FNAR 403WI: Exploring Primary Sources in pre-Columbian Art History
Indigenous cultures of the Americas recorded their histories, their mythologies, and even their tribute systems in a broad range of forms. The Aztecs for example, painted the goods that came from each town they had conquered. The Maya used text to record myths about the first humans. The Incas used textile to record both historical and trade information.
The encounter between Old World and New World in 1492 also added to this tradition of recording – in both text and image – in the Americas. Conquistadores, friars, and adventurers all recorded their impressions of the New World and its inhabitants. Indigenous people learned how to use the language and text of the European to continue their own narratives.
This class will closely examine primary sources – both European and indigenous – to better understand the cultures of the Americas.