Tuesday, July 08, 2008

the persistence of memory


It is a situation that persists.

Mayanist Michael D. Coe, in the concluding chapter of The Maya, capping off the following paragraph:

This last period was marked by the emergence of a new cross to be borne by the Maya: the invasion of their lands, villages, and towns by a class of ladinos. Hispanics or hispanicized citizens who occupied all the lucrative and politically powerful positions in largely Maya territories; they were the shopkeepers, the labor majordomos, the schoolteachers, the judiciary, the Catholic priests. They spoke Spanish rather than the Indian "dialects" (as the Maya languages were pejoratively thought of), they dressed in Western clothes, and they generally held themselves to be superior to the native peoples.

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