“Auto de fe” of Mani

The most painful night of culture“And I saw a huge bonfire in the middle of the convent’s courtyard, devouring my history, my culture, my roots a significant part of my existence was gone with it”. Men and women cried, yelled and after a long, painful time it was all reduced to ashes.The worst outrage known in the history of the Mayan world was taking place.

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July 12, 1562,àMani, YucatanDiego de Landa, a Franciscan Provincial Superior in Yucatan, in charge of evangelizing the Mayan people, heard a rumor that near the village of Manií, south of Yucatan, a group of natives was performing ceremonies involving the adoration of pagan idols of ancient Mayan gods.In consequence, he ordered an Inquisition, interrogating the natives and seizing their religious objects, which included not only idols, but also codices.Atàleast six natives escaped to the forest and chose to hang themselves before confessing the location of the images they protected.àThe interrogation and torture were followed by an auto-da-fe during which Landa had about 5,000 idols and sacred artifacts burned. àThe man who wrote the most important text about the Mayan culture was the architect of a large part of its destruction.“We found a large number of these books in these characters and, as they contained nothing which there was not to be seen superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they regretted to an amazing degree and which caused them great affliction” - Fray Diego de Landa






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