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8727 - Discourses on Marriage and Morality in Mesoamerican Manuscripts

This presentation will examine indigenous narratives on deviance and morality in preconquest pictorial and sixteenth-century alphabetic writings. I will analyze the symbolism, mythological structures, and iconography of a series of marriage prognostication scenes in the preconquest pictorial manuscripts Codex Borgia, Codex Laud, and Codex Vaticanus B to examine the relationship between moral discourse and writing. The content of the scenes are compared with colonial Nahuatl-language life-cycle ritual speeches, and the forms are analyzed in the light of other depictions of crime and immorality. I will consider how the marriage prognostications shed light on the general use of codices, the ways in which divinatory texts reflect social tensions and daily life, and the extent to which codices integrate public and private concerns.          

Keywords: Mesoamerica, writing, gender, morality

Author: Sousa, Lisa (Occidental College, Ud States of Am / USA)

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