Friday, April 17, 2015


Soft and yet realistic


The stories are interesting but they are not systematic – I mean revealing a real complex system – and we cannot even believe they are authentic. Some are nothing but recollected or remembered historical events and some are real mythological tales. The sources are on one hand the Spanish testimony collected in the 16th-17th centuries, particularly by Fray Diego Duran. And on the other hand what living descendants keep in their folklore or their memory, knowing that most male Aztecs were purely “genocided” and practically only women survived and they were forced to integrated the position of sexual mates to the Invading Spanish soldiers who had killed the male Aztecs. That’s what I call a clear trauma that can only produce a Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Yet there are a few interesting elements and the most fascinating one is the role of women.

The creation of that world is at first seen as the spreading out of the body of a hungry woman  which explains both the female nature of the universe of Mother Nature and the way the universe claims everything and everyone. It is in the very nature of the universe that life should be temporary for death and the return to the universe, to the earth is precisely the end of everything and everyone.

The rivalry between Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, the creator versus the destroyer, the two basic antagonistic principles, is in a way universal but in this book it is not that clearly and enough illustrated.

The coverage of Montezuma is a rewriting of history after it happened and after Mexico had been destroyed and the male Indians exterminated and the female Indians taken as war spoil. “Nearly everyone claims part-Indian descent. . . the original Indian ancestor was in most cases a woman, taken with the spoils of the Conquest.” (page 12)

This probably explains that. The survival or recollection of the past legends and the past was only possible through these women forcibly integrated into the Spanish society and the colonized country.

That explains how the Hungry Woman and other Indian women got transmuted into the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. This explains how the most recent stories about women being forced to be the sexual partners of the Spaniards after having had to face the departure of their men and in the fire of their destruction? The woman left behind when the Conquistador goes home is given some money as if she were a whore. She kills her two sons or when she assumes the identity of Malintzin, she kills her son like some Medea. And in the end she kills hersealf out of guilt – maybe – or out of the simple fact she is alone.

It is like the reinvention of the myth of Medea, a very similar story from another culture. Is that myth universal?

It is this rewriting of stories the genocidal and female filter through which they are collected or received that explains why they sound more folkloric than authentic. In other words this is only a first step in recapturing th real past.


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