Formulating the concept of “ethno-ethnohistory,” Ray Fogelson urged ethnohistorians to seek out indigenous people’s perspectives on their own pasts, which might differ from Western academic modes of representing history. In this article, slightly expanded from my 2014 Presidential Address at the American Society for Ethnohistory’s Indianapolis conference, I examine two indigenous-authored texts from colonial Mexico that adopt a Western discourse—Christian salvation—but appropriate it in such a way that it grants legitimacy to indigenous communities. The genres in question are not conventional modes of historical writing, either indigenous or Western, but in the first case a Roman Catholic catechism adapted into pictorial form and in the second a religious drama linked to Renaissance and baroque European performance traditions. Both genres had been assimilated into indigenous textual practices in the sixteenth century. The authors, Nahua noblemen, counter dominant views of indigenous religiosity by asserting full and competent participation in the Christian order.

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