In Time and the Ancestors: Aztec and Mixtec Ritual Art, Maarten Jansen and Aurora Pérez present new interpretations of enigmatic masterpieces from ancient Mexico. Combining iconographical analysis with the study of archaeological contexts, historical sources and living cultural traditions, they shed light on central symbols and values of the religious heritage of indigenous peoples, paying special attention to precolonial perceptions of time and the importance of ancestor worship. They decipher the meaning of the treasure deposited in Tomb 7 at Monte Albán (Oaxaca) and of artworks such as the Roll of the New Fire (Selden Roll), the Aztec religious sculptures and, last but not least, the mysterious chapter of temple scenes from the Book of Night and Wind (Codex Borgia).
About the Author
Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen (Ph.D. Leiden 1983) is Professor of Heritage of Indigenous Peoples at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He is author of many studies about ancient Mexican art and history, including The Mixtec Pictorial Manuscripts (Brill 2011).Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez, an advocate of indigenous rights and researcher in a European Research Council project about Mesoamerican religious heritage, has published the textbook Sahin Sau, Curso de la Lengua Mixteca (Oaxaca 2008) and co-authored studies on Mixtec history.
Table of Contents
List of IllustrationsPrefaceIntroduction: Temporality and coevalness1. Mesoamerica: historical development2. Ancient scriptures 3. The main cycles of the calendar4. The first day-keepers5. Denial of coevalness6. Methodological concerns7. Recapitulation and concluding remarksPART ONEOFFERING TO THE SACRED BUNDLESChapter 1: Tomb 7 at Monte Albán 1. A deposition of two periods2. The human remains in Tomb 73. The ancient literary context4. Calendar dates in Tomb 7 5. Connections with Ñuu Dzaui history6. Connections with Beni Zaa history7. Female agency8. Revisiting Tomb 7 9. Approaching the relics10. Recapitulation and concluding remarksChapter 2: Life - Death - Life1. Tale of a grandmother2. Nahua and Maya parallels3. The symbolic dimension4. Cihuacoatl and Lady 9 Grass 5. Mortuary bundles6. Divine ancestors7. Communication with the dead8. The golden ornament Number 269. The subterraneous sanctuary10. The internal organisation of Tomb 711. Recapitulation and concluding remarksChapter 3: Hymns of jaguars and eagles 1. Flower, song2. The tree of the dynasty 3. Treebirth at Apoala4. The war against the stone men5. First sunrise and the cycle of time6. The pulque ritual7. The realm of the dead 8. Lady 4 Rabbit ‘Quetzal’9. The marital alliance 10. Recapitulation and concluding remarksChapter 4: Memory and oracle1. Chalcatzingo: the Preclassic template 2. Occasions for precious offerings 3. The ballcourt pendant4. The sacred flint5. The Temple of Jewels6. Identifying Monte Albán in the codices7. Lady 6 Monkey at Monte Albán8. The funerary ceremony for Lord 12 Movement 9. Recapitulation and concluding remarksPART TWOPREPARING THE NEW FIREChapter 5: The foundation of a dynasty1. Pictorial manuscripts from the Coixtlahuaca Valley 2. The couple in heaven 3. Chicomoztoc4. Religious peregrination5. The sacred mountain 6. Primordial conquest 7. Lady 13 Alligator, the peacemaker 8. Atonal, first ruler of Coixtlahuaca 9. Lord 8 Deer and Quetzalcoatl10. Recapitulation and concluding remarksChapter 6: Fifth sun rising1. The inauguration of the Templo Mayor2. Cihuacoatl: goddess and priest3. The Stone of Tizoc4. The Calendar Stone5. Moctezuma’s altar6. The binding of 52 years7. The ceremonial landscape of Mount Huixachtlan8. Moctezuma and Ce Acatl9. Recapitulation and concluding remarksChapter 7: The Sanctuary of Night and Wind 1. Historical background of Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia)2. Studies of Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia)3. Point of departure for a new reading4. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 29: vision5. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 30: bloodletting for trees6. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 31: transformation of death into life7. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 32: preparing the knife8. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), pages 33-34: the Temple of Heaven9. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 35-38: opening the sacred bundle10. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), pages 39-40: the Night Sun11. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 41-42: sacrifice12. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 43: sustenance13. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 44: rulership14. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 45: Venus15. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 46: fire-making16. Codex Yoalli Ehecatl (Borgia), page 47: men and women17. Recapitulation and concluding remarksSynthesis: Heritage and spirit connection1. Root symbolism2. Tomb 7: a dynastic shrine3. The continuous presence of Cihuacoatl4. Intercultural time and decolonising perspective5. Final imageReferencesIndex