Historical Reprints History Maya Indians of Yucatan

Maya Indians of Yucatan

Maya Indians of Yucatan
Catalog # SKU3642
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Santiago Mendez, Antonio García Y Cubas, Pedro Sanchez De Aguilar, Francisco Hernandez, Marshall H. Saville
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Maya Indians of Yucatan

Santiago Mendez,
Antonio Garcia Y Cubas,
Pedro Sanchez De Aguilar,
Francisco Hernandez

Edited By
Marshall H. Saville

So little has been written in regard to the ethnology of the Maya Indians of Yucatan, and especially concerning their beliefs, which persist to the present time, that we publish here a translation of an important and practically unknown account of this subject. This report was printed in Mexico in 1870, but it is buried in a study by Antonio Garcia y Cubas entitled "Materiales para formar la Estadistica General de la Republica Mexicana."

Larger Print, 16 point font



The character of the Indians of Yucatan is such that, were they to be judged only by their customs and their habits, we would have to qualify them as stupid and devoid of reason. It seems indifferent to them to be in the shade or exposed to rain or to the scorching rays of the sun, even though they could avoid it. It does not matter to them whether they go dressed or naked. They never try to obtain commodities they see other races enjoy, even though the trouble or sacrifice it would cost to get them might be but small.

In order to rest or to chat with their companions they hardly ever sit down: they squat, it being quite indifferent to them that they do it in a sun that scorches them when they might perhaps have shade two steps from where they are. Reward does not encourage them, nor does punishment admonish them; in the first place, they think they deserve more,-perhaps because they were always accustomed to be made use of,-and in the second case they consider punishment as a kind of fatality from which it is quite useless to try to deliver themselves: hence they do not reform. So long as their hunger is stilled, it is quite indifferent to them whether their meal is exquisite and varied, or whether it consists only of tortillas and chile, devouring their food in either case with astounding voracity.

When they find themselves driven by utter necessity, they will work in order to remedy it, but they never do so with zeal or with the desire to improve their fortunes. They are so improvident that they may squander in one day the earnings of a week, in an exaggerated amount of dainties or in superstitious practices, and above all by intoxicating themselves, leaving their families without bread and clothing. Or, they remain idle until whatever they earned by the sweat of their brow is gone. They cultivate a cornfield and gather a good harvest from it, and even though they do not need to do so, they will sell the corn with considerable loss in order to squander the money in splendid repasts and superstitions, both of which always go together. This harvest might insure the subsistence of their family for a whole year, but their improvidence will reduce them within a few days to having to sell themselves for work (peonage).

The love of the parents for their children, of the children for their parents, and between husband and wife, is barely lukewarm, and not at all passionate, if we are to judge from their absolute lack of signs of sympathy, pity, or condolence. They contemplate dry-eyed and rather indifferently the suffering of their nearest, and even their demise, without allowing this to change their demeanor or letting it interfere in the least with their general customs of life.

80 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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