MA: Mani and the Xiu
- Sam is, of course, right about the status of the Mani church and
convento. The Franciscans prime aims in establishing their
convento at Mani - the first in Yucatan - were to evangelize and
solidify the Spanish association with the Xiu who, during the
conquest, supported the Spaniards against other, hostile Maya
lineages, such as the Cocoms - traditional enemies of the Xiu in
fragmented, late post-classic Yucatan. Also, the conquistador
Montejo held much of the Xiu territory in encomienda, another
good reason to cement close ties. The permanent stone monastery
was supposedly built in seven short months in 1549 by a work
force of 6000 Maya assigned to the project by Lord Kukum Xiu.
This era of good feeling between the Xiu and the Spanish ended,
as has been noted, with the infamous Mani Inquisition of 1562.
BTW, in a version I heard, the "sorceress" or dwarf of Uxmal was
reputed to reside in the sacred cenote, thus connecting Mani to
this ancient site - although this may have been an invention of
the late arriving Xiu to link themselves, by way of legitimation,
to the ancient Maya.
Exploring Colonial Mexico