9. Why paint the Lienzo?

Why did the Quauhquecholteca paint the Lienzo?

The Quauhquecholteca painted the Lienzo to document their role in the conquest of Guatemala. Three publics come to mind:

  1. They wanted to record that they had the right to hold a privileged position as co-conquerors in the new political system that was being formed in the conquered lands. The Spanish conquerors also produced documents called probanzas for the same reason.
  2. They had been away from home fighting a war that cost tax money and lives. They needed to account to their own people in Quauhquechollan that the price was worth it; that glory—and hopefully privilege—was theirs.
  3. Like humans everywhere, they wanted their bravery and victory to be remembered by their descendants and the descendants of those they had conquered.