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Culture — Ancient Cultures of Latin America – Final Chapter

by Brandi

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April 22nd, 2010

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¡Hola mis amigos! It’s great to be back with you another week of sharing cultural information about Latin America. This week’s Spanish Culture topic is one of my favorites.

According to ancient Aztec legend, there is a god called Quetzalcoatl [ket-saul-co-ottle] (Kukulcan [coo-cool-kahn] according to the Mayans) who visited the ancient Indians of Latin America and educated them. According to stories, he taught them science, the calendar and created ceremonies. He also discovered corn, represented saintliness and all good aspects of civilization.

Some called him the plumed serpent, but he was also known by the legend to be a bearded white man. As part of the legend, it was understood that he would someday return from the east.

This legend plays a significant part in history when around 1519 Hernán Cortés came to Mexico from Spain as a “conquistador” (conqueror) seeking gold and riches at any expense. Since he was a bearded white man, many of the native Aztecs supposed him to be Quetzalcoatl returning and gave him a royal welcome. It was a great tragedy when Cortés, because of their legend and his “royal treatment”, obtained incredible gold riches and defeated the Aztecs killing many and eventually subjecting them to the rule of the Spaniards.

The legend of Quetzalcoatl ended up being a significant factor that influenced the history of Mexico and Latin America forever. The legend, as well as the fact that the Spaniards had more advanced weapons and armor, contributed to the downfall of the Native Americans.

Now, on a little different topic, we’ll take a look at theories of the origin of the Native Americans. Some scholars think they migrated from regions of Egypt due to the pyramid-style temples they built. Scientific DNA studies seem to have proven that they came from somewhere in Europe. Another theory has to do with an ancient record that was found buried in the North-Eastern U.S. around 1823. It was translated and recounts the history of the Native Americans on the North and South American continents up to about 400 a.d. It claims that they originally came from the Middle East/Israel area. It also talks about a bearded white god that visited the people and corroborates the common legend of Quetzalcoatl.

It is a very fascinating religious-type book, and I have some information on it if any of you newsletter subscribers are interested in getting a copy. I am familiar with a private organization that has given the book out for free for many years. From what I understand a public publishing company just started publishing the book a few years ago to make it available to everyone. If any of you want a copy, I’ll see what I can do to get you one for free.

In summary, it’s important to get to know the culture and legends of others. It gives us a greater understanding of different people and what they are like. Understanding the culture and language of a people can really enhance us as individuals. Our culture newsletters are a great supplement to our Complete Spanish Course that has taught thousands to communicate in Spanish all over the world and can help you learn Spanish effectively.

If you would like to learn more about Spanish culture, please visit our website www.spanishprograms.com

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