❤❤❤ Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica
Literary Analysis Of Langston Hughes, he enticed him to commit incest with his sister. Huge quantities of food, cotton clothing, and feathers, greenstone, and other luxury goods flowed into Technoctitlan as tribute from the conquered territories. After the Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica, the Spanish moved Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica stone a few hundred meters south of the precinct, in a position facing upward and near the Templo Mayor and the Viceregal Palace. When Cortes Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica entered Technoctitlan, Montechuzoma greeted him with the following words:. Culture Overview and Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica to Aztec history Kwame Anthony Appiahs Argument Analysis culture.
Tonalpohualli. Primera parte
Tochtli is the last trecena of the sacred year. It signifies the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. These are 13 days associated with the mystical sacrifice proper to the vanguard of another age: it is an auspicious time, one great workers united in their goals; it is also a dangerous time, one of great risks requiring great courage and diligence. These days remind us of the old god, the first god, who both separates and unites the worlds of dreaming and waking: somewhere between winter and spring, something wakes in the dreaming heart which endures across the span of the cycling ages.
These are good days to focus on the needs of others; bad days to focus on one's own needs. The Aztec, Maya and most other mesoamerican people used the same day calendar with an identical correlation. History for Kids: Aztecs, Maya, and Inca. Back to History The three most dominant and advanced civilizations that developed in the Americas prior to the arrival of the Europeans were the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Inca. It ruled much of the region from the s until the Spanish arrived in Much of the Aztec society centered around their religion and gods. The capital city of the Aztec Empire was Tenochtitlan. The Aztec called their ruler the Tlatoani. Maya The Maya civilization began as early as BC and continued to have a strong presence in Mesoamerica for over years until the Spanish arrived in AD.
The Maya were the only American civilization to develop an advanced written language. Inca The emperor of the Inca was known as the Sapa Inca. Introduction to the Aztecs exhibition: Melbourne Museum. In developing this exhibition, historians, archaeologists and curators drew on primary sources reflecting Aztec and Spanish perspectives, including accounts from people who lived through the Spanish Conquest.
The Aztec Civilization. The Aztec empire was made up of a series of city-states known as altepetl. Each altepetl was ruled by a supreme leader tlatoani and a supreme judge and administrator cihuacoatl. The tlatoani of the capital city of Tenochtitlan served as the Emperor Huey Tlatoani of the Aztec empire. The tlatoani was the ultimate owner of all land in his city-state, received tribute, oversaw markets and temples, led the military, and resolved judicial disputes.
The tlatoani were required to be from the noble class and of royal lineage. New emperors were elected by a high council of four nobles who were related to the previous ruler. In any event, the ruling class brought accomplished artists from many parts of the empire into Tehnochtitlan. Along with native craft workers, they were organized into guilds. In the workshops maintained by those guilds, a distinctively Aztec style of visual representation eventually developed with the support of generous commissions.
This attempt at political legitimacy also reached into the iconography of the artworks. The monuments in particular were elaborately carved with glyphs and symbols proclaiming the supposed ethnic and religious foundations of Mexica power. In addition, the sheer size of the monuments, as well as their generally horrific appearance, was intended to terrify conquered populations into submission.
The project of justifying imperial rule by means of the creation of art was rent by a basic contradiction, however. The god-priest from whom the artistic culture of the paradigmatic Toltecs flowed also prohibited human sacrifice. Moreover, Tezcatlipoca, the enemy who laid him to ruin, was the patron god of war and ruling-class power. The myth of Quetzalcoatl thus registered a contradiction between the creative activity involved in producing works of art and the destruction unleashed by class society, especially through its drive for military expansion. The antithetical relationship of these two forces must have been particularly apparent to the peoples of urban Mesaoamerica.
And yet the Mexica rulers sponsored the creation of artworks in an attempt to establish their right to dominate the Valley of Mexico by force of arms, and to maintain the cult of human sacrifice such military domination entailed. How was it possible for the Mexicas to serve both Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca? They direct our attention to a disturbing entanglement of the violence and exploitation of class society with the cultural achievements made possible by its economic surplus and specialized division of labor, an entanglement that has not yet been superceded.
What is the utopian age projected in the myth of Quetzalcoatl but one in which that connection is dissolved? What is it but a time when the works of culture are freed from their bloodstained ties with barbarism? Its lid bears the image of Quetzalcoatl as the celestial feathered serpent descending to earth. On one side of the box, the god is also represented as a bearded elder dressed in a jaguar skin, holding a spear thrower in one hand and a priest's bag in the other. He is identified by the glyph for 1 Reed, the prophesied date of his return. The opposite side of the box is carved with a relief of Montechuzoma himself in the act of drawing sacrificial blood from his ear. Here the Aztec king appears to be the true disciple of the god who prohibits all but such forms of auto-sacrifice.
But that appearance is false, in spite of Montechzoma's genuine fascination with the reformer of Tula. He could only dread the prophesied return of Quetzalcoatl, who represented a far different principle than the one on which the Aztec empire rested. He knew that the god's appearance would mean disaster for Technoctitlan and its rulers. In the year 1 Reed, Cortes and his men landed at Veracruz. They came from the east. Of course, Cortes was to prove by his actions that he was not at all the mild deity from whom art and tranquil spirituality proceeded. But Montechuzoma's suspicion that the conquistador might be the exiled god or his representative, come at last to reclaim the reed mat that served as the Aztec throne, paralyzed his ability to act decisively against the invaders.
According to the Aztec chronicles compiled after the conquest, the king fell into a deep depression when he first heard about the Spaniard's arrival. He sent his messengers to Cortes with the regalia of four gods and instructed them to dress him in the costume of Quetzalcoatl while laying the other three outfits at his feet. When Cortes finally entered Technoctitlan, Montechuzoma greeted him with the following words:. You have come back to us; you have come down from the sky. Rest now, and take possession of your royal houses. Cortes did not have to think twice about how to use the power that had been given to him so unexpectedly. What follows in the letter is the first significant description. It is a passage worth quoting at length:. And so it was done, and all the chiefs to whom he sent gave very fully of all that was asked of them, both in jewelry and in ingots and gold and silver sheets, and other things which they had.
When all was melted down that could be, Your Majesty's fifth came to more than 32, pesos de oro , exclusive of the gold and silver jewelry, and the featherwork and precious stones and many other valuable things which I designated for Your Holy Majesty and set aside; all of which might be worth a hundred thousand ducats or more. All these, in addition to their intrinsic worth, are so marvelous that considering their novelty and strangeness they are priceless; nor can it be believed that any of the princes of this world, of whom we know, possess any things of such high quality.
And lest Your Highness should think all this is an invention, let me say that all things of which Montechuzoma has ever heard, both on land and in the sea, they have modeled, very realistically, either in gold and silver or in jewels or feathers, and with such perfection that they seem almost real. He gave many of these for Your Highness, without counting other things which I drew for him and which he had made in gold, such as holy images, crucifixes, medallions, ornaments, necklaces and many other things. Of the silver Your Highness received a hundred or so marks, which I had the natives make into plates, both large and small, and bowls and cups and spoons which they fashioned as skillfully as we could make them understand.
He also gave me a dozen blowpipes, such as he uses, whose perfection I am likewise unable to describe to Your Highness, for they were all painted in the finest paints and perfect colors, in which were depicted all manner of small birds and animals and trees and flowers and several other things. There is such a plethora of unusual and masterful artworks that Cortes cannot find the words to capture them:. Most Powerful Lord, in order to give an account to Your Royal Excellency of the magnificence, the strange and marvelous things of this great city of Technoctitlan, I would need much time and many expert narrators.
I cannot describe but one hundredth part of all the things which could be mentioned, but as best I can, I will describe some of those I have seen which, although badly described, will, I know, be so remarkable as not to believed, for we who saw them with our own eyes could not grasp them with our understanding. In this passage, Cortes uses the art of the Aztecs to solve a legitimacy problem of his own. He had initially been chosen by the governor of Cuba, Diego Velazquez, to lead an expedition to Mexico, but Velazquez then changed his mind. Cortes set sail anyway, renounced allegiance to the governor, and claimed that he was under the direct authority of the Spanish Crown as its captain general of the new settlement of Veracruz.
In his letter, he tries to convince Charles V to accept that claim, along with the political and economic authority it entails, by demonstrating that he has discovered a civilization similar to the one Columbus had first set out to find, a civilization capable of generating far more wealth than the simple tribes of the Caribbean with their disappointingly unproductive goldfields. Thus, for Cortes, the primary significance of the Aztec artworks lies in their ability to legitimize his political position in the land he is about to conquer, and they possess that ability because of the role they are capable of playing in the process of accumulating bullion. Cortes demonstrates this role graphically when he melts most of the artworks down and assesses their market value in terms of the quantity of undifferentiated metal that results.
He and his men would repeat this act time and again both during the conquest and after, until they had turned nearly all Aztec works in gold, and silver as well, into featureless ingots. The natives were astonished by the behavior of the Spaniards. They had no unified money economy themselves, and although they possessed local currencies such as cacao and cotton textiles, gold was not one of them. The Aztecs did reserve gold as a luxury material for the use of the priests and warriors of the upper class, but did not deem it as precious as greenstone or quetzal feathers. Most importantly, for the Indians, the wealth embodied in artworks had a concrete functional meaning: it communicated religious and historical ideas and experiences and supported traditional status hierarchies.
It helped to define the proper place of human beings in the social and spiritual realms. From the native point of view, the frenzied quest of the Spaniards for the metallic repository of abstract exchange-value was detached from any meaningful human purpose. It could, therefore, only appear bestial. The truth is that they longed and lusted for gold. Their bodies swelled with greed, and their hunger was ravenous; they hungered like pigs for that gold. They were like one who speaks a barbarous tongue: everything they said was in a barbarous tongue. It appears in Sahagun's compendium, which consists in materials gathered in the s.
By that time, nearly all Aztec works in gold had already found their way into the melting pot, and the process of primitive accumulation was forced to turn to other, more intensely barbarous methods. Now it was necessary to generate gold and silver by means of the forced labor of the Indians. Even while he is reducing most of the treasure to ingots, he sets aside representative samples to send to Charles V. Undoubtedly, the primary purpose of the collection is to serve as evidence of the truthfulness of his account of the Aztec world. Above and beyond their monetary value, he regards the Aztec objects as priceless. That is, he does not believe that their worth can be calculated in terms of exchange-value. He appears to recognize both that he has encountered a society which he cannot fully understand, and that the visual culture of that society deserves admiration.
Unfortunately, this recognition is fleeting and without consequence. To begin with, no sooner does Cortes register the uniqueness of Aztec art than he subsumes it under categories of European aesthetic evaluation. He praises the artworks for being realistic representations of natural objects, such as trees, small animals, and birds. When he writes his letter, the Italian Renaissance is already more than a century old and is beginning to influence the art of countries to the north of Italy. However, it is doubtful that Cortes is judging the Aztec objects from the vantage point of the geometry-based naturalism of Renaissance perspective.
His aesthetic framework probably derives, rather, from the less systematic naturalism of late mediaeval art. Some Aztec artworks, especially small stone carvings and metal castings of animals, do indeed fit more or less comfortably within that framework. Precisely those works involve iconographic conventions and patterns of formal arrangement that the Spaniards were not in a position to understand, and which they often indeed found grotesque. By viewing Aztec art through the filter of European naturalism, Cortes makes it intelligible to both himself and Charles V, but at the cost of filtering out its uniquely Aztec character.
The subjection of Aztec art to standards of European aesthetic evaluation has a more ominous corollary in the order Cortes gives to the native artisans to replicate holy images, crucifixes, medallions, even dinnerware on the basis of his drawings of Western models. His purpose in relating this event is to demonstrate in yet another fashion the skillful craftsmanship that has developed under the Aztec division of labor. Given time, the local artisans are fully capable of mastering the craft techniques and visual idioms of their guests from across the ocean. Once again, this seems to entail the recognition of a high level of human accomplishment. But what we see here is also the beginning of the substitution of European culture for the indigenous one.
In the years ahead, that substitution would become a primary instrument of colonial subjugation. In this respect, primitive accumulation of capital occurred quite differently in America than in Europe. Both before and during the conquest of the New World, thousands of Spanish peasants were forcibly removed from the land so that the economically progressive stratum of the nobility might use it to graze sheep for the international market in wool.
But such dispossession took place at the hands of an established ruling class and within the context of language forms, religious observances, family structures, modes of visual representation, in short, an entire culture shared with the peasantry. In the New World, the conquerors needed to solidify their dominant position in a society that already had a ruling class of its own, and whose population far outnumbered the aspirant rulers.
The Aztec visual arts were an especially important target in this process. Consider, for example, one of the few painted books to survive the conquest and its colonial aftermath, the so-called Codex Fejarvary-Mayer. The codex is a set of fifteen divinatory almanacs, the first of which unifies all the others. The basic design of the initial almanac consists in a Maltese cross with a square in the center. Each of the four arms of the cross represents one of the cardinal directions. Each is painted in a different color and contains its own configuration of elements, consisting in a tree with a bird perched on top, flanked by two deities. In the eastern quadrant, which is at the top of the image, the sun is rising. In the western quadrant, located at the bottom, it assumes the appearance of a death's head, as is fitting for its night-time journey through the underworld.
Northern and southern quadrants are positioned on the right and left respectively. The remaining square represents the center of the cosmos and is occupied by Xiuhteculhtli, the ancient god of fire and the hearth. He is armed with spears and is in the act of receiving four streams of sacrificial blood. The streams originate, not in the cardinal sectors defined by the arms of the Maltese cross, but in four inter-cardinal sectors, each of which contains its own plants and birds.
The total pattern comprised by the eight sectors is itself divided into twenty segments, each of which is marked with the glyph for one of the day-names of the sacred calendar: Alligator, Jaguar, Deer, Flower, Reed, and so on.Columbus was What Is Naturalism In Willa Cathers O Pioneers? in nearly every aspect of his Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica of the Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica, but nowhere more glaringly than in his Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica of their material culture. The formula by which the two calendars were combined Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica that no one date would be repeated for a period of 18, days. Tridimensionality and perspective is absent. Yet for all their justified reputation among their Indian contemporaries as ruthless and bloodthirsty warmongers, the Tonalpohualli: The Sacred Almanac Of The Mexica also appear to have been conflicted about their sacrificial obsession.