LETTERS TO THE EDITORS
To the Editors:
In "Volcano Myths and Rituals" (Macroscope,
January-February), John Dvorak states that the Aztecs revered the
volcano Momotombo in Nicaragua as a symbol of defiance against the
Spanish conquistadors. However, I don't think the Aztecs controlled
or had any presence in Nicaragua during the time of the explosion of
this volcano, or at any other point.
Roger X. Navas-Balladares
Sherman Oaks, CA
Dr. Dvorak responds:
It is true that the Aztec Empire was confined to a portion of modern
Mexico and did not extend to Nicaragua. There was a cultural and
linguistic similarity between the Aztecs and the people of central
and western Nicaragua. But those people were politically independent
of the Aztecs.
In my article, I used "Aztec" as a general term for the
pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico and Central America. I thought the term
would be easier for the general reader to understand than the more
cumbersome "pre-Columbian Mesoamericans."