I guess this is an “Old Americas” kind of day. Here’s what I was looking for, an old ethnography
Bernardino was sent to Mexico to spread the true faith. While he was there he lovingly and systematically set about gathering accounts of a world that was dying out, in order to preserve this knowledge for future generations.
It’s known as the Florentine Codex. Written for over forty years until 1590, it consists of 2400 pages. This is the most important source for the study of Meso-American history.
I sense people are still licking their wounds after that Darwin post. Cheer up, you’re an orchid.
“THAT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SAY IN POLITE SOCIETY!”
Anyway, it looks like this Codex might have a bias to it
Cortés and the Franciscan friars that arrived a few years later would map out an intellectual history of idolatry.
There’s something kind of farcical to this- a diversity of sectarian faiths, Franciscans (1520s), Dominicans (1520s), Augustinians (1530s), and Jesuits (1570s), were trying to teach the Mexicans about “the one true God”. Nonetheless, it must have worked, because some 97% of Mexico identifies as Christian today. No more human sacrifices, when is Spain going to receive its thanks?
The indigenous peoples didn’t believe in good and evil like Europeans
“good” and “goodness” were harmonized with the Nahuatl terms cualli and cualiztli, from the transitive verb “to eat” (cua). “Bad” (acualli) and “badness” (acualiztli) were not new categories, but only negations of the original nouns.
You might think of the double-meaning of “taste” here. Or how their gods were zoomorphic rather than anthropomorphic. This is symptomatic of a hunter-gatherer people. We might expect that the Olympian pantheon was zoomorphic initially, before it evolved.
Cualiztli can be translated as “efficacy” beyond just “eatability”. There were heated debates among the Christians whether this term could be used synonymously with “goodness”. Hate to say it, when a brown person says a show or something is “good” I have to conclude they don’t often have the same definition of “good” in mind that I do. They use English words to mean different things than whites. Am I a “dirtbag” for saying these things? The alternative to saying these things is accepting that “goodness” will gradually be distorted back to its primitive meaning.
The bearded, white strangers do seem like gods in this sense
Educating Indigenous children to be trilingual and learned in scholasticism and humanism was seen as the end goal and successful result of Christian instruction.
Cortés ushered in a veritable death of god in Mexico. And that was probably a good thing.
The prologue to book 1 of the Codex is from Augustine’s City of God
The physician cannot with certainty apply the medicines to the patient without first knowing of what imbalance or from what cause the illness proceeds
I don’t have to show you that gruesome clip again from Gibson’s Apocalypto to give you a concrete idea of why their native beliefs were immediately seen as idolatries, do I?
This is so relevant for the modern world
If Nahuas continued to venerate their own deities and believe non-Christian ideas through a Christian contour, ascertaining what those idolatrous things were was of primary importance.
They speak English, and that’s about it. That’s the extent to which they’ve been civilized. If our culture begins to gradually subscribe to their idea of “goodness” we will revert to barbarism (which we have).
The Jewish version of “Justice”? AHAHAHA! A woman’s version of moderation? I don’t think so, toots. Oh right, I was only supposed to be speaking about brown people’s versions of “goodness”. Just a coincidence that these other two fell into that discussion. A pleb-white scrub’s version of “bravery”? Puh. All these words people use are tainted and don’t mean what they’re supposed to mean. They might as well worship zoomorphic gods, only understand efficacy rather than true goodness, and only have taste as it applies to eating. Modern day savages, and many of them have white skin. Posts like this one are “indigestible” to them.
How I feel everyday with my own coethnics