Sons of the Shaking Earth

Sons of the Shaking Earth

Eric R. Wolf

Language: English

Pages: 324


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Wolf drew on anthropology, archaeology, history, and geography to mold a magnificent, sweeping, and beautifully written synthesis. With style and deep personal engagement he unraveled the complexity of Mexico and Guatemala's past with its multiple ethnicities, many languages, and environmental diversity. . . . Armies of graduate students have challenged many of the details, but the book stands as a monument to a time when social scientists were able to think large thoughts and write elegant English"—Foreign Affairs, Significant Books of the Last 75 Years.

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fruition. Yet artis- a culmination, a fruition of art forms; Theocratic period tic style is is inherently difficult to express in words, just as cult to evaluate. It is all too easy to let oneself be very it is diffi- guided by Occidental notions of fulfilment in art, and to associate Classic florescence with so- and purity of line, while ascribing decadence to a love for riotous Mesoamerican priestly art possessed at least two great artistic styles which we could call the Mexican and

foothills of the western escarpment, bordering on desert to the east. The pivotal center of this zone seems to have been La Quemada, a fortified hilltop site southwest of the city of Zacatecas. La Quemada combines the features of a fortified temple center with pyramids, ball court, and walled courtyard. Even farther north, at Chalchihuites, lies a smaller unfortified Quemada site, a sort of outlier of the stronghold. Sixty-five miles north of Chalchihuites lie other small ceremonial centers

travels toward the south (18 inches of rain- year at Progreso, 35 at Merida, 48 at Valladolid, 83 fall a until at Belize), each increment of water delivered to the land recreates the condi- tions of the tropical rain forest. This forest separates the peninsula of Yucatan from it become its Middle American base; so dense and impassable does communication is concerned, the peninsula is that, as far as almost an island. A belt of hot swampy jungle and grassland, crossed by slow,

Hummingbird-on-the-Left became a Spanish St. James riding down upon the heathens; a Tlaloc, a Christian Senor de Sacromonte; a God of the Cave, the Lord of Chalma; and Our Lady Spirit, the Virgin of Guadalupe. The Catholic Church drove out the priests of the old gods and manned 170 the pivotal points of the religious hierarchy with men ordained in its own cult. It destroyed the old idols and put an end to human sacrifices, burned the sacred picture books and relegated to oblivion much

take maxi173 Conquest of Utopia mum advantage of the opportunities so offered. orders and secular clergy made Its division into holy where an advance guard was needed to establish new beachheads of the faith, while a rear-guard took over and consolidated the gains. The friars were the advance guard; the abiding missionary work of the sixteenth century for great flexibility in a situation which laid the basis for all later religious efforts was probably carried out by no more than one

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