Figura Uitzilopuchtli, idolo principal de los Mexicanos
A blog called BibliOdyssy has recently posted images and excerpts from something called the Tovar manuscript, followed by this brief explanation w/ links:
Juan de Tovar (1543-1623) was born in Mexico from conquistador stock. He trained as a Jesuit priest and was known as the Mexican Cicero because of his eloquent preaching style and mastery of several indigenous languages.
At the request of the Spanish Court, Tovar set about preparing a pre-conquest ethnographic history of the Aztec peoples. He travelled widely, interviewing native Indians, from whom he also commissioned traditional pictographic sketches.
The Tovar manuscript (also known as the Ramírez Codex1) consists of three main sections: an historical account of "the ancient Mexicans from their first migration into the central valley of Mexico, to their conquest by the Spaniards"; an illustrated history of the Aztecs (most images above); and the Tovar Calendar - an attempt to combine the Nahuatl calendar with christian Saint days. The manuscript dates to about 1585.
The Tovar manuscript, bearing the title: 'Historia de la benida de los yndios apoblar a Mexico de las partes remotas de Occidente los sucessos y perigrinaçiones del camino su gouierno, ydolos y templos dellos, ritos y cirimonias ... calandarios delos tiempos' is online among the Archive of Early American Images at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, Rhode Island.
This is an absolutely outstanding collection, with more than 4000 images of 'books, maps, and manuscripts relating to the colonial period of the Americas, North and South, from 1492 to ca. 1825'. I am amazed I had never, to my recall, seen this InsightBrowser site before. I've only had a very modest perusal of their holdings so far, but I will definitely return in the near future. It's great to see any material relating to the Caribbean and the Guyanas, but there is so much more in here. The extent of the background notes is commendable too.
- These few links give some measure of background, but I didn't find too much that seemed like a confident authority on all of this.
- Previously: MesoAmerica
1. Brown University owns the original of the Tovar manuscript and it seems like it is the only complete version in existence. Brown U refer to a single section of their manuscript as being the Ramírez Codex. But the Ramírez Codex is housed in Mexico and I assume it is the only other extant copy of the pictographic section of the Tovar manuscript, hence the names get interchanged. There is a LOT more complexity in the background to all this - a mysterious 'Chronicle X' which is said to have been an older source document for both Tovar and at least one other contemporary historian; plus, there was a significant amount of censorship and also uncredited borrowing -- how much of this either is true or has bearing on Tovar's manuscript is beyond the scope of my brief review.
Below are a few images -- for more images + excerpts, go to the original post.
Cuevas de los siete linajes que poblaron en México y alrededor dél
Ydolo particular de Tlaxcala