By Mary W. Helms
Ancient Panama provides intensity to our figuring out of the political and non secular elite ruling in Panama on the time of the ecu conquest. Mary W. Helms's learn tremendously expands wisdom of the distribution, volume, and structural nature of those pre-Columbian chiefdoms.
In addition, Helms delves extra deeply into decide on elements of historical Panamanian political platforms, together with the connection among elite festival and mainly prestige, using sumptuary items within the expression of elite strength, and the function of elites in neighborhood and long-distance trade networks. In an important departure from conventional considering, she proposes that the quest for esoteric wisdom was once extra vital than monetary exchange in constructing long-distance touch between chiefdoms.
The fundamental information for the examine are derived from sixteenth-century Spanish files via Oviedo y Valdés, Andagoya, Balboa, and others. the writer additionally turns to ethnographic info from modern local humans of Panama, Colombia, tropical the US, and Polynesia for analogy and comparability. the result's a hugely cutting edge research which illuminates not just pre-Columbian Panamanian elites but additionally the character of chiefdoms as a particular cultural type.
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Extra info for Ancient Panama: Chiefs in Search of Power
The idea was to extract the victim's heart, while it was still pumping. This was usually done by plunging a dull knife into the chest of the captain. The blood from the heart was smeared on the stone image of Ek Chuah. If the sacrifice took place in a temple on top of a pyramid, the priests tossed the body to the pyramid's base, where it was skinned. The head priest then put on the skin and danced. Players, who earned less respect, were sometimes shot with bows and arrows rather than cut up with a knife.
Hurricane season starts on June 1; most hurricanes hit Belize between mid-August and mid-October. However, only 5% of the hurricanes that form in the western mid-Atlantic ever reach this little country. HURRICANE FACT: The Hurricane of 1780 blew through the Caribbean and killed 22,000 people. Because the reefs protect waters closest to the mainland, usually the ocean tides and waves are not noticed. However, during a hurricane there can be waves as high as 16 feet (five meters). During hurricane conditions, the swing bridge in Belize City opens before its scheduled time so boats can go up the Belize River to relative safety.
After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the English began, along with the French and the Dutch, to colonize the Caribbean islands as well as parts of the Belize coastline. THE BRITISH In 1631, Puritan settlers, colleagues of America's Pilgrim Fathers, came from Providence Island, off Nicaragua, and set up trading posts along the coast. The Spanish chased them off in 1641, capturing some of the 400 settlers and sending the rest running for the jungle. At the same time, colonies of log cutters, called Baymen, were beginning to establish themselves along the Mosquito Coast of Honduras and in Belize.