The Man Among the Tarascan Ruins

The Man Among the Tarascan Ruins
Year Photographed: 1990

Origin: Michoacan, Mexico

Native Language: Tarascan

Conflicts between the Tarascans and the Aztecs were inevitable due to their rapidly expanding empires. In 1478, the Aztec Emperor Axayacatl attacked the Tarascan Empire with a force of 24,000. The Aztecs first captured a small border post and then waited to attack the next day. They awoke to find a military force of 40,000 Tarascans waiting to defend their homeland. The Tarascans inflicted on the Aztecs their heaviest pre-Conquest defeat. Only Axaycatl and 200 men survived.