By Florine Asselbergs
The humans of the Nahua neighborhood of Quauhquechollan (present-day San Martín Huaquechula), in critical Mexico, allied with Cortés through the Spanish-Aztec warfare and have been assigned to the Spanish conquistador Jorge de Alvarado. De Alvarado and his allies, together with the Quauhquecholteca and millions of alternative indigenous warriors, trigger for Guatemala in 1527 to begin a crusade opposed to the Maya. The few Quauhquecholteca who lived to inform the tale recorded their travels and eventual victory at the large textile map, the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan.
Conquered Conquistadors, released in a ecu variation in 2004, overturned traditional perspectives of the ecu conquest of indigenous cultures. American historians and anthropologists will enjoy this re-creation and Asselbergs's astute research, inclusive of context, interpretation, and comparability with different pictographic bills of the "Spanish" conquest. This seriously illustrated version contains an insert replica of the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan.
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Additional resources for Conquered Conquistadors: The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, A Nahua Vision of the Conquest of Guatemala (Mesoamerican Worlds)
The second glyph consists of a Nahua sign for “movement” (olin) on top of a mountain (tepe) and could also be expected to end with the locative suffix (Olin-tepe-c). The third one consists of a mountain with three flowers (xochi–“flower,” tepe–“mountain,” and the locative suffix, yielding Xochi-tepe-c). In Guatemala towns named Quetzaltenango, Olintepeque, and Suchitepequez are located near each other, and their locations in the lienzo correspond to their distribution on the ground. When such a correspondence occurs, an analysis of the events depicted in the lienzo that relate to the place glyphs in question can provide affirmation that the correspondence is actual and not coincidental.
14 Later lienzos (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) generally show more of such elements than the earlier lienzos (sixteenth century). 7. If explanatory texts are added, they are usually transcriptions of personal names and toponyms. Larger texts are added only in a few occasions. 8. In general, only actors, places, and events that were of influence on the formation and situation of the community in question at the time of the manuscript’s creation are depicted. The places, actors, and events depicted were generally selected on the basis of their relevance to both the community and the purpose of the work.
Place glyphs are often logographs. The names represented by these glyphs can be deciphered on the basis of an iconological and linguistic analysis, inquiring, for example, into the qualifying images in each place glyph and what Nahuatl words can be related to them. The distribution of the place glyphs is also an important clue. Each glyph may have more than one possible interpretation under linguistic and iconological analysis. One can narrow the range of likely interpretations by examining whether some combination of interpretations for glyphs related to one another in the document may correspond to a combination of actual topographical features that is consistent with both the interpreted meaning of each glyph and the relationship between the glyphs as depicted in the document.