Thèse : Emperor Moctezuma’s metamorphosis: The Nahua codices and the transculturation of the native painter


  • Romero-Lake, Brenda Lydia
  • Guevara, Gema. Directeur


This project examines the various representations of Moctezuma in the pictorial books (codices) of the Nahuas from a postcolonial theoretical perspective. It proposes a new reading of Moctezuma by departing from the canonical colonial texts and rescuing the native voices from codices produced in Central Mexico during the second half of the 16th Century. These indigenous texts, without the need of alphabetic writing, communicate complex messages in terms of power, hierarchy and identity about both the painted and the painters. This study of Moctezuma’s portrayals contradicts the homogenizing European concept of “Indian” that prevailed during the Colonial period. That is, the codices reflect the preservation of very distinct microethnic indigenous identities in the New Spain and each conveys a unique perception of Moctezuma, whose image oscillates from an omnipotent divinity to a defeated mortal.

Informations pratiques

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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