Huexotzinco Codex

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Panel 1 of the Codex; the panel contains an image of the Virgin and Child and symbolic representations of tribute paid to the administrators

The Huexotzinco Codex or Huejotzingo Codex is an eight-sheet document[1] on amatl, a pre-European paper made in Mesoamerica. It is part of the testimony in a legal case against representatives of the colonial government in Mexico, ten years after the Spanish conquest in 1521. Huexotzinco (Way-hoat-ZINC-o) is a town southeast of Mexico City, in the state of Puebla. In 1521, the Nahua Indian people of the town were the allies of the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés, and together they confronted their enemies to overcome Moctezuma, leader of the Aztec Empire.

After the conquest, the Huexotzinco peoples became part of Cortés's estates. While Cortés was out of the country from 1529 to 1530, Spanish colonial administrators intervened in the daily activities of the community and forced the Nahuas to pay excessive taxes in the form of goods and services. When Cortés returned, the Nahuas joined him in a legal case against the abuses of the Spanish administrators.

The plaintiffs were successful in their suit in Mexico, and later when it was retried in Spain. The record shows [in a document uncovered in the collections of the Library of Congress] that in 1538, Charles I of Spain agreed with the judgement against the Spanish administrators and ruled that two-thirds of all tributes taken from the people of Huexotzinco be returned.

"Until 1925, the 1531 Huejotzingo Codex was part of the private archive belonging to the descendants of Cortés (the Italian dukes of Monteleone)."[2] Edward Harkness purchased the codex from a dealer, A.S.W. Rosenbach, and "presented it to the Library of Congress in 1928–29."[2]


  1. ^ Huexotzinco Codex World Digital Library. Library of Congress, Harkness Collection. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b Albro, Sylvia Rodgers; Thomas C. Albro (1990). "The examination and conservation treatment of the Library of Congress Harkness 1531 Huejotzingo Codex". JAIC, Journal of the American Institute for Conservation. Volume 29 (Number 2): 97 to 115. Retrieved 2013-12-27.