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Latin American Indians Mayas Toltec Aztecs Incas Other Cannibalism Skull Hunters
The Aztec Calendar is not a simple
calendar, but a cosmological interpretation of the Earth and Stars periods and movements. It is in Mexico City, a huge single carved stone with 12 feet of diameter, weighing 12,000 pounds, more accurately called "Stone of the Sun", because it is an image of the cosmogony depicting the 5 ages of "suns" of the universe. It has 7 "circles": The second one, shows 4 squares signifying the 4 ways the Earth has been destroyed: By the Jaguar (by monsters), by Winds, Storms, and Water (the Deluge). The first circle shows the god "Sun", with the tongue out, meaning he needs human blood, so the humans on Earth will not be annihilated again. The next 5 circles show the ways of the stars. The last circle are 2 Serpents, whose tails meet at the top The Aztec Calendar Aztec Calendar
Latin American Indians:
The Indians from Mexico, Central and South America live in the Continent for over 5,000 years with 51 tribes and more than 30 different languages. They were very industrious and artistic people, with strong family and community ties... very joyful, with beautiful songs and dances to celebrate the feasts of the gods, and to enjoy themselves... they had incredible knowledge of astrology, mathematics, writing... and very pious. About 25 million of them still live their ancient traditions in syncretism with Christianity... in 1996 23 Maya-priests were ordained in Guatemala, after centuries of no Maya priesthood. Their religious view is "animistic", in the sense that the Indians see the world as peopled by spirits, souls, ghosts and witches capable of inflicting harm if the proper ritual precautions are not taken. Omens, dreams, and talismans are of great importance.. as all animistic societies, they have many gods, the sun, moon, serpent, jaguar... and often, the emperors themselves were gods. This polytheism is totally prohibited in the Bible, because "there is only one God, and other gods are devils or idols" (Psalm 96:5).
The Bible also condemns very strongly all kinds of astrology, divination, magic, witches and Spiritism, saying that it is "abomination to God", and orders "to stone them to death" (Deuteronomy.18, Leviticus.20)... because to put your trust, and give yourself to an idol, another god, is like the wife who trusts and gives herself to other man who is not her husband... the sin of idolatry, is called in the Bible "prostitution against God", the greatest sin! (Lev.20). The Indian culture is so much appreciated, that only in Mexico there are 13,000 archeological excavations going on today.
They have lived in Guatemala and Mexico for about 3,000 years... and their ceremonial centers totally collapsed in 869 AC without any known reason. The capital was in Guatemala; Palenque, in Yucatan, is the most beautiful Maya site; near Mexico City, Teotihuacan is an immense ceremonial center and city, with the two tallest pyramids in Indian architecture, the sun and the moon; hundreds of feet of walls covered with magnificent frescoes have been uncovered. Their pyramids, unlike the Egyptians, are not burial places, but ceremonial centers to worship the gods, and make feasts in their honor... in their special basketball courts, a game may last several days, and the winner is to be killed and offered to the god, pulling out his heart. Contrary of what has often been claimed, the Classic Maya practiced human sacrifice on an extensive scale; torture followed by decapitation was most common on the evidence of pictorial ceramics, but heart sacrifice has also been depicted on the monuments. Some of their gods are, "Itzamna", the supreme creator, and the lord of fire and of the heart; in its serpent form, is the one hold by the rulers in the ceremonies. The Feathered Serpent, Kukulcan; and the God-K, with a baroquely branching nose, also is held as a scepter in the ruler's hand. La Cultura Maya Beautiful pictures of the Pyramids
In 975 a.C. the Toltec warriors from Tula, near Mexico City, move to Veracruz, beat the Mayas and established themselves in Yucatan, at Chichen-Iza, which had earlier been a Maya ceremonial center; they also settle at Mayapan (987), and Uxmal (1007). They lasted until 1200 a.C. They practiced human sacrifice and the use of the "tzompantli", the rack where the skulls of the death were hung.
The Aztecs came from Aztlan (white land), in northern Mexico in the 12th century. They were also called the "Tenochca", and the "Mexica", from Metzliapan (Moon Lake); from Tenochca came the name of their great city, Tenochtitlan, in the actual Mexico City; and Mexica, was applied to the capital, and to the whole nation. In 1521 the last Aztec leader, Montezuma II was killed, and the great Aztec Empire fall to the
Spaniards, under Hernan Cortes. Pyramid like temples to the Aztec gods stood in the heart of Tenochtitlan, and each year about 20,000 of human beings were sacrificed to Aztec gods, specially to Huizilopochtli, the god of the sun and war; their heart was torn out and offered to the god. The Aztecs, believed that, as a people, they had a divine mission to prevent the fifth destruction of the Earth. They believed the 4 previous destructions were caused by the death of the sun, and the way to prevent his new death was by sustaining the sun with human hearts and blood. Aztec religion heavily emphasized sacrifice and ascetic behavior as the necessary preconditions for approaching the supernatural. Priest were celibate, and were required to live simple, Spartan live. They performed constant self-sacrifice in the form of bloodletting as penitence, by passing barbed cords through the tongue and ears. The Aztec approach to contact the supernatural was through a complex calendar of great ceremonies, which were held at their temples and were performed by the priests that acted as intermediaries between the gods and the human beings. In all ceremonies were offerings and sacrifices to gain the gods' favor and theatrical dramas of myths by masked performers in the form of dances, songs and processionals. Each god has his special ceremony, and they had many gods!, so the calendar was full... The Aztec's was the religion of the Sun; but Tlaloc, the god of rain, had the same rank as the god the sun... after death, the good go to a tropical paradise; the bad, to a cold and dark hell. Look at the Aztec Calendar on the top page
In 1200 A.C. the Incas were established in their capital, Cuzco, Peru; by 1450, they had conquered may tribes, Chancas, Chimu... and by 1450 their glorious though short-lived civilization extended to all the Andes, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia... where still millions of Indians speak the "quechua" language. In 1532 Francisco Pizarro, with 180 men, conquered the Incas. They had no writing, but their records were kept through use of the "quipu", a series of knotted strings, whose color, and position of the knots served as a memory to recall important events. For their buildings, they carved huge stones, as heavy as 200 tons, and they were so perfectly carved that fit together without any mortar; in places, not even a knife blade fit between the stones of their temples, as in Machu Picchu, in Cuzco, or Pachacamac near Lima. In 1450, Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui invented a state religion based on the worship of a creator-god called Viracocha, Lord Instructor of the World, the Ancient One, the Old Man of the Sky. Viracocha was the protector on the Sapa Inca, the Emperor. Inti was the Sun-god; Apu Illapu, the
rain giver; Mama- Kilya, wife of the sun, was the Moon Mother, regulator of women menstruations. Inca religion is an admixture of complex ceremonies, animistic beliefs, various forms of fetishism (believe in objects having magical powers), and nature worship, culminating in worship of the sun. The priests would offer sacrifices mainly of white llamas, and, after chewing coca leaves, summoned the spirits to speak, -"which they did"- by "ventriloquism". The "fire" provides spiritual contact. And before any ceremony, "divination" was, as with the Romans, the prerequisite of all action: Arrangement of coca leaves, taking coca leaves as a narcotic, studying the lungs of a sacrificed llama... Humans also were sacrificed: 200 children might be immolated when the Sapa Inca took power... defeats, famine, and pestilence all called for human blood... The "Chosen Women" were sworn to perpetual chastity... and after death, those who did good, "do not steal, do not lie, don't be lazy", would go to live eternally to the sun's warmth; those who did bad, would go eternally to the cold earth. See The Empire of the Incas Lost City ... Incas Cuzco - Capital of the Incas, Machuu Pichuu - The
OTHER LATIN-AMERICAN INDIANS:
Spanish Jesuits set up missions among them, forcing them to give up warfare and cannibalism.
Most of the modern population of Paraguay is descended from these Indians and can still speak the Guarani language. In Chile: The "Araucanians" resisted conquest from the Spaniards, and maintained their independence through the colonial period. When Chile became independent, the Araucanians became citizens. In Argentina: The "Puelche" of the Pampa learned to ride the horses brought by the Spaniards, and these shy Indians became great and feared warriors just like the Comanche and Sioux of the North American plains. In Colombia and Central America: The "Chibchan" tribes often buried gold ornaments with their chiefs, believing in the life after death; robing Indian graves has been common for centuries. In Colombia, war seems to have been especially vicious, to obtain captives to eat and for sacrifice. In the Caribbean and Brazil: It is little known about the native Indians, much of what is known is about the religions lived by the slaves brought from Africa, mainly the Santeria, Palo Mayombe and Abaqua in Cuba, the Hoodoo in Haiti, the Macumba, Candumble and Umbanda in Brazil, already commented in the African religions. All these Indians were polytheistic, with many gods, spirits, and rites, using amulets, fire...
When the Spaniards and Portuguese came to America found much cannibalism and skull hunters, mainly in the forest areas. The name was given by the Spaniards to those who ate human flesh in the New World. It was done to obtain the strength and character of the flesh and blood of the person eaten... it was fought and forbidden by the missionaries. It has been reported among all the major racial groups, in the tropics, the temperate zones, and the Arctic regions; in simple and complex societies; and among hunters and agriculturists. The most frequent rationale for cannibalism has been found in its association with magical and religious beliefs. In West Africa ate the dead to honor them, while another Africans ate human flesh as a magical rite to insure success in trading ventures. In Melanesia, the dead were eaten in order that the living might incorporate their spirits. While in Australia and Polynesia human flesh was considered such despicable food that the eating of it was done to show extreme contempt for an enemy group. It has been reported among the Eskimo and other hunting people.
They would reduce the skulls to the size of a fist, and have them hung as trophies of war. Many of them are in the Indian Museum in New York. HOME