Parution : Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems: A Theoretical Approach

Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems: A Theoretical Approach
Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems: A Theoretical Approach


  • Mikulksa, Katarzyna (dir.)
  • Offner, Jerome A. (dir.)

Katarzyna Mikulska is professor and head of the Department of History and Culture of Spain and Latin America in the Institute for Iberian and Iberoamerican Studies at the University of Warsaw. She is a leader of the Sign and Symbol Research Group and the project Codex Vaticanus B: A Forgotten Divinatory Book from pre-Hispanic Central Mexico.

Jerome A. Offner is associate curator for Northern Mesoamerica at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, author of the Howard F. Cline Memorial Prize-winning book Law and Politics in Aztec Texcoco, and leader of the International Corpus Xolotl Project.

Résumé de l’éditeur

Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems challenges the adequacy of Western academic views on what writing is and explores how they can be expanded by analyzing the sophisticated graphic communication systems found in Central Mesoamerica and Andean South America.

By examining case studies from across the Americas, the authors pursue an enhanced understanding of Native American graphic communication systems and how the study of graphic expression can provide insight into ancient cultures and societies, expressed in indigenous words. Focusing on examples from Central Mexico and the Andes, the authors explore the overlap among writing, graphic expression, and orality in indigenous societies, inviting reevaluation of the Western notion that writing exists only to record language (the spoken chain of speech) as well as accepted beliefs of Western alphabetized societies about the accuracy, durability, and unambiguous nature of their own alphabetized texts. The volume also addresses the rapidly growing field of semasiography and relocates it more productively as one of several underlying operating principles in graphic communication systems.

Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems reports new results and insights into the meaning of the rich and varied content of indigenous American graphic expression and culture as well as into the societies and cultures that produce them. It will be of great interest to Mesoamericanists, students, and scholars of anthropology, archaeology, art history, ancient writing systems, and comparative world history.

The research for and publication of this book have been supported in part by the National Science Centre of Poland (decision no. NCN-KR-0011/122/13) and the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Angélica Baena Ramírez, Christiane Clados, Danièle Dehouve, Stanisław Iwaniszewski, Michel R. Oudijk, Katarzyna Szoblik, Loïc Vauzelle, Gordon Whittaker, Janusz Z. Wołoszyn, David Charles Wright-Carr


  • List of Figures vii
  • List of Tables xv
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xvii
  • Introduction: Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems: A Theoretical Approach / Katarzyna Mikulska 3
  • Section 1: On Semasiographs and Semasiography
    • 1 On the Classification of Graphs in Central Mexican Pictorial Writing / David Charles Wright-Carr 25
    • 2 The System of Graphic Communication in the Central Mexican Divinatory Codices from the Functional Perspective / Katarzyna Mikulska 41
  • Section 2: Metaphor, Orality, and Space
    • 3 The “Law of the Series”: A Proposal for the Decipherment of Aztec Ritual Language / Danièle Dehouve 95
    • 4 Sacrifice in the Codex Borgia: Examples from an Inventory of Phrases / Angélica Baena Ramírez 123
    • 5 Clothes with Metaphorical Names and the Representation of Metaphors in the Costumes of the Aztec Gods / Loïc Vauzelle 154
    • 6 What Lies Beneath: Generating Mesoamerican Media Surfaces / Jerome A. Offner 180
    • 7 Traces of Orality in the Codex Xolotl / Katarzyna Szoblik 204
  • Section 3: Reconnoitering the Periphery
    • 8 On the Iconic Nature of Tocapus and Other Framed Motif Units / Christiane Clados 233
    • 9 Geometric Motifs in Rock Art as a System of Visual Communication / Stanisław Iwaniszewski 257
    • 10 Status Markers in Moche Iconography / Janusz Z. Wołoszyn 274
  • Section 4: Going into Detail
    • 11 Hieroglyphs of Virtue and Vice: On the Interplay of Writing and Iconography / Gordon Whittaker 299
    • 12 An Approach to Anthroponymic Glyphs in Nahuatl Writing Contained in El Libro de los Tributos de San Pablo Teocaltitlan or the Codex Valeriano / Juan José Batalla Rosado and Miguel Ángel Ruz Barrio 312
    • 13 The Making of Academic Myth / Michel R. Oudijk 340
  • Afterword / Jerome A. Offner 376
  • About the Authors 381
  • Index 383

Informations pratiques

  • Éditeur : Boulder : University Press of Colorado
  • Date de parution : 2019
  • Description matérielle : 1 vol. (414 p.) : ill., couv. ill. en coul. ; 23 cm
  • ISBN (impr.) 978-1-60732-876-6 : 93 $. – ISBN (élec.) 978-1-60732-935-0 : 74 $


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
Olivier Jacquot (20 mars 2020). Parution : Indigenous Graphic Communication Systems: A Theoretical Approach. Amoxcalli. Consulté le 25 juillet 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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