A brief history of Central America, Edition: 2nd ed by Lynn V. Foster

By Lynn V. Foster

A short heritage of imperative the US, moment version explores the heritage of the vital American isthmus from the pre-Columbian cultures to the modern international locations that make up the sector at the present time: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. This moment variation brings the historical past of the sector modern with new advancements, together with contemporary elections, the ongoing fight with the aftermath of the civil wars, and the influence of the loose exchange contract signed with the U.S. in 2003/2004.

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E. The southern Central Americans were merchants, too, and may have tried to bypass northern intermediaries in Costa Rica and Nicaragua: at the time of the Spanish conquest, the Coclé in Panama sailed rigged canoes along the Pacific, perhaps as far as Mexico, exporting salt, hammocks, cotton, gold dust, and slaves. Southern Isthmus From these Indians . . we learned that up country there were many caciques [chiefs] who had heaps of gold, and people armed like ourselves. Ferdinand Colón, 1503 (Morison 1963, 344) Although Mayan civilization was an integral part of Mesoamerica, the lower isthmus had no such close relationship with its northern neighbors.

But Mesoamerican civilization flourished for 2,000 more years, evolving and transforming itself until the Spanish conquest in 1519. Mesoamericans prided themselves on their great cities, their arts in mosaic and stone, their understanding of the stars and the seasons, and their priestly prophecies based on a sacred calendar, or day count. Through the millennia, Mesoamerican cities traded and exchanged ideas. Some- Shamanism and Rulership . . thou [an Aztec emperor] speakest in a strange tongue to the god, the lord of the near, of the high .

These ceramic figures may very well represent the earliest known women rulers in the Americas—and they would not be the last: female rulers can also be identified 500 years later, in the Mayan region. The same items found in these Preclassic tombs from Costa Rica and Nicaragua—shaman stools, sucking tubes, smoothed stones, and incense burners—are used today by the shamans of the few surviving Bribri and Cabecares of Costa Rica, whose clans are matrilineal. The earliest woman chief? ) from Ometepe Island, Lake Nicaragua, of a seated and tattooed woman in a trance.

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