This article will explore how Pipil writing compares to better-known Central Mexican pictorial manuscripts. The sole evidence for preconquest writing in this region was presented in the seventeenth century by Don Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzmán through his drawings and descriptions in the chronicle Recordación Florida. In the process of re-presentation, these remnants underwent alterations due to clerical errors, interpretive errors, and errors arising from a mixing or blending of texts. The manuscript of Recordación Florida contains images that were never published, erasures, and marginalia. Three writing genres are identifiable, and the content of these writings has an unusual emphasis on ways to represent money and counts of commodities, particularly cacao. The Pipil demonstrated their independence from the Mixtec and Aztec empires through writing by using a distinctive style to record sovereign political and financial affairs, an example of the Mesoamerican emphasis on authority—the ability to inscribe and draw upon and mobilize relevance and meaning—as the foundation for creating and maintaining a lettered polity.
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Kathryn E. Sampeck; Pipil Writing: An Archaeology of Prototypes and a Political Economy of Literacy. Ethnohistory 1 July 2015; 62 (3): 469–495. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2890195
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