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Huexotzinco Codex (1531)

Scholars at the Library Reflect on the Historical and Personal Significance of the Huexotzinco Codex (1531)

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On October 3 and 4, 2022, in a conference room on the 6th floor of the Library of Congress’ Madison Building, a group of scholars from Mexico and the United States poured over the facsimile pictures of the Huexotzinco Codex, which dates back to 1531 and is held in the Library’s Manuscript Division. The scholars had been gathered by Barbara Mundy, the Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art at Tulane University, and the 2021-2022 Jay I. Kislak Chair for the Study of the History and Cultures of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress.

The Codex is an important historical artifact, and through its artwork, tells a nuanced story of indigenous resistance to colonial taxation, as well as about religion, agricultural patterns, and local political structures.

The scholars assembled by Mundy included Baltazar Brito Guadarrama, Director of the National Library of Anthropology and History in Mexico City; Lidia E. Gómez García, Professor at the Benemerita Universidad de Puebla; and Georgina Tochimani Tochimani, a local historian (Cronista) from San Pedro Cholula. Othe participants included Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Haude, a conservator at the Library of Congress and Stephanie Wood, the previous Jay I. Kislak Chair.

During a break from the proceedings, we asked each of these participants to offer some reflections about the historical significance of the Codex, about what the Codex has meant to them personally and to their research, and about what they hope future generations might be able to learn from it. We recorded portions of these conversations, and we are pleased to present them to you here.

Barbara Mundy:

Baltazar Brito Guadarrama:

Georgina Tochimani Tochimani:

Lidia E. Gómez García:

Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Haude:

Stephanie Wood:






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