Astronomical symbolism in the Mixtec codices: an introductory analysis
LccF 1219.54 M59 S54 1987
Indians of Mexico - Astronomy
Mixtec Indians - Writing
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AbstractThe Mixtec group of codices are a group of pre-conquest deerskin screenfolds and post-conquest lienzos and manuscripts from the Mixteca region of Southern Mexico. They share common stylistic elements as well as places, personages and events from the Mixteca region. This group was first identified as belonging to the Mixteca in 1949 when Caso published his interpretation of the Mapa de Teozacoalco which identified the place-signs for Teozacoalco and Tilantongo, two major towns in the Mixteca Alta. The codices have been studied from a variety of perspectives genealogical, mythological, historical, chronological and geographical. This thesis does not attempt to disclaim these interpretations but provides an additional approach to the study of the codices. This approach is to examine the role of astronomy and astronomical symbolism in the codices. This study assumes that there are several levels of information encoded in the codices therefore a scene can be both historical and astronomical. The position of the year-bearer for the Mixtec year is shown to be the first day of the year based on chronological and astronomical information. The life of M2 Rain "Ocunana" is shown to be associated with Mercury phenomena and possibly suggests a historical/mythological role for M2 Rain. In addition, the chronology corresponds with Kelley's (n.d.) chronology for M8 Deer "Jaguar Claw". The "new fire" ceremonies in the Corona Nunez are shown to represent a pattern of lunar/solar eclipses around the time of the calendar reform (A.D. 934). While some of the interpretations may be shown later to be incorrect, this thesis offers quite conclusive evidence that astronomy played an important role in Mixtec ritual and secular life, as it did for other Mesoamerican groups.
Bibliography: p. 161-172.
CitationSnow, S. R. (1986). Astronomical symbolism in the Mixtec codices: an introductory analysis (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/17175
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