Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Planet of Hats, Aug 21, 2016.

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  1. LunazimHawk Your Friendly Neighborhood Bengal Sultan

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    So a Native syncretism of both Islamic and Indigenous beliefs, probably in some form of Sufiism or Sunni (like how Indonesia/Malaysia did it).
     
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  2. inawarminister Well-Known Member

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    And orthodox reaction by Hajjis later ala Padris...

    It might be outside the TL scope, but I'm still hyped for the first Andalusi globe circumnavigator to meet Muslims of Southeast Asia, probably in Manila.
     
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  3. Nyvis Well-Known Member

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    In the update before the last, you mentioned our explorers being fed on corn/maize. Wouldn't the natives here use a lot of amaranth? Or was that just the Aztecs? If it's already there, it probably doesn't get banned like it did under the Spanish.
     
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  4. Yama951 Well-Known Member

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    Problem with that is that Manila needs to be taken over by Brunei first and while the latest world map showed Brunei as Muslim, Hats already said that the Song dynasty is propping up the Buddhist tributaries in the region, particularly the ones in the Philippines, probably due to close distance.
     
  5. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Just finished reading this and looking forward to seeing where this goes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  6. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Just fixed the typo and it's got me thinking.

    What's happening in Indonesia and India?
     
  7. Yama951 Well-Known Member

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    I am curious if there's gonna be a united Maritime South East Asia under a Buddhist Nusantara state in the future
     
  8. KidCabralista Cape Verde's Unofficial Wikipedia Meister

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    Like @Al-numbers explained in a previous post on the region, Song backing still doesn't change that a good section of Maritime SE Asia is highly likely to go Muslim. I don't think there'll be Buddhist hegemony, more likely split between spheres.
     
  9. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    To be more precise, it's this post and this post. In a nutshell, it all really comes down to how the local thassalocracies (Java, Brunei, etc.) shall react to being under Song patronage whilst also trading with Muslim merchants coming from India and beyond. A number of regions like Malaya and north Sumatra are certainly going to be converted by virtue of proximity, but the rest of the archipelago is a real wildcard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  10. inawarminister Well-Known Member

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    Malacca was under Ming patronage when they converted to Islam IOTL:
    An earlier Malacca would be fun. The first state to convert to Islam will basically write the new lingua franca of the region. IOTL, all the Malays in SEA use Malaccan Malay as their prestige language. What about other Malay dialects?

    Edit: from memory, here are all extant Malay states in 1350s AD:
    1. Kingdom of Singapura, ruled by a exiled prince from Palembang due to Majapahit invasion, IOTL escaped further to Malacca around 1402AD. Would be fun if we have a Singapura-Johor Malay power in this alternate SEA I think.
    2. Kingdom of Dharmasraya, at Jambi. Ruled by cousin line of Majapahit kings (descended from the last Srivijayan princesses), and precursor to Minangkabau culture. IOTL, the eastern coast went Muslim far earlier than the rugged highlands of the west. From Chinese source, seems there was a rebellion against Majapahit rule in 1380s with the result that the surviving court moved upland, perhaps to modern site of Batusangkar:
    3. Sultanate of Samudra Pasai. Seems to have became Muslim from 1267AD.
    4. Brunei is still a constituent state of Majapahit as Po-ni.

    [​IMG]
    Seems there are some Majapahit colonies in far off Sulu too, that Brunei takes over later in 15th century.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  11. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    True. That's another thing to consider: whether the Hindu-Buddhist states like being propped-up by the alt-Song and convert to Islam anyways.

    Aceh ITTL was the first state to convert and has effectively added Malaya and the Malacca straits into its domain, so standard Acehnese seems to be the regional lingua frana unless Java decides to convert and go all Majapahit 2.0. The Malay dialects could still live on as regional languages for a while though - the mountains and river valleys of the peninsula could shelter them a bit from coastal homogenization, especially in Terengganu and Kelantan.
     
  12. inawarminister Well-Known Member

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    IOTL, Aceh elites and traders spoke in standard Malay, and was one of the center of Malay culture - and Aceh language might be spoken only inland in the 13th to 15th century, with the coastal towns speaking Srivijayan Malay anyway lol. So yeah, Aceh Malay might become the lingua franca, with the result that Aceh language went the way of do-do in the future. Maybe. Or perhaps as you said, Aceh language becomes the regional franca, but I don't think that's inevitable or even the most likely. Everyone in the region was united by Srivijayan ships anyway, even Majapahit* can't stop speaking (Srivijayan) Malay...

    * Only in certain cities of course, mainly the trading northern cities such as Hujunggaluh (Surabaya) and Semarang. And perhaps in the colonies. We have no idea, sadly.

    To help OP: Majapahit's core lands in Central and East Java:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  13. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    I feel like I know more about Southeast Asia now than I did just 12 hours ago.
     
  14. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if this could lead to a Malacca-lite situation where the Acehnese court commits affairs in Srivijayan Malay - where it would still be the common link between all the strait rulers - but the local population speaks an Acehnese-based pasar/pidgin Malay, with both strains bleeding and influencing the other as time goes on.

    Assuming Southeast Asian history goes similar to OTL, with the addition of the TTL fracturing of Srivijaya and the non-rise of Majapahit, the biggest conflict I can see would be between Singapura and Aceh. If the alt-Song dynasty is more economically involved in SE Asia, then the island will undoubtedly become a trading centre from its position at the strait's mouth, and especially so if the local Uleebalang (commander/local lords) begin to feel distant from the capital. If a Sang Nila Utama or Sri Wikrama Wira analogue exists ITTL - and the bickering from the Hindu-Buddhist states could produce such a person - then I can see a huge tussle for Aceh to keep southern Malaya.

    Then again, Singapura might be happy being a vassal of Aceh. If your neighbor has the strongest navy in the region, it helps to be on his good side and receive protection, especially since Jambi is right down the water.
     
  15. Yama951 Well-Known Member

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    On the Philippines side, the major players there are Hindu-Buddhist Kingdom of Butuan, Confederation of Madya-as on Panay (said to have been founded by 10 fleeing Srivijayan princes) and the Kingdom of Manila before Brunei defeated them and took Palawan island and put a Muslim cadet branch in charge some decades from the current time, I think.

    Edit: there are other organized nations in the area as well. The Rajahnate of Cebu, said to have been founded by a distant member of the Chola dynasty, Sulu, Lanao, Pangasinan was a tributary and trade port for Chinese goods, Aparri might be the same for Japanese goods...
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  16. Threadmarks: ACT VII Part VII: Teaching the Otomi

    Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    "There is only one proper approach to those who carve out the hearts of men," declared Caliph Al-Mustamsik. "And that is forcing them to change their practices!"

    Within the garden of the Alcazar of Qurtubah, seven pairs of eyes turned silently to the Caliph sitting upright on his divan, leaning forward with intensity in his eyes. The fellow, his sandy hair long and wild and his beard poorly-oiled, was practically stiff as a steel pole, his eyes wide with zeal.

    Sighing, Hajib Husayn raised a finger to his temple, rubbing in slow circles. "I thought we talked about that, Commander of the Faithful."

    Al-Mustamsik was visibly taken aback. He lowered his hands to his lap and shifted uncomfortably in place, fussing with his florid robes. "Well, yes. But there is hardly any other option, is there? If the stories are true, then there are people over there who not only know nothing of God, but who carve out the hearts of innocents! What else can this be but something that must be stopped by intervention?"

    "If the stories are true," Husayn reiterated with a small frown. "So let's say they are. Very well. Let's proceed that way. Do you want me to send an army to the Land of Anawak?"

    "Well, yes, if it means bringing the true faith and saving those who might be sacrificed," huffed the Caliph.

    Sliding forward, one of the viziers - old, white-bearded Zakariyya, the financier - raised his ledger. "Very well, then," he said with a flick of his quill.

    The quill darted across the sheet in front of him. "So. An army to Anawak. First I'll need authorization from you for, oh, 200 ships, minimum. We will have to build them all, requiring either a substantial use of lumber from your hima - of which there is not much - or we buy it from Liwaril and pay the rates they set. Either that or we requisition the ships from their rightful owners. Either way, I will require significant numbers of dinars, and if we try it the second way, I will also require sufficient funds to compensate the merchants for the funding they will lose if they're not able to ship slaves and pepper during the peak season, and funds to pay all the dockworkers and foodsellers who will be without work during this shortage of trading ships."

    The old financier flicked his quill again. "I will also need your authorization to raise sufficient troops and horses to man those ships, and to staff them with reasonably competent commanders. I will therefore need your authorization to either withdraw murabitun from the valley forts and from the front against the Rum and the Firanj, or you will need to send someone out to raise thousands of additional volunteers, as well as paying them enough to make the journey worthwhile. You will also need to purchase and train sufficient members of the Black Guard, or employ sufficient numbers of kishafa."

    As Al-Mustamsik stared at Zakariyya helplessly, the old vizier clicked his tongue. "You will also need to provide sufficient food for each of these men, and their horses, and sufficient food for their return voyage. You will also need to supply sufficient equipment for them to build their own outpost once they reach the Gharb al-Aqsa. You will also need to provide accurate maps of the region and supply us with local guides who can assist the army in living off the land, assuming it is even possible to do so."

    "And at that point, the army would either go into business for itself, or walk straight into the hands of the enemy," the burly general Mutarrif ibn Gharsiya pointed out levelly. "As what happened with that group who went over to try and fight the people of Al-Quwunah earlier this year. As I recall, those were mounted Sanhaja, and most of them did not come back."

    "I assume you'll also want to launch an invasion of Binu," Husayn put in with a wave of his hand towards the flustered Caliph. "And possibly the region of the Zadazir. As you know, the Zanj there are also polytheists. We could probably do it. As well, we can also send an army down the Baraa to try and defeat the Al-Tabayu as well. We can fight all the world's polytheists within a few years, if you like."

    "We would need several million dinars just to get started," Zakariyya finished helpfully. "What shall we sell to begin raising the funds, O Successor of the Prophet?"

    With a huff, a thoroughly flushed Al-Mustamsik sunk back on the divan, practically sinking into his robes. His beard bristled with frustration. "Fine, fine, you have made your point," he grumbled. "But I still think it could be done very easily! Mahmud al-Sanhaji gained rule over Qisqayyah with a few hundred men, you know!"

    "There are a lot more people in Anawak and Quwunah than on one island in the middle of the ocean," Mutarrif grunted. "It's a little different when you're talking about invading what we are told is a densely-populated valley with cities the size of our own. We might as well be trying to invade the Firanj, except we'd be resupplying the army from across an entire ocean."

    "But we can do it," Zakariyya noted pointedly. "We are, after all, at the service of the wise decisions of the Successor."

    "We're just trying to inform the Successor of what would be involved," Husayn noted.

    "Alright, alright, that's enough!" the paper Caliph grumbled, sinking into a bitter sulk. "I say again that you have made your point. We can send teachers. But I will not prohibit striking against them where possible if they raise arms against the faith!"

    "An eminently fiscally responsible conclusion, O leader of the ummah," Zakariyya answered blandly. Husayn had to turn his head to hide a snicker.


    ~


    Why is it that so many of the Muslims of Anawak light candles when the moon is full?


    ~



    Excerpt: The Farthest Mosques: How Islam Spread in the Farthest West - Hedia Addinihn, New Moon Press, AD 2012


    The predilections of Muslim conquerors in the Pearl Islands and the less developed regions of the Algarves are well-known and exemplified in the reviled figure of Mahmud ibn Asafu, the despot whose men subjugated Qisqayyah. But by and large, such approaches were not successful against the more complex and organized societies of Kawania and the Central Isthmian Valleys, also known as Anawak or Anahuac. Individual groups of kishafa may have been able to defeat disorganized chiefdoms, but the isthmian peoples represented what historians have taken to calling Central Algarvian High Culture, with urbanized societies, entrenched hierarchies and the ability to raise armies.

    In 1356, it appears that a group of kishafa led by Blue Army defectors discovered this firsthand when they made landfall in Kawania and attempted to attack the Mayan city of Lamanai, likely pursuing rumours carried by Al-Tamarani's crew about Mayan religious practices. Stories of this group are fragmentary, but they seem to have consisted of about 150 Berbers, some of them mounted, and most of whom did not return. Adventurers in Kawania found the peninsula thinly-provendered, heavily-forested and quite rugged; living off the land was a challenge, and fresh water was a challenge to come by. Mayan civilization had adapted itself to make do with limited sources of water and slash-and-burn agriculture, but the Berbers had less familiarity with the surroundings and were apparently soundly defeated, with a few of them limping to Qisqayyah by boat with tales of Mayan ambushes and hidden traps.

    While it would seem improbable that civilizations without widespread metallurgy or horses would be able to fight off modern warriors from the east, in fact the technological gap between the Andalusians and the Algarvians was not as vast as it appeared. Isolated encounters between rogue kishafa and indigenous warriors demonstrated that even the stone weapons of the Anawakans and Maya could be effective - and even on Qisqayyah, Mahmud ibn Asafu's conquest was completed largely through the aid of native allies from the north of the island.

    With these difficulties, saying nothing of the greater priority of defending Al-Andalus itself against incursions from the northern Christians, invading the Central Algarves was never seriously attempted, and the official position of the government in Isbili was to trade and teach. As such, much of the contact with this part of the world comes through merchants and religious scholars (and through Sufis going into business for themselves), with outbreaks of violence mostly local and opportunistic.

    When Muslims arrived in Anawak, they found a polytheistic faith heavily rooted in dualism and immediately noted by visitors for the role played by periodic human sacrifice. Contrary to some early accounts, it does not appear that most people in Anawak conducted sacrifice on the scale of thousands,[1] but there is ample evidence that humans were sacrificed. The people of Anawak seem to have been somewhat more ecumenical about it than the Maya, who preferred to sacrifice nobility, and only then on specific occasions. These rituals startled Muslim visitors to the region more than anything and sparked extensive debate in mosques and madrasahs in Al-Andalus and the Maghreb about what should be done about them.

    Most cultural and local deities seem to have been a mix of both ancient traditions and more tribe-based ones, but some concepts seemed ubiquitous. Most groups in Anawak, for instance, believed in some form of dualistic pairing of the sun and the moon. Most commonly spread, however, are conceptual deities which seem to have appeared initially at the vast temple complex known by the Nahua as Teotihuacan, or simply the Old City.

    Several of the oldest conceptual deities seem to have spread out from the Old City, many of them first recorded by the historian Abu Bakr ibn Mu'ammar al-Katib in his 1369 tome "The Spirituality of the Tribes of the Valley of Anawak"[2] and expanded upon further by later historians of polytheism. Al-Katib is representative of much of the early consensus among Muslims with experience in Anawak, characterizing the native deities as jinn. This seems to have been a natural leap of assumption: While the Anawakan groups describe their deities with the word "teotl," this word seems not to carry the same connotations as the word "God," but rather describes a more animistic and numinous conception of divinity. Indeed, some merchants reported being treated like gods by the Anawakans, likely a misunderstanding based on their being described as teotl in the context of being mysterious and spiritually evocative.[3]

    Al-Katib's list of deities features several core concepts in Anawak. He records key figures like the Storm and Rain Jinn (known to the Nahua as Tlaloc and the Maya as Chaac), the Female Water Jinn (known to the Nahua as Chalchiuhtlicue), and the Flayed Mayiz Jinn (known to the Zapotec as Yopi and to the Nahua as the minor corn god Xipe Totec). These figures tend to be fairly ubiquitous in the various societies of Central Algarvian High Culture. Two, however, seem to have been particularly important at the time of the crossing.

    The most auspicious was the Feathered Serpent, known to the Nahua as Quetzalcoatl and to the Maya as various permutations of Kukulkan. In Anawak, the Feathered Serpent was seen as a dualistic entity of wisdom, light and the wind, and as a serpent which flew, it was both a creature of the earth and a creature of heaven. As well, the Feathered Serpent was seen as having a more ambiguous relationship to human sacrifice than the other Central Algarvian deities, often being said to not favour it. As such, Quetzalcoatl was often seen by Muslims as "the good god" in the local pantheon.

    A more troubling and ambiguous figure for early preachers was the Old Old God. This deity appears to be one of the oldest in Anawak, if not the oldest, and his worship was fairly ubiquitous. He appears to the Otomi as the Old Father. Among the Nahua, he is called Huehueteotl (literally "the Old Old God"), into whom ages the Young Fire God Xiuhtecuhtli; he was also commonly called Otontecuhtli ("The Lord of the Otomi"). To the Maya, he manifests as the concept of Mam, or Grandfather, often applied in Kawania to the oldest deities. The conceptual Old Old God long predates Teotihuacan and is associated with the domestic hearth fire, time, change, aging, renewal, balance, and the renewal of the 52-year cycle of the world. He also seems to have some role to play in creation.

    The god, as Otontecuhtli, was the patron of the city of Azcapotzalco, the capital of the Tepanec tribe. A version of him also appeared among the Otomi, who were a ubiquitous minority in Azcapotzalco and other cities and commanded a network of tributaries outright around the north end of the Anawak lake complex, in a city the Nahua called Xaltocan and which has colloquially become known to the locals as "Dähnini."[4] In his guise as the Old Father, the Old Old God was their patron god, who was wedded to their most important figure: Zâna[5], the Queen of the Night, who represented both the Moon and the earth.

    Most surviving statues of Huehueteotl, which usually represent the aged, bowed god sitting with a brazier on his head, have been discovered in residential houses, not in temples. He seems to have been a ubiquitous household god. But his priesthood also had a role to play in one of the most important and ancient rituals in the region: The New Fire ceremony, in which the fire of the world was ceremonially renewed every 52 years, a rite which was overseen by the priests of Huehueteotl.

    The spread of Islam in Anawak was not facilitated by a grand invasion; it was led by Sufis and more orthodox scholars, who had to grapple with these conceptions of the world. The first such teachers seem to have arrived not long after first contact, likely without authorization from Sale or Isbili, and found their best reception among the Otomi. While it is believed that the Otomi and other speakers of similar languages, like the Mazahua, were the majority in the Valley around the time of Teotihuacan, by the time of the Crossing they were being ever more persecuted and pushed back. Otomi were a major part of the population in cosmopolitan Texcoco, but their ruling class had become increasingly more Nahuatl in their ways and even their language, and while Otomi seem to have been important in Azcapotzalco (sufficiently so that the Tepanec described their patron as Otontecuhtli), the Tepanecs spoke Nahuatl. This seems to have represented the consequence of a steady trickle of Nahua-speakers into the region,[6] the most recent being the Caxcan people, who had settled at the south end of the lake and established their city-state of Teocaltillitzin.

    Xaltocan itself was at war on a regular basis, in a prolonged conflict with the Nahua city-state of Cuauhtitlan. Early in the conflicts, the Otomi were the stronger - their city was virtually impregnable, located on an island in the midst of Lake Xaltocan, accessible only by causeways.[7] However, around the time of the Crossing, Tecatlapohuatzin, the ruler of Cuauhtitlan, had begun to make overtures towards Xiuhtlatonac, the ruler of Azcapotzalco, in the hopes of receiving his aid in conquering the Otomi. Xiuhtlatonac himself was renowned as a genius in the fields of both diplomacy and military, and since becoming tlatoani in Azcapotzalco he had been working diligently to expand the city's hegemony.

    Nahuatl speakers, in other words, were on the ascendancy, and Otomi speakers were reaching out for sources of relief. Many would find it in the visitors from across the sea.


    [1] There has been no Tlacaelel to re-jig the religion, and there is no Huitzilopochtli to demand the very most sacrifices.
    [2] Al-Katib is somewhat analogous to Bernardino de Sahagun.
    [3] No, Cortes was not Quetzalcoatl. He was just a mystery.
    [4] We do not have the Otomi name of Xaltocan. The term "dähnini" is a generic Otomi term for "the town" and suggests Xaltocan eventually becomes important. Incidentally, I'm using the term "Otomi" for the people who call themselves the Hñähñu because the Andalusians tried to figure out how to write "Hñähñu" and drew a blank: Otomi is a tonal language. The term "Otomi" is a Nahua name for them. Basically the Hñähñu call themselves the Hñähñu but are called the Otomi by the Andalusians.
    [5] I'm trying to preserve accents as much as possible here because of the tonal characteristics of the language.
    [6] This is actually highly controversial; we do not really know who built Teotihuacan and who was in the Valley before the Triple Alliance period. What we do seem to know is that the population of Teotihuacan was multicultural, but with what may have been an Otomi majority, and that after 1000 or so there was a steady inflow of Nahua-speaking Chichimecas into the Valley. The Tepanecs themselves worshipped a god described as "the Lord of the Otomi" and the Acolhua had an Otomi-speaking ruling class before switching to Nahuatl in the 1350s. By the time Cortes arrived, Nahuatl was the lingua franca, and the Aztecs actively suppressed and persecuted the Otomi. This seems to indicate that the Otomi were much more prominent two centuries before Cortes than they were in Cortes's time - but in decline.
    [7] Xaltocan is like a tiny Tenochtitlan.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
  17. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    all the trip to nothing, some of them must be feel bambloozed were not those insane sacrifying people...
     
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  18. Planet of Hats Ahmadi-Cruz Parlante Gang Donor

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    I can't emphasize enough how insanely lucky Cortes was. He literally strolled straight into the New World and found a whole bunch of well-armed native allies ready to jump in behind him and knock over a Mexica government which had seriously reformed the religion to emphasize more sacrifices to a god who was a piddling nobody before their arrival.

    The Tepanecs have a much more loyal base of tributaries and allies, even though their control area is not as big.
     
  19. Alexander the Average Anti-lion tamer

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    The sarcasm in the opening section was beautiful.
     
  20. Al-numbers Well-Known Member

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    Ahh, logistics. Truly the bane of empires. XD

    No surprise, the influx of Sufis and preachers are having some stumbling blocks understanding local cosmology, though it's nice to see Quetzalcoatl being seen as a somewhat positive force. Their reception is also intriguing, especially with the Otomi being amongst those so interested in this new faith. Assuming violence is kept at bay, would there arise a Muslim-Otomi identity in the future to counter Nahua influence? It would earn them some cachet with the new traders from across the ocean and their strange tools. I assume the Totonacs are also interested in this new faith as they're also under pressure?

    I wonder what would cause the writer to pen such, and what really happens on the nights of the full moon.
     
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