In the Americas, it was only in Nahua Mesoamerica that native peoples were writing valiant histories about their homeland within a half century of the fall of the Aztec empire. Religious and conquerors, too, were writing their own accounts, and nearly every one had a personal reason for doing so. Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl was no exception. Affiliated with a once distinguished Tetzcoca nobility in San Juan Teotihuacan, he gathered together ancient altepetl histories and genealogies and took down oral accounts, corroborating it all, he said, with complementary information. His purpose was to secure the family estate in Teotihuacan, which was being litigated by local natives challenging the Ixtlilxochitls' entitlement. The Tetzcoca claimed that their overlords were not indigenous given generations of intermarriage with Spaniards.

In part to exemplify his purported ethnic heritage, Alva Ixtlilxochitl compiled at least five accounts about...

You do not currently have access to this content.