This article discusses the Descrittione dell’India occidentale, a neglected Italian sixteenth-century anonymous and undated text that describes a set of Mesoamerican artifacts brought from Mexico to Italy by an anonymous priest. The text contains data on Mesoamerican material culture, on its Italian reception, and on its contribution to the formation of an early modern corpus of ethnographic knowledge. Herein I provide an analysis of the text, revealing its connections to other sixteenth-century texts and proposing hypotheses on its date and place of publication as well as on the identity of the author and of the priest whose arrival in Italy is the subject of the text. In the concluding section, I discuss some research lines that can be tackled on the basis of the Descrittione dell’India occidentale.

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