In recent years the development of metallurgy in West Mexico has received increasing attention in the field of archaeological and technology studies. Considering that the latter already include excellent descriptions and analysis of the ritual and sumptuary functions of metal artifacts, the present article focuses on the sacred symbolism of the metal resources and the metalworking process itself according to several indigenous cosmogonical narratives and other additional pictorial and alphabetical sources from sixteenth-century Michoacan and adjacent cultural areas. The available documentation clearly shows that a crucial role was attributed to the native god Tlatlauhqui Tezcatlipoca.
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