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Lienzo Vischer II

Tlaxcalan Lienzo Vischer II

Lienzo Vischer II, Tlaxcala, c. 1560 CE, cotton, length 114 cms., Museum der Kulturen Basel, Collection Lukas Vischer.

After the fall of the Aztec empire, local indigenous rulers attempted to maintain power. They created documents that showed their genealogy, establishing them as the rightful owners of their lands. The information was painted on ‘lienzos’, large cotton cloths. In accordance with pre-colonial traditions, they used a pictographic script combined with alphabetical glosses. This lienzo belonged to Don Juan Chichimecatecuhtli, a local lord from Tlaxcala.

From Aztecs, eds. Doris Kurella, Martin Berger and Inés de Castro, with INAH, Mexico - catalogue for the exhibition Azteken, Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Hirmer Publishers, Germany, 2019, p. 285.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.