A CONCISE HISTORY OF TLAXCALA
The city of Tlaxcala is the first American city to be designed and constructed by Hispanics and Tlaxcalans. Pope Clement VII founded it by papal bull on October 3, 1525. It did not pass through the process which every city normally requires to develop from village to town to city, but rather was considered a city immediately upon construction. (Sources: PapalBull and Hispanic Royal Orders)
The construction of the governmental palace of Tlaxcala began in 1522 and ended in 1545. Also built during this period were a palace, a convent of five buildings and, at the center of town, a parade ground. (Source: unpublished letter of Hernán Cortés)
Through the federal law of Archeological, Historic, and Artistic Zones and Monuments, it was named a historicmonument and an artistic area. The building is divided into three parts. On the northeast is the consistorial house. North of center is the first Indian council, where ordinances were signed for the formation of town councils in New Spain. To the northwest is the “ALHONDIGA”. (Source: Diego Muñoz Camargo).
Prehispanic history is primarily based on codices and interpretations ofsixteenth-century historians.
In the interior of the first part of the building are “Murals of the History of Tlaxcala and its Contribution to the History of Mexico”, by the master Desiderio Hernández Xochitiotzin. These portray the history of the Teochichimecan people from when they left Chicomoztoc, site of the seven caves from which the seven Nahuatl tribes
emerged in the year 5 Rabbit, guided byCamaxtli, god of war and hunting. After their pilgrimage, they arrived in Texcoco in the year 2 Flint and were well-received by the Texcocans, who brought them food (itacate) and gave them land to populate and cultivate, calling their territory Poyauhtlan, where they would learn about different arts, such as weaving fabric for clothing (maxtle) and making footwear (cacle). They lived in this landfrom the eighth to the eleventh centuries, when they became demographically and martially strong.
In the eleventh century, they were attacked by the Tepanecas, lords of Aztcapozalco, setting off an epic military campaign that would be the greatest in all of Tlaxcalan history (this according to the codex of the great poet Tecuanitzin Chichimecatecutli, which mentions that in the year 1 Flint, thelake of Texcoco was full of blood rather than water). Even though the Teochichimecas triumphed, and by right of war were owners of the territory, their god Camaxtli revealed to them: “ONCANTONAZ ONCANTONAHUIZ ONCANTONAZQUE AY AMONICAN”, indicating that they should cross the Tlaloc mountains, where they would find a sign of five hills with an eagle which would fly over one of the hills, andwhere they would establish themselves on the sides of Matlalcueyec, which—upon the arrival of Hernán Cortés and his interpreter—came to be known as Malintzín.
They established their fist dominion in the year 5 Flint, called Tepeticpac, which means “on the hill”, or “cliff”. Their emblem was an eagle. The second dominion was called Ocotelulco, place of the wooden pineapples, and its emblem was acrane. The third dominion was called Tizatlan, place of chalky earth or limestone, and its emblem was a white stork. The fourth dominion was Quihauhiztlan, place where it rains, and its emblem was a half crest.
The first governor of the Tlaxcalans was Culhuatecutlicuanez, he of the ashy head and great master of wisdom.
The painter of the murals mentions that his work would be incomplete withoutmention of this culture’s religiosity, which he represents on a wall located on the east. Here he depicts the rituals of animal offerings to the god Camaxtli as well as to a beautiful young woman and a warrior. At the center of the scene, three priests celebrate the ceremony of the new fire.
The second mural in front of their guardian god is dedicated to their goddess Xochiquetzalli, deity...
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