Re: Diaz & Sacrifice

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Fri, 31 May 1996 00:39:36 +0000

On 31 May 96 at 7:35, Phil Young wrote:

> John and Mike,
> There are several references in the chronicles of Bernal Diaz del
> Castillo to human sacrifice. The translated version of the
> chronicles that I have before me is by Albert Idell, published in
> 1956. I consider this a good translation. Many of Diaz del
> Castillo's statements do not make clear whether he was eyewitness or
> just reporting hearsay. One passage, however, that occurs on p. 86
> of the Idell translation seems to be an unequivocal eyewitness
> account.
> "Every day we had seen four or five Indians sacrificed,
> their hearts
> offered to the idols and their blood plastered on the walls. The
> feet, arms and legs of the victims were cut off and eaten like beef
> from the butchers'."
> Is this what you were looking for?

Thank you Phil. No that's not quite what we were looking for. I
believe that statement by Diaz may have been refering to prisoners
of war. The section we are looking for is Diaz's description of what
he, as you seem to concur, was "hearsay" regarding the mass
sacrifices he thought occurred several years before the arrival of
the Spanish farmers (?).

It may of also be of interest if you could relate the section, when,
after Cortez's frist battle with a large Indian force near present
day Veracruz, and the alliance that was, ironically, thus forged, the
description Diaz gives to the Indian's taking of prisoners of war,
which prompted Cortez's men to petition Cortez on a policy defining
the nature of their alliance with an Indian force which, instead of
butchering (?) their foes like "honorable men" on the battleline,
would abandon the battle line (as if annihilation was not the object)
and executed their foes immeadiately behind the battle lines (to say
nothing of their always leaveing a way out for their foes to excape
into the direction from which they came).

If I remember correctly, Cortez asks his men to spend the night
thinking about what they want to do: discontinue the alliance or
prohibit their allies from not butchering on the battle lines. The
vote was for prohibiting anything other than butchering on the
battle lines, and with such Cortez makes it an official policy to,
not only, do so, but also ignore the Indian's proclivity to not do so
anyway, and, instead, destroy everything heathen , which amounted to
everything, except melted down silver and gold. Thank you...

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")

"A teepee is a pyramid, isn't it?"

Pyramid="fire (pyre) in the middle (amid)"