By Inga Clendinnen
In what's either a selected learn of conversion in a nook of the Spanish Empire and a piece with implications for the knowledge of eu domination and local resistance in the course of the colonial global, Inga Clendinnen explores the intensifying clash among competing and more and more divergent Spanish visions of Yucatan and its harmful results. In Ambivalent Conquests Clendinnen penetrates the pondering and feeling of the Mayan Indians in an in depth reconstruction in their evaluate of the intruders. This re-creation features a preface via the writer the place she displays upon the book's contribution long ago fifteen years. Inga Clendinnen is Emeritus pupil, LaTrobe collage, Australia. Her books contain the acclaimed analyzing the Holocaust (Cambridge, 1999), named a most sensible ebook of the 12 months by way of the recent York occasions e-book overview, and Aztec: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1995), and Tiger's Eye: A Memoir (Scribner, 2001).
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Extra info for Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570
Scattered through the forest, they had watched, and killed when they were able. After five years of fighting it seemed their resistance was at last at an end. An unknown number withdrew, as the Maya had done and would do again in other times of foreign intrusion, first to provinces not yet subjugated, and then, as Spanish pressure increased, to the swamps and lagoons of the southern rainforests, the independent ltza kingdom at Lake Peten, or the remote zones of refuge which were to offer sanctuary to those other irreconcilables, the Maya rebels of the Caste War of the mid nineteenth century, when once again the Maya demonstrated their hatred of foreign masters.
They learnt that a town which had once welcomed them with gifts might on their next entry greet them with arrows. Even more bewildering, if less dangerous, that order was sometimes reversed. 7 More frustrating, especially for Spaniards, who at least officially placed a high value on the binding power of oaths, the Maya seemed to suffer from selective amnesia. Treaties and agreements were forgotten when the actual physical presence of the Spaniards was withdrawn, leaving battles to be fought and submissions to be exacted all over again.
Any human settlement meant there was a cenote somewhere in the vicinity, and there were many others hidden in the forest. Local Indians could sometimes be forced to tell where they were, though some chose to remain mute, and died silent, and some of those who spoke then led the Spaniards into ambush. Sometimes increasing! 11 Direct attack, when it came, was chillingly effective. 12 Land and people denied the Spaniards opportunity to display their distinctive forms of courage and audacity. The subjugation of Yucatan demanded not heroism, but a kind of dour tenacity little valued and therefore little practised in Spanish performance.