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according to an ancient tradition, that the stone came from the country of " Women without husbands," or " Women living alone."
As regards the ancient stringed instruments of the American Indians our information is indeed but scanty. Clavigero says that the Mexicans were entirely unacquainted with stringed instruments: a statement the correctness of which is questionable, considering the stage of civilization to which these people had attained. At any rate, we generally find one or other kind of such instruments with nations whose intellectual progress and social condition are decidedly inferior. The Aztecs had many claims to the character of a civilized community and (as before said) the Tezcucans were even more advanced in the cultivation of the arts and sciences than the Aztecs. " The best histories," Prescott observes, " the best poems, the best code of laws, the purest dialect, were all allowed to be Tezcucan. The Aztecs rivalled their neighbours in splendour of living, and even in the magnificence of their structures. They displayed a pomp and ostentatious pageantry, truly Asiatic." Unfortunately historians are sometimes not sufficiently discerning in their communications respecting musical questions. J. Ranking, in describing the grandeur of the establishment maintained by Montezuma, says that during the repasts of this monarch " there was music of fiddle, flute, snail-shell, a kettle-drum, and other strange instruments." But as this writer does not indicate the source whence he drew his information respecting Montezuma's orchestra including the fiddle, the assertion deserves scarcely a passing notice.
The Peruvians possessed a stringed instrument, called tinya, which was provided with five or seven strings. To conjecture from the unsatisfactory account of it transmitted to us, the tinya appears to have been a kind of guitar. Considering the fragility of the materials of which such instruments are generally constructed, it is perhaps not surprising that we do not meet with any specimens of them in the museums of American antiquities.
A few remarks will not be out of place here referring to the