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date: 01 February 2023

Indigenous Intellectuals in Colonial Latin Americafree

Indigenous Intellectuals in Colonial Latin Americafree

  • David TavárezDavid TavárezDepartment of Anthropology, Vassar College


The epistemic assumptions, methods, and rhetoric employed by colonial indigenous intellectuals in Latin America were based on preconquest intellectual labor and literacy systems. These practices were deeply impacted by collaborative projects and historical scholarship undertaken in the 16th century, as indigenous elites embraced European literacy and scholarly models. This merging of diverse traditions led to a “golden age” of indigenous intellectual achievements in the 17th century, and to a diversity of genres cultivated by native scholars in late colonial times. Indigenous historical actors were intellectuals not only because they recorded and disseminated historical, religious, or political knowledge, but also because they were inserted in culturally hybrid social networks through which collective knowledge circulated. While the works of Chimalpahin, Guaman Poma, Garcilaso de la Vega, and don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl are relatively well known, this small sample of native and mestizo intellectuals must be expanded considerably to examine works produced through co-authorship arrangements with friars and priests, and to address clandestine works composed exclusively for native audiences by less known, or even anonymous, indigenous scholars.


  • History of Mexico
  • History of Northern and Andean Spanish America
  • Cultural History
  • Indigenous History
  • Colonialism and Imperialism
  • Intellectual History

Intellectual Labor before the European Conquest

At first sight, the phrase “indigenous intellectuals” may be understood as referring to individuals engaged in the production of knowledge. However, this notion must be expanded to understand what indigenous societies regarded as wisdom. In Book 6, Chapter 9, of the Florentine Codex, compiled by the Franciscan Bernardino de Sahagún and his Nahua collaborators, the wisdom to be acquired by new rulers was tied to coyauac tezcatl necoc xapo, “the wide mirror polished on both sides,” granted by the powerful deity Tezcatlipoca, “Smoking Mirror.”1 From such perspective, wisdom was a collective possession, and could emanate from a cosmological domain. Our definition should also be complemented by a historicized understanding of social roles played by native intellectuals. In an influential discussion of intellectual labor, Antonio Gramsci turned from a focus on intellectual activity in and of itself to a consideration of social networks in which intellectuals were placed, with particular attention to the “extensive and complex” relations between intellectuals and socially dominant groups.2

Before European domination, indigenous societies structured intellectual endeavors in ways that were both suppressed and transformed under colonial rule. Indigenous polities such as the Nahua altepetl, the Andean ayllu, the Zapotec queche, the Mixtec ñuu, or the Maya cah were defined as sociopolitical entities by ruling lineages, land-holding rights, and communal observances. Collective and individual ritual practices were orchestrated by ritual specialists, often tied to the ruling class in each indigenous polity, who preserved specialized knowledge through oral performance and various literacy practices. Mesoamerican specialists recorded and interpreted various counts, which included—besides a Long Count cycle observed by Classic Maya societies—a divinatory 260-day cycle, and a 365-day vague solar year count.3 In the Andes, local cosmologies were intricately tied temporally and territorially to the memory of ancestors and sacred entities whose earthly manifestations were called huacas in Quechua.4

Intellectual production before the conquest focused on and was preserved through media and practices that departed markedly from European alphabetic literacy. Some of these systems—most famously, Classic Maya writing—combined syllabic signs with phonetic information and ideograms.5 As noted by Elizabeth Boone, semasiographic systems, or the pictographic encoding of information not based primarily on phonetic or lexical information, were in wide use in Mesoamerica; their deployment required specialized calendrical and cosmological knowledge, semasiographic representation, and proper recitation. For the Andes, Frank Salomon emphasized the deployment of graphic pluralism.6 This term may cover mathematical and narrative information preserved through a complex array of knots in the khipu, the geometric patterns known as tocapus that were depicted in tunics, textiles, and other media, or even the decoration in specialized drinking vessels, or keros.7

Historical, religious, and genealogical narratives were recorded in non-alphabetic writing systems, to which specialists with ties to elite groups had privileged access. In Mesoamerica, a division of labor distinguished between producers—such as amatlacuilo in Nahuatl and huezée quíchi or huecàa yye in Valley Zapotec—and interpreters—amapohuani in Nahuatl, péni huelàba yye in Valley Zapotec; on the other hand, the Quechua term quipucamayoc may collapse this distinction. But literacy was not restricted to elites, as evidenced by the Mexica ruler Itzcoatl’s announcement that commoners should not continue to possess knowledge about writing systems (in tlilli in tlapalli, “the black, the red”) used in daykeeping manuals and historical accounts; to achieve this goal, he decreed a burning of these records.8

After the conquest, the great majority of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican texts were destroyed or lost. Franciscan and Dominican missionaries confronted surviving Mesoamerican codices and other media with a mixture of deep suspicion and begrudging admiration, and unwittingly followed Itzcoatl’s radical censorship measures by burning texts tied to ancestral beliefs, often as the culmination of investigations about idolatry.9 But not even Franciscans were united in their condemnation of Pre-Columbian intellectual achievements. While Diego Valadés asserted that natives employed a form of what Aristotle named “artificial memory” that made use of places and images, Toribio Motolinia argued that the Mexica possessed five categories of books: of “years and times,” “days and feasts,” “dreams . . . and auguries,” “baptism and names,” and marriage rituals. From this group, he held the first category as the only truthful one, given the complexity of Mesoamerican calendars, while the remaining four remained under the suspicion reserved for idolatry.10 However, missionary devastation was accompanied by attempts to remake native elites into scholars with a humanistic training.

Nahua-Franciscan Collaborations in the 16th Century

The first Franciscans who arrived in Central Mexico carried not only canonical treatises and commentaries, but also mystical works that resonated particularly within the order’s penchant for millenarian beliefs, with some Erasmian tendencies as well.11 Such works included, for instance, Saint Bonaventure’s account of Saint Francis’s life; De conformitate vitae, a comparison of the lives of Jesus and Saint Francis by Bartholomaeus of Pisa; and the Arbor vitae crucifixus Iesu, a work focusing on the devotions of the cross by the polemic Ubertinus of Casale.12 A special case was the first bishop of Mexico, Juan de Zumárraga, who owned several volumes of Erasmus’s works.13 In addition to these mystical works and other works dealing with classical antiquity, a significant group of humanistic texts were also part of the holdings of the libraries of the Colegio de Santa Cruz and the Franciscan convent at Tlatelolco.14

The Colegio de Santa Cruz at Santiago Tlatelolco, sponsored by the Franciscans, was inaugurated on the feast of the Epiphany in 1536. This institution, the first of its kind in the colonial Americas, provided an education in the trivium—Latin grammar, rhetoric, and logic—and the quadrivium—arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music—to the sons of Nahua and other indigenous elites, who entered the school around the ages of ten through twelve and were to study for a period of three years, before going back to their communities to employ their knowledge. The education they received, and the urban indigenous networks they joined allowed them to serve their school or ecclesiastical institutions, while other alumni served as native governors and officials. In the 1540s and 1550s, Santa Cruz was administered by its alumni, but viceregal support was suspended in 1564, and the Franciscans stepped back as administrators by the early 1570s.15 In 1586 the recently arrived Jesuits founded a similar institution in Mexico City, the Colegio de San Gregorio for native students. However, as discussed below, Santa Cruz continued to serve during the 1580s and 1590s as a center for collaborative educational and scholarly work between Franciscans and Nahuas. Many of these collaborations focused on dictionaries, grammars, and devotional texts, but other subjects were addressed. For instance, Juan Badiano and Martín de la Cruz produced a manuscript containing illustrations and Latin descriptions of the curative properties of plants and flowers native to New Spain—a Nahua version of the materia medica manuals employed by early modern European physicians.16

The labor carried out by Nahua intellectuals in the second half of the 16th century was revealed in an unusual disclosure by the Franciscan Juan Bautista Viseo in the preface to his 1606 Nahuatl sermonary. While European authors rarely referred to the work of individual natives, Bautista discussed the activities of eight Nahua intellectuals who worked as co-authors, and assistants for Alonso de Molina, Bernardino de Sahagún, Jerónimo de Mendieta, Luis Rodríguez, and other leading Franciscans. With the exception of Diego Adriano, all scholars listed below were teachers or graduates of Santa Cruz. Among these great Nahua minds, one may count Hernando de Ribas, whose career is discussed below; the Latinist and church cantor Juan Bernardo of Huexotzinco; the Tlatelolca Diego Adriano, a print composer who was also renowned for his ability to translate any Latin text into Nahuatl; don Francisco Baptista de Contreras of Cuernavaca, who served as governor of Xochimilco, was a great amanuensis who helped Viseo with a translation of Estella’s Book of the Vanities and with a second version of the Imitation of Christ; and the Tetzcoca Esteban Bravo, who translated Spanish and Latin texts for Bautista in so florid a manner that Bautista edited them down. Moreover, don Antonio Valeriano, a native of Azcapotzalco who served as governor of his hometown for eight years and as indigenous governor of Mexico City for another twenty-three years, was lauded by Bautista as a great Latinist whose eloquence ex tempore was comparable to that of Cicero or Quintilian, and as a source of wisdom regarding Nahua etymology; the Tlatelolca Pedro de Gante, named after the celebrated Flemish Franciscan, who helped Bautista with translations of saints’ lives; and, finally, the Tlatelolca Agustín de la Fuente, who helped the Franciscans Bernardino de Sahagún and Pedro de Oroz with various projects, and was the amanuensis who prepared the manuscripts of every single work printed by Bautista, and later on became a print composer.17 As proposed by Louise Burkhart, Fuente probably also worked on Holy Wednesday, the earliest known Nahuatl devotional play.18

To this group, one should add several of Sahagún’s students at Santa Cruz who also served as his assistants as he edited the encyclopedic work on Nahua religion, language, culture, and history known as the Florentine Codex, and who are named in the prologue to this work’s Book Two. Besides the ubiquitous Valeriano, Sahagún also mentions two Cuauhtitlan natives, Alonso Vegerano, a Latin teacher at Santa Cruz c. 1574, and Pedro de San Buenaventura; and the Tlatelolca Martín Jacobita, who served as rector of Santa Cruz in the 1560s and early 1570s. Three scribes—the Xochimilca Mateo Severino, the Tlatelolca Diego de Grado, and Bonifacio Maximiliano—are also known by name.19 Moreover, the Florentine Codex is remarkable for its complex interplay among its Nahuatl and Spanish texts, and for the images that extend or compress its narrative threads.20

Santa Cruz was renowned for its Latinists, who were initially schooled by the French Franciscan Arnaldo de Basacio, and who frequently displayed their prowess in their petitions to the Spanish crown. We have impressive Latin letters by don Antonio Cortés Totoquihuatzin, don Pablo Nazareo, don Antonio Valeriano, as well as those written on behalf of don Pedro Moteuczoma Indeed, Nazareo finds occasion to cite a passage from Ovid’s Ars amatoria in a letter to Philip II.21

From this cohort, Hernando de Ribas, a Latinist from Tetzcoco, emerged as a talented scholar who participated in many Nahua-Franciscan projects. Bautista states that Ribas assisted Molina with his 1571 Nahuatl Grammar (Arte), and with a Nahuatl dictionary (Vocabulario). Since Ribas died in 1597, the latter reference may pertain to Molina’s monumental 1571 Spanish-Nahuatl and Nahuatl-Spanish dictionary, although Ribas could have also helped with Molina’s less extensive 1555 dictionary. He probably helped Molina compose the first Nahuatl version of the Imitation of Christ. Bautista also remarked that Ribas taught Nahuatl to various Franciscans, was Juan de Gaona’s collaborator, and also Bautista’s co-translator for several manuscripts that included Diego de Estella’s Book of the Vanities.

The work Sahagún conducted with several Nahua collaborators as he worked on the twelve books of the Florentine Codex is relatively well known. Less prominent are the Nahua-Franciscan collaborations on other projects: lives of saints; the devotio moderna, which advocated for a reflective meditation by lay persons; the contempt of the world literature, which emerged in early Christianity and medieval times and continued to be popular in 16th-century Spain; and scholarly commentaries on the Scriptures.22 The text that launched the devotio moderna, Thomas à Kempis’s On the Imitation of Christ, was glossed and commented on in great detail in two separate Nahuatl versions. The first one is an illuminated manuscript presented to Juan de Ovando by the Franciscan Jerónimo de Mendieta in 1570, later gifted to Philip II and archived at the Royal Library of El Escorial. The second version is a working copy of the Imitation, now preserved at the John Carter Brown Library. In 1606, Bautista announced the imminent printing of this latter version, begun by Luis Rodríguez and completed by Bautista and Francisco Baptista de Contreras, but the work was never printed, either because a license was not issued, or due to Bautista Viseo’s death.23

Franciscans and Nahuas translated and prepared comments on the Scriptures, with the primary goal of using them in sermons throughout the liturgical year.24 What we know about scholarly commentaries is closely tied to a Nahuatl version of the Proverbs of Solomon and its attempted erasure by the Inquisition. While some vernacular translations of the Bible circulated in the early 16th century, a ban on vernacular Scriptures was proclaimed by the 1559 Inquisitorial Index. The newly established Mexican Inquisition began monitoring translations of the Scriptures in 1577, when, as Martin Nesvig noted, a questionnaire regarding the wisdom of having a translation of the Ecclesiastes in an “Indian language” circulated among the Franciscans Molina and Sahagún, and the Dominican Domingo de la Anunciación. As expected, while Molina and Sahagún argued in favor of it, Anunciación questioned it; in the end, the newly established Mexican Holy Office banned the Nahuatl translation of the Proverbs by the Franciscan Luis Rodríguez, and Sahagún’s manuscripts were also confiscated.25 In the 1540s and 1550s, Rodríguez had been working closely with Nahua scholars, but he grew tired regarding the restrictions on Franciscan educational projects, and returned to Spain in 1562.26

Two versions of a Nahuatl exegesis of the Proverbs of Solomon may be attributed to Rodríguez and his Nahua circle. What is possibly the earliest one is at the Hispanic Society of America (HSA). This 166-folio text contains one-half of the Proverbs, features 413 Latin citations, followed by Nahuatl commentary; 337 of these come from the Proverbs, and 70 from other books of the Bible, and the text also contains citations from Aristotle, Ovid, and Publilius Syrus.27 This work presented a scholarly apparatus for educating Nahuas on how to think about wisdom, prudence, and restraint, the major themes of the Proverbs, and the method of exposition is patterned after Thomas Aquinas’s famous Catena aurea, with citations followed by exegesis.

As to contempt of the world works, besides the aforementioned translation of Estella’s Vanities, Bautista edited the translation of Luis de Granada’s acclaimed 1554 Book of Prayer and Meditation. This work was placed in the 1559 Inquisitorial Index, but reprinted in 1566, and it continued to be popular, along with other works Granada wrote in Portugal as a prominent exile. In an admirable sleight of hand, Bautista oversaw the translation into Nahuatl of five of Granada’s seven nocturnal meditations (Tuesday to Saturday) from the 1554 Book, and presented them as his first work in the 1604 imprint Book of Misery and Brevity of the Life of Man [Libro de la miseria y breuedad de la vida del hombre]. Clearly, Bautista had ecclesiastical and civil support for this bold venture, as this publication was approved by civil and ecclesiastical authorities. Finally, there were also several devotional works structured as devotional dialogues. In 1582, Dialogues on Peacefulness and Serenity [Colloquios de la paz y la tranquilidad], composed four decades earlier, was published under Juan de Gaona’s name, based on a collaboration with the aforementioned Ribas. These dialogues were eventually translated into Otomi, perhaps by the Franciscan Alonso de Urbano.28 We also have Juan de Mijangos’s Divine Mirror [Espejo divino], printed in 1607. This costly 564-page work was corrected by Agustín de la Fuente, and it was reprinted in 1626, suggesting that it had a successful reception.29 Certainly, the commentaries on the Proverbs and the emergence of a devotional Nahuatl literature that embraced Kempis, Granada, Estella, and others challenged the Counter-Reformation’s policies regarding what could be translated into indigenous languages, but the Franciscans and his Nahua co-authors proved prescient, as some of these authors were eventually incorporated into the curriculum for Spanish and French seminarists by the early 18th century.30

Early Colonial Indigenous Intellectuals

Other Nahua authors not affiliated with Santa Cruz also produced important works. The Jesuit Antonio del Rincón, from Tetzcoco, published a superb Nahuatl grammar in 1595.31 The collective work known as “Annals of Juan Bautista” recorded important political and religious events in 16th-century Central Mexico, including one of the earliest descriptions of the cult of Guadalupe at Tepeyacac.32 There is also a miscellany work that contains various devotional works and includes adaptations written by and for an exclusively Nahua Christian audience of the legends of Saint Amaro and Judas Iscariot, while anonymous native authors composed historical annals featuring calendrical information, such as the Codex Mexicanus, and various other manuscripts containing Nahuatl adaptations of Spanish almanacs, most notably Andrés de Li’s influential 1492 Reportorio de los tiempos, and Sancho de Salaya’s Repertorio nuevamente corregido, which copied Li’s text with some additions.33 Some indigenous notables kept small libraries, as attested by the will of Baltasar de San Juan, who bequeathed eight works to his descendants, including a Contemptus mundi in Nahuatl; moreover, the Mixtec cacique of Yanhuitlán listed several books in his 1591 will, also including a Contemptus mundi.34

At a distance from all of these works stand three important works that record Nahua oratory and performance, and K’iche’ Maya historical memory and cosmology: the Cantares Mexicanos, the Romances de los Señores de la Nueva España, and the Popol Vuh. A corpus of cuicatl now known as Cantares Mexicanos, 91 songs transcribed between 1550 and 1585 by Nahua elites in the Valley of Mexico, along with the Romances, are the most detailed records of preconquest Nahua oratory. The poetic structure, proper translation, historicity, and hybrid nature of the Cantares have been the subject of many interpretations.35 The Popol Vuh provides a richly woven and multifaceted account about multiple creations, and the exploits of the twins Hunahpu and Xbalanqué, who, allied with the lords of Sky, defeat the lords of Xib’alba’ after a series of contests; it also narrates the migrations and the establishment of preconquest communities by K’iche’ ancestors.36

A Golden Age for Indigenous Intellectuals: The 17th Century

In Colonial Peru, pastoral literature tended to be under closer scrutiny, but an important number of texts in Quechua circulated among priests and parishioners.37 In Lima, the Colegio de San Pablo served as a center of instruction in indigenous languages for parish priests, and after 1584, its printing press was used to publish a broad array of publications, including catechisms in indigenous languages.38 On the another part of this spectrum, the most important text produced through an indigenous-ecclesiastical collaboration in the early 17th century was the Huarochirí Manuscript, a compilation of accounts about Andean deities, cosmological forces, and origin narratives associated with the Huarochirí Valley in Central Peru. The work was composed under the scrutiny of Francisco de Ávila, a local priest who, with the assistance of Archbishop Lobo Guerrero and several Jesuits, led efforts to eradicate traditional Andean religious practices.39 Cristóbal Choquecasa was the main author of the Huarochirí manuscript, as shown by several lines of evidence, including a petition in support of Ávila signed by Choquecasa. He was a descendant of the ruling Checa lineage with a successful career as scribe and indigenous official, and who assisted Ávila in his endeavors. This manuscript was written in Standard Colonial Quechua, a variant based on the Quechua of the Cuzco region.40

This manuscript collected oral traditions regarding narratives of origin that occurred in ñaupa pacha, “ancient times,” but also addressed Christian times. Three important periods are emphasized in these narratives: an earlier era of dominance by Yana Ñamca and Tuta Ñamca, two huacas that are vanquished at the beginning of the second period by Huallallo Caruincho, a cannibal huaca eventually defeated by Paria Caca, a powerful huaca composed of five brothers. Paria Caca has its female counterpart in Chaupi Ñamca, also a five-entity huaca. The third and final period begins with the arrival of the Spanish at Cajamarca, and the destruction of the cult of Paria Caca. The decline of these huacas is tied to an account regarding Huayna Capac, the last Inca to complete his reign before the Spanish conquest, who ends up marrying a Spanish woman through the intervention of the trickster huaca Cuni Raya.41

No indigenous chronicler is more essential to our understanding of Inca and early colonial Andean history than Guaman Poma, a descendant of Inca nobility and the author of a lengthy and vividly illustrated account known as El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno. This manuscript, which was addressed to the Spanish Crown and languished in oblivion until its rediscovery in Denmark in 1908, was completed c. 1615 by Poma. It is both an “epic story” of Andean societies, as asserted by Rolena Adorno, and also an attempt at universal history, as Poma narrates Andean and European events through four eras preceding the birth of Christ, and then addresses Inca history before and after the conquest. Poma lauded both preconquest knowledge about astrology and divination, and the exemplary nature and purity of customs of Inca rulers, which he held high above the greed of Spanish administrators and the sins of colonial Andeans. Poma’s critique had racializing undertones, as he denounced marriages between Andeans and non-Andeans, and held mestizos in relative contempt. He advocated for a return to the more salubrious customs of the Inca as a remedy for what was, in his view, an unjust colonial society.42 Joan Pachacuti Yamqui, Poma’s contemporary, authored an important account of Andean history that examined the received creation account for Inca Cuzco, described Inca cosmology, solar cults, and the worship of huacas, and also interpreted Andean sacred objects—such as the golden plaque at the most hallowed enclosure in Cuzco, the Coricancha—as a representation of a creator that anticipated knowledge about the Christian god. As argued by Sabine MacCormack, Pachacuti Yamqui attributed to Inca rulers and festivals glimmers of a road to Christianity that Andeans would later travel on.43

Nahua authors began composing alphabetic, as opposed to pictorial, historical accounts in Nahuatl about the history of their altepemeh in the mid-16th century and continued to do so for at least two more centuries.44 These manuscripts were addressed to an audience composed primarily by elite, literate Nahuas and interested local clergy or doctrinal authors. Among them, one early figure is remarkable for his composition of lengthy and richly detailed historical narratives composed in Nahuatl, and drawn from pictorial documents, oral tradition, and interviews with elders. This author called himself don Domingo de San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin—Chimalpahin, for short. Chimalpahin was born in 1579 in Amaquemecan Chalco to a family on “the far edge” of Nahua nobility, arrived in Mexico City c. 1593, and became caretaker of the chapel of San Antonio Abad until c. 1620.45

During this interval, Chimalpahin composed a record of the history of Colhuacan and eight separate accounts about the ancient Nahua past.46 A miscellaneous manuscript collection formerly at the Cambridge Bible Society, now in Mexico, also contains a set of Nahuatl annals, an important Spanish-language account known as the Chronica Mexicana incorrectly attributed to Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc, and a copy of a manuscript by Sahagún.47 Chimalpahin also kept a diary of important events in Mexico City and New Spain for the period 1589–1615, copied several works by other indigenous authors, and produced his own Spanish-language version of Francisco López de Gómara’s popular Conquista de México.48 This hybrid Conquista is the sole extant attempt by an indigenous author to appropriate and modify a historical narrative produced by a Spanish author about the Americas.49 Chimalpahin’s multiple works provide the most detailed inquiry into Mexica and Nahua elite genealogies, along with a superb vantage point on almost every significant event in Nahua history, from migration accounts and the foundation of Mexico Tenochtitlan, to wars and conflicts that shaped the political history of all major Central Mexican polities, to the genealogy and deeds of colonial Nahua elites.

Among the various Nahua annalists active in mid and late colonial times, don Juan Buenaventura Zapata y Mendoza stands out for his meticulous efforts as a local historian. Don Juan, born in Quiahuiztlan, Tlaxcala, and active as a local government official from the 1640s onwards, composed an account that, while being inspired by the ancient tradition of the xiuhpohualli, or “year count,” was also based on a multiplicity of sources, which included the Annals of Tula and other important annals, but also records and statements from his circle of friends. Besides recording received accounts about preconquest and early colonial Tlaxcala, don Juan recorded local, ongoing political affairs from the perspective of an indio, “indigenous person,” and held perennial suspicions about mestizo interlopers in local governance, some of whom seemed to come from mictlan, “underworld, hell.”50 Other Christianized Nahuas turned to the production of devotional plays, and composed Nahua translations of exemplary narrative for pious native audiences.51 In colonial Guatemala, a vibrant and heterogeneous set of annals recorded Kaqchikel historical memory and traditional rhetoric.52

Native Intellectuals between Two Worlds

Other prominent intellectuals stood at a colonial crossroad in terms of the multiplicity of ethnic, kinship-based, and cultural identities that provided them with their education, social status, and ideological perspectives. Naturally, indigenous literate elites and minor officials navigated a multicultural realm of literacy as interpreters between communities and civil authorities.53 The mestizo author Juan Bautista Pomar, great-grandson of Nezahualcoyotl, the most celebrated ruler of Tetzcoco, provides an insightful example of this hybrid position, as do other mestizo historians such as the Tlaxcalan Diego Muñoz Camargo.54 Perhaps the most illuminating case is that of two brothers of Nahua and Spanish origin who were also descendants of Nezahualcoyotl. Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl was born into privilege as a member of a lineage with multiple landholdings, served as a prominent court translator, and composed historical accounts in Spanish. Chimalpahin and other chroniclers had focused on a heroic narrative about Tetzcoca leaders during and after the Tepanec wars of 1427–1428, with an emphasis on Nezahualcoyotl’s revenge against Azcapotzalco following the murder of his father, and his achievements as ruler, lawmaker, and poet. Don Fernando embraced these accounts and also depicted Nezahualcoyotl as an idealized ruler who had intuited the notion of an only God before the conquest.55 Indeed, don Fernando saw himself as another Xenophon, the Greek historian who produced a reverential biography of the Persian king Cyrus. He also interacted with other native intellectuals, such as don Constantino Bravo Huitziméngari, the Phurépecha ruler whose father kept a small humanist library, and who contributed stories about the ancient kingdom of Michoacán.56 On the other hand, a much younger brother of don Fernando’s don Bartolomé de Alva, was able to join the priesthood as a mestizo. In 1634, he published a Nahuatl-language confessionary thoroughly informed by his cultural background and knowledge about ancient beliefs, and he also worked with the noted Jesuit lexicographer Horacio Carochi on various projects.57 One of his most notable achievements, as chronicled by Louise Burkhart and Barry Sell, was his translation into florid Nahuatl and “Mexicanization” of Golden Age plays, such as Calderón de la Barca’s “Great Theater of the World.”58

An equally hybrid figure in the Andes was “El Inca” Garcilaso de la Vega. A nobleman and author of mixed heritage, he is best known for his Royal Commentaries of the Incas, whose first volume appeared in 1609, and the second, posthumously, in 1617, and were translated decades later into French and English. Like Cieza de León and other chroniclers, Garcilaso divided his work into pre-Inca and Inca eras; unlike them, he argued that huacas were powerful or extraordinary entities that could only be understood from an Andean perspective—and thus were not simply idols or false deities. MacCormack judiciously argued that Garcilaso, influenced by Leone Ebreo and other Neoplatonists, veered between explaining Inca solar worship or the visions of Inca Viracocha as idolatrous or demonic, and interpreting some aspects of these practices as first approaches to a “true” religion.59 In any case, as María Rostworowski contends, Garcilaso embraced his own genealogical perspective as a descendant of the Inca Huascar, and presented accounts about royal Inca mummies that contradicted those of other chroniclers.60

Intellectuals at the Margins: Ritual Specialists

Indigenous ritual specialists active in the 17th century deserve a place among other colonial intellectuals, even if their efforts come to us through the refracting medium of idolatry trials, or are muted by the fact that many of them remain anonymous, and labored in clandestinity. One of the most important sources about Nahua religion in early colonial times, Tratado de las supersticiones, resulted from investigations the parish priest Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón conducted in 1613–1629.61 While he was responsible for translating and interpreting sixty-six Nahuatl prayers, this knowledge came from nine male and seventeen female ritual practitioners designated by their names in the Tratado, and also from various anonymous specialists, all of whom resided in thirty communities located in the Nahua regions of Cohuixcatlalpan and Tlalhuicatlalpan. These prayers allowed specialists to personify Nahua deities as part of a ritual protocol, and they were deployed for propitiation, divination, to assist in hunting, fishing, or sowing, to heal a variety of illnesses, and to inspire affections or address illnesses caused by sexual desire.62 One of the few specialists whose career is relatively well known is Diego Luis, a native of San Miguel Sola, a literate man fluent in Zapotec variants and Nahuatl who was church cantor, scribe, and town councilman, but who was known as one of the most experienced specialists in the Sola region. As he was tried by the priest Gonzalo de Balsalobre for idolatry in 1635, and again in 1654, we know that he kept manuals in which he recorded a version of the 260-day divinatory count, along with information about thirteen Zapotec deities; these manuals circulated among Luis’s sons, friends, and acquaintances.63

Moreover, in 1704–1705, Bishop of Oaxaca Ángel Maldonado led one of the most ambitious campaigns against idolatries to be conducted in the colonial Americas. After demanding collective confessions and ritual manuals from more than one hundred native communities in Villa Alta in exchange for a mass absolution for idolatry, he obtained 107 texts in Bixanos, Caxonos, and Nexitzo Zapotec from forty communities, which he forwarded to the Council of the Indies—thus preserving them from destruction after a legal proceeding—to document the shortcomings of Dominican evangelization. In this corpus, four texts contain traditional or Christian ritual songs that were performed collectively. The traditional songs preserve ritual protocols, request and celebrate the return of deities and founding ancestors to Earth, and recreate narratives of origin. The remaining 102 manuals preserved the 260-day count, the 365-day calendar, eclipse records, and correlations with the Gregorian calendar, plus a multiplicity of cycles internal to the count, instructions for offerings, and detailed diagrams that associate the count and deities and ancestors with various realms in the cosmos.64 The Zapotec calendars and songs, along with the Yucatec Maya books of Chilam Balam and the Songs of Dzitbalché, are among the few colonial texts that preserve ritual observances recorded clandestinely by Mesoamerican specialists. The Chilam Balam books preserved auguries, observances, and historical accounts; various texts regarding healing and remedies, such as the Ritual de los Bacabes, were also kept, while some Maya Christians recorded prayers, catechistical material and Christian narratives in manuscript form, and assisted Franciscan authors in the lexicographic labors that transformed Yucatec Maya.65

Indigenous Intellectuals in Late Colonial Times

The activities of native intellectuals in late colonial times continued across a number of genres in social spheres that were increasingly hybrid. One of the most salient efforts was the production and copying of devotional plays in Nahuatl for indigenous audiences, with particular attention to passion plays, and the story of Guadalupe, while Quechua-language religious plays presented local identities and narratives in the context of Spanish Baroque theater.66 In Brazil, the development of Tupi as a lingua franca led to the production of manuscripts and letters by both natives and Europeans.67 Between the mid-17th and the late 18th centuries, historical memories about the conquest and early colonization were rethought, rewritten, and repurposed by a variety of authors, which included writers who produced antedated accounts and memories about the conquest for native individuals and communities, authors of pictographic catechisms, and local narratives about migration and ethnogenesis.68 In the same time period, more than two hundred indigenous noblemen pursued an education at seminaries and schools in New Spain, which included the Jesuit Colegio of San Gregorio, and, for a while, a new incarnation of the Colegio de Santa Cruz that opened in the late 1720s.69 Indigenous caciques (hereditary rulers) and their progeny pursued their own political interests, but also reconsidered the indigenous past within the Creole republic of letters: For instance, the Tlaxcalan priest Manuel de Santos y Salazar worked on Nahua plays and genealogical accounts, while the multilingual Zapotec poet, writer, and interpreter don Patricio Antonio López collaborated with authors such as Lorenzo Boturini.70 In the Andes, Jerónimo Limaylla, a graduate of the Jesuit school for caciques in Lima, wrote in favor of the preservation of the rights of hereditary rulers.71 Even if, with the benefit of hindsight, the 16th and 17th centuries appear to be a period of more intense production and experimentation, native scholars, authors, scribes, and playwrights continued to work in an expanding sphere for political and religious discourses in which Creole patriotism and indigenous historical discourses coexisted and nurtured each other.

Discussion of the Literature

From the late 17th century onwards, Creole and European intellectuals such as Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora and Lorenzo Boturini began to shape the rethinking and archiving of Nahua historians such as Chimalpahin or Alva Ixtlilxóchitl.72 New national narratives after the independence of former Spanish colonies began to shape and address collective understandings about who and what stood for “ancient” and “authentic” indigenous knowledge and achievements.73 From the 1950s onwards, a growing awareness of large corpora that could be defined as “indigenous” literature, theater, or philosophy stimulated a number of approaches, some of which sought to argue for parity between indigenous and European texts and genres in terms of their importance and complexity.74 Some historical figures, such as Nezahualcoyotl in Mexico, were celebrated as emblems of the indigenous past.75 In the 1970s and 1980s, the study of received European chronicles began to be complemented by the increasingly sophisticated analyses of texts by New Philologists working on Mesoamerican languages, and by historians, linguistics, and philologists on Andean languages accompanied the publication of new or revised critical editions of works by indigenous authors, and research on education and libraries for natives.76 This trend led to a first surge in works on native intellectuals between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, which can be traced to a rethinking of previous critical editions, an awareness of the diversity of colonial genres, and to the effects of increasing philological and linguistic research.77

After the early 2000s, there was a second, more adventurous, surge in works that scrutinize indigenous letters and literacy in colonial Spanish America in terms of social networks, political history, religion, and law. While some scholars have continued to focus on critical editions and new or revised translations, others have produced collective volumes that pursue interregional comparisons and showcase comparative work on Mesoamerican and Andean languages, while other works have sought to expand the notion of colonial intellectual labor.78 In particular, several works have advanced a growing awareness of the multiple connections between European and indigenous humanists, the work of indigenous scholars trained in the classics, and the importance of native co-authors in missionary intellectual enterprises.79 In the end, the works and lives of the indigenous intellectuals discussed in this article provide us with a concise but vivid sample of the astounding dynamism of the activities pursued by knowledge workers across colonial indigenous societies in Spanish and Portuguese America.

Primary Sources

The Nettie Lee Benson Library. This library’s Mexican Manuscript Collection preserves dozens of important manuscripts in Mesoamerican languages, historical texts, and pictographic materials, along with an important collection of colonial imprints.

Biblioteca Digital Andina. This site, maintained by UNESCO and the Comunidad Andina, provides a single-portal access to libraries and research collections located at twenty-five universities or institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. It may be a good starting point for exploring repositories, documents, and secondary sources.

Biblioteca Digital Mexicana. Created in 2010, this resource provides access to important maps and manuscripts housed in thirteen different libraries, including records from the Archivo General de la Nación, the Colección Antigua of the Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia, and the Centro de Estudios de Historia de México.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Manuscrits orientaux, Fonds Mexicain; Collection Pinart. Besides gifts from Eugène Goupil, the collection now known as the Fonds Mexicain has its origin in a corpus of rare and precious pictographic and alphabetic materials that Joseph-Marie Aubin took out of Mexico and eventually donated to the BnF. It is an essential source for Mesoamerican-language materials and indigenous history. A useful site for navigating these collections is Amoxcalli.

New York Public Library. The Manuscripts Division preserves an important and eclectic group of colonial documents that were collected by Obadaih Rich. A good finding aid is Edwin Blake Brownrigg, Colonial Latin American Manuscripts in the Rich Collection (New York: The New York Public Library, 1978).

The Newberry Library. A number of important works are preserved at the Newberry, ranging from important linguistic, historical, and religious works in indigenous languages, to works by Sahagún, and the Popol Vuh. Many of these materials are housed in the Edward E. Ayer collection.

The John Carter Brown Library. The JCB’s Indigenous Language Collection features one of the most extensive group of colonial imprints for the Americas, along with important manuscripts in indigenous languages, religious works, and unique pictographic documents.

Researchers looking for colonial imprints not found at the JCB should also attempt broader searches at Internet Archive.

The Sutro Library. This library’s Mexican Collection contains many of the imprints that were part of the library holdings of the Franciscan convent at Tlatelolco; a useful reference is Mathes, Santa Cruz.

Further Reading

  • Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando. Obras históricas. Edited by Edmundo O’Gorman. 2 vols. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1975.
  • Arzápalo, Ramón, trans. El ritual del los bacabes. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987.
  • Bierhost, John. Cantares Mexicanos: Songs of the Aztecs. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1985.
  • Burkhart, Louise. Holy Wednesday: A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.
  • Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, don Domingo de San Antón Muñón. Codex Chimalpahin: Society and Politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and Other Nahua Altepetl in Central Mexico. 2 vols. Edited and translated by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.
  • Chuchiak, John F. “Writing as Resistance: Maya Graphic Pluralism and Indigenous Elite Strategies for Survival in Colonial Yucatán, 1550–1750.” Ethnohistory 57, no. 1 (2010): 87–116.
  • Edmonson, Munro, trans. Heaven-born Merida and its Destiny: The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986.
  • Garcilaso de la Vega. Comentarios reales de los incas. Edited by Carlos Araníbar. 2 vols. Lima: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1991.
  • Laird, Andrew, “Nahua Humanism and Political Identity in Sixteenth-Century Mexico,” Renaessanceforum 10 (2016): 127–172.
  • Guaman Poma de Ayala, Felipe, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno. Edited by John V. Murra and Rolena Adorno; translated by Jorge L. Urioste [1980]; edited online by Rolena Adorno and Ivan Boserup, 2004 [1615].
  • León-Portilla, Miguel, ed. Cantares mexicanos. 2 vols. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Fideicomiso Teixidor, 2011.
  • MacCormack, Sabine. Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.
  • McDonough, Kelly. The Learned Ones: Nahua Intellectuals in Postconquest Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014.
  • Menegus Bornemann, Margarita, and Rodolfo Aguirre Salvador. Los indios, el sacerdocio, y la universidad en Nueva España, siglos XVI–XVIII. Mexico City: Plaza y Valdés, 2006.
  • Nicolau D’Olwer, Lluís. Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, 1499–1590. Translated by Mauricio J. Mixco. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987.
  • Pérez-Rocha, Emma, and Rafael Tena, eds. La nobleza indígena del centro de México después de la conquista. Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 2000.
  • Pollnitz, Aysha. “Old Words and the New World: Liberal Education and the Franciscans in New Spain.” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 27 (2017): 123–152.
  • Ruiz de Alarcón, Hernando. Treatise on the Heathen Institutions that Today Live Among the Indians Native to this New Spain (1629). J. Edited and translated by Richard Andrews and Ross Hassig. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.
  • Sahagún, Bernardino de. The Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain. Books 1–12, 13 vols. Translated and edited by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1950–1982.
  • Salomon, Frank, and George Urioste. The Huarochirí Manuscript: A Testament of Ancient and Colonial Andean Religion. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991.
  • Sell, Barry, Louise Burkhart, and Elizabeth R. Wright, eds. Nahuatl Theater, Volume 3: Spanish Golden Age Drama in Mexican Translation. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008.
  • Tavárez, David, “Nahua Intellectuals, Franciscan Scholars, and the devotio moderna in Colonial Mexico.” The Americas 70, no. 2 (2013): 203–235.
  • Tavárez, David, ed. Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America. Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2017.
  • Tedlock, Dennis. Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.
  • Villella, Peter. Indigenous Elites and Creole identity in Colonial Mexico, 1500–1800. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016.


  • 1. Guilhem Olivier, Mockeries and Metamorphoses of an Aztec God: Tezcatlipoca, “Lord of the Smoking Mirror” (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 2003), 251. See also Bernardino de Sahagún, The Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain. Books 1–12, 13 vols. Trans. and ed. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1950–1982).

  • 2. Antonio Gramsci, Quaderni del carcere, vol. 3 (Turin: Einaudi, 1977), 1516.

  • 3. See, for instance, Elizabeth H. Boone, Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2007); and Javier Urcid, Zapotec Hieroglyphic Writing. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art & Archaeology, Number 34 (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2001).

  • 4. See María Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, History of the Inca Realm (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Susan Elizabeth Ramírez, To Feed and Be Fed: The Cosmological Bases of Authority and Identity in the Andes (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2005); and Claudia Brosseder, The Power of Huacas: Change and Resistance in the Andean World of Colonial Peru (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014).

  • 5. For a glyph catalog, see Martha Macri and Matthew G. Looper, The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs: The Classic Period Inscriptions (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003).

  • 6. Elizabeth H. Boone, Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000); see also Elizabeth H. Boone and Walter Mignolo, Writing Without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994); Frank Salomon, The Cord Keepers: Khipus and Cultural Life in a Peruvian Village (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004); see also Special Issue: “Graphic Pluralism,” Ethnohistory 57, no. 1 (2010), edited by Sabine Hyland and Frank Salomon.

  • 7. Gary Urton, Inka History in Knots. Reading Khipus as Primary Sources (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017); for recent discoveries, see Sabine Hyland, “Writing with Twisted Cords: The Inscriptive Capacity of Andean Khipus,” Current Anthropology 58, no. 3 (2017): 412–419; Thomas B. F. Cummins, Toasts with the Inca: Andean Abstraction and Colonial Images on Kero Vessels (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002); and Cummins, “Tocapu: What Is It, What Does It Do, and Why Is It Not a Knot?,” in Their Way of Writing: Scripts, Signs, and Pictographies in Pre-Columbian America, ed. Elizabeth Hill Boone and Gary Urton (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2011), 277–317.

  • 8. Amatlacuilo is “paper painter/writer,” huezée quíchi is “maker of paper,” and huecàa yye, “one who sticks on/places signs.” Juan de Córdova, Vocabulario en lengua çapoteca (Mexico City: Pedro Ocharte, Antonio Ricardo, 1578), 182v; Amapohuani is “paper recounter”; péni huelàba yye, “reader or reciter of images.” Córdova, Vocabulario, 241v.; Sahagún, Florentine Codex, Book 10, 191.

  • 9. An important example is Diego de Landa’s activities in Yucatan in 1562; see France V. Scholes and Ralph Roys, Fray Diego de Landa and the Problem of Idolatry in Yucatán (Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution, 1938); and John F. Chuchiak, “In Servitio Dei: Fray Diego de Landa, The Franciscan Order, and the Return of the Extirpation of Idolatry in the Colonial Diocese of Yucatán, 1573–1579,” The Americas 61, no. 4 (2005): 611–646.

  • 10. Diego Valadés, Rhetorica Christiana (Perugia: Petrumiacobum Petrutium, 1579), 227; Motolinia [Toribio Benavente], Historia de los indios de la Nueva España (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1990 [1858]), 2.

  • 11. On Franciscan millenarianism, see John Leddy Phelan, The Milennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970); for Erasmus’s influence, see Marcel Bataillon, Erasmo y España: estudios sobre la historia espiritual del siglo XVI, 2 vols. (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1950).

  • 12. Francisco Morales, “New World Colonial Franciscan Mystical Practice,” in A New Companion to Hispanic Mysticism, ed. Hilaire Kallendorf (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2010), 95–97.

  • 13. Richard Greenleaf, ed., Zumárraga and his Family: Letters to Vizcaya, 1536–1548 (Washington, DC: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1979), 122–128, see citation and discussion in Aysha Pollnitz, “Old Words and the New World: Liberal Education and the Franciscans in New Spain,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 27 (2017): 123–152. See also Richard E. Greenleaf, Zumárraga and the Mexican Inquisition, 1536–1543 (Washington, DC: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1962).

  • 14. Miguel Mathes, Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco: la primera biblioteca académica de las Américas (Mexico City: Archivo Histórico Diplomático Mexicano 12, cuarta época, Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 1982); and Pollnitz, “Old Words.”

  • 15. Louise Burkhart, Holy Wednesday: A Nahua Drama from Early Colonial Mexico (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), 57–64. See also Rocío Cortés, “The Colegio Imperial De Santa Cruz De Tlatelolco and Its Aftermath: Nahua Intellectuals and the Spiritual Conquest of Mexico,” in A Companion to Latin American Literature and Culture, ed. Sarah Castro-Klaren (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2008), 86–105. SilverMoon, “The Imperial College of Tlatelolco and the Emergence of a New Nahua Intellectual Elite in New Spain (1500–1760)” (PhD diss., Duke University, 2007); and José María Kobayashi, La educación como conquista: Empresa franciscana en México (Mexico City: Colegio de México, 1974).

  • 16. Martín de la Cruz and Juan Badiano, The Badianus Manuscript (Codex Barberini, Latin 241) Vatican Library: An Aztec Herbal of 1552 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1940); and Martín de la Cruz, Libellus de medicinalibus indorum herbis. Manuscrito azteca de 1552 según traducción latina de Juan Badiano (Mexico City: Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, 1961).

  • 17. Juan Bautista Viseo, Sermonario en lengua mexicana (Mexico City: Diego Lopez Daualos, 1606), vii r–ix v.

  • 18. Burkhart, Holy Wednesday, 72.

  • 19. Lluís Nicolau d’Olwer, Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, 1499–1590 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1977), 33, 36, 40; see also Burkhart, Holy Wednesday, 66.

  • 20. Kevin Terraciano, “Three Texts in One: Book XII of the Florentine Codex,” Ethnohistory 57, no.1 (2010): 51–72; for another example of interplay between text and image, see Terraciano, “Parallel Nahuatl and Pictorial Texts in the Mixtec Codex Sierra Texupan,” Ethnohistory 62, no. 3 (2015): 497–524.

  • 21. For Nahua Latinists and humanists, see Ignacio Osorio Romero, La enseñanza del latín a los indios (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1990); Emma Pérez-Rocha and Rafael Tena, eds., La nobleza indígena del centro de México después de la conquista (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, 2000), 218, 222; Andrew Laird, “Teaching of Latin to the Native Nobility in Mexico in the Mid-1500s: Contexts, Methods, and Results,” in Learning Latin and Greek from Antiquity to the Present, ed. Elisabeth P. Archibald, William Brockliss, and Jonathan Gnoza (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 118–135; “Nahuas and Caesars: Classical Learning and Bilingualism in Post-Conquest Mexico; An Inventory of Latin Writings by Authors of the Native Nobility,” Classical Philology 109 (2014): 150–169; “Nahua Humanism and Political Identity in Sixteenth-Century Mexico,” Renaessanceforum, 10 (2016): 127–172; Laird, “From the Epistolae et Evangelia (c. 1540) to the Espejo divino (1607): Indian Latinists and Nahuatl religious literature at the College of Tlatelolco,” Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and European Literature (2018); and Heréndira Téllez Nieto, Heréndira, “La tradición textual latina de la Fábulas de Esopo en lengua náhuatl,” Latomus 74, no. 3 (2015): 715–734; Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind: The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization (New York: Routledge, 2002), 94.

  • 22. See Berenice Alcántara, “Evangelización y traducción. La Vida de san Francisco de san Buenaventura vuelta al náhuatl por fray Alonso de Molina,” Estudios de cultura náhuatl 46 (2013): 89–158.

  • 23. David Tavárez, “Nahua Intellectuals, Franciscan Scholars, and the devotio moderna in Colonial Mexico,” The Americas 70, no. 2 (2013): 203–235.

  • 24. Louise Burkhart, The Slippery Earth: Nahua-Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989).

  • 25. Martin Nesvig, Ideology and Inquisition: The World of the Censors in Early Mexico (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009), 153–157; see also his “The Epistemological Politics of Vernacular Scripture in Sixteenth-Century Mexico,” The Americas 70 (2013): 165–201.

  • 26. Agustín de Vetancurt, Teatro mexicano (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, [1698] 1982), 150.

  • 27. David Tavárez, “A Banned Sixteenth-Century Biblical Text in Nahuatl: The Proverbs of Solomon,” Ethnohistory 60, no. 4 (2013): 759–762.

  • 28. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Fonds Mexicain 410. See Amoxcalli.

  • 29. Barry Sell, “‘Perhaps our Lord, God, Has Forgotten Me’: Intruding into the Colonial Nahua (Aztec) Confessional,” in The Conquest All Over Again: Nahuas and Zapotecs Thinking, Writing, and Painting Spanish Colonialism, ed. Susan Schroeder (Portland, OR: Sussex Academic Press, 2010), 191, 202.

  • 30. Dominique Julia, “Lectures et Contre-Reforme,” in Histoire de la lecture dans le monde occidental, ed. Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier (Paris: Seuil, 2001).

  • 31. Kelly S. McDonough “Indigenous Intellectuals in Early Colonial Mexico: The Case of Antonio del Rincón, Nahua Grammarian and Priest,” Colonial Latin American Review, 20 (2011): 145–165.

  • 32. Luis Reyes García, ed. and trans., ¿Cómo te confundes? ¿Acaso no somos conquistados? Anales de Juan Bautista (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Biblioteca Lorenzo Boturini, Basílica de Guadalupe, 2002).

  • 33. John Carter Brown Library, Codex Indianorum 7; see Louise Burkhart, “The Voyage of Saint Amaro: A Spanish legend in Nahuatl Literature,” Colonial Latin American Review 4 (1995): 29–57; and Justyna Olko, “The Nahua Story of Judas. Indigenous Agency and Loci of Meaning,” in Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America, ed. David Tavárez (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2017), 150–171; Alfredo López Austin, “Un repertorio de los tiempos en idioma náhuatl,” Anales de Antropología 10: 285–96 (1973); Susan Spitler, “Nahua Intellectual Responses to the Spanish: The Incorporation of European Ideas into the Central Mexican Calendar” (PhD dissertation, Tulane University, 2005); Søren Wichmann and Ilona Heijnen, “Un manuscrito en náhuatl sobre astrología europea,” in XV Congreso Internacional de AHILA, 1808-2008: Crisis y Problemas en el Mundo Atlántico, ed. Raymond Buve, Neeske Ruitenbeek, and Marianne Wiesebron (Leiden: Leiden University, 2008); David Tavárez, The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011), 133–139; and Lori Boornazian Diel, The Codex Mexicanus: A Guide to Life in Sixteenth-Century New Spain (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018).

  • 34. Nadine Béligand, “Lecture indienne et chrétienté: La bibliothèque d’un alguacil de doctrina en Nouvelle-Espagne au XVI siècle,” Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez 31 (1995), 21–71; Kevin Terraciano, The Mixtecs of Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001), 284, 464.

  • 35. See, for instance, Frances Karttunen and James Lockhart, “La estructura de la poesía náhuatl vista por sus variantes,” Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, 14 (1980): 15–65; John Bierhost, Cantares Mexicanos: Songs of the Aztecs (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1985); Miguel León-Portilla, ed., Cantares mexicanos, 2 vols. (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Fideicomiso Teixidor, 2011); Gary Tomlinson, The Singing of the New World: Indigenous Voice in the Era of European Contact (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2007); and John Bierhorst, Ballads of the Lords of New Spain: The Codex Romances de los Señores de la Nueva España (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010).

  • 36. Luis Enrique Sam Colop, Popol Wuj/Popol Vuh (Guatemala City: F & G Editores, 2011); Dennis Tedlock, Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life (New York, Simon and Schuster, 1996); and Allen J. Christenson, trans., Popol Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007).

  • 37. Sabine MacCormack, “Grammar and Virtue: The Formulation of a Cultural and Missionary Program by the Jesuits in Early Colonial Peru,” in The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, ed. John W. O’Malley, Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Steven J. Harris, and T. Frank Kennedy (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 576–601.

  • 38. Luis Martín, The Intellectual Conquest of Peru: The Jesuit College of San Pablo, 1568–1767 (New York: Fordham University Press, 1968), 50.

  • 39. Karen Spalding, Huarochirí: An Andean Society under Inca and Spanish Rule (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1984); and Gerald Taylor, Ritos y tradiciones de Huarochirí (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 1987).

  • 40. Alan Durston, “Notes on the Authorship of the Huarochirí Manuscript,” Colonial Latin American Review 16, no. 2 (2007): 227–241.

  • 41. Frank Salomon and George Urioste, The Huarochirí Manuscript: A Testament of Ancient and Colonial Andean Religion (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991).

  • 42. Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, ed. John V. Murra and Rolena Adorno, trans. Jorge L. Urioste [1980], (Online eds. Rolena Adorno and Ivan Boserup, 2004 [1615]). See also Rolena Adorno, Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru, 2nd ed. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000); Sabine MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991); and Irene Silverblatt, Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004).

  • 43. MacCormack, Religion, 320–328.

  • 44. James Lockhart, The Nahuas After the Conquest (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1992), 376–392; and Camilla Townsend, Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016).

  • 45. Susan Schroeder, Chimalpahin and the Kingdoms of Chalco (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991), 7–26.

  • 46. Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, don Domingo de San Antón Muñón, Las ocho relaciones y El memorial de Colhuacan, ed. and trans. Rafael Tena, 2 vols. (Mexico City: CONCA, 1998).

  • 47. Susan Schroeder, “The Truth about the Crónica Mexicayotl,” Colonial Latin American Review 20, no. 2 (2011): 233–247; see also Fernando Alvarado Tezozómoc, Crónica mexicayotl, trans. Adrián León (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1992); Chimalpahin, Codex Chimalpahin: Society and politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua Altepetl in Central Mexico, eds. and trans. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder, 2 vols. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997).

  • 48. Chimalpahin, Diario, trans. Rafael Tena (México: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 2001); and Annals of His Time, eds. and trans. James Lockhart, Susan Schroeder, and Doris Namala (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006).

  • 49. Susan Schroeder, Anne J. Cruz, Cristián Roa-de-la-Carrera, and David Tavárez, eds. Chimalpahin’s Conquest: A Nahua Historian’s Rewriting of Francisco López de Gómara’s La conquista de México (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2010).

  • 50. Juan Buenaventura Zapata y Mendoza, Historia cronológica de la Noble Ciudad de Tlaxcala, eds. Luis Reyes García and Andrea Martínez Baracs (Tlaxcala: Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, 1995); Camilla Townsend, “Don Juan Zapata y Mendoza and the Notion of a Nahua Identity,” in The Conquest All Over Again: Nahuas and Zapotecs Thinking, Writing and Painting Spanish Colonialism (Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2010), 144–180; and Kelly McDonough, The Learned Ones: Nahua Intellectuals in Postconquest Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), 63–82. For Nahuatl-language writers in Guatemala, see Laura Matthew and Sergio Romero, “Nahuatl and Pipil in Colonial Guatemala: A Central American Counterpoint,” Ethnohistory 59, no. 4(2012): 765–783; Sergio Romero, ”Grammar, Dialectal Variation and Honorific Registers in Nahuatl in Seventeenth-Century Guatemala,” Anthropological Linguistics 56, no. 1 (2015): 1–24. For K’iche’ testaments, see Owen Jones, “Language Politics and Indigenous Language Documents: Evidence in Colonial K’ichee’ Litigation in Seventeenth Century Highland Guatemala,” The Americas 73, no. 3 (2016): 349–370. For late colonial Nahua notaries, see Caterina Pizzigoni, The Life Within: Local Indigenous Society in Mexico’s Toluca Valley, 1650–1800 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012); and Miriam Melton-Villanueva, The Aztecs at Independence: Nahua Culture Makers in Central Mexico, 1799–1832 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2016); for a selection of colonial indigenous testaments written in Amerindian languages and Spanish, see Mark Z. Christensen and Jonathan Truitt, eds., Native Wills From the Colonial Americas: Dead Giveaways in a New World (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2015).

  • 51. Barry Sell and Louise Burkhart, Nahuatl Theater, Volume I: Death and Life in Colonial Nahua Mexico (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004); Danièle Dehouve, Relatos de pecados en la evangelización de los indios de México, siglos XVI–XVIII (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Centro de Estudios Mexicanos y Centroamericanos, 2010).

  • 52. Judith M. Maxwell and Robert M. Hill, II, trans. and eds., Kaqchikel Chronicles: The Definitive Edition (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006).

  • 53. José Carlos de la Puente Luna, “The Many Tongues of the King: Indigenous Language Interpreters and the Making of the Spanish Empire,” Colonial Latin American Review 23, no. 2 (2014): 143–170; and Mark Lentz, “Castas, Creoles, and the Rise of a Maya Lingua Franca in Eighteenth-Century Yucatan,” Hispanic American Historical Review 97, no. 1 (2017): 29–61.

  • 54. Juan Bautista de Pomar, Relación de Texcoco. Relaciones geográficas del siglo XVI, ed. René Acuña (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1986); and Diego Muñoz Camargo, Historia de Tlaxcala: Ms. 210 de la Biblioteca Nacional de París (Tlaxcala: Gobierno del Estado de Tlaxcala, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social, Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, 1998).

  • 55. Federico Navarrete, “Chimalpain y Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, dos estrategias de traducción cultural,” in Indios, mestizos, y españoles: interculturalidad e historiografía en la Nueva España, eds. Danna Levin Rojo and Federico Navarrete (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2007); and Galen Brokaw and Jongsoo Lee, eds., Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl and His Legacy (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2016).

  • 56. Amber Brian, Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Native Archive and the Circulation of Knowledge in Colonial Mexico (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2016), 29, 96–97; Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Obras históricas, ed. Edmundo O’Gorman, 2 vols (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1975); and Amber Brian, Bradley Benton, Pablo García Loaeza, and Peter Villella, eds. and trans., History of the Chichimeca Nation: Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Chronicle of Ancient Mexico (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2018).

  • 57. Bartolomé de Alva, A Guide to Confession Large and Small in the Mexican Language, 1634, eds. and trans. Barry D. Sell and John F. Schwaller, with Lu Ann Homza (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999).

  • 58. Louise Burkhart, “Nahuatl Baroque. How Alva Mexicanized the Spanish Dramas,” in Nahuatl Theater: Spanish Golden Age Drama in Mexican Translation, eds. and trans. Barry D. Sell, Louise M. Burkhart, Elizabeth R. Wright (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), 36–39.

  • 59. MacCormack, Religion, 330–351; and Garcilaso de la Vega, Comentarios reales de los incas, 2 vols., ed. Carlos Araníbar (Lima: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1991).

  • 60. Rostworowski, History, 30–34.

  • 61. Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón, Tratado de las supersticiones y costumbres gentílicas que oy viuen entre los indios naturales desta Nueva España (Anales del Museo Nacional de México Primera época, 1892) 6: 125–223; Treatise on the Heathen Institutions that Today Live Among the Indians Native to this New Spain (1629), ed. and trans. J. Richard Andrews and Ross Hassig (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984); and Michael Coe and Richard Whittaker, Aztec Sorcerers in Seventeenth-Century Mexico (Albany: Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, SUNY-Albany, 1982).

  • 62. David Tavárez, The Invisible War: Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011), 76, 81–87.

  • 63. Heinrich Berlin Neubart, Idolatría y supersticion entre los indios de Oaxaca (Mexico City: Ediciones Toledo, 1988).

  • 64. Tavárez, Invisible War, 194–206; John Justeson and David Tavárez, “The correlation of the colonial Northern Zapotec calendar with European chronology,” in Skywatching in the Ancient World: New Perspectives in Cultural Astronomy Studies in Honor of Anthony F. Aveni, ed. Clive Ruggles and Gary Urton (Niwot: University Press of Colorado), 17–81; and Tavárez, “Los cantos zapotecos de Villa Alta: Dos géneros rituales indígenas y sus correspondencias con los Cantares Mexicanos,” Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl 39 (2009): 87–126.

  • 65. Alfredo Barrera Vázquez, trans., El libro de los libros de Chilam Balam (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1969); Munro Edmonson, trans., The Ancient Future of the Itza: The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982), and Heaven-born Merida and its Destiny: The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986); Alfredo Barrera Vázquez, trans. El libro de los Cantares de Dzitbalché (Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1965); Martha Nájera Coronado, Los Cantares de Dzitbalché en la tradición religiosa mesoamericana (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2007); Ramón Arzápalo, trans., El ritual del los bacabes (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987); John F. Chuchiak, “Writing as Resistance: Maya Graphic Pluralism and Indigenous Elite Strategies for Survival in Colonial Yucatán, 1550–1750,” Ethnohistory 57, no. 1(2010): 87–116; Sergio Quezada, Maya Lords and Lordship: The Formation of Colonial Society, 1350–1600 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2014); William F. Hanks, Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010); Mark Z. Christensen, Nahua and Maya Catholicisms: Texts and Religion in Colonial Central Mexico and Yucatan (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press and Academy of American Franciscan History, 2013), and The Teabo Manuscript: Maya Christian Copybooks, Chilam Balams, and Native Text Production in Yucatán (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016).

  • 66. Barry Sell, Louise Burkhart, and Stafford Poole, trans. Nahuatl Theater, Volume 2: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006); Barry Sell, Louise Burkhart, trans. Nahuatl Theater, Volume 4: Nahua Christianity in Performance (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009); for popular religious observances and images, see William B. Taylor, Shrines and Miraculous Images: Religious Life in Mexico before the Reforma (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2010); Juan de Espinosa Medrano, El robo de Proserpina y sueño de Endimión. Auto sacramental en quechua, ed. César Itier (Lima: Institut Français d’Études Andines, 2010); and Teodoro Meneses, ed., Teatro quechua colonial. Antología (Lima: Ediciones Edubanco, 1983).

  • 67. Cândida Drumond Mendes Barros, “A relação entre manuscritos e impressos em Tupi como forma de estudo da política lingüística no século XVIII na Amazônia,” Anais do 5º Encontro do Celsul (2003): 76–90; Leonardo Cerno and Franz Obermeier, “Cartas de indígenas potiguaras de las guerras holandesas en el Brasil (1645–1646),” Corpus 3, no. 1 (2013): 2–5; and Kittiya Lee, “Cannibal Theologies in Colonial Portuguese America (1549–1759): Translating the Christian Eucharist as the Tupinambá Pledge of Vengeance,” Journal of Early Modern History 21, no. 1–2 (2017): 64–90. I thank Kittiya Lee for providing me with the first two references.

  • 68. Stephanie Wood, Transcending Conquest: Nahua Views of Spanish Colonial Mexico (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003); Elizabeth H. Boone, Louise Burkhart, and David Tavárez, Painted Words: Nahua Catholicism, Politics, and Memory in the Atzaqualco Pictorial Catechism (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2017); and Bérénice Gaillemin, “Images mémorables pour un texte immuable. Les catéchismes pictographiques testériens (Mexique, XVIe-XIXe),” Gradhiva 13 (2011): 204–225; María de los Ángeles Romero Frizzi and Juana Vásquez Vásquez, “Memoria y escritura: La memoria de Juquila,” in Escritura zapoteca. 2,500 años de historia, ed. María de los Ángeles Romero Frizzi (Mexico City: Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios en Antropología Social, INAH, Porrúa, CONACULTA, 2003), 393–448.

  • 69. Margarita Menegus Bornemann and Rodolfo Aguirre Salvador, Los indios, el sacerdocio, y la universidad en Nueva España, siglos XVI–XVIII (Mexico City: Plaza y Valdés, 2006); and Margarita Menegus Bornemann, “El Colegio de San Carlos Borromeo: Un proyecto para la creación de un clero indígena en el siglo XVII,” in Saber y poder en México, siglos XVI al XX, ed. Margarita Menegus Bornemann (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1997), 197–243.

  • 70. Peter Villella, Indigenous Elites and Creole Identity in Colonial Mexico, 1500–1800 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016); for Creole historiography, see Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001).

  • 71. Alcira Dueñas, “Ethnic Power and Identity Formation in Mid-Colonial Andean Writing,” Colonial Latin American Review 18, no. 3 (2009): 407–433.

  • 72. See Cañizares-Esguerra, How to Write; Brian, Alva Ixtlilxochitl’s Native Archive; and Lorenzo Boturini Benaduci, Idea of a New General History of North America: An Account of Colonial Native Mexico, trans. Stafford Poole (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015).

  • 73. Enrique Florescano, Memory, Myth, and Time in Mexico: From the Aztecs to Independence (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994); and Mauricio Tenorio, Mexico at the World’s Fairs: Crafting a Modern Nation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). Some of the first critical editions appeared in the late 19th century; see Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Obras históricas, 2 vols (Mexico City: Oficina tipográfica del Secretario de Fomento, 1892); and Ruiz de Alarcón, Tratado (1892). For the development of these narratives in 20th-century Peru, see Marisol de la Cadena, Indigenous Mestizos: The Politics of Race and Culture in Cuzco, Peru, 1919–1991 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000).

  • 74. Angel María Garibay K., Historia de la literatura náhuatl (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1954); Miguel León-Portilla, La filosofía náhuatl estudiada en sus fuentes (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1956); Alfredo López Austin, “Términos del nahuallatolli,” Historia Mexicana 17 (1967): 1–36, and Hombre-dios: Religión y política en el mundo náhuatl (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1973); and Chimalpahin, Relaciones originales de Chalco Amaquemecan, ed. and trans. Silvia Rendón (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1965).

  • 75. Jongsoo Lee, The Allure of Nezahualcoyotl: Pre-Hispanic History, Religion, and Nahua Poetics (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008).

  • 76. An inaugural text for New Philology efforts was Frances Karttunen and James Lockhart, Nahuatl in the Middle Years: Language Contact Phenomena in Texts of the Colonial Period (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976); Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, Obras (1975); Bierhorst, Cantares Mexicanos; Fernando Horcasitas, El teatro náhuatl: Épocas novohispana y moderna: Primera parte (Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1974); and Taylor, Ritos y tradiciones; Kobayashi, La educación; Mathes, Santa Cruz; and Lino Gómez Canedo, La educación de los marginados durante la época colonial: escuelas y colegios para índios y mestizos en la Nueva España (Mexico City: Editorial Porrúa, 1982).

  • 77. Burkhart, The Slippery Earth; Schroeder, Chimalpahin; Zapata y Mendoza, Historia; Salomon and Urioste, The Huarochirí Manuscript; Adorno, Guaman Poma; MacCormack, Religion in the Andes; Edmonson, Heaven-born Merida; and Susan Kellogg, Law and the Transformation of Aztec Culture, 1500–1700 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

  • 78. Horacio Carochi, Grammar of the Mexican Language: With an Explanation of Its Adverbs (1645), ed. and trans. James Lockhart (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002); Chimalpahin, Las ocho relaciones; Codex Chimalpahin; Annals of His Time; Chimalpahin’s Conquest; and Guaman Poma, El primer nueva corónica (2004 [1615]); Jesús Bustamante and Mónica Quijada, eds., Élites intelectuales y modelos colectivos en el mundo ibérico, siglos XVI–XIX (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2002); Gabriela Ramos and Yanna Yannakakis, eds., Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture in Mexico and the Andes (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014); David Tavárez, ed., Words and Worlds Turned Around: Indigenous Christianities in Colonial Latin America (Boulder: University of Colorado Press, 2017); and Alan Durston and Bruce Mannheim, eds., Indigenous Languages, Politics, and Authority in Latin America: Historical and Ethnographic Perspectives(Terre Haute, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2018); Joanne Rappaport and Thomas B. F. Cummins, Beyond the Lettered City: Indigenous Literacies in the Andes (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2012); and Lisbeth Haas, Pablo Tac: Indigenous Scholar (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011).

  • 79. Laird, “Nahuas and Caesars,” and “Nahua Humanism;” Pérez Rocha and Tena, La nobleza; Pollnitz, “Old Words;” and Tavárez, “Nahua Intellectuals.”