Category Archives: NEWS

General Information About Mexico

Knitting in Tlaxcala with Juanita

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This is an old blog, our dear friend Steve passed away and we sure do miss him. Patricia returned to their home in Wisconsin. Really great friends.

Silversard@Genuine-Tourist.com

Our gracious host, Juanita, is very talented.  One such talent is a style of knitting that does NOT use knitting needles, but only fingers and is very “rapido.”  At our “Welcome Party,” she presented MsSardo (Patricia) with a recent sample of her knitting.  See following . . .   

 So, the ladies wanted to know how to make such nice clothing so quickly.  If you are interested, read on . . .

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PREHISPANIC DEITIES

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PREHISPANIC DEITIES
One of my favorite archeological pieces, which dates back about 800 years, was found near the Cacaxtla Archeological Zone, When you see the name you´ll know why it´s my favorite.
Known as Coxcox , (Maybe it was an ancestor?) , the god who gave humans speech, sometimes called teocipactli the lizard lord who along with his wife Xochiquetzal (feathered flower) were the originators of humanity.

Coxcox
This statue is located in the Regional Museum of Tlaxcala.
In this same museum we find other pieces such as Ehecatl, the god of wind, with an elongated mouth that looks like he is blowing out candles.

san Jose=cathedral=museo regional 037

 

There is also a Chaac mool, several chaac mools have been uncovered in Mexico , some of Mayan Origen and others of Mexica or Aztec Indian tribes. Mayan Chaac mools can be distinguished by the fact they are looking over their right shoulder where as Mexica Chaac mools are looking over their left shoulder. This one was found in the town of Nativitas, Tlaxcala. The first one was discovered by accident at the Chichen Itza Archeological zone.
archeologist Augustus  Plongeon       san Jose=cathedral=museo regional 042

As it was covered with a red dust the natives called it the red warrior. It is considered to be a divine messenger, my friend Carlos says it was the equivalent of UPS . However the packages they delivered back then were usually human hearts.

MOCTEZUMAS NIGHTMARE

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Moctezumas Nightmare

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 Moctezuma, The emperor of the Aztec Empire, )called Montezuma in English, but whose name was really Motecuhzoma, to difficult to pronounce by either English or Spanish had a foreboding feeling about the future  and his superstition was one of the many factors that caused the fall of the Aztecs.

 

 The Aztecs believed the God Quetzalcoatl )The plumed Serpent= was a white skinned god with a red beard and that he had went to the east and disappeared but had left a message that he would return in the year One Cane of the Aztec Calendar.

 

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About ten years before this date many things happened in Tenochitlan that were considered to be ill omens. All of these  were recorded in the ¨Florentine Codice¨.

There were eight events that caused great apprehension and fear throughout the empire.

First of all a shining light was seen in the sky to the east that seemed to be a comet with drops of fire falling from it, It could be seen at nightfall till dawn for several months.

 The second omen was when the temple of the god of war burst into flames and was reduced to ashes .

The third disaster came when lightning struck the temple of Tzommolco, a part of the Main Temple. It occured on a clear day  and the witnesses to it said strangely enough there was no accompaning thunder.

The fourth presage was fire that fell from the sky with a rattling sound. Shortly thereafter a fifth event occured when the water of the lake started boiling and it overflowed the banks damaging many houses.

The sixth omen came on several nights when the emperor could hear a womans voice coming from the lake as he stood on his terrace, crying out mournfully… saying: “ My children, my children, where have they been taken?”     Moctezuma sent out search parties but they found nothing. After the conquest this story was told many times and I believe it is the basis for the myth of the crying woman. A tale that is still prevalent and used to scare disobedient children with the threat that the crying woman will come for them if they misbehave.

The Weeping Woman

 

The seventh and strangest omen came when a group of fishermen caught a crane in their nets that had a shiny mirrorlike stone embedded in its head. It was presented to the King and when he looked at it he said he saw stars, the constellation of Taurus, groups of agitated men and men riding on deers. (note: there were no horses or draft animals in preColombian Mexico) . He looked away and called his astrologers but when he looked again the images had vanished

The eight omen it was said that deformed persons had been found wandering the streets a person with two heads was seen.

 

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Moctezuma asked his astrologers and prophets what all these things meant and they said it signified the end of the empire and the return of Quetzalcoatl. All of these things cast a shadow of depression and gloom upon the land.

 The year one cane (1519 A.D.) was fast approaching and the Emperor was sure that the plumed serpent would return.  The stage was set for disaster.

So we ask, Did Moctezuma see a vision and forecast of the Spanish coming??

 

THE RISE OF TENOCHITLAN

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The Rise of Tenochitlan

the plumed serpent

    the plumed serpent   

God of War

God of War

Tlaloc the rain god

Present day Mexico City sits atop the ruins of the Aztec Empire. The Spanish systematically destroyed many things such as the templesand buildings and used the stones to build their own Colonial Empire. The Aztecs had thousands of pictographic manuscripts recordind their history , customs, astronomy, medicine and other things all of which were burned by the Spanish priests because they looked demonic. Only 13 codices remain. Now archeologists and anthropologist struggle to piece this puzzle together as to what went on in the Aztec world.

About 1325 nomadic Aztecs left a place called Aztlan or the place of seven caves and arrived in the area of what we now know as Mexico City. At that time it was a huge lake with a small island in the center . The high priests saw an eagle with a snake in its mouth alight upon a cactus and decided this was a sign from the gods that they should settle there.
Within a hundred years they had built a society that dominated the Central Highlands all yhe way to Guatemala, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.
It was a society of Priest warriors who demanded tributes )taxes= from surrounding sedentary tribes.
An exception to this rule was the tiny Republic of Tlaxcala, a confederation of regions ruled by four kings who would meet to discuss important decisions.
They informed the Aztecs that they had never paid tributes to anyone before and they had no intention of ever doing so. This arrogance couldn´t be tolerated by the Aztec rulers and there was a continuous state of war, raids and skirmishes between them.
Although they were outnumbered by about 20 to 1 , the Tlaxcalans were fierce fighters and managed to hang on to their sovereignty.
Tenochitlan had a population of around 200,000 inhabitants. In spite of their warlike nature they developed culture, art, music, architecture and had a well organized society. They made great buildings and sculptures without the aid of metal tools, the wheel or draft animals.
But there was a sickness eating at the soul of this civilization, the sickness of human sacrifice and an oppressive government that subjigated its subjects many of whom were just waiting for a way to get out from under its heel.
The main deities that the Aztecs worshipped were Quetzalcoatl (The Plumed Serpent), Tlaloc (The Rain God), and Huitzilapochtli (God of War), and others, all of which had a great thirst that could only be quenched with blood About 10,000 people a year were sacrificed to these gods, and on special occasions even more.

And this was the situation just prior to the arrival of the Spanish.