AHIS128_06

AHIS128_06 - The Indigenous Presence in Colonial Art:...

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The Indigenous Presence in Colonial Art: Codices
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Codex (noun), pl. codices A manuscript volume, especially of a classic work or of the Scriptures. The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
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Pre-Hispanic Codices • Religious / guides for living – tonalamatl (“day books”): divinatory almanacs • Historical • Practical
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Codex Borgia, central Mexico, before 1521
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Codex Borgia, central Mexico, before 1521. Leaf showing night and the gods of rain.
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Codex Vienna, Mixtec (Mexico), before 1521 leaf 36 leaf 37
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Codex Vienna, Mixtec, before 1521 leaf 35 leaf 36
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Ca. 500 extant Mesoamerican codices Only about twenty are Pre-Columbian
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Burning the idols. Diego Muñoz Camargo, Description of the City and Province of Tlaxcala , ca. 1581–84, f. 242r
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“Those who with fervent zeal (though with little prudence) in the beginning burned and destroyed all the ancient Indian pictographic documents were mistaken. They left us without a light to guide us.” Friar Diego Durán (ca. 1537–88), Dominican
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Functions of Colonial Codices 1. Legal 2. Administrative 3. Historical 4. Cultural (Many codices have more than one function)
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1. Legal: Painted testimonies in lawsuits 2. Administrative: property plans, censuses, tax, and tribute records 3. Historical: histories, genealogies, paintings of the community lands 4. Cultural: encyclopedias (Many codices have more than one function)
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This note was uploaded on 10/11/2011 for the course AHIS 128G at USC.

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AHIS128_06 - The Indigenous Presence in Colonial Art:...

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