Re: Zapatistas -- culture not capitalism

8 Dec 1994 18:49 CST

In article <3c7e25$>, writes...
>In article <>, writes:
>> In article <>, (JAMES BENTHALL) writes:
>>>In article <>, (Milo Gardner) writes...
>>>>What Sub-commandant Marcos holding out for is a broad range
>>>>of political empowerments, beginning with the respect for
>>>>pre-Columbian cultures --
>>>I agree with much of what you said (although I don't know if Marxian economics
>>>were "proven wrong" being that there has never been a country on the planet that
>>>actually *practiced* such--particularly the Soviet Union) but I want to point
>>>out that there are NO pre-Columbian cultures. How can you have pre-Columbian
>>>cultures in post-Columbian times? You can't.
>>>However, many people make this mistake. Westerners, in particular, seem to
>>>look on indigenous communities as if their "ancient relics from the path" that
>>>never changed, timeless people inhabiting a bygone era. PBS recently aired a
>> (...remainder deleted)
>> Anyone care to comment on the Huichols as an example of a contemporary
>> "pre-Columbian culture?
>> r. leary
>The Huichols, while more removed from mainstream Mexican society than many
>groups, still have extensive contacts "outside", not the least of which is sale
>of those "traditional" handicrafts. This is not to assert that Huichol culture
>is the same as mainstream Mexican culture. Obviously it is not. However, it
>is not the same culture that Huichols had in 1521 (of course, in 1521, they were
>in contact with people like the Mexica (Aztecs) of Tenochtitlan, who sent
>traders all over northern Mexico and the American Southwest).
>The point of asserting that there are no "pre-Columbian" cultures anymore is
> 1. There has been extensive contact between all indigenous people of
> Mesoamerica and representatives of the dominant culture. This contact
> has led to an exchange of technological items and ideas.
> 2. Almost 500 years have elapsed between now and pre-Columbian times.
> Over 500 years, any culture changes. More importantly, we cannot
> predict how a given culture will change.
>Once again, this is not to assert that all people in Mexico share a single
>culture (the dominant one). I merely assert that there are no "pre-Columbian"
>cultures, nor have there been for hundreds of years.
>Julia Smith
>University of Pittsburgh

Not since Columbus. :)