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Memory Landscape

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Chapter Summary

City-states or village-states do not exist in isolation, but function within an interactive network of relationships with others. Each polity has its place within the geographical and historical consciousness of the 'city-state culture', the landscape of sovereign communities. Events literally 'take place': human actions are located in space as well as in time when they become the building blocks of narrative. Ordering them in a pictorial register often happened in accordance with the conventions of ceremonial speech. This chapter briefly reviews two passages from Codex Tonindeye. Mary Elizabeth Smith has identified the place sign of Etla, Ñuu Nduchi in Dzaha Dzaui: 'Town of Beans'. The chapter discusses other identifications, which so far have proved to be bones of contention. Finally, a detailed examination of the evidence and the context makes us conclude that the identification proposed by Smith is well fundamented and reinforced by the other identifications.

Keywords: ceremonial speech; city-state culture; Codex Tonindeye; landscape of sovereign communities; Mary Elizabeth Smith; Ñuu Nduchi; place sign of Etla; village-states



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