Some years after being shown these sacred books, Landa, in his official capacity and in company with his fellow Franciscans, was to burn as many of them as he could discover, together with any other sacred objects which came into his hands, precisely because they were so cherished.Yet what's good is Clendinnen tells the reader how Montejo began to take note of tribe reactions when he claimed to be from another section of the peninsula. Several attempts of conquest met with resistance, although the Maya had very bad projectile weapons compared to the muskets and cannon of the conquistadors. The intercourse between the two peoples was characterized by mutual incomprehension and frequent antagonism. We still do not know whether the human sacrifices actually took place; this book is as much history as meta-history, like Jonathan Spence's The Question of Hu: we have documents, but do not know, what to make of them, other than the background of the time and place that they reveal. He will bleed. He somehow managed to befriend Sotuta chief Nachi Cocom, who had long been leading resistance against the Spaniards. Quiijada obliged. Although Landa labelled it an episcopal inquisition, the enquiry bore little resemblance to established inquisitorial forms.
But without any firsthand or even secondhand personal accounts, the overwhelming sense is of a history lost to us forever, and of peoples that can only be seen through the massive distortions of unreliable and uninformed accounts.
Yet Landa was utterly intransigent and Quijada helpless.
Franciscans conducted a series of investigation in —for the discovery of idolatry etc. Make the first, and on the second turn take up your bow, fit the arrow to the string. Nancy farriss Hispanic American historical review, vol. Admittedly there were quite a few friars previous to the inquisition that defended the natives from excessive abuses of the encomiendas a type of feudalism enforced by the Spanish.
Why the Indian defeat? Certainly both that of the Franciscans and the Maya possessed them. Landa became increasingly draconian whenever signs indicated that conversions and practices might not be wholly sincere, or worse, that some pagan practices might be persisting in secret.
Francisco de Toral Toral came to view the confessions as pure fictions, and that the torture victims had all given the same explanation for them: they had been speaking the truth honestly before the fathers and because when they did not believe them they ordered them hoisted for the torture, they had decided and agreed among themselves that all should speak of deaths and sacrifices lyingly, as soon as they were asked about it, counselling one another and understanding that by this method they would escape the said torments and prison.