The Cospi index


‘The Mixtec codices are considered real works of art, besides being important historical, genealogical and mythological records which have enabled us to recon-struct the culture of the societies that lived in Mesoa-merica in the Pre-Columbian age. The Mixtec civilization in particular flourished in the post-Classic age (from 900 A.D. until the arrival of the conquistadors) in the area of Monte Albàn and on other sites of what is now the state of Oaxaca (south-west Mexico). The codices are beautiful documents, painted in vivid colours on strips of deer skin, glued and folded in the shape of a screen. On these ‘sheets’, the Mixtecs painted highly dynamic and well composed scenes. The exhibition presents one of the most significant productions in this field, the Cospi Codex an Aztec Mixtec codex of Mixtec-Puebla tradition which dates back to the XV – XVI centuries and contains a divinatory calendar. This type of document – a long strip of deer skin with a thin chalk covering on both sides to make writing possible – must have existed in all the temples of the vast Aztec empire. The whole is folded like an accordion into a book of twenty pages, with a cover of XVII-century Italian parchment, perhaps Bolognese or Roman, decorated with fans. The manuscript, around which an air of mystery still exists, is a precious record of an art, that of the Mixtec Puebla Indians, which is only just beginning to receive the attention it deserves.’


22 Agosto 1992 - 29 Agosto 1992


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions