Alex Hidalgo’s innovative study of Indigenous mapmaking and intellectual history considers some sixty painted maps produced for legal proceedings in Oaxaca spanning across three centuries, from the 1570s to the 1730s. From the perspectives of patrons and painters, as well as the materials and modes of authentication that were applied to maps, Hidalgo masterfully demonstrates that Indigenous mapmaking evolved over the course of the colonial period, as opposed to declining at the end of the sixteenth century as scholarly narratives have tended to argue. By placing Indigenous maps at the center of the study and presenting a distinct perspective with each chapter (patrons, painters, materials, and authentication), Hidalgo puts forth a compelling and comprehensive view of Indigenous mapmaking that highlights the nuances and complexities of how Indigenous maps were understood and used, arguing that Indigenous maps fostered new ways of thinking about the rationalization, spatialization, and acquisition of land for...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| January 01 2023
Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico
Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico. By Alex Hidalgo. (
University of Texas Press,
2019. xv +
166pp., illustrations, notes on translation, acknowledgments, notes, bibliography, index. $29.95 cloth.)
Ethnohistory (2023) 70 (1): 127–128.
Jessica Stair; Trail of Footprints: A History of Indigenous Maps from Viceregal Mexico. Ethnohistory 1 January 2023; 70 (1): 127–128. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-10117390
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign In