Today Bri and I got to study together. While she was studying English, I was working on history. Somehow I think she got the better end of that deal.
It would seem that most of the information on the Olmecs is conjecture. No one's really sure who they were or why they died off. The only thing they do know for sure was the fact that they carved 'big heads' and did a lot of work in jade. They made carvings, masks, statues and images of what is either werejaguars or the offspring of a human - jaguar mating.
I think I'll go with the werejaguars, or maybe they were babies swaddled in jaguar skins… you never know.
Tomorrow… I start in on the Toltecs.
Today's readings didn't really help but it was interesting to find out that some historians seem to prefer the idea of the Toltec being a creation of the Aztec's rather than their forbearers. To me it sounds more like the academic equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'lalalalala'
The one thing linguists can agree is that Toltec, Tolteca and a few other words with similar roots means 'artisans'
From what I've seen of their artwork, it looks like a predecessor of the Mayan writing. I guess the biggest problem here is the fact that we're relying on the oral history of a dead culture. You just know that's not going to be very helpful.
So… I'm getting really tired of reading about Mesoamerica. Okay, some of it's really interesting but there's no headers saying "Clues here."
From now on, people trying to kill me should issue clear and concise goals along with an itinerary. It will make dealing with them so much easier.
Okay how about 'people following old religions should only choose ones where information is actually available and not pieced together from analysis of ancient artifacts unless it's the fluffy bunny club?'
Well, it would seem that the acolytes of the fluffy bunny club are not listening to my decrees. It's not like I really thought they would but it would be nice. I mean, we did make it through the feasts I feared with no further losses, but they did manage to find some new places to perform their ceremonies.
The lines we drew and the locations we picked out did not take into consideration people digging under the locations… or building over them. As soon as you start going vertical you can pick up a lot of real estate… One of the sacrifices almost made it unnoticed… a simple 'skydiving accident' Yeah they're all about the 3D now.
They should have stuck to bunnies.
Last day of September and I'm under the weather again. I'm not as good at dealing with seasonal changes as I used to be. Between the rain and staying up late reading about every Mesoamerican culture I can come up with I'm not surprised.
At least I had my staying in bed reading all picked out. I'm just wondering what it's going to do to my dreams
I've learned a few things from my readings. First and foremost, if you're planning on reading about psychopathic power-mad blood mages right before going to bed, you might want to reconsider.
Secondly, and probably less practical ,is the fact that there were generally three types of sacrifices people made, or were made of people.
First there were the sacrifices made using captured warriors. Something about their vitality and strength, although I think it also has to do with the fact that there are a lot fewer changes of an uprising if get rid of the potential threats before they become a problem.
Next there were the sacrifices of slaves, not necessarily captured warriors, but sometimes these were chosen because of their abilities to dance or sing or their physical beauty. These were usually made by merchants currying favor.
The final kind were the true believers who took on the role as the 'vessel' for the chosen deity. These people served for a year, learning music and temple dances and would go out with armed escorts so the deity could be among his people. When the year was up the vessel was sacrificed to make way for the next one.
Not an entirely pleasant end, but at least in that case the sacrificee has a say in the matter.
Now, I can tell you with some degree of certainty that our enemies aren't merchants, which is just as well since we aren't buying. Let's face it, they seem pretty intent on killing us for power which pretty much puts us in the first category.
Again, this tells us nothing we don't already know but it does give me a rather simple plan: if we can keep from being defeated, we should be good.
Hey, ya have to start somewhere.
I think I've read too much on the current subject matter and really need to take a break. I'm also pretty sure Case will agree since he's the one I kept waking up the past few nights.
I really should have stopped after Thursday but I still had three books to finish. One of the interesting things is the fact that the cultures I've been reading up on-they're all mentioned in books about the others. You can't find a book on the Aztec that doesn't at least touch on the Toltec or the Olmec or the Mayans, and you can't find one on the Mayans that doesn't mentiond the Aztec. Of course, all of them are considered Mesoamerican cultures and they seem to have built on the empires of each forbearer.
If I ever get my hands on a time machine, I'm going to go back to the Toltec and induct them into the Fuzzy Bunny cult. That's all there is to it.
Copyright 2010 M.T. Decker