Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 360

Price Realized: $ 3,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
NAHUATL BROADSIDE ABOUT THE REFORM WAR (MEXICO.) Instruccion al pueblo que ignora las causas de la guerra civil / In altepetl ahmo tlen quimati. Letterpress broadside, 18 x 13 1/4 inches, signed in type only as "Cé Mexicátzin / Un Mexicano"; repaired separations at folds with minor wear, moderate foxing. Toluca, 27 March 1859

Additional Details

This broadside in parallel Nahuatl and Spanish explains the outbreak of the Reform War and argues in favor of the Liberal cause. The anonymous author and translator identified himself only as "A Mexican." Subtitled "In altepetl ahmo tlen quimati" ("to the communities which do not know anything") [about the war], the broadside attempts to satisfy curiosity about the conflict. Addressed to a readership consisting of "those among whom there is no knowledge, but a desire for knowledge," the broadside reads like propaganda, attempting to sway its indigenous readers to the Liberal side, and pinning all recent troubles on the recklessly obstinate Conservatives. It extols the 1857 Mexican federal constitution, heralding it as a modern marvel that could bring prosperity and happiness to all Mexicans. The translator generally refrains from using common Spanish loanwords, preferring instead to use Nahuatl translations. These translations are often either exceedingly literal or ad hoc--perhaps from a belief that the Nahua audience would not understand or be hostile to Spanish terminology. Thus, they rendered Mexico's congress, the congreso constituyente, matter-of-factly as altepetlaca or "people of the state." Nación is more metaphorically and colorfully represented as altepepachocanantzin, "the motherly state we submit to." A rare attempt by non-Indian authorities to engage with this community in their own language, long after most official uses of such languages had fallen out of favor. None in OCLC, and none traced at auction.