The real story of the Mayan encounter with the Spanish, based on newly revealed eyewitness accounts
Our familiar images of Mexico's conquest are powerful and enduring: bold and bloodthirsty Spanish conquistadors; nobly savage Aztecs lamenting their broken bones and spears; the battles of Cortés and Montezuma; enormous pyramids and exquisite gold and jade ornaments unearthed in "the land of the sun."
But one story has not yet been told—and it is one that could reshape our entire vision of the conquest. It is the story of the Spanish creation of a colony in the Yucatán, home of the Maya since ancient times. Maya Conquistador tells this tale through a collection of unique firsthand accounts—most of them previously untranslated from the original Mayan hieroglyphs—written from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. In it are surprising twists: the conquistadors are not Spaniards, but Mayas reconstructing their own sophisticated governance and society; and the conquest is not one event, but a story of the survival of a vital and complex civilization evolving over centuries of contact with the Spanish and other peoples.
Out of this new chapter in history, the Maya emerge not as passive victims of the Spanish, but as astute observers of their own past and participants in a rich tradition of cultural resilience. Their story is exciting reading to all who are fascinated by the Maya, and it offers rare insight to anthropologists, historians, and students of Mayan and Mexican civilization.
"The author's scholarly introduction puts the texts in proper perspective, making this a book for both specialists and anyone interested in ancient civilizations."
—Dallas Morning News
At last, the Mayas' perspective of the Spanish Conquest! Evocative and poignant. -Susan Schroeder, author of Chimalpahin and the Kingdoms of Chalco "Matthew Restall has discovered the lost world and re-awakened the silent voices of Maya conquistadors. Now everyone can read some of the surprising sources he has wrested from neglected archives, which make colonial society vivid and intelligible as never before." -Felipe Fernï¿½ndez-Armesto, author of Before Columbus and Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years
"Now joining The Broken Spears in importance. . . . Maya Conquistador is provocative and highly recommended. It will undoubtedly alter previous views of the relationship between the Mayas and the Spanish conquerors of the Yucatan." -James C. Harrison, Multicultural Review
|Maps and Figures|
|List of Abbreviations|
|Contexts and Conquests||p. 1|
|Recontextualizing Calamity||p. 29|
|The Maya Accounts of the Conquest of Yucatan||p. 51|
|The Insinuated Conquest: The Chontal Account from Acalan-Tixchel||p. 53|
|Conquest as Chronology: The Annals of Oxkutzcab||p. 77|
|The Community View: The Calkini Account||p. 82|
|Maya Conquistadors: The Pech Accounts from Chicxulub and Yaxkukul||p. 104|
|The Cruel Cycle: The Accounts from the Books of Chilam Balam||p. 129|
|A Hybrid Perspective: The Accounts by Gaspar Antonio Chi||p. 144|
|The Politics of Conquest: The Letters of the Batabob to the King||p. 151|
|Conquest as Negotiation: The Perspective of Petitions||p. 169|
|Glossary of Maya and Spanish Terms||p. 235|
|List of Historical Figures||p. 237|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 30th August 1999
Publisher: Beacon Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 15.88 x 22.86 x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.36