of the work The population of the valley of Teotihuacan → online text (page 13 of 14)