Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Mexico Asks Vatican for Temporary Return of Ancient Indigenous Manuscripts

By Valentina Di Liscia
Pages 9 to 13 of the Codex Borgia depicting the relationships between the 20 signs of the Tonalpohualli and Aztec divinities. (photo from the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamercan Studies, Inc. (FAMSI) via Wikimedia Commons)
The year 2021 will mark a difficult anniversary for the Indigenous people of Mexico: 500 years since the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Ahead of the occasion, the Mexican government has requested the temporary return of several ancient Indigenous manuscripts in the Vatican’s library. One of the books requested is the “Codex Borgia,” recognized as one of the best-preserved of the few surviving pre-Columbian painted manuscripts. The colorful and exquisitely detailed screen-fold book, created in the central highlands of Mexico, is known for its illustrations of Mesoamerican gods and rituals. It also includes visual representations of the tonalpohualli, as the ritual calendar was called in the Nahuatl language. [More]