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El Lienzo de Otla

Memoria de un Paisaje Sagrado

Victor Hugo Ruiz Ortiz & Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen.
01 January 2009
El Lienzo de Otla. Memoria de un Paisaje Sagrado.

Edición e interpretación del manuscrito recién descubierto [99 pp.], acompañado por los cortometrajes “ La Epopeya de la Princesa 6 Mono y del Gran Guerrero 8 Venado” y “ Cantero” 

Prologue by prof. Dr. Willem Willems (Faculty of Archaeology, University of Leiden)   

Gobierno del Estado de Oaxaca & Yuu Núú A.C., México, 2009.

The Lienzo of Otla is a pictorial manuscript on cloth, painted in the ancient Mesoamerican tradition during the early colonial period (mid 16th century).  It belongs to the corpus of Lienzos from the Coixtlahuaca Valley (an area adjacent to the Mixteca Alta), Mexico, which constitutes an important chapter of ancient Mesoamerican pictography. It has been preserved with great care in its community, San Jerónimo Otla (State of Oaxaca), as a precious cultural patrimony.  

In January 2006 the authorities of San Jerónimo Otla showed their Lienzo to architect Victor Hugo Ruiz Ortiz and archaeologist-historian Maarten Jansen (Leiden University, The Netherlands), who then started a project to  study the historical, geographical and symbolic dimensions of this document. Working together with members of the community, they have tried to connect this item of tangible heritage to the intangible heritage of oral traditions and local knowledge.

This book presents a first report of their results with a detailed photographic record of the pictorial manuscript itself. The commentary explains the composition (reading) of the Lienzo, its connections to the other members of the ‘Coixtlahuaca Group’, its historical contents (the foundation of  local noble houses and the community’s territory) and its cartographic character.  The Lienzo presents an interesting image of the village  San Jerónimo Otla and its surroundings, in particular of the mountain range of the ‘Nudo Mixteco’, an important point of orientation in the ritual landscape. In this way the Lienzo connects geographical and historical data (memory) with the ancient Mesoamerican cosmovision.

This edition includes two CDs with animated movies on (1) the dramatic story of the Mixtec princess 6 Monkey and the warrior king 8 Deer, living around AD 1100, and on (2) the impact of the Spanish invasion and evangelization in the Mixtec region.

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