Talk:Muisca people

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Fair use rationale for Image:Theroadtoeldorado.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 02:48, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Copyedit[edit]

Human sacrifice?[edit]

The religion originally included human sacrifice, but the practice may have been extinct by the time of the Spanish conquest, as there are no first-hand Spanish accounts from the time. Oral tradition suggests that every family offered a child to the priests, who was treated as sacred and cared for until the age of 15, then offered to Sue, the Sun-god. Besides the religious activities, the priests had much influence in the lives of the people, giving counsel in matters of farming or war.
While human sacrifice was a popular practice in the pre-Colombian Mesoamerica, and -- to some extent -- also in the South America -- I have serious doubts about this account, even saying that it could happen in the Muisca pepople. First, there is NO citation at all here. But let's suppose that human sacrifice was practised among the Muisca, I seriously doubt its scale and numbers. If "each family offered their child to the priests, which was, at the age of 15, offered to Sue, the Sun-God", then they would have a generation-wide SLAUGHTER each year or each 15 years. Even Maya and Aztecs weren't so bloodthirsty to their own compatriots, as they usually sacrificed the prisoners of war and (the Aztecs), the losers of the so-called "Flower-Wars" or some kinds of ballgame. Another great pre-Colombian civilization, Inca, had human sacrifices only on some very rare occassions (including human sacrifice of children, but each timer it was a small handful of persons, and not "one child of each family"). Given that, is it possible that such wholesale ritual killing (human sacrifice) was practised in the small nation?
Therefore, I would ask anybody with better knowledge about Muisca than mine for clarification of the subject. Critto (talk) 22:42, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Language[edit]

I am a little worried about the article's assertion that "the languages of the Muisca were Chibchan, Muysca and Mosca which belong to the Chibchan-Paezan linguistic family". For one thing, the page cited as a reference actually says "la lengua chibcha, muysca o mosca, fue la lengua [...] Pertenece a la familia chibchana". Thus it would be rather better to say that "the language of the Musica is likewise known as Muisca, also spelled muysca or mosca in the Colonial sources, and it belongs to the larger Chibchan family." It might also be worth noting that Musica itself is sometimes dubbed "Chibcha", and the Muisca are sometimes dubbed "Chibchas", though I think this kind of usage is diminishing as it tends to confuse the Muisca with the much wider Chibchan family. I also believe that the most recent scholarship has cast doubt on the existance of a "Chibchan-Paezan" family; Paez may well be unrelated, or at least considered very, very separate from the Chibchan family. Likewise, the article's assertion "Chibchan, also known as muysca, mosca or muska kubun" can probably be corrected along similar lines. Moreover, technically, I believe the native name of the language is preserved in Colonial sources as "muisc cubun" (the final -a of "muisca" regularly dropping in this kind of construction ... though I should check that detail).

Likewise, as implied above, the article's assertion that "Chibchan" (better as "Muisca", anyway) "belongs to the linguistic family of Paezan languages" is probably wrong, despite the reference. The note about "The Tayrona Culture and the U'wa, related also to the Muisca Culture, could speak similar languages and it helped develop their market exchange" can probably be left alone for the moment -- there are references in Colonial sources that guides from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta had a relatively easy time communicating with Muisca speakers -- though based on what can be understood of Proto-Arhuacan and Muisca, this may have had more to do with a general similarity of inherited grammatical structures, as the languages themselves don't seem likely to have been mutually comprehensible dialects.

Also, the statement "many Chibcha words came into Colombian Spanish" seems a little misleading. There are numerous geographical names, of course, of Muisca origin, but in fact very, very few general words (all nouns). Indeed, it is my understanding Colombian Spanish probably has at least as many words of Taino or Quechua origin, if not many more (as does Spanish in general), and in fact we can easily point to words for particularly Muisca cultural elements (i.e. coca, chillis) that were not borrowed into Colombian Spanish from Muisca but in fact borrowed into Colombian Spanish from other native American languages (i.e. Quechua and Taino). In fact, the paucity of borrowings from Muisca into Colombian Spanish is quite remarkable when compared with the amount of borrowings into Spanish from native American languages in other areas of the New World (in Mexico, in the Caribbean, in Peru, etc.).

Anyway, some observations, those .... Carlsefni (talk) 20:50, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Chronicles of the West Indias [Indies][edit]

This item, I suppose refers to a literary work? One lasting 300 years? I can find no reference to it in English or Spanish (as I'd guess the phrase is translated). Considering this is mentioned in the opening sentence of an explicit Research section, lack of a concise description of it, and an accurate and complete citation to the work, is an inexplicable and inexcusable oversight. Is the work as mythical as the Muisca's El Dorado gold? Please add the required reference.Sbalfour (talk) 02:01, 25 February 2014 (UTC)