Sunday, October 10, 2010

Christopher Columbus Discovers America

This scene from the movie Apocalypto captures that moment when Spain brought civilization to a barbaric culture. WARNING: For Mature Audiences Only.

But then, some revisionist historians prefer to turn a blind eye to what the toltec, aztec, and late-mayan civilizations were up to prior to the Spanish arrival:

Every Drop Counts

For your annual community gathering you could kick it at the Atlcahualo festival. Yeah, this fellowship gathered for the god Tlaloc where child sacrifices took place to favor early rains. You see, at this festival, crying was a good omen. But big boys don't cry. So the civilized Aztecs picked on the ones that would shed tears when their bodies were slowly being ripped apart. If on the way to the shrine these children cried, their tears were viewed as signs of imminent and abundant rains and those that wouldn't would have their fingernails torn off in order to achieve this effect.

Don't believe it? There's evidence. In an Associated Press article subtitled, "Mexican digs confirm grisly Spanish-era accounts" we see that the Spaniards weren't exaggerating when they told of barbaric practices of cannibalism, child sacrifice, and barbaric behavior. According to archaeologist Juan Alberto Roman Berrelleza, "the results of forensic testing on the bones of 42 children, mostly boys around age 6, sacrificed during a drought at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor, the Aztec’s main religious site, all shared one feature: serious cavities, abscesses or bone infections painful enough to make them cry."

But according to liberal modernist historians we're supposed to forget all the sadism and focus on how Spanish Franciscans 'unfairly' introduced Catholicism to a culture that 'already had their own religion'. We're supposed to forget the bloodbath that follows idolatry and focus instead on the deeply 'spiritual' pagans . . . on the art and language of a 'lost and forgotten' culture. Modernists might like us to think that gruesome child slash-fests were better than Catholicism. We're supposed to forget about the medical malpractice of perfectly healthy patients having open heart surgical procedures by unlicensed witchdoctors and focus instead on smallpox. Modernists might like us to think that somehow modern medicine making it to our shores which then developed the vaccine for things like smallpox - the disease often heard from liberals to decry the Spanish arrival - is somehow a greater crime than widespread child sacrifices to an imaginary false god.

It Tastes Like Chicken

Maybe Tlaloc is just an 'extreme example used by Westerners to justify the Spanish invasion'. Okay, let's see a less extreme example in one of their other gods, Tezcatlipoca. Tezcatlipoca’s main feast began when a young man was chosen to be the likeness of Tezcatlipoca. He lived like a god, lavishing beautiful clothing, and eating sumptuously for a year. During the feast where he was worshipped as the deity he personified, he climbed the stairs to the top of the temple on his own where the priests seized him and sacrificed him, his body being eaten later. Sounds scrumptious. Immediately after he died a new victim for the next year’s ceremony was chosen. Hope he tastes better than the last guy.

The Real Genocide

Perhaps I'm just a triumphalist Westerner who fails to see the deeper spirituality of this culture. Fine, let's look at more of the aztec spirituality. Let's take another god, Huitzilopochtli. Huitzilopochtli must have had a high metabolism and it must have taken him great energy to spin the solar system because this guy required near-constant nourishment. But Huitzilopochtli needed something more substantial than Wheaties. He needed nourishment in the form of human bloodbaths to ensure the Aztecs that the sun would survive the cycle of 52 years. For the grand opening of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, dedicated to Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed about 20,400 prisoners over the course of four days. And liberals want to spin history and blame the Spaniards of genocide? Talk about double standard. Let's not forget that many Aztecs defected and joined the Spaniards when war broke out.

Archeological Evidence

Some liberal spindoctors try to blame Spaniards of embellishing the stories of human sacrifice. But thankfully there's something called evidence. Liberals like to say,"okay doggonit, fine the aztecs did that sort of thing, but you leave the "peaceful" mayan culture alone, they were the salt of the earth, the light of the world - the deceitful Spaniards lied just to steal their gold" - so says the revisionist liberal historian. But we now have this annoying little thing called evidence.

We certainly know the aztecs were sadistic. According to anthropology professor Karl Taube, "We know the Aztecs did that level of killing. Their accounts speak of 20,000." But what about the "peaceful" ancient pagan mayan spirituality depicted in the movie Apocalypto?

Both mayan, toltec, and aztec cultures participated in barbaric spiritual practices. There was tremendous Aztec influence by the time of the late Mayan period.

"The Aztecs were clearly ruthless in their conquest and pursuit of sacrificial victims, a practice that spilled over into some of the Maya areas" (Archaeological Institute of America 2007).

In carvings and mural paintings, Harvard University anthropologist David Stuart (2003) said in an article:

"we have now found more and greater similarities between the Aztecs and Mayas – including a Maya ceremony in which a grotesquely costumed priest is shown pulling the entrails from a bound and apparently living sacrificial victim."

Associate Professor William R. Fowler states that for major favors, Mayan worshippers "offered the gods human sacrifice, usually children, slaves, or prisoners of war" (Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2008).

Finally, here's an excerpt from an Associated Press article from 1/25/2005 and decide for yourself, was it the Spanish who performed the atrocities, or did the Spaniards encounter a shockingly savage and barbaric culture and deliver them from their own corruption?:

But there is no longer as much doubt about the nature of the killings. Indian pictorial texts known as “codices,” as well as Spanish accounts from the time, quote Indians as describing multiple forms of human sacrifice.

Victims had their hearts cut out or were decapitated, shot full of arrows, clawed, sliced to death, stoned, crushed, skinned, buried alive or tossed from the tops of temples. Children were said to be frequent victims, in part because they were considered pure and unspoiled.

“Many people said, ’We can’t trust these codices because the Spaniards were describing all these horrible things,’ which in the long run
we are confirming,” said Carmen Pijoan, a forensic anthropologist who found some of the first direct evidence of cannibalism in a pre-Aztec culture over a decade ago: bones with butcherlike cut marks.

In December, at an excavation in an Aztec-era community in Ecatepec, just north of Mexico City, archaeologist Nadia Velez Saldana described finding evidence of human sacrifice associated with the god of death. “The sacrifice involved burning or partially burning victims,” Velez Saldana said. “We found a burial pit with the skeletal remains of four children who were partially burned, and the remains of four other children that were completely carbonized.” While the remains don’t show whether the victims were burned alive, there are depictions of people — apparently alive — being held down as they were burned.

The dig turned up other clues to support descriptions of sacrifices in the Magliabecchi codex, a pictorial account painted between 1600 and 1650 that includes human body parts stuffed into cooking dishes, and people sitting around eating, as the god of death looks on. “We have found cooking dishes just like that,” said archaeologist Luis Manuel Gamboa. “And, next to some full skeletons, we found some incomplete, segmented human bones.” However, researchers don’t know whether those remains were cannibalized.

Crying was considered a good omen

In 2002, government archaeologist Juan Alberto Roman Berrelleza announced the results of forensic testing on the bones of 42 children, mostly boys around age 6, sacrificed at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor, the Aztec’s main religious site, during a drought. All shared one feature: serious cavities, abscesses or bone infections painful enough to make them cry.

“It was considered a good omen if they cried a lot at the time of sacrifice,” which was probably done by slitting their throats, Roman Berrelleza said.

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