Aztec Thought and Culture

A Study of the Ancient Nahuatl Mind

Author: Miguel Leon-Portilla

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 0806170611

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 4158

For at least two millennia before the advent of the Spaniards in 1519, there was a flourishing civilization in central Mexico. During that long span of time a cultural evolution took place which saw a high development of the arts and literature, the formulation of complex religious doctrines, systems of education, and diverse political and social organization. The rich documentation concerning these people, commonly called Aztecs, includes, in addition to a few codices written before the Conquest, thousands of folios in the Nahuatl or Aztec language written by natives after the Conquest. Adapting the Latin alphabet, which they had been taught by the missionary friars, to their native tongue, they recorded poems, chronicles, and traditions. The fundamental concepts of ancient Mexico presented and examined in this book have been taken from more than ninety original Aztec documents. They concern the origin of the universe and of life, conjectures on the mystery of God, the possibility of comprehending things beyond the realm of experience, life after death, and the meaning of education, history, and art. The philosophy of the Nahuatl wise men, which probably stemmed from the ancient doctrines and traditions of the Teotihuacans and Toltecs, quite often reveals profound intuition and in some instances is remarkably “modern.” This English edition is not a direct translation of the original Spanish, but an adaptation and rewriting of the text for the English-speaking reader.

Stories in Red and Black

Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs

Author: Elizabeth Hill Boone

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292783124

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 8664

The Aztecs and Mixtecs of ancient Mexico recorded their histories pictorially in images painted on hide, paper, and cloth. The tradition of painting history continued even after the Spanish Conquest, as the Spaniards accepted the pictorial histories as valid records of the past. Five Pre-Columbian and some 150 early colonial painted histories survive today. This copiously illustrated book offers the first comprehensive analysis of the Mexican painted history as an intellectual, documentary, and pictorial genre. Elizabeth Hill Boone explores how the Mexican historians conceptualized and painted their past and introduces the major pictorial records: the Aztec annals and cartographic histories and the Mixtec screenfolds and lienzos. Boone focuses her analysis on the kinds of stories told in the histories and on how the manuscripts work pictorially to encode, organize, and preserve these narratives. This twofold investigation broadens our understanding of how preconquest Mexicans used pictographic history for political and social ends. It also demonstrates how graphic writing systems created a broadly understood visual "language" that communicated effectively across ethnic and linguistic boundaries.


Publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a Division of the American Library Association

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A


Category: Academic libraries

Page: N.A

View: 9285

Library Journal

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A


Category: Libraries

Page: N.A

View: 9289

Includes, beginning Sept. 15, 1954 (and on the 15th of each month, Sept.-May) a special section: School library journal, ISSN 0000-0035, (called Junior libraries, 1954-May 1961). Also issued separately.

Producer of the living, eater of the dead

revealing Tlaltecuhtli, the two-faced Aztec Earth

Author: Lucia Henderson

Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Ltd


Category: Art

Page: 71

View: 2266

This work enumerates and discusses the various iconographic elements borne by the two main Aztec (15th and 16th centuries) variants of Tlaltecuhtli (the anthropomorphic version of the Aztec earth) so as to elucidate their meanings and symbolism. It also compiles not only the arguments and sources relevant to studies of Tlaltecuhtli, but also, for the first time, all known published images of the deity. The end result demonstrates that not only were there two main Tlaltecuhtli variants, but that the first of these was female and the second male. The author focuses specifically on representations of Tlaltecuhtli rather than broader imagery of the earth or of earth goddesses in general. Tlaltecuhtli, the anthropomorphic version of the Aztec earth, was, for the most part, rendered in stone reliefs found in and around the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.