University of Arizona

The Map of Cuauhtinchan No. 2

A Claim for Territorial Rights in 16th Century Mexico’s New World Order

Special Collections owns copies of a recent bilingual edition of Cave, City, and Eagle's Nest: An Interpretive Journey Through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2 / Cueva, ciudad y nido de águila: Una travesía interpretativa por el Mapa de Cuauhtinchan núm. 2. This book, published by New Mexico University Press in association with the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, represents the culmination of an international research project and series of conferences that focused on the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan.

The Mapa is an extraordinary document created in central Mexico a few decades after the fall of the Aztecs in the 16th century. The Mapa recently underwent extensive physical analysis, conservation, and a systematic photographic survey. This visually arresting book includes sixteen full-size sections, a nearly quarter-size facsimile of the Mapa, as well as over seven hundred images and symbols.

The illustrations are accompanied by fifteen essays by outstanding experts and scholars that interpret the Mapa’s complex making, purpose and narrative. The Mapa tells the the mythical story of the emergence of the ancestors of the Aztec Mexicas and other Nahuatl-speaking peoples from Chicomoztoc (Place of Seven Caves) and their migration to the sacred city of Cholula. The book has provided original and fascinating insights into the social and ritual memory of an indigenous community struggling to maintain itself in the turbulent atmosphere of early colonial Mexico.

Professor Jaime Fatás Cabeza translated 8 of the 15 essays in the book into Spanish. Professor Fatás Cabeza presents this bilingual landmark and comments about his experience as a translator.


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