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Old June 11th, 2014, 10:23 AM   #1
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The Spanish conquest of Central America


I'm a big fan of books that take place in some part in history, and after I wrote 2 books that took place in the present I'm now trying to write a book in the genre that I love most.

My book is fiction, but I want it to be as realistic as possible and that's quite difficult. It was supposed to take part in Guatemala in the early 16th century, partly in a Mayan village. After I found out that it's almost impossible to find the details that I needed I decided to not say a name of a country and don't say that the people are Maya. This gives me some more freedom in writing, but I still feel I need some details that I just can't find on internet and in libraries. So I hope someone here might be able to tell me something about that time in Central America.

First of all I want to know how the Spanish lived after they arrived there. Did they stay to live on the ship, or did they live in tents, or did they build houses? Was there any difference between the "normal" spanish soldiers (were they called soldiers, or a different name?) and the "leader" (how was he called?) in where they lived?

How did they measure time? Did they live by being awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when it's dark, or did they have some kind of clock on the ship and in America? And how did they handle the time differences while being on the ship?

Next about the Mayan civilisation:
How did the houses look where they lived in? What material were they made of, what material were the floors made of? How many rooms? How many people lived together in a village or city? How was the "leader" of a village or city called and how did he live?

What did Mayan children do during the days? Especially girls, what was their task? Did they have to help their mothers, and if yes, with what?

How where distances measured? Like we use miles, metres, kilometres... What did they use?

What was done when someone died? Was there any difference when it was a young child who died?

--

I hope someone can answer (some of) these questions for me. It could help me to make my book more realistic
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Old June 11th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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This book should help you with Maya children

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Experience-Childhood-Ancient-Mesoamerica-Mesoamerican/dp/0870818279/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402516110&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Social+Experience+of+Childhood+in+A ncient+Mesoamerica"]The Social Experience of Childhood in Ancient Mesoamerica (Mesoamerican Worlds): Traci Ardren, Scott R. Hutson: 9780870818271: Amazon.com: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41uTRhIzwGL.@@AMEPARAM@@41uTRhIzwGL[/ame]
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Old June 11th, 2014, 12:06 PM   #3

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Here are a couple of Historum threads that might help you get started.
Original Settlers of Maya Land
Maya History & Art
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Old June 12th, 2014, 03:42 AM   #4

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Have a look at Don Pedro de Alvarado (Cortez' lieutenant in Mexico). Pretty sure he hacked his way through the locals of Guatemala in his curriculum vitae. Quick Wiki summary:

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_de_Alvarado]Pedro de Alvarado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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Old June 15th, 2014, 08:25 AM   #5
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Old June 15th, 2014, 09:43 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linnaea View Post
I'm a big fan of books that take place in some part in history, and after I wrote 2 books that took place in the present I'm now trying to write a book in the genre that I love most.

My book is fiction, but I want it to be as realistic as possible and that's quite difficult. It was supposed to take part in Guatemala in the early 16th century, partly in a Mayan village. After I found out that it's almost impossible to find the details that I needed I decided to not say a name of a country and don't say that the people are Maya. This gives me some more freedom in writing, but I still feel I need some details that I just can't find on internet and in libraries. So I hope someone here might be able to tell me something about that time in Central America.

First of all I want to know how the Spanish lived after they arrived there. Did they stay to live on the ship, or did they live in tents, or did they build houses? Was there any difference between the "normal" spanish soldiers (were they called soldiers, or a different name?) and the "leader" (how was he called?) in where they lived?

How did they measure time? Did they live by being awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when it's dark, or did they have some kind of clock on the ship and in America? And how did they handle the time differences while being on the ship?

Next about the Mayan civilisation:
How did the houses look where they lived in? What material were they made of, what material were the floors made of? How many rooms? How many people lived together in a village or city? How was the "leader" of a village or city called and how did he live?

What did Mayan children do during the days? Especially girls, what was their task? Did they have to help their mothers, and if yes, with what?

How where distances measured? Like we use miles, metres, kilometres... What did they use?

What was done when someone died? Was there any difference when it was a young child who died?

--

I hope someone can answer (some of) these questions for me. It could help me to make my book more realistic


Sounds great Linnaea. But could you explain me this of a "realistic fiction". Seems an antithetical idea.



Regards.
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