sábado, febrero 22, 2014

Worthless beads for worthless axes

On one occasion the Spaniards thought themselves cheated: Bernal Diaz writes that in the town of Tonalá, not far from La Venta, there was a fast and furious trading of glass beads for hundreds of glittering axes that turned out to be of polished copper instead of gold. Bernal consoles himself philosophically, saying that they came out even in the exchange: worthless beads for worthless axes. He stopped at Tonalá long enough to plant the seeds of an orange he had brought ashore. He claims to have seen orange trees three years later, full-grown and bearing fruit, the first planted on the American mainland.

- Mexico South. The Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Miguel Covarrubias. Ed. 1962. Pp. 113.

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