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Annals of Native America – How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive

Camilla Townsend


After the Spanish conquest, the Nahuas of colonial Mexico learned the Roman alphabet and used it to transcribe oral performances of traditional histories of their peoples. These texts were called xiuhpohaulli in Nahuatl and are usually referred to as “annals” now. They were produced by indigenous people and for indigenous people, without regard to European interests, and they therefore provide the closest view of pre-Columbian historiography we are ever likely to find. Over the course of the colonial era, the annals changed with the times, but for over one hundred years their flexibility allow ... More

Keywords: annals, Mexican annals, xiuhpohualli, Nahuas, Nahuatl, indigenous intellectuals, Native American history, historiography, colonial Mexico, Aztecs

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190628994
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190628994.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Camilla Townsend, author
Professor of History, Rutgers University