Huexotzinco Codex, 1531

This early post-contact codex, from the 1530s, was drawn and painted on eight sheets of amatl (amate in Spanish, fig bark paper). It is currently housed in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The pictorial and accompanying documents contain arguments relating to a legal case from a town near Puebla, Mexico. These consist of complaints about labor and products provided in tributes to the Spanish colonizer and encomendero Nuño de Guzmán. This town was recruited by Hernando Cortés to present cases against the other Spaniard, who had usurped some of Cortés’s wealth and power when he went to Spain. Upon his return Cortés lobbied against Nuño de Guzmán, and the people of Huexotzinco joined in to complain about the heavy tribute demands of Nuño de Guzmán. The plaintiffs were successful in their suit both in Mexico and in Spain. In 1538 Charles V ordered that 2/3 of the tributes paid by Huexotzinco be returned to the community. As we will see, some of the tributes had benefited their own indigenous lord, not just the hated encomendero. (Stephanie Wood; see the Library of Congress site, and see the introductory video with John Hessler at the Library of Congress: (about 31 minutes). And here's a short video, about 3 and a half minutes, that has a little introduction to the MS:  You might also consider looking up the Wikipedia entry for this codex.) ---------- The Library of Congress has kindly provided the digital images for this reproduction in the Mapas Project. Ellen Heenan, at the University of Oregon, has processed the images using PhotoShop and has inserted them into our Filemaker Pro database so that they could be annotated (2015).

Title variants: 
Códice de Huexotzinco, Huejotzinco, o Huejotzingo
Principal editor: 
Stephanie Wood