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#61 bobdrake12

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 02:48 PM

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Native American Arts (excerpts)

Tawodi Unalasgi


Every achievement made by Indigenous civilizations in Mesoamerica and the Andes is challenged because of one irritating issue "human sacrifice". We Indians could say, "Well the Inca built the finest stone work of any people in the world and were unfathomably talented engineers and possibly developed pre Industrial flying machines". And all most people would have to say is, "Yeah, but they sacrificed their children and put them on mountain tops."

Or we could say that "the Maya developed the most accurate system of time keeping in the history of the world prior to the advent of the modern calendar and atomic clocks. They were first to accurately track and predict the path of many comets, and the planets venus and mars. They were the first to incorporate the mathematical concept of zero and were master astronomers and mathemeticians." And all people would say is, "Yeah but they sacrificed people, they threw children in deep pools to drown them. Or they cut off people's heads if they lost a ball game."

I could go on and on. Now, this is very irritating because if someone were to say, "The Romans were among the most talented engineers in all the world. The first to incorporate the architectural use of the true arch and the dome." No one would say, "Yes, but they put the death hundreds, if not thousands of people merely for the purpose of entertainment by making them fight in the circuses and coliseums". What is most annoying about the human sacrifice issue for Indian people, is that it may have never even occured.

When the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs, they didn't do it alone, they had over 70 thousand Indian allies, people who were tired of the high taxes being exerted on them by Motecuzohma (often mistakenly called "Montezuma"). The first thing they did after they conquered, was to eliminate the people's history.

Before they even got to Tenochtitlan (the aztec capital, a city of over 350 thousand people, with an army of 100 thousand warriors) they first conquered the Yucatec Maya who had just endured a civil war. A man named Bishop Diego de Landa ordered that all the Maya books be piled up and burned. This is why only four Maya books remain today and have yet to be deciphered.

Simmilarly in the Aztec cities a man named Juan de Zumarraga ordered the Aztec manuscripts destroyed. Literally tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, from all over Mesoamerica, not just Aztec books were burned in a huge bonfire. After that some simpathetic (if you could call it that) priests tried to "help" the Aztecs rewrite their history.

Only one Aztec book that is Pre European exists and makes no mention or no depiction of human sacrifice. But in all the codices (books) that were compiled after the conquest with the "aid" of the Spanish priests human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism are mentioned in great detail.

The only "eyewitness" account of the conquest is that written by Bernal Diaz del Castillo and it is full of racist misconceptions and blatant lies. Because of the fact that all of this information was written during the Spanish Inquisition it is in fact USELESS as anthropological data which has been thoroughly pointed out by archaeologist and Aztec specialist Peter Hassler in his book, "The Myth of Human Sacrifice, the Lies of the Conquistadors". There are a couple of other reasons to doubt the Spanish accounts of Aztec sacrifice as well.

The Spaniards claim the Aztec priest would plunge a stone knife into the middle of someone's chest, reach in and tear their heart out with their bare hands. Now, you ask any physician, anyone who's performed an autopsy or particularly a heart surgeon if this is possible, it is not. It is in fact, quite laughable.

First of all, a stone knife could not make an incision in the middle of someone's chest because the sternum is there protecting the heart. Even if one managed to pierce the sternum with the knife it is impossible for a stone blade to make an incision large enough for someone to reach their hand inside of. The blade would break under the pressure. There are special tools and "bone saws" used by physicians today to account for problems getting to the well protected heart.

Now you have another problem, lets say by some miracle an incision is made large enough. Unless a person had super human strength then actually "tearing out" someone's heart would be nearly impossible. There is a lot of powerful muscle tissue surrounding the heart as another layer of protection, many more cuts and incisions would have to be made and worked at for quite sometime before the heart was loose enough to be torn out.

Aztec priests are not said to have participated in highly athletic activities but only intelectual pursuits and the religious school of Tenochtitlan, the "calmecac". For that reason they would not have been strong enough to do any of the above mentioned tasks. But that is what the Spanish documents claim. One has to wonder, if none of this is true? Then why would the Spaniards go to so much trouble to make up such a wild story?"

To make the Indians look bad to the rest of the world. Now why would they do that? Quite simple, to save their own reputations. From the conquest of the Carribean Indians known as "Tainos" by Columbus and his men, to the Conquest of the Southwest by Francisco Coronado" inumerable atrocities were committed by Spaniards against the Indians.

During Columbus's stint as governer of Hispaniola over 10 thousand Indians were massacred in just a few years. Within only one hundred years of the conquest of Mexico, the Indian population had dropped by 98 percent. This is not just due to epidemic diseases like most people would have us believe. In fact, they played a much smaller part than many protectors of these villains would have us believe. Outright murder and massacre of Indian people was common and acceptable throughout the Spanish conquest of Latin America.

Francisco de Balboa had a favorite pastime. He would bet his men what part of an Indian his wolf hounds and mastiffs would bite off first. He'd let an Indian slave run free and then be chased down and eaten alive by his dogs. He would cut up dead Indian bodies and hang the chunks from his front porch. Every so often he cut a piece of flesh and fed it to his dogs. There are countless woodcuts and ink drawings produced by the Spaniards themselves showing Indians being eaten alive by dogs, dismembered or disemboweled, or burned alive etc.

It is quite believable that the stories of human sacrifice among the Aztec and other Indian civilizations are merely a product of the sadistic conquistador imagination. Much of what they claimed the Indians were doing, they themselves were doing to the Indians. Now, if they made the Indians look like vicious, barbaric savages in the eyes of the Catholic church, the Church would encourage their conquest no matter how brutal. For they would believe that such devilish brutes deserved such a punishment from the servants of God. And that is essentially what happened. Why then do modern anthropologists and archaeologists believe in the sacrifice issue?

Well, first of all they rely so heavily upon the Spanish accounts of the conquest to reconstruct ancient Aztec life that they fail to consider the Indian side of the story. And leaders like Andres Segura have said that this issue of human sacrifice never occured. No one pays attention to this, scholars accept one model of Aztec civilization and anyone who suggests another is ridiculed beyond reason.

One might mention the somewhat grotesque depictions in Aztec art as "proof" of human sacrifice. But this may all be symbolic, there are other cultures in the world who have carvings and statues depicting death and decay but no one suggests of them that they sacrificed one another by the tens of thousands or ate eachother in cannibalistic rituals. Basically, if Aztec human sacrifice did occur, it did not occur to the degree that has been suggested.

From the RELIABLE information I've come accross only men in the military were ever "sacrificed". They were fought on the battlefield but then taken back to the temple to die. Now, the Aztecs could have easily killed them right there on the field, but it was believed that dying in the city of the conquerers was a much greater honor. Deaths occured in battles in Europe all the time, right their on the field with no regard whatsoever for the enemies honor.

When I say only "men" I mean of course the Aztec version of a man, when skeletons are found of younger boys this is because Aztec "manhood" occurred when they were young, perhaps when they hit puberty, they likely could enter military service at 13 or 14 years of age. But I've seen no concrete evidence whatsoever that Aztecs sacrificed their babies by drowning them in Lake Texcoco to appease the "rain god" Tlaloc. Nor have I seen concrete evidence that the story of the sacrifice to Xipe Totec "the god of spring" is true.

In this ceremony it is said that a priest sacrificed a young virgin and flayed her, (skinned her) and then slipped her skin on like a jump suit and danced around in it to represent the new "skin" of the earth being blanketed with greenery and flowers in the spring.

This is also pretty ridiculous, the sources would have us believe the priest expertly removed a woman's entire skin with only a few incisions and little damage to the skin and then slipped it on while it was still fresh and wet with blood and chunks of flesh with the greatest of ease.

There is one clay figurine that is believed to be a depiction of a priest wearing such a skin. Perhaps it is, but perhaps the story was taken from Aztec legends and folklore and passed off as fact by the Spaniards. For anyone interested in learning more about the atrocities of the conquest of the Americas and the unimagineable genocide suffered by American Indians I suggest you all read, "A Little Matter of Genocide" by American Indian Movement leader Ward Churchill.

Now, back to the Aztecs, I personally do not believe any Indigenous Nation practiced "human sacrifice" and there is only one place where evidence of ritual cannibalism was found and that is supposedly among some of the Amazonian Indian peoples of Brazil. I think that what has happened here is that the Aztec justice system has been grossly misinterpreted.

#62 Lazarus Long

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 03:28 PM

Great Article Bob!!

And While I do think there is some evidence for Human sacrifice from such legitimate sources as the murals of Bonampak, and other iconographic references, I also think that most of what is discussed is simply rationalization for la Conquista and the Christian Crusade against indiginous Amerinde and African Polytheistic belief systems.

The "histories" are written by the victors and the problem is deciphering fact from party line.

Issues of "Human Sacrifice" are very subjective. For example the Aztecs distinguished between capital punishment and sacrifice. A murderer would be executed but never as a sacrifice for this would offend their Gods, but by the standards of their society "Abortion" as it is practiced today is a form of Human Sacrifice as it is derivitive of a "Woman's Sacred Right of Choice".

The operative word is "Sacred". By the standards of that day "sacrifice" was practiced by degrees and a requisite of "worship". Today this expression of devotion still requires some demonstrative act of contrition and compliance in virtually all religious systems, from tithing to self-flaggelation. Self Sacrifice is emblematic of what is percieved as demonstrative of "True Faith". It is also how the systematic exploitation of individuals has been institutionalized over the millenium.

#63 bobdrake12

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 07:50 PM

http://www.rainbowbo...re/FEchap11.htm

The Invasion of The Americas (excerpts)

"Like monkeys they seized upon the gold. They thirsted mightily for gold they stuffed themselves with it, and hungered and lusted for it like pigs."

-From the Florentine Codex of the Mayas, a Sixteenth Century Mayan account of the Spanish invasion of the Americas.



The Spanish led the assault on the cultures of the Americas, pursuing gold. Nothing highlights the materialism of the cultures of Europe better than the "gold fever" that grips minds conditioned by ideas of power and wealth. In 1519, Cortez and his followers stormed into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán lusting for the yellow metal. Historical records state that human blood ran through the streets of the capital for days. The records maintain that the Europeans and their native allies tired of the drudgery of butchering people day after day.

The invasion of Mexico proceeded and after the invasion of Mexico, the Spanish invaded the Mayan regions in Central America. Had the Spanish been a different people, had they not been fanatics of the collective ego of European culture who could not see the value of any other culture, they would have been able to understand the value of the cultures they destroyed. The vast knowledge of the people of these groups and the productive capacity of their societies would have been worth far more to Europe than all of the gold they carried away. The art, the collective creativity of several cultures, was melted down and shipped to Europe. In many cases the art had more value than the yellow metal with which it was created, but that concept was too sophisticated for the invaders to comprehend at the time.

The writings of the Aztecs and Mayans, including a vast storehouse of astronomical and cultural knowledge, were burned by the fanatical cleric, Bishop Diego De Landa. What is now known as the "Florentine Codex," quoted at the beginning of this chapter, was shipped to Europe where it remains today in the private library of the Vatican. Pizzaro, European invader of the Inca society, was motivated by such deficient morality that his troops were in the habit of murdering local Indians and then quartering their bodies to hang from the porches for dog food. Everywhere the Spanish employed the torture techniques of the Catholic Inquisition against native people.

Today the vast highways, agricultural systems and irrigation works of Inca society lie in disuse and disrepair. Even though Pizzaro could destroy Inca society and extract the gold, the Spanish were not competent to administer the region. The population in the former land of the Inca have not yet, to this day, attained the cultural vitality or living standards enjoyed in the days before the European invasion. The Aztec and Inca societies were empires themselves, in that they were hierarchical structures of power. They were also male-dominated.

The Aztecs depended upon tribute from conquered peoples and it appears from what we know about them that materialism was an incipient factor in their culture. The Incas on the other hand seemed to have created an aboriginal communism. In cases, the Inca system added tribes when they petitioned for admission and in cases negotiations brought in new groups. When the Inca system came to a new group, the Inca engineers would create new irrigation systems, roadways, storage structures for crops and other amenities for the local population. In return the locals paid a share of the produce, which was far less than the tax that was to come with the Spanish.

The Incas built sophisticated highways and irrigation systems that have yet to be equaled. By transporting guano (seabird manure) fertilizer from the Galapagos Islands up into the elaborate high mountain terrace agriculture, the Incas had created an ecological niche for themselves that provided stability, much like the stability created by the flooding of the Nile Valley in Egypt prior to the construction of the Aswan Dam.

The Mayan culture as a whole was not until its last days, based on military power. It was significantly different from that of either the Aztecs or Incas. It was not based upon the large irrigation systems or highways of the Incas, nor was it based upon conquest and tribute such as with the Aztecs. The Mayas were a rainforest culture that relied on sophisticated and sustainable rainforest horticulture, which was primarily decentralized. The ruins that remain in Central America were not population centers with markets and administrative apparatus but ceremonial centers for native religious/cultural practices.

After the Aztec gold was gone the Spanish continued their quest for precious metals, establishing mines in any area that seemed promising. Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Ixmiquilpan, Zimapan, Pachuca, Chaucingo, Temascaltepec, Tlalpujahua and Parral, in Mexico were denuded of vegetation for the smelters and of natives for the labor. When so many natives had been worked to death that there was danger that the mines might shut down, African slaves were imported to work the Mexican mines as they had been to work the plantations of the Caribbean after the natives had expired there.

The Spanish did not progress as rapidly in the tropical Central American region as they had in Aztec lands further north because of the rainforest and because there was a relative paucity of gold amassed in the Mayan ceremonial centers. The Spanish Empire did establish a thin European political hegemony all through the region on the coasts and the flat lands of Central America. A plantation economy, designed to extort the fertility of the soil with slave labor, was established in the more level areas where rainforest was cleared and the empire culture was able to gain a foothold.

From these bases, exports could be shipped and European products (especially military supplies) could be received, insuring continued European domination of the region. In this manner the imperial hierarchies became rooted in the area. Human slavery is identified with the plantation slavery of Africans in the social mind of empire. In actuality, empires themselves are institutionalized coercion and slavery. The hierarchical systems of order provide significant control of people while slavery is total control. This, in contrast with our former culture in which there were no police, jails or centralized power over others.

During the Spanish conquest the King of Spain would "give" large grants of land in the Americas to prominent conquistadors and colonists. All native people that existed on that land were also included. In practice the conquistadors enslaved those that were needed and killed drove away or sold the rest. Cortez, for example, received twenty-three thousand vassals (slaves) for his efforts in the conquest.1

Though we call it by various euphemisms, the power relationships between the oligarchy and the peasants of El Salvador have not changed since the Indians were enslaved to work the original estates of that country. This remains true in much of Latin America where Indians are dominated in a system of violence, coercion and Latino racism. Modern armies supplied by the industrial state now enforce this caste-racial system. The difference in the colonial systems between "settler" countries like the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and "conquest" countries like El Salvador, Peru and Bolivia is that in the former, European settlers swarmed into the areas to create a society and economy that replicated the mother country but was centered in the colonial country. In the colonial style exhibited by El Salvador, Peru and Bolivia, the colonization was to profit by export to the mother country. This was in the style of the latifundia, the large state-owned and slave or peasant-worked farms of Roman times. The profit from this "landed estate" system goes to benefit a small elite who controls the land and the masses of the population. On the other hand, in the countries that began as smallholder-settler colonies, there were not the large factory-farm systems that could profit by cheap labor. Because of this, in the places like the U.S., if the natives could not be used as cheap labor on the settlers' farms and or industries, they were pushed away and confined or eliminated by wars of extermination.

In the "conquest" areas Natives were more likely to be worked to death. Historian Alanzo de Zorita describes conditions in the occupied territories of Mexico where the latifundia system was established:

"The collective tribute and labor demands of the Spanish settlers, the Crown, and the Church far exceeded the relatively puny exactions of the Aztec rulers, nobility, and priesthood. The more advanced European economy demanded a large increase in the supply of labor. The conquistadors or their sons became capitalist entrepreneurs with visions of limitless wealth to be obtained through silver mines, sugar and cacao plantations, cattle ranches, wheat farms. The intensity of exploitation of Indian labor became intolerable. And the Indians, their bodies enfeebled by excessive toil, malnutrition, and the hardships of long journeys to distant mines and plantations, their spirits broken by the loss of ancient tribal purposes and beliefs that gave meaning to life, became easy prey to disease, both endemic and epidemic, to maladies with which they were familiar and to scourges imported by the Europeans: smallpox, influenza, measles, typhoid, malaria. A demographic tragedy of frightful proportions resulted. The Indian population of Mexico, according to a recent estimate based on published tribute records, declined from approximately 16,871,408 in 1532 to 2,649,573 in 1568, 1,372,228 in 1595, and 1,069,255 in 1608.

"Technological changes of Spanish origin contributed to this disaster. A horde of Spanish-imported cattle and sheep swarmed over the Mexican land, often invading not only the land vacated by the declining Indian population but also the reserves of land needed by the Indian system of field rotation. The introduction of plow agriculture, less productive than Indian hoe agriculture per unit of land, and Spanish diversion of scarce water resources from Indian fields to their own fields, cattle ranches, and flour mills, also tended to upset the critical balance between land and people in Indian Mexico."2

It is estimated that Mexico was heavily forested on over half of its land area at the start of the conquest. Now less than 10% is forested and that is swiftly being destroyed. The process of empire culture has reduced present-day Mexico to a bare skeleton. The only thing of value in that region that can be dug up and sold today is the oil from the ground. Most of the land of Mexico is in an advanced state of eco-death, while its impoverished population explodes. Population doubling time in Mexico is now 25 years. A large share of the Natives died in the mines that the Spanish quickly opened after the Aztec and Inca treasures were hauled away. Eduardo Galeano in his Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, tells of Potosí in the present country of Bolivia. Potosí is now a relic but it was once a huge city of splendor, living from the silver mines in the area. In 1650, Potosí was one of the biggest and richest cities in the world. Luxuries from the far-flung parts of the empire were shipped to Potosí in return for silver. The luxuries of the Colonial Europeans were generated by the enslavement of the native society. Galeano says that in three centuries the mines of Potosí consumed eight million Indian lives. He says that: "Many people claimed mestizo status before the court to avoid being sent to the mines and sold and resold on the market."3

"The Indians of the Americas totaled no less than 70 million. When the foreign conquerors appeared on the horizon a century and a half later they had been reduced to 3.5 million."4

The land of Mexico, Central America and Latin America is still, with the exception of Cuba and Nicaragua, owned and controlled by very small but powerful elites. Large modern plantations still generate wealth for the colonial elites and their allies, the bankers and industrialists of the First World.

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#64 bobdrake12

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE
The "histories" are written by the victors and the problem is deciphering fact from party line.


Lazarus Long,

Apparently the numbers speak for themselves (Source: The Invasion of The Americas , shown above in this thread):

QUOTE
The Indian population of Mexico, according to a recent estimate based on published tribute records, declined from approximately

16,871,408 in 1532 to

2,649,573 in 1568,

1,372,228 in 1595, and

1,069,255 in 1608.


The is a pretty good example of the culture of death that infests this planet.

Recently I listened to a talk radio program and saw where the "guest" was flamed by the "host" all in the name of "The greater good." It is amazing how many have the following belief system:

"The end justifies the means."


More on Bishop Diego De Landa is shown below.

bob

http://mayaruins.com...mal/m4_078.html

Fra Diego de Landa, the Franciscan Provincial and Acting Bishop of Yucatán in 1562



Photo courtesy of Louisa Spottswood

"Knowledge of Maya writing did not long survive the Spanish Conquest, owing to the diligence of church and government officials who rooted out any manifestations of this visible symbol of "paganism." Diego de Landa, in a passage that ironically accompanies his invaluable eye witness description of Maya writing, described his own role in its suppression: "We found a large number of these books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which there was not to be seen superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they regretted to an amazing degree and which caused them great affliction."

Robert Sharer, The Ancient Maya, p. 513

#65 bobdrake12

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 08:57 PM

http://www.atributet...com/Pacific.htm

European Conquest and Atrocities

The Mayans were the earliest people to have found a civilization there, they moved from the Mexican plateau into Gauatemala. They were later pushed out, by the Toltecs, who, in turn, dislodged by the Aztecs.



This was an era that saw the blossoming of a unified Central American civilization. The Toltecs were very prosperous. They were accomplished architects, carpenters and mechanics. The Aztecs also made some striking cultural advances. They developed a lake civilization based on the island in Lake Texcoco, where they built their remarkable city. Mexico-Tenochtitlan, which was surrounded by the colorful Chinampas, or floating gardens. The city was described by Bernal de Diaz, the companion of the Spanish commander Cortes, as a dreamland which inspired the Spanish invaders to lyrical adulation and murderous plunder. Diaz wrote that the Mexicans were like the Romans, and that there was nothing in Spain to match the royal palace of Montezuma.



Hernando Cortes

Hernando Cortes is said to have slaughtered, in less than two hours, six thousand people who had gathered in a temple patio. Destruction of Aztec cities was so complete that almost everything lay in ruins.

The elite of the Asiomericans were put to death almost to the last man. After his entry into the conquered capital Tenochtitlan, Cortes wrote that "you could not put down your foot without stepping on an Indian corpse." In addition, his soldiery, a few years later in the Inca Empire, driven by lust for gold, melted down irreplaceable works of art by the ton to get the precious metal. Thus, the Aztecs civilization came to violent end.


Burning of Libraries and records:

If the history of pre-Columbian America, is obscure, it is because after the Spanish conquest, the first Bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumarraga, burned all the records of the Library of Texcoco in Tlateloco market square as "the work of the Devil," and religious fanatics destroyed temples and statues. Zumarraga, gloating over his success, wrote to his superiors in 1531 that he alone had five hundred temples razed to the ground and twenty thousand idols destroyed.



Fray Diego de Landa, the second Bishop of Yucatan, following the pattern, reduced the Maya Library in Yucatan to ashes in 1562. Post-Columbus history of America for 300 years was the story of ruthless destruction and fanatics like Bishop Diego da Landa burnt a huge bonfire of valuable documents and nothing but the three codices of 'Chilam Balam' could survive the holocaust....

He wrote Relación de las cosas de Yucatán, A Narrative of the Things of Yucatan in 1566, Therein the states,

"We found a large number of their books of these letters, and because they did not have anything in which there was not superstition and falsehoods of the devil, we burned them all, which they felt very sorry for and which caused them grief."

(source: Proof Vedic Culture's Global Existence - By Stephen Knapp p. 259).

Landa, in his religious zeal, ordered all their idols destroyed and all Mayan books to be burned; he was surprised at the distress this caused the Indians. His orders to destroy all icons and hieroglyphics obliterated the Mayan language forever, helping to undermine and destroy the civilization he so vividly described.

It was Landa that gave the orders for all the Mayans to bring all manuscripts to the public squares in Mani to be burned. All these books contained what would now be priceless information on astronomy, medicine, religion, and philosophy. What Emperor Theodosious of Constantinople did to the library at Alexandria to save Christianity from the Greek and Oriental pagan knowledge deposited there, these priests did in Central America with similar motives but larger success.

The burning of manuscripts continued for decades. Soldiers were encouraged to ransack palaces, public buildings, and private houses to find manuscripts. Pablo Jose de Arriaga, the head of the Jesuit College in Peru, in almost unparalleled fanaticism, caused the systematic and wholesale destruction of all state archives, customs records, royal and imperial archives, codes of laws, temple archives, and historical records. Less than a score of manuscripts escaped annihilation. These libraries contained records of ancient history, medicine, astronomy, science, religion, and philosophy.

The Spaniards destroyed whatever they could, but they could not, for instance, burn the great Pyramid of the sun and the remains of Teotihuacan, which speak of the splendid bygone civilization. This is one of the great crimes of world cultural history

No matter how much historians stretch their imagination, it will never be possible to reconstruct a picture of these advanced civilizations which would do them justice, and yet be held historically acceptable.



Beyond Mexico, the ancient Andean or Peruvian civilization also suffered an even worse fate at the hands of the Spainard's than did their neighbors in Central America. The Spanish assault on the Incas, the Spanish avarice of gold, and barbarities perpetrated in the wake of victory, including the inhuman tortures publicly inflicted on the Inca King, Atahuallpa, are illustrations of savagery seldom surpassed in history.


The Story of Betrayal



The Spaniards were mistaken by Asiomericans for their legendary white gods, who were to be made welcome and it they inflicted suffering it was to be accepted as a divine judgment. And by a tragic coincidence, the Spanish conquerors invaded Mexico at about the time, in 1519, as the Aztec priests and tradition had predicted the return of the white gods. The Aztecs even offered the Spanish conquistadores the vestments of Quetzalcoatl and other gods and considered performing human sacrifice to them in case they were fatigued after such a long journey. Through out the Incas Empire, the Spainiards were greeted as Viracocha, the Inca name of the great White God they had been waiting for. It is only when the Asiomericans were completely horrified and disillusioned by the brutalities and merciless killings, that they recognized their mistake.

The realization that the Spainard's were not gods, but popolocas (barbarians), however, came too late.

The European conquerors of South and Central America not only destroyed practically all the records and literature of Asiomerica, but created an utterly distorted images of the American past by taking some of its ugly features out of context and magnifying them out of proportion. For instance, the human sacrifice practiced by the Aztecs was repeatedly stressed without explaining its extenuating features, and without pointing out that human sacrifice had not been unknown to other peoples, such as in Europe and Rome. Taking their technique a step further they contrasted this picture with that of their own deeds in Asiomerica in which European misdemeanor, caprice, and criminality were soft-pedaled and civilized and human behavior emphasized.

Most people believe that Asiomericans were uncivilized hordes with an occasional freak of knowledge, who had contributed nothing of permanent value to civilization by 1492. Despite a good deal of information to the contrary, there is resistance to accepting a change in this image. Misconceptions multiply fast but die slowly.

The Mexican Indians and the Incas of Peru were primarily vegetarians. They were of high moral character and hospitable and generous as a habit. They practiced astrology, and mental telepathy was common among them. It was perhaps their peace-loving disposition that, like the Hindus, allowed them to be ruled by Europeans.

The Europeans, through book burning and bayonet, successfully, "converted" them, leaving very little trace of their noble civilization.

#66 bobdrake12

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Posted 29 December 2002 - 09:01 PM

They built a statue in Izamal for Diego de Landa, the first bishop of Yucatán.

Quoting from the European Conquest and Atrocities (shown in the thread above):


QUOTE
Landa, in his religious zeal, ordered all their idols destroyed and all Mayan books to be burned; he was surprised at the distress this caused the Indians. His orders to destroy all icons and hieroglyphics obliterated the Mayan language forever, helping to undermine and destroy the civilization he so vividly described.


bob


http://www90.homepag...fson/pic535.htm



Fray Diego de Landa

Statue in Izamal


#67 Lazarus Long

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 01:10 AM

Look up the story of "La Noche Triste".

It is after the murder of Moctezuma and the retreat of the Spaniards across the causeways linking the mainland to Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs destroyed many of the bridges and the soldiers in many cases drowned rather than let go of their stolen gold.

#68 bobdrake12

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 03:55 AM

QUOTE
It is after the murder of Moctezuma and the retreat of the Spaniards across the causeways linking the mainland to Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs destroyed many of the bridges and the soldiers in many cases drowned rather than let go of their stolen gold.


Lazarus Long,

The apologists claimed that the Native Americans were heathen savages; thus, murder and theft was justified.

So goes "The Octopus" of this Type 0 civilization.

bob

http://thedagger.com...ochetriste.html

La noche triste

When Cortés left Tenochtitlan in May 1520, he was the practical if not titular ruler of a great empire. When he returned in June, he was fish bait. He desperately tried to regain his former position, but to no avail. His people were prisoners, cut off from food, water and escape routes. Every day they went out to plead for peace or fight for control of the causeways, but for every Aztec they killed, 10 more appeared. The Aztecs destroyed the bridges to prevent the Spaniards' escape.

The conquistadors took Moctezuma up on the roof, and he tried to calm his people. A stone hurled from the crowd hit him on the head, and a couple of days later he died, perhaps from the wound, perhaps from despair.

Cortés decided to make a run for it over the Tacuba Causeway that led out of the city to the west. He had a portable bridge constructed and that night, in a pouring rain, they headed out. The streets were deserted, but as they approached the causeway, a sentry let out a call and soon thousands of warriors had descended upon the fleeing conquistadors. All night they battled across the causeway, and when they reached the far shore, two thirds of them had been killed, along with a thousand of their Tlaxcalan allies, and untold riches had been lost in the sludge at the bottom of the shallow lake. Cortés, legend has it, sat under a tree in Tacuba and wept. For his fallen comrades? The lost gold? The seeming destruction of his great enterprise? Since the victors write history, that night has been known as la noche triste, the sad night.

They headed north, intending to skirt the lake and return to Tlaxcala, where they could recover. But all the people of the valley were against them, and they had fierce fighting every day, and nothing to eat but the corn they could scavenge or the flesh of their horses as they died. Not a man was unwounded. A week after the sad night, they passed practically in the shadow of the pyramids at Teotihuacan and then, on the plain of Otumba, they met a vast Aztec army intent on their destruction.

Can you blame the conquistadors for feeling that their victory was miraculous? Cortés saw an opening to an important-looking general, made for him instantly with several of his horsemen, captured the general and turned the tide of the battle. The Aztecs retreated, leaving the path to Tlaxcala clear.

The Tlaxcalans could have crushed them then. In fact, the Aztecs sent emissaries promising peace and prosperity if they would do just that. The Tlaxcalans chose Cortés over their traditional enemies.* Do you think that was wise?

#69 bobdrake12

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 04:24 AM

http://www.pbs.org/c...cortes_g00.html



June 1520
Massacre at Tenochtitlán




Also they put Montezuma back in irons.

While Cortés was fighting Narvaez, Alvarado imprisoned two important leaders and killed several others. The tensions exploded when Alvarado ordered a massacre during the great Aztec spring festival of Huizilopochtli. Cortés returned on June 25,1520 and by June 30 the situation was desperate. The causeways were cut, the bridges taken away, and the net closed. The Spanish had no food supplies and there was an acute shortage of drinking water. Cortés forced Montezuma to try and pacify to people from the rooftop, but the emperor was forced to retreat under a hail of stones and arrows.

The Spanish later claimed that Montezuma was wounded and died of his injuries. But, hurt or not, when he was taken back to the palace, it seems clear that the "great speaker" was now understood by Cortés to have lost all his power, and was, therefore, of no further use to the Spanish. Nor were the other nobles.

News of the killing of Montezuma and the other great lords spread, and soon there was an uproar in the city. The Spaniards tried to flee unnoticed, but they were caught. A call went out and canoes began to close in on all sides. The Spanish column tried to press forward, and in the confusion, hundreds of men fell into the canal.

More than 600 Spanish conquistadors were killed (some estimates ran to over 1,000), many no doubt weighed down by the gold they were carrying; several thousand Tlaxcalans were probably lost, too. Cortés retreated in a wide circle through the north of the valley and over the mountains back to Tlaxcala. The elemental horror of that night was never forgotten. It is still called "the night of tears" (noche triste).




The bodies of Montezuma and Itzquauhtzin are cast out of the palace by the Spaniards.

#70 bobdrake12

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 04:48 AM

To me, this article displays how theft, exploitation, and murder can be committed in the name of "a higher purpose".

If a group actually believes in their "higher purpose", why not live their convictions rather than forcing them on others while at the same time violating the written teachings of their own convictions?

The two questions are:

o Where is the compassion?

o Where are the ethics?

bob



http://muweb.millers...s/hayes-01.html

The Black Legend (excerpts)

Lisa Hayes - 11/27/95


The Spanish-Indian relationship can be defined in many ways. One definition used is through the Black Legend and the White Legend. The interpretation of the Black Legend can depend on whom you are talking to. The Black Legend speaks of the Spaniards abusing the Indians and being guilty of much more misconduct than history has ever recorded. The White Legend speaks of how the Spaniards benefitted the Indian society by building communities, hospitals and spreading the Word of God. There are two reasons why the Spaniards were so intent on spreading the Gospel. The first is because Spain wanted to ensure political and military means of safety and independence of their own religious community and even more so their predominance over others. The second was a deeper desire to convert, which included appealing to the minds and hearts of individual unbelievers by preaching, reasoning and if needed by force (Plumb 152).

The conquest of the new world began with a small band of Spanish soldiers. The soldiers proceeded to march against and subdue the huge population of the mainland (Black 24). The Black Legend speaks of all that the Spanish had done to the Indians and the horrible things done to them and the land. This Black Legend exists only in areas where the people are "anti-Hispanic" especially where English is spoken, and in modern Spanish America (24).

The White Legend is true only in reverse. The people who claim to believe in this Legend hold to the belief that the Spanish were a credit to society and help the Indians in their everyday lives by providing livestock and new medicines and also education including Religion. They, meaning the Spaniards, believed that they eliminated cannibalism and human sacrifice from their society.

The Black Legend states that Spaniards slaughtered thousands of Indians and subjected the remainder to exploitative forced labor. The treatment of the Indians by the Spaniards could be compared to the treatment of animals which was more tolerable, but the Spaniards viewed the Indians as "dung and filth of the earth, and so little did they regard the health of their souls that they permitted this great multitude to die without the least light of religion" (Spanish 107).

Both legends are accurate, but neither gives the whole truth. Basically the truth is only what one chooses it to be.

Another argument considered about the Black Legend was that the Spaniards claimed to want to bring Christianity to the Indians but this was not the case, for example: "That he was a Christian, son of God, Creator of heaven and Earth and that he had come to teach him his divine law." The chief responded, "If thy God commands thee to go to the country of strangers, robbing and burning, killing and doing every sort of evil, we give thee to understand that we are not inclined to believe in him, nor even in his Law (Gibson 80).

The soldiers that wanted so much to find gold or any enormous treasure, to become rich, were deceived. The Indians had thrown all the gold and silver they had into the lake. The Spanish soldiers in their torment and dismay began to torture the natives so they would eventually reveal where they had hidden it. They also maimed and killed many without having received one ounce of gold.

Another aspect of the Black Legend dealt with Hernando Cortez. He was made leader and chief chronicler of the Mexican conquest and these are just some of the reports given about his treatment of the Indians including their rulers (Black 26). Cortez also had a thirst for gold. He was very much surprised at not finding the gold that he left the town he lived in and went in search of Montezuma's treasure which was said to be huge. Montezuma's treasure was said to be kept in temples for the use of their gods. No one, neither king nor peasant, would reveal where it was hidden. So Cortez kidnapped the king and his secretary, and he subjected them to torture hoping that one of them would reveal the secret of the hidden treasure. Neither the king nor the secretary would reveal the hiding place or whether it even existed. The King, Montezuma, had an empire that extended the length and breadth of those regions and who inhabited the city of Mexico, a city situated in a vast lake, and a very well defended city both on account of the nature of its location and because of what was contained on the inside of the city (Spanish 118). The secretary was most cruelly burnt and the whole time he was speaking harsh words against Christianity and then died within six hours. Cortez later believed that the king himself would rather die than reveal the place where the treasure was hidden, ceased to torture him and then eventually hung him. He hung him because an Indian accused Montezuma of conspiring to kill Cortez and the Spaniards that were with him. But the Black Legend holds that Cortez was "tired of watching him" so he had Montezuma accused of treason. Yet in all of this they are still saying that they were in the new world to spread the Christian faith.

One man talked openly about the Spaniards and their Christian Faith. This man was named Don Gonzalo and was seventy years old stated, "What is a Christian, the Christians? They ask for maize, for honey, for cotton, for La Manta, for women, for gold, for silver; Christians will not work, they are liars, gamblers, perverse, and they swear. When they go to church to hear the mass, they discourse on those who are absent, they wound each other." He later said that Christians are not good, that same man also recounted, ". . . thou shalt know that we, hearing the Christians were coming to our countries, and perpetrating cruelties everywhere, killing, burning, robbing; we collected all our friends and confederates, and entering into council we decided, that rather than allow ourselves to be subjugated by the Christians, we would all die fighting valorously (Gibson 84)."

Through all this they still felt like they were in need of peace. They did receive it but suffered many great losses. "We were no longer masters of our wives, or our children, or of anything that we possessed. Affairs went so ill that many men killed their children, others, hanged themselves to death; so that after in numerable and insupportable sufferings, tyrannies, and miseries, the king of castile sent a decree that we should be restored to liberty (85).

The Indians were determined to stop the king of Castile from sending more Christians because they knew that they would be even more merciless to them. Even though the Black Legend is true through most of our eyes, there is truth to the White Legend as well. The Spaniards claimed to bring the Indians Christianity in which they did but through no part of their own. The Indians did learn about Christianity but only by learning to read and seeing for themselves the truth of the Bible. Spaniards, in the Indians eye, did not live up to God's commandments. "There are, then, many Indians, especially the sons of some of the principal chieftains, who have learnt to read and write, and have also gained a knowledge of God's commandments, which they say are good; but they are astonished that we do not obey them, exclaiming, 'Come hither, thou Christian: God commands that thou shalt not take his name in vain, - and yet for every trifle thou swearest and purjurest thyself. God commands us not to bear false witness, and yet you do nothing but complain and speak ill of each other. God commands thee to love they neighbor as thyself, and to forgive his trespasses as thou wouldest he should forgive thine; but you do quite the contrary! Those are ill treated who have but little; and if any one owes you anything, you have him put into prison, and want him to pay you although he has not the means (87).'" This is but one example of the Black Legend again being true. The Indians saw the truth in the Spaniards lies.

Not only were Spanish soldiers accused of misconduct but the monks and priests were also accused of the same crimes. Some monks and priests went to India only to gain money. This has been such a poor example for Indians to look at when trying to test the Christians to see if it is a true faith. One small boy who was the son of a chieftain went to school to read and write and was said to be very intelligent. He was taught to model the Spaniards and their Christianity. This was found of him when he was in his thirties, he said, "Since I became a Christian I have learnt to swear by God, by the cross, by the words of the holy evangelists and to utter oaths by the life of God; yet I am a renegade and do not believe. I have also learned to gamble and never to tell the truth; I have bought an iron sword to make quarrels and to live as Christians do; I want for nothing, except a mistress, and I hope soon to have one (88)." Another theory about the Black Legend, is that the Spanish soldiers attacked without the authorization form the Spanish crown. ". . . the cruel and unjust wars which the Spaniards have waged against the indians, killing, robbing, attacking them, and driving them from their lands, all contrary to the very Christian orders and instructions which they received from our kings (91)." This was not the only tragedy that was seen. "The second thing which has destroyed the Indies was the making of places of the natives, which was done by dint of untrue reports and without understanding of the situation until his majesty, becoming undeceived, set them free (91)." The reason why it was so important to free them as slaves, apart from the obvious idea that slavery is wrong, was in the fact that they believed the Indians were a fragile people. "The destruction of such a great number of people has been greatly assisted by the fact that the Indians are by nature so weak and of such feeble constitution that they due quickly from the little labor and the mistreatment which they are taken from their lands and provinces as they have frequently been carried many leagues, few of them ever returning to their homes. Hence it is said that the indian is like a fish which dies on being taken out of the water (94)."

#71 bobdrake12

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 05:05 AM

http://ntap.k12.ca.u.../montezuma.html

Montezuma II and the Aztec Empire by Julian Cibrian

Montezuma II was proceeded by his great grandfather Montezuma I. Montezuma I had expanded the Aztec Empire to the Gulf of Mexico. He had also built a large public works program and built a dike at Lake Texcoco to keep the lake from flooding his capital city of Tenochtitlan. His great grandson, Montezuma II was born around the year 1466. Like his great grandfather he did much to increase the land and wealth of the Aztec Empire. He ruled the Aztec Empire from 1502-1520.




Montezuma II

He expanded the Aztec Empire south to the Honduras. He built many temples, water conduits and hospitals. He was not, however, very popular the Aztec people. He taxed them heavily and appointed only his favorites to high positions.




The Aztec Empire was at its best when Montezuma II was crowned in 1502. By the end of his rule, the Spanish had taken over and the Aztecs no longer ruled themselves.




Quetzalcoatl: The Feathered Serpent of Mexico

The Aztecs believed that their ancestors were not from Central America. They believed that their ancestors came from a place called Aztlan, which was located to the north of the Valley of Mexico. They believed that they had wandered for many years before settling in Mexico in 1200 AD. The Aztecs believed that one of their Gods was a a white god named Quetzalcoatl, who had sailed away many years ago and who had promised to return from the east. When the Spanish, led by Hernan Cortez, entered the Aztec's land, Montezuma II welcomed him as a god and gave him gifts of gold.




Montezuma II welcoming Hernan Cortez


Many of the Aztec people joined with Cortez as he marched toward the capital. They joined with him because of their dislike of Montezuma II and his heavy taxation.

Montezuma realized to late that Cortez was not an Aztec God. He tried to keep Cortez from entering Tenochtitlan, his capital city but could not. Many sacrifices were made to the gods but Cortez still took over.

In 1520, the Aztecs rebelled and tried to drive Cortez out of their city. They succeeded, but the Spanish took as prisoner Montezuma II. He died of wounds received in the battle.

A letter from Cortez described not only the land of the Aztecs, but also the first time he met with Montezuma II.

He said: "Moctezuma came down the middle of this street with two chiefs,...When we met I dismounted and stepped forward to embrace him, but the two lords who were with him stopped me...I took off a necklace of pearls and cut glass...and placed it around his neck;...a servant of his came with two necklaces...and from each necklace hung eight shrimps of refined gold almost a span in length.

Montezuma then said: "For a long time we have known from the writings of our ancestors that neither I nor any of those who dwell in this land, are natives of it, but foreigners who came from very distant parts...and we have always held that those who descended from him would come and conquer this land and take us as their vassals. So because of the place from which you claim to come, namely, from where the sun rises...and the things you tell us of the great lord or king who sent you here, we believe and are certain that he is our natural lord...So be assured that we shall obey you.

In the end, because of the Aztec's belief that Cortez was a god, they and Montezuma II lost all. The Aztecs lost their independence and Montezuma II lost his life.

#72 Lazarus Long

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Posted 30 December 2002 - 11:47 PM

I am always amazed at the sources you find on the web my friend. Good job on la Noche Triste. Now for a follow up there are two very important and tragic figures that deserve scrutiny, the first is Cuauhtemoc, the man who eventually assumes leadership of hte Aztecs and defends Tenochtitlan against Cortez for almost two years, and Malinche, who I consider one of the most enigmatic, interesting and important women of the last five centuries.

Cortez was a brutal and brillant man that for all his faults also really deserves a better analysis. After la Noche Triste he turns what would have been a total defeat for any "normal" person into a triuph of virtually unimaginable proportion.

These were epic conflicts that most people here in the United States fail to understand made this nation possible, because if the devasting and horrific conquest of Mexico had not taken place history as we understand it also would not have occured. We are beneficiaries of the genocide of Latin America as much as Mammals can be said to have inherited the Earth after the destruction of the KT Event that ended the Age of Reptiles.

Cuauhtemoc had visions of becoming what a later century's Sitting Bull would try to be, the unifying force that would united all Amerinde people into a force to drive back the Europeans. Ironically, if he had negotiated he might have faired better. In a period of seven years, from the time of the first contact till 1525, as many as two and a half million people died just in the Valley of Mexico. Whole civilizations of learned and educated people were forced into servitude and slavery or killed in battle or by disease.

The war and disease spread far and wide over the next century and tribes as far away as the northeast of the Canada felt the speading plagues that began in the Central Highland Plateau of Mexico and died. When the Mayflower arrived a century later what few tribes that had not been affected became infected.

The story of la Conquista is an unabashed example of the Age of Imperialism (Colonialism) that accompanied the Age of Discovery. Much of the politics and traditions many so heartily defend today emanate from this period.

One in particular is the heritage of Racism that is so profoundly and effectively manipulated for social advancement to this day. The very concept of racism as most understand it today is calculated invented by the slavers and colonialists of this period as a justification for their pracitces and profits. More importantly, it was predicated on Imperial ambition of Holy Romans and the Vatican that decided that it would be imposible to confront Islam on its own territory and that they would make an endrun around the world, recruit natives, acquire wealth, strategic positioin and strangle the hold Islam had on Jersulem. This is why Bush's (mis) calculated statement about Crusades reverbates still in the Islamic world, they too have a sense of history.

#73 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 12:27 AM

la Malinche

Unrecognized Heroine
by Shep Lencheck

It is time that women discover the Aztec Indian woman called Doña Marina by the Spaniards and La Malinche by her fellow Indians and demand recognition of her as a true heroine. She certainly had as great an impact on the history of the New World as any woman, yet has been belittled and defamed by male Mexican historians.

Perhaps unwilling to admit that the fall of the Aztec Empire was caused largely by a revolt of the tribes they oppressed, they have made Doña Maria a scapegoat. Some have painted her as a traitor, others as a harlot. Today, she is ignored. Information about her is scarce but digging into the Spanish Archives we find the words of Hernando Cortes, conqueror of New Spain and the man she served faithfully as interpreter, secretary, confidant and mistress.

Cortes wrote, “ After God we owe this conquest of New Spain to Doña Marina.”

She also bore Cortes a son whom he acknowledged. Baptized Martin Cortes, he is the first ”Mexican,” ie, a mixture of Spanish and Indian blood, whose name and history we know. To learn more about this remarkable woman, we must turn to Bernal Diaz who was an eyewitness to the Conquest.

His book, "The Conquest of New Spain” is the only eye-witness account of the entire Campaign to be translated into English. Although he does not describe Doña Marina physically, he authenticates her pedigree, dedication to Cortes, the sincerity of her commitment to Christianity and always refers to her with respect and affection. We can only assume that she was attractive. As time went by, Cortes was offered many women. Always, he gave them to other Captains. Her linguistic ability assured Doña Marina her role as an interpreter but not as his only bed-mate. During the entire Conquest, their relationship was monogamous.

Let us meet this remarkable woman.

Born the daughter of a noble Aztec family, upon the death of her father, a chief, her mother remarried. Soon after she gave birth to a son. Probably at the urging of her new husband, she decided that he, rather than her daughter, should rule the village. To accomplish this, she sold the young girl to some passing traders and claimed she had died. They in turn took her to Tabasco where she wound up as the slave of the Cacique, the military chief of the area. By the time Cortes arrived, she had learned the Mayan dialects spoken in the Yucatan while still understanding Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and most Non-Mayan Indians.

The first landfall of the Spaniards on their voyage of conquest was in a Mayan- speaking area. There, they ransomed a priest, Jeronimo de Aguilar, shipwrecked years before and held as a slave. He spoke both Spanish and the Mayan dialects. Thus he was able to act as an interpreter. At Tabasco, Cortes was presented with 20 young women slaves , who he proceed to convert to Christianity and baptize. One of them, christened Doña Marina, was about to enter the pages of history, for at the next port of call the expedition met envoys of Moctezuma, the Aztec Emperor, and found that Jeronimo de Aquilar could no longer communicate with the Indians.

That night, Cortes was told that the slave, Doña Marina, could speak and understand the language of the Aztecs, and the next day, she became his alter ego. She spoke no Spanish, but translated what the Aztecs said in Nahuatl to Mayan and de Aguilar relayed it to Cortes in Spanish. The importance of the ability of Cortes to communicate with Moctezuma played a vital role in the Conquest. Cortes sent message after message, proclaiming that he had come in peace and wished to visit the Emperor only to extend greetings from his own monarch.

The result was great indecision on the part of the Aztec ruler. There can be little doubt that had Moctezuma ordered an immediate all out attack on the invaders before they forged alliances with non-Aztec Indians, he could have driven them out of his kingdom. Without Doña Marina to interpret, sending these messages would have been impossible . Thus, from almost her first day as an interpreter, she helped insure the success of the Spaniards.

Almost immediately thereafter, she again proved invaluable when she helped forge an alliance with the Cempoalans. Without the ability to negotiate, provided by her, the entire course of the Conquest would have been different. We must remember that the Spanish mission was not only to find gold and jewels, but also to convert the natives to Christianity. In their minds, this was of prime importance. The role that Doña Marina played in this, is made clear by Diaz. There can be no doubt that she accepted Christianity whole heartedly and preached it sincerely.

As the Conquest progressed and she and Cortes shared a bed, Doña Marina quickly learned to speak Spanish and replaced Jeronimo De Aquilar almost completely.

As the invaders and their Cempoalan allies moved toward Moctezuma’s capital, a pattern developed. First an attack by the Indians whose territory they were entering, followed almost immediately by meetings at which every effort was made to avoid further bloodshed, enlist new allies, end human sacrifices and establish at least token Christianity. The treaty with the Tlascalans, negotiated largely by Doña Marina, brought the Spaniards their most valuable allies.

Always, Doña Marina served as the voice of Cortes. This symbiotic relationship led to the Indians calling her La Malinche. Bernal Diaz explains they always called Cortes, Malinche, meaning “Marina’s Captain.” Prescott, whose “Conquest of Mexico” is the best known book written in English rather than translated from Spanish, explains that the name means “Captain’s Woman.” Both indicate that the Indians knew full well that the words they heard were those of the Captain, Malinche, not La Malinche’s. Still, some call her a traitor, instigating the fall of the Aztec Empire. It is time to rehabilitate her reputation.

Perhaps the greatest injustice done to this woman is that historians fail to give her credit for saving the lives of thousands of Indians by enabling Cortes to negotiate rather than wage total war, killing all who opposed him and destroying their cities. There is ample evidence that Cortes was not out to destroy the Aztec Empire. To the very end, he sought to forge a treaty between Moctezuma and the Spanish crown which would have insured a steady flow of gold to the Spanish treasury. Equally important to him was conversion to Christianity and the end of human sacrifice.

It is possible that he might have achieved his goals for his first entrée to Tenochtitlan, ie, Mexico City, on November 8th, 1519, was peaceful. Using Doña Marina as the interpreter, Cortes and Moctzuma started an on-going dialogue aimed at both a treaty with Spain and the conversion to Christianity. Ultimately, it was the effort to destroy the religious practices of the Aztecs that led to a resumption of fighting between them and the Spaniards. To a certain extent, it was also an attempt to overthrow Moctezuma, who although still treated as Emperor by the Spaniards, was actually under house arrest. The final straw was the granting of permission by the Aztec Emperor for the construction of a cross and altar in a room in the main temple of the Aztecs. Bernal Diaz reports that this was accomplished at a meeting with Montezuma attended only by Cortes and Doña Marina. This led to an attack on the Spaniards.

Attempting to quell the uprising, Moctezuma addressed his fellow countrymen, but was attacked and wounded. In a final effort to again restore tranquility, Cortes now invited the leaders of the hostilities to a meeting in the great square of the city. With La Malinche as his interpreter, he made a last plea for peace, promising to depart the city. They stood on the very spot where Moctezuma suffered the wounds that were soon to prove fatal. Doña Marina’s courage in facing this hostile audience is remarkable.

The Aztecs listened to her with respect, but on June 30, 1520, Moctezuma succumbed to the wounds inflicted on him by his own people, and all hopes for a negotiated peace were gone. On the night of July 1, 1520, La Noche Triste, the Sorrowful Night,” the Spaniards, although suffering heavy casualties, managed to fight their way out of the city. Doña Marina went with them, mounted behind Cortes, which again attests to her courage and the high esteem in which she was held. The Spaniards could easily have left her behind. Too, she could have abandoned them and her new religion. Instead, she was willing to risk her life to flee with them.

For a final testimonial to her nobility of character, we turn again to Bernal Diaz. In 1523, long after the Conquest of Mexico was completed, he was present at a reunion between Doña Marina, her mother and half-brother. Despite the way they had treated her, she embraced them, gave them gifts of jewels and clothing, and sent them home, pardoned for the injustice they had done her. Her attitude was that what they had done had freed her from the worship of idols, and led her to Christianity. Because his Spanish wife now joined him, he arranged a marriage for her to Don Juan Jaramillo, one of his Captains.

She was a lady of importance, respected by all the Indians of New Spain. Bernal Diaz swears to the accuracy of this story and it by itself refutes all the charges that historians have fabricated to demean her. Who knew her better than her fellow Indians ?

Perhaps someday Mexican women will recognize and take pride in the achievements of their heroic ancestor. Now, they simply ignore her. Perhaps if women, in the U.S. champion her as a heroine, Mexican women too will recognize her contributions to the Mexico of today.

#74 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:03 AM

QUOTE
Perhaps the greatest injustice done to this woman is that historians fail to give her credit for saving the lives of thousands of Indians by enabling Cortes to negotiate rather than wage total war, killing all who opposed him and destroying their cities. There is ample evidence that Cortes was not out to destroy the Aztec Empire.


Lazarus Long,

Thanks so much for your contribution!

Just think, things could have been worse for the Native Americans in Mexico. The Native American depopulation of Meixco went from approximately 17 million in 1532 to approximately 1 million in 1608.

Are the Mayans still being suppressed today? It depends upon the source.


bob

http://www.aiicusa.n...po/preface.html

Verba volant, scripta manent (excerpts)

by David Fox




Cortes - Doña Marina

When Cortes landed in Mexico in 1519 he employed as interpreters Jeronimo de Aguilar and a captured princess who was given the title Doña Marina by the Spaniards. She played a key rôle in securing the surrender of Moctezuma. As explained by Bernal Diaz in his The Conquest of New Spain, "Doña Marina knew the language of Coatzacoalcos, which is that of Mexico, and she knew the Tabascan language also. This language is common to Tabasco and Yucatan, and Jeronimo de Aguilar spoke it also. These two understood one another well, and Aguilar translated into Castilian for Cortes."

#75 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:10 AM

http://www.artehisto...obras/10478.htm



Hernán Cortés y doña Marina (detalle), de N. E. Maurín, s. XIX

Note: I understand that "doña" is a title (e.g. madam or Mrs.) rather than representing Marina's first name.

bob

#76 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:18 AM

I wish I had written the above article, and in fact I have prepared some essays about her but I very much liked the above article and I made sure the actual author's name is put in because I realized it hadn't copy/pasted.

She negotiates quietly behind the scenes for the legitimization of the rights of women in Mexico and because of her it is greatly believed that the Church decides to acknowledge Native American women as human and protected under Vatican doctine with concurrent rights to property and person.

She also lobbies for, and legitimizes the Treaty Agreements that Cortez made with supporting tribal nations and this allowed the preservatoin of laguages and cultures even through the holocaust that would ensue.

#77 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:24 AM

QUOTE
Note: I understand that "doña" is a title (e.g. madam or Mrs.) rather than representing Marina's first name.


That is basically correct Bob, it translates as "the Lady Mariña".

By the way an interesting statistic that explains much about macho is that for the first three and a half centuries of colonization, 95% of all immigrants to Mexico were male. All home education and native culture and language were essentially preserved by the women. Women were required to teach the Criollo male children to be Spanish but were often allowed some leeway with the education of their daughters. It was the women who kept faith as a fifth column for five centuries.

#78 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:37 AM

There are many sides to the complex politics of the Maya today, from the tribal rivalries to the oppressive policies of dictators. In Guatemala and Chiapas there is an active struggle to regain control over there own homes and comunities, over their own resources, culture and language.

It is one that is frought with violence but can never ultimately be won through such. The leader of the EZLN movement commonly called the "Zapatistas" is a man that is not Mayan at all but a disaffected Philosophy professor from the UNAM.

Try these sites for starters:

Zapatistas

Chiapas

Current Events

#79 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:50 AM

QUOTE
It was the women who kept faith as a fifth column for five centuries.


Lazarus Long,

Are you familiar with how the Mayan peoples of the Quiché and Cachiquels (Mayan Highlands and Atitlan areas) promoted their own cultural preservation?

bob

http://www.uwec.edu/...rit/bgintro.htm



Rigoberta Menchú


The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Quiché Maya Indian leader Rigoberta Menchú in 1993 gave greater recognition to indigenous self-determination movements. The signing in 1996 and publication of the Peace Accords and new constitutional rights for Guatemala’s indigenous people in 1997 further fueled the Maya movement. This web site is meant to make such information available, and especially to affirm the work of Maya cultural activists and religious organizers. Our resources and links pages will point toward further materials.

#80 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 02:57 AM

Add this site too

The Maya - Past & Present
History of the Maya people and their culture and extensive information about the Crisis in Chiapas

And these too:

Indigenous struggles
About 11 million Mexicans are members of one of the dozens of indigenous peoples (almost all Mexicans have indigenous ancestors).

The history of Mexico and its people
An introduction to Mexican history

There are over 11 million Native Americans of relatively pure lineage in Mexico alone, but over eighty five million mestizos. Such tribes as the Kickapoo, Arapaho, Apache and others from the Northern and Central Prairie of the United States still live in refuge in Mexico to avoid being forced into Reservations in this country. This is the other side of the history.

#81 Lazarus Long

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 03:21 AM

I am familiar with Rigoberta Menchú and I have heard her speak. I think she is quite remarkable. I also like the work of the contempory Hindi author Arundhati Roy . She is the author of the book " The God of Small Things " and " A Life Full of Beginnings and No Ends ".
Have you heard of, and read Rosario Castellanos?

Here are some links to Arundhati Roy as well.

ROSARIO CASTELLANOS ***** ARUNDHATI ROY


Born in Mexico City in 1925, Rosario Castellanos spent much of her childhood in Comitán, in Mayan southern Mexico. After traveling to Europe and to the United States for advanced study in aesthetics, she returned to the province of Chiapas to work with Indian theater groups and the Indigenous Institute of San Cristóbal. Much of her work, even throughout her involvement with the literary group "The Generation of the '50s," tried to traverse the distance between the pre-Columbian and the European cultural traditions of Mexico. This social division was complicated, for Castellanos, by her awareness of the alienated and disempowered situation of women in both traditions. Castellanos’ friend Elena Poniatowska characterized this complex position in personal terms: "Rosario was always alone, Her childhood was lonely, her adolescence desperately so, and as an adult she lived under the sign not just of loneliness but of singleness. Solitude becomes the thread that sews the pages of her books, linking poetry and prose and running from her novel Balún Canán (1957)… to the poems collected in Poesía no eres tú (You are not Poetry, 1972)." José Emilio Pacheco describes the effect of this alienation on her work: "At that time, no one in this country was so clearly aware of her double status, as a woman and as a Mexican, nor did anyone else make of this awareness the very material of her writing, the central thread of her work."

The evolution of Rosario Castellanos' poems tracks a long sequence of excision, clarification, and self-denial. In the effort to tell an undisguised truth, Castellanos moves from an early poetic style rich in imagery and dislocations toward a style of direct statement, simple diction, and occasionally mordant humor. According to Castellanos, her poetic vision was determined in large part by the Mexican Indian’s mystical understanding of the interconnectedness of all life; further, the influence of Gabriela Mistral is sometimes clear in her later poems. Castellanos also wrote formative literary essays, ficiton, and a ground-breaking feminist play, the giddy farce El eterno femenino (The Eternal Feminine, 1975). While serving as Mexican ambassador to Israel, Castellanos died in a freak household accident in Tel Aviv. In an irony she might have enjoyed, she was buried in the rotunda of Illustrious Men, in Mexico City.*

The English translations here presented come from Meditation on the threshold: a bilingual anthology of poetry, edited by Julian Palley, (Tempe, Arizona: Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingue, 1988).

* From Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry. A Bilingual Anthology, edited by Stephen Tapscott, University of Texas Press, 1996.

Enjoy friend Bob, you are openning a door that may be difficult to comforatably close.

#82 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 05:45 AM

QUOTE
Enjoy friend Bob, you are openning a door that may be difficult to comforatably close.



QUOTE
Have you heard of, and read Rosario Castellanos?


Lazarus Long,

Sometimes it is worthile to use parables and symbols so that the door can remain open.

Actually, essentially all I know is what I was taught as a lad in Illinois. Thus, the new faces I do not know. Are these the ones who are the Daykeepers for hermetic teachings of the Maya Mysteries that have been passed down orally generation to generation?

Were the pyramids such as the one in Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico, used for the wisdom rights of initiation approximately in the same manner as the Great Pyramid in Egypt?

bob

http://www.halfmoon.org/pyramid.html



Can you find the Red Jaguar?

The Temple of Kukulcán , a/k/a El Castillo, is located at Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico. The outer Postclassic pyramid was built over a Terminal Classic Puuc-style pyramid, and its design is thought to relate to the Mayan calendar. Each of the four stairways has 90 steps, and the total number of steps, combined with the number of stairways and the single upper platform adds up to 365. The nine main platforms of the pyramid are thought to represent the 18 months of the haab, and the 52 panels represent the number of years it takes for a calendar round date to recur.

#83 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 06:01 AM

http://www.lauralee.com/mextrip.htm



Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza


JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE MAYA (excerpts)

The mystery of the Maya

Working with a grid map, and placing zero degrees longitude at the pyramids at Giza, Carl Munck has decoded most of the known Mayan pyramids, discovering each temple’s design mathematically encodes its grid point. James Furia is finding that Mayan temples are replete with sacred geometry which is related to music, and suggests that specifically tuned rhythms and tones were used in ceremony to energetically activate the temples. We’ll bring recordings to try out at these sites.
Perhaps voice was another means of activating energetics. John Anthony West had us toning in chambers all over Egypt. We tuned to our own frequency by pitching our voice to vibrate our nasal passages, a technique known to activate the pineal and pituitary glands.

Time was sacred to the Maya. Using sophisticated mathematics, they charted cycles in time going back millions of years. The current cycle ends on the Winter Solstice of 2012. I’m told that on that date, Earth will align with the center of our galaxy, a highly energetic zone only recently identified by radio astronomy. Seems all along, according to Paul LaViollete, the tail of the constellation Scorpio, and the arrow of Sagittarius was pointing to it. How did the ancients know the way to the galactic center?

And how did they build these monuments? Chris Dunn, a machine tooling expert, sees the unmistakable marks of space-age, precision, ultrasonic instruments on ancient granite stonework. Ivan Watkins, geologist, finds: stone and copper tools cannot account for the glazed finish seen under the microscopeon Incan stonework; highly focused light can cut through any stone, leaving a similar glaze; parabolic gold mirrors found in the museums could be part of puzzle. Is the past a key to the future?

Laura Lee

#84 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 06:17 AM

http://www.travelpic...t/chichen_e.htm



http://fusionanomaly.net/maya.html

Pyramid of Kukulcan was so precisely constructed that it is, in reality, an astronomical clock giving notice of the spring and fall equinoxes as well as both the winter and summer solstices. The sun strikes the pyramid during each equinox in such a way as to give the impression of a serpent undulating up or down its surface, depending on the time of year. There are 91 steps on each of the four sides.

#85 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 06:24 AM

Where was the Initiatic Dance of the planets practiced?


http://www.smm.org/s...mballcourt.html

Chichén Itzá - The Great Ball Court





#86 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 06:29 AM

http://www.isourceco...dmanstemple.htm



The Bearded Man's Temple at the northern end of the Great Ball Court. Likely this is one of the vantage points from where nobility or invited guests observed the rituals of the game.

http://fusionanomaly.net/maya.html

The Great Ballcourt is 545 feet long and 225 feet wide overall. It has no vault, no discontinuity between the walls and is totally open to the sky. The Great Ballcourt has no curved surfaces. Each end has a raised "temple" area. A whisper from one end can be heard clearly at the other end 500 feet away and through the length and breath of the court. The sound waves are unaffected by wind direction or time of day/night.

Archaeologists engaged in the reconstruction noted that the sound transmission became stronger and clearer as they proceeded. In 1931, Leopold Stokowski spent 4 days at the site to determine the acoustic principals that could be applied to an open-air concert theater he was designing. Stokowski failed to learn the secrets of the Maya.

"Acoustically the court is amazing. A conversation at one end can be heard 135 metres away at the other end; and, if you clap, you hear a resounding echo. A remarkable feature of the Ball Court is its acoustics. A person standing in one of its ends may whisper and be heard 170 meters afar. Or may drop a coin and the sound travels that distance. The court has no vault. It is open to the sky and has no continuity between the walls, the prescenium, and the throne of the bearded Man. If one stands in the center of the court, near one of its walls and claps the hands, he will hear at least nine times the echo of the clapping. Also, if one yells. This phenomena seems to be unique." ["Thru the Lense, Guide to the Ruins of Chichen Itza," by Jose Diaz Bolio, 1971]

"If it were a moonlight night and he wanted to give his guests a special treat, he ordered a phonograph concert in the Ball Court. Tarsisio and the servants set up the phonograph in the north temple, where the back wall slopes forward and forms a perfect sounding board. At the opposite end of the court, the servants supplied cushions and the guests sat on a raised dais among the half-ruined pillars of the south temple that extends 80 feet across the end of the Court. The acoustics were amazing, for the audience could hear perfectly the strains of Sibelius, Brahms, and Beethoven. The total effect was indescribable. The brilliant Yucatan sky formed a great overhead dome, the moon cast ghostly light on the stone walls and the north temple, and the calm air, rarely disturbed by a breeze, added a sense of mystery to the setting. After the performance the guests, awed by the uncanny effect, walked quietly back to the Casa Principal through the moonlight, still under the magic spell. One of the visitors in 1931 was Leopold Stokowski, who spent four days with Morley. He brought the latest recordings of his Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and played them in the Ball Court, at the Castillo, and at the Temple of the Warriors. One staff member believed that if Stokowski "and Morley could have found a sponsor, their plan to conduct a symphony with instruments all over the place would have gone through. We'd have loved it too." Actually, Stokowski had a far more serious purpose, as he and Morley attempted to learn the acoustical secret of the Ball Court. At the time, the conductor was designing an open-air theater for concert work. He and Vay spent hours placing the phonograph in different positions in the Ball Court in order to determine the reflecting surfaces. Theoretically, the structure should have had poor acoustics, but as every visitor to Chichen knows, it possesses amazing properties of sound. After days of experiment, they failed to learn the secret, which remains one of the unsolved mysteries of ancient America." ["Sylvanus G. Morley" by Robert Brunhouse, 1971.]

"'Chi cheen Itsas' famous 'Ballcourt' or Temple of the Maize cult offers the visitor besides its mystery and impressivearchitecture, its marvellous acoustics. If a person standing under either ring claps his hands or yells, the sound produced will be repeated several times gradually losing its volume. A single revolver shot seems like machine-gun fire. The sound waves travel with equal force to East or West, day or night, disregarding the wind's direction. Anyone speaking in a normal voice from the 'Forum' can be clearly heard in the 'Sacred Tribune' 500 feet away or vice-versa. If a short sentence, for example, 'Do you hear me?' is pronounced, it will be repeated word by word. Parties from one extreme to the other can hold a conversation without raising their voices.

"This transmission of sound, as yet unexplained, has been discussed by architects and archaeologists. Most of them used to consider it as fanciful due to the ruined conditions of the structure but, on the contrary, we who have engaged in its reconstruction know well that the sound volume, instead of disappearing, has become stronger and clearer.... Undoubtedly we must consider this feat of acoustics as another noteworthy achievement of engineering realized millenniums ago by the Maya technicians." ["Chi Cheen Itza" by Manuel Cirerol Sansores, 1947]

There's a considerable history to Mayan architecture, and although the pyramid we ascended was a work added to periodically, with each generation of ruler, there is a strong sense of overall design. Remember that the Mayan calendar is much more accurate than the Roman, and that their mathematical skills are, as yet, not fully accounted for. Perhaps their sense of sound in general is worth study?

#87 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 07:14 AM



Quetzal bird


http://news.national...ayanTemple.html

Was Maya Pyramid Designed to Chirp Like a Bird?

Bijal P. Trivedi
National Geographic Today
December 6, 2002




Visitors climb steps on the temple of Kukulcan, in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Photograph by Dallas and John Heaton/ CORBIS


Clap your hands in front of the 1,100-year-old Temple of Kukulcan, in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, and, to some researchers' ears, the pyramid answers in the voice of the sacred quetzal bird.

"Now I have heard echoes in my life, but this was really strange," says David Lubman, an acoustical engineer who runs his own firm in Westminster, California. The Maya, he believes, may have built their pyramids to create specific sound effects.

A handclap at the base of Kukulcan's staircase generates what Lubman calls a "chirped echo"—a "chir-roop" sound that first ascends and then falls, like the cry of the native quetzal.

To Lubman, the dimensions of Kukulcan's steps suggest that the builders intended just such an acoustical mimicry. The lower steps have a short tread length and high riser—tough to climb but perfect for producing a high-pitched "chir" sound. The steps higher up make a lower-pitched "roop."


"If you have a structure with these dimensions, it will chirp," Lubman says. He has noted the same effect at the Pyramid of the Magician in the Classic Mayan city of Uxmal, near Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula.

Lubman and Mexican researchers led by Sergio Beristain, president of the Mexican Institute of Acoustics, have investigated acoustical phenomena in Chichen Itza and the great ancient metropolis, Teotihuacan.

On Wednesday they presented their research at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Cancun, Mexico.

Quetzals—More Valuable Than Gold

The elusive quetzal, also known as the kuk, deserved homage. The bird inhabits the cloud forests of Central America, and its feathers, along with jade, were among the most precious commodities in Mesoamerica. To the Maya and Aztecs, the quetzal's emerald green iridescent tail feathers were more valuable than gold.

At Kukulcan, Lubman made recordings of the echo and compared them with recordings of the quetzal from Cornell University's ornithology lab, in Ithaca, N.Y.

"They matched perfectly. I was stunned," Lubman says. "The Temple of Kukulcan chirps like a kuk."

Lubman envisions Mayan priests facing a crowd at Kukulcan and clapping. The pyramid would then "answer" in the voice of the quetzal, a messenger of the Gods.

A specialist on the acoustics of worship spaces, Lubman first noticed the chirping echo in 1998 during a visit to Chichen Itza, when tour guides demonstrated the effect.

The echo reminded Lubman of the work of Steven Waller, a biochemist and amateur acoustician in La Mesa, Calif., who has observed that ancient cave or rock paintings, as in the Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon, Utah, often show up in locations where echoes or other special acoustical effects occur.

Any sanctuary that cultivates perfect acoustics is "a way of stating God's favor," Lubman says. Concert halls, too, share in the mystery.

Acoustics Important to the Maya

The quetzal echo remains open to scientific debate. "It's an interesting phenomenon," says Karl Taube, an archaeologist at the University of California, Riverside, and an authority on ancient Mesoamerican writing and art. "The question is whether it was intentional or not."

However, Taube points out that "acoustics were clearly important to the Maya." Many of the cities had open plazas for ceremonial dances where, as Mayan art illustrates, kings and rulers performed in jade and seashell belts.

"These (belts) would have made a tremendous sound as they performed dances in the ceremonial plazas," Taube says.

Initially inspired by Lubman's work, Beristain and his researchers discovered echo phenomena at the staircase of the main pyramid at La Ciudadela at Teotihuacan. The city of Teotihuacan, near the site of modern Mexico City, was founded in 100 B.C.

A handclap directly in front of the pyramid's main staircase produces a chirped echo.

Handclaps from different positions along the base of the staircase likewise trigger the echo—but with different musical tones spanning half an octave.

Local Indians, Beristain says, "told us about the other notes. It is like getting the sound of the Quetzal, but in a range of different notes. I'm sure we will observe these effects at other pyramids, like Chichen Itza," he adds.

Lubman and Beristain plan to extend their studies to other pyramids and ceremonial sites in Mexico to hear just where and how the past still echoes.



© 2002 National Geographic Society

#88 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 07:51 AM

http://www.hostels.c...tt/quetzal.html



After seeing the quetzal, I understood why the Aztecs and Mayans named their central deities, Kukulcan and Quetzalcoatl, after this bird. The Aztecs built huge pyramids to honor the "winged serpent" and regarded the quetzal so highly that the penalty for killing one was death.


http://eclipsephoeni...m/phoenix1.html

Pedigree of the Phoenix (excerpts) - Part I

The "winged disk" or "ring with wings" symbol is found throughout Egypt and what as ancient Mesopotamia. It appears in Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions and on the royal seals and cartouches of pharaohs and Assyrian kings. This ancient religious symbol is carved onto obelisks, the capstones of pyramids, and alabaster bas-reliefs and is painted onto fading wall murals. It graces the stone lintels of the entrances to a great many temples and palaces in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. Numerous Egyptian pharaohs, as well as Hittite, Akkadian, and Assyrian kings, and Persian shahs employed this ubiquitous symbol as a royal sign of their divinely ordained status. El, the supreme deity of the Canaanites is portrayed on an eroded stela from Ras Shamra-Ugarit with the winged globe hovering overhead.


The Assyrian supreme deity, Ashur, is depicted as a winged archer standing within the solar disk on a wall painting from the 9th century BCE that is now preserved in the British Museum. His bow is drawn and its upper arc blends into the circumference of the flaming solar disk. The "ring with wings" symbol was later adapted to Zoroastrian usage by the Persian shahs Darius I and Xerxes I, who, between the two of them, ruled over the people of Persia from 521 - 465 BCE. This time the human figure depicted standing within the winged sun symbol portrayed the Zoroastrian supreme deity Ahura Mazda, their "Lord of Wisdom." This ancient Persian variant of what the prominent turn-of-the-century British astronomer Edward Walter Maunder referred to as the "ring with wings" symbol is prominently displayed on the remaining stonework of Persepolis and is known today as the "farohar" (or feroher) symbol.



"Bird of the sun" in the sun's corona - Assyrian god Ashur within a winged sun disk symbol


I have collected considerable evidence which supports the theory that the ancient Egyptian "winged solar disk" symbol and the analogous Mesopotamian "ring with wings" symbol were, in all probability, inspired by ancient observations of total solar eclipses. The diaphanous equatorial streamers of the corona, which are most pronounced during total solar eclipses that occur during years when the sunspot cycle is at its minimum phase of activity, bear a remarkable resemblance to the outspread wings of a glorious celestial bird while the plume-like polar rays mimic the fanned-out tail-feathers of a bird. This wing-like appearance of the equatorial streamers of the sun's outer corona was first remarked upon by professional astronomers in the latter half of the 19th century and it quickly became fashionable amongst astronomers to refer to the sun's coronal streamers as "wings".




Total solar eclipse reveals the pedigree of mythical sun birds

The sun's coronal plumes and streamers, that constitute the plumage of this celestial "bird", actually extend for many hundreds of thousands and even millions of miles into the expanse of outer space. Their apparent length, to anyone observing a total solar eclipse from the Earth is at least equal to the diameter of the moon, thus the full wingspan of this "gigantic bird" is at least three times broader than the disk of the full moon.

The of the primary religious symbols of the ancient Egyptians was the red sun disk. It represented the various Egyptian sun gods including Ra. This sun disk was usually encircled by, or rimmed on either side by, the 'ar'et serpent, also known as the uraeus or "fiery cobra." The uraeus cobra was often depicted with a sun disk perched on its rearing head to emphasize its association with the sun. The sun's chromosphere could easily be perceived as a cosmic serpent encircling the sun, with the flaming red solar prominences appearing to the ancient Egyptians to be the rearing heads of flame-spitting cobras. When elongated vulture wings, inspired by the equatorial streamers of the corona, were added to the solar disk stretching out on one or both sides, the sun disk became the "winged disk." According to the book 'The Migration of Symbols' by Comte Eugene Goblet d'Alviella, "It has been said, with good reason, that the Winged Globe is the Egyptian symbol par excellence. According to an inscription at Edfu it was Thoth himself who caused it to be placed above the entrances to all the temples in order to commemorate the victory won by Horus over Set, i.e. by the principle of light and good over that of darkness and evil."



Egyptian winged sun disk symbols




The total eclipse resembels the Ankh (ancient Egyptian "Cross of Life" symbol)

For those people who may not be familiar with the Ankh, it is the ancient Egyptian "Cross of Life" symbol, which is essentially a T-shaped cross that is topped by a circle or loop.

The ancient Egyptian bennu-bird or phoenix, their solar falcon-god Horus, and their winged sun disk symbol are completely synonymous. The hieroglyphic inscriptions carved into the masonry of the temple dedicated to Horus at Edfu inform all those who can read them that, "Horus of Behut-t flew up into the horizon in the form of a great Winged Sun-Disk, for which reason he is called 'Great God, Lord of Heaven', to this day. And when he saw the enemies in the heights of heaven he set out to chase them in the form of a great Winged Sun-Disk." When one considers that the total solar eclipse is the natural cosmic "symbol par excellence" of the victory of the principle of "light and good" over that of "darkness and evil" in many cultures, and that the only time that the "Sun-Disk" may appear to be "winged" is during a total solar eclipse it is not surprising in the least that this unique celestial phenomenon inspired the parable of the celestial conflict between the solar falcon-god Horus and the sun-eating eclipse-serpent Set. As we will see, the link between the sun-eating eclipse serpent and the solar bird is well established not only in ancient Egyptian religious iconography but also in the iconography and religious beliefs of the Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and other pre-Columbian American civilizations.

One variant of the Egyptian winged sun-disk symbol depicted either a falcon or vulture grasping a globe in each extended talon. On occasion both versions of this symbol were displayed together, as on a pectoral that was found in the tomb of Ip-shemu-abi at Byblos. Another example is found among the treasures of the pharaoh Tutankhamen.


Yet another Egyptian sun disk symbol substituted white ostrich plumes, which more closely resemble the white diaphanous streamers of the sun's corona, for the vulture wings. This version of the "winged disk" symbol was worn as the "Atef" crown by the gods and the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The red sun disk of the "Atef" crown was almost invariably cradled between the horns of a cow. These horns represented the crescent moon and thus indicated a conjunction of the sun and moon in a solar eclipse. The fact that the "Atef crown" clearly incorporated elements alluding to the total solar eclipse leads me to propose that the tall conical "White Crown" of Upper Egypt was, in all probability, inspired by the wing-like streamers of the sun's corona.


Various professional astronomers have described the conical coronal streamers as resembling the tall conical metal helmets that were once worn by medieval soldiers.

There was even a period during the 1960's and 1970's when professional astronomers regularly referred to these "peaked structures" in the sun's corona as "helmet streamers" and this term is still sometimes used by astronomers. The fact that the "White Crown" worn by Horus and Osiris was definitely a solar symbol (as, after all, most every crown is) should be clearly confirmed by the fact that, on occasion, a red sun disk was depicted on its brow. A very straightforward visual comparison of the "White Crown"of ancient Egypt with the wing-like coronal structures that were so beautifully captured on photographic film by the French astronomer Serge Koutchmy, in his superb photo of the 1991 total solar eclipse should assure most people that my hypothesis regarding the "White Crown" is essentially valid. A further comparison with earlier photographs of the so-called "helmet streamers" would almost be redundant.



"helmet streamers"

#89 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 08:04 AM

http://eclipsephoeni...m/phoenix2.html

Pedigree of the Phoenix (excerpts) - Part II



The first page of the Mayan Codex Ferjervary-Mayer

The first page of the Mayan Codex Ferjervary-Mayer represents the five regions of the world and their respective tutelary deities within the framework of a large Maltese cross. Bisecting the angles between the four arms of this cross are four loops and over the end of each loop hovers a bird. These birds have well defined heads with normal size eyes and beaks, however, their bodies are perfectly circular disks with an outer ring of white surrounding an inner ring of a darker shade. Their similarity to the Mesopotamian "ring with wings" symbol and some Egyptian versions of the winged disk in which the red sun-disk forms the body of a falcon is immediately apparent.




The Aztec quetzal bird with a green sun disc on its breast is depicted on a mural found in Teotihuacan

Similarly in 'Feathered Serpents and Flowering Trees - Reconstructing the Murals of Teotihuacan' we find depictions of quetzal birds which bear sun-disk shields on the front of their bodies. The wings of these quetzal birds, which are considered by archaeologists to be mythological anthropomorphic beings, appear to be attached directly to the solar disks. If the head, tail, and legs of these birds are deleted a winged sun-disk emblem that is eminently comparable to the ancient Egyptian, Hittite, and Assyrian examples of this ubiquitous religious symbol is what remains.

#90 bobdrake12

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 08:19 AM

http://www.birdlife....ure_10_main.htm


Resplendent Quetza - Guatemala


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The national bird of Guatemala is the Resplendent Quetzal which is famed for its iridescent green crested head, crimson upper parts and black wings with long coverts. The quetzal's bluish-green tail is eight to ten inches long with gleaming feathers that curve down with a graceful curve and it has been called the most beautiful bird of the Americas.

For centuries this bird dominated the traditions and beliefs of the Maya and Aztec peoples of Central America. Quetzalcoatl, the cultural force for good in both Maya and Aztec culture, was symbolised by the head of a serpent adorned with the feathers of a Resplendent Quetzal. The rulers in both cultures wore head dresses made of quetzal tail-streamers, but, since the birds were considered sacred, the penalty for killing one was death. The quetzals were therefore freed after the long plumes had been removed, so that, despite the numbers captured, the population suffered no adverse effects. According to Aztec legend, Quetzalcoatl was supposed to return in 1519 as a god-king to rule them. Consequently, it is not surprising that, when the Spanish conquistador Cortez sailed into Vera Cruz harbour in that year, the first gift that Montezuma sent him was a magnificent head-dress of quetzal plumes.

Quetzalcoatl's association with the Maya god Kukulcan has recently been highlighted by the claim that the pyramid at Chichen Izta, in Mexico, was constructed in such a manner that sharp sounds made inside it produce an echo that mimics the call of the Resplendent Quetzal. It is suggested that it represents the spirit of the Maya. This idea has been greeted with scepticism in some quarters, but echoes were often associated with spirits, and the central importance of the quetzal in Maya belief makes it plausible that the pyramid-builders deliberately included such a device as a further means of totemising the species.

The legendary status of the Resplendent Quetzal survives in various forms today. The name "quetzal" comes from the Aztec quetzalli, originally meaning tail feather, and by transference "beautiful" or "precious". Thus the unit of monetary currency in present-day Guatemala is the quetzal. Rare Bird Club painting by Norman Arlott.




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