Tlaxcala likes to call itself the Cradle of the Nation (Cuna de la Nacion), because during the conquest , 1519 till 1521, many conquistadors “married” native women and the following year gave birth they claim to the first “Mestiza” children. Half Spanish and half native. The first true Mexicans. BUT… in reality by going back aways in time to 1511 we discover that a Spanish ship with explorers sank uff the coast of Yucatan and only two men survived and made it to shore where they were captured and made slaves by the Mayans. Their names were Geronimo Aguilar, a priest explorer and Gonzalo Guerrero a sailor. They spent seven years amongst the Mayans and became assemilated into the tribe and learned the Mayan language. Geronimo the Priest maintained his vows of celibacy but Gonzalo the sailor after a year or so married a native girl and had two children, Thus becoming the father of the first Mestizo children in Mexico.
A few years later Hernan Cortes stopped in Yucatan and discovered them and Geronimo jumped at the chance to be able to return to Spain. But Gonzalo refused to go with them, not only did he stay with the tribe but when other Spaniard treasure seekers arrived he fought along with the natives against the Spanish and ended up being killed.
While in Cempoala, Veracruz, the Spaniards were given some native girls and amongst them was a girl named “Marina” or so named by Cortes, later she was called malintzi,.. she had lived on the Coast and knew Mayan but as a slave moved to the area where Nahuatl language was spoken. When Cortes found this out he had someone who could speak to everyone under Moctezumas power… she could then intrepret it to Mayan and Geronimo would reintrepret it into Spanish. Later on Malintzi would become Cortes’ lover and bear him a son.
It was said that she learned Spanish within 3 or 4 months time. and she was about 17 years of age. An Amazing feat. Although many consider her a traitor and the Tlaxcalans also for teaming up with the Spanish, you have to consider the circumstances of the time.Tlaxcala was surrounded and embargoed for over 50 years and at constant war with the Aztecs, Malintzi had been sold as a slave and it was her chance to break those chains.
After the fall of the Aztecs, Geronimo was granted land by the Viceroys for his participation in the Conquest and Malintzi and her son was given a house in Tenochitlan, Now Mexico City , it can be seen across from the Archeological Ruins of the Templo Mayor in downtown Mexico City. Her son as a young man was involved in an uprising against the Royalty and beheaded.
Cortes abandoned Malintzi and returned to Spain, He was already married to a wealty woman there. He lost all his fortune and died practically in poverty. Fate has many twists and turns.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’re planning an excursion to an old hacienda that raises fighting bulls next October. It was in it’s prime in the late 1800’s with the advent of the railroad. Now it has been restored and it’s one of the best renovated haciendas in the state of Tlaxcala.
Mr. Rojas...Hacienda owner
Here are some photos of our last visit with a group……
A great place to have a wedding or a special party…. they treated us all like family.
While out wandering around the countryside, we went to a town known for its dairy farms looking for cream and cheese. The owner of the dairy store told us there was an old hacienda about a mile away that had been recently renovated so we went to check it out. And he was right, it has been restored to its former glory and is now used for parties, wedding receptions and occasionaly they rent out rooms for overnight visitors. Its really a beautiful place and reminiscent of times that make you think of Zorro.
The dairy store also had flavored wines and canned flavored
pulque (cactus juice).
canned pulquecream of capuchino licor
To see more of the Hacienda go to this link….
cream of capuchino
The State Fair is in full swing and its always a good idea to check Fairs out to see what’s new and innovative. My wife and I went to check it out and it really got crowded. But it was worth going to see the new things, colorful sites, the smells of food cooking on the midway, the animal and art exhibits.
Something different was ostrich meat hamburgers and tacos… it wasn’t exactly my favorite cuisine but it wasnt bad,,presumably its healthier than pork or beef. After eating them I had a strange urge to go hide my head in the sand.
We stopped to see the art exhibit in the Convention Center located on the Fairgrounds, very colorful and interesting.
Artist Carlos Adrian Fernandez
Ostrich meat tacos
Brahma Bull Ride
To see all the photos related to this article go to the following link…..
It looks like I’m back on line so I’ll briefly mention a tour we gave last week to a Pulque Plantation where we saw how cactus juice was extracted from Agave Plants
my new mode of transport
after cutting into the plant and extracting the “honey water” we took it to the brewing vats.
the tlachicuero or extracter
the brewing vats
Everyone got to sample the brew
a large nopal cactus plant
Afterwards we went on a hayride around the bullfight ranch.
Then back to the hotel in Tlaxcala…..
5 star hotel
In August there will be a running of the Bulls in Huamantla , just like in Pamplona, Spain. The Bulls will have a chance at goring drunken tourists before some matador sticks a sword in them. Interesting to watch from a distance, Dangerous to watch if you’re running in front of the bulls.
Huamantla is famous for other things also…know as the “Heroic Town of Huamantla” for repulsing the American Invasion in 1847. A young lady living in the town wheeled a cannon out of her house and fired it at the Invaders killing the leader of the Group, Captain Samuel Walker. Why she had the cannon in her house I don’t know. Maybe the Mexican troops went over for tacos and forgot it. Anyway, Captain Walkers pistol and several other guns or on view in the local museum. Walker invented a revolver, guess he didnt get to enjoy any profits from it .
Also in August along with the fair is the Night when no one sleeps, local arts and crafts workers make over ten miles of carpets from flowers and colored sawdust through the city streets of which they are destryed the next day by the running of the bulls, theres a museum of bull fighters and a puppet museum in town also.
Another feature of the museum is parts of a telescope that was used to make one of the first photos of the moon in 1885.
Moon photo 1885
House from where canon was fired
Capt. Walkers pistol
National Puppet Museum
Telescope parts from 1885