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Colonial Transformation

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Chapter Summary

The Spanish conquest was a destructive interruption of the autonomous development of Middle America, causing a tremendous and traumatic demographic tragedy, as a consequence of introduced illnesses, bad treatment and coercive labor. It is interesting and illustrative of the different ideological currents at the time to see a completely different style and contents in the Codex Yodzo Cahi (Codex of Yanhuitlan), which must have also been painted around the middle of the 16th century, in the town of Yodzo Cahi (Yanhuitlan), quite close to Añute (Jaltepec). This chapter deals with the relationship of the successive native rulers or caciques with Spanish encomenderos and Dominican monks. The representation of the cacique stresses the acculturation to Spanish fashion and obedience to the Spanish authorities. The chapter concludes that the persona of the ruler was no longer constructed in the interaction with the indigenous community but in conformity with the colonizer.

Keywords: Codex Yodzo Cahi; Dominican monks; Middle America; native rulers; Spanish conquest; traumatic demographic tragedy



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