Posted On: Thursday - September 27th 2018 5:10PM MST
In Topics:   History  Geography  Race/Genetics
When questioned about their opinions, no participants came forward to comment.
This started with someone bringing up "Apocalypto" again, a 10 year-old movie about American savages that Peak Stupidity discussed in our review Apocalypto Now! recently. I'd promised in that review to later post more information on the recent unearthing of bones that confirmed the old Spanish Conquistadors' reports of savagery by the natives (least at that time) of central and south America. I didn't do much of a search today, but did come across a few articles regarding the practice of human sacrifice (as seen in the movie - don't miss it!). This Guardian article is about Peru in particular and is a couple of years old, and this 6 y/o Telegraph article is about Mexico.
I was surprised to find any National Geographic articles not scrubbed from the web yet, such as this article also on Peru, possibly the heart of the heart-eating district in "meso"-America. My surprise is due to the fact, mentioned here in National Geographic, no more girly pics of the natives ...., that that magazine has gone very much downhill as far as being a source of popular science.* Usually, nothing's worth reporting by that organization anymore if white men are not somehow to blame or at least the WHOLE WORLD'S CLIMATE! is (due to, of course, white men). Wikipedia has fairly organized articles on Human sacrifice in Aztec culture - that's in Ole Mexico - and Child sacrifice in pre-Columbian cultures. Sure, sure, stuff like this happened long ago everywhere, but then most everywhere else are not places that people nowadays revere as the former idyllic lands inhabited by the noble savages ... "savages", yes, "noble", not so awful much. They may very well, in fact, be slobs in general.
Oh, I've got to excerpt this doozy of a quote from the National Geographic, 'scuse me, "NAT GEO" article:
All the dead in the newfound pit were likely willing participants from local communities engaged in a ritual that celebrated death so that "new life could emerge in the world," Klaus said in an email to National Geographic News.>Sure, "willing participants", that's the ticket.
I don't know if things back in the pre-Columbian days were that much less brutally violent in our own part of North America. Many of us do revere that Indians of the tribes in our part of North America. Some of that is simply respect for fierce warriors, not something you'd hear from a 19th-century resident though. Is it just supporting the team - "Our Indians were better than your Indians!" or something? Is that why people are proud to be 1/64th something (usually Cherokee for some reason)? Maybe it's the free stuff and
The term "Meso-America" is mentioned a lot in articles on human sacrifice in history and it means the area from central Mexico south through northern Costa Rica. Things don't change too much over just a millenium or so, as this is still the area with countries that have the highest murder rates you'll (hopefully never) run into in the world. The violent culture doesn't stop until you get down toward the cone (as in ice cream) of South America. That'd be current Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. What's so different down there, you may ask? Maybe it's the climate, but .. oh, yeah, that's right - those places have the most Europeans living in them.
What's been much different for the post-Columbian era in the US/Canada vs. Mexico/Central America/S. America is very simple. Whatever you want to call it, planned or accidental genocide, a clash of cultures in which the one with the brains and technology therefrom was guaranteed to win out, or just overwhelming numbers in the long run, the Europeans in our country (let's just lump Canada in with this) did not mix with the Indians much at all. Until the immigration invasion disaster currently unfolding, this country consisted of 90% Europeans and the full-blooded Indians now are down to a fraction of a percent of the population. During the same 5 century period of development down in the Southern regions, the Spaniards mixed much more (OK, had sex) with the natives. They didn't so much as colonize and develop those nations so much as just conduct a continuous invasion. Look at the results. The people running the places are most as white as a Beverly HIlls golf club, while the large majority, with the exception of the cone, are dark people with a large amount of native blood.
As I'll write more about in a subsequent post that I'm really looking forward to, along with revering our Indian peoples an undue amount since the 1960's, any history of the Spanish conquests of the Aztecs, Toltecs, Incas, Mayans, what-have-you, have been tinted with a rosy view of those native people. Again, we are supposed to believe that they were living idyllic lifestyles with beneficence god-kings as rulers, until those mean, meddling Conquistadors sailed up and ruined everything! The Spaniards surely did some cruel things that should always be un-called for. They were not the enlightened English crowd that came to N. America for religious reasons, for harvesting of the massive resources, or to just have more space. Down south, the invaders treated these natives like sub-humans, but maybe there was some reason for that.
Archaelogoists are starting to learn more details that back up the stories of the Cortezes, Pizarros, and Alvarados. You've got to imagine the Spanish Conquistadors witnessing in person, or hearing current reports of, the sacrificial beheadings, the impromptu open-chest surgeries, and the eating of hearts. Perhaps they felt that those lands were ripe for CUISINE CHANGE.
* It's not just the pics of the bare-breasted natives that were exciting to young men interested in Geography and Science. The magazine showed a world of wonder for young men interested in exploration and discovery, especially if you just plain LOVE MAPS.