This post from Professor Luis’s unit demonstrates how although it is more comfortable to teach a glorified/simplified version of history, we ignore important voices in this glorification, which are usually voices from marginalized groups/victims. This pattern of trying to avoid uncomfortable conversations and forget past mistakes is how we reach the point of a contructed history.
“On the day that Tenochtitlan was taken, the Spaniards committed some of the most brutal acts ever inflicted upon the unfortunate people of this land… The Tlaxcaltecas and the other enemies of the Aztecs revenged themselves pitilessly for old offenses and robbed them of everything they could find” (122). I found myself approaching the Florentine Codex with suspicion, wondering how reliable the account could be after reading that it was heavily edited by Friar Bernardino. However, I do think that it does give readers a glimpse into the other narrative of the Spanish Conquest, the one of the victims. For the first time, we are reading about the days after the battle was over— the pain and grief of the few survivors as they flee the ruins of their city that had once flourished. I thought it was interesting that the narrator also mentions other indigenous groups involved in the conquest that supported the Spaniards, for Spanish accounts rarely acknowledge these other natives. These groups had their own incentives to defeat the Aztecs, which serves as a reminder that there was a long history on these lands before the Spaniards arrived. I’m not sure if this was intended, but this description in the narrative evoked feelings of pity for the Aztecs— they were being kicked while they were on the ground. This added perspective indicates that this moment in history is much more complex than we gather from the single narrative that is told.