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Conquistadors stinked

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pinguin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 03:35
Conquistadors were famous not only because their courage and cruelty. They were also famous because they were quite dirty and stinked like skunks. The legend tell us that conquistadors only washed at the day of theirs baptism, around the time they were one year old, and never again washed. They smelled so bad that Indians could notice them miles before they arrived to any Indian locality. And natives hadn't special noses, given the fact we could also smell they coming from three miles away, if we had the chance.

In short, Spaniards could had the best swords from Toledo, the more advanced firearms and a nice script system, but they never invented soap, and believed water was dangerous for the heath...

But we shouldn't blame them so much for it. Queen Isabella smelled worst. In the Americas at those times only the Indians had the sacrilegious idea of washing daily.

At least, that what, more or less, this article says.
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/home/clean-aztecs-dirty-spaniards



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 06:33
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Conquistadors were famous not only because their courage and cruelty. They were also famous because they were quite dirty and stinked like skunks. The legend tell us that conquistadors only washed at the day of theirs baptism, around the time they were one year old, and never again washed. They smelled so bad that Indians could notice them miles before they arrived to any Indian locality. And natives hadn't special noses, given the fact we could also smell they coming from three miles away, if we had the chance.

In short, Spaniards could had the best swords from Toledo, the more advanced firearms and a nice script system, but they never invented soap, and believed water was dangerous for the heath...

But we shouldn't blame them so much for it. Queen Isabella smelled worst. In the Americas at those times only the Indians had the sacrilegious idea of washing daily.

At least, that what, more or less, this article says.
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/home/clean-aztecs-dirty-spaniards

 
Medieval Europe would indeed have been an unpleasant place to live by todays standards.
 
I think the French were probably the first to introduce bathing, and passed it on to the English, who were very, very slow to adopt the custom. I mean very slow!
 
It's no wonder that plague and other disease flourished in Europe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 07:15
It is not a topic that I have studied, but I think it is incorrect to say people of medieval Europe did not know about bathing, since I have both read about it and seen reproductions of ancient medieval illustrations. But for the conquistadors in particular I don´t know, but make a guess: For any group of explorers, bathing and peronal cleaning may pose particular difficulties, since they have to economise with what they carry with them. Not least when everything has to be carried overland either by themselves, or their horses. So perhaps they dont maintain any "normal" standard. I wonder how many armies march in war nicely dressed, shaved, clean.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 12:24
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

It is not a topic that I have studied, but I think it is incorrect to say people of medieval Europe did not know about bathing, since I have both read about it and seen reproductions of ancient medieval illustrations. But for the conquistadors in particular I don´t know, but make a guess: For any group of explorers, bathing and peronal cleaning may pose particular difficulties, since they have to economise with what they carry with them. Not least when everything has to be carried overland either by themselves, or their horses. So perhaps they dont maintain any "normal" standard. I wonder how many armies march in war nicely dressed, shaved, clean.
 
I think you've missed the point.
 
Of course the habit of bathinh was known. Civilisations like the Romans and the Greeks build public Bath Houses for general use. In those areas of Italy where there were thermal springs, they were highly prized.
 
What is surprising, considering the spread of the Roman Empire, is that other Europeans didn't adopt the habit to the same degree as the Romans and Greeks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2014 at 15:46
Originally posted by toyomotor toyomotor wrote:

Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

It is not a topic that I have studied, but I think it is incorrect to say people of medieval Europe did not know about bathing, since I have both read about it and seen reproductions of ancient medieval illustrations. But for the conquistadors in particular I don´t know, but make a guess: For any group of explorers, bathing and peronal cleaning may pose particular difficulties, since they have to economise with what they carry with them. Not least when everything has to be carried overland either by themselves, or their horses. So perhaps they dont maintain any "normal" standard. I wonder how many armies march in war nicely dressed, shaved, clean.
 
I think you've missed the point.
 
Of course the habit of bathinh was known. Civilisations like the Romans and the Greeks build public Bath Houses for general use. In those areas of Italy where there were thermal springs, they were highly prized.
 
What is surprising, considering the spread of the Roman Empire, is that other Europeans didn't adopt the habit to the same degree as the Romans and Greeks.
i think it probably was very dependent upon a large and disciplined workforce to build and maintain and repair water supply. Then in addition to maintain security around that watersupply meaning large aquaducts. And after the empire both the security and the workforce were probably a problem for longer periods.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2014 at 02:34
But it is curious that while mainstream europeans suffered of hydrophobia, and took a bath once in a life, they were sourrended by people that enjoyed baths.. Not only the Arabs, Moors, Turks, Jews and other orientals liked to bath, but Scandinavians also were very clean people. The later enjoyed saunas. So, Europe didn't reject water because ignorance but by conviction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2014 at 02:55
If we were to take a penguin, stuff it in a casing of leather and metal, make it march around for a few days in 30c temperatures, what do you think said bird would smell like at the end of such a process?

This has the "odor" of the familiar good guy/bad guy interpretations of European-new world interactions that have been so thoroughly penguinized here in recent times.

By the way Penguin, welcome back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2014 at 03:04
But Conquistadors didn't smell anything different than Spaniards back home at that time. Faithful christians of the time in Western Europe didn't wash daily at all. In fact, they avoided water. I bet Queen Isabella was even dirtier than the people ship to America.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2014 at 03:14
I vaguely remember to have seen this subject discussed in history books, were at least some historians say it is a myth europeans at that tiime avoided bath, though some claims spaniards did to separate themselves from "moors", but I am not sure. i also recall there were popular public baths in western european countries, and have seen old illustrations from medieval books, but do not expect they did as often as is normal today were many do every day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2014 at 02:35
It is known Europeans during roman times were very clean. It seems that there was a change in attitude particularly after the Black Death. The fact is that by the time of the expelling of Jews and the conquest of Granada, Spaniards have become "hydrophobics"... And considered washing a sin. No kidding.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2014 at 06:58
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

It is known Europeans during roman times were very clean. It seems that there was a change in attitude particularly after the Black Death. The fact is that by the time of the expelling of Jews and the conquest of Granada, Spaniards have become "hydrophobics"... And considered washing a sin. No kidding.
 
Is it really known?
 
I was always under ther impression that Europeans held the belief that to bathe was to dilute bodily strength and leave the body succeptable to disease. I alway believed that this was the position up until possibly the last 200 years.
 
The carry-over of this was the almost traditional English Saturday Night Bath Night-once a weak only, which was emulated in many British Commonwealth countries up to the 1950s.
 
Note that many English houses built in the period 1900-1950 didn't even have provision for a bathroom.
 
But, in the main, I'm only referring to the common people. The wealthy were able to afford baths, and in some cases bathing became an entertainment for guests.


Edited by toyomotor - 28 Aug 2014 at 07:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014 at 02:43
Hey Toyomotor.

And what about Australian Natives? At least, in Chile, we know our Mapuche natives washed every day on the river, unlike Spaniards that just washed once every ten years...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2014 at 02:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Hey Toyomotor.

And what about Australian Natives? At least, in Chile, we know our Mapuche natives washed every day on the river, unlike Spaniards that just washed once every ten years...
 
G'day mate.
 
I confess that I've got no idea about the Aboriginal bathing habits, but I'd suggest that while on walkabout in the desert they wouldn't bother, but when they came to a river where they could swim, they'd jump in.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fintan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2015 at 04:06
I am with fantasus and Toyomotor logical thinking. The civiliced indians probably takes a bad (of blood or water) frecuently in special the mexicas of Tenochtitlán. One think is sure the mapuches of nowadays don't know the water and soap, they stink, surely as they ancesters. Pinguin can confirm this particular because he must know it Smile.  The indians that live in desert countrie, made the same as the other people that live in desert, the indians esquimales take a bath of piss frecuently.
About European medieval age you have this page in spanish, by example:


The rich takes more baths than the poors, this is specially true with the moors, you can be sure. Etc...
And in Spain now that in the most rich province in water you have to pay it as american stolen gold. Here we don't shave the men our private parts nor the axiles, only the metrosexuals, that in  other times have the name of "calzonazos" makes that. 

About the conquerors, i supose spanish, it depend if they were jews, moors or cristian as it seems.
The machos in special in Méjico, don't take too much baths because they know for certain thats macho's smell  atract the women for sure, what women?, this is the problem. The pheromones has to play in this.
(I know real happenings).

Here in Spain in tiems of my mother people don't use to use deodorant cause they  were too spensives (about 1960) to enter to a bus waas an smelling odissea. 

There are cities as the comunistes, the downtown in special that smell to sweat is embed in all sigths, as Praga, I am talking few time after comunist felt. However in Cracovia don't happen. The question is, ¿Are the communist Czechs as pigs as Isabel I of Castilia´or have to be Sigourney Weaver months without see water and maybe macho to become Isabella I of Castile (not blonde version)

Isabel of Castilla that was of blonde hair not as Sigourney Weaver, I am sure she takes  lots of baths. As Joan the Fool also call Juana la Loca, until she get loca of love.

The misterious of life.
 


Edited by Fintan - 26 Aug 2015 at 04:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2015 at 18:25
Troll. You don't know what modern mapuches look like, or smell.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Sep 2015 at 12:19
[quote]I confess that I've got no idea about the Aboriginal bathing habits, but I'd suggest that while on walkabout in the desert they wouldn't bother, but when they came to a river where they could swim, they'd jump in.[/qote]
Really? I thought they had crocodiles down there? But joking aside, bathing habits vary among human societies. With reference to the spanish conquistadors this had more to do with practicality. Long sea voyages mitigate against the wasteful use of water and superstitions among seafarers reflected that (bathing was supposed to make you ill). Once in central and southern america, there were little or no facilities for the spanish to use, thus whatever washing they felt inclined to do was either by the nearest watercourse or village.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2015 at 02:48
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

[quote]I confess that I've got no idea about the Aboriginal bathing habits, but I'd suggest that while on walkabout in the desert they wouldn't bother, but when they came to a river where they could swim, they'd jump in.[/qote]
Really? I thought they had crocodiles down there? But joking aside, bathing habits vary among human societies. With reference to the spanish conquistadors this had more to do with practicality. Long sea voyages mitigate against the wasteful use of water and superstitions among seafarers reflected that (bathing was supposed to make you ill). Once in central and southern america, there were little or no facilities for the spanish to use, thus whatever washing they felt inclined to do was either by the nearest watercourse or village.

Of course there are man eating crocodiles to contend with, but the Aborigines aren't stupid.

A refreshing swim in a safe billabong is the way to go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2015 at 15:11
There aren't crocodiles in Chile or Argentina. In Chile we don't even have any poisonous snake! What an ignorance
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