Extermination Quotes (displaying: 1 - 10 of 61 quotes )

Most of what's known about religious practices in pre-Hispanic Mexico has come to us through a Catholic parish priest named Hernando Ruiz de Alarcn, one of the few who ever became fluent in the Nahuatl language. He spent the 1620s writing his "Treatise on the Superstitions and Heathen Customs that Today Live Among the Indians Native to This New Spain". He'd originally meant it to be something of a "field guide to the heathens" to help priests recognize and exterminate indigenous religious rites and their practitioners. In the process of his documentation, though, it's clear from his writings that Father Ruiz de Alarcn grew sympathetic. He was particularly fascinated with how Nahuatl people celebrated the sacred in ordinary objects, and encouraged living and spirit realities to meet up in the here and now. He noted that the concept of "death" as an ending did not exactly exist for them. When Aztec people left their bodies, they were presumed to be on an exciting trip through the ether. It wasn't something to cry about, except that the living still wanted to visit with them. People's sadness was not for the departed, but for themselves, and could be addressed through ritual visiting called Xantolo, an ordinary communion between the dead and the living. Mexican tradition still holds that Xantolo is always present in certain places and activities, including marigold fields, the cultivation of corn, the preparation of tamales and pan de muerto. Interestingly, farmers' markets are said to be loaded with Xantolo.