Testaments of Toluca


Testaments written in their own language, Nahuatl, have been crucial for reconstructing the everyday life of the indigenous people of central Mexico after Spanish contact. Those published to date have largely been from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Testaments of Toluca presents a large body of Nahuatl wills (98) from 1652 to 1783 from an important valley not much studied, thus greatly enlarging our perspective on the evolution of indigenous society and culture in central Mexico. Each testament is...

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Testaments written in their own language, Nahuatl, have been crucial for reconstructing the everyday life of the indigenous people of central Mexico after Spanish contact. Those published to date have largely been from the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Testaments of Toluca presents a large body of Nahuatl wills (98) from 1652 to 1783 from an important valley not much studied, thus greatly enlarging our perspective on the evolution of indigenous society and culture in central Mexico. Each testament is transcribed, translated, and accompanied by a commentary on the testator's situation and on interesting terminology. A substantial introductory study fully analyzes the testamentary genre as seen in this corpus (a first) and summarizes the content of the documents in realms such as gender, kinship, household, and land. Wills are very human documents, and the apparatus draws out this aspect, telling us much of local indigenous life in central Mexico in the third century after Spanish contact, so that the book is of potential interest to a broad spectrum of readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pizzigoni's edition is an important contribution to the study of the corpus of Nahuatl-language wills, and it suggest new directions for the future study of Nahuatl language and culture. The author's contribution is fundamental to what has been until today a neglected research topic in Nahuatl studies. The result is a specialized reference tool that will help to redefine socio-historical studies on the Nahuatl language and culture by guiding the research toward issues of material culture in Mexican colonial society."—Raúl Marrero-Fente, Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

"Testaments of Toluca is the first of its kind. The book is a critical edition of 98 Nahuatl-language wills in English translation from the Valley of Toluca, a region due west of Mexico City. The exegesis of the content of the testaments reveals surely as much as can be known about the individual testators and their lives. But just as important, Testaments of Toluca furnishes a meticulous analysis of the Nahuatl spoken by the dying . . . We can only be greatful that Pizzigoni has taken on the task of translating and commenting on thse hundreds of wills, which guarantees one of the most intensive and complete studies of Nahua life anywhere."—Journal of Latin American Studies

"Testaments of Toluca does for the eighteenth century in central Mexico what The Testaments of Culhuacan did earlier for the sixteenth: provide a basis for studying everyday indigenous life at the household level."—Sarah Cline, UC Santa Barbara, author of Colonial Culhuacan and editor of The Testaments of Culhuacan

"The transcribed and translated primary documents are highly significant in their own right, but the extensive commentary transforms Testaments of Toluca into an important and accessible scholarly monograph."—Robert Haskett, University of Oregon, author of Indigenous Rulers and Visions of Paradise

"This may be the single most significant volume of transcribed and translated testaments from colonial Latin America published to date. The quantity and quality of the material and its analysis make the book a treasure trove of information on late-colonial Nahua culture and society. Pizzigoni's presentation of the wills is meticulous, and her introduction and notes are extensive, thoughtful, and profoundly steeped in her knowledge of the field. Mesoamerican specialists will be delighted by-and grateful for-this contribution to the study of indigenous life during the colonial period, not only for the book's scholarly utility, but for its potential as a pedagogical tool at the advanced-undergraduate and graduate levels."—Matthew Restall, Pennsylvania State University, author of The Maya World and editor of The Testaments of Ixi

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804756075
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/14/2006
  • Series: UCLA Latin American Studies
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Caterina Pizzigoni is Associate Professor in the department of History at Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

List of Notaries in the Corpus     ix
List of Testaments in Clusters     xi
Acknowledgments     xii
Figures 1-3. Reproduction of the testament of Elena de la Cruz (No. 10)     xiii
Introductory Study     1
Characteristics of the Corpus     3
Chronology     4
Regional distribution, sociopolitical organization, and order     5
Gender     7
Clusters     8
The Wills and What They Tell Us     8
Preamble     9
Personal names     11
Marital status     13
Unit names     13
Funeral arrangements     14
Mass     14
Shroud     15
Burial     16
The Jerusalem fund     17
Bells     17
Cofradias     18
Undocumented aspects     18
Kinship terms, the order of heirs, and inheritance patterns     19
Perorations     21
Houses and saints     22
Land     25
Animals     28
Debts     29
The end of the testament     29
Ending the body of the will     29
Executors     30
Witnesses     31
Officials     31
Language and Orthography     32
Phenomena of contact with Spanish     33
Toluca Valley Nahuatl, orthography, and phonology     35
Notaries     39
Toluca area     39
Calimaya/Tepemaxalco     42
Some Concluding Remarks     45
Testaments of Toluca: Transcription, Translation, and Commentary     51
Toluca Area
Andres Nicolas, Santa Barbara Mixcoac, city of Toluca, 1671     53
Maria de la Encarnacion, San Juan Evangelista, 1733     54
Juana Francisca, San Luis, 1699     55
Ana Maria, San Luis, 1716     56
Luis Francisco, Santa Clara Cozcatlan, 1731     58
Isabel Maria, Santa Clara Cozcatlan, 1731     59
Don Ramon de Santiago, Santa Clara Cozcatlan, 1740     61
Juan Crisostomo, Santa Barbara Xolalpan, 1701     64
Maria Ana de Morales, San Miguel Aticpac, 1707     66
Elena de la Cruz, San Miguel Aticpac, 1711     68
Maria Hernandez, San Miguel Aticpac, 1737     74
Maria Josefa, San Miguel Aticpac, 1737     75
Adrian Josef, San Miguel Aticpac, 1733     77
Juan Rafael, San Cristobal, 1732     78
Agustin Pedro, San Cristobal, 1732     80
Esteban de San Juan, San Miguel Totocuitlapilco, 1652     81
Marcos Francisco, Transfiguracion Capultitlan, 1737     83
Felipe de Santiago, Santa Maria de los Angeles Huitzillan, 1741     85
Vicenta Teresa, San Francisco Calixtlahuaca, 1737     87
Will issued by Pascual de los Reyes for Maria Ines, San Sebastian, 1703     88
Tomasa Gertrudis, San Sebastian, 1738     90
Ambrosio Lorenzo, San Bartolome Tlatelolco, 1715     91
Gregorio Juan, San Bartolome Tlatelolco, 1731     94
Melchora Maria, San Bartolome Tlatelolco, 1737     96
Don Felipe de Santiago, San Pedro Tototepec, 1728     98
Bernardino de Santiago, San Pedro Tototepec, 1733     100
Francisco de la Cruz, San Pedro Tototepec, 1735     102
Pascual Francisco, San Juan Bautista, 1710     105
Pedro Pablo, San Juan Bautista, 1737     106
Pascuala Melchora, San Juan Bautista, 1717     108
Sebastian de Santiago, San Juan Bautista, 1731     111
Joaquin Josef, San Juan Bautista, 1736     112
Juan de los Santos, San Juan Bautista, 1756     113
Will issued by Maria de Guadalupe for Mateo de Luna, San Juan Bautista, 1757      114
Salvador Cayetano, Santa Ana, 1728     116
Pascual Antonio, Santa Ana, 1737     118
Mauricia Josefa, no place, 1732     120
Don Francisco Pedro, no place, 1737     122
Don Juan de la Cruz, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, 1691     125
Jacinto de la Cruz, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, Pasiontitlan, 1693     130
Polonia Maria, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, Pasiontitlan, 1710     132
Maria Salome, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, Pasiontitlan, 1654     134
Maria Micaela, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, Pasiontitlan, 1762     139
Felix Juan, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, Pasiontitlan, 1762     142
Lucas de la Cruz, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, 1695     144
Don Baltasar de los Reyes, San Lucas Evangelista, 1681     147
Lucia Maria, San Lucas Evangelista, 1731     150
Francisco Martin, San Lucas Evangelista, 1735     152
Agustin de los Angeles, San Lucas Evangelista, 1736     154
Antonio de Santiago, San Lucas Evangelista, 1726     156
Ana Teresa, San Lucas Evangelista, 1759     158
Marcela Maria, San Lucas Evangelista, 1759     159
Felipe de Santiago, San Lucas Evangelista, 1759     161
Bernardino de Sena, San Lucas Evangelista, 1759     163
Juan Clemente, San Lucas Evangelista, 1762     164
Don Juan Alonso, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1692     166
Pascuala Maria, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1762     168
Alonso Cristobal, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1759     172
Marcelino de la Cruz, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1759     174
Juana Maria, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1760     175
Francisco Javier, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1762     176
Guillermo Martin, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1737     177
Josefa Trinidad, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1752     180
Ignacia Cristina, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1759     181
Tomas de Aquino, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1760     182
Pablo Marcial, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1762     183
Gabriel de Santiago, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1758     184
Don Felipe de Santiago, Santa Maria de la Asuncion, 1783     185
Juan Andres, San Pablo Tepemaxalco, San Juan Bautista Yancuictlalpan, 1737     188
Fabiana de la Cruz, San Pedro Calimaya, 1758     189
Martina Maria, San Pedro Calimaya, Pasiontitlan, 1751     191
Agustin de la Cruz, San Pedro Calimaya, Pasiontitlan, 1755     193
Lorenza de Subersa, San Pedro Calimaya, Pasiontitlan, 1759     196
Maria Clara, San Pedro Calimaya, Pasiontitlan, 1763      197
Dominga Melchora, Calimaya, Pasiontitlan, 1701     200
Juana de la Cruz, San Pedro Calimaya, Tlamimilolpan, 1758     202
Josefa Encarnacion, San Pedro Calimaya, Tlamimilolpan, 1759     204
Francisco Juan, Calimaya, Tlamimilolpan, 1712     206
Antonio de Santiago, Calimaya, Tlamimilolpan, 1734     209
Pascuala de la Cruz, Calimaya, Tlamimilolpan, 1739     212
Felix de Santiago, Calimaya, Teopantonco, 1738     215
Don Antonio Salvador, Calimaya, Teopantonco, 1762     218
Antonia Espinosa, Calimaya, Teopanquiyahuac, 1759     223
Rosa Francisca, San Pedro Calimaya, Teopanquiyahuac, 1760     224
Tomas de la Cruz, San Antonio de Padua, 1717     226
Mateo Juarez, San Antonio de Padua, 1733     227
Pablo Joaquin, San Antonio de Padua, 1737     229
Antonio de la Cruz, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1678     231
Jose de Alcantara, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1737     233
Antonia Maria, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1759     235
Dominga Maria, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1759     236
Antonia Rufina, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1759     236
Leonor Maria, Santa Maria Nativitas, 1760     237
Mateo Serrano, Santiago Apostol Quaxochtenco, 1703      238
Baltasar de los Reyes, Santiago Apostol Quaxochtenco, ca. 1730     242
Mateo Manuel, Santiago Apostol Quaxochtenco, 1760     244
Ventura Ramos, Santiago Apostol Quaxochtenco, 1761     245
Tomas de la Cruz, Calimaya/Tepemaxalco, place unknown, 1760     246
Glossary     248
Bibliography     249
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