The destruction of preconquest indigenous codices is among the greatest material tragedies suffered by Mesoamerican societies during the European conquest of the Americas. The burning of thousands of Maya books by Diego de Landa in the sixteenth century, for example, is a loss that still haunts Maya communities today and anyone interested in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of Mesoamerica before 1492. Catholic missionaries viewed indigenous knowledges with great suspicion and suppressed any thought they considered heretical or pagan. This historical epistemic violence means there are great swaths of ancient Mesoamerican history lost forever. The relatively few examples of preconquest codices that do survive are now invaluable documents that reveal...

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