Culture and religion in Aztec history

La estética de lo sagrado: Historia, performance y ritual en la Crónica mexicana de Hernando Alvarado Tezozómoc / Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Tomo 52, Número 1, Marzo 2018, pp. 123-145

By Nadia Cervantes

This essay examines the aesthetic representation of sacrificial rituals in the
Crónica Mexicana written by Hernando Alvardo Tezozómoc in 1598.

Drawing from Ritual and Performance Studies, I analize the way in which Tezozómoc, a descendant of
the Mexica nobility, depicts the rituals performed at Tenochtitlan before the conquest in order to highlight its non-verbal aspects which included choreography, space, sensory experiences, gestures and sequences.

This article explains how the representation of
such performatic aspects of ritual serves as Tezozómoc’s aesthetic strategy in order to transmit the cultural values and ideology of the Mexica during colonial times. Furthermore, I argue that Tezozómoc’s strategy is an innovation in the historiographical field that sets him apart from the European historians that labeled Mexica sacrificial rituals as demonic aberrations.

The article can be found here.

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