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A Celebration of Mexico: Masterpieces of Aztec Material Culture

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One in 10 people living in the United States of America is of Mexican origin. One in five Americans is Hispanic. The Library of Congress is hosting a special “Celebration of Mexico” next month to honor this segment of the population and provide some important educational opportunities along the way.

The Library has the largest collection of Hispanic materials in the world, including rare items of Mexican origin. As part of the celebration, several of the institution’s curators have highlighted a few of the Library’s most treasured artifacts in a series of brief webcasts.

Here, John Hessler, curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection for the History of the Early Americas at the Library, takes a look at a stone portrait fragment, ca. 1400-1520, and the revolutionary Aztec technology that created the masterpiece, in addition to the story behind the 15th-century Oztoticpac Lands Map.

“A Celebration of Mexico,” a two-day conference and accompanying display at the Library of Congress, will open on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a popular national holiday in Mexico. For more information and more videos, visit the website.


  1. Could you tell me how you are making the distinction in this passage:

    “One in 10 people living in the United States of America is of Mexican origin. One in five Americans is Hispanic.” Are you equating Hispanic to Latino– a much broader category? Is one in five Mexican-American? Thank you for the wonderful site.

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