- Hardcover: 324 pages
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (June 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0806133643
- ISBN-13: 978-0806133645
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Bernardino de Sahagun: First Anthropologist Hardcover – June 15, 2002
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About the Author
Director of the Inter-American Indian Institute in Mexico City, Miguel León-Portilla is a significant young Mexican scholar. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees (summa cum laude) form Loyola University at Los Angeles and the Ph.D. from the National University of Mexico. La filosofía náhuatl: estudiada en sus fuentes, the Spanish version of this book, received high praise from both Mexican and American scholars.
Mauricio J. Mixco is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Utah. He is the author of A Mandan Grammar and A Kiliwa Grammar.
Top customer reviews
The heading to this review is "Everyone Should Know Sahagun." We know Columbus, Cortes, and others. But Sahagun was more important. Because, they, like other passionate, sometimes bloodthirsty, adventurers and conquerors spent a few years pursuing their goals, had some mundane successes, and became famous. But Sahagun was the real hero, although vilified in his time. Hero, because he was a brilliant, empathetic man. He didn't destroy or conquer the civilization. He tried to preserve it in academic form. Yes, in order to preach Christianity, but to preach in an compassionate way.
Many Americans (estado-unidenses) and Mexicans base their ideas of pre-Colombian Mexican culture less on academic work and more on folklore and oral tradition. My understanding of the conquest is that the Spanish either killed or suppressed many of the traditions along with the priests, intellectuals, and leaders. So, it's now difficult to truly know about the Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecas, etc. True, the common folk continued many old customs by syncretizing them with Catholic culture, either openly or clandestinely, but where can we find actual documents on all cultural aspects of the Nahua peoples, that is, the Mexicans? The answer: Sahagun, who lived four hundred fifty years ago.
Sahagun came to Mexico (New Spain) just a few years, roughly ten years, after Cortes conquered it. Then he spent 50 years working on the language and culture, a true anthropologist. So, he was there from the beginning, so to speak. And then he dedicated half a century on his scholarship. An amazing person!