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Meso America

Essay by   •  November 25, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,140 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,124 Views

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Civilization in the western hemisphere existed long before Christopher Columbus reached the Americas. The customs, language, and religion was different then the Europeans. The Aztecs were the ones who came in contact with the Europeans. Their history lasted from 1300-1521 CE. The Mayan society was from the year 200-900 CE.

Hernan Cortes along with the Spanish army of five hundred, and thousands of Indian warriors declared war with the Aztecs. Moctezuma believed that the person coming towards his land was Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl who was forced into exile, but promised to return. Topiltzin was born in the year ce acatl, departed during ce acatl. Coincedently Cortes came in the year of ce acatl, unfortunately for Moctezuma having his guards down and his arms open during the start of the war.

The Mayan interpretation of the cosmos included a plethora of gods: some benevolent, others malignant; some unattainable, others close at hand. Defining past, present and future, it concerned itself with death, the afterlife and reincarnation. Itzamna was a Mayan god that represented the earth and sky. This god was there to produce vegitables. The Aztec beliefs were very similar to that of the Mayan civilization. Both societies were very similar in their belief of gods, sacrificing, and wars. The ritual of human sacrifice was infulenced by the Toltec tradition. Praying, sacrifice, speaking in metaphors were all forms of speaking with dieties. The calendar was very accurate, more accurate then the calendars that we follow now. Europeans thought that Mesoamerican people were wild people because they were cannibals, believed in many gods, and "enjoyed sex".

Carrasco shows that sacrificing was key to the Mesoamericans. Their entire belief is through world renewing, world making, and world centering. Both Aztecs and Mayans revolved their society around structures that they thought was centered around the universe. Each one believed that their society revolved around the universe. Sacrifices such as autosacrifice, removing the heart while the person was still alive was a daily ritual with the Aztecs, and Mayans. The purpose for public sacrificing was to feed the gods and make the them happy with their people. The type of people sacrificed was the beautiful and the captured warriors after a war. The beautiful was sacrificed because the gods didn't give any distinct quality to be remembered for such as a disfigured face. The ugly would never be sacrificed, they were thought to be gifted. They were treated special, the ugly was more sexually attractive by both genders. Another group that would be sacrificed was the losing team in a sports game. The losing team would be worshiped and the winning team would envy the losing team. Both the Mayan and Aztec society was about sacrificing and warfare. At one point people believed that the Mayan civilization was peaceful until the findings of arts that showed how bloodthursty they actually were.

The belief in the imago mundi made the Aztec and Mayan Era complete. Time was very important in their society. The ca lander was very precise because of how evolved they were with their math. At different times of the cosmos different types of ceremonies were held and different types of sacrifices were made. The cosmos revolved all around a human such as the head was linked to the "heavenly water," the heart was thought to be with the "lower heavens," and the liver was connected with the "underworld". Time and the cosmos were interlocked for Mesoamericans. There was a time of the gods, time of humans, and the time before there were gods.

Cortazar shows Mesoamerican beliefs about space, time, underworld, upper world, tonalli, and teyolia through his short story. Tonalli is the source of energy, the original or the strongest source of energy comes from Ometeotl the supreme dual god. The teyolia was the human

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