The Plumed Serpent

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Nevertheless, there were two hotels, left over, really, from the safe quiet days of Don Porfirio, as were most of the villas. The outlying villas were shut up, some of them abandoned. Those in the village lived in a perpetual quake of fear.

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There were many terrors, but the two regnant were bandits and bolshevists. Sayula had her little branch of railway, her one train a day. The railway did not pay, and fought with extinction.

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But it was enough. Sayula also had that real insanity of America, the automobile. As men used to want a horse and a sword, now they want a car. At weekends, Sayula really heated up, with the arrival of cityfolk, who presented quite a spectacle to the local peons :. But on Saturdays and Sundays there was something of a show. And, like strange birds alighting, you had slim and charming girls in organdie frocks and face-powder and bobbed hair, fluttering into the plaza. There they strolled, arm in arm, brilliant in red organdie and blue chiffon and white muslin and pink and mauve and tangerine frail stuffs, their black hair bobbed out, their dark slim arms interlaced, their dark faces curiously macabre in the heavy make-up; approximating to white, but the white of a clown or a corpse.

In a world of big, handsome peon men, these flappers flapped with butterfly brightness and an incongruous shrillness, manless. The supply of fifis, the male young elegants who are supposed to equate the flappers, was small. But still, fifis there were, in white flannel trousers and white shoes, dark jackets, correct straw hats, and canes.

Quetzalcoatl, the “Plumed Serpent”

Fifis far more ladylike than the reckless flappers; and far more nervous, wincing. But fifis none the less, gallant, smoking a cigarette with an elegant flourish, talking elegant Castilian, as near as possible, and looking as if they were going to be sacrificed to some Mexican god within a twelvemonth; when they were properly plumped and perfumed.

The sacrificial calves being fattened. On Saturday, the fifis and the flappers and the motor-car people from town—only a forlorn few, after all—tried to be butterfly gay, in sinister Mexico. They hired the musicians with guitars and fiddle, and the jazz music began to quaver, a little too tenderly, without enough kick. It was Saturday, so the plaza was very full, and along the cobbled streets stretching from the square many torches fluttered and wavered upon the ground, illuminating a dark salesman and an array of straw hats, or a heap of straw mats called petates , or pyramids of oranges from across the lake.

It was Saturday, and Sunday morning was market. So, as it were suddenly, the life in the plaza was dense and heavy with potency. The Indians had come in from all the villages, and from far across the lake. And with them they brought the curious heavy potency of life which seems to hum deeper and deeper when they collect together. In the afternoon, with the wind from the south, the big canoas , sailing-boats with black hulls and one huge sail, had come drifting across the waters, bringing the market-produce and the natives to their gathering ground.

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All the white specks of villages on the far shore, and on the far-off slopes, had sent their wild quota to the throng. Her house was what she wanted; a low, L-shaped, tiled building with rough red floors and deep veranda, and the other two sides of the patio completed by the thick, dark little mango-forest outside the low wall. The square of the patio, within the precincts of the house and the mango-trees, was gay with oleanders and hibiscus, and there was a basin of water in the seedy grass.

The flower-pots along the veranda were full of flowering geranium and foreign flowers. At the far end of the patio the chickens were scratching under the silent motionlessness of ragged banana-trees. There she had it; her stone, cool, dark house, every room opening on to the veranda; her deep, shady veranda, or piazza, or corridor, looking out to the brilliant sun, the sparkling flowers and the seed-grass, the still water and the yellowing banana-trees, the dark splendour of the shadow-dense mango-trees.

With the house went a Mexican Juana with two thick-haired daughters and one son. This family lived in a den at the back of the projecting bay of the dining-room. There, half screened, was the well and the toilet, and a little kitchen and a sleeping-room where the family slept on mats on the floor. There the paltry chickens paddled, and the banana-trees made a chitter as the wind came. Brilliant sun pouring into the patio, on the hibiscus flowers and the fluttering yellow and green rags of the banana-trees.

Birds swiftly coming and going, with tropical suddenness. In the dense shadow of the mango-grove, white-clad Indians going like ghosts. Founding a functionally new religion, Quetzalcoatl taught and exemplified prayer and penance. Upon this social and moral foundation, Quetzalcoatl established a new, flourishing civilization. Quite naturally, this incurred the wrath of powerful shaman—sorcerers, guardians of the old religion.

D. H. Lawrence

Or would he? According to long-held prophetic tradition, Quetzalcoatl would one day return to reclaim his throne and reinstate Tula as the state capital. In one of the amazing coincidences of history, the Cortes expedition arrived in the year , known to the Aztecs as the year 1 Reed ce acatl , which was the birthdate and calendar name of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl. At the core of the complex legend and mythology that surrounds him, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl was once a historical figure:.

Mesoamerica was clearly an area where a combined religious—secular leadership pattern had evolved to an unusually high degree. It provided an exceptionally favorable cultural climate for a gifted individual of high station to make his historical mark on society.

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Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl may well have been such a person. I am not suggesting that we might be confronted here with a Mesoamerican Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus Christ, or Mohammed, for no comparable systematized body of religious doctrine seems to have stemmed from his life or teachings, but his impact on cult activities in Mesoamerica may have been considerable.

This is a fair estimate of the cultural and religious importance of Quetzalcoatl. But it is well documented that, before the colonialists and missionaries came, proud Zulu man wore nothing but a penis sheath when not stark naked. There are many blushing Eurocentric accounts of Victorian ladies being carried ashore by naked Zulu gentlemen in the s.

Christian dogma Xhosa leader Chief Sandile told Lord Charles Somerset to take himself, his soldiers, his people and, most importantly, his trousers back to England. For Sandile and many other South African people at the time, being forced to wear pants was the ultimate symbol of colonialism. It is ironic that years ago South African men were humiliated by colonialists by being told to wear pants and yet today powerful South Africans like Jacob Zuma consider it humiliating to be represented as having a penis.

Two thousand years of Christian dogma, a century of colonial subjugation with its missionary guilt, and decades of apartheid humiliation have left scars deep in the soul of every African man.

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  • But this should not be reason enough to further disrespect ourselves. If you love and respect your own body, then being naked is a celebratory act of defiance.

    Numéros en texte intégral

    If not abused, the penis is a symbol of life and love. Perhaps the president may wish to reconsider his relationship with his penis — to give it time, love and attention, to grant it the right to affection and allow it the space of love? I ask all South African men: When was the last time you loved yourself — not jerking off in the corner, not choking the monkey watching porn or chopping wood under the sheets, but proudly loving your body as your own, a body worthy of respect, affection, time and tenderness? Create Account Lost Your Password? Toggle navigation Toggle profile. Create Account.

    Analysis Respect the plumed serpent Kendell Geers 20 Jul Supplied Comments. Business Sabelo Skiti SAA to shed jobs but pilots get pay rise totalling Rm.