Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

A copy of Bodley Codex was donated to INAH

Category: News reports

INAH, june, 2009. A facsimile of the Bodley Codex manufactured in leather as the original, was donated to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) by the Czech editorial Archa 90, enriching the heap of codex reproductions of the National Library of Anthropology and History (BNAH).

The original Mixteca Bodley Codex, is located in the University of Oxford, England since 1603, and along with other codices guarded in European libraries, is one of the most unreachable pictographic books to Mexican researchers, due to the distance and preservation measures that forbid its manipulation.

The handing over of the facsimile will enrich the Institute’s heap, promoting research in Mexico, declared Alfonso de Maria y Campos, INAH general director, who received the reproduction from hands of Rudolf Kalovsky, officer of Archa 90, in a protocol act that took place at the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA). Julieta Gil, director of the BNAH, remarked that these kind of original documents are no longer available for consult because they must be conserved.

Bodley Codex presents a variant similar to Mixteca-Puebla style as other Mixteca historical manuscripts; although its creation date is unknown, it was written before European contact. Its narrative interpretation is complex, but it is considered an invaluable document for the Mixteca Alta royal families rituals and genealogy knowledge, during 10th to 16th centuries.

More than 340 Prehispanic and Colonial codices reproductions, which originals are located in Mexico and abroad, are in custody of the National Library of Anthropology and History (BNAH). There are 3 facsimiles of the Bodley Codex: the first edition was elaborated by Lord Kingsborough in 1831; the second one was manufactured by the Mexican Society of Anthropology in 1960; this copy includes a study by Alfonso Caso, who was an expert in Mixteca codices. The third edition corresponds to a book edited in 2005.

The new edition presents special features: it was made out of bovine leather, specially treated to conserve better.

Source: INAH.

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