THE WORLD ACCORDING TO AZTECS AND INCAS:
MYTHS AND STORIES FROM MEXICO AND PERU
Edited, translated, retold and commented
by Mikael Witte
Volume 1 + Volume 2
476 pages + 540 pages. Richly illustrated in colors
Published by Selskabet for smukkere Byfornyelse
In 1519 Cortés went ashore on the North American mainland in search of gold. He was met by Aztecs who believed he was or represented one of their gods. Cortes knew nothing about the Aztecs, did not know how their kingdom was built, that they believed destiny was ruling, and why sacrifice of people was central to their worship. He met the Aztec ruler Moctezuma, who recognized him, the Spanish King, the Pope and their God. Cortes initiated the conquest of the entire Aztec Empire, which was quite loosely organized with a certain local autonomy and a ruler who built his power on being elected.
In 1532, Pizarro went ashore on mainland South America in search of gold. Pizarro knew nothing of the Incas, did not know that their ancestral worship was so crucial, so that dried-up mummies were asked for advice that everything could contain soul, that power was highly centralized, and that the ruler based his divine power on being hailed as Son of the Sun. Pizarro met the Incas ruler Atahualpa, who did not fear the Spaniards, but was engaged in the war he fought against his brother Huáscar, who was crowned ruler of the Empire.
But how was the Aztecs realm? How was the Incas? What did the Aztecs believe? And the Incas? Which myths are their civilizations based on? What did the differences mean for the Spanish conquests, for the violent colonizations of Indian civilizations and for the emergent discriminatory societies? Do Indian cultures live on in the modern Latin American states? Can the Aztec human sacrifices explain Mexicans willingness to fight against state power, and can the Incas worship of ancestors and the Son of the Sun explain Peruvians apathy towards corrupt politicians?
VOLUME 1 begins with a chapter on how Spaniards changed the story. Then follows Aztec myths and stories of Aztecs until colonization. ISBN 978-87-87980-10-4
VOLUME 2 contains Inca myths and stories of Incas until colonization. Then follow comparisons of the two countries over 500 years. This volume also contains a bibliography, a register of names and an overview of the authors favorite museums in Mexico and Peru. ISBN 978-87-87980-11-1
Mikael Witte was travel leader for Danish Nyhavn Rejser 2007-2016. The books are an adaptation of his explanations on travels in Mexico and Peru. The explanations are greatly expanded, provided with source references as well as Indian and colonial illustrations plus Wittes photographs.