Number 4

Editor’s note: This content is archival.

Nahua Newsletter

November 1987, Number 4

The Nahua Newsletter
With support from the Department of Anthropology
Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
Alan R. Sandstrom, Editor
A Publication of the Indiana University
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Brad R. Huber, Editor


In this issue

Welcome to the fourth issue of the Nahua Newsletter. In this issue you will find
news on many topics of interest to Nahua specialists including information on several
sessions at the upcoming AAA meeting in Chicago, recent publications, research
activities, requests for assistance, etc. The Newsletter’s directory of Nahua
specialists has also been expanded considerably. Names, addresses, and telephone
numbers of scholars have been added and updated. The primary interests of more than
sixty individuals and a brief description of their scholarly and research activities
have been included in this issue’s directory as well. The editor hopes that the
directory will be useful to individuals who are organizing symposia, conducting field
research, writing papers, etc.

The next issue of the Nahua Newsletter is planned for March 1988. Subscriptions to
the Newsletter are free. They are requested by filling out the biographical information
form at the end of each issue. The same form can be used to place notes in the
Newsletter, and add or update biographical information. Reader’s comments and
suggestions are always welcome.

AAA meeting in chicago

The 86th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held in
Chicago from Tuesday, November 17 to Sunday, November 22. There are a number of
sessions of interest to Nahua specialists:

1) Saturday, November 21:

8:00-11:45: Invited Session: Strategies of Aztec Empire Building (Archeology
Section). Organizer/Chair: Frances F. Berdan. Papers by: Richard Blanton, Mary G.
Hodge, Michael E. Smith, Frances F. Berdan, Elizabeth H. Boone, Emily Umberger.
Discussant: Robert D. Drennan.

2) Sunday, November 22:

9:00-12:00: Aztec Adaptations from Colonialism to Modernization. Organizers/Chairs:
Alan R. Sandstrom and Brad R. Huber. Papers by: Francis X. Grollig, Louise M. Burkhart,
J. Jorge Klor De Alva, Herbert R. Harvey, Frances E. Karttunen, Pedro Carrasco, Brad R.
Huber, Susan Clement-Brutto, Timothy D. Murphy, Garry E. Chick.

3) Sunday, November 22:

1:30-4:15: Regional Expressions of the Feathered Serpent in Mesoamerica and Beyond.
Organizer/Chair: Susan D. Gillespie. Papers by: David C. Grove, Karl A. Taube, Clemency
Coggins, Jonathan E. Reyman, Richard Edging, Jill L. Furst, H. B. Nicholson, Eloise
Quinones Keber, Susan D. Gillespie. Discussant: H. B. Nicholson.

4) In addition to these sessions, James M. Taggart (Franklin and Marshall College)
writes that:

“Friends of the Nahua Newsletter” are cordially invited to the session “Europe and
the Americas” which will take place at the upcoming meetings of the American
Anthropological Association. This is an invited session of the Society for the
Anthropology of Europe and includes papers by Sarah Meltsoff and Edward Lipuma, Sidney
W. Mintz, Susan Tax Freeman, George M. Foster, James M. Taggart, Stanley Brandes, and
Candace Slater. The session will take place on Friday from 2:00 to 5:00. It has the
co-sponsorship of the Society for Latin American Anthropology.

5) Finally, Alan Sandstrom (Indiana-Purdue) will be hosting a social gathering for
people interested in Nahua studies on the evening of Friday, November 20, at the AAA
meetings. Information concerning the time and place of the gathering can be obtained by
looking under Alan’s or Brad Huber’s name at the message center.

Requests for assistance

1) Roger B. Coon (Indiana-Purdue at Ft. Wayne) asks that anyone with Huasteca
Nahuatl materials that they are willing to share is welcome to contact him.

2) Piotr Klafkowski writes that “I am very interested in any available Nahuatl
language recordings and any contemporary writings in various dialects, including Bible
translations (Classical and modern), as well as in any attempts at creating literary
works in Nahuatl. I have done research in the same problem on the Tibetan and Celtic
materials, and my chief general interest is how minority languages can develop when
facing an overpowering major language, and what role can be played in the language
survival process by emerging literatures. I would gladly correspond with those of
similar interest, to get a Nahuatl perspective. I am also interested in Yucatec

3) R. W. Wright is also interested in obtaining self-instruction materials,
particularly cassette tapes by which the Nahuatl and Quechua languages might be
learned. Readers with information on self-instruction materials are asked to contact
Klafkowski or Wright. The editor would also be pleased to publish information about
these materials in the next issue of the Nahua Newsletter.

4) Ann Millard (Michigan State University) “would like to hear from those interested
in giving presentations at a meeting and in publishing on Nahua ideas and behavior
concerning reproduction and on the household in regard to economic activities,
including pooling and reciprocity.”

5) Frans J. Schryer (University of Guelph) asks whether anyone has “come across any
archival references that refer to the following native pueblos located in the region of
Huejutla, state of Hidalgo: Jaltacon (Xaltocan), Santa Cruz, Panacaxtlan, Ixcatlan,
Chiquemecatitla, Macuxtepetla? I am particularly interested in the l8th century and
early 19th century.”

Recent Publications

of Research in Economic Anthropology, 1986. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press Inc.

The following five essays in Economic Aspects of Prehispanic Highland Mexico are on the
Aztec Period. They are:

Prehispanic Roadways, Transport Network Geometry, and Aztec Politico-Economic
Organization in the Basin of Mexico, by Robert S. Santley

The Division of Labor at Xico: The Chipped Stone Industry, by Elizabeth M.

Enterprise and Empire in Aztec and Early Colonial Mexico, by Frances F. Berdan

Famine and Scarcity in the Valley of Mexico, by Ross Hassig

Notes on Obsidian, the Pochteca, and the Position of Tlatelolco in the Aztec Empire, by
Barry L. Isaac

2) J. Jorge Klor de Alva (SUNY-Albany) notes that all books published by the IMS are
now solely distributed by the University of Texas Press.

3) Donald V. Kurtz (Wisconsin) recently published “The Economics of Urbanization and
State Formation at Teotihucan,” CURRENT ANTHROPOLOGY 28:329-353, 1987. A follow-up to
this research will be presented at the ICAES meetings in Zagreb in July, 1988.

4) Yolanda Lastra de Suarez (UNAM) writes that Las Areas Dialectales del Nahuatl
Moderno came out this year even though the date of publication is 1986. It is a
typological study of 92 sites of present-day Nahuatl which includes the original data
in order to make it available to researchers who may wish to interpret it for their own
purposes. The book can be ordered directly from Publicaciones, Instituto de Invest.
Antropologicas, UNAM, CU, Mexico, D.F., 04510, Mexico. Price: $20.00 (US) includes air
mail (books get lost by surface mail).”

5) James Lockhart (UCLA) notes “Now that the first volume of our Nahuatl Studies
Series (The Testaments of Culhuacan, edited by S.L. Cline and Miguel Leon-Portilla) has
gone out of print, another has been published. I hereby announce the appearance of THE
ART OF NAHUATL SPEECH: THE BANCROFT DIALOGUES, edited with a preliminary study by
Frances Karttunen and myself. The following passage from the book’s cover gives an
adequate notion of its characteristics:

The Bancroft Dialogues are a unique collection of conversations and speeches
composed in a flowery but colloquial Nahuatl by a native speaker, probably originally
in the late sixteenth century, to serve Spanish ecclesiastics as an introduction to
the commonplaces of polite speech. The document is a magnificent set of language
lessons. Illustrating greetings, stock metaphors, standard inversions and extensions
of kinship terms, and every modulation of the complex honorific formulas, the
Dialogues can serve modern learners of Nahuatl as well as they served the Franciscans
and Jesuits of past centuries. The material is attractive in itself, covering acts of
speech from chitchat among relatives to advice for mischievous boys to royal elegies.
Another great asset of the Dialogues is their diacritics; the document is the only
known extended running text in older Nahuatl with consistent notation of vowel length
and glottal stop.

In the present publication, the text is printed with full reproduction of its
diacritics for the first time. An up-to-date idiomatic English translation faces the
Nahuatl, and a second, more literal translation is presented separately, primarily as
an aid to learners. A substantial preliminary study discusses the origin of the
document, goes deeply into questions of usage and idiom, and provides extensive
commentary on the phonological and morphological implications of the Dialogues’

I emphasize especially (1) that the preliminary study is of near monograph size,
occupying half the volume, (2) that the original document with translation constitutes
one of the best sets of lessons ever devised for learning the subtleties of older
Nahuatl and is ideal as a corpus of materials for an advanced Nahuatl class to work
with, and (3) that the translated document gives even readers without much Nahuatl a
vivid human experience and a good sense of the tone of polite society in indigenous
central Mexico.

In the externals, the appearance of the pages is more polished than was the case
with the first volume. The book is paperback, consists of 232 pages, and sells for
$16.50 plus tax and postage.”

Information for ordering this book can be requested from:

UCLA Latin American Center
University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1447

Items of interest

1) R. Joe Campbell (Latin American Studies, Indiana University) and Marc Eisinger
(IBM, Paris) have completed the task of putting the Nahuatl of the Florentine Codex
into machine readable form. From this corpus, Eisinger and Campbell are compiling a
Nahuatl Word-Index to the Florentine Codex, and Campbell and Mary Clayton (Spanish and
Portuguese, Indiana University) are preparing a concordance for use in constructing a
Dictionary of the Florentine Codex. Plans are to later make the concordance available
on microfiche. Clayton is currently preparing an edition of Ayer ms. 1478, the
so-called Vocabulario trilingue, accompanied by a Nahuatl sort of the word-list and a
detailed study of the work.

2) Paul Proulx indicates that he has several volumes to dispose of that may be of
interest to readers. Those interested may write him with an offer: Paul Proulx, General
Delivery, Heatherton, N.S. BOH IRO Canada.


Carrie and Lindskoog. 1964. Vocabulario Cayapa. SIL. [pp. 129].

Koessler. 1962. Tradiciones Araucanas. [pp. 339].

Ghinassi. 1939. Gramatica… y vocabulario de la lengua jibara. [pp. 368 and

Miscellanea Paul Rivet octogenario dicaata I. 1958. [pp. 703].

Miscellanea Paul Rivet octogenario dicaata II. 1958. [pp. 903].


Gonzalez Casanova, Pablo. 1946. Cuentos Indigenas. [pp. 197]

Garibay, Angel Maria. 1963. Estudios de cultura nahuatl. [pp.292].

—————. 1961. Llave del Nahuatl. [pp. 381].

—————. 1961. Vida economica de Tenochtitlan. [pp. 183].

Lopez Austin, Alfredo. 1961. La constitucion real de Mexico- Tenochtitlan. [pp.

—————. 1958. Veinte himnos sacros de los nahuas. [pp. 274].

—————. 1953. Historia de la literatura nahuatl (I). [pp. 501].

—————. 1954. Historia de la literatura nahuatl (II). [pp. 426].

Brewer, F. and J. 1962. Vocabulario Mexicano. SIL. [pp. 274].

Barra y Valenzuela, Pedro. 1953. Los Nahoas. [pp. 246].

Call for Papers

1) Mary H. Preuss (Editor, Latin American Indian Literatures Journal) notes that
“Nahua scholars are invited to submit manuscripts for consideration of publication in
LAIL Journal. Manuscripts should not be longer than 20 type-written, double-spaced
pages and must deal principally with some aspect of literature. Bibliographies should
follow the literary recommendations of the Chicago Manual of Style. Send to: Editor,
LAIL Journal, Dept. of Foreign Languages, Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA,

Also, LAILA/ALILA will hold its annual symposium in Guatemala City in June 10-17,
1988; and we hope that a large number of Nahuaists participate. There will be pre and
post session tours to areas of indigenous interest.” Details for the symposium can be
found on the following page.

2) Terry Stocker (University of West Florida) writes that “I am organizing a
symposium on ‘New World Figurine Studies’ for the 1989 SAA meetings. I now have 3
papers for South America, 10 for Mesoamerica and Central America, two for North
America, and two on methodology. These papers will be published as a volume under the
same name. The emphasis is on illustrations but participants are invited to address any
aspect of figurine studies that they wish.”


Editor’s note: For privacy reasons, Directory mailing lists are only provided on the print version. If you have any questions, please contact the editor.

Institutional Subscribers

Editor’s note: For privacy purposes, membership mailing lists are only provided on the print version. If you have any member or subscription questions, please contact the editor.

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