Prevalent scholarly studies of indigenous language documents from Mesoamerica's colonial times include the predominant argument that they were written by native scribes to protect community interests. The belief is that scribes performed as notaries in municipal councils to generate native language notarial documents as indemnity against possible infractions of their communities’ rights to possess property. Notarial documentation was usually extrajudicial, created by the municipal scribe for community protection and not for any specific litigation before a Spanish magistrate. Their writings represented internal municipal administration and the jurisdiction of the native cabildo (town council) within each republic of Indians. They could be utilized, if necessary, to bolster indigenous claims to their rights and privileges in litigation brought before Spanish officials.
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