The Persistence of Nahua Culture

Map of San Francisco Mazapan (Teotihuacan)
Ink on amatl, ca. 1700-1767

Precolumbian Teotihuacan’s two great pyramids are significant landmarks in this eighteenth- century boundary dispute between indigenous San Francisco Mazapan and a neighboring indigenous community. Teotihuacan’s Street of the Dead is in the lower part of the map. The green mound at the lower left represents the Pyramid of the Moon; an inverted green Pyramid of the Sun is at the center of the Street. After Teotihuacan's collapse (ca. 650), indigenous people continued to live in the pyramids' shadow. Explicit references to the past through pictographs, Nahuatl, and men in ancient dress were used to create an increased aura of validity and credibility in legal cases of this kind.

Newberry Library: Vault oversize Ayer MS 1907

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