Newly collected testaments from two settlements in the jurisdiction of Metepec in the Toluca Valley reveal that, although scholars believed the great tradition of mundane records in Nahuatl to have lapsed by 1800, it continued on a large scale during the first three decades of the nineteenth century, the independence period so far hardly touched by examinations of indigenous social history. The larger corpus is from San Bartolomé Tlatelolco, which also happens to be represented by documents from about a century earlier in Pizzigoni's Testaments of Toluca, giving a perspective on the new materials. Surprisingly, a large majority of the testators were women. Nevertheless, we find continuity in gender roles and in structures and practices generally, as well as in specific traditions of San Bartolomé. At the same time, new aspects of naming patterns, testament and funeral conventions, land measurement, ritual kinship, and the role of lay sodalities emerge from the testaments.
Late Nahuatl Testaments from the Toluca Valley: Indigenous-Language Ethnohistory in the Mexican Independence Period
Miriam Melton-Villanueva, Caterina Pizzigoni; Late Nahuatl Testaments from the Toluca Valley: Indigenous-Language Ethnohistory in the Mexican Independence Period. Ethnohistory 1 July 2008; 55 (3): 361–391. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2008-001
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