Scholars have studied the
Indian languages, seeking relationships between them. In 1891 Maj. J.W. Powell
of the Bureau of American Ethnology classified the languages spoken by the
tribes north of Mexico into some 56 distinct stocks, or language families. He grouped those
tribes with markedly similar vocabularies into language families. He made a map
showing their geographical location. In naming each language family he
generally selected the native name of a major group speaking that language and
added to the name the ending -an. Thus the Caddoan
language is derived from the Caddo tribe, the Iroquoian from the Iroquois.
The fact that two languages or dialects were
placed in the same language family did not mean that persons speaking one of these
dialects could understand the other dialect, any more than Germans and Italians
understand each other's language. For example, many tribes of the Central
Plains spoke dialects of the Siouan language, but members of one tribe could
seldom understand the speech of their neighbors.
Later studies have revealed far-reaching
resemblances among families which Major Powell considered distinct. Some
linguists have suggested the reduction of North American Indian languages to
six primary stocks. These are:
1. Eskimo and Aleut, of the Far North.
2. Algonquian and related languages, spoken
by many tribes of the Eastern Woodlands, the Blackfeet
and Cheyenne of the Plains, and the Salish
and neighboring tribes of the Far
3. Athabascan and
related languages, used by all the tribes of the Mackenzie-YukonBasin,
by the Navajos, and by some west coast peoples.
4. Uto-Aztecan and related languages, of the
Shoshonean tribes in the Great Basin and Rocky
Mountains area, the Kiowas of the Plains, the
majority of the Pueblos, and the Aztecs of Mexico.
5. Chinookan and
related languages, spoken by a number of scattered Far Western tribes,
especially in what is now Oregon
6. Siouan and related languages, including
the tongues of such widely separated peoples as the Iroquois of the northeast,
the Creeks and their neighbors in the southeast, the Sioux and Caddos of the Plains, the Keresan
Pueblos, and the Pomos of northern California.
branches represent the seven major clans of the Olmec people and these six
languages are divided among the clans.However, the seventh is the root of all the other six, which is the
These are the
people and their languages that came out of the Olmec (Hebrew/Phoenician)
civilization.The Nahuatl people from all races of people, united into
one people, that were gathered from all of the Northern lands (the Viking and
the Ashkenazi or Anasazi) as far as China near Xi'an,
home of the Terra-cotta Warriors (called themselves
Xi ofthe tribes of Shabazz and Shabti), and the Egyptians.They later divided
into seven distinct clans from our family:
New International Dictionary states that the Aztec and Toltec (pg. 155,
pg. 2405) consisted of a people known as the Nahuatl (Nahuan or Nahua pg. 1499)
people.The Nahuan originally came from
Nahana son of Canaan, who was the first of our people to
discover the land of Substitute as is referred to the inscription of his
journey to South
in Parahaiba, which is modern day Joao Pessoa, Brazil not far from the Atlantic coast.
A people that
formed in the region were named after their leader the Amlicites that was from
the Nephites or Toltec but joined the Lamanites (Mayans) and became known as the
Aymara of South America.
Ay-ma-ra (i|m ra) n. [[AmSp, prob. < Quechua]] 1 pl. -ras or -ra a member of a South
American Indian people living mainly in Bolivia and Peru and believed to have
been the builders of a great ancient culture, later supplanted by the Incan 2
the language of this people --Ay|ma-ran adj. , n.
(Laman): THE LAMANITES CHANGE THE DRESS FROM THERE
BROTHER THEY STARTED TO SHAVE THERE HEAD AND THEY WERE PARTLY NAKED SAVE IT
WERE A JAGUAR SKIN WHICH WAS GIRDED ABOUT THEIR LOINS, AND ALSO ARMOR WHICH WAS
GIRDED ABOUT THEM AND THEIR BOWS AND THEIR ARROWS AND THEIR STONES AND STING
AND SO FORTH AND THEIR SKIN WAS VERY DARK BLACK. MAYA. The Maya of Mesoamerica,
along with the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru, made up the high civilizations
of the American Indians at the time of the Spanish conquest. Both the Aztecs
and the Incas were late empires (about AD 1300-1533), capstones of a sequence
of civilizations in Central
Mexico and the Andes in South America, respectively. But the Maya of Yucatan and Guatemala
exhibited a cultural continuity spanning more than 2,000 years (1000 BC-AD
1542), and many aspects of their culture continue to the present.
three major time periods: pre-classic (2000 BC-AD 300), classic (300-900), and
post-classic (900-1500). During the six centuries of the classic period the
Mayan civilization flourished first in the forests of the Peten
in Guatemala and adjacent areas--creating such cities as Tikal,
Uaxactun, Quirigua, Copan,
and Palenque--and then in the semiarid scrublands of
northern Yucatan--constructing such pilgrimage centers as Uxmal,
Kabah, Sayil, Labna, Etzna, Old Chichen, and Coba.
period in Yucatan was marked by the invasion of the Toltecs from Central Mexico and
the establishment of their control at ChichenItza (987-1200). Later the coastal trading town of Tulum grew in significance following the decline of
military leagues led by Mayapan. Pyramids and temples
were built in more than 40 cities, each with a population of about 20,000
people. The Spanish conquest by Francisco de Montejo,
whose house still stands on the central plaza in the capital of Merida, completed the downfall of the Mayan civilization in
Today more than 2 million Mayan Indians live
in northern Yucatan and highland Guatemala in a style similar to that of the common people
among their ancestors. Excavations at Dzibilchaltun
near Merida revealed house sites from 1000 BC that resemble today's huts in rural
regions. The same style of construction--wattle-and-daub walls in an oval shape
with a thatched roof of palmetto fronds and little furniture--serves the native
Maya, who continue to resist racial mixing and the dilution of their
The design of the native house from antiquity
is reproduced in stone as a decorative art motif in the Puuc
style at such sites as Uxmal and Labna (800- 1000). The
Puuc style, named for a region of low limestone hills
in northern Yucatan, is characterized by an unadorned lower level that
contrasts sharply with an elaborately sculptured upper level. Examples are the
Nunnery Quadrangle and the governor's palace. It is possible that the stone
columns, or cylinders, also featured in this art style represent posts and
wickerwork of the daub-and-wattle native huts.
The Mayan civilization in all
stages--formative, flourishing, declining, and continuing--has been based on
agriculture. Indian corn, or maize, was domesticated from a wild grass in
central Mexico about 7,000 years ago and sustained most sedentary
Indian civilizations from that time.
In the humid Peten
a surplus of water and rapid growth of trees and vines encouraged the
slash-and-burn farming method. The farmer cleared the cornfield by cutting
bushes and girdling the trees, usually near the end of the rainy season,
allowing the piled brush to dry under the hot sun of the dry season. Then the
wood was burned and the ashes scattered among the stumps. A mattock of stone or
wood to scoop the earth into a hummock and a fire-hardened pointed stick to
poke a hole for the seed were used.
The productivity of the corn farmer
sustained the Mayan civilization. It is estimated that as many as 150 days a
year were free from daily drudgery in the fields. This surplus time was
utilized by the nobility and the priests in a stratified society to build the
cities, pyramids, and temples. There was sufficient leisure to support skilled
craftsmen in arts and crafts. The Mayan workers who constructed the great stone
structures and decorated the walls with artistic embellishment, however, were
unaided by draft animals and wheeled carts. The lords of the land oversaw civic
matters, while the priests conducted religious rituals, pursued intellectual
studies, and corrected the calendar.
Cities that flourished in the classic period
in lowland Guatemala are exemplified by Tikal, which has pyramid-temples more than 200 feet (60
meters) high and numerous carved stela as time markers and reign recorders.
Then the Old Empire collapsed. The stable city-states, comparable to ancient Greece in cultural accomplishment and administrative
acumen, faded from memory.
No one knows why the culture declined and
the cities were covered by encroaching forest until rediscovery in the 19th
century. Possible causes include exhaustion of the cornfields by
overpopulation, climatic changes, hurricanes,
pestilences of epidemic proportions, wars, and insurrection.
Far to the north at the tip of Yucatan the New Empire waxed while the Old Empire waned.
Archaeologists trace transition routes through Palenque in Chiapas, via Mirador and Rio Bec in Quintana Roo, and around Coba, where a network of causeway roads called sacbes connect distant cities.
The physical environment of the peninsula of Yucatan differs from that of the Peten. It too is
lowland and limestone but arid and covered with desert scrub. Water is scarce
and seasonal, draining underground via sinkholes and subterranean streams.
Where the water table reaches the surface or the limestone layer can be
breached, a cenote, or well, provides water for
settlement and cultivation. Chaltunes are man-made
cisterns lined with plaster to catch rainwater runoff. Such sites are typified
by Uxmal and ChichenItza with the Sacred Cenote, or
Well of Sacrifice.
two notable features: the tomb of Lord Pacal
(615-683), located inside the Temple of the Inscriptions, and the royal palace
with a four-story square tower used not for defense observation but to notify
the hospitable lords that visitors were approaching along the Usumacinta River, the artery of trade and travel to Tikal.
Uxmal (750-1000) is distinguished by the Temple of the Magician, which was rebuilt five times to
comply with century cycles every 52 years according to the rounds of the lunar
and solar calendars. The tracery of Kukulcan, or
"feathered serpent" in the Mayan tongue, is intertwined through the
mosaic of fretwork on the upper wall of the Nunnery Quadrangle.
El Castillo, or the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl,
the "feathered serpent" in the Nahuatl language of the Toltecs and Aztecs, is the outstanding feature of ChichenItza (1000-1200). It heralds the coming of the Toltecs from Central Mexico and
their dominance of the Maya of Old Chichen
(800-1000). The themes of art and architecture duplicate Tula, the original capital in the highlands, with
emphasis on the images and symbols of the feathered serpent. The Quetzalcoatl
portal supported the lintel over the entrance to the Temple of the Warriors, and the memoirs of the associated
military orders of Jaguar and Eagle are carved into the Court of the Thousand
Columns. The head, body, and tail of the creator deity--the giver of corn and
civilization--outline the grand staircase rising to the temple atop El
Castillo. Inside, the red Jaguar throne is encrusted with pieces of precious
jade. The Quetzalcoatl legend predicted the return of the god to Mexico, which happened to coincide with the arrival of the
conquistadores, and Cortez astutely assumed the mantle of the deity to befuddle
the superstitious Montezuma and complete the Spanish conquest.
Religion and the state among the Maya were
as closely interconnected as among the Spaniards who conquered them. This
convergence of customs and beliefs facilitated the merging of religions and the
acceptance of authority during the colonial period. The Indians were converted
to Roman Catholicism, but pagan practices persist, particularly in rural
villages. In ancient days religious rites were conducted in temples by priests,
and the government was administered by the aristocracy. The palace at Sayil and the governor's palace at Uxmal represent the residences of the landed elite.
Architecture achieved distinction in the
Mayan cities of Yucatan, though the designers and builders were restricted
by the technical limitations of the corbeled arch as
compared to the Roman arch. The Roman model features a keystone, which affords
wide coverage of space, whereas the corbeled arch
contains a capstone, which allows only narrow spaces.
The huge arch approaching Kabah on the causeway from Uxmal is the largest in Mayaland,
and the great gate at Labna is balanced with native
huts in stone. A temple at Labna atop an unrestored mound illustrates Mayan construction methods: a
one-room interior vaulted with a corbeled arch
appears to be two stories high and is heightened still more by a roof comb for
prestige. The roof comb exhibits an open lattice to reduce air pressure during
Such special structures as the Caracol at Old Chichen and the
observatory at Copan had an astronomical purpose. They were operated by
the priests to devise and maintain a calendar more accurate than any except the
Gregorian. The Maya invented a numerical system that involved the concept of
zero, which was positional like the decimal system but based on 20 instead of
10. The symbols were dot-and-bar combinations and hieroglyphs. Scholars
developed a system of hieroglyphic writing similar to the ideographic type of
the ancient Egyptians but more primitive. The glyph inscriptions with narrative
content are being translated with partial success.
Many buildings of Yucatan in the Puuc style are
decorated with the face of Chac, the Mayan rain god,
an all-important deity in a society dependent on agriculture. Chac can be recognized by an elephant tusk nose. Sometimes
there are three or four Chacs stacked over a doorway,
giving security in numbers, and on the corners of
buildings with eyes surveying two sides at the same time. The use of Chacmools--the bearers of messages to the pantheon of
deities--so prominent at ChichenItza, was introduced by the Toltecs
of Tula from Central Mexico.
The Maya located in the highlands lived in a
third type of physical environment--the volcanic mountains and intermontane valleys of Guatemala. Kaminaljuyu arose as a
notable urban center in the classic period, much influenced by Teotihuacan in Central
Mexico. The region was
harshly conquered by Pedro de Alvarado in 1524 after the submission of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. The myths and traditions of the
past are preserved in the PopulVuh,
the sacred book of the Quiche Maya, and the customs of the ancient Maya can
still be observed in Quetzaltenango and Chichicastenango near LakeAtitlan. The Maya are a most resilient people.
Roland E. Duncan
The Maya are probably the
best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica.
Originating in the Yucatan around 2600 B.C., they rose to prominence around
A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico, Guatemala, western Honduras, El Salvador, and northern Belize.
Building on the inherited
inventions and ideas of earlier civilizations such as the Olmec, the Mayans
developed astronomy, calendrical systems and
hieroglyphic writing. The Mayans were noted as well for elaborate and highly
decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and
observatories, all built without metal tools. They were also skilled farmers,
clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was
scarce, building sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater.
The Mayans were equally skilled as weavers and potters, and cleared routes
through jungles and swamps to foster extensive trade networks with distant
Many people believe that the
ancestors of the Mayans crossed the Bering Strait at
least 20,000 years ago. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Evidence of settled
habitation in Mexico is found in the Archaic period 5000-1500 BC - corn cultivation, basic
pottery and stone tools.
The first true civilization
was established with the rise of the Olmecs in the Pre-Classic period 1500 BC
-300 AD. The Olmecs settled on the GulfCoast, and little is known about them.
The Mayans are regarded as
the inventors of many aspects of Meso-American cultures including the first
calendar and hieroglyphic writing in the Western hemisphere. Archeologists have
not settled the relationship between the Olmecs and the Mayans, and it is a
mystery whether the Mayans were their descendants, trading partners, or had
another relationship. It is agreed that the Mayans developed a complex calendar
and the most elaborate form of hieroglyphics in America, both based on the Olmec's versions.
Mayans seem to have entered Yucatan from the west. As usual with ancient nations, it is
difficult in the beginning to separate myth from history, their earliest
mentioned leader and deified hero, Itzamn? being considered to be simply a sun-god common to the Mayan
civilization. He is represented as having led the first migration from the Far East, beyond the ocean, along a pathway miraculously opened through the
The second migration, which
seems to have been historic, was led from the west by Kukulcan,
a miraculous priest and teacher, who became the founder of the Mayan kingdom
and civilization. Fairly good authority, based upon study of the Mayans
chronicles and calendar, places this beginning near the close of the second
century of the Christian Era.
the people were divided into four tribes, ruled by as many kingly families: the
Cocom, Tutul-xiu, Itz?ndChele.
To the first family belonged
Kukulcan himself, who established his residence at Mayanspan, which thus became the capital of the whole
nation. The Tutul-xiu held vassal rule at Uxmal, the Itz?tChichen-Itz?and the Chel?tIzamal.
To the Chele
was appointed the hereditary high priesthood, and their city became the sacred
city of the Mayans. Each provincial king was obliged to spend a part of each
year with the monarch at Mayapan. This condition
continued down to about the eleventh century, when, as the result of a
successful revolt of the provincial kings, Mayapan
was destroyed, and the supreme rule passed to the Tutul-xiu
Later on Mayapan
was rebuilt and was again the capital of the nation until about the middle of
the fifteenth century, when, in consequence of a general revolt against the
reigning dynasty, it was finally destroyed, and the monarchy was split up into
a number of independent petty states, of which eighteen existed on the peninsula
at the arrival of the Spaniards.
In consequence of this civil
war a part of the Itz?migrated
south to LakePet?
inGuatemala, where they established a kingdom with their capital
and sacred city of FloresIsland in the lake.
Mayan Classic Period -
Most artistic and cultural
achievement came about during the Classic period 300 - 900 AD. The Mayans
developed a complex, hierarchical society divided into classes and professions.
Centralized governments, headed by a king, ruled
territories with clearly defined boundaries. These borders changed as the
various states lost and gained control over territory. Mayansn centers flourished in
Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The major cities of the Classic period were Tikal (Guatemala), Palenque and Yaxchil?(Chiapas, Mexico), Cop?andQuirigua
(Honduras). For most of this period, the majority of the
Mayans population lived in the central lowlands of Mexico and Belize.
The Northern Yucatan (where present day Cancun is located) was sparsely populated for most of the Classic period with
only a few cities such as Dzibilchalt??nearM?da) and Xpuhil,
Bec?andChicann?nearChetumal). During the 9th century the population centers of
the central lowlands declined significantly. This decline was very rapid and is
attributed to famine, drought, breakdowns in trade, and political
fragmentation. Fragmentation from large states into smaller city-states focused
resources on rivalries between cities including not just wars, but competitions
of architecture and art between rival cities. As the cities in the lowlands
declined, urban centers sprung up in the Northern Yucat? includingUxmal (near M?da).
Anthropologists used to
contrast the "peaceful" Mayans with the bloodthirsty Aztecs of
central Mexico. Although human sacrifice was not as important to
the Mayans as to the Aztec, blood sacrifice played a major role in their
religion. Individuals offered up their blood, but not necessarily their lives,
to the gods through painful methods using sharp instruments such as sting-ray
spines or performed ritualistic self mutilation. It is probable that people of
all classes shed their blood during religious rites. The king's blood sacrifice
was the most valuable and took place more frequently. The Mayans were warlike
and raided their neighbors for land, citizens, and captives. Some captives were
subjected to the double sacrifice where the victims heart was torn out for the
sun and head cut off to pour blood out for the earth.
civilization was the height of pre-Columbian culture. They made significant
discoveries in science, including the use of the zero in mathematics. Their
writing was the only in America capable of expressing all types of thought. Glyphs
either represent syllables or whole concepts and were written on long strips of
paper or carved and painted on stone. They are arranged to be red from left to
right and top to bottom in pairs of columns. The Mayansn
calendar begins around 3114 BC, before Mayans culture existed, and could
measure time well into the future. They wrote detailed histories and used their
calendar to predict the future and astrological events. Fray Diego de Landa,
second bishop of the Yucat?ordered
a mass destruction of Mayansn books in 1562 and only
Post Classic Period - 1000 -
1500 AD - Growth and Ruin
After the Classic period,
the Mayans migrated to the Yucat? Peninsula.
There they developed their own character, although their accomplishments and
artwork are not considered as impressive as the Classic Mayans. Most of the
ruins you can see south of Cancun are from this time period and are definitely worth a
ChichenItza (near Valladolid), Uxmal (near Merida) and Mayansp?(west of ChichenItza) were the three most important cities during the
Post Classic period. They lived in relative peace from around 1000 - 1100 AD
when Mayansp?overthrew the
confederation and ruled for over 200 years. In 1441 the Mayans who had
previously ruled Uxmal destroyed the city of Mayansp?and founded a new city at Mani.
Wars were fought between rival Mayansn groups over
the territory until the region was conquered by the Spanish.
ChichenItza was first populated between 500 and 900 AD by Mayans
and for some reason abandoned around 900; the city was then resettled 100 years
later and subsequently invaded by Toltecs from the
North. There are numerous reliefs of both Mayan gods
including Chac and the Toltec gods including
For some reason the city was
abandoned around 1300. If the Spanish did not make it a policy to kill all of
the Mayan priests and burn books when they arrived in Mexico, we would all have a few more answers.
Post Columbian Period -
Conquest and Rebellion (1500 AD)
On his second voyage Columbus heard of Yucatan as a distant country of clothed men. On his fifth
voyage (1503-04) he encountered, south-west of Cuba, a canoe-load of Indians with cotton clothing for
barter, who said that they came from the ancient Mayan civilization.
In 1506 Pinzon
sighted the coast, and in 1511 twenty men under Valdivia were wrecked on the shores of the sacred island of Cozumel, several being captured and sacrificed to the idols.
The Spanish colonization of
the islands of Hispaniola and Cuba allowed them to launch exploratory forays around the
discovered IslaMujeres in
1517 and sailed down the Yucat?Gulf coast to were he
suffered heavy losses at the hands of the Mayans. Cort?set sail in 1519 and landed in Veracruz. He conquered the Aztecs in a year, but it took
another 20 years to conquer the Yucat? In 1526
Francisco Montejo set out to conquer the Yucatan.
The Mayans fought the
invaders for 20 years, but eventually succumbed. The Mayans were slaughtered
during the battles with the Spaniards, but imported European diseases decimated
the population. The Mayans were moved into villages and paid heavy taxes to the
Spanish government. There were periodic rebellions against the Spanish.
The Yucatan Mayans launched
a major uprising starting in July 1847 called the Caste War. The Spanish were
distracted by the war between the US and Mexico and nearly lost the peninsula. The Mayans attacked
Spanish villages armed by English settlers from Belize and with guns distributed to defend Yucat?s secession in 1846. They
regained 90% of their lands and held all of the Yucat?exceptCampeche and Merida.
At the height of their
revolutionary success, the Mayans inexplicably withdrew to their villages -
reputedly to plant corn for the season. The war with the US ended in 1848 and reinforcements were sent to the Yucat? Where they drove the Mayans back
to Chan Santa Cruz. The Mayans resisted for several years, but disease
and weapons shortages forced them to surrender in 1901.
After 50 years of
independence, their lands became federal territory. In reality, the Southern
and Eastern half of the peninsula remained a virtual no man's land to outsiders
where the Mayans lived almost as they pleased. This changed in the late 1960s
when coastal development began.
Father Alonso Gonzalez, who
accompanied this expedition, found opportunity at one landing to explore a
temple, and bring off some of the sacred images and gold ornaments. In 1518 a
strong expedition under Juan de Grijalva, from Cuba, landed near Cozumel and took formal possession for Spain.
For Father Juan Diaz, who on
this occasion celebrated Mass upon the summit of one of the heathen temples,
the honour is also claimed of having afterwards been
the first to celebrate mass in the City of Mexico.
Near Cozumel, also, was rescued the young monk Aguilar, one of
the two survivors of Valdivia's party, who, though naked to the breech-cloth, still
carried his Breviary in a pouch. Proceeding northwards, Grijaba
made the entire circuit of the peninsula before returning, having had another
desperate engagement with the Mayans near Campeche.
After the conquest of Mexico in 1521, Francisco de Montejo,
under commission as Governor of Yucatan, landed (1527) to effect
the conquest of the country, but met with such desperate resistance that after
eight years of incessant fighting every Spaniard had been driven out. In 1540,
after two more years of the same desperate warfare, his son Francisco
established the first Spanish settlement at Campeche.
In the next year, in a
bloody battle at Tihoo, he completely broke the power
of Mayans resistance, and a few months later (Jan., 1542) founded on the site
of the ruined city the new capital, M?da. In 1546,
however, there was a general revolt, and it was not until a year later that the
conquest was assured.
In the original commission
to Montejo it had been expressly stipulated that
missionaries should accompany all his expeditions. This, however, he had
neglected to attend to, and in 1531 (or 1534), by special order, Father Jacobo de Testera and four others
were sent to join the Spanish camp near Campeche.
They met a kindly welcome
from the Indians, who came with their children to be instructed, and thus the
conquest of the country might have been effected
through spiritual agencies but for the outrages committed by a band of Spanish
outlaws, in consequence of which the priests were forced to withdraw.
In 1537 five more
missionaries arrived and met the same willing reception, remaining about two
years in spite of the war still in progress. About 1545 a large number of
missionaries were sent over from Spain. Several of these - apparently nine, all Franciscans
- under the direction of Father Luis de Villalpando,
were assigned to Yucatan.
Landing at Campeche, the governor explained their purpose to the chiefs,
the convent of St. Francis was dedicated on its present site, and translations
were begun into the native language. The first baptized convert was the chief
of Campeche, who learned Spanish and thereafter acted as interpreter for the
Here, as elsewhere, the
missionaries were the champions of the rights of the Indians. In consequence of
their repeated protests a royal edict was issued, in 1549, prohibiting Indian
slavery in the province, while promising compensation to the slave owners.
As in other cases, local
opposition defeated the purpose of this law; but the agitation went on, and in
1551 another royal edict liberated 150,000 male Indian slaves, with their
families, throughout Mexico.
In 1557 and 1558 the Crown
intervened to restrain the tyranny of the native chiefs. Within a very short time
Father Villalpando had at his mission station at M?da over a thousand converts,
including several chiefs.
He himself, with Father Malchior de Benavente, then set
out, barefoot, for the city of Mani in the mountains farther south, where their success was
so great that two thousand converts were soon engaged in building them a church
and dwelling. All went well until they began to plead with the chiefs to
release their vassals from certain hard conditions, when the chiefs resolved to
burn them at the altar.
On the appointed night the
chiefs and their retainers approached the church with this design, but were
awed from their purpose on finding the two priests, who had been warned by an
Indian boy, calmly praying before the crucifix. After remaining all night in
prayer, the fathers were fortunately rescued by a Spanish detachment which,
almost miraculously, chanced to pass that way.
Twenty-seven of the
conspirators were afterwards seized and condemned to death, but were all saved
by the interposition of Villalpando.
In 1548-49 other
missionaries arrived from Spain, Villalpando was made
custodian of the province, and a convent was erected near the site of his
chapel at Mani. The Yucatan field having been assigned to the Franciscans, all
the missionary work among the Mayans was done by priests of that order.
In 1561 Yucatan was made a diocese with its see at M?da.
1562 - the famous Diego de
Landa, Franciscan provincial, and afterwards bishop (1573-79), becoming aware
that the natives throughout the peninsula still secretly cherished their
ancient rites, instituted an investigation, which he conducted with such
cruelties of torture and death that the proceedings were stopped by order of
Bishop Toral Franciscan provincial of Mexico,
immediately upon his arrival, during the same summer, to occupy the See of M?da.
this could be done, however, there had been destroyed, as is asserted, two
million sacred images and hundreds of hieroglyphic manuscripts - practically
the whole of the voluminous native Mayans literature. As late as 1586 a royal edict was issued for the
suppression of idolatry.
In 1575-77 a terrible
visitation of a mysterious disease, called matlalzahuatl,
which attacked only the Indians swept over Southern Mexico and Yucatan, destroying, as was estimated, over two million
lives. This was its fourth appearance since the conquest.
At its close it was
estimated that the whole Indian population of Mexico had been reduced to about 1,700,000 souls. In 1583
and 1597 there were local revolts under chiefs of the ancient Cocom royal family. By this latter date it was estimated
that the native population of Mexico had declined by three-fourths since the discovery,
through massacre, famine, disease, and oppression.
Up to 1593 over 150
Franciscan monks had been engaged in missionary work in Yucatan.
The Mayans history of the
seventeenth century is chiefly one of revolutions, viz., 1610-33, 1636-44,
1653, 1669, 1670, and about 1675.
Of all these, that of
1636-44 was the most extensive and serious, resulting in a temporary revival of
the old heathen rites. In 1697 the island capital of the Itz?inLakePet? Guatemala, was stormed by Governor Mart?deUrsua, and with it fell
the last stronghold of the independent Mayans. Here, also, the manuscripts
discovered were destroyed.
In 1728 Bishop Juan Gomez Parada died, beloved by the Indians for the laws which he
had procured mitigating the harshness of their servitude. The reimposition of the former hard conditions brought about
another revolt in 1761, led by the chief Jacinto Canek,
and ending, as usual, in the defeat of the Indians, the destruction of their
chief stronghold, and the death of their leader under horrible torture.
In 1847, taking advantage
of the Government's difficulties with the United States, and urged on by their
"unappeasable hatred toward their ruler from the earliest time of the
Spanish conquest", the Mayans again broke out in general rebellion, with
the declared purpose of driving all the whites, half-breeds and negroes from
the peninsula, in which they were so far successful that all the fugitives who
escaped the wholesale massacres fled to the coast, whence most of them were
taken off by ships from Cuba. Arms and ammunition for the rising were freely
supplied to the Indians by the British traders of Belize.
(Lemuel):THE VALLEY NAME AFTER HIM THAT
THE BASENA PEOPLE CALL THEMSELVE AFTER IN HONOUR OF THE LEMBA.AZTECS. When Hernando Cortez and his Spanish
soldiers reached the Valley of Mexico in 1519, they found a splendid city standing on an island in a lake.
Three wide causeways led to huge white palaces and ornate temples on
This proud city was Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztecs. Its grandeur showed their
power and wealth. From the city their armies went out to conquer. To the city
came tribute from subject peoples--foodstuffs, pottery, gold, jade, turquoise,
and ornaments. Beside porters marched captive soldiers who were to be
sacrificed on the altars of Aztec gods.
When the Spanish arrived, the Aztecs ruled
the area from the Gulf of
Mexico to the Cordilleras and southward into present-day Guatemala. However, their emperor, Montezuma II, did not have
a firmly organized empire. When vassal tribes or cities revolted, he had no
governors or standing armies to control them. He had to reconquer
them. This weakness in government helped the Spaniards conquer the warlike
Aztecs in about two years. Cortez was aided throughout his campaign by
rebellious tribes. (See also Montezuma II; Cortez, Hernando.)
The Aztecs had the most advanced
civilization in North America at the time of Cortez, but they did not originate
it. When they invaded the region, they took over the culture of earlier,
advanced peoples-- the Toltecs, Mayas, Zapotecs, and others. The barbarian Aztecs came to Mexico in about AD 1200.
Religion was the great controlling force in
Aztec life. In architecture and sculpture they gave their best efforts to
building and decorating huge temples. They had picture writing, hieroglyphics,
and number symbols with which they recorded religious events and historic
annals. They had learned from the Mayas how to determine the solar year
accurately (see Calendar). With this knowledge their priests kept an exact
solar calendar. An almanac gave dates for fixed and movable festivals and
listed the various deities who held sway over each day and hour.
A trade system linked the far parts of the
empire with Tenochtitlan. Soldiers guarded the traders, and troops of porters
carried the heavy loads, for the Aztecs had no pack animals. Canoes brought the
crops from nearby farms through the canals to markets in Tenochtitlan. Their chief produce included corn, beans, peppers,
squash, alligator pears, tomatoes, tobacco, cotton, and turkeys. Trade was
carried on by barter, since the Aztecs had not invented money. Change could be
made in cacao beans.
Life in the Capital
The Aztecs used their wealth and power to
provide a brilliant life in their capital. Montezuma lived in a splendid
palace. He was surrounded by his nobles and served by thousands of slaves. In
the palace grounds were beautiful gardens and menageries.
The city streets and palace walls were
scrubbed dazzlingly white by sweating slaves. Bridges carried the streets over
the network of canals which laced the city. An aqueduct brought drinking water
from Chapultepec, a rocky height nearby.
Strange floating islands fringed the oval
main island. They were made of mud dredged up from the lake bottom, supported
on a network of branches and water grass. At first, the farmers could tow them
with canoes. Then, as trees sent down roots, they became permanent island
farms, called chinampas.
Farmers lived in wattle-and-daub huts on
these islands. In the older sections of the city officials lived in houses of
stone and adobe. Each house was built around a patio and raised on a platform
for protection against lake floods. Most Aztecs were farmers. There were also
traders and craftsmen.
Training of Children
Custom governed many details of child
rearing--even the number of tortillas to be fed at various ages. Children were
taught courtesy, respect for their elders, truthfulness, and self-control.
Aztec boys learned practical tasks from
their fathers at home, then went to the house of youth
(called telpuchcalli) at the age of 15. Here older
men of each clan taught the boys the duties of citizenship, religious
observances, the history and traditions of their people, and arts and crafts.
Training for war included learning to use the javelin thrower (called the atlatl), bows and arrows, and wooden war clubs with sharp
blades of obsidian. In another school, the calmecac,
boys studied for the priesthood. Girls could learn to be priestesses in temple
Aztec tribes were divided into families and
clans. Each clan had its own elected officials and sent representatives to the
council of the tribe. The council appointed officials to govern the four
quarters (phratries) in which the city was organized.
The council also elected and advised the supreme chief, who led the tribe in
wars and alliances. A second chief supervised internal affairs. Although the
system was theoretically democratic, actually the chiefs were selected from
powerful families. The priesthood had a strong influence in tribal affairs but
probably took no active part in government.
Land was held in common by the tribes. The
council apportioned shares to heads of families. They controlled the land,
however, only as long as it was cultivated. Sections were also farmed to provide
food for chiefs and priests.
Strict laws and courts protected common
citizens and even slaves from many forms of injustice. Crimes and disorder were
severely suppressed. Theft of growing corn was punished by slavery or
The Aztecs worshiped a host of gods who
personified the forces of nature. To obtain the gods' aid, the worshipers
performed penances and took part in innumerable elaborate rituals and
ceremonies. Human sacrifice played an important part in the rites. Since life
was man's most precious possession, the Aztecs reasoned, it was the most
acceptable gift for the gods. As the Aztec nation grew powerful, more and more
sacrifices were needed to keep the favor of the gods. At the dedication of the
great pyramid temple in Tenochtitlan, 20,000 captives were killed. They were led up the
steps of the high pyramid to the altar, where chiefs and priests took turns at
slitting open their bodies and tearing out their hearts.
The Aztecs sometimes practiced cannibalism;
that is, they ate the flesh of their victims, believing that they would then
absorb the virtues of the slain. The sacrificed victims were thought to win a
high place in paradise. The need for collecting captives led Aztec warriors to
seek prisoners instead of killing their enemies in battle. (See also
The Spaniards were horrified by these Aztec
rites, and after the conquest they ruthlessly destroyed the temples in order to
blot out the old faith. The friars who came to convert the Indians to Christianity
and to educate them added to the destruction by burning records and shattering
idols. They frequently built a Christian church on the rubble left when the old
temple was torn down.
History of the Aztec Nation
The Aztecs are believed to have come from
the north. They spoke the Nahuan, or Nahuatl, language. This tongue belongs to
the Uto-Aztecan linguistic stock. It is related to the languages of the Piman and Shoshonean tribes of
the western United States.
Their legends reveal the early Aztecs as a
nomadic farming people, wandering about in search of fertile land. In the Valley of Mexico, they fought with the settled tribes and at times were forced to serve
them. Finally they took refuge on islands in the shallow lakes and founded Tenochtitlan on the site of modern Mexico City in about 1325.
Here they prospered and reached out to win
new lands. They allied themselves with other Nahuatl tribes. Soon the Tenocha Aztecs dominated the Aztec Confederacy. They were
at the height of their power when the Spaniards attacked them. The Indians
living in the Mexico
today are largely descendants of those whom Cortez conquered.
n. [[Sp Azteca < Nahuatl aste:ka
l, after as- la:n , ? name of their legendary place
of origin]] 1 a member of an Amerindian people of what is now Mexico, who had
an advanced civilization before the conquest of Mexico by Cortes in 1519 2 the
language of this people; Nahuatl 3 the branch of the Uto-Aztecan family of
languages to which Nahuatl belongs --adj. designating or of the Aztecs or their
language or culture Also Aztec-an
U-to-Az-tec-an (ytoaztek| n) n. a family of
Amerindian languages of the W U.S., Mexico, and Central America, including,
among others, Hopi, Nahuatl, Pima, Shoshone, and Ute --adj. designating or of
these languages or the peoples who speak them .
3.epi-Olmec (Sam): The epi-Olmec - from 31B.C. - the peoples who subsequently
inhabited the same lands and were probably descended at least in part from the
Olmec, seem to have been the earliest users of the bar and dot system of
(Nephi): NEPHI STARTED THE HISTORY OF OUR PEOPLE IN AMERICA THE NEPHITES WERE BROWN OR RED SKIN PEOPLE WHO DRESS
ACCORDING TO THE LAW NUM 15:32-41 A WING , ANDDEU22:12 A GREAT THE WING ON THE FOUR THAT
YOUR GARMENT TO CONCEALED YOUTHE REASON DEU 8:1-6 AND EX 19:4 THAT WE WOULD NOT
FORGET THE LAW.Toltec,Ancient people of Mexico, warriors who dominated central Mexico from c900 AD to the rise of the Aztecs (12th-13th
cents.). Toltecs were skilled in building,
metallurgy, and the arts. They are believed to have worshiped the sun and
practiced human sacrifice.
tol-) n. [[MexSpTolteca < Nahuatl to:lte:kal , lit., person from to:lla:n
(ancient Toltec city) < to:lin , cattail]] a
member of an ancient Amerindian people that lived in Mexico
before the Aztecs --adj. of the Toltecs or their
culture: also Toltecan.
5.Totonac (Jacob):NEPHI GAVE HIM THE BOOKS OF OUR PEOPLE BEFORE
An Indian people of Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico, constituting with the Tepehua the Totonacan language family.b. a member of
such people 2. The language of the Totonac
a language comprising Totonac and Tepehua
In the rest of the country
the natives were agriculturalists, which allowed the support of dense
populations.Among these were the Maya
of the Yucatan, Totonac, Huastec, Otomi, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Tlaxcalans, Tarascans, and
6.Zapotec (Zoram):Zapotec, Indian people of Mexico inhabiting the eastern and southern regions of Oaxaca. Once an independent nation centered at Monte Alban, they enjoyed an advanced civilization reflecting
Mayan and later Toltec influences. Subsequently allied with the Aztecs, they
continued to flourish until the Spanish Conquest.Monte Alban of the Zapotecsare examples.At
about the same time, the Zapotecs controlled the OaxacaValley and parts of the Southern
Highlands. The cities they
built at Mitla and Monte Alban remain, though they were taken over by the Mixtecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish.
It was at this
time that the Toltec (Nephites) began to move more up into the land of the
Zarahemla and became known as the Pueblo (Josephites).
(Joseph):Joseph (was made priest
and a teacher in Puebla of the (Nephites) nation.Also it was foretold that from his seed there
would come a righteous branch unto the house of ISRAEL and he will be like MOSES in writing and in giving
knowledge of the covenants.Pueblo
Indians,American Indian tribes
inhabiting compact adobe or stone villages in the southwestern US. Of diverse
tribal and linguistic backgrounds, they have similar, settled cultures based on
n. , pl. -los (-loz); also, for 2, -lo [[Sp, village,
people < L populus , PEOPLE]] 1 a type of communal
village built by certain Amerindian peoples of the SW U.S. and parts of Latin
America, consisting of one or more flat-roofed structures of stone or adobe,
arranged in terraces and housing a number of families 2 [P-] a member of any of
the peoples inhabiting pueblos, as the Zuni or the Hopi 3 any Indian
village in the SW U.S. 4 in Spanish America, a village or town 5 in the
Philippines, a municipality; town or township
Chichimecs: were Lamanites (Mayans) that had joined over to the
Nephites (Toltec) of our people.
American Indian cultures in
the area emerged from four subcultures: Mogollon
(north-central Arizona into New Mexico), Anasazi (northern Arizona and New Mexico), Hohokam (the desert of
southern Arizona and neighboring Mexico), and Patayan (Colorado RiverValley). The hallmark of the culture in each was the introduction of
cultivated plants--especially maize, squash, gourds, and, later, red kidney
beans. The plants were probably dispersed from a center in the MogollonMountains. As it developed the Southwestern tradition also included the pit house
and the making of pottery. The pit house ultimately gave way to the
Viking women carried with them the same style of hair
& dress over to the Americas
as remains with the Hopi women.
Indians of the region are direct descendants of the original inhabitants. The
Pueblo peoples that mixed with the Anasazi (Ashkenazi) and Vikings which became
known as the Hopi Indian tribe; the
Pima and Papago from the Hohokam;
the Yuma, Havasupai, and others from the Patayan. The original Mogollon
most likely merged with the other peoples.
The scientists followed the
Anasazi culture from the Basket Maker settlements of AD 100, through Great
Pueblo times when the huge cliff dwellings were built, to the pueblos of today.
Mayans seem to have entered Yucatan from the west. And
this 'Itzamn' a being considered to be simply a
sun-god common to the Mayan civilization. He is represented as having
led the first migration from the East, beyond the ocean, along a pathway
miraculously opened through the waters
of our people that came from the land of Israel to the northern region of the land of Substitute was called the MALANGE or MELUNGEONS people after
their leader (of the house of Mulek son of Zedekiah the last king of Judah).Their
people arrived along the seashore and dwelt in the land called Zarahemla.A few generations later our fathers were
pushed further northward from the original homelands of the Puebla became of the war with the Mayan and ATLEC.So they began to travel farther north and
discovered the people of Judah king Limhi the son of
Noah the son of Zeniff the of Kukulcan
the son of Zarahemla the son of Itzamn that carried
with them the story of what happened concerning the fall of Jerusalem.The tribes separated to the outposts on
northern Africa in Morocco (there mixing with the Berbers becoming known as
Berber Jews).And this is the story of
there journey:As the people scattered
(into present day France) among the Jews of Etrusca
as far as Mount Bego's holy ground in the valley of
Marvels. Henceforth they went to Greece where they were known as the Spartans (1 Maccabees 12:1-19).And
as far as to the horn of the land of Ham where the priest of the town of Ashan [that was town of Simeon in the land of Judah that was given to the priest (Jos. , 19:7; 1Chr. ,
)] settled.They were known there as the Ashanti after the town that the came from.Where the High priest of the breastplate
dwells and wears a gold-emblem turban. They also maintain the language of our
people in their villages.In addition,
they continue to observe the Sabbath (on Saturday) and the holy days of Israel.However,
they continued not with us but wanted for the return of the children of Israel from the Isles of the sea ().Though, the majority of our people went and
settled with the Berbers.
found such in the Atlas
hundred years ago.Especially
interesting are the many groups who call themselves Pelishtim,
"Philistines."They claimed to have been
there since the time of Solomon, and to have a sealed receipt for tribute,
given them by Joab.Their ancestors were
cavern-dwellers for a long time.These
were dependents and protégés of the Berbers among whom they dwelt.Feist observes that
the oldest Jews in Morocco are among the Amazirgh
Berbers in the mountains, and that the "Hole-Jews" of Tunis and Tripoli call themselves Pelishtim.
"In the region reported by Davidson, found the Jewish population called AitMusa, "tribe of Moses," by
the non-Jew Berbers, while the latter were called el-Felistin,
"Palestinians," by the Jewish Berbers because of the tradition that they came
there from Palestine at the destruction of the temple.In Morocco, the Jewish Berber tribes are numerous.The AitMoussa, or Beni-Moussa, "Sons of
Moses," is one of the more notable tribes.But they are not UledMoussa,
"Descendants of Moses." Most of the oases in the desert contain remnants of a
Berber Judaism.Leo Africanus
(1526), a converted Jew wrote that Jewish artisans and traders and jewelers
were on all the caravan roads from Fez to Timbuktu.There was a mediaeval Jewish kingdom called Kamnuria
or Kanuria, north of the Senegal River, and reaching eastward to the Nizar desert, with two cities called Kamnuri
and Naghira.But the sixteenth century African Jew, Leo Africanus,
says that this southwest Sahara aggregation had disappeared by his time.
After joining our
kingdom of Nephi and Nahuatl to the kingdom of Judah (Choctaw, Creek, Chicksaw,
Catawba, Cherokee, Shawnee and Seminole) and the war waged on and we migrated
further northward until meeting the remnant the( Washitaw
)the people of Ether son of Coriantor son of Moron
son of Ethem son of Ahah
son of Seth son of Shiblon son of Com son of Coriantum son of Amnigaddah son
of Aaron son of Heth son of Hearthom
son of Lib son of Kish son of Corom son of Levi son
of Kim son of Morianton son of Riplakish
son of Shez son of Heth son
of Com son of Coriantum son of Emer
son of Omer son of Shule son of Kib
son of Orihah son of Jared also call Aranda and his brother Rupave the
prophet of the people that came out of
the city of shining roofs also called the tower of Babel who story is in the
book of Ether and the book of Sibylline and we learned of the war that destroyed
them, so after hearing their story and them hearing ours (how we have been also
fighting our brother to the point were we were force to flee north).We agreed to join together.