Lord Eight Wind of Suchixtlan and the Heroes of Ancient Oaxaca: Reading History in the Codex Zouche-Nuttall

Overview

In the pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican world, histories and collections of ritual knowledge were often presented in the form of painted and folded books now known as codices, and the knowledge itself was encoded into pictographs. Eight codices have survived from the Mixtec peoples of ancient Oaxaca, Mexico; a part of one of them, the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, is the subject of this book. As a group, the Mixtec codices contain the longest detailed histories and royal genealogies known for any indigenous people in the ...

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Lord Eight Wind of Suchixtlan and the Heroes of Ancient Oaxaca: Reading History in the Codex Zouche-Nuttall

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Overview

In the pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican world, histories and collections of ritual knowledge were often presented in the form of painted and folded books now known as codices, and the knowledge itself was encoded into pictographs. Eight codices have survived from the Mixtec peoples of ancient Oaxaca, Mexico; a part of one of them, the Codex Zouche-Nuttall, is the subject of this book. As a group, the Mixtec codices contain the longest detailed histories and royal genealogies known for any indigenous people in the western hemisphere. The Codex Zouche-Nuttall offers a unique window into how the Mixtecs themselves viewed their social and political cosmos without the bias of western European interpretation. At the same time, however, the complex calendrical information recorded in the Zouche-Nuttall has made it resistant to historical, chronological analysis, thereby rendering its narrative obscure.

In this pathfinding work, Robert Lloyd Williams presents a methodology for reading the Codex Zouche-Nuttall that unlocks its essentially linear historical chronology. Recognizing that the codex is a combination of history in the European sense and the timelessness of myth in the Native American sense, he brings to vivid life the history of Lord Eight Wind of Suchixtlan (AD 935-1027), a ruler with the attributes of both man and deity, as well as other heroic Oaxacan figures, including Lady Six Monkey of Jaltepec, Lord Two Rain Twenty Jaguars of Tilantongo, and Lord Eight Deer Jaguar Claw. Williams also provides context for the history of Lord Eight Wind through essays dealing with Mixtec ceremonial rites and social structure, drawn from information in five surviving Mixtec codices.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780292721210
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword F. Kent Reilly III Reilly, F. Kent, III

Introduction John M. D. Pohl Pohl, John M. D. 1

1 It Happened Long Ago 29

2 The People of the Codices 45

3 The Narrative Structure of Codex Zouche-Nuttall Obverse 57

4 Sacred Geography, Personified Geography 63

5 Caves in Mesoamerican Iconography / Chalcatzingo and the Mixteca 69

6 Lord Eight Wind's Introduction 93

7 The War from Heaven, Part One 101

8 The War from Heaven, Part Two 107

9 Lord Eight Wind's Family 115

10 Transition to the Future Eight Wind, Two Rain, and Eight Deer 121

Appendix I Biographical Sketches of Major Personnel from the Codices: Lord Eight Deer the Usurper, Lord Two Rain the King, and Lady Six Monkey of Jaltepee 163

Appendix II Notes for Codex Zouche-Nuttall Pages 1-4 187

Appendix III Codex Zouche-Nuttall Reverse Day Dates on Pages 46a-48a for Year 5 Reed (AD 1095)and Lord Eight Deer's Campaign as Lord of Tututepee 190

Color photos section follows page 48

Bibliography 199

Index 209

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