told by Marcelino Medoza Ortega
The Aktzini story is a culturally-important pan-Totonacan myth. In the region around the Necaxa Valley, the story concerns the history of Mt. Colinque (mu:chu’kúku’), the highest peak in the vicinity. It is an important ceremonial centre for shaman and was believed to have been the point of access to the earth for evil spirits (“those that eat people”) that descended from the heavens. Although the story has been forgotten by most speakers in the Upper Necaxa communities, this version was told by Marcelino Mendoza Ortega, a speaker of the Patla dialect, in Patla on January 30, 2003. It was recorded by David Beck on a Sony handheld DAT recorder with the assistance of Porfirio Sampayo Macín, who acted as interlocutor, and was initially transcribed by Joshua Holden and Noemi Sampayo Mendoza. Further work analyzing the text with a user-assisted computational parser was carried out by Kevin Penner; final redaction and formatting was completed by David Beck. HTML generated by CuPED.

  1. paláj xla mat tza’má sipéj
    speaker paláj xla mat tza’má sipéj
    fast the QTV that hill
    ‘soon, well, it was that hill’
  2. mat ta:lhmá:n xya:wa:kaní:’
    speaker mat ta:–lhma:n i’x–ya:wá:–kan–ní:’
    QTV CLF–long PAST–stand–IDFPF
    ‘it’s that it had been stood up high’
  3. tu: cha: chi’ a’htín torre
    speaker tu: cha: chi’ a’h–tin torre
    NREL PTCL how CLF–one tower
    ‘it’s that it was like a tower’
  4. he: mat
    speaker he: mat
    and QTV
    ‘and so …’
  5. mat xwankán la’hma’jtzá’ mat…
    speaker mat i’x–wan–kan la’hmá’j=tzá’ mat
    QTV PAST–say–IDF long.ago=now QTV
    ‘it’s said that a long time ago, well’
  6. mat u:tzá [i’x…]
    speaker mat u:tzá
    QTV that
    ‘that …’
  7. mat i mat u:tzá xpu:yújchi’ naka’hapú:n mat i [tu: i’x…] tu: ixtawanálh
    speaker mat i mat u:tzá i’x–pu:–yuj–chi’ nak=a’hapú:n mat i tu: i’x–ta–wa–nan–lh
    ‘those that ate people would come down here on that (mountain)’
  8. jmm
    speaker jmm
    PS: ‘mhm’
  9. jmm
    speaker jmm
    MM: ‘mhm’
  10. mat ixpu:yújchi’ naka’hapú:n
    speaker mat i’x–pu:–yuj–chi’ nak=a’hapú:n
    QTV PASTCTNR–come.down–PROX LOC=sky
    ‘they came down here from the sky on …’
  11. mat i tza’má, tza’má sipéj mat u:tzá mat i xtawanálh wa:tzá
    speaker mat i tza’má tza’má sipéj mat u:tzá mat i i’x–ta–wa–nan–lh wa:tzá
    QTV JNCT that that hill QTV that QTV JNCT PAST3PL.SUB–eat–DTRNPFV here
    ‘… this mountain, the ones that ate people here’
  12. he: wankán mat
    speaker he: wan–kan mat
    and say–IDF QTV
    ‘and they say’
  13. mat tza’má ka:pu’tzá [ka:…] ti: ti’ka:ma:laklawilí:ka’
    speaker mat tza’má ka:–pu’tzá ti: ti’–ka:–ma:–lak–la–wilí:–i:–ka’
    ‘they were looking for those who could break it down’
  14. cha: cha: chi’tzá’ cha: [wa…] ka:wani’yá’ kwan ti: tajilí
    speaker cha: cha: chi’=tzá’ cha: ka:–wan–ni’–ya’ i’k–wan ti: ta–jilí
    PTCL PTCL how=now PTCL PL.OBJ–say–BENIMPF:2SG.SUB 1SG.SUB–say HREL 3PL.SUB–thunder
    ‘the ones you call, I guess, the ones that thunder’
  15. jilini’ní:n
    speaker jilí–ni’–ni:n
    PS: ‘the Thunderers’
  16. jmm
    speaker jmm
    MM: ‘mhm’
  17. mat ka:pu’tzáka’ mat i katalaklhó:’lh
    speaker mat ka:–pu’tzá–ka’ mat i ka–ta–lak–lhawá–ho:’–lh
    ‘they looked for them so they could break it down’
  18. talaktú’kxli’, he: …
    speaker ta–lak–tú’kx–li’ he:
    3PL.SUBINTNS–break–PFV and
    ‘they broke it and …’
  19. ja: mat tu: talhawaní’lh
    speaker ja: mat tu: ta–lhawá–ní’–lh
    ‘they didn’t do anything to it’
  20. maskí’ mat ma’htín ma’htín mat i i’xtantú’ cha: mat xtaá’n tatzukuní:’ … mat i
    speaker maskí’ mat ma’h–tin ma’h–tin mat i i’x–tan–tu’ cha: mat i’x–ta–a’n ta–tzukú–ni:’ mat i
    ‘even one after the other, both of them went and they’d started … ’
  21. [tate: …] wa:má: tate:laktu’kxku’tún tate:tayá
    speaker wa:má ta–te:–lak–tu’kx–ku’tún ta–te:–tayá
    this 3PL.SUBPATHINTNS–break–DSD 3PL.SUBPATH–take
    ‘they, they wanted to pass by and break it and knock over’
  22. he:
    speaker he:
  23. ja: mat tu: talhawaní’lh chu:ntza:tzá’ mat ya:lh, chu:ntza:tzá’ mat ya:lh
    speaker ja: mat tu: ta–lhawá–ní’–lh chu:ntzá:=tzá’ mat ya:lh chu:ntzá:=tzá’ mat ya:lh
    NEG QTV NREL 3PL.SUB–make–BENPFV thus=now QTV stand thus=now QTV stand
    ‘they didn’t do anything to it, it stood there like that, just like that’
  24. he: mat pu’tzáka’ tza’má
    speaker he: mat pu’tzá–ka’ tza’má
    and QTV look.for–IDF:PFV that
    ‘and so they looked for this,’
  25. u:tzá cha: [wa…] wani’kán tza’má a’ktzí’ni’
    speaker u:tzá cha: wan–ní’–kan tza’má a’ktzí’ni’
    that PTCL say–BENIDF that Aktzíni
    ‘this one called the Aktzíni’
  26. u:tzá wani’paláka’ chu:wá que u:tzá nalaklhó:
    speaker u:tzá wan–ní’–palá–ka’ chu:wá que u:tzá na–lak–lhawá
    that say–BENRPTIDF:PFV now what that FUTINTNS–make
    ‘they told him again that he would be the one to break it’
  27. he: ki:nú xla mat xli:ká:na’ mat
    speaker he: ki:nú xla mat i’x–li:–ká:na’ mat
    and so.that he QTV 3POGNC–truly:NM QTV
    ‘and it’s that he, well, it’s true…’
  28. mat tza’j ma’htín ta’sálh
    speaker mat tza’j ma’h–tin ta’sá–lh
    QTV only CLF–one vocalize–PFV
    ‘he cried out only once’
  29. pero mat ma’hát ma’hatu’nká’ i wa:má …
    speaker pero mat ma’hát ma’hat=tu’nká’ i wa:má
    but QTV far far=very JNCT this
    ‘and way, way off this …,’
  30. ma:tu’jni:hó:’lh mat i ja:’ …
    speaker ma:–tu’j–ni:–hó:’–lh mat i ja:’
    CS–run–CSTOTPFV QTV JNCT where
    ‘he made (the mountain top) fly to where …’
  31. chi’ lakalá’h
    speaker chi’ laka–lá’h
    how CLF–how.many
    ‘how many places?’
  32. xtali:chiwi:nán ja:’ mat makachá:’lh makachá:’lh i’xpá’hlhma’
    speaker i’x–ta–li:–chiwí:–nan ja:’ mat maka–cha:’n–lh maka–cha:’n–lh i’x–pa’hlh–ma’
    PAST3PL.SUBINST–say–DTRN where QTV hand–arrive.there–PFV hand–arrive.there–PFV 3PO–break–BYPD
    ‘they talked about where it went to, its fragments went to’
  33. tza’má chiwíx
    speaker tza’má chiwíx
    that rock
    PS: ‘the rocks’
  34. je:’
    speaker je:’
    MM: ‘yes’
  35. sipéj
    speaker sipéj
    PS: ‘(of the) mountain’
  36. sipéj ma’hát ma’hát
    speaker sipéj ma’hát ma’hát
    hill far far
    MM: ‘the mountain, far, far away’
  37. tawán ásta mat lha: wani’kán mat [nak…]
    speaker ta–wan ásta mat lha: wan–ní’–kan mat
    3PL.SUB–say until QTV where say–BENIDF QTV
    ‘they say (they went) over there to a place called …’
  38. ja:’ wani’kán mat naka’hapuxám mat
    speaker ja:’ wan–ní’–kan mat nak=a’hapuxám mat
    where say–BENIDF QTV LOC=Zempoala QTV
    ‘a place called Zempoala’
  39. ásta a’ntzá makacha:’nhó:’lh mat [nax…] i’xpá’hlhma’
    speaker ásta a’ntzá maka–cha:’n–ho:’–lh mat i’x–pa’hlh–ma’
    until there hand–arrive.there–TOTPFV QTV 3PO–break–BYPD
    ‘its fragments all went way over there’
  40. mat i chi’ tu: cha: chi’
    speaker mat i chi’ tu: cha: chi’
    QTV JNCT how NREL PTCL how
    ‘and it seems, it’s that …’
  41. [te: … te: …] te:la’hpa’hlhte:hó:’lh wachi’tzá’ ma:hosu:hó:’lh
    speaker te:–la’h–pa’hlh–tayá–ho:’–lh wachí’=tzá’ ma:–hos–u:–ho:’–lh
    PATHINTNS–break–take–TOTPFV seem=now CS–fly–CSTOTPFV
    ‘he passed by and broke it all down, it seems like he made it all fly off’
  42. jmm
    speaker jmm
    PS: ‘mhm’
  43. he: mat …
    speaker he: mat
    and QTV
    MM: ‘and …’
  44. tza’j ma’htín kwan te:tayálh
    speaker tza’j ma’h–tin i’k–wan te:–tayá–lh
    only CLF–one 1SG.SUB–say PATH–take–PFV
    ‘I guess he went by and knocked over in just one go’
  45. he: chuwá:
    speaker he: chuwá:
    and then
    ‘and now’
  46. mat tu: cha: tza’jtzá’ le:’hs’awipalakán
    speaker mat tu: cha: tza’j=tzá’ li:–a’h–s’awí–palá–kan
    QTV NREL PTCL only=now INST–head–defeat–RPTIDF
    ‘it’s that just in order to fool him again …’
  47. mat wani’kán
    speaker mat wan–ní’–kan
    QTV say–BENIDF
    ‘… they say to him,’
  48. no ja: xli:ká:na’ ja: la’hpa’hlhní:’ta’
    speaker no ja: i’x–li:–ká:na’ ja: la’h–pa’hlh–ní:’ta’
    no NEG 3POGNC–truly:NM NEG INTNS–break–2SG.SUB
    ‘”no, no it’s not true, you haven’t knocked it down’
  49. kalá’htzi’ ju: wa:’jkús ya:lh mat wani’kán
    speaker ka–lá’htzi’ ju: wa:’j=kús ya:lh mat wan–ní’–kan
    OPT–see:2SG.SUB:PFV MTV over.there=still stand QTV say–BENIDF
    ‘”look at it, there it is over there,” they say to him’
  50. chu:ntza:tzá’ chi’ ya:lh mat wani’kán
    speaker chu:ntzá:=tzá’ chi’ ya:lh mat wan–ní’–kan
    thus=now how stand QTV say–BENIDF
    ‘”it’s just standing there,” they say to him’
  51. mat tu: cha: chu: ki:tzukupálh ma’htín
    speaker mat tu: cha: chu: ki:–tzukú–palá–lh ma’h–tin
    ‘and the thing is he took another run’
  52. he: ja:tzá’ mat u:tzá tu: xya:lh mat tza’jtzá’ …
    speaker he: ja:=tzá’ mat u:tzá tu: i’x–ya:lh mat tza’j=tzá’
    and NEG=now QTV that NREL PAST–stand QTV only=now
    ‘and now there was nothing (left of) what was there, only …’
  53. tza’jtzá’ po’hlhnu’tzá’ mat ixya:wani’kán i
    speaker tza’j=tzá’ pó’hlhnu’=tzá’ mat i’x–ya:wa–ní’–kan i
    only=now cloud=now QTV PAST–stand–BENIDF JNCT
    ‘only a cloud that they had put there for him’
  54. mmm
    speaker mmm
    PS: ‘mm’
  55. wa:má chu:ntza:tzá’ chi’ ya:lh ja:tzá’ …
    speaker wa:má chu:ntzá:=tzá’ chi’ ya:lh ja:=tzá’
    this thus=now how stand NEG=now
    MM: ‘it was just like that, like there was no …’
  56. ja: tu: te:te:ní:’
    speaker ja: tu: te:–tayá–ní:’
    PS: ‘he hadn’t knocked anything down’
  57. ja: tu: ja: tu: te:te:ní:’ta:’ mat wani’kán
    speaker ja: tu: ja: tu: te:–tayá–ní:’ta:’ mat wan–ní’–kan
    MM: ‘“no, no you haven’t knocked anything down,” they say to him’
  58. tu: cha: chi’ xli:wa’tu’nká’ max ki:tzukupálh
    speaker tu: cha: chi’ i’x–líwa’=tu’nká’ max ki:–tzukú–palá–lh
    NREL PTCL how 3PO–purposely=very DUB RT–begin–RPTPFV
    ‘and the thing is that he took another run with all his might’
  59. jo: mat tza’jtza’tu’nká’ la’hlhtzá’j mat lhtu:n mat te:taxtúlh
    speaker jo: mat tza’j=tza’=tu’nká’ la’hlhtzá’j mat lhtu:n mat te:–ta–xtu–lh
    MTV QTV only=now=very straight QTV IDPH QTV PATHDCS–out–PFV
    ‘look, now he just went right straight through it, pow!’
  60. maká:’nka’ xla mat [lakas…] lakatzá’j mat maká:’nka’ …
    speaker maka–a’n–ka’ xla mat lakatzá’j mat maka–a’n–ka’
    hand–go–IDF:PFV he QTV straight QTV hand–go–IDF:PFV
    ‘he was sent, he was sent straight …’
  61. ásta mat naxtanhé:n makachá:’nka’ ásta mat …
    speaker ásta mat nak=i’x–tanhé:n maka–cha:’n–ka’ ásta mat
    until QTV LOC=3PO–seabed hand–arrive.thereidf:PFV until QTV
    ‘until to the bottom of the sea where he stopped until …’
  62. chuwá: mat a’ntzá chi’ ma:pi:kani:’tanchá mat ja: la: ta:’kí: [mat …]
    speaker chuwá: mat a’ntzá chi’ ma:pí:–ka–ni:’tán–chá mat ja: la: ta:’kí:
    now QTV there how lay.out–IDFPFDIST QTV NEG able rise
    ‘now they’ve laid him out there and he can’t get up’
  63. mat la’hwá [lak…] laklhtu’lu’lú’n mat cadena li:chi:ma:pi:kaní:’
    speaker mat la’hwá lak–lhtu’lú’lu’–n mat cadena li:–chi:–ma:pí:–kan–ní:’
    QTV completely APL–thick–PL QTV chain INST–tie–lay.out–IDFPF
    ‘and with big thick chains they tie him down stretched out’
  64. lakchi:wili:kaní:’?
    speaker lak–chi:–wilí:–kan–ní:’
    PS: ‘they tied him down?’
  65. je:’
    speaker je:’
    MM: ‘yes’
  66. tawán la’hma’ha:’ní:n pus chuwá: mat …
    speaker ta–wan la’h–ma’há:’n–ni:n pus chuwá: mat
    3PL.SUB–say PL–ancient–PL INTJ now QTV
    ‘the elders say, well now …’
  67. pus chuwá: chi’ mat wa:’jchá chi’ wa:’jchá
    speaker pus chuwá: chi’ mat wa:’j–chá chi’ wa:’j–chá
    INTJ now how QTV there–DIST how there–DIST
    ‘well now over there, over there’
  68. julio wa:’j tze: tzukú ta’sá tawaní:’
    speaker julio wa:’j tze: tzukú ta’sá ta–wan–ní:’
    July there able begin vocalize 3PL.SUB–say–PF
    ‘in July he can begin to cry out, they would say’
  69. mmjmm
    speaker mmjmm
    PS: ‘mhm’
  70. pus tza’j mat xma:n ta’sama:chá ja: mat la: ta:’kí:
    speaker pus tza’j mat i’x–ma:n ta’sa–ma:–chá ja: mat la: ta:’kí:
    INTJ only QTV 3PO–just vocalize–PROGDIST NEG QTV able get.up
    MM: ‘well, he’s just there crying out and he can’t get up’
  71. a’ntzá mat i chi:ma:pí:ka’ mat i ni cha:’lh
    speaker a’ntzá mat i chi:–ma:pí:–ka’ mat i a’kxní cha:’n–lh
    there QTV JNCT tie–lay.out–IDF:PFV QTV JNCT when arrive.there–PFV
    ‘they tied him down there when he arrived’
  72. tu: cha: chi:’ xlí:’wa’ lhtu:n tama:chá
    speaker tu: cha: chi’ xli:’t–wa’ lhtu:n tamá:–chá
    NREL PTCL how suddenly–SEM IDPH lie–there
    ‘it’s that that suddenly boom he’s lying there’
  73. tali:chiwi:nán tza’má la’hma’ha:’ní:n
    speaker ta–li:–chiwi:nán tza’má la’h–ma’ha:’n–ni:n
    3PL.SUBINST–speak that PL–ancient–PL
    ‘the elders talk about that’
  74. chi’ chi’ li:laklhó:ka’ tza’má sipej
    speaker chi’ chi’ li:–lak–lhawá–ka’ tza’má sipéj
    how how INSTINTNS–make–IDF:PFV that hill
    ‘how, how the mountain was knocked down because of this’
  75. mat ta:lhmá:n xya:lh mat a’ntzá xtayújchi’ tu: xtawanálh
    speaker mat ta:–lhma:n i’x–ya:lh mat a’ntzá i’x–ta–yuj–chi’ tu: i’x–ta–wa–nan–lh
    ‘it was tall and those that ate people came down here from there’
  76. mat ixla’hcha:’ní:’ a’hapú:n ya:lh tza’má tawán
    speaker mat i’x–la’h–cha:’n–ní:’ a’hapú:n ya:lh tza’má ta–wan
    QTV PASTINTNS–arrive.there–PF sky stand that 3PL.SUB–say
    ‘it stood and reached the sky, they say’
  77. há’lha’ sipéj?
    speaker há’lha’ sipéj
    big hill
    PS: ‘it was a big mountain?’
  78. há’lha’ sipéj
    speaker há’lha’ sipéj
    big hill
    MM: ‘a big mountain’
  79. tza’j xma:n xlaká’n …
    speaker tza’j i’x–ma:n xlaká’n
    only 3PO–just they
    ‘only they just …’
  80. tu: cha: kwan como la’hma’jtzá’
    speaker tu: cha: i’k–wan como la’hmá’j=tzá’
    NREL PTCL 1SG.SUB–say how long.ago=now
    ‘it’s that I guess in that time’
  81. pó’htu’ xta’hahí: chi’ tza’má tu: cha: i’xyá:lh i tawán pero ja: xli:ká:na’ ja:
    speaker pó’htu’ i’x–ta–a’hahí chi’ tza’má tu: cha: i’x–ya:lh i ta–wan pero ja: i’x–li:–ká:na’ ja:
    everything PAST3PL.SUB–believe how that NREL PTCL PAST–stand JNCT 3PL.SUB–say but NEG 3POGNC–truly:NM NEG
    ‘they believed everything like that, it’s that it was there, they say, but it isn’t true, no’
  82. ja:’n cha:’n naka’hapú:n tza’má
    speaker ja:’n cha:’n nak=a’hapú:n tza’má
    no.way arrive.there LOC=sky that
    ‘no way it reaches the sky’
  83. tza’j chu: tali:chiwi:nán?
    speaker tza’j chu: ta–li:–chiwi:nán
    only PTCL 3PL.SUBINST–speak
    PS: ‘it was just what they talked about (i.e., just a story)?’
  84. ja:’n, tza’j chu: tali:chiwi:nán
    speaker ja:’n tza’j chu: ta–li:–chiwi:nán
    no.way only PTCL 3PL.SUBINST–speak
    MM: ‘no way, it’s just what they talked about’