First Advisor

George T. Cabello

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Spanish




Nahuatl literature -- History and criticism



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 76 p.)


The purpose of the present study is to show that the metaphor, flor, of Pre-Conquest Nahuatl literature means much more than the most widely accepted rendering of that metaphor that classic scholars such as Miguel Le6n-Portilla and Angel M. Garibay have attributed to it. Typically flor is referred to as meaning poetry. It is explored in this study as a metaphor that refers to entheogenic plants, their use and the divine words or songs, or poetry, that resulted from their use. As evidence for the theory presented, I examine and discuss various religious practices and important archeological treasures in order to help us understand a broader concept of flor. I then present my findings in a purely literary context. Gordon Wasson's study of pertinent archeological evidences is important to the foundation of this study, especially his studies of mushroom stones, figures of ecstacy and more importantly his study of the statue of Xochipilli, which can be viewed as a three-dimensional chart of the entheogenic substances used by the nobility to create their true or divine words. The rhetoric the nobility used in their meditations was richly poetic, imaginative and filled with metaphors that are elusive to those not wellversed in their noble dialect. As the noble underwent an entheogenic experience, he was transported from the real world via magical flight to the ethereal world of mystical time, space and knowledge. It was there on a search for truth that he would gain wisdom from the divine and be able to express this wisdom through true or divine words in xochitl in cuicatl. Some of the more important themes common to many of the poems studied are the mystery of life, philosophical questions and the importance of friendship. It was found that the additional meaning that we have attributed to the metaphor flor in these poems is an adequate rendering of the metaphor.


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