Quetzalcóatl Versus HuitzilopochtliTuesday, July 31, 2007
Anybody who has ever spent time in Mexico and has chosen to explore the Mexico that lies beyond the beaches might arrive at the same conclusion that I did some years ago. In Mexico you have Mexicans and then you have Jarochos (from the state of Veracruz) and the Yucatecans. When Mexicans get drunk they get morose or violent. Their songs are sad, of loves lost. When Yucatecans and Jarochos drink their songs are lively and happy. I have discovered that the state of Veracruz was at one time the domain of one of the Mayan branches and that the culture of Tajín in Veracruz was a variant of the Mayans. This explains to me the kinship between these states and why our stay in Mérida has been a pleasant one. Meridanos are friendly and always smile. They are gentle, too. We never felt unsafe. Taxi drivers charged us the going rates no matter how much Rebecca would insist in speaking in English in the car.
While reading El Conquistador a new book by Argentine author Federico Andahazi (purchased at one of the many highbrow Mérida bookstores called Dante) I found out why Yucatecans are the way they are. El Conquistador is a reversed version of Columbus´ discovery of America. In this novel Quetza, an adopted son of a great Aztec wise man, sails east and lands in Huelva, Spain and discovers his new world. Quetza explains that for the ancient Mexicas the world was always in conflict. It was a conflict between the god of light and life, Quetzalcóatl and the god of death, war and sacrifice, Tezcatlipoca. For the Aztecs the the conflict is ultimately won by the latter in the form of their blood thirsty war god Huitzilopochtli.
But, and this is important, the Mayans, with a few exceptions worshipped the far gentler Quetzalcóatl (whom they called Kukulkán) and to this day I can see the influence.
As we leave today for Houston, Seattle and then home, I will try to keep my spirits up (we will no longer have the constant company of Rebecca) and think of the plumed serpent (Quetzalcóatl) and how he prevailed even over Rosemary. As we waited for a cab in the outside heat of the Hacienda Xcanatún she said, "I have come to enjoy the heat."