However, the Mayas continued armed revolt against the Spanish into the 18th century, and after an interruption, into the early 20th century under Mexican jurisdiction. Lands owned in common by the Mayans were taken and given as land grants in the form of haciendas to either the Catholic Church or to Spanish noblemen , interfering with the means of subsistence of the Maya. The Maya population was forced to work as slave labor for the conquering Spanish, while all traces of their cultural world, particularly temples and writings, were systematically destroyed by the Spanish. The Itza kingdom was the last independent Maya state, submitting to the Spanish in Guatemala only in
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However, the Mayas continued armed revolt against the Spanish into the 18th century, and after an interruption, into the early 20th century under Mexican jurisdiction.
Lands owned in common by the Mayans were taken and given as land grants in the form of haciendas to either the Catholic Church or to Spanish noblemen, interfering with the means of subsistence of the Maya.
The Maya population was forced to work as slave labor for the conquering Spanish, while all traces of their cultural world, particularly temples and writings, were systematically destroyed by the Spanish. The Itza kingdom was the last independent Maya state, submitting to the Spanish in Guatemala only in Canek was born Jacinto Uc, but apparently adopted Canek to show a relation to past kings of the Itzas with that name.
For a number of years he worked as a baker. On November 8 he had an argument with the parish priest from Tixcacaltuyub , who was in Cisteil to say mass. Canek threatened to kill the priest, and the priest complained to the authorities. The following day, while the priest was saying mass, Canek raised a false alarm of fire, apparently to empty the church so that he could kill the priest. The priest, however, was not killed. By November 12, Canek had been accepted as a leader by almost the entire population of Cisteil.
On November 19 or November 20, , after a religious ceremony in the church, Canek spoke to the assembly in Maya : My beloved children, I do not know what you await to shake off the heavy yoke and laborious servitude in which the subjugation of the Spanish has placed you.
I have traveled through all of the province and have inspected all of the villages and, considering carefully the usefulness the Spanish subjugation has brought to us, I have not found a single thing but painful and inexorable servitude The demand for tribute is not appeased by the poverty that locks up our comrades as in a jail, nor is the thirst for our blood satisfied by the continuous whippings that bite and tear our bodies to pieces.
On November 19, Diego Pacheco, a Spanish merchant, arrived in Cisteil intending to collect some debts. He knew nothing about the changed situation there.
They were armed with three rifles and some spears. After a short dialog between Canek and Pacheco, the merchant was killed. On that same day Canek was crowned king by his followers. His followers went to the church and removed the statues of the Virgin of Guadalupe , along with other sacred objects. To inspire loyalty among his followers, Canek told them that he had been given magical powers and the aid of five brujos medicine men. This ceremony accomplished its aims of endowing the newly crowned king with both royal and supernatural status among his people, attracting even more followers.
The Indians were expecting him. In the skirmish that followed, Captain Cosgaya, five of his soldiers and eight Indians were killed. Canek told his followers that the ultimate victory of the Mayas was already written in Chilam Balam manuscripts. The rebels were meanwhile preparing their defenses and attempting to expand the rebellion to nearby villages. The Spanish force of soldiers met Canek and his cohorts on November 26, in the plaza of Cisteil, where Maya were arrayed in two entrenched lines.
In hand-to-hand fighting, the better-armed Spanish triumphed. The village was burned, and Indians were said to have perished in the blaze, including eight priests or leaders of the rebellion. Canek himself escaped with a small guard, fleeing to Huntulchac. There he assembled a force of about men who had also escaped from Cisteil. But Canek and about followers were then apprehended at Sibac. Canek was condemned to death, to be "tortured, his body broken, and thereafter burned and the ashes scattered to the wind.
Eight confederates were hanged. On the following days sentences of lashes and mutilation loss of an ear were carried out against other participants.
This was considered necessary because the Maya lands were agriculturally poor, and huge areas had been confiscated by the Spanish, leaving the Maya on the verge of starvation. The governor also considered that failed conversion of the Mayas to Roman Catholicism along with leniency towards Maya culture contributed to the rebellion. Crespo thought cultural celebrations were a danger to future peace in the region because they preserved the memory of ancient rites of the Maya religion.
He also believed that the rebellion against "God and king" was not spontaneous, but had been plotted for more than a year. This time the Maya were well organized and determined to drive the Spanish and Mestizos , their mixed-blood descendants, into the sea.
This last rebellion continued until the early 20th century. See also.
Jacinto Canek: Biografía y Rebelión
19 cosas que tienes que saber de Jacinto Canek, el héroe maya que retó a la Iglesia