Thursday, February 27

Aztec codices


I saw these codices in the Mexico City museum of anthropology. They are extraordinarily beautiful works of art. They don't have words or letters. But like the Han script or the mandarin or Japanese or Korean script, they are ideograms. Pictures. The Chinese Japanese and Korean characters have now evolved from the original picture to an idealised character but in these codices, you can see the original diagrams. Each of them tell a story. They are long, anything between 5 to 15 meters long, folded up and people will read from them. 



The colours are vibrant, 600 years since they were created. And I fogged up the glass cabinet by peering so closely at them. 

I'm trying to find a replica of these documents for our home but in the meantime you can read about them here or if kannu goes to oxford, then we can go see them in that museum. 

Absolutely beautiful. And Diya, these are examples of what you want to do, illustrations :) 



Aztec codices - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Detail of first page from the Boturini Codex, depicting the departure fromAztlán.

Aztec codices (Nahuatl: Mēxihcatl āmoxtli Nahuatl pronunciation: [meː'ʃiʔkatɬ aː'moʃtɬi]) are books written by pre-Columbian and colonial-era Aztecs. These codices provide some of the best primary sources for Aztec culture. The pre-Columbian codices differ from European codices in that they are largely pictorial; they were not meant to symbolize spoken or written narratives.[1] The colonial era codices not only contain Aztec pictograms, but also Classical Nahuatl (in the Latin alphabet), Spanish, and occasionally Latin.

Although there are very few surviving pre-conquest codices, the tlacuilo (codex painter) tradition endured the transition to colonial culture; scholars now have access to a body of around 500 colonial-era codices.

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