The Lienzo Seler/Coixtlahuaca II in the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin
The Lienzo Seler II, a map-like document painted over cotton cloth bands, is the biggest and most complex of all the documents of its kind. Measuring a total of about 16 sqm, it was named after the German scholar Eduard Seler, who brought it at the turn of the twentieth century to the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin. Fabricated during the first decades of the colonial period in Oaxaca, Mexico, it recounts the history, mythology and landscape of Coixtlahuaca’s multiethnic lineages, as well as the territory of its city-state. The goal of the dissertation was to define the historical context in which the Lienzo Seler II was produced while considering the ethno-historical, geographical and archaeological data. From the analysis not only new insights on the creators of the document were gained but also and most importantly, a better and more complete understanding on how the inhabitants of the Coixtlahuaca valley then and now understand, interpret and interact with the landscape was achieved through the interdisciplinary approach and the fieldwork.
This dissertation project was successfully completed within the Research Group C-5 Common sense geography of the Excellence Cluster 264 Topoi.