Mexican Songs

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The Mexican Songs (Cantares Mexicanos) are a collection of lyric poems written in the Nahuatl language, the language of the ancient Aztecs, during pre-Columbian times in what is now Mexico. These songs are part of the set of indigenous literature that has been preserved to this day and are a valuable sample of the rich poetic tradition of the original peoples of Mexico.
The Mexican Songs were collected and transcribed by indigenous scribes after the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the sixteenth century. The best-known compilation is the “Florentine Codex”, which was prepared by the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagún and his team of indigenous students. This codex contains a wide range of information about the culture and society of the Nahua peoples, including the songs.
The songs address a wide variety of topics, such as love, nature, everyday life, religious festivals, and ancient myths. Many of the poems express a deep sense of connection to nature and a veneration for the gods, reflecting the spirituality and worldview of the ancient Aztecs.
Poetry in the Mexican Songs is characterized by its lyrical beauty and its imaginative use of the Nahuatl language. The verses are elaborate and melodic, and were often sung accompanied by music and dance at ceremonies and festivities. These songs were an important form of artistic and cultural expression for the ancient Nahua peoples, and their preservation gives us a window into their rich poetic heritage.
Today, the Mexican Songs continue to be studied and appreciated for their historical and literary value. They are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of ancient Nahua poets and allow us to learn more deeply about the rich cultural tradition of Mexico’s indigenous peoples.

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