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Choctaw Traditions

It is stated of the Papagoes,1 that an ancient tradition of their tribe proclaims the coming of a Messiah by the name “Moctezuma.” They affirm that, in the ancient past, he lived in Casa Grande, the famous prehistoric temple on the Gila River; that his own people rebelled against him and threatened to kill him, and he fled to Mexico. But before leaving them he told them that they would experience great afflictions for many years, but eventually, at the time of their greatest need, he would return to them from the east with the rising sun; that he would then cause the rain to fall again upon their arid country, and make it bloom as a garden, and make his people to become the greatest on earth. Therefore, when Montezuma arrives, that he may see all the doors open and none closed against him, this humble people, with a pathetic faith, make the only entrance to their houses toward the east and leave the door always standing open that their Messiah may enter when he comes. During the years 1891, 1892 and 1893, a three years drought had destroyed their crops, dried up their water, cut off their supply of seeds, and killed great numbers of their cattle. Truly it was the time of their greatest suffering, and surely Montezuma would now come to their rescue; and it was enough to move the heart of the most obdurate infidel, to see the people ascending just before sunrise to the top of the surrounding hills and look anxiously toward the rising sun for Montezuma, until disappointment usurped the place...

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