Although using Columbus, Cortés, and Pizarro as larger than life characters that more or less explain the entire Conquest is clearly too facile, the simplicity of the model helps explain its incessant appeal. little

See Asia Eco, Umberto, 7 Ecuador, 26, 41, 42, 51, 60 Eden, Garden of, 104 Eguía, Francisco de, 56 El Cid, 168n.84 El Dorado, 22, 108, 190n.44 Eliade, Mircea, 162n.7 Elliott, J. H., 89, 134–35, 167n.72, 188n.13 Encomiendas, 38–42, 53, 62, 84, 88, 129, 170n.23, 171n.42, 171n.44, 174n.26; defined, 35, 178n.6 English, the, 31, 33, 35, 69, 103, 118–19, 145, 179n.16.

Francisco Pizarro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in SixteenthCentury Peru. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1989. London: Longman, 1969. To some extent, all participants were investors in commercial ventures that carried high risks but potentially the highest of returns. A similar point is made by Hassig, Time, History, 2001: 156, in a discussion of the Mexica. In colonial encounters, native peoples were not innately prone to esoteric thinking, but were as likely as Europeans to make choices based on “the pragmatics of common sense.”61 Although Obeyesekere does not frame his argument in terms of a myth of native desolation or anomie, he does expose the way in which Western historians have tended to juxtapose a progressive and pragmatic Europe with a tradition-bound native world. New York: Praeger, 1991. By the end of the colonial pe­ riod, there was little about native culture in most of Spanish America that (in James Lockhart’s words) “could safely be declared to have been entirely European or entirely indigenous in origin.

There is no acceptance of the colonial division of peoples into Spaniards and “Indians,” nor is there an acceptance of the Conquest as ei­ The Indians Are Coming to an End 123 ther a Spanish initiative or a primarily Spanish triumph.

The aspect of native culture of greatest concern to Spaniards was religion, as Christianization provided the empire with a rationale and justi­ fication that transcended and was supposed to disguise the mundanely self­ Under the Lordship of the King 75 serving realities of colonial expansion. 12. As for Paxbolonacha, his decisions and actions were based on what he perceived to be in the best interests of his own status, of the stability of his dynastic position, of the secu­ rity of Itzamkanac and its inhabitants, and of the general integrity of his king­ dom. And this I believe to be due to the fact that at that time they were not so much concerned with finding things out as with subjecting and acquiring the land. Boston: Twayne, 1981. London: Cassell, 2000. . Millar, George. Flashcards.

These routines were further developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries not because all conquistadors mimicked Cortés— although some may have imagined they were emulating him—but because Spaniards were concerned to justify their actions and give them a legalistic veneer by citing and following approved precedents. The frontispiece to the first edition of Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de la Nueva España, by Bernal Díaz (1632).

Tintin and the World of Hergé [1988]. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.

“A Central American Genocide: Rubber, Slavery, Nationalism, and the De­ struction of the Guatusos-Malekus,” in Comparative Studies in Society and History 40:2 (April 1998): 356–89. 109 109 110 Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest 110 The Indians Are Coming to an End 111 And they are still of the opinion that I come from the sky, in spite of all the inter­ course which they have had with me, and they were the first to announce this wher­ ever I went, and the others went running from house to house and to the neighboring towns with loud cries of, ‘Come! Geographically, the book covers the areas of Central America (Yucatán Peninsula, Panama, and central Mexico), the Caribbean islands (modern-day … Note: These numbers do not represent all members of these expeditions, only those for whom there is such information.

The Mexica capital fell not by the force of Spanish arms, but to disease and plague. 62. 11.

This genre was the report that 12 Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest conquerors sent to the crown upon completion of their activities of explora­ tion, conquest, and settlement.


Alvarado, Conquest of Guatemala, 1924 [1525]: 62; Whitehead, Lords of the Tiger Spirit, 1988: 27–29, 73–75; Fernández-Armesto, Columbus, 1991: 106; Avellaneda, Conquerors, 1995: 120, 133. The Vivaldi brothers, most notably, set off from Genoa in 1291 on what turned out to be a one-way voyage west across the Atlantic.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. 13.

Eco, Serendipities, 1998: 4. Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest is organized topically into a seven chapters, each covering the seven myths mentioned earlier. “Reversing the Frontier’s Advance: Native Opposition to Colonial Settlement in the Eastern Sertão of Minas Gerais, Brazil.” Paper presented to the American His­ torical Association, San Francisco, 2002. Cieza de León never provides the total number of blacks in any one company, nor does he name any of the Africans who fought or traveled with him, but on 19 occasions he mentions their presence. 32. In his descriptions of early Spanish encounters with Yucatan and its Maya population, the Franciscan bishop Diego de Landa emphasized the treacherous shores that shipwrecked Spaniards, dangerous animals (from the crab that bit off one Spaniard’s thumb to lions and ti­ gers), and the fate of those captured by Mayas.

———. The literature on this topic is extensive, but a good place to begin is two fine collections of essays, Griffiths and Cervantes, Spiritual Encounters, 1999, and Schwaller, The Church, 2000.

Manco’s great siege of Cuzco in 1536 would probably have resulted in the elimination of Pizarro’s forces were it not for his Andean allies. Again, whether the viewer takes the scene as accurate historical depic­ tion or dramatic allegory, it only works because of the filmmakers’ reasonable assumption that the viewer anticipates the significance of the orange. 35. One such perception charac­ terized natives as less than fully human because they lacked the attributes of human cultures and communities. London: Woodward et al., 1744–48 (copy of this and other rare editions in JCBL). Examples of recent uses of the two meanings of the term are Karl Taube’s Aztec and Maya Myths (1993), which recounts creation mythology, ancient calendrics, and tales of the gods, and Stephen Steinberg’s classic, The Ethnic Myth (2001 [1981]), which characterizes as a pre­ vailing, popular misconception the idea that individual and group fates in the twentieth-century United States have been determined by ethnic identities and their cultural values. The symbols coming from and to Malinche’s mouth are speech glyphs. Avellaneda, José Ignacio.

Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1983.

Preview. Images at War: Mexico from Columbus to Blade Runner (1492–2019). This episode, which has received little attention from historians, is presented here as illustrative of all the themes of the Conquest discussed in the book— viewed both through the seven myths and through their counterpoints. His de­ nunciations of the practices of corrupt colonial officials were particularly vivid, periodically punctuated by the declaration that the situation was beyond rem­ edy and by an apparent prediction of native Andean extinction.1 An echo of Huaman Poma’s lament can be found in French historian Nathan Wachtel’s 1971 study of the Conquest of Peru, La vision des vaincus (The Vision 100 The Indians Are Coming to an End 101 of the Vanquished). Most of the Maya elite, however, tended to downplay the significance of the Conquest by emphasizing continuities of status, residency, and occupation from pre-Conquest times.

who have written not what they saw, but what they did not hear so well . Therefore, when in 1534 word reached Yucatan of the events at Cajamarca of 1532 and the gold and silver acquired in Peru, Montejo’s company fell apart. Just as Garrido was not the only black conquistador of Mexico, nor was Valiente the only African in Peru and Chile in the 1530s. 41. See Pagden, Spanish Imperialism, 1990: 15–17; Lords of all the World, 1995: 91; Seed, “The Requirement,” 1995: 72, 92.

An interesting variation on the apotheosis myth in the Andes is in Shaffer’s Royal Hunt of the Sun, in which Pizarro presents himself as a god in order to confuse and amaze Atahuallpa.

The Maya pas­ sage was intended to convince the reader that at first Alvarado and the Cakchiquels were at peace, with the Spanish leader well disposed to the Mayas and the Mayas fearful and respectful. 191 ting (Historia General, 1601, dec. III: 287). New York: Basic Books, 1998. All those present must also have been reminded that barely 18 months earlier, in the autumn of 1537, an unknown number of the 10,000 Africans already resident in Mexico City had allegedly plotted a slave revolt and crowned a rebel black king. 2 vols. Tom Conley, trans. Forgotten Conquests: Rereading New World History from the Margins. .

Pagden, Anthony. According to Orellana, the river’s current made it impossible for him to return to Gonzalo Pizarro and the main body of expedition survivors.

Malinche acting as interpreter from fray Bernardino de Sahagún’s General History of the Things of New Spain or Florentine Codex (1579).

9. “The Encounter of Cortés and Moctezuma.”Attributed to Juan Correa, c.1683. Early European views of Native Americans included the belief that they either lacked culture in any “real” sense, or that their cultures were weakened by naiveté or a rot­ ten moral core. Fig.

Better examples can be found in the Andes and Yucatan. Finally, Africans in the Americas were motivated to develop martial skills not only to survive but also as a means to acquire freedom, which was a black conquistador’s standard reward.52 Spaniards thought that two categories of Africans were especially pugna­ cious, Muslims in general and Wolofs in particular, who were consequently feared and distrusted on the one hand, and respected and valued on the other. Match. Early Caribbean cities such as Santo Domingo and Havana were founded two or three times before becoming permanent settlements.

Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, n.d. 200 References Klein, Herbert S. “The Free Colored Militia of Cuba, 1568–1868,” in Caribbean Studies 6:2 (1966): 17–27. The Spaniards, allegedly better informed, followed the predictable patterns of the Conquest.

Armonk, N.Y.: M. E. Sharpe, 1998. The ships were scuttled and at least one was merely grounded. The Aztec Image in Western Thought. Native defeat is not only denied, but inverted. It is also a process that is incomplete.

———. Documentary basis: …

“Medieval Atlantic Exploration: The Evidence of Maps,” in Portugal, The Pathfinder: Journeys from the Medieval toward the Modern World, 1300–ca. There are numerous discussions of this literature and Franciscan evangelization in the Americas; see, for example, Klor de Alva, Nicholson, and Quiñones-Keber, Sahagún, 1988; Rabasa, Inventing America, 1993: 151–64; Chuchiak, “The Indian Inquisition,” 2000; and Francis, “la conquista espiritual,” 2000.

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