5. Is it really a map?

Is the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan 
really a map?

Lienzos are known as historical cartographies. This is because they were maps that mixed geographic references with historical events to communicate what happened at a certain place at a certain time. The point was to evoke a specific experience, not to describe a territory. For the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica, geography did not exist independently of history; and history was not necessarily linear.

Want to learn more about indigenous maps from Mesoamerica? Watch “Mapping the New World for the Spanish Kings,” Dr. Barbara E. Mundy’s presentation at the 2007 symposium of the International Map Collectors Society.