The Conquest of the Last Maya Kingdom
On March 13, 1697, Spanish troops from Yucatán attacked and occupied Nojpeten, the capital of the Maya people known as Itzas, the inhabitants of the last unconquered native New World kingdom. This political and ritual center--located on a small island in a lake in the tropical forests of northern Guatemala--was densely covered with temples, royal palaces, and thatched houses, and its capture represented a decisive moment in the final chapter of the Spanish conquest of the Mayas.
The capture of Nojpeten climaxed more than two years of preparation by the Spaniards, after efforts by the military forces and Franciscan missionaries to negotiate a peaceful surrender with the Itzas had been rejected by the Itza ruling council and its ruler Ajaw Kan Ek . The conquest, far from being final, initiated years of continued struggle between Yucatecan and Guatemalan Spaniards and native Maya groups for control over the surrounding forests. Despite protracted resistance from the native inhabitants, thousands of them were forced to move into mission towns, though in 1704 the Mayas staged an abortive and bloody rebellion that threatened to recapture Nojpeten from the Spaniards.
The first complete account of the conquest of the Itzas to appear since 1701, this book details the layers of political intrigue and action that characterized every aspect of the conquest and its aftermath. The author critically reexamines the extensive documentation left by the Spaniards, presenting much new information on Maya political and social organization and Spanish military and diplomatic strategy.
This is not only one of the most detailed studies of any Spanish conquest in the Americas but also one of the most comprehensive reconstructions of an independent Maya kingdom in the history of Maya studies. In presenting the story of the Itzas, the author also reveals much about neighboring lowland Maya groups with whom the Itzas interacted, often violently.
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The Itzas and Their Neighbors
ItzaSpanish Encounters 15251690
Itza Society and Kingship on the Eve of Conquest
Part Two Road to the Itzas
The Birth of the Camino Real
Franciscans on the Camino Real
ItzaSpanish Warfare 223
The Costs of the Camino Real 245
The Eve of Conquest 265
Part Five Victims and Survivors of Conquest
Occupation and Interrogation 295
Prisoners of Conquest 323
Reconquest Epidemic and Warfare 356
Indicating Effects of Epidemic Disease 1699 360
Part Three The Peace Seekers
The Itza Emissaries
Avendano and Ajaw Kan Ek
regions drawn by Fray Andres de Avendano y Loyola 1696
Part Four Prelude to Conquest
Ach Kat Ajaw Kan Ek AjChan AjK'in Kan Ek AjKowoj Amesqueta appears April arrived attack Audiencia Avendano B'atab Barrios cacique Cahabon camino real Campeche Canek canoes Captain captured cedula Ch'ich Chak'an Itza Chan Chol Christian Chuntuki claimed conquest Cortes Crown Diego entrada forests four Franciscans Francisco Fray friars galeota Garc1a de Paredes governor Hariza Indians island Itza territory Jose Juan k'atun K'in Kejach killed king Kowoj Lago Peten Itza later leaders leagues machetes maize March Mart1n Maya Mayapan Melchor de Mencos Mencos Merida military milpas mission missionaries Mopan native Nojpeten officers Pacheco Pedro political population president of Guatemala presidio priests principal province ramo region Relacion Rivas road ruler Sanchez de Berrospe Santiago de Guatemala secular clergy sent shore Soberanis soldiers Spaniards Spanish supplies testimony tion Tipuj Tipujans town troops Tzuktok Urs1ia Ursua Verapaz Villagutierre wrote Yalain Yucatan Yucatecan Zubiaur
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