History of the Chichimeca Nation

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ISBN NFT: 9788411268660
Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788490074503
Hardcover ISBN: 9788411266253

Fernando de Alva Cortés Ixtlilxóchitl finished this History of the Chichimeca Nation (Historia de la nación chichimeca) around 1640. The title is due to Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, who owned the Manuscript.
Lorenzo Boturini, another owner of the original, called it Historia general de la Nueva España. There is evidence that the History of the Chichimeca Nation was part of a larger text that has been lost, or perhaps not finished.
In 1891 Alfredo Chavero published and commented on the books of Ixtlilxóchitl with the title of Historical Works.
The story begins with the creation of the world, according to indigenous tradition, and reaches the Castilian conquest. Unfortunately, the versions that have been preserved are incomplete. The account of the conquest in this work ends suddenly in the chapter that narrates the last battles for the capture of Tenochtitlan.
The work, a faithful reflection of the cultural and racial miscegenation of the viceroyalty, is built and thought according to the molds of European historiography, but the data it exhibits are based on ancient paintings or pictographic codices. This interesting compendium responds to some very specific reasons: a new nationalism and the construction of the identity of Mexico, among the novohispanos of the sixteenth century.
It should not be surprising, then, that neither victors nor vanquished are found in this Indian chronicle. For Ixtlilxochitl,

  • the chichimeca Xolotl, a savage similar to the European barbarian,
  • Nezahualcoyotl, the refined Mexican prince,
  • or Juan Pérez de Peraleda, father of the author, were Mexicans before Spaniards or Nahua Indians.

The historiographical project of Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl had as its mission to build an extraordinary and pre-Christian image of the Texcocan people. That is why he began his journey with the Chichimecas and ended with the fraternity towards the conqueror.
Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl (1578-1650) belongs to a group of writers of indigenous blood. Among them are

  • Fernando de Alvarado Tezozómoc,
  • Sunday of San Antón Muñón Chimalpahin,
  • Diego Muñoz y Camargo
  • and Juan Bautista Pomar.

In their works, these authors tried to construct the history of their respective regions. They wanted to place them in a preponderant place, exalting the virtues of their peoples, with the aim of achieving benefits within their colonial contexts.

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