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Estudios de cultura náhuatl

Print version ISSN 0071-1675


ECHEVERRIA GARCIA, Jaime. Tonalli, cold nature, and fearful personality: susto among sixteenth century Nahuas. Estud. cult. náhuatl [online]. 2014, vol.48, pp.177-212. ISSN 0071-1675.

The aim of this paper is to explain the complex of the susto illness among ancient Nahuas. Such illness was originated by a sudden experience of fear that caused tonalli (one of the animistic entities) to abandon the human body. The process that causes the loss of tonalli by susto, its symptomatology and correlative therapeutics, are presented through the cold/hot opposition. Additionally, the article discusses the cold nature of fear as conceived by the Nahuas. Data gathered in anthropological fieldwork in the Nahua community of Xolotla -in the municipality of Pahuatlán of Sierra Norte in the state of Puebla-is used to complement the historical data.

Keywords : Susto; fear; tonalli; cold/hot opposition; body; worldview.

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