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Inga Clendinnen's Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, PDF

By Inga Clendinnen

In what's either a selected learn of conversion in a nook of the Spanish Empire and a piece with implications for the certainty of ecu domination and local resistance during the colonial global, Inga Clendinnen explores the intensifying clash among competing and more and more divergent Spanish visions of Yucatan and its harmful results. In Ambivalent Conquests Clendinnen penetrates the pondering and feeling of the Mayan Indians in an in depth reconstruction in their overview of the intruders. This re-creation incorporates a preface by means of the writer the place she displays upon the book's contribution some time past fifteen years. Inga Clendinnen is Emeritus student, LaTrobe collage, Australia. Her books contain the acclaimed analyzing the Holocaust (Cambridge, 1999), named a top publication of the 12 months via the hot York occasions ebook evaluate, and Aztec: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1995), and Tiger's Eye: A Memoir (Scribner, 2001).

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Extra info for Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570

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Or were they persuaded, on sufficiently 'rational' grounds, given past experience, that the Spaniards were essentially birds of passage who would, if sufficiently discouraged, remove themselves from the peninsula once more and for good? Probably- as far as the relatively opaque sources permit us to see­ something of each of the last two elements shaped Maya response. Throughout the conquest, whenever the Spaniards made un­ equivocal their intention to settle, by establishing permanent towns and demanding regular tribute, even 'pacified' and previously docile Indians rose in revolt.

They recruited the native warriors of Campeche and Champoton by the neat, economical, and (for the Maya) familiar device of authoris­ ing them to enslave any of the rebels they managed to catch, and the armed bands, each with its contingent of horsemen, went out. By March 1547, though there were still a few pockets of resistance, the revolt had been effectively quelled. Hundreds of Maya were enslaved, and six or seven native priests, assumed to be ringleaders, were burned at the stake, in ugly counterpoint to the Maya ritual killings by fire.

In the early as well as in the later stages of the campaign it was a standard Maya response to withdraw from a threatened town. After the Spaniards had entered unopposed and taken possession of the town, attack sometimes followed, with the attackers being, of course, at a significant disadvantage. These Maya actions, super­ ficially irrational, make more sense when we recall that in traditional Maya warfare the taking of loot and captives, not the possession of places, was the prime aim. The Maya were capable of drawing radical lessons from their experience, as when they signalled their recog­ nition of the Spaniards as a new kind of enemy by their own unprecedented destruction of their precious wells, and the sacred .

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