by Richard L. Thornton, Architect & City Planner
One Summer in Mexico – Part Fourteen
Both the original Kauche (Creek) Migration Legend and the Soque-Miccosukee Migration Legend begin with descriptions of widespread human sacrifice in Mexico. Wherever the Kauche migrated, their children were sacrificed and eaten by powerful neighbors. Farther south and several hundred years later, the land of Soque in Tabasco was overwhelmed by swarms of Nahau-speaking Chichimecs, who constantly raided Soque villages to obtain sacrificial victims, who were also part of the Chichimec diet.
There is a reason why the Kingdom of Apalache forbade the shedding of human or animal blood within one Creek mile (2.1 English miles) of a temple or religious shrine. Many of its member tribes still had cultural memories of the horror of human sacrifice in Mexico. So the ritualistic killing and eating of humans was forbidden. Indeed, in 1653 the Paracusa (High King) of Apalache stressed to English explorer, Richard Brigstock, that human sacrifice was forbidden in his provinces, unlike the tribes in Florida and Mexico. Yes, he knew a great deal about Mexico! That law was rigidly enforced by its successor, the Creek Confederacy, even as late as 1785.
Two land surveyors were on their way to lay out the University of Georgia in the newly designated town of Athens on the Oconee River. They shot a bear for food within the stone oval of the Yamacutah Shrine. It was the location, where an extraterrestrial, who had taught the Apalache-Creeks advanced mathematics, land surveying, writing, the nature of the universe and monotheism, had ascended back up into space. Even though nearby Creek provinces were staunch allies of the Patriot Cause during the American Revolution, the two men barely made it alive to a stockade in Athens.
We have eye witness accounts from Captain René de Laudonnière that in the late 1500’s Panoan*-speaking tribes in the vicinity of Port Royal Sound, SC and St. Andrews Sound, GA required that women give up their first born child to be sacrificed to their king. In fact, De Laudonnière observed a sacrifice and artist Jacque Le Moyne painted it. The two devout French Huguenots evidently did not realize that they were then served Brunswick Stew au Bébé afterward.
A taboo subject
My Mexican journal lay hidden in a box containing dozens of love letters from Alicia for five decades. When I read the journal for the first time in June 2020, I was immediately struck by the fact that Dr. Román Piña Chán only mentioned human sacrifice once the entire summer. That was on the first day we met, when he noticed that the “scull and crossbones” cups from Moundville, AL were identical to the cups used for dispersing pozole at Tula, the Toltec capital.
Until the Spanish conquest, recipe for pozole was identical the famous Brunswick stew of the Creeks, except that it was protein-rich with human flesh. Cups of pozole were distributed to the populace in religious ceremonies quite similar to Christian communion. That is why the citizens of militaristic Mesoamerican city states eagerly supported human sacrifice. It was a means of obtaining animal protein, when their diets were normally deficient in protein and iron.
When I was in college the official history of Mexico, used both in Mexico and the United States, was that the Aztecs were the only people in Mexico, who carried out a significant number of human sacrifices. We were told that the Spanish had greatly exaggerated the number and frequency of sacrifices. No mention was made of cannibalism, even though many surviving Aztec codices showed people butchering and eating other humans . . . as can be seen above.
Mexican archaeologists had to come to grips with reality, when subway construction began in Mexico City during the 1960s. Excavators were constantly encountering masses of obviously butchered human bones, but the government policy was “don’t ask and don’t tell” when I was in Mexico and really up until the 21st century. Yet there were eyewitness accounts from the early 1500s, stating that the Mexica regularly harvested over 10% of the children among captive peoples for food. When there was bad weather or a inadequate grain harvest, the percentage could rise to 1/3 or more. All sacrificed humans were eaten. It was not only a major tenant of their religion, but a nutritional necessity. Essentially, the brilliance of the Aztec Civilization was based on treating all other peoples as livestock.
You will learn the rest of the seldom mentioned history of human sacrifice in Mexico in the video below: