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.
Manuscript tracing Chichimeca origins to the "place of seven caves." (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)
1585 map shows Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán and town of Santiago Atitlán. (University of Texas, Austin)
1579 map of Zapotitlan and Suchitepec in southern Guatemala. (University of Texas, Austin)
Map from 1582 with Spanish writing and Nahua pictorial elements. (University of Texas, Austin)
Tezontepec de Aldama in central Mexico, seen here in a map from 1579. (University of Texas, Austin)