Last Injunction of the Venerable Cuahtemoc

Cuahtemoc was the last lord of Tenochtitlan and, thus, the last emperor of the Aztec empire. In his last declaration as lord, Cuahtemoc makes an attempt to rescue the culture and dignity of his people despite its imminent fall.

I made this translation into English from Spanish. The original Nahuatl text was translated into Spanish by José Rios “Topiltzin”. To read my Marshallese translation (Enaan in Kakien Āliktata an Cuahtemoc) or the Spanish version (Último mandato del venerable Cuahtemoc), choose the language you want in the language bar above.

***

Our sacred energy has deemed good to hide himself,
our venerable and worthy sun has disappeared his face,
and he has deigned to leave us in total darkness.

We certainly know that he will see fit to return again,
that he will once more deign to come out
and again will worthily come to shine over us with his light.

For as long as he remains there, among the dead,
let us quickly come together,
let us congregate
and let us hide in the middle of our hearts
all that our hearts have the honor to love
for we know our riches
within us like a great emerald.

Let us disappear our holy places,
our great houses of learning, the fields where we play,
our public schools, our houses of song,
may our roads be empty
and may our homes preserve us.

Until our new sun deigns to come out,
may the venerable fathers and the venerable mothers
never forget to
tell their youth
and may they teach their children
for as long as they deign to live,
precisely how good has been until now
our beloved Anahuac,
where we are watched over by those who we revere and have passed before us,
along with their will and desires,
And also, it is only because of our respect for them
and our humility before them
that our revered ancestors received
and that our revered fathers,
at both sides in the veins of our hearts,
made them known unto our beings.

The 1524 Nuremberg map of Tenochtitlan.
The 1524 Nuremberg map of Tenochtitlan.

Now we hand the task over
unto our children:
Not to forget! To teach
their children with all their might
how their uprising will be,
how our revered sun will rise once again
and just how he will once again show his strength.
Just how he will kindly and magnificently fulfill
his worthy promise to
our revered and beloved motherland, Anahuac!

—Cuahtemoc, Anahuac Huei Tlahtohuani (Lord of Anahuac)

Leave a Reply