Pre Columbian Mesoamerica – Essay Example
The paper "Pre Columbian Mesoamerica" is an outstanding example of a literature essay.
The four readings are grouped and presented as they are by the for the d purpose of giving insight into the Pre-Columbian world d of Mesoamerica. The Mesoamerican literature reveals three broad themes that were very important to the Pre-Columbian culture.
The first is the frequent mention of death. Death is presented in several different manners but always seems to be driven by a purpose. One purpose is the appeasement of the gods through ritual sacrifice. This is shown by the example of the gods of rain being appeased through the sacrifice of Quetzalxochtzin. Death is also used to typify the passing of one group of people out of power, or even existence, while another group ascends to replace them. Death, devouring and destruction all are presented as following a course as set by the gods. There is not subverting the inevitable. Death is presented as something necessary, either as penance for some misdeed or as a portal to a new state of existence.
A second theme is the importance of astronomy and celestial bodies in the understanding of the will of the gods. Indeed, the readings portray the inhabitants of Mesoamerica as interacting with many of the heavenly bodies or earthly domains much like people interact with one another. This is especially true for the last fable concerning the conception of “fourteen strengths” in the last reading. The interaction with nature is the source of success through abundant harvests or is the harbinger of doom. In the first reading, the stars and planets in their progression through the sky tell the stories of ascendant and declining peoples through many years of history. History and the future are told in the stars and nature. The peoples of Mesoamerica to an active role in shaping both through their interaction with these natural elements.