Parution : Mesoamerican memory : enduring systems of remembrance

Mesoamerican memory : enduring systems of remembrance


  • Megged, Amos. Éditeur scientifique
  • Wood, Stephanie Gail (1954-). Éditeur scientifique

Amos Megged is author of Social Memory in Ancient and Colonial Mesoamerica.

Stephanie Wood, Director of the Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon, is coeditor of Mesoamerican Memory: Enduring Systems of Remembrance and Indian Women of Early Mexico, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Compte rendu

  • Monaghan, John, “Mesoamerican Memory: Enduring Systems of Remembrance, edited by Amos Megged and Stephanie Wood.” Canadian Journal of History, 2016, winter, vol. 48, n° 3, p. 541–542. DOI :
  • Christensen, Mark Z., “Mesoamerican Memory: Enduring Systems of Remembrance”, Ethnohistory, 1 January 2015, vol. 62, n° 1, p. 171–172. DOI :
  • Lee, Jongsoo, “History and Memory – Mesoamerican Memory: Enduring Systems of Remembrance. Edited by Amos Megged and Stephanie Wood. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2012. Pp. 328. $55.00 Cloth.”, The Americas, 2014, vol. 71, n° 2, p. 359-360. DOI :

Résumé de l’éditeur

Euro-Americans see the Spanish conquest as the main event in the five-century history of Mesoamerica, but the people who lived there before contact never gave up their own cultures. Both before and after conquest, indigenous scribes recorded their communities’ histories and belief systems, as well as the events of conquest and its effects and aftermath. Today, the descendants of those native historians in modern-day Mexico and Guatemala still remember their ancestors’ stories. In Mesoamerican Memory, volume editors Amos Megged and Stephanie Wood have gathered the latest scholarship from contributors around the world to compare these various memories and explore how they were preserved and altered over time.

Rather than dividing Mesoamerica’s past into pre-contact, colonial, and modern periods, the essays in this volume emphasize continuity from the pre-conquest era to the present, underscoring the ongoing importance of indigenous texts in creating and preserving community identity, history, and memory. In addition to Nahua and Maya recollections, contributors examine the indigenous traditions of Mixtec, Zapotec, Tarascan, and Totonac peoples. Close analysis of pictorial and alphabetic manuscripts, and of social and religious rituals, yields insight into community history and memory, political relations, genealogy, ethnic identity, and portrayals of the Spanish invaders.

Drawing on archaeology, art history, ethnology, ethnohistory, and linguistics, the essays consider the function of manuscripts and ritual in local, regional, and, now, national settings. Several scholars highlight direct connections between the collective memory of indigenous communities and the struggles of contemporary groups. Such modern documents as land titles, for example, gain legitimacy by referring to ancestral memory.

Crossing disciplinary, methodological, and temporal boundaries, Mesoamerican Memory advances our understanding of collective memory in Mexico and Guatemala. Through diverse sources—pictorial and alphabetic, archaeological, archival, and ethnographic—readers gain a glimpse into indigenous remembrances that, without the research exhibited here, might have remained unknown to the outside world.


  • Collective Memory and Mesoamerican Systems of Remembrance Stephanie Wood 3
  • 1 The Wise Man as Keeper of Maya and Nahua Collective Memory 15
  • 2 Recollection and Emotion in Nahua Conquest Pictorials 33
  • 3 Native Pictorial Genealogies of Central Mexico and Their PreHispanic Roots 51
  • 4 Santa María Cuquila Oaxaca 73
  • 5 The Transformation of Historical Memory as Revealed in Two Zapotec Primordial Titles 91
  • 6 The Tarascan and Nahua Foundation of PreHispanic Tzintzuntzan West Mexico 113
  • 7 Reshaping Indigenous History 129
  • 8 Exploring Three SixteenthCentury Totonac Pictorial Manuscripts 147
  • 9 The Commemorational Significance of Together and Apart in Nahua Thought 173
  • 10 The 1539 Trial of Don Carlos Ometochtli and the Scramble for Mount Tlaloc 193
  • 11 Transference of Primordial Threshold Crossings onto the Geomorphology of Mesoamerican Foundational Landscapes 215
  • 12 Memory Remembering and the Construction of Truth among Maya Groups in Highland Guatemala 233
  • 13 Weaving History and Cartography for the Preservation of Native Dominions in the Early Colonial Mixteca of Oaxaca 249
  • Bibliography 277
  • Index 309

Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : Norman : The University of Oklahoma Press
  • Date de parution : octobre 2012
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (VIII-320 p.) : ill. ; 27 cm
  • Bibliogr. p. 277-307. Index
  • ISBN 978-0-8061-4235-7 (rel.). – ISBN 0-8061-4235-9 (rel.)

Citer ce billet
Olivier Jacquot (2020, 27 mai). Parution : Mesoamerican memory : enduring systems of remembrance. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 24 avril 2024, à l’adresse

Olivier Jacquot

Chargé de collections : manuscrits des fonds américains, Service des manuscrits ORientaux (SOR), département des Manuscrits (MSS), Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF)

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