The Mapping of New Spain: Indigenous Cartography and the Maps of the Relaciones Geograficas / Edition 2by Barbara E. Mundy
Pub. Date: 12/28/1996
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Although Cortés conquered the Aztec empire in 1521, imperial Spain knew little about the Mexican territory under its control when Philip II acceded to the throne in 1556. As part of a vast project to learn about its territories in the New World, Spain commissioned a survey--the Relaciones Geográficas--of Spanish officials in Mexico between 1578 and 1584, asking for local maps as well as descriptions of local resources, history, and geography. Offering the most complete contemporary record of what sixteenth-century Mexico looked like, the sixty-nine manuscript maps from this survey also highlight the gulf between colonial and indigenous conceptions of Mexico.
In Mapping New Spain, Barbara Mundy illuminates the complex cultural negotiations that colonists and indigenes undertook in mapping the colony. Her book explains both the Amerindian and the Spanish traditions represented in these early colonial maps, and traces the gradual reshaping of indigene world views in the wake of colonization.
The eight color plates and numerous other illustrations from the Relaciones Geográficas maps reproduced in this volume provide unique insights into how people from different cultural traditions--from Spanish officials to small-town indigenous artists--perceived the landscape of colonial Mexico. The first book to consider both indigenous and Spanish contributions to the mapping of Mexico, Mapping New Spain will interest not only historians of art and cartography, but also scholars and general readers interested in Mexican history.
* Winner of the 1995 Nebenzahl Prize from the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library
Barbara E. Mundy received her Ph.D. in art history from Yale in 1993. She is a contributor to Volume 2, Book 3 of The History of Cartography, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press, and has been an assistant editor at Vanity Fair magazine.
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Table of ContentsList of Illustrations
Ch. 1: Spain and the Imperial Ideology of Mapping
Ch. 2: Mapping and Describing the New World
Ch. 3: Colonial Spanish Officials and the Response to the Relacion
Ch. 4: The Native Painters in the Colonial World
Ch. 5: The Native Mapping Tradition in the Colonial Period
Ch. 6: Language and Naming in the Relaciones Geograficas Maps
Ch. 7: The Relaciones Geograficas and Other Viceregal Maps in New Spain
Ch. 8: Conclusion
App. A: Catalogue of Maps Studied
App. B: The Questionnaire of the Relaciones Geograficas
App. C: The Nahuatl Inscriptions of the Macuilsuchil Map
App. D: A Typical Viceregal Acordado
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