Here is Part 4 of a fantastic 5-part series by our contributing writer Michal Pawlus, describing in more detail the concession to conquer the Maya Yucatan. You can find the full series linked below.
Standard of the Maya People
Antonio de Ciudad Real wrote in 1588 that when reaching Yucatan they asked the local ruler what the name of this place was, but he did not understand what the Spanish were saying, so he answered uic athan in his language, which meant what do you speak, we do not understand you. So the Spaniards considered this place to be called the Yucatan.
This name is a symbol of a new chapter in the history of this region and the emergence of a new identity on the peninsula. The beginning of the period of political and religious struggle on the peninsula and the feeling of its separateness from Mexico and attempts to create one’s own state. An example would be the seasonal state of the Republic of Yucatan.
This series of articles will focus on the “last days of the Mayans” during the Spanish conquest of the Yucatan, and their effects.
Concession to Conquer the Yucatan is a Pentalogy that has the following five parts:
1. Concession to Conquer the Yucatan: Incomprehensible Language
2. Concession to Conquer the Yucatan: People called Yucatecos
3. Concession to Conquer the Yucatan: Interrogation of Faith
4. Concession to Conquer the Yucatan: Standard of the Maya People (We are here)
5. Concession to Conquer the Yucatan: Green Jaguar
The last political center of the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula was Mayapan, founded after the previous great power on the Chichen Itza Peninsula. She lost the war for domination over the Mayan World.
The period of domination is the period from 1220 to 1440 CE.
A rebellion ensued, during which Mayapán was burnt and plundered, then abandoned by its inhabitants. From then on, the political unity of the Yucatan Peninsula ceased to exist and warring city-states arose.
Mayapan is a symbol of the fall of Maya unity, and the beginning of a period in which there was no dominant political system. This was completed successfully by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. Merida, the political center of the Spanish Yucatan Peninsula, became the “new Mayapan” from which a new religious and social order spread.
The Conquest and Christianization resulted in the disappearance and destruction of the Mayan and entire Mesoamerican codex and artifacts, which are now in demand.
The Mayan legacy was not the first and only victim of this Christianization. Previously, many pagan cultures of Europe were treated similarly and they lost a large part of their knowledge of their pre-Christian history, but still today, messages and memories of Slavic, Celtic, and Scandinavian cultures have survived. Despite Christianization, these cultures have survived to this day.
The destruction of knowledge and culture was not only due to Christianization, or simply religious or social conversion. Often such practices were accompanied by war, such as the burning of the library of Alexandria or the destruction of Persepolis.
The Mayan civilization left behind monumental buildings that are still impressive today and remind you of its existence.
The Great Pyramids, the ruins of ancient cities, make the Mayan culture, like the Egyptian culture, still fascinating, not only of people born in the indigenous areas of these Civilizations. From colonial times to the present day, a population of people who identify with the Mayan culture has survived. They did not share the fate of many extinct tribes and nations such as the Prussian tribes, or the Sumeru and Babylonian civilizations. Sumerian, Ancient Egyptian, and even Roman shamans did not survive to our day, but the Mayan shamans did, despite the Inquisition.
The large Mayan population in relation to the settlers from Europe and the need for their manpower meant that they were not annihilated as a nation. Under such circumstances, the original Mayan elite who wished to save the knowledge and culture of the ancient ancestors did this.
The native Mayan leaders took steps to protect their endangered treasures.
The old books were 23 centimeters high and about 55 centimeters wide, made of tree bark, folded from one side to the other like screens, and painted on both sides with different figures and figures. The men trained in their explanation grew old, and there was no hope of replacing them, as the sons of the masters who would once have been trained to read glyphs were gathered and locked up in the brothers’ schools.
Thus, the new training was directed to the service of the old customs. Men who had learned in mission schools to write in European scriptures and had some access to European writing materials were brought together with the ab-kines and wrote down as best they could, words softly chanted by translator priests while scanned the painted pages, translated so both a way and a form to create the “books” of a new, external European kind.
By the end of the century, most villages hid their scriptures in a new form.
It is known that fourteen have fallen into the hands of strangers over the past century, and some of them have subsequently passed to scholars who have given them the general name “The Book of Chilam Balam” “Chilam” or more specifically “Chilan” means “spokesman” or prophet in the Mayan language, and “Balam” “jaguar”, which also symbolizes royal protection, so they can be called “Jaguar Speakers Books”.
Prophet Balam reportedly foretold the coming of the Spaniards in the 16th century. The book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel is a lot of information about Mayan beliefs and knowledge, but it was written after the conquest, so there is visible Spanish influence, especially in terms of religion. His line drawings are in a native European style that shows the complex movements of stars over time. This sophisticated, complex, esoteric, simple, and elegant design, in turn, was modeled on other systems of meaning and expression of the Maya.
Europeans, confronted with the wonderful dynamics of the Mayan vase paintings, prompted suitably attentive men to notice subtle patterns and stone carvings.
In an elegantly austere structure, they usually refer to the ‘baroque’ and the European culture that was closest to them. This is partially understandable because they were doing it at the time largely for their “archive”, but today’s society would prefer that the Mayan knowledge not be rewritten, but the original manuscripts retained.
This is the period when religiosity begins to be ostentatious and philosophical, people consume religions for show, in order to attract attention and gain prestige, social status and to distinguish themselves from others.
Baroque was the main trend in European culture of the sixteenth century, which was referred to as counter-reformation art representing theocentric mysticism. The rich ornamentation of the Baroque called “application sensuum” was intended to serve the sensual perception of religious and secular content.
Baroque was the era of the spectacle, everything was supposed to be effective and theatrical. Architecture and art were supposed to vibrate with emotional agitation, it is the art of illusion and playing with the observer who is supposed to see something different. The main current of thought that developed in the Baroque was rationalism, which assumed that wisdom could only be obtained through the power of reason, and empiricism, which in turn was based on getting to know the world through senses and experience, which was not entirely compatible with the Mayan culture that was oriented towards more psychic and esoteric to the world.
Writing the sounds of the Maya in European letters. It was a difficult task.
The speaking Mayans made and processed many words with the same sound but with different meanings, leading to a wide range of interpretations.
Later, copyists corrected and added them as they saw fit. It is not entirely certain what the meanings were, this is a dilemma for modern people studying the original bible, where the Greek word could have several meanings. In the Mayan codes, even where the dominant meaning is sufficiently clear, the typical nuance problems still persist. But Spanish colonial documents, lawsuits, reports, descriptions, contain a lot of information regarding the physical and social context, the location of buildings, objects, and gestures in common use.
This information helps to characterize the daily life of the Maya and is helpful for modern researchers in recreating the everyday life of the Maya of their morals and faith from the early colonial periods, but over the thousands of years of Mesoamerican history, the civilization and customs of its peoples continued to evolve just like modern society and the world, therefore the loss of most of the original Mayan manuscripts that may have also belonged to other cultures older than the Maya, makes it difficult to recreate the earlier Yucatan and Mesoamerican civilizations on which the Mayans have grown.
This is a record of the things they did. After it had all passed, they told of it in their own words, but its meaning is not plain. Still, the course of events was as it is written… Still, he who comes of our lineage will know it, one of us who are Maya men…Source: The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumaye
The Book of the Quiche Indians of Central America Popol Vuh, the name of which is translated as “Book of mats” and “Community record”, “Collection of written letters”, Popol meaning “prepared bark” and the article Vuh, “or” from the verb uoch, writes Dr. Guthrie interprets the words of Popol Vuh as “Book of the Senate” or “Book of the Holy Assembly”; Brasseur de Bourbourg calls it “Holy Book” and Francísco Ximénez “The National Book.”
The book is full of philosophical and mystical knowledge of the “Red Children of the Sun” who adore the Serpent Plumèd, who is the messenger of the Sun. He was the God of Quetzalcoatl in Mexico Gucumatz in Quiché, and in Peru, he was called Amaru.
The name Amaru is sometimes referred to as the original word from which the name of the American Continent is derived.
Amaruca is literally translated as “Plumèd Serpent Land. “The Priests of this God of Peace, from their headquarters in the Cordillera, once ruled both Americas. All the Reds who remained faithful to the ancient religion and, they are still under their control. One of their strong centers was Guatemala and their Order was the author of the book Popol Vuh. The Popol Vuh records, which a Christianized Indian developed, called them the Tale of Human Existence in the Land of Shadows and How Man Seen Light and Life.
The ritual contained in Popol Vuh is described in The Neophyte.
In his quest for wisdom, he passes in succession through twelve tests: He crosses a river of blood and then a river of mud, he detects a subterfuge, he enters the house of darkness, then the house of spears, the house of cold, the house of tigers, the house of fire, and the house of bats where he dies.
The body of the neophyte is burned on a scaffold, the ashes scattered on the river, the ashes turn into a man-fish, in which form the initiate, who has completed the cycle, and destroys the evil genius who was his adversary through the initiatory ritual. The twelve Princes of Xibalba who are the Keepers of the Mysteries are of course the zodiacal gods.
These ceremonies are of paramount importance to students of Masonic Symbolism and Mystical Philosophy as they undoubtedly affirm the existence of ancient and God-ordained mystery schools on the American continent.
The fact that abundant evidence shows that when Europeans reached America, many Central and South American civilizations were dominated by black magic priests. According to their perverted beliefs, the neophytes in their search for truth were led by their sinister guides through the tangled corridors of necromancy. Following the path on the left, they descended into the gloomy depths of the hellish world where they learned to impart strength to the speech stones and subtly entrap people’s minds with their songs and fetishes.
The hypocrisy that prevailed was that no one could attain the greater Mysteries until a human being suffered at his hand and the bleeding heart of the sacrifice was raised before the bent face of a stone idol created by the priesthood, whose members realized more fully than they dared to admit the true nature of the creature, by the demon man.
These perversions, which intensified over time, were not the original foundation of beliefs and spirituality.
At the end of Atlantis, black magic and witchcraft dominated the esoteric schools, leading to bloody sacrificial rituals and macabre idolatry that eventually overthrew the Atlantean empire.
In Atlantis, however, there were still people on the right path. After the catastrophe, during the great migration of peoples, when new civilizations were emerging, both groups coexisted. An example is Carthage in Europe, which on a comparable scale as the Aztecs and Mayans in the late period made ritual sacrifices of children. In Mesoamerica, the practice of human sacrifice became the norm after the original civilizations opposed to these practices disappeared, but a group of priests involved in the dark arts made an early conquest of Mesoamerica by implementing their bloody rituals.
The understanding of the Mesoamerican world only by the world found by Europeans in the sixteenth century is, of course, only the finale of the intellectual and religious currents of Mesoamerica at that time.
How great changes can take place in society over the course of twenty or thirty years, each of us can observe.
So the history of Mesoamerica and its social and mental evolution is not well known to science, which is largely speculative. Some monumental structures, great pyramids, may have been remnants of previous civilizations and served for purposes other than blood sacrifices.
This is the end of Part Four in the Concession to Conquer the Yucatan series.
Thank you for reading this article, I encourage you to comment and share your own thoughts on the issues raised in this article. Please read the next article in this series, Part 5 – Green Jaguar – the chapters in this article are At the Mouth of the Well and, Assimilation of the One Almighty God. Below are few introductory sentences:
Chichen Itza is a Mayan city-state that was a regional power between the tenth and twelfth centuries. To this day, it is identified with the Mayan Power, thanks to its magnificent buildings. In the thirteenth century, an influx of Putún groups who are not considered indigenous Maya, but rather Mexican peoples of that period. They won the war of domination with Chichen Itza. The new groups assimilated and lost importance over time, as was the case with the Mayapan that rose after the defeat of Chichen Itza. The history of the outer groups that conquered the Yucatán at the base of the story is similar to the conquest of the Mexican valley by the Aztecs, or the conquest of the Imperial Empire by the ‘barbarians’. The nations that defeated Rome adopted the Roman way of life of knowledge, language, architecture, thus the conquerors became the continuators of the Roman culture that the Spaniards also represented in the new world…
Best regards for all readers,
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Full Concession to Conquer the Yucatan Series:
Part 1: Incomprehensible Language
Part 2: People called Yucatecos
Part 3: Interrogation of Faith
Part 4: Standard of the Maya People
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