By Lawrence H. Feldman
Utilizing colonial tax and census files, a few students imagine the indigenous inhabitants brought to least ninety% within the first a hundred and sixty years after the ecu conquest. Mismanagement, drought, famine, flood, earthquakes, or even volcanic eruptions all had their sufferers, however the leader factors of loss of life have been none of those. In colonial Guatemala the pests, the epidemics, have been the best killers.
There are many books on medication in colonial Guatemala. What makes this paintings diversified is that it's not a extensive heritage of the colonial period, neither is it limited to a unmarried ethnic crew or occupation. in its place, it seeks to reply to the query: What occurred whilst a plague struck?
The phrases are these of the 17th, eighteenth and early 19th century witnesses who converse to us from the Hispanic archival files of these occasions. From worship of the Angel of demise to threats to lynch officers introducing inoculation, the response of the Indian inhabitants used to be proactive within the face of the chance from illnesses. And the Spanish govt, whose Inquisition burnt photographs of the Angel of demise and brought what they thought of have been the simplest and most desirable treatments to halt the unfold of epidemics, was once no much less lively in looking a medication.
For a complete record of the epidemics that struck Colonial Guatemala and the phrases of these who witnessed those occasions see The warfare opposed to Epidemics in Colonial Guatemala, 1519-1821
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Additional info for The War Against Epidemics in Colonial Guatemala, 1519-1821
One can also apply oil, flor de ceniza , or an egg omelet. Diarrhea is an mishap most difficult to cure and the most rebellious. It comes normally from a lack in the diet, from those who eat too much, who walk on the ground with naked feet, or those who don't take care of themselves in the cold. In order to cure it, it is necessary that they eat very little, that they keep warm and drink all day much milk, mixed with two parts of cooked rose water, or some plantain leaves and smear the coccyx with tallow and the stomach with oil mixed with flor de ceniza.
Each day I see more the obvious benefit which Your Lordship had for these unhappy Indians and remain persuaded that if Your Lordship had not decided to order the isolation of the contagion that the entire Kingdom [of Guatemala] would now be infested. I equally say to Your Lordship that if the inoculation and curative procedures were not put into effect already all these towns would have been annihilated as had happened with those of the Guistas [Huista] of this same parish of Jacaltenango in the previous epidemic of the year eighty!
Since all these houses are so close one to other, there is hardly an alley without two or three [houses whose inhabitants died]. In all one can only count six or eight huts in which there were no deaths or ill, the healthy fleeing into the fields to escape the illness. Since the town hall, the house of the priest and the church are thatched I could not ... burn the huts which are abandoned, since I would burn the entire town; I thus had to make the decision of ordering all the [remaining] healthy into their fields.
The War Against Epidemics in Colonial Guatemala, 1519-1821 by Lawrence H. Feldman