miércoles, mayo 02, 2007

Yacanex - His rebellion against civilization

Yacanex was one of the principal Chichimec leaders in Tepetlaoztoc. The high ruler of all the Chichimecatlalli was Xolotl the Great. Now, Xolotl was marrying his daughers and grandsons with Toltec peoples who were already established even before Quetzalcoatl. This created Xolotl to have numerous great grandsons, and great-great grandsons becoming military captains, rulers, and chiefs all over the Chichimecatlalli (from Toluca to Veracruz).

Now, Xolotl's descendants as well as he himself became acculturated by Toltecs and indigenous peoples who were living there for many centuries. So they adapted their nomadic way of living to a sedentary one, with agriculture and city development being imposed by Xolotl to all his peoples.

All Chichimec rulers did the same as Xolotl. But Yacanex didn't accept the new ways of doing things. He wanted hunting and gathering to be continued as part of their lives. Yacanex was not alone, many followed him. All of Tepetlaoztoc rebelled against the government, and started setting in flames a great deal of crops and fields.

One of the liutenants of Yacanex was Ocotoch. Now Ocotoch was originally at the service of Nopaltzin (Xolotl's son) at Huexotla. But when Nopaltzin and his son Tlotzin Pochotl ordered fencing fields and forrests for purpose of having animals and protected forrest areas, he also rebelled and joined Yacanex's forces.

Although the real intention of Yacanex revolution wasn't because of anger against civilization, it was an ideal he later followed so strongly, that Chichimecs kept following him as far as Tollantzinco (Tulancingo).

The real motive for Yacanex to rebel was because Huetzin, the great-great-grandson of Xolotl and descendant of Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, was to marry a gorgeous woman from Colhuacan named Atotoztli. Both parents of Huetzin and Atotoltzin accepted the marriaged under Nopaltzin's terms (because it was he who suggested it).

Colhuacan, a remnant of the once powerful Triple Alliance with Tula and Coatlinchan, did not want to make angry the Chichimecs. Especially because Nopaltzin was the one who battled and killed Nauhyotzin. Yacanex went to the very steps of Colhuacan, and asked for Atotoztli. His parent denied her hand, while Colhua warriors helped Atotoztli flee the city.

In Tenayocan, the Chichimec high capital, General Tochintecuhtli was dispatched to destroy Yacanex. Chichimecs were wary that Yacanex rebellion was getting so popular among the common people. No Chichimec wanted to embrace civilization. Yacanex believed that there was no reason to be integrated to a economy-based system if they could very well keep living as they had for thousands of years in Northern Mexico and Southern US. Why change that so suddenly because their rulers in Tenayocan were amazed by Toltec culture and their socio-economical system. So Yacanex and Ocotoch resisted influence of having to be devoured by civilization in order to become peasants with duties with the state and a calpulli. They refused that.

Tochintecuhtli mustered a huge army at Huexotla, the gates of Texcoco. There they waited for the return of Yacanex. The rebel army was coming out of Colhuacan toward Tepetlaoztoc. Huexotla was in the middle of the way.

There, at the Battle of Huexotla, Yacanex battled for his right to remain out of the system, out of "civilization". The battle was fierce, but eventually Yacanex and Ocotoch fled towards the Iztaccihuatl volcano. There, Tochintecuhtli lost track of him in the labirinthic snowy slopes of the volcano. Yacanex went to a region between Tulancingo and Tampico, called today the Huasteca. There he remained, mustering more people, but living in harmony with nature and free from any reins and duties a social contract was therein.

Time passed. Many years. Quinatzin was the heir of Tlotzin Pochotl as ruler of the Chichimecatlalli, now reduced to what was later known as Acolhuacan in Mexica times. Quinatzin moved his capital from Tenayocan to Catlenihco, which Chichimecs named it Texcoco.

Quinatzin continued to create laws for peasant lands as well as for the cities. He established parameters for who was able to hunt, when, and where. The state became more strong, and Nahuatl was seriously put as the language to be educated on. This created sentiments that brought up the return of Yacanex to the lakes area.

This time, Yacanex was not alone. He had the support of four out of five children of Quinatzin, as well as Quinatzin's wife. Chichimecs were really divided as to follow either civilization or their traditional life. The result was a bloody war. The carnage was so immense, that still today there are stories of little red shrimps living in that area of becoming red because of the blood rivers created after the war. This is known as the War of Poyauhtlan.

Quinatzin divided his army into four. Surrounded Texcoco, which was taken by Yacanex, and all at the same time pushed in to destroy him. Yacanex fled to Poyauhtlan, which was were the biggest battle was fought.

Yacanex died that day. And since that day, Quinatzin was known as Quinatzin "Tlaltecatzin" (the one who flattens the earth). The four children and wife of Quinatzin were pardoned, but were forced to shamefully leave forever Texcoco. They went across the volcanoes, and were the founders of the four Tlaxcalteca capitals. A new nation was born Tlaxcala.

The ideals of Yacanex are interesting of noting, especially in these days were governments wants us to tell us what "civilization" is and does.