Mutual Misunderstanding of Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570 In her study of the sixteenth century Maya, Inga Clendinnen quotes Antonio de Ciudad Real, saying “when the Spaniards discovered this land, their leader asked the Indians how it was called; as they did not understand him, they said uic athan, which means, what do you say or what do you speak, that we do not understand you. And then the Spaniard ordered it set down that it be called Yucatan.” Mutual misunderstanding and incommensurability play many key roles in colonial relations between the Spanish missionaries and the Maya. Social and cultural relations and the effects of misunderstanding between the Maya and Spaniards greatly affected daily life and caused great unrest …show more content…
This metaphor reflects language barriers, and misunderstandings of cultural norms, religion and caste roles. Misunderstandings occurred on both Maya and Spanish issues. Both the Spanish and the inhabitants of the Yucatan struggled with their own perceptions and misunderstandings of the other. Colonization brought about multiple realities and distorted self images. These struggles are clearly shown in the sources Clendinnen uses, and the result of these misunderstandings was violence: Spaniard against Indian, Catholic against pagan, Catholic against conquistador, and Crown against settlers. The ambivalence of, and the resistance to, the Episcopal Inquisition and Spanish conquest can be associated to this mutual …show more content…
Upon his discovery of Mayan idolatry and sacrifice he justified violence towards the Mayans through the philosophy of 'destroy and rebuild '. As a consequence of their deception torture was used to attain Mayan confessions, many traditions were banned, and most of the precious historical books of the Mayan were destroyed. The friars who had previously preferred psychological manipulation over the Indians judged themselves above the law, and inflicted punishments upon the Mayans without being given the right to do so. Pathetic confessions by Indians raise the question whether it was ‘confusion of tongues,’ the inadequacies of teaching, or sheer terror that brought them forward. Not all guilty Indians were punished. Those who suffered the wrath of the church were meant to be examples to other 'idolaters ' and 'backsliders '. Roles were overturned as the frightened Indians sought refuge with the encomenderos who considered the church a threat to their livelihood and wanted to protect their
Inga Clendinnen's Aztecs:An Interpretation is an outstanding book dealing with investigations into how the Mexica peoples may have veiwed the world in which they lived. From the daily life of a commoner to the explosively, awe inspiring lives of the priests and warriors. Clendinnen has used thoughtful insights and a fresh perspective that will have general readers and specialist readers alike engaged in a powerful and elegantly written interpretation that is hard to put down without reflection upon this lost culture.
Acceptance and understanding are major factors that must be met in order for people to come together. In many circumstances, it is up to the minority whom are joining the majority to adopt and change its customs and practices in order to assimilate into the majority. However, there are some circumstances in which the minority somehow becomes able to overpower majority and take control. This is the situation which occurred between the Natives and the Europeans during the 1513 conquest. The Spanish Conquest of Central and South America and the voyage to the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought the Spanish crown a great amount of wealth. The native inhabitants which resided in the Americas prior to the discovery, saw what was once their home being taken away from them and being completely devoured by the Conquistas. In Defense of the Indians by Bartolome de Las Casas and On the Cannibals by Michel Eyquem , Seigneur De Montaigne are two recounts of how the Conquistas treated the native inhabitants. This purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the realistic truths of both documents, and compare what each author had to say about how the Europeans saw the natives’ religion and who the true barbarians were.
Bowden’s idea of why this happened focused mainly on the old misunderstood traditions of the tribes living in Mexico. He shows how the friars, churches and icons took the blunt of the revolts force. Bowden points out the religious differences and similarities be...
... god. Religious meeting were held in secrecy in the homes of members of the church, mainly female members of the church. Amalia risked her freedom by holding a meeting in her home. (p232) Both the Ladinos and the Indians believed that they were being punished by their gods for the sufferings they experienced. The Mayans believed that they were being punished by their gods for the suffering their people were experiencing at the hands of the Europeans. “They came, who were destined to come; haughty and hard of manner and strong of voice, such were the instruments of our chiding”. (Castellanos, year, p 56) The religious rites and customs practised by the indigenous people were constructed by Europeans as “lies and deceptions which the devil had invented” (Tignor et al 2002, p97) They were to worship only the Christian God instead of bowing to their many idols.
There are millions of people in the world, with different understandings, values and ways to look at things. When you first meet someone, you make assumption from the way they act and dress, but that’s not all there is to a person. When Cortes arrived in the new world he didn’t understand the values of the Native Americans and how their beliefs differed from those of Cortes and his people.
First, it must be addressed that Malintzin fell into the hands of slave traders at a young age. It was difficult to determine the exact circumstances of Malintzin’s enslavement, Townsend examines multiple situations in which female slaves were commonly sold or captured. Malintzin had owed complete loyalty to her former people. Even if the Nahua people did not play a role in Malintzin’s transition into slavery, she was removed from her culture at a rather young age. Townsend also highlights the danger and unpredictability of Malintzin’s predicament as a slave in strangers’ hands. Malintzin could not have predicted the intentions of the Spanish in respect to her future. Hoping to preserve her life and possibly improve her quality of life as a slave, Malintzin made herself useful to the Spanish. Utilizing her knowledge of indigenous language, she audaciously stepped forward to translate between Cortés and Moctezuma, the Aztec ruler. “Malintzin could have remained silent. No one expected her to step forward and serve as a conduit. But by the end of that hour, she had made her value felt” (41). Malintzin’s boldness not only protected her from the Spanish, but also raised her status to that of the nobles. Townsend further validates her opinion of Malintzin by stressing Malintzin’s desire to protect the indigenous
In “The Eclipse”, Monterroso describes brother Bartolome, a missionary who was sent to Guatemala to convert the local population to christianity. While travelling throught the jungle, Bartolome gets lost and captured by the Mayans. The Mayans were both a primitive and advanced community. The Mayans were able to predict and register future solar and lunar eclipses, but they engaged in rituals such as human sacrifice. Due to a lack of understanding, Bartolome’s views towards the Mayans was both arrogant and ignorant.
These people are the most devoid of rancors, hatreds, or desire for vengeance of any people in the world.” However, other Spaniards viewed the Indians as weak and incompetent who believed in “witch doctors.” The Spanish expected the Native American to abandon their religious beliefs and traditions; failure to convert to Catholicism led to violence. According to Bartolome de las Casas illustrates the violent acts of the Spanish, “I seem even to recall that there were two or three pairs of grids where others were burning, and because they uttered such loud screams that they disturbed the Spanish captain's sleep, he ordered them to be strangled.” Bartolome de las Casas refers to the some of the Spanish as cruel and wicked Christians drove by greed and ambition. He notes that Spanish treatment beast with more respect then the Indians. The Native American viewed the Spanish as, “By nature wicked and cruel, and they have a God they greatly worship and they want us to worship that God, and that is why they struggle with us and subject us and kill us.” Although, Bartolome de las Casas was against cruelty of the Spaniards towards the Indies, he believe that Spain had a God given right to rule
As the Spaniards proceeded to travel around the peninsula and other places they influenced the Mayans and also the Mayans influenced the Spaniards. When the Spaniards settled on the peninsula and formed their idealism amongst the Indians, the Indians had to obey the daily and weekly routine of learning the word of god but not in their native language. The Spaniards and Indians were always bumping heads out in the open and also behind doors. The Spaniards enforced curfew to stop the village gatherings, so they cannot have time to turn against the Spaniards. The result of this led to native chiefs pretending to be Christian teachers and while each baptism occurred they will tell the children they will die early for baptizing into Christianity. Children were soon hidden from the friars in fear and this caused even more tension between Indians and the Spaniards for years. Aside from the Indians being torn away from their religion, their daily routine of providing food for their villages were also taken away. There was a massive die off of Indians due to starvation when the Spaniards forcefully migrated the Indians out of the jungle and into a village where other Indians were forced to move into. These changes could only benefit one or the other and in most cases it was mainly the Spaniards who got their way. Although the Indians still managed to work around the rules, over time the effort to continue their practices will die down as the new generation are raised under the Spaniards belt. It’s unfortunate to see a civilization undergo such harsh treatment because their way of living does not follow what the “bible”
Thousands of centuries earlier the Europeans knew of America, the Native American’s entitled America home. Numerous Native American’s established empires and attended business with each additional, as well as fought one another. Throughout the historical period c.150-900, we learned about the domain of the Mayans. These people were very advanced in their system of mathematics and astronomy. Their religion practices consisted of consuming human sacrifices and that they studied stars. The Mayans provide just one of numerous examples of the type of spiritual practices that are implemented by the natives. Among all the natives, idols and detriments were common. According, documents that I came across in the past describe how human sacrifice seem it was “believed to encourage fertility, demonstrate play and to propagate the gods.” The Mayan spirits were believed to be sustained by human blood, and ceremonial bloodletting generated as the only means of creating a connection with them. The Maya’s thought that if they neglected these ceremonies, cosmic disorder and chaos would affect them. Therefore, these practices were extremely outrageous and dangerous to human beings.
Las Casas emphasizes on three main issues throughout his account. First, in almost each chapter, Las Casas writes about the luscious qualities of the land and the different indigenous peoples that inhabit them. Second, he explains and describes in detail how the natives were rapidly being massacred by the invading Christian Europeans. Finally, Las Casas discusses how God had brought justice to the Europeans for their diabolical acts upon the natives. Las Casas, a former slave owner himself, realized that those whom he previously enslaved were just as much human and capable of learning and practicing the Christian faith as he was. As a bishop, he realized he could do little for the Natives except document his experiences (in as much detail as possible) and hope that the royal administration would have sympathy for the Natives and establish laws to protect them from the Europeans.
In the work Mayan and Catholic Spiritual beliefs a trend that was prominent in other works was the Mayan culture and Catholic religion sharing similar ideals. The ideals they shared was a “strong sense of community (316)”. The Catholic religion did not only oppress the Mayan people but it made them combine their two religions together. The combination of the two religions preserved their traditional beliefs.
The culture of the African Kingdoms of Meroe and Aksum share various commonalities with the Mayan civilization in Guatemala and Mexico. First, the empire of Meroe had a sustainable agriculture, expansive and constructed temples in pyramids. Second, the Aksum empire also had an agricultural surplus and enjoyed vast trade, albeit at the expense of the Meroe. Third, the Maya enjoyed rich agriculture, constructed large pyramids, and had vast trading connection. In the end, each of these three empire fell into crisis and declined in similar fashion.
Either way, researches have indeed found many astonishing artifacts and sites from the Maya civilization, but they still don't know enough. In the 1830s, serious exploration began and by the early to mid 20th century, only a small portion of their system of hieroglyphs was deciphered, causing more of their history and culture to become known of. In addition, what's known of the Maya mostly comes from their architecture and art, but it's also known that the Maya made books out of tree bark and wrote in them. These books are known as codices and only four of them are known to have survived (History.com “Maya”). Yes, research demonstrates how astonishing the Maya were due to their advanced skills in agriculture and academics, but research also