Amanda's Blog

December 10th
We started researching different aspects of Chicano Theatre, Valdez, Cortes, Aztec rituals, Colonialism, and plays from the time period. Once we had all this information, we narrowed our scope and from there divided up the different categories per person from the approved topics.

My focus was on the history of Cortes, and Aztec rituals. I research in the library using keys word such as 'rituals, sacrifices, performance, Aztec's, and Colonialism.' I ran into a problem with Colonialism, it was too broad. I then narrowed my research and concentrated on Aztec Colonialism and found information pertaining to killing rituals, more specifically using human and animal blood. Skulls were introduced and performances were carried out during ceremonies. Trading/bartering had a direct impact on the Spaniards way on life and their individual health.

The topic for which I have chosen relates to the other group members because it's a key element in the format of our presentation. We chose a different path than your typical presentation by working our way from present to past in order to keep the audience engaged. So naturally, in the order of things I would present close to the end with Roman tying everything together.

The success of our presentation boiled down to the extra time we all spent together outside of class. It was more engaging to listen to because of the relevance the topic has on the present. The one complaint that I would have on what didn't work was how we ran out of time before we could tie everything together into a neat package.

December 2nd-
The rituals were choreographed, publicly performed, painted their faces with animal and human blood. The Aztecs dismembered bodies and hung skulls over the entrance to Tlaloc's paradise (rain god). These bodies were made up of 2/3 enemy warriors and 1/3 were women and children.

Besides the ritualistic killing their way of entertainment was mainly during their Feast of Lords. Their instrument consisted of woodwind and percussion instruments made from bone and clay flutes, conch shells, and wooden whistles. Drums were made from skin, shell, wooden, raspers, and rattles. Required singing, dancing, and chanting that lasts 5 days and keeping time to the music dancing and thumped a rod on the ground to hold beats.

Drama was also a combination of recital, song, dance, music and clowns were a common part of feasting and drinking rituals. Most Aztec writings were merely record keeping-resulting in memorization of hymns, myths, epic narratives, and dramatic compositions.

November 19th-Spanish treatment of Indigenous population in Central America

The section on Spanish treatment of Indigenous population in Central America, I've found the English don't like the Spaniards, they of course like the English and frown upon them for lack of the same religion, cruelty, and civility. They don't agree with how the Spaniards are treating the Indigenous Natives and threatening talks of attack to defend the locals. The English find the Spaniards equal in strength but unknowingly to them they're hostile and secretly form a truce as leaving them alone unless they lash out first.

November 18th-Perception of value

The English found the Natives to have a different idea of what was valuable to them versus others. They needed supplies and were willing to trade hand mirrors, glass beads, strings, brass rings, handkerchiefs, knives and axes. They found iron, brass vessels, bells, iron spears, arrowheads were valued more than gold or silver to the Natives. Even though the Indigenous people would barter and trade with the Spaniards and English they were very afraid of them. Not only did they barter goods but they also bartered supplies like vegetable, salted meats, and fruits. The English felt while bargaining they were being unfair as to the value of certain trinkets and baubles for the amount of fruits, meats, and vegetables that were exchanged. Diamonds were of value to the English and Spanish as a string of glass beads were to the Natives. As they found out their idea of value differs from that of the English and Spanish.

After the bartering and trading with the Indigenous people, the crew members on the ship were noticeably healthier, scurvy went away and those who were once sick were now able to report for duty. They had a more balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and meat.

3 Comments

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I think a bit of context would help to put these entries into perspective. How does this research relate to the bigger questions asked by your group? Are you posting this information in response to a specific assignment delegated to you by the group? For future individual blog entries, it would be helpful to get more context so that I could understand how you are utilizing this information. Ideally, you'll be able to move closer to a discussion of performance and theatre practices.

To rephrase: I'd like you to ground your reflections in a specific idea, site, question, or problem mentioned in the source you are reading, and then tie that element to the group's research endeavors. If you do this in your future entries, your grade will go up.

Grade for the first check-in: 80%

Re: Entry from Dec. 2
I still need some context for this entry in order to put your posts into perspective. Why precisely are you posting this information? What part of the group presentation are you in charge of? How do your individual blog entries relate to the entries from other members of your group? You can always provide context by referencing your group members' entries.

For the final entry, I'd like to see you reflect on the research process. We'll debrief after the presentations on Thursday, and the ideas raised their will provide you with jumping-off points for your final blog.

Grade for this entry: 78%

Re: Final Entry
I agree that you group made some big strides with the research. The topic was difficult for all of you and yet you figured out a good way to present the information. Watching your section of the presentation, I found myself thinking that you could have incorporated some of my comments from your previous entries. Your research in particular could have used some framing and the transition between the rituals and the aspect of trade was very rough.

Grade for this entry: 83%
Final Individual Blog Grade: 80%

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