Ever would determine the fate of the

Ever since Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in the famous year of 1492, the "New" world encountered new teachings and beliefs that challenged their traditional ones.Spanish conquistadors undertook a colonization of the Americas which would determine the fate of the indigenous population for centuries to come.After razing the existing American society, the Spaniards colonized the Americas and constructed a new society: a society full of Westernizing influences. The majority of the indigenous population of the Americas had preestablished beliefs and practices, and, consequently, clashed with the influences of Westernization.This can be seen in much of the exported Latin American conquest and colonial literature, and, in particular, the writings of Carlos Maria Bustamante in the early 19th century, and Rigoberta Menchu in the late 20th century.Both Bustamante's Proclamation 1820- The Malinche of the Constitution and Menchu's I, Rigoberta Menchu express the struggle which indigenous cultures are experiencing as they try to maintain their native values and practices.

Two facets of society greatly affected by Westernization were religion and education.Under the Encomienda System, natives were required to adopt the Catholic beliefs of the colonists.Although not technically in effect in the 19th century, this aspect of the Encomienda System lingered on.Albeit not wholly enforced, the Constitution that was in effect in the 19th century outlawed any repression of one's religious beliefs.In an effort to maintain indigenous cultural values and practices, Bustamante directly communicates the Constitution to the native population, and tells them the rights constituted to them.

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Among these rights, Bustamante writes, is the ability to perform religious dances in public sanctuaries without being fined.The latter is illustrated in a quote from The Proclamation…, &qu.


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