My name’s Angry Wasp, and in 1519 I was the military commander of Tlaxcala, a fiercely independent nation not far away from Mexico-Tenochtítlan. I was born in Tlaxcala’s Rain Place province in the year of the Rabbit, and I’ve lived most of my life here. Then, in the year of Flint, the Spaniards arrived on our borders with their coastal allies and their black warrior slaves.
I fought the invasion. Not too many people know that I had the Spanish army surrounded in the temple buildings at Sparrow Hill, and was close to starving them out and killing their leader Hernán Cortés.
However, the Spanish fighting spirit impressed the elders from our council, and they decided to hire Cortés to help us defeat our old enemy Montezuma. So my nation made peace with the Spaniards just after I made them eat earth in their desperate hunger.
For many months, Hernán Cortés and I fought Montezuma’s hordes side by side. Cortés impressed me with his ingenuity. For example, he taught us to build caravels to sail the great Lake of Texcoco. But without my warriors and me he wouldn’t have achieved his conquest.
Spain went on to dominate our world. And what of Tlaxcala? For its role in toppling Montezuma’s empire, my nation received a tax break from the Spanish Crown. And me? Cortés feared me so much that he fabricated treason charges against me, and hung me by my feet to die in full view of our allied armies.
On these pages, I’ll blog about my world, which you now call “Ancient Mexico”, and about the people you broadly define as “Aztecs”. While I dislike both names, I have to use them to be understood.
My world is gone, but the memories of it can teach us a great deal about being human. We’ll talk about beauty and violence, about the red and black ink of knowledge, about fire and water, which is our expression for war, about flowers and songs of poetry, and many other things.
I aim to make my knowledge about the Aztecs and the Spanish conquest freely available to anyone who wishes to read and comment. But beware, for while I may appear informal and easy going, I’m a person of strong opinions.
Read, bring your own insights, and debate!
Guest post by Angry Wasp.