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Poster with details of the event

Summer Nahuatl Brown Bag Series: Perspective and Reflections of the Indigenous Youth Regarding the Conquest of Mexico

History is said to always be written by the victors. In the case of The Florentine Codex, also known as General History of Things in New Spain, it was written primarily by Nahua intellectuals, although with some Spanish influence. Book 12 in particular contains accounts of the series of events that culminated in the collapse of the Mexican Empire, La Conquista. There are academic publications that emphasize the complexity of this collapse, emphasizing the resistance of the Mexica Empire and the crucial alliances between various original groups and the Spanish. Despite the availability of this information, the Conquest of Mexico is taught in Mexican primary education through a lens that describes the total defeat of the original groups by the Spanish, portraying them as defenseless. It could be said that the Mexican educational system projects a victim mentality and feeds a contemporary hatred towards the Spanish in today’s youth.
This work presents the perspectives and reflections of primary school youth studying the Conquest of Mexico in the Nahua community of Chicontepec, Veracruz. First, the youth were asked to share their knowledge and perspective of the Conquest of Mexico, then they were presented with key passages from book 12 of the Florentine Codex, written in the modern variant of the Huasteca Veracruzana, and finally they were asked to reflect on their previous conceptions of historical events with this new knowledge of what Nahua intellectuals wrote about the conquest. This work
exemplifies the importance of ensuring the accessibility of ancient documents written in Nahuatl, mainly the codices, to current Nahua-speaking
communities with translation into their corresponding variant of Nahuatl.

Last Updated: 11/4/21