Yucatan Before and After the Conquest

Yucatan Before and After the Conquest by Friar Diego de Landa

One of the books I am reading in preparation for the February 2012 Cruise Devotionals. We will be traveling on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas, chaperoning the 2012 Senior Class Trip. Our travels will take us to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel - the heart of the Maya civilization. This book read like the posts in this blog, choppy, concise and lots of bullet points.

pg. 37 - Mayan prophet Ah-cambal publicly claimed the Maya would be conquered by "a foreign race who would preach a God and the virtue of wood which in their tongue he called vahom-che, meaning a tree lifted up, of great power against the demons."
pg. 41 - Cruelties of the Spaniards Towards the Maya
   - women hung from large trees with infants hung from their feet
   - some hung merely because of their beauty, didn't want the soldiers distracted
   - various body parts cut off
   - used these punishments to instill fear
pg. 59 - Mayan baptismal ceremony (whacking on the head of the celebrant)
pg. 61 - an acute awareness of sin;
   - prayers and incense to gods to overcome specific demons that caused natural calamity
   - pilgrimages to Cozumel and Chichen-Itza
   - made images of many animals and reptiles to represent gods
pg. 62 - Sacrifices and Self-Mortification
   - sacrificed their own blood
   - cut around ears
   - pierced cheeks, lower lip
   - pierced tongue crossways and passed corn stalks through (men did this to their penis - the one that    endured the most pain was considered to be the most valiant)
   - sacrificed animals and human beings
pg. 67 - Punishment for Adultery
   - pardoned or executed by the offended husband
pg. 68 - flattening of the infant head and crossing the eyes
pg. 71 - Ixchel, goddess of childbirth
   - great and excessive fear of death
pg. 74 - fourth world destroyed by a flood (3114 BCE)
pg. 79 - rituals for preventing eye trouble and a prosperity in the new year (squirrels and unembroidered cloth)
pg. 80 - many bad omens if the rituals weren't performed
pg. 82 - ceremony of walking barefoot and naked across hot coals
pg. 86 - rituals to ensure a successful hunt
pg. 89 - rapping the knuckles to ensure craftsman success
pg. 105 - human sacrifice for the major problems, thrown from cliff, heart torn out and/or beheaded
   "From all such miseries may the merciful Lord see fit to free us forever, He who saw fit to sacrifice himself to the Father, on the cross for all men."

pg. 114 - plants, flowers and trees and the usefulness thereof
pg. 127 - Indians tortured, maimed, executed, robbed of property by Spaniards
pg. 151 - center for Itzamna (Osiris) - people came for worship and healing


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