Compare And Contrast Columbus And Sahagún

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Although Columbus and Sahagún were both Spanish explorers, their goals were widely different. As such, their method of describing the different cultures of the natives were vastly different as well. While Columbus was trying to present the lands he conquered as an idealistic paradise for the monarchy, Sahagún writes his description as one based on the evidence he has obtained through meeting with the people he was trying to detail. Sahagún’s text differs from Columbus because of the different assumptions that informed their process of describing native lands, and the different formats they followed when trying to write an account of the Indigenous people who lived there. The main reason why the Columbus texts differ from Sahagún’s account was because of the different goals they had. While Sahagún was …show more content…

Since Columbus was trying to impress the monarchy there was a need to use flowery language, but in Sahagún’s case, there was no need to exaggerate like how Columbus did. Columbus describes the islands in great splendor: “And the nightingale was singing and other birds of a thousand kinds in the month of November there where I went…In the interiors are mines of metals, and the population is without number. Española is a marvel” (Columbus 60). Through only his conjectures, Columbus intends to describe the islands he discovered as the greatest lands to have ever been found. Meanwhile, Sahagún is simply trying to describe the natives as he sees them and nothing more. For example, instead of grand introduction like Columbus, when describing the families of the Indigenous people, Sahagún simply writes, “Here are told the inherent qualities, the nature, of those related through lineage” (Sahagún 2). He then proceeds to describe all of the members of the Indigenous family, from the mothers and fathers to the cooks and attorneys. Columbus and Sahagún both vastly differ from one

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