Eventually, Columbus understood that the Native Ameri cans on the river bank were hostile toward him. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1974. . Similarly, Juan de Oñate took considerable pains over his 1595 license to conquer New Mexico. The image’s combination of detail and ambiguity have encouraged numerous and varied interpretations, some of which have em phasized its erotic content, others its depiction of Contact as overtly gendered, others its illustration of how Europeans “invented” America.18 Van der Straet’s engraving illustrates the notion that native peoples lacked culture and soci ety through the absence in the picture of native clothing or evidence of per manent settlements. Had the ancient city been the work of foreigners with godlike powers who had settled here, long ages ago?” (Fingerprints of the Gods, 1995: 71). 10. The spiritual and cultural conquests were equally complex and protracted, defying completion to the point of rendering the very concept of completion irrelevant. Gómara, Cortés, 1964 : 19, 88–89, 193; Díaz, Conquest, 1963 : 54, 128; Thomas, Conquest, 1995: 215–21, 338–54. —Christopher Columbus (1500) It is in fact the conquest of America that heralds and establishes our present identity; even if every date that permits us to separate any two periods is arbitrary, none is more suitable, in order to mark the beginning of the modern era, than the year 1492, the year Columbus crosses the Atlantic ocean. For a fanciful ode to the role of horses in the Conquest, which glosses over the vulnerability of Spanish horses in the tropical Americas to colic, worms, and various diseases, see Graham, Horses of the Conquest, 1949. We would like to express our gratitude to all who have contributed to the realization of this, NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES . Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1989. His name was Hernán Cortés.34 The two conquistadors of Cuba had had their differences, but even these stemmed from their patronage-based relationship. An example of the Requirement’s absurdity being a part of its function can be found in Alvarado’s account of his 1524 invasion of Guatemala, written as a pair of letters to Cortés. For this argument laid out with Maya evidence, see Restall, Maya World, 1997: 51–83; for treatments of native cabildos in other regions, see Spalding, Huarochirí, 1984: 216–26, Haskett, Indigenous Rulers, 1991, Stern, Peru’s Indian Peoples, 1993: 92–96, and Terraciano, The Mixtecs, 2001: 182–97. Karttunen, Frances. Terms in this set (7) Myth of Exceptional Men. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984. Helps, Arthur. Cieza de León, Peru, 1998 : 447–66; Sarmiento, History of the Incas, 1907 : 258–61; Prescott, Conquest of Peru, 1847, II: chaps. Such views also gave rise to explanations for the Conquest’s outcome. The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been. Native Americans turned out not to be headless, but they were perceived as many other things that more or less placed them in this intermediary category. Millar, George. Each of the seven chapters articulates a myth about the Conquest, dis sects it, and places it in the context of alternative sources of evidence. Huaman Poma, Nueva Corónica, 1980 ; I have also used an unpublished transla tion of excerpts by James Lockhart. Clendinnen, “‘Fierce and Unnatural Cruelty,’” 1991: 17; Cortés, Cartas, 1983 [1519–26]: 32; Letters 1986 [1519–26]: 50. Notes to Pages 58–62 175 38. Paris: Gallimard, 1988. And in 1524 he took her with him on 84 Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest Fig. The whole affair could easily be seen as a tragic mess of misunderstandings. Tariacuri’s Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State. “Nothingness” is Le Clézio’s term (Mexican Dream, 1993: 5). Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517–1570. According to Díaz, some Cempoalans (Gulf coast natives) exclaim upon learning of guns, “Surely they [the Spaniards] must be teules!” Teules is usually translated as “gods,” but the term is a more am biguous than that. Men’s loincloths were replaced by loose cotton trousers, for example. Their swine and their Culhuas [Mexica] arrived first; the captain of the Culhuas was [a Mexica named] Gonzalo. See the Epilogue for more on the Chontal Mayas, including relevant citations, and for the circumstances under which Malinche returned to their kingdom. There was no campaign to force natives to learn Spanish, for example. 48. References 203 Prescott, William H. History of the Conquest of Peru. Even when, a century and a half later, the Mexican Revolution gave rise to a new discourse on the nation’s past, the myth of Spanish apotheosis persisted under the misguided belief (or pretense) that it was a part of the native perspective on the Conquest.57 The other illustration of the state of the myth in the eighteenth century is found in a powerful parallel English myth known as the Black Legend. Each of these empires was thus caught at a moment when it was least capable of offering effective resistance, and each lacked confidence in itself, and in its capacity for survival in a universe ruled by implacable deities, and for ever poised on the brink of destruction. 68; Landa, Relación, 1982 : 24–25); Restall and Chuchiak, The Friar and the Maya, n.d. 40. 45. Not surprisingly, the interpretation is easily found in older sources (for example, see Helps, Cortés, 1894, I: 227; also cited by Cowher, “A Handful of Adventur ers?” 2001: 2). Pages 241 The most recent publication of this analysis is Lockhart, Of Things, 1999: 98–119, quote on p. 99. This pattern can be seen in the Yucatan as well as in virtually every region of Spanish America. Himmerich y Valencia, “Siege of Cuzco,” 1998: 414–15. Inventing the Flat Earth: Columbus and Modern Historians. Alvarado’s apparent rest lessness was entirely consistent with the logic of Conquest patterns.47 Alvarado’s well-financed expedition brought veterans from the Conquest wars in Mexico, Yucatan, Guatemala, other parts of Mesoamerica, and even the Caribbean, to Peru. For natives, the black role was bittersweet, being both a reminder of African military roles in the Spanish invasion and a parody of that invasion through its rep resentation as entirely African—monarchy included. Harris, Aztecs, Moors, and Christians, 2000: 137. 43. Typically probanzas and relaciones were addressed to the king, although some times other royal officials were approached directly as intermediaries. Ilarione da Bergamo, Daily Life, 2000 : 96. When a group of them rebelled during one expedition, the gover nor, Luis de Lugo, ordered their genitals to be cut off. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001. Such claims be gan with Columbus, who from the outset was keen to convince the crown that he had fulfilled the terms laid out in his contract (known as the Capitulaciones de Santa Fe, after the garrison town near Granada where the agreement was drawn up in April 1492). Latin America—History—Errors, inventions, etc. 11. Vallado Fajardo, Iván. Juan Díaz, Littera mandata, 1520; Gómara, Cortés, 1964 : 57; Díaz, Conquest, 1963 : 26, 28, 30, 32, 64–65, 231; Thomas, Conquest, 1995: 93, 99, 152, 167, 308; Karttunen, “Interpreters,” 2000: 217. I went over a great part of the land and I heard many reports of the gold and [precious] stones that are in it.”5 This was one-half of the formula—the suitability of the region for colo nization. Doniger, Wendy. Natives tended to outnumber Africans, as most of the latter were costly slaves purchased from transatlantic traders.
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