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THE MATRÍCULA DE TRIBUTOS: STYLISTIC AND MATERIAL OBSERVATIONS INTO ITS DATING AND ORIGINAL CONTEXT

Jorge Gómez Tejada
Published: 11 August 2021

Abstract: This essay considers the possibility that the Matrícula de Tributos was made from a collection of folios that incorporates material from several related documents, some from as early as the eve of the Spanish invasion in 1521, and others from as late as the 1560s. The diverse styles identifiable throughout the manuscript, as well as the many interventions of different kinds in its pages, support this claim. This article further asks whether the Matrícula de Tributos might be the last extant exemplar of a larger group of taxation-related documents that circulated through Mexico on the eve of the Spanish invasion and well into the second half of the sixteenth century. Finally, the essay considers the possibility of placing the Matrícula de Tributos within the context of documents that kept or presented a record of pre-Conquest tributary practices for purposes that may have been as diverse as presenting evidence of past tributary obligations or as a means to assert authority and other political claims among the surviving native elite.
Keywords: diverse / Matrícula de Tributos / context / tributary / surviving / documents / invasion / claims

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