Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

Identities of power and place, as expressed in indigenous paintings from the periods before and after the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica, form the essence of this book. These sophisticated and skillfully rendered images occur with architecture, in manuscripts, on ceramics, and on large pieces of cloth. Even human bodies were painted. As is discussed more fully in chapter 1, the investigations that follow are structured chronologically within each of three cultural subregions: Central Mexico, Oaxaca, and the Maya area. The contributors draw conclusions regarding places of...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xvi

In addition to the scholars to whom this book is dedicated, we are pleased to acknowledge a tremendous debt of intellectual gratitude to many others who have directly and indirectly influenced the development of the studies presented here. It is only to avoid inadvertent omissions that we do not name them individually. We also wish to emphasize our appreciation of the universities, other research institutions, professional societies, and funding agencies, identified in the biographical statements, that have supported our investigations. We...

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Chapter One. Constructing Power and Place in Mesoamerica: An Introduction

Merideth Paxton and Leticia Staines Cicero

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pp. 1-28

An extensive range of painted sources supported pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican projections of power over a broad area and a long period of time, as the studies in this volume demonstrate. The investigations follow a standard approach in that they are organized chronologically within each of three main geographic divisions. While this scheme is routine, it also reflects the fundamental development of the relatively new field of Mesoamerican studies. This cultural and geographic entity came to be formally defined as separate from North America and South America only after the...

Part One. Central Mexico

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Chapter Two. The Teotihuacán Obsidian Industry and the Birds of the Sierra de las Navajas

Jorge Angulo Villaseñor and América Malbrán Porto

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pp. 31-52

Atetelco, a residential compound in Teotihuacán, was found during the middle of the twentieth century as a result of prolonged looting. That discovery led to formal excavations and methodical reconstructions in the central core of the architectural unit, where the Patio Blanco1 and the Patio Pintado2 are situated. The painted motifs that predominate on the walls in the Patio Blanco have been described as anthropomorphic figures dressed in zoomorphic attire and armed with arrows and shields. On account of that iconographic theme, Atetelco has been regarded as the most important locus of activity for the Teotihuacán warriors....

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Chapter Three. Place Names and Plotical Idenitities in the Teotihuacán Mural Paintings

Davide Domenici

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pp. 53-76

The elaborately costumed figures portrayed in the Teotihuacán paintings and the motifs that accompany them clearly served to delineate religious, political, and military status at the site. Although their messages are not presented in blocks of hieroglyphic texts, it has become increasingly productive to study these and other paintings at the site as expressions of language. The notion that Teotihuacán imagery reflects a logophonetic communication system has gained strength in the last few years, although some disagree about the extent of its phonetic content and its status as a proper writing system.1 Even though elements that show a clear structural similarity with those of other Mesoamerican logophonetic systems have been...

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Chapter Four. From Orderly Past to Chaotic Present: The Transistion to Spanish Rule in Aztec Pictorial Histories

Lori Boornazian Diel

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pp. 77-94

Largely designed as political arguments or tools of persuasion that were manipulated to support claims of power and status, the elegantly constructed Aztec pictorial histories suggest that for their patrons, the more polished one’s history, the stronger the political claims. In short, the past was given poetic form and cosmic order to explain and legitimize the present (Diel 2013). The pictorial histories that are known today were created after the conquest, and many of these continue uninterrupted through the Spanish invasion and imposition of colonial rule. Though compilations of indigenous history were still made during...

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Chapter Five. Early European Book Conventions and Legitimized Mexica History in Codex Aubin

Angela Marie Herren

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pp. 95-110

In the late 1550s or early 1560s, a tlacuilo (artistscribe; pl. tlacuiloque) of indigenous descent conceptualized and began work on the hand-painted manuscript now known as Codex Aubin. Like many of the Nahua histories produced in Central Mexico in the decades after the Spanish conquest, Codex Aubin records information in an annals (year by year) format. It includes accounts of the twelfth-century migration of the Mexica people from Aztlan to Tenochtitlán, the history of Mexica rulers who dominated the vast terrain often referred to today as the Aztec empire, and significant events that marked the first half century following Spanish hegemony.1 The tlacuilo used both indigenous...

Part Two. Oaxaca

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Chapter Six. Dynasty and Hierarchy in the Tombs of Monte Albán, Oaxaca: Tell Me Your Name

Alfonso Arellano Hernández

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pp. 113-124

Throughout human history the names of people who have had a major impact—Alexander the Great, Cleopatra VII, Pakal II, Charles V, Moctezuma Xocoyotzin, and Mao Tse-tung—have been celebrated. In the particular example of pre-Hispanic Oaxaca, it is important to mention Lords 8 Deer JaguarClaw and Cociyoesa. Certainly, personal names reflect the cultures of those who bear them, providing social confirmation and, therefore, identity. Thus, it is meaningful to investigate the significance of the Classic period Zapotec names that can be deduced from the records...

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Chapter Seven. The Divine Right to Hold Power in the Mixtec Capitals of Monte Negro and Tilantongo

Manuel A. Hermann Lejarazu

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pp. 125-142

Within the study of Mesoamerican manuscripts, one of the newest research specialties focuses on the Mixtec codices. Only sixty-eight years have passed since the seminal work by Alfonso Caso, El Mapa de Teozacoalco, was published in 1949.1 His investigation, which has now received the attention of many scholars, proposed an ethnic affiliation for this manuscript. We owe a clear debt of gratitude to Caso because he explained many aspects of this general type of document. Nonetheless, although he studied some primary themes (e.g., toponyms, genealogies, and calendars) with definitive results, several issues remain unresolved. Thus, it is...

Part Three. The Maya Area

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Chapter Eight. Pre-Hispanic Maya Animal Images: Cultural Implications from Ceramics of Known Provenience

María de Lourdes Navarijo Ornelas

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pp. 145-154

Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican cultures have traditionally been studied from a single perspective, that is, archaeological, anthropological, historical, or art historical. However, an interdisciplinary approach that includes such fields as biology offers us the opportunity to reach a deeper, more systemic understanding of the abundant cultural manifestations of the ancient Mesoamericans, who constantly focused on the dialogue between man and nature. In fact, archaeological research establishes that they were dependent on plants, animals, and other natural resources in all aspects...

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Chapter Nine. Fragrances and Body Paint in the Courtly Life of the Maya

María Luisa Vázquez de Ágredos Pascual and Cristina Vidal Lorenzo

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pp. 155-170

Through special examinations of containers deposited in the tombs of high-level members of pre-Hispanic Maya society, we know that the prerogatives of their status included access to body paint and fragrances. The current investigation establishes the raw materials that were almost certainly used to prepare these substances. Our findings are drawn from archaeometric investigations made over the last years by the project Archaeometry of Cosmetics and Perfume in Ancient Mesoamerica,1 which has been conducted at the Department of History of Art (University of Valencia). The samples of the potential cosmetics, which were all...

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Chapter Ten. The Social Context of Food at Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico: Images Painted on the Pyramid of Chiik Nahb’

Ana García Barrios

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pp. 171-190

Food was a key component of the wide range of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican articles that were sold or traded. Among the edible commodities, corn was undoubtedly the most important to all the cultures that lived in the region. Its cultivation favored a sedentary lifestyle and social, economic, and ideological development, and it occupied a prominent place in the realm of the sacred (Alarcón 1999, 18). From the first great cultures, such as the Olmec, to the numerous later polities—those of Teotihuacán, the Zapotec, the Mixtec, the Maya, and the Mexica—that dominated much of the region prior to Spanish contact, the god of corn was...

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Chapter Eleven. Mesoamerican World View and Cosmology in the Murals of Mayap

Susan Milbrath, Carlos Peraza Lope, and Miguel Delgado Kú

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pp. 191-208

Mesoamerican cosmology and related religious beliefs are encoded in murals discovered at Mayapán, the last Maya capital of Yucatán. The stylistic affiliations of the murals found in three structures (Q80, Q95, Q161) are somewhat different, but all date relatively late in Mayapán’s history, between AD 1350/1400 and 1450, based on their association with later buildings at the site (figs. 11.1–11.5; Milbrath and Peraza Lope 2003, table 1). The subject of this chapter is the transformations in the iconographic programs seen in these murals over time. They are all found on structures that are considered atypical in the corpus of architecture at Mayapán.1 And the paintings exhibit different sources of...

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Chapter Twelve. Pre-Hispanic Maya Solar Symbolism Illustrated in Diego Lopez de Cogolludo’s Historia de Yucatan

Merideth Paxton

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pp. 209-234

The text of the Historia de Yucatán, by Friar Diego López de Cogolludo ([1688] 1957),1 includes a single illustration (fig. 12.1), which clearly blends Maya and European elements. The most obviously Maya aspect of the image is the band of portraits around its perimeter; this band shows thirteen men, all of whom are identified by their Yucatec names. At the same time, the overall composition recalls a Spanish coat of arms, and the motifs include a tree rendered according to European conventions of perspective. Despite these non-Maya elements, the placement of the tree in the center of the design suggests that it may represent the yaxcheel cab, a key symbol in the pre-Hispanic Yucatec system of the world...

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Appendix: A Comparison of the López De Cogolludo Katun Wheel with Three Books of Chilam Balam

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pp. 235-236

The explanation of the image of the tree surrounded by the portraits of thirteen Maya leaders as a katun wheel was initially developed by William Gates (1932). Before his views appeared in print, he told Sylvanus Morley about the similarities he had seen between the katun wheel illustrated by López de Cogolludo and information on katuns in the Book of Chilam Balam of Kaua and the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel. Morley (1920, 482– 83) in turn recognized that the Book of Chilam Balam of Maní was also related. However, he was not sure whether the Kaua and Maní series were copied from López de Cogolludo or vice versa, or whether all three versions were copied from the same original. In an effort to learn...

List of Contributors

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pp. 237-240

Index

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pp. 241-246