In the late Postclassic period (ca. 1250–1521), which immediately precedes the Spanish conquest, the practice of recording a number of subjects—including history, timekeeping, religion, tribute, botany, and genealogy—in manuscripts was widespread in Mesoamerica (comprising parts of modern-day Mexico and Central America). The significance of Mesoamerican manuscripts cannot be overstated; however, analyzing them is an arduous exercise. Unlike the Maya, who developed hieroglyphic writing, the Aztecs (also Nahuas) used imagery and calendar glyphs exclusively. After 1521, during the colonial period, the manuscript-making practice continued and indigenous scribes adopted alphabetic text, which elucidates images and glyphs in Pre-Columbian manuscripts. Yet, the complexity of sixteenth-century society, straddling an esteemed indigenous past as it confronted...

You do not currently have access to this content.