This article provides a method for interpreting the place of sexuality in texts that defy analysis. The author uses one source, the Florentine Codex, a large and complex bilingual Nahuatl and Spanish document, to decipher some elements about cross-dressing individuals, homosexualities, and gender inversions in Nahua society at the time of the Spanish conquest. The methodology used combines close narrative analysis with intellectual genealogy. The author argues that decoding the texts in this way allows us to uncover a cross-dressing male who engaged in “passive” homosexual acts and had a degraded but institutionalized role to play.
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American Society for Ethnohistory