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07 July 2010 @ 07:27 pm
One entry a week was not exactly my plan, but it was such a busy week I hardly had time to sleep, much less sit down and think and write about everything that we did. Perhaps I'll write more now that we've arrived in Taxco, where we'll be staying for the next three weeks.

So where did I leave you?

Trotsky's and Kahlo's house in Coyohucan. Right. The next day we went with Carlos, our professor for the course in Pre-hispanic art (and a former UMBC grad student) to Teotihucan, a pre-hispanic archeological zone. Zone, they say, because it's much bigger than a site. They've uncovered a great amount of land many small pyramids and several enormous ones, and many of the old streets and pathways, but they estimate that all that they have uncovered amounts to less than one percent of the old city. People in the surrounding towns continue to discover the foundations of buildings, sections of murals, and various artifacts on their land, but don't say much about it because they government would take the object, try to take the land, and not compensate them much. Money is more powerful than history, said Carlos. But anyhow, we learned a whole lot about the people who used to live there, their lifestyles, their art, their games, their government, their architecture, and how each group of people (or each new government) basically buried the town that came before it and built their new civilization on top. So there are layers and layers of buildings down in the earth. And we could see that in some of the sites that had been excavated more deeply. Oh - and there was an old well in one of the buildings that had a depth of about 17 meters, which made me think about poor Don Dima in Ecuador. I wonder how that well is doing.

We then went to a nearby museum dedicated to the murals of Teotihuacan, had a really good lunch of huitlacoche mole (corn fungus, maybe? but not gross like it sounds) visited a workshop where people were making masks and touristy gifts, and then visited a former convent. Convent for monks. Monastery..that's what it's called. Studying all this art has been a great way to learn the history of the country.

The next day a new guide, a researcher at - I can't remember, but she was pretty impressive, took us through the Mexican Museum of Art and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. So, lots of art, lots of history, and she told it all like a story teller would. As I write this I'm looking back through my journal and my notes, and I wrote so much...the stories are so great, but I don't think they mean very much without looking at the artwork, so I guess I'll just leave it there.

You know, there are some historical figures who appear in the works so frequently, Cuahtemoc, La Malinche, Cortez - they're starting to feel like my old friends. Or enemies. Hopefully I wouldn't have been friends with the old small-headed, knobby kneed, syphlitic Cortez. But who knows.
(Anonymous) on July 12th, 2010 01:14 am (UTC)
Sounds like you're living a James Michner book!
Love, Dad