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View Diary: Ancient America: The Gods of Palenque (65 comments)

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  •  Not sure why your link to the story doesn't work, (4+ / 0-)
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    gzodik, Anak, Ojibwa, ehrenfeucht games

    but here is the story I found on the NY Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    The article says that "Palenque" is:

    the Spanish word for a fortified village of runaway slaves.

    I think it actually simply refers to a palisade, or fence, or fortified area in general.  That this one happened to be the home of run-away slaves and was fortified against intruders probably doesn't change the basic meaning.

    Anyway, back to the diary's Palenque which may have been a fortified city. I wonder what it was called in Maya?

    Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

    by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 01:18:28 PM PDT

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    •  There were numerous palenques (3+ / 0-)
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      YucatanMan, Ojibwa, ehrenfeucht games

      in colonial Latin America. So, the word does also mean "refuge of escaped slaves." The Real Academia, for example, gives this definition for palenque:

      6. m. Cuba. Lugar alejado y de difícil acceso en el que se refugiaban los esclavos negros fugitivos.

      In Brazil they were called quilombos.

      The interesting thing with the Colombian example is that it is a proper noun.

      Lamentablemente, por ahora, los objetivos que nos planteamos no fueron logrados en la ciudad capital. - Hugo Chávez, 1992

      by Anak on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 01:36:33 PM PDT

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      •  Sort of in a slang sort of way... like Tea Party (3+ / 0-)
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        Ojibwa, Anak, ehrenfeucht games

        really refers to wackos and not Tea or a Party.  Ooops.... well, not even a close comparison, but....

        "palenque" is fortified lugar or arena and those places full of escaped slaves became called that ...perhaps as there were also other words to use for fortifications (fuerte) or arena (ruedo, redondel) , perhaps?  or because most towns built by escaped slaves included a palisade of stakes, lacking the numbers of people needed to build walled cities, perhaps?

        Just speculations....  It is always fascinating to me how one Spanish word can have so many different localized meanings.  Traveling between various countries, you really have to be careful about things which are common in one place but a vulgarity in another.

        Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

        by YucatanMan on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 01:57:59 PM PDT

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        •  I think the NYT definition might be a bit off (3+ / 0-)
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          Ojibwa, ehrenfeucht games, YucatanMan

          I just looked at a history book, Slaves, Subjects and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America, published by U New Mexico P, 2006, and the definition they give of palenque is simply: "Runaway slave community in Spanish America."

          So, sorta like we might use the word "camp", as in: "The escaped slaves have camped out in the mountains over there." Whether they are fortified or not.

          And, yes, you're right about the localized meanings in this case too, because the book says palenques were also called "manieles" and "cumbes."

          Lamentablemente, por ahora, los objetivos que nos planteamos no fueron logrados en la ciudad capital. - Hugo Chávez, 1992

          by Anak on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 02:22:49 PM PDT

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      •  They had never heard of Lakam Ha (4+ / 0-)
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        Ojibwa, carver, ehrenfeucht games, hazzcon

        which was its real name.  We've only known that for a bit over 10 years, i think.

        You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

        by mbayrob on Sun Sep 11, 2011 at 02:16:12 PM PDT

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