Source:Sorenson:Ancient American Setting:289-290:Swine

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Sorenson: "pisote is sometimes applied also to the peccary or wild pig"

Parent page: Book of Mormon/Animals/Swine

Sorenson: "pisote is sometimes applied also to the peccary or wild pig"

John L. Sorenson:

A good example of the confusion is with the coatimundi (Nasua narica). Landa, the padre who favored us with a detailed description of Yucatan, wrote of the beast, “There is an animal which they call chic, wonderfully active, as large as a small dog, with a snout like a sucking pig. The Indian women raise them, and they leave nothing which they do not root over and turn upside down; and it is an incredible thing how wonderfully fond they are of playing with the Indian women, and how they clean them from lice.” The flesh of the coati was also widely eaten, and the animal remains a pet today in some rural Mexican homes. . . . What ought the coati to be called in English? One common Spanish name is tejon. Unfortunately, tejon is also the Spanish name for badger as well as raccoon. Another name, from the Aztecs, is pisote (Nahuatl pezotli), which means basically glutton. Yet pisote is sometimes applied also to the peccary or wild pig. In regard to the peccary, the Nahuatl terms quauhcoyametl and quahpizotl were developed after the conquest to distinguish the native species from the introduced Castilian pig, so by extension the coati was sometimes termed quauhpezotli, tree-glutton, to distinguish it from the peccary, the ground-glutton. Finally, the Mayan languages labeled the coati for its playful aspect, hence chic, clown.[1]


  1. John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 289-90.