- Museum number
- Object: The Codex Zouche-Nuttall
Codex (screenfold manuscript book) comprising 47 leaves, made of deer skin, painted. Contains two narratives: one side of the document relates the history of important centres in the Mixtec region, while the other, starting at the opposite end, records the genealogy, marriages and political and military feats of the Mixtec ruler, Eight Deer Jaguar-Claw.
- Production date
Height: 19 centimetres (page)
Length: 113.50 centimetres
Width: 23.50 centimetres (page)
- Curator's comments
Z. Nuttall, Codex Nuttall: facsimile of an ancient Mexican codex belonging to Lord Zouche of Harynworth, England (Cambridge, Mass., Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, 1902)
E.H. Boone, Stories in red and black: pictorial histories of the Aztec and Mixtecs (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2000)
G. Brotherstone, Painted books of Mexico (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)
F. Anders, M. Jansen and G. A. Pérez Jiménez, Códice Zouche-Nuttall, facsimile with commentary and line drawing (Madrid, Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario; Graz, Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt; Mexico City, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1992)
McEwan 1994, p.62
(Referring to scene in AN00033073002) This is a scene from one of the rare surviving examples of a Mixtec codex. Vivid, highly stylised two-dimensional images painted upon deerskin record the dynastic histories and oral traditions of ancient towns such as Tilantongo. A central figure is the ruler 8 Deer, seen hee top right gambling for the town of Tutupec, identified by its place glyph at the bottom left. In the foreground is an I-shaped ball-court. The ball game was used as a means of negotiating and resolving political and territorial disputes.
McEwan 2009, p.34
Scene of a woman giving birth, Teozacoalco Annals (Zouche-Nuttall Screenfold). Painted Deerskin, Mixtec, Mexico, 15th-16th century AD
The Teozacoalco Annals are one of a group of vividly informative screenfolds from towns in the Mixteca region of western Oaxaca. They record the genealogies of rival families over many generations and illustrate the deeds of specific identified by name glyphs, including Eight Deer Jaguar Claw who ruled in the 11th century. Place-signs and day-signs provide the location and date for many of the main episodes in the narrative such as births, succession to office, marriages, war, conquests and deaths.
The scene illustrated in detail here shows Lady Five Flint, whose serpent insignia floats behind her, giving birth to an heir, still attached by the umbilical cord. This event takes place on the day Three Flint of the year Three Flint, indicated by the glyphs beneath and at top left of the blue roundel. She thendisappears head first into an opening - presumably a cave - in the side of a mountain, identified by diagonal bands, with four priests in attendance.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012 28 March - 1 July, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Children of the Plumed Serpent
2012 29 July - 25 Nov, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas; Children of the Plumed Serpent
2017-2018 16 Sept-28 Jan, Los Angeles, J.Paul Getty Museum, Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
2018 26 Feb- 28 May, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- In 1859, the codex turned up in a Dominican monastery in Florence. Years later, Sir Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche (1810-73), loaned it to The British Museum. His books and manuscripts were inherited by his sister, who donated the Codex to the Museum in 1917.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: BM Add. MSS 39671