In this essay, I will discuss certain coats of arms that the Spanish Crown granted to some of the major central Mexican towns and their rulers for taking part in the conquests of Mexico; these towns and peoples have always been considered as conquered rather than conquerors. I will consider the nature of this participation as well as the historical context in which the requests for the coats of arms were made. My analysis will show an indigenous society that coexisted with its Spanish counterpart, and in order to strengthen its identity in new and confusing times, the indigenous society accepted Spanish cultural elements, creating what we now know as the colonial society of New Spain. The indigenous coats of arms are an excellent example of how native iconographic elements were gradually incorporated into the otherwise strongly European medium, producing a new format.
María Castañeda de la Paz; Central Mexican Indigenous Coats of Arms and the Conquest of Mesoamerica. Ethnohistory 1 January 2009; 56 (1): 125–161. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2008-038
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