The cuiloni: the sodomite, the penetrated man, the homosexual, the passive, the third sex, the faggot, the queer. Cuiloyotl (or cuilonyotl): sodomy, homosexuality, the act without which the cuiloni could not exist. The term cuiloni reveals much about sexuality, sexual identity, and the many homosexualities present in early colonial discourse on the Nahuas, the indigenous peoples who at the time of the Spanish Conquest made up the bulk of the population of central Mexico.1

In recent years, scholars have begun to study the daily lives of the indigenous peoples of early Mexico, inquiring into the most intimate details of Nahua life.2 Still, little scholarship exists on homosexuality among the Nahuas.3 Those few works rely on problematic translations of Nahuatl documents that provide insufficient evidence to generate significant conclusions or else focus primarily on Spanish interpretations of Nahua realities....

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