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Aztec nation: Court Clowns and Buffoons
Cortez invaded the Aztec nation in 1520 AD. In Montezuma's court he found fools, dwarf clowns, and hunchbacked buffoons, which he took back to Pope Clement VII.

Ancient Mesoamerica: Huehuecoyotl
Huehuecoyotl (Old Coyote, or Laughing Coyote, or Drum Coyote, depending on your preferred translation) was the Mesoamerican trickster god, mischief maker, and patron of comedy and mishaps. He was also identified with the god Tezcatlipoca, 'The Mocker'.
'The interpretation of the word, Huehuecoyotl, as meaning Old Coyote, is a traditional scholarly variant. Age is esoterically related to the element of fire, a common association of dogs and coyotes in mythology. However, at least one scholar prefers to interpret the word to mean 'Drum Coyote'. Given the variables on the interpretations involving the syllables of HUEHUE, perhaps it would not be too far off the subject matter to interpret the meaning of the deity's name as 'Laughing Coyote!'' [Camden Andersen - see also the entry below]

From entry for the Aztec week dedicated to Huehuecoyotl: '...the sacred role of the jester: revealing the truth of the old ways by treating them as irreverently as the gods do, the jester treats nothing as sacred and so points out the sacredness of everything. These are 13 days profoundly influenced by creativity and playfulness: music, dance, art and poetry are simply masks worn by the jester to tear away the away the masks of civilization.... These are good days to make things; bad days to fear what others might think.'

Ancient Mesoamerica: Clowns of the Maya Culture
These clowns are quoted as providing social and political commentary, confronting the politicians of a given town, with bluntness in word and action, to accord the rulers and judges with the opinions of the community. During their animated performances, the clowns would absorb the roles of various gods, demons, and other supernatural entities. The art of the Mayan culture always had a particularly animated, and/or cartoonish tendency in its expression, and in that sense it is definitely 'clownish!'' [This information and much of the above info on Huehuecoyotl courtesy of Camden Andersen, who I'm very grateful to - and I hope he'll forgive my chopping up his wonderful essay to fit into the different sections of my site...]

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