Thèse : The Oklahoma Codex: Spanish matters in Indian text. The history of the Indies up to the Conquest of Mexico taken from the library of this court Madrid in October of 1778. Book Two: Chapters 1–30


  • Soliz, Cristine
  • Searle, Leroy (dir.)


The Oklahoma Codex is an anonymous paleographic Spanish manuscript book at the Gilcrease Museum in Oklahoma. The Codex is similar in content to Juan Torquemada’s Los Veinte y Un Libros Rituales, y Monarquia Indiana (The 21 Ritual Books and Indian Monarchy) ostensibly first published in 1614/1615. Their comparative contents are narratives of indigenous kings and the Conquest of Mexico.
Both the Monarquia and the anonymity of the Codex contest for authority over Indian history. They are nearly identical in content, but their separate entities compete for the territory of pristine Indian text. How this Native territory can be described in Indian terms and extricated from the interiority of European terms has been the main concern of this translation of the Codex.
The Oklahoma Codex exists as both a museum object of 19th century Oklahoma, and as a product of European historiographical tradition. As part of a museum collection, the Codex resides at a place that claims intellectual and physical ownership of the material evidence of Native history. These objects are external to the invasions that confiscated them and so they conceal that indigenous American material and intellectual culture has been displaced to European discourse. But the Codex‘s link to Torquemada recontextualizes the narrative of kings in Oklahoma and opens up the diachronic text of the Conquest of America and the centrality of Spanish matters in discourses that continually inscribe Indian text.
Although similar in content, the Monarquia and the Codex interpellate the reader in different ways. Whereas the Codex asks the reader to respond from the place of Nahuatl eytmology, the comparative added text of the Monarquia interpellates her at the site of morality, the concern of Lawrence Venuti in The Scandals of Translation. Towards an ethics of difference.
The narrative of Mexican kings is unsupported as an indigenous narrative.

Informations pratiques

  • University of Washington, 2004, 397 p.
  • Ph.D.

Olivier Jacquot

Responsable de la coordination de la recherche > Délégation à la Stratégie et à la recherche > Bibliothèque nationale de France

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