The Persistence of Nahua Culture

“Cuitlahuac Account Book Page, April 1575," from Documents pertaining to community affairs of Cuitlahuac, Tlalmanalco de Velázquez, and Tláhuac in the province of Chalco
Cuitlahuac, Mexico 1551-1858

Three times a year, the indigenous people of Cuitlahuac were required to make tribute payments to their Spanish overlord, Alonso de Cuevas. This receipt, written in pictographs, alphabetic Nahuatl, and Spanish, verifies the amount paid: 115 pesos and 5 tomines. This figure is represented by five large pink bundles each topped with a banner signifying 20 (5 x 20 = 100 pesos); three smaller blue bundles of five are 15 pesos; a disk marked “4” plus a simple disk are the 5 tomines that complete the payment.

Newberry Library: Ayer MS 1476

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