Indian auxiliaries

Last updated

Tlaxcalan auxiliaries assist the Spanish in Guatemala, as depicted in the 16th century Lienzo de Tlaxcala Lienzo de Tlaxcala Iximche.gif
Tlaxcalan auxiliaries assist the Spanish in Guatemala, as depicted in the 16th century Lienzo de Tlaxcala

Indian auxiliaries or indios auxiliares is the term used in old Spanish chronicles and historical texts for the indigenous peoples who were integrated into the armies of the Spanish conquistadors with the purpose of supporting their advance and combat operations during the Conquest of America. They acted as guides, translators, or porters and in this role were also called yanakuna , particularly within the old Inca Empire and Chile. The term was also used for formations composed of indigenous warriors or Indios amigos (friendly Indians), which they used for reconnaissance, combat, and as reserve in battle. The auxiliary Indians remained in use after the conquest, during some revolts, in border zones and permanent military areas, as in Chile in the Arauco War.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Indigenous peoples Ethnic group descended from and identified with the original inhabitants of a given region

Indigenous peoples, also known as First peoples, Aboriginal peoples or Native peoples, are ethnic groups who are the original owners and caretakers of a given region, in contrast to groups that have settled, occupied or colonized the area more recently. Groups are usually described as indigenous when they maintain traditions or other aspects of an early culture that is associated with a given region. Not all indigenous peoples share this characteristic, as many have adopted substantial elements of a colonizing culture, such as dress, religion or language. Indigenous peoples may be settled in a given region (sedentary) or exhibit a nomadic lifestyle across a large territory, but they are generally historically associated with a specific territory on which they depend. Indigenous societies are found in every inhabited climate zone and continent of the world.

<i>Conquistador</i> soldiers, explorers, and adventurers primarily at the service of the Spanish Empire, and also to the Portuguese Empire

Conquistadors were the knights, soldiers and explorers of the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire. During the Age of Discovery, conquistadors sailed beyond Europe to the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and Asia, conquering territory and opening trade routes. They colonized much of the world for Spain and Portugal in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

Contents

History

The formations of auxiliary Indians arose commonly from alliances established by the Spaniards, exploiting ethnic and tribal antagonisms that they found during their occupation of the territory they were attempting to conquer. Hernán Cortés was one of the first captains who was known to strengthen his columns with these natives. Commonly after the conquest these auxiliary Indians were divided among the settlers of the territories already conquered. They often constituted the most numerous group of the conquerors' followers:

Hernán Cortés Spanish conquistador

DonHernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano, Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of what is now mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century. Cortés was part of the generation of Spanish colonizers who began the first phase of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Settler person who has migrated to an area and established permanent residence there

A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. Settlers are generally from a sedentary culture, as opposed to nomads who share and rotate their settlements with little or no concept of individual land ownership. Settlements are often built on land already claimed or owned by another group. Many times settlers are backed by governments or large countries. They also sometimes leave in search of religious freedom.

Fall of Tenochtitlan

During Hernán Cortés' campaign against the Aztecs from 1519 to 1521, he supplemented his meagre force of Spanish soldiers (numbering some 1,300) with hundreds of thousands of native auxiliaries, from various states such as Tlaxcala. During the final siege of the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan Cortés, according to the account of one of his soldiers, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, had some 200,000 Tlaxcallan and other native auxiliaries, while the Aztec warriors drawn from the numerous cities surrounding Lake Xochimilco in the Valley of Mexico numbered more than 300,000.

Tlaxcala (Nahua state) Nahua state

Tlaxcala was a pre-Columbian city and state in central Mexico.

Tenochtitlan Former city-state in the Valley of Mexico

Tenochtitlan, also known as Mexica-Tenochtitlan, was a large Mexica city-state in what is now the center of Mexico City. The exact date of the founding of the city is unclear. The date March 13, 1325, was chosen in 1925 to celebrate the 600 anniversary of the city. The city was built on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico. The city was the capital of the expanding Aztec Empire in the 15th century until it was captured by the Spanish in 1521.

Bernal Díaz del Castillo Spanish conquistador

Bernal Díaz del Castillo was a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a soldier in the conquest of Mexico under Hernán Cortés and late in his life wrote an account of the events. As an experienced soldier of fortune, he had already participated in expeditions to Tierra Firme, Cuba, and to Yucatán before joining Cortés. In his later years he was an encomendero and governor in Guatemala where he wrote his memoirs called The True History of the Conquest of New Spain. He began his account of the conquest almost thirty years after the events and later revised and expanded it in response to the biography published by Cortes's chaplain Francisco López de Gómara, which he considered to be largely inaccurate in that it did not give due recognition to the efforts and sacrifices of others in the Spanish expedition.

Guatemala

The expedition of Pedro de Alvarado to Guatemala was composed of 480 Spaniards and thousands of auxiliary Indians from Tlaxcala, Cholula and other cities in central Mexico. [1] In Guatemala the Spanish routinely fielded indigenous allies; at first these were Nahua brought from the recently conquered Mexico, later they also included Maya. It is estimated that for every Spaniard on the field of battle, there were at least 10 native auxiliaries. Sometimes there were as many as 30 indigenous warriors for every Spaniard, and it was the participation of these Mesoamerican allies that was particularly decisive. [2] Some newly conquered Maya groups remained loyal to the Spanish once they had submitted to the conquest, such as the Tz'utujil and the K'iche' of Quetzaltenango, and provided them with warriors to assist further conquest. [3]

Pedro de Alvarado Spanish conquistador, explorer and condottiero

Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He participated in the conquest of Cuba, in Juan de Grijalva's exploration of the coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the conquest of Mexico led by Hernán Cortés. He is considered the conquistador of much of Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Although renowned for his skill as a soldier, Alvarado is known also for the cruelty of his treatment of native populations, and mass murders committed in the subjugation of the native peoples of Mexico.

Guatemala Republic in Central America

Guatemala, officially the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; its capital and largest city is Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City.

Cholula was an important city of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, dating back to at least the 2nd century BCE, with settlement as a village going back at least some thousand years earlier. The site of Cholula is just west of the modern city of Puebla and served as a trading outpost. Its immense pyramid is the largest such structure in the Americas, and the largest pyramid structure by volume in the world.

In 1524, fresh from his victory over the Tz'utujil, Pedro de Alvarado led his army against the non-Maya Xinca of the Guatemalan Pacific lowlands. [4] At this point Alvarado's force consisted of 250 Spanish infantry accompanied by 6,000 indigenous allies, mostly Kaqchikel and Cholutec. [5]

The Xinka, or Xinca, are a non-Mayan indigenous people of Mesoamerica, with communities in the southern portion of Guatemala, near its border with El Salvador, and in the mountainous region to the north.

Kaqchikel people ethnic group

The Kaqchikel are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. The name was formerly spelled in various other ways, including Cakchiquel, Cakchiquel, Kakchiquel, Caqchikel, and Cachiquel.

The Mam fortress of Zaculeu was attacked by Gonzalo de Alvarado y Contreras, brother of Pedro de Alvarado, [6] in 1525, with 40 Spanish cavalry and 80 Spanish infantry, [7] and some 2,000 Mexican and K'iche' allies. [8] When the Spanish besieged the Ixil city of Nebaj in 1530, their indigenous allies managed to scale the walls, penetrate the stronghold and set it on fire. Many defending Ixil warriors withdrew to fight the fire, which allowed the Spanish to storm the entrance and break the defences. [9]

Mam people Ethnicity in Central America

The Mam are an indigenous people in the western highlands of Guatemala and in south-western Mexico who speak the Mam language.

Zaculeu archaeological site in Guatemala

Zaculeu or Saqulew is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site in the highlands of western Guatemala, about 3.7 kilometres (2.3 mi) outside of the modern city of Huehuetenango. Occupation at the site dates to the Early Classic period (AD 250–600) of Mesoamerican history. Zaculeu was the capital of the Postclassic Mam kingdom, and was conquered by the K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj. It displays a mixture of Mam and K'iche' style architecture.

Gonzalo de Alvarado was the name of two Spanish conquistadors, both related to Pedro de Alvarado and participating in the conquest of Mexico and Central America. Gonzalo de Alvarado y Contreras was his brother, while Gonzalo de Alvarado y Chávez was his cousin.

Perú and Chile

Colonial Period after the Conquest

After the initial conquest, most of these allies were considered less necessary and, sometimes, a liability. At times they were needed for defense of the extended Spanish Empire. They were incorporated into the military forces of the Empire, forming their own units, organised along European models under their own names, such as Compañías de Indios Nobles ("Companies of Noble Indians"). The necessity of defence came from either European threats like the Caribbean buccaneers and pirates or American threats such as the Chichimeca, Apache or Comanche tribes or the protracted Arauco war. These units fought in the independence wars. [10] [ page needed ]

See also

Notes

  1. Sharer and Traxler 2006, p. 763. Lovell 2005, p. 58. Matthew 2012, pp. 78-79.
  2. Restall and Asselbergs 2007, p. 16.
  3. Carmack 2001, pp. 39–40.
  4. Letona Zuleta et al., p. 5.
  5. Letona Zuleta et al., p. 6.
  6. Gall 1967, p.39.
  7. Lovell 2005, p. 61.
  8. Carmack 2001, p. 39.
  9. Lovell 2005, p. 65.
  10. Martínez Laínez and Carlos Canales 2009.

Related Research Articles

Tecun Uman Mayan ruler

Tecun Uman was one of the last rulers of the K'iche' Maya people, in the Highlands of what is now Guatemala. According to the Kaqchikel annals, he was slain by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado while waging battle against the Spanish and their allies on the approach to Quetzaltenango on 12 February 1524. Tecun Uman was declared Guatemala's official national hero on March 22, 1960 and is commemorated on February 20, the popular anniversary of his death. Tecun Uman has inspired a wide variety of activities ranging from the production of statues and poetry to the retelling of the legend in the form of folkloric dances to prayers. Despite this, Tecun Uman's existence is not well documented, and it has proven to be difficult to separate the man from the legend.

Spanish conquest of Guatemala protracted conflict during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, in which Spanish colonisers gradually incorporated the territory that became the modern country of Guatemala into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain

The Spanish conquest of Guatemala was a protracted conflict during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, in which Spanish colonisers gradually incorporated the territory that became the modern country of Guatemala into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain. Before the conquest, this territory contained a number of competing Mesoamerican kingdoms, the majority of which were Maya. Many conquistadors viewed the Maya as "infidels" who needed to be forcefully converted and pacified, disregarding the achievements of their civilization. The first contact between the Maya and European explorers came in the early 16th century when a Spanish ship sailing from Panama to Santo Domingo was wrecked on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1511. Several Spanish expeditions followed in 1517 and 1519, making landfall on various parts of the Yucatán coast. The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a prolonged affair; the Maya kingdoms resisted integration into the Spanish Empire with such tenacity that their defeat took almost two centuries.

Santa Maria Nebaj Municipality in El Quiché, Guatemala

Santa Maria Nebaj is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of El Quiché. Santa Maria Nebaj is part of the Ixil Community, along with San Juan Cotzal and San Gaspar Chajul. Native residents speak the Mayan Ixil language.

Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire conflict

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, also known as the Spanish–Mexica War (1519–21), was one of the primary events in the Spanish colonization of the Americas. There are multiple 16th-century narratives of the events by Spanish conquerors, their indigenous allies, and the defeated Aztecs. It was not solely a contest between a small contingent of Spaniards defeating the Aztec Empire but rather the creation of a coalition of Spanish invaders with tributaries to the Aztecs, and most especially the Aztecs' indigenous enemies and rivals. They combined forces to defeat the Mexica of Tenochtitlan over a two-year period. For the Spanish, the expedition to Mexico was part of a project of Spanish colonization of the New World after twenty-five years of permanent Spanish settlement and further exploration in the Caribbean.

Kʼicheʼ kingdom of Qʼumarkaj capital city of the pre-Columbian Kiche Maya of highland Guatemala.

The Kʼicheʼ kingdom of Qʼumarkaj was a state in the highlands of modern-day Guatemala which was founded by the Kʼicheʼ (Quiché) Maya in the thirteenth century, and which expanded through the fifteenth century until it was conquered by Spanish and Nahua forces led by Pedro de Alvarado in 1524.

The Poqomam are a Maya people in Guatemala and El Salvador. Their indigenous language is also called Poqomam and is closely related to Poqomchi'. Notable Poqomam settlements are located in Chinautla, Palín (Escuintla), and in San Luis Jilotepeque (Jalapa). Before the Spanish Conquest, the Poqomam had their capital at Chinautla Viejo.

The Baile de la Conquista or Dance of the Conquest is a traditional folkloric dance from Guatemala. The dance reenacts the invasion led by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado and his confrontation with Tecun Uman, ruler of K'iche' kingdom of Q'umarkaj. Although the dance is more closely associated with Guatemalan traditions, it has been performed in early colonial regions of Latin America at the urging of Catholic friars and priests, as a method of converting various native populations and African slaves to the Catholic Church.

Spanish conquest of the Maya Conquest dating from 1511 to 1697

The Spanish conquest of the Maya was a protracted conflict during the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, in which the Spanish conquistadores and their allies gradually incorporated the territory of the Late Postclassic Maya states and polities into the colonial Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Maya occupied a territory that is now incorporated into the modern countries of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador; the conquest began in the early 16th century and is generally considered to have ended in 1697.

The Spanish conquest of the Kingdom of Q'umarkaj took place in the K'iche' Kingdom of Q'umarkaj in 1524 between the Spanish and K'iche'. In 1524, conquistador Pedro de Alvarado arrived in Guatemala with 135 horsemen, 120 footsoldiers and 400 Aztec, Tlaxcaltec and Cholultec allies, and were offered help by the Kaqchikels. Tecun Uman prepared 8,400 soldiers for the Spanish attack, which they had discovered because of their network of spies. After several defeats over the K'iche' people, the Spanish entered Q'umarkaj and the Lords of Q'umarkaj were burnt alive by Alvarado. Following the war, two Spanish noblemen were put in charge of Q'umarkaj, although some fighting continued until 1527.

Spanish immigration to Guatemala

The arrival of the Spaniards in Guatemala began in 1524 with the conquest of the Guatemalan Highlands and neighbouring Pacific plain under the command of Pedro de Alvarado. After the conquest and the colonial era, more people came to the country not as conquerors, but to do business or daily activities.

The Spanish conquest of Chiapas was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Mesoamerican polities in the territory that is now incorporated into the modern Mexican state of Chiapas. The region is physically diverse, featuring a number of highland areas, including the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and the Montañas Centrales, a southern littoral plain known as Soconusco and a central depression formed by the drainage of the Grijalva River.

Cerro Quiac Small Maya archaeological site

Cerro Quiac is a small Maya archaeological site located at an altitude of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft), overlooking the Plains of Urbina in the Guatemalan Highlands. When investigated in 1970 it had five stone sculptures, by 1977 only four were left. The sculptures included figures and geometric decoration. The site is still used for contemporary Maya rituals. Cerro Quiac is located in the northeast of the municipality of Cantel, within the boundaries of the hamlet of Chirijquiac.

The Spanish conquest of Honduras was a 16th-century conflict during the Spanish colonization of the Americas in which the territory that now comprises the Republic of Honduras, one of the five states of Central America, was incorporated into the Spanish Empire. In 1502, the territory was claimed for the king of Spain by Christopher Columbus on his fourth and final trip to the New World. The territory that now comprises Honduras was inhabited by a mix of indigenous peoples straddling a transitional cultural zone between Mesoamerica to the northwest, and the Intermediate Area to the southeast. Indigenous groups included Maya, Lenca, Pech, Miskito, Sumu, Jicaque, Pipil and Chorotega. Two indigenous leaders are particularly notable for their resistance against the Spanish; the Maya leader Sicumba, and the Lenca ruler referred to as Lempira.

Pedro de Portocarrero (conquistador)

Pedro de Portocarrero was a Spanish conquistador who was active in the early 16th century in Guatemala, and Chiapas in southern Mexico. He was one of the few Spanish noblemen that took part in the early stages of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and was distantly related to prominent conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, who appointed him as an official in early colonial Guatemala.

Spanish conquest of El Salvador campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores

The Spanish conquest of El Salvador was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Mesoamerican polities in the territory that is now incorporated into the modern Central American nation of El Salvador. El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, and is dominated by two mountain ranges running east-west. Its climate is tropical, and the year is divided into wet and dry seasons. Before the conquest the country formed a part of the Mesoamerican cultural region, and was inhabited by a number of indigenous peoples, including the Pipil, the Lenca, the Xinca, and Maya. Native weaponry consisted of spears, bows and arrows, and wooden swords with inset stone blades; they wore padded cotton armour.

Guatemala–Spain relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Guatemala and the Kingdom of Spain

Guatemala–Spain refers to the current and historical relations between Guatemala and Spain. Both nations are members of the Organization of Ibero-American States and the United Nations.

Pascual Abaj Maya idol in Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Pascual Abaj, also known as Turcaj, Turk'aj,, Turuk'aj and Turukaj, is a pre-Columbian Maya idol at Chichicastenango that survived the Spanish conquest of Guatemala and which is still venerated by the local community. It is the best-known example of such an image. The image was badly damaged in the 1950s by members of Catholic Action.

References

Carmack, Robert M. (2001). Kik'aslemaal le K'iche'aab': Historia Social de los K'iche's (in Spanish). Guatemala City, Guatemala: Cholsamaj. ISBN   99922-56-19-2. OCLC   47220876.
Gall, Francis (July–December 1967). "Los Gonzalo de Alvarado, Conquistadores de Guatemala". Anales de la Sociedad de Geografía e Historia (in Spanish). Guatemala City, Guatemala: Sociedad de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala. XL. OCLC   72773975.
Letona Zuleta, José Vinicio; Carlos Camacho Nassar; Juan Antonio Fernández Gamarro (January 2003). "Las tierras comunales xincas de Guatemala". In Carlos Camacho Nassar (ed.). Tierra, identidad y conflicto en Guatemala (in Spanish). Guatemala: Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO); Misión de Verificación de las Naciones Unidas en Guatemala (MINUGUA); Dependencia Presidencial de Asistencia Legal y Resolución de Conflictos sobre la Tierra (CONTIERRA). ISBN   978-99922-66-84-7. OCLC   54679387.
Lovell, W. George (2005). Conquest and Survival in Colonial Guatemala: A Historical Geography of the Cuchumatán Highlands, 1500–1821 (3rd ed.). Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN   0-7735-2741-9. OCLC   58051691.
Martínez Laínez, Fernando; Carlos Canales (2009). Banderas Lejanas: La exploración, conquista, y defensa por España del territorio de los actuales Estados Unidos[Distant Flags: The exploration, conquest, and defence of the modern territory of the United States by Spain] (in Spanish). Madrid, Spain. ISBN   9788441421196. OCLC   428447626.
Matthew, Laura E. (2012). Memories of Conquest: Becoming Mexicano in Colonial Guatemala(hardback)|format= requires |url= (help). First Peoples. Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN   978-0-8078-3537-1. OCLC   752286995.
Restall, Matthew; Florine Asselbergs (2007). Invading Guatemala: Spanish, Nahua, and Maya Accounts of the Conquest Wars. University Park, Pennsylvania, US: Pennsylvania State University Press. ISBN   978-0-271-02758-6. OCLC   165478850.
Ruiz-Esquide Figueroa, Andrea (1993). Los indios amigos en la frontera araucana (PDF). Colección Sociedad y cultura (in Spanish). 4. Santiago, Chile: Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos: Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana. ISBN   956-244-013-3. OCLC   30918538.
Sharer, Robert J.; Loa P. Traxler (2006). The Ancient Maya (6th ed.). Stanford, California, US: Stanford University Press. ISBN   0-8047-4817-9. OCLC   57577446.

Further reading

Matthew, Laura E.; Michel R. Oudijk, eds. (2007). Indian Conquistadors: Indigenous Allies in the Conquest of Mesoamerica. Norman: University of Oklahoma. ISBN   978-0806138541.