3115 - Commoners' Gift to their Lords: Indigenous Tribute in Prehispanic and Christian Religious Contexts in Mesoamerica

In other paper I presented several cases in which some indigenous communities combine traditional ritual objects like codices, masks with Christian liturgical elements like chorus books, papal bulls and sculpture images. This relationship shows e dynamical and flexible indigenous ideology in which the Indigenous people aim to integrate and add but not merge or mix elements culturally alien to them with in their own. In the present paper I wish to focus in one exceptional case that has never been analyze by anyone before. I am referring to the convent of Tlaquiltenango in the present State of Morelos, which was built in the

Second half of Sixteenth Century by indigenous works for the Franciscan friars and latter occupied by Dominican friars. In the walls cloister of this beautiful convent there where hidden more than one hundred fragments of Indigenous traditional pictography that where discover at the beginning of the twenty Century. The pieces of codices had been hidden by the Indians since the Sixteenth Century with lime. The tribute payment is the main subject of the pieces of codices. In several other cases that I have found involving Christian and traditional Indigenous elements that where combine by Indigenous people also deal with tribute payment. This is the reason that in this paper I will try to develop some ideas about the reason that the main theme in several hidden objects by the Indians inside Christian ones deals around the theme of tribute payment. My hypothesis is that Indigenous tribute payment before the conquest has important connotations that link the Indigenous commoners with their traditional lords and authorities, and overall with their gods. I believe this connotations have not been sufficiently underline and their study might allowed us to understand the reason why some Indigenous people hide tribute codices in Christian objects during the Sixteenth Century and maybe afterwards. Finally my object here is to develop an example of Indigenous object hiding as way of homage to their traditional rulers and their gods.

Palabras claves: Tribute, prehispanic religion, colonial religion

Autores: Ruiz Medrano, Ethelia (Instituto Nacional de NAtropología e Historia, Mexico, Mexico / Mexiko)


University of Vienna | Dr.-Karl-Lueger-Ring 1 | 1010 Vienna | T +43 1 4277 17575