Tag Archives: Mexico

CRADLE OF THE NATION

Standard

cuna

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.

conquista-de-mxico-7-638

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.

Advertisements

AZTEC DRUGS and Herbs

Standard

Psychotropics , herbs and plants used in Prehispanic Rituales

The Indian tribes of Mexico had a Cornucopia of plants to choose from in their natural medicine chest. It was said that after the Conquest (1519 – 1521) that within a 3 or 4 year period the Apothecary shops of Europe tripled in size because of the newly discovered plants that were discovered.

For the most part because of the huge amount of herbs I will stick to the better known  ones that people are familiar with.

In Mexico City at the Museum of anthropology you can see a statue of Xochipilli, the goddess of flowers, dancing and love games. Around the base of the statue you can see different types of plants and flowers.  There are psylicibin mushrooms, tobacco, cacao flowers and white and blue morning glories.

Xochipilli goddess of flowers   sinicuichi   wildtobaccoinarizona

Also pictured is a plant called sinicuichi (sun opener) which causes auditory hallucinations. I would surmise that the priests would eat these to hear what the gods had to say to them

Another well known plant is Toloache or the devils herb as the Spanish called it. It was used to induce visions for hunters to help them catch prey, supposedly.  It’s from the Datura family and the Indians believed it would give them supernatural powers.  I have heard of women on the Gulf Coast (Yucatan) putting it in men’s coffee because they thought it would cause them to fall in love  with them. A very dangerous and potent drug if it’s given in too high a dosage.

the Devil's Herb  Toloache Datura plant

The Huichol Indians  in the USA and parts of Northern Mexico have a ritualistic pilgrimage every year to gather Peyote, an extremely hallucinogenic cactus that causes visions similar to LSD causing them to go into a trance of altered state.

Huichol Indians   peyote painting

Morning glory seeds were also given to natives being counseled by high priests are Shamans. Thirteen seeds would be ground and added to a drink then the patient would be taken to bed and the priests would listen to his “dream” to decide what needed to be done.

morning glories

And of course magic mushrooms , Psylicibins, which are common around the Oaxacan area were used in Aztec times and even now Shamans there perform a ritualist Velada or Wake.

magic mushrooms  images (1) Maria_Sabina tim leary

waltcri-cri/ francisco soler dylan

dancing hippos burning aztec books

An article appeared in Life magazine  in 1957 about the mushroom rituals and many famous people went to try them. It’s chemical composition is very similar to LSD. Amongst home were people like, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger, Timothy O’LearyKeith Richards, Bob Dylan, Alice Cooper, Writer Aldous Huxley and surprisingly… Walt Disney visited well known  Shamaness Maria Sabinas on six different occasions . It was said he would go to Oaxaca and stay a couple of months each year at a hotel near the village.  Much of this is hearsay and hard to confirm but it makes us wonder about Fantasia and Alice in Wonderland Now. Disney did an animated cartoon for Mexican songwriter Francisco Javier Soler. Francisco was known Internationally as Cri-Cri and he wrote childrens songs. Disney said he was a Genius who understood the minds of children.
Many plants were used for their curative powers but the knowledge of many of them were lost when the Spaniards deemed the Codex Books of the Aztecs were demon possessed and ordered thousands of them to be burned.

The Revolution (Part #2)

Standard

 Once the initial volley was over Porfirio Diaz saw he no longer had control & took a steamer to Europe. There were many factions fighting for control, Pancho Villa in the North, Zapata in the South , Carranza & Obregon wound up controlling most of Mexico.

Madero was assassinated by Huerta, Obregon turned against Carranza, Huerta became interim President while conspiring with U.S. Ambassador Henry Lane Wilson. Wilson & Huerta were both alcoholics, bottle brothers fraternity.  The Carranza Government crashed & He & his cohorts grabbed all the gold they could & hightailed it towards Veracruz. To no avail, Carranza was assassinated in Tlaxcalantongo, Puebla.

 Obregon became President and a restless peace followed.

Fransisco Madero

An interesting sidenote: Madero was the first head of state to fly in an airplane.  November 30th, 1911.It was a French plane called a Deperdussin.

Gen. Huerta

General Obregon

General Obregon lost his right arm in the Revolution. One of the great minds, he started educational reform , hired Vasconcelos as Secretary of Education, Mexican Muralism saw its greatest thrust during the 20’s. Obregon was assassinated in 1928 by a fanatical catholic who didnt like the way Catholics were treated. (Seperation of Church & State).

An interesting note: The worlds first aerial bombardment took place off the coast of Sinaloa when a warship of Obregons was being attacked by 2 warships of Huerta. A Mexican pilot in a biplane drove them off by bombing them.

Pancho Villa...easy rider

Here’s Pancho on an “Indian” motorcycle.

Pancho was assassinated

 Machine gunned in an ambush… Pancho was driving a Dodge.. No Japanese riceburners for him. His last words were… Dont let me go this way…tell them I said something…

To see more go to this link to read Historian Jim Tucks account of the Revolution..

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/294-the-mexican-revolution-a-nation-in-flux-part-2