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

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

by Robert Lloyd Williams

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292774032
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 01/01/2010
Series: The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

ROBERT LLOYD WILLIAMS, a former student of renowned Mayanist Linda Schele, has studied the Mixtec codices since the 1980s and has taught courses relating to them since 1992. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Table of Contents

Foreword F. KentReilly III

Author's Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction John M. D. Pohl 1

Part 1

1 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

Part 2

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

Part 3

11 Rituals of Order: Codices Zouche-Nuttall and Vienna 135

12 The Problem of the Two Dead Lords 146

13 The Epiclassic Mixtec Ceremonial Complex 156

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 Jaltepec 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 Campaignas Lord of Tututepec 190

Color photo section follows page 48.

Bibliography 199

Index 209

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