C o n C l u s i o n
once upon a time, the story goes, a peaceful Ma-
yan people lived at the foot of a stone temple, offering
incense to the gods to the accompaniment of priestly
chanting. One day, on the coast nearby, strange beings
arrived, mounted on ferocious beasts and vomiting fire
and death. They imprisoned the leaders of the little
pueblo and subjected them to horrible tortures, searing
their feet with hot coals. The Spanish had Mayan trans-
lators with them and ordered them to ask the leaders
of el pueblo, “Do you know where we can find gold?”
But the translators, betraying their overlords, simply
told the prisoners in Maya, “Nuc ma ti!” (“answer no to
them!”). As the interrogation and torments intensified,
the valiant leaders refused to give over their gold and
silver. They refused even to speak, maintaining a “stony
silence, like the stones of their majestic temples,” until
death took them. Inhabitants of the pueblo would re-
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