Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Language Politics and Indigenous Language Documents: Evidence in Colonial K'ichee’ Litigation in Seventeenth-Century Highland Guatemala

  • Owen H. Jones (a1)

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.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Kathryn Burns , Into the Archive: Writing and Power in Colonial Peru, (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2010)

Kevin Terraciano , “Crime and Culture in Colonial Mexico: The Case of the Mixtec Murder Note,” Ethnohistory 45:4 (Autumn 1998): 709745

Matthew Restall , “A History of the New Philology and the New Philology in History,” Latin American Research Review 38:1 (2003), 113134

Yanna Yannakakis , The Art of Being In-between: Indigenous Intermediaries, Indian Identity, and Local Rule in Colonial Oaxaca (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008)

Kathryn Burns , “Notaries, Truth, and Consequences,” American Historical Review 110:2 (April 2005): 350379

W. George Lovell , “Landholding in Spanish Central America: Patterns of Ownership and Activity in the Cuchumatán Highlands of Guatemala, 1563–1821,” Transactions of the Insitute of British Geographers, New Series 8:2 (1983): 214230

William F. Hanks , Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2010)

Kathryn Burns , “Notaries, Truth, and Consequences,” American Historical Review 110:2 (April 2005): 350379

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Americas
  • ISSN: 0003-1615
  • EISSN: 1533-6247
  • URL: /core/journals/americas
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 25 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 183 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 17th October 2016 - 26th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.