Circling the Square: How the Conquest Altered the Shape of Time in Mesoamerica: Transactions, APS (Vol. 102, Part 5)

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9781606180259: Circling the Square: How the Conquest Altered the Shape of Time in Mesoamerica: Transactions, APS (Vol. 102, Part 5)

Since antiquity, time in the West has been represented in circular form, the gear wheels of time churning out duration in endless years. At the time of the Spanish conquest, dials on round clock faces looked down from facades of cathedrals, their tones chiming out the hours that directed people's religious and workaday lives. Spanish chroniclers assert that the circle was also the principal mode of temporal expression among the New World natives they sought to Catholicize. Here, Anthony Aveni demonstrates that this was decidedly not the case. Rather, the indigenous quadripartite way of perceiving rendered the expression of time to have been decidedly square. He examines an array of calendar circles appearing in manuscripts from Central Mexico and the Maya area of Yucatan from the time of 16th-century contact up to the 18th century and follows the gradual intrusion of Western calendrical particulars into the native format. Dr. Aveni offers insight into the tension in the first generation of native scribes after the conquest, who were working with radically diffeent ways of knowing between the imposed requirement to change the way they thought about time and the desire to preserve their heritage and their identity. Illus.

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