Nahuas and Spaniards: Postconquest Central Mexican History and Philology

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The Nahua Indians of central Mexico (often misleadingly called Aztecs after the quite ephemeral confederation that existed among them in late pre-Hispanic times) were the most populus of Mesoamerica's cultural-linguistic groups at the time of the Spanish conquest. They remained at the center of developments for centuries thereafter, since the bulk of the Hispanic population settled among them and they bore the brunt of cultural contact. This collection of thirteen essays (five of them previously unpublished) by the leading authority on the postconquest Nahuas and Nahua-Spanish interaction brings together pieces that reflect various facets of the author's research interests. Underlying most of the pieces is the author's pioneering large-scale use of Nahua manuscripts to illuminate the society and culture of native Mexicans in the Spanish colonial period. The picture of the Nahuas that emerges shows them far less at odds with the colonial world form it what is useful to them, and far more capable to maintaining their own pre-conquest identity, than has previously been suggested.