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Codex: Zouche-Nuttall fol. 16

Scene of a woman giving birth, from a Mixtec painted deerskin screenfold manuscript in the British Museum: this codex is one of a group of codices from towns in the Mixteca region of western Oaxaca that record events in the lives of rival family dynasties over several generations. This page includes the rare depiction of a lady giving birth. First (you should begin reading the page from the top right hand scene) two priests prepare a ritual steam bath for Lady 3-Flint. She proceeds (centre right) to give birth (coincidentally on a day and in a year with the same name as her) to a daughter with again the same (official) name but also with the nickname ‘Jade Quechquémitl’ or ‘Jade Blouse’. Attended by four priests, she then enters a sacred cave in order to give ‘birth’ and origin to an abundant river - a story still told in the region today. The rest of the page (which must really be read together with the next page, not shown) tells of the young 3-Flint as she prepares for her marriage to Lord 5-Flower... INFO from Manuel A. Hermann Lejarazu ‘Códice Nuttall Lado 2’, in ‘Arqueología Mexicana’ Special Issue no. 29, November 2008.

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