Mani, Yucatan, Mexico

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Hacienda Near Mani

Auto da Fe

This restaurant in Mani commemorates the destruction of Maya religious objects in 1562.

Here in this place of Mani in the year 1562, Fray Diego de Landa carried out in the courtyard of the Franciscan convent, the contemptible auto da fe in which perished more than 10,000 Indians and in which were destroyed 5000 idols of various forms and sizes, 13 great altar stones, 22 small religious stones, 27 deerskin scrolls of hieroglyphics that contained the historic  register of the Maya civilization and culture, and 197 ceremonial vessels which were destroyed in a great inquisition bonfire. And still after many centuries the Indian laments in the silence of the night the story he has heard from his elders of the destruction of the last kingdom of the Tutul-Xiu which existed in this province of Mani.
Left: destruction of the Maya codices. No other sources confirm the death of 10,000 Indians mentioned in the placard above although they do mention the destruction of the artifacts.

Also the Xiu aided the Spanish in the conquest of other Maya tribes.

The Church

Even though de Landa thought he was stamping out reprehensible practices like human sacrifice (compare our views on cultures that practice female genital mutilation), and even though the Xiu collaborated with the Spanish in conquering other Maya, this is a place that belongs in the same category as Dachau, Nanking or Salem, Massachusetts.

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Created 22 June 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020