This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The Aztec Aristocracy in Colonial Mexico Author(s): Charles Gibson Source: Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Jan., 1960), pp. 169-196 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/177814 . Accessed: 17/06/2011 14:54
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cup. . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cambridge University Press and Society for Comparative Studies in Society and History are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Comparative Studies in Society and History.
THE AZTECARISTOCRACY COLONIALMEXICO IN
The studentof Aztec "aristocracy" its colonialperiod(1519-1810)confronts in an historicalsituationof whichthe abstractconditionsare familiarfrom other (andoftenmuchbetterknown)instancesof conquestandlong-term adaptation. Romans and Barbarians, Moslemsand Christians, Whites and Negroes, and additionalexampleswill immediately suggestthemselves.The situationis one whereina given society, previouslyindependent, sufferssubjugation underan the extent that its whole hierarchy class stratification is externalsociety to of subordinated a new and foreignupperclass. The society is demotedas a to for for whole,and whereas lowerclassesthis entailsonly a furtherdegradation, classesthe changeis absolute,from a dominantto a subordinate rank. ruling at and in Theoretically, least,one couldexpectstimulus response greatest degree and greatestincidencein the groupwhose position is most seriouslyaffected. is Thisexpectation fulfilled to be surewith somelocal andparticular modifications - in the case of the native Mexicanaristocracy underSpanishrule. The presentobjectivehoweveris not to arguefor this viewpointbut to describefor Aztec society from the purposesof comparisonthe conditionsof upper-class to earlysixteenth the earlynineteenth century. The subjecthas manyfacetsand complications.Fromthe point of view of the historianof LatinAmericaits full
treatment would require a discussion much more in extenso, and certain special
wouldmerita completeand separate topics,e.g., the land holdingsof caciques, The preliminary provisionalnature of all our conand monographicstudy. clusions should be insistedupon, for the subjecthas not heretoforereceived examination. systematic classes in late Aztec (i.e., pre-colonial) Upper imperialsociety may be disas follows:the seriesof sovereign"monarchs", whomthe last was of tinguished Montezuma (ruled1502-1519);the monarchs' II retinuesand staffsresidentin the capital city of Tenochtitlan;similar semi-independent "monarchs"and courts, notably those of Texcoco and Tlacopan(Tacuba);and a complex of local chiefs,militaryofficers, tributecollectors,priests,judicialauthorities, and state officials. By the time of the Spanishconquest(1519-1521) miscellaneous thesecomprised authoritarian an Aztec skilledin the characteristic bureaucracy practicesof political administration, religious shamanism(includinghuman
and members of military orders.A. 31. 1909). Berkeley. but with certain additional variants if age or incapacity made the normal heir incapable of inheritance or if the incumbent's own choice fell on another... pp. 1864-1884). 1946). S. Miguel Acosta Saignes. pp. ClementsLibrary. Serranoy Sanz et al. "Los macehuales.A. M. 1914). de (3 pp.Universityof Michigan. trans. 1-17. 225.170 CHARLESGIBSON sacrifice)..History of the and Indiansof New Spain(Documents Narratives the concerning Discovery& Conquest Latin of America. and Huitznahuatl. ineditosdel siglo XVIpara The CortesSociety. cabecera) possessed a chief or Tlatohuani (pl.. Madrid. 71 ff. II. 566 ff. 1927). 9 ff.. exercised their offices in Tenochtitlan during the whole or a portion of each year. militarism.XIII."Filosofia y letras. "La orden que los Yndios tenianen su tiempoparahacersetecutlis"and other titles. 1941).. op. Mexico. and ed.. Madrid. Within the several classes of nobility many gradations of rank and privilege were recognized and at their lowest levels the "upper classes" merged indistinctly with the administrative officers of the sub-community units. Editorial Nueva Espafia. Revista de la facultad de cabecera... Nueva colecci6nde documentos para Ia historiade Mexico (3 vols. performing military and labor services.. Alonso de Zorita. paying tributes.. Pipiltin) group. cit. Bartolom6 de Las Casas. ed. New Series.relativosal descubrimiento.III.. from father to eldest "legitimate" son in others. Documentos la historiade Mexico (Mexico. II. Bernardino Sahagiun. cit. PhillippsMSS 13685. Elizabeth Andros Foster.vez Hayhoe. Tlatoque) and a local officialdom supported by community tributes.p. The principal officers of the state possessed private lands and received services and tributes from one or more communities or parts of communities.Historia y Etnologia. op. Many other sources treat of these officials.p.. likewise received private lands and laborers and other marks of favor. 28. Apologeticahistoria de las Indias (Nueva e bibliotecade autoresespanoles. 566 ff.. 109.. 230.. The priesthood maintained the cult.Espasa-Calpe. Tlacochcalcatl. II. Madrid. Number Four. 459. del 253 ff. 1942). 267. eds. MarianoCuevas.Bailly-Bailliere y hijos. des Historiageneralde las cosas de NuevaEspania vols.ed. 554. Motolinia (Toribio de Benavente). Museo Nacional de Arqueologia.XIII. from brother to brother in some instances. and tribute assessment and collection.S. The mass occupied macegual status. including the Cihuacoatl. 493. Joaquin Ramirez Cabafias. Many of the Tlatoque and other officials of 1519 were related to one another and to Montezuma either directly or through marriage.y muy especialmente de Indias(title varies." CDIAI.2 Succession in the monarchical and Tlatohuani offices was for the most part hereditary. and cultivating land principally in the form of usufruct privileges on communal properties. Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta. guarded the temples. p. None of these groups was completely separate from the others. conquista de posesionesespanolasde Americay Oceania.' Outside the capital each substantial community (altepetl.. 42 vols. . Cartasde relacionde la conquista Mejico(2 vols. 173 ff. 1950). "Brevey sumaria relaci6n de los sefiores. trans. Tlacatecatl. (hereafter abbreviated as CDIAI). Eduard Seler.pp. Most high officials. 201-202.MS No. EditorialSalvadorCh.. 2 The pre-conquestaltepetl is not however in every case to be equated with the colonial 3 Las Casas. and performed the religious ceremonial. Einige Kapitel aus dem de Geschichtswerk Fray Bernardino Sahagun(Stuttgart. Streckerund Schr6der. Coleccionde documentos ineditos.. 100. Relatives of the principal lords.3 A sub-macegual class existed 1 de HernAn Cortes. Seler. calpulli and others. forming the Tecuhtli group.sacadosde los archivos organizaci6n las antiguas del reino.. forming the Pilli (pl. Mexico.ed.
. XII. I..II. The dynasties of the three major imperial cities suffered the most rapid alterations of their histories. 198 ff.La esclavitudprehispdnica los aztecas(Mexico.. El Colegio de Mexico. 192.A. 1892).pp. CarlosBosch Garcia. 90 if. Archivomexicano. 67-69and Plate II (MapaTlotzin). and dynastic intrigue made of the native administration a complex and shifting sequence.Historiade la naci6nchichimeca (Obrashistoricas. Aubin. Maisonneuveet Ch.1889). TotoquiN. pp. E. ed. Annales de Domingo Francisco de San Anton Munon Chimalpahin sixieme et septiemerelations(1258-1612) (R6mi Simeon. A. Fernandode Alva Ixtlilx6chitl. Francisco de Aguilar. including one wherein individuals might be bought and sold or otherwise maintained in a condition approximating that of European slavery.pp. 1944). Alfredo Chavero.op. 1842-1895). 1880). ame'ricaine.. The well knownpaperof Ad. Repartimiento. Historia de la Nueva Espana (Alfonso Teja Zabre. Ediciones Botas. 557-699. and Atlas. (hereafterabbreviated CDIHE). The terms are not precise. 1891). "Imperial" offices either ceased to function after the conquest or came to be controlled under new circumstances by Spaniards.etc. Paris. Documentos para la historiade Mexico (2 vols. 295 ff. Leclerc.pp. 1942). 5 There is no satisfactoryfull treatmentof Mexican social or political organization.4 The records are unanimous in indicating the full social and economic subordination of the macegual and sub-macegualclasses to the others mentioned.HispanicAmericanHistoricalReview. BernalDiaz del Castillo. I. Garcia Torres. Mexico. 6 A significantexception to the statementregardingcurtailmentof jurisdictionlies in the or repartimiento labor draft. EditorialPolis.. 329 ff.is fundamentally Archaeology Ethnology (Cambridge. as Madrid. de la Secretariade Fomento. Madrid.S. and ed. Oficina tip.. Leroux. Documents pour servira l'histoiredu Mexique(2 vols. J. and they could be made so only arbitrarily and with a much more thorough exposition of the complexities of Aztec social organization. while fratricide.ed.6 In Texcoco the Spaniards recognized a schismatic and collaborating puppet ruler. directly under the control of the Tlatoque or others.7 In Tacuba two successive rulers quickly met their deaths.. 198 ff. 1938).I. and in several conditions. Mexico. Historiaverdadera la conquista de la Nueva Espana(2 vols. misleading. 398-400. 1885). I. La Viuda de Calero. 119-124. V. filosofia y letras de la Universidad de Mexico. 89. 7 de Cortes.IV. Memoiressur la peinturedidactique l'ecriture figurativedes anciens mexicains(Paris.Jlditeurs. Espasa-Calpe. eds.. Martin Fernandez Navarreteet al. 1-27.XXXVI (1956). See Charles Gibson. 91. Mexico. 389 ff. and the Empireof Acolhuacan". Coleccionde documentos ineditospara la historiade Espana(112 vols.5 The effect of the Spanish conquest was practically to eliminate the central Indian authority and the military and priestly ranks. internal conflict. Domingo Franciscode San Anton Mufion Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. F. entre 1939). 1852-1853).terms which we here understand to be synonymous and which it would be an excess of refinement more exactly to define and apply to Aztec conditions.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 171 also.TwelfthAnnualReportof the Trusteesof the PeabodyMuseumof American and Mass. Bandelier. M. 4 Don Vascode QuirogaDocumentos (Rafael Aguayo Spencer. 186 ff. Quauhtlehuanitzin. 213 ff..pp."On the Social Organization Mode of Government and of the Ancient Mexicans".. Eugene Boban. XXVII.. cit. and for working purposes all Aztec ranks superior to the macegualmay be considered as composing the nobility or aristocracy. and their jurisdictions were immediately confined to local limits. Mexico. II (1941).as are all studies of colonial Indian society that take Bandelieras their point of departure.. Paris... trans. .Imprimerie Nationale. linguistique Bibliotheque et p. ed. CDIAI. "LlamamientoGeneral.
I. 143 ff. 265-266. (20 10 Cf. Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. under Spanish sponsorship).10 It might be argued of the Texcoco (Acolhua) portion of the empire. the local Tlatoque Ixtlilxochitl. (Mapa Quinatzin). while accompanying the expedition of Nufno de Guzman. Barlow. Cuitlahuac. 167 ff.. Barlow. AlfredoChavero. cit. 525. p. 158. 1 Boban. The Hispanic Society of America.. Oficina tip. that the Spanish conquest was less disruptive of native leadership than the pre-colonial Tepanec attack upon the same area in the early fifteenth century. 206-207. Montezuma II was killed during the Indian uprising of 1520. 8 Fernandode Alva Ixtlilxochitl. Paris. vacancies were immediately filled (often.pp. op. In the 1520's.9 In a superficial examination of the 1520's.M6xico... Hector P6rez Martinez.. the main capital. cit. pp. op. the individual deaths signified a progressive loss of native control. Mexico. for example.Historia. cit.... for native succession methods continued to operate. 1891).vida y muerte de una cultura (Mdxico. op. cit.eds. and Tetlepanquetzaltzin at Spanish hands on the expedition to Honduras in 1525. 1943). op. CDIAI. H. when some eighteen Tlatoque of as many communities had been forcibly removed from office. 207.II. A. Don Juan Velasquez Tlacotzin. Francisco L6pez de G6mara.. XVI. Quauhtlehuanitzin. III. 157 ff. por ed. Boban. cit. 1948). And the fifth ruler. II. 404. 144. 165 ff. cit. Historiade la conquistade Mexico (2 vols.op. and a continuity of officeholding by Indians was maintained through the period of shock. Unos Annaleshistoricosde la nacion mexicanay Codicede Tlatelolco(Fuentespara la historiade Mexico.. p. 177. 450.. cit.. de la Secretariade Fomento. II. 1914). Byron McAfee and R. 262-263if. Henri Ternauxta de pour servir l'histoirede la ddcouverte Compans. I. was killed in Chichimec action in Sinaloa. 165. cit. p.. Mdxico. Editorial Leyenda. Bertrand.." de Garcia Icazbalceta. Francisco Cervantes de Salazar. cit. his successor. Cuauhtemoc. Outside of Tenochtitlan. L6pez de G6mara. Chimalpahin op. the former Cihuacoatl. Ixtlilx6chitl. was executed by Spaniards in the spring of 1525. trans. five rulers served in rapid order. pp.Relaciones(Obrashistoricas. Alvarado Tezozomoc. Memoriasde la Academiamexicanade la historia. 9. Imprenta Universitaria. 555. Voyages. M6xico. the third ruler. XLI. these various losses may appear less consequential than in fact they were. 233. II. Diaz del Castillo. FernandoAlvaradoTezozomoc. The fifteenth-centurydisturbances had been quickly suppressed and Texcoco had been restored to a position as powerful as before.8 In Tenochtitlan.VIII. Don Andres de Tapia Motelchiuhtzin. Cr6nicamexicayotl(Adrian Le6n. Cr6nicade la Nueva Esparia(Madrid. died in the same year from a smallpox plague that the Spaniardsunwittinglyintroduced.1837-1841). op. incidentally becoming thereby the chief martyr of modern Mexican Indianism.AntiguaLibreriaRobredo de Jose Porruae hijos. 7. pp. Anales de Tlatelolco. The administrative superstructure was destroyed together with its personnel. pp. Montezuma's colonial successors governed only the Indian portion of the city of Tenochtitlan and its immediately adjacent suburban dependencies. 1949).VI (1947). died while accompanying a Spanish expedition to Guatemala. 9 "Historia los mexicanos sus pinturas. 578.11 But the comparison is deceptive. Cuauhtemoc's successor. I. HeinrichBerlinand Robert H. to be sure. Editorial Pedro Robredo. Cuauhtemoc. 1944). "La segundaparte del C6dice Aubin".172 CHARLES GIBSON huatzin during the conquest of Tenochtitlan.. . op. pp. 222. 231 ff.relationset memoiresoriginaux l'Amerique vols.op.ed. 110. Rather than a large imperial territory. on the other hand. pp.
that the Indian nobility was to find its most effective adjustment to colonial life. Members of the Tecuhtli orders adjusted their activities to the period of peace. and to Indian eyes the act emphatically disgraced and killed the Tlatohuani of one of the foremost Indian cities of Mexico. Xipe Totec. The enormous staff of nobles that Montezuma had housed in his palace was dispersed and the palace site became the residence of the Spanish conquistador. Don Carlos Chichimecatecuhtli (Ometochtzin). but whereas the earlier Aztec victims had been carefully selected for honorable and sacrificial death there could be no question of the punitive character of the Christian act of 1539. I. and a great throng of Indians and Spaniards. New Haven. The event was witnessed by the viceroy. and his execution by burning in the public plaza of Mexico City in November. with charges and countercharges and testimonies by Christianized Texcocan leaders is graphically documented. and in the post-conquest years the ecclesiastical accusations against idolatrous Indian nobles became additional agencies in the imposition of Hispanic ways.it appeared then as a check on the spiritual purity of Spanish. Indian resistance to the Spaniards had been punishable by death. Its theatrical aspect. but they indicate as well the survival or partial survival of its separate elements. 190 ff. by summary execution at the hands of conquistadores. rather than peace alone. and that organization itself disintegrated rapidly.each in the area assigned to him. society . It resulted in his condemnation. as with Cuauhtemoc of Tenochtitlan and Tetlepanquetzaltzin of Tacuba. Yale UniversityPress. When peaceful conditions were established.but early inquisitorial authority over Indians was exercised by the first bishop. No inquisitorial tribunal was formally instituted in Mexico until the 1570's . maintained honorary titles for a time. his deliveryto secular authority. Christianity. not Indian. is reminiscent of the great public spectacles of human sacrifice in Aztec civilization. especially the individual towns with their Tlatoque. but they lost contact with the imperial organization. and other pagan deities was discovered late in the 1530's. whose secret adoratorio containing idols of Quetzalcoatl. It was in these towns. and finally allowed even these to lapse. . Don Carlos' heresies were proclaimed to the assemblage in Nahuatl.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 173 continued to function. The most noteworthy instance involves the baptized Tlatohuani of Texcoco. Tribute taking became the prerogative of crown officers or of individual Spanish encomenderos. however precedented in the European tradition of capital punishment. the members of the Audiencia. either in military attack or.12 These events indicate obviously the collapse of native imperialism. 1539. Mexican Architecture the Sixteenth of Century(2 vols. had become by the late 1530's a 12 George Kubler. Juan de Zumtrraga. the bishop. Don Carlos' formal trial.. During the conquest and the conquest aftermath. the connecting political bonds of which had been destroyed. 1948). The pagan priesthood yielded to the Mendicant and episcopal rule of Spanish colonial Catholicism. secular and ecclesiasticaljudiciaries assumed the task of controlling recalcitrant native leaders. Fernando Cortes.
174 CHARLESGIBSON recognized criterion for acceptable native conduct. Est. In inducing cooperation. Without it no member of the Indian upper class could thereafter maintain his position.. an important initial objective for Spaniards was the eradication of non-collaborating individuals. Robert S. thus encouraging the maintenance and decentralization of community governments. 200. 217 ff. and in this both the civil and the ecclesiastical arms of Spanish authority were capable of vigorous action. 15 Ger6nimo de Mendieta. Antigua Libreria[Impresa por F.13 Such punishments. Indians were not to be reduced to slavery. "My ancestors for 900 years had many vassals and subjugated provinces. Spanish apologists agreed that the respublica of the Indians was to be maintained in all ways compatible with Christianity and civilization: Indian properties were to be preserved. Del dominio de los reyes de Espanasobre los indios(Silvio Zavala and Agustin MillaresCarlo. tip. CDIU. and other legal philosophers and theologians of Spain. Impr. (hereafterabbreviatedas CDIU). 25 November. 1554. M6xico and Buenos Aires. The friars employed paternalistic and attractive methods with great success. 130-137. XXII. 141. Madrid. whose standard technique was to sequester the sons of the Indian nobles and to convert them to Christianity free from the influence of their non-Christian elders. M6xico."5 Within a very few years the native nobility came to consist in large part of young men trained by the friars to Christianity and Hispanic ways and ready to take an active.Historiaeclesidsticaindiana(Mexico.XIX (1939). 175. 1885-1932).4 In the early post-conquest years the most instrumental and effective supporters of these doctrines were the Mendicant clergy.. HernAndez. eds. Positive protection of Indian society depended in general upon an admission of Indian rationality and an application ofjus gentium to the peoples of America. p. XXVI. But the negative aspect was balanced by a remarkable"positive" aspect. CDIAI. de conquistay organizaci6n las antiguasposesionesespanolesde ultramar(25 vols. 157. de M. part in colonial life. "but I have incomparably more than they for I am a Christian with the light of the faith and the water of baptism and am under the lordship of the king. existing Indian rulers were to be respected as "natural lords" (sefores naturales). G. Chamberlain." Hispanic AmericanHistoricalReview. and the whole process wherein the central Indian authority came to be curtailed. 1870). XXI. 1910). 56. Francisco de Vitoria. fall within what may be called the "negative" aspect of early Spanish relations with the Aztec nobility. as argued by Matias de Paz.Matiasde Paz. Diaz de Le6n y S. White]. Cartas de Indias (Madrid. XXI.1877). 16 Hernando Pimentel Netzahualcoyotl to Charles V. if subordinate. I. Texcoco. 14 JuanLopez de PalaciosRubios. Fondo de CulturaEcon6mica. pp. Sucesores de Rivadeneyra." wrote the heir of the Tlatohuani of Texcoco only fifteen years after Don Carlos' death. 1954).'16 It would be naive to assume 13 Proceso inquisitorialdel cacique de Tetzcoco (Publicacionesdel Archivo Generalde la Nacion. Colecci6nde documentos ineditos relativosal descubrimiento. De las islas del maroceano."The Concept of the Senor Natural as Revealed by Castilian Law and AdministrativeDocuments. in . Their demonstrations strongly affected royal policy. which likewise emphasized the position of the native leaders and which concentrated on the cooperating local Tlatoque.
105. Spaniards in Mexico. XLI. but in this respect as well as in its literal content it accurately reflects a characteristic Indian attitude of the middle sixteenth century. an Arawakian word (with Spanish plural) borrowed and introduced by the Spaniards from the West Indies. 92. The positive phase of Spanish policy expressed from the earliest period a recognition and appreciation of status within Indian society. Don Vasco Quiroga Documentos. 128. tip. generally failed to comprehend the intricacy of upper-class Indian relations. terrazguero.18 Spaniards simplified and generalized and referred to the existing native upper class in a terminology already familiar.. At the lowest ranks the terms mayeque.the effective utilization of native manpower." the Audiencia wrote to the king in 1531. de S. such as the amount of tribute it had received from lower classes. Spanish society in general refused to recognize the particular status positions of Tlacochcalcatl or Cihuacoatl. Ed.. though not wholly indiscriminately. Landi. though this usage was far from universal and frequent references were made to such classes as plebeyos and gente comun. ed. 1889-1916).. "Tecutli". I. it corresponded in a gross or over-all way to the main divisions of Aztec society and it was wholly suited to the real conditions of the colony.etc.Florencia. The much larger group of the Pipiltin. and certain of the community officials were classified in an undifferentiated way as principales.1908). II.trans.. "and it all seems to have been a tyranny. "Sucesoresde Rivadeneyra" 18 Cf. 468. Francisco del Paso y de Troncoso. Francisco del Paso y Troncoso. pp. sc. V. (9 vols. Madrid en y Ediciones Cultura Hispinica.op.. Fragmentos la de obra general sobre historia de los mexicanos (Biblioteca Nduatl. esclavo. Madridand Mexico.I. Thus Tlatoque emerged in Spanish understanding as caciques.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 175 that the statement contains no element of posturing.VI. 1944)."'7 Most Spaniards were not interested in the prior condition of the native aristocracy. 108-109. With respect to the mass of the Indian population Spaniards adopted the Nahuatl term. 17 CDIAI. Actas de cabildode la ciudadde Mexico (54 vols. and naborio were used. in the form maceguales. In all such newly conquered areas Spaniards confronted interrelated economic.Tip. 19 Alonso de Molina. Editorial "Revista Cat6lica". Cf. del "Municipio Libre". 1905-1948).. the surviving members of the military orders or their successors. Historia de la iglesia en Mdxico (5 vols. political. again adding the Spanish plural.tlalmaitl.. 1928).. Vocabulario lenguacastellana mexicana(facsimileedition.and in each such task the cooperation of a pre-existing native leadership was regarded as essential. cit. the establishment of secure and responsible government. tle molding of a Christian society .19 While some of this classification reflected a degree of Hispanic misunderstanding.save in selected practicalconsiderations. Cort6s. 174. Papeles de Nueva Espana etc. El Paso. Crist6bal de Castillo. . and ecclesiastical tasks .p. 398-400. "Up to now we have no information on their government or system of justice or the true status of their senores. For the native Mariano Cuevas. The policy followed the tradition of the peninsular Reconquista as well as the more recent Spanish experience in the Canary Islands and the West Indies. Est. to be sure. M6xico.
High-ranking Indians began to visit the king in the earliest post-conquest years. 201-202. pp. Gonzalo FernAndez de Oviedo y Vald6s. 1726-1730). 201-202. Other Indian nobles communicated in writing. II. II. 262-263. the former occupying higher rank than the latter. I. 1878-1879). II. Warfare and the conduct of warfare had been by no means novelties to them.21 One Mexican community sent six separate delegations to the Spanish court between 1524 and 1585.. Their behavior during the conquest had been characterized by a limited opportunism.22 They remarked at length upon their progressive im20 Motolinia. when Cortes returned to Spain with a group of about forty upper-classIndians. III.ed. Editorial Ibero-Africano-Americana. The descendant. See CDIAI. Colecci6n documentos (14 as CDIIA). Antonio de Herrera.. de la Real Academia de la Historia. Others of his family and the descendants of the officers of the Tlatohuani's court became principales. 87-88. though directed by new personnel. op. and in a sense the advent of the Spanish army represented an additional factor in the continuing warfare among Indians. Their petitions characteristically called attention to the services rendered by themselves or by their ancestors in the conquest. de cedulasinstrucciones Su Magestad. Yale University Press. 287. op. Ternaux-Compans.20 Caciques and principales. p.ordenancas difuntos de de y audiencia para la buenaexpedicionde los negociosy administracion justicia y gouernacion de esta Nueua Espana. in the assumption that Hispanic imperialism. 185-186. In a few instancesSpanishauthorityelevatedconvertedIndians to a Hispanizedrank called "royal Tecuhtli"... 17-18. III. 164 if. op. Historia general de los hechos de los castellanosen las islas y tierrafirme del mar oceano(title varies.islas y tierrafirme del mar ociano (4 vols. 55 (1954). Edici6n de "El SistemaPostal". for their part. 1952).Afio XIV. 33. 4 vols. cit. XVI. 148. prudently overlooking the period of their resistance to the Spaniards and emphasizing instead their aid in secondary conquests. Dec. 527-528. who fought both for and against Cortes. would resemble Aztec imperialism. of a conquest Tlatohuani came to be regarded as the cacique of his community. Tlaxcala in the Sixteenth Century (New Haven. 22 Charles Gibson. Prouisiones.Revistade Indias. including severalclose relatives of Montezuma. XVIII.. I. 1851-1855). several having already had audiences with Charles V by 1527-1528. L6pez de Gomara. Historiageneraly naturalde las indias. cit. JoaquinGarciaIcazbalceta. Amada L6pez de Meneses. CDIU. Madrid. Num. "El primer regreso de Hemrnn Cortes a Espafia". VIII. while both were recognized as superior to the mass of the Indian population.. 37-38. His wife (Indian marriage under Christian auspices began in Mexico in 1526) was the cacica. Impr. 8 decades. 10-12. After the conquest caciques and principales sought favors from Cortes or addressed themselves directly to the Spanish monarchy. pp. Mexico. cit. That they did so is perhaps indicative of a desire to perpetuate or re-create relations of a centralist character. Madrid. de ineditospara la historiade Ibero-America vols. 21 Vasco de Puga. 1927-1932). Nuevacolecci6nde documentos parala historiade Madrid. 80 ff. were immediately alert to the opportunities afforded by Spanish imperialism. without further distinction.y para el buentratamiento conseruacion los indiosdendeel ailo de de y 1525 hastaestepresentede 63 (2 vols.176 CHARLES GIBSON aristocracy its principal implication relates to the distinction between caciques and principales. Imprenta Real de Nicolas Rod[r]iguez. and save in exceptional cases no one else was entitled to this rank.. real or supposed.. Anales de Tlatelolco. (hereafter abbreviated .pp.
. Epistolario NuevaEspana1505-1818 (Bibliotecahistoricamexicanade obras ineditas.Historiay Etnologia. as the mestizo Condes de Montezuma in Spain. 25 GarciaIcazbalceta. Mexico. 287.p. 250 ff. signed cedulas of privilege for them. 16 vols. And at least at first. ed.IV. 33. VIII. 142-144. del Museo Nacional de de de Arqueologia. gave them coats of arms. Leg. de la Secretaria Fomento. "Your majesty granted me two towns that belonged to my father as patrimony. 1897-1904). 24. "The royal cedulas favor us but they are not obeyed here.SegundaSerie. Apuntes para la historiade San Angel (San Jacinto Tenanitla)y sus alrededores (Mexico. Nobilario conquistadores Indias(Madrid. Oficina tip... Imp.XLI. cit. CDIU. Nos. 26 Cf. pp.XVI.. Herrera."24 "The letters we have sent to the king and council either have not been read or have not arrived. Museo Nacional. 261-269. II." one of the earliest visitors reminded Charles V in 1532. pp. visits that represented the only direct contact these monarchs ever knew with native American society. 74 ff. Antonio Pefiafiel. FranciscoF. CharlesV had his Indian visitors attend Christian schools in Spain. cit. Mexico. Francisco Fern.1933). Mexico. Talleres graficos del de Museo Nacional de Arqueologia." a group of caciques and principales wrote to Philip II in 1570. Antigua LibreriaRobredo. III. 124ff.ed. Documentos sueltos.. XXI. de la Maza. 1892). 6-8.op.XIII. Most substantial grants of a kind that promised to interfere with the ambitions of Spaniards in the colony were ignored. Coleccionde documentos para la historiamexicana(7 vols. TernauxCompans. "but no one supported my claim and your letters have not taken effect.23 But the overriding impression gained from an examination of the history of royal grants favoring caciques and principales is that in most respects the kings accorded only minor or nominal privileges and that so far as meaningful advantage to the Indian upper class was concerned the effort and expense of communicating with the monarchy proved not worth while. p. outfitted them in Spanish clothing (silk sashes and velvet shoes are mentioned) and confirmed their property possessions inherited from pre-conquest times. 1913). The descendants of Don Pedro Montezuma."25 Indian visits to the king became notably less frequent after the mid-sixteenth century. 44 ff. CDIU.. II. op. XVIII. and there can be little question that the fact is related to an increasing Indian disillusion with the monarchy as an effective dispenser of privilege. 315-316..1886-1892). CDIAI. 224. de la Secretaria y de Fomento. CDIAI.Historiay Etnografia.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 177 poverishment under Spanish rule. Without exception their purpose was to secure particular advantage either for themselves or for their communities. .ed. Andradey Morales. C6digode colonizaci6n terrenosbaldiosde la repiublica mexicana(Mexico.IV. became wealthy Mexico (5 vols.. Oficinatip. pp. 1939-1942). de Cuad. 293-301. 7.26 It is true that an instance of remarkably successful adaptation to Spanish society occurred in the Montezuma family.Nos. 263. 6-7.ndez del Castillo. Sucesores.. 24 Ternaux-Compans. when the experience was still novel. It is probable that Charles V and Philip II were intrigued by the visits of exotic vassals from across the sea. Dec. 23. Nuevacoleccion(1886-1892). cit. 128-136. Mexico. the monarchy took seriously its obligations to the "natural lords" of Mexico. ed. 23 Cedularioherdldicode conquistadores Nueva Espana (Mexico.op. Franciscodel Paso y de Troncoso. 129. VIII. primeraserie. 1893). ordered annuities paid to them from the royal treasury..
Cddice Mariano Jimenez. M6xico. 232-244. one created and endorsed by the viceroyalty and one that furnished its holder with local judicial authority and some other powers that a cacique could not comfortably allow to fall into noncacique hands. Manuel Gamio. a privilege that provided them with opportunities for coercion. whether caciques or principales. La poblacidn del valle de Teotihuacan (3 vols.. principales.. Most caciquesand principalesremained dependent upon their immediate environments and worked out solutions in their own localities independently of any real royal aid. municipal cabildos were established. embezzlement. 499 ff. especially the alcaldes and regidoresof the cabildos. Spanish authority frequently connived at the governors' procedures. of these taxes and with their delivery to Spaniards. VIII. the preservation of inherited private lands and servants. each of whom was required to contribute to the Spanish state a payment in money or in kind. ed. 153r ff. gubernatorial salaries were small in comparison with caciques' traditional perquisites in tribute and service and the salaries did not in themselves offer sufficient inducement to enter into formal office holding after the Hispanic model. extortion.. 2). and a degree of legality countenanced the governor's private take in what were called "tribute leftovers" (sobras de tributos). 27 . Nomina de tributos de los pueblos Otlazpan y Tepexic en geroglifico azteca y lenguas castellana y nahuatl. Other officers of the Indian towns.549 (Nicolas Le6n. fols. Many caciques were able to establish themselves as gobernadores of their pueblos when Viceroy Mendoza instituted the elective Hispanic offices in the Indian municipalities after 1535. But the Montezuma family history represents a non-Mexican and untypical solution of the normal caciques' problems.27 Even in a substantial community. which came to be adopted in most cabeceras by the 1560's. The office of gobernadorentitled a cacique to regular services and salaries supplied by the town. with Indian officeholders chosen customarily by the local principales. were normally. II. Ramo de General de Parte. 1922). Archivo General de la Naci6n. Indian tributaries were principally the macegual family heads. Direcci6n de Talleres Grdficos. and even when caciquesdid not hold the gubernational offices they frequently appeared on the municipal payrolls for reasons of hereditary status alone.178 CHARLESGIBSON grandees and one of them became Viceroy of Mexico in the late seventeenth century. which were as effective as any that Spaniards themselves could devise. I (Pte. In this system. and the protection of communities against exploitation by white colonists. I. ed. Mexico (hereafter abbreviated as AGN) Ramo de Indios. though not invariably. were charged with the collection Gobernadores. Most of all the governorship entrusted its holder with the control of royal or encomienda tribute collection in the community. Epistolario. receiving stated amounts of maize or other tribute and specified services from the community. 1903). which related to the maintenance of traditional positions of community authority. What the governorship provided was a further position of local authority. 1. and other illegal methods for enriching themselves. however. Mexico. and they too found in the Representative examples may be found in Paso y Troncoso.
La obrade losjesuitasmexicanos durantela epoca colonial1572-1767(2 vols. 536. drafted market regulations.II. provided the land..I. de C..IV. op. I.29 It should not of course be inferred from these conditions that all or even most relations between Spaniards and Indian leaders were directed harmoniously toward common political or social ends. 29 Actas de cabildo. del de SagradoCoraz6nde Jesfis. GerardDecorme. Coronica historiareligiosade y la provinciade la Compania Jesus de Mexico en NuevaEspana(2 vols. 387-389.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 179 Hispanized municipal administration of the communities repeated occasion for self-enrichment. and other festivals they took the principal Indian role.II.. 130.El tributoindigenaen la Nueva Espanaduranteel siglo XVI (Mexico. In public ceremonies. 248. AGN. enforced church attendance. 107 if. cit. Anales de Tlatelolco. fols. GarciaIcazbalceta. Antigua LibreriaRobredo de J. In encomienda the Spanish possessors (encomenderos) ensured the delivery of goods and services through the caciques and principales. Impr. 108-110.28 In other ways also the caciques and principales in the Indian towns achieved for themselves intermediate positions between Spanish authority on the one hand and Indian macegual and sub-macegual classes on the other.sometimes involving thousands of individual workers. El librode las tasaciones de pueblos de la Nueva Espana siglo XVI (Mexico. 1952). cit. Mexico. 1941). passim. 55-56. op. Side by side with the more famous history of Spanish land usurpations at the expense of macegual communities is the history of the usurpations of private land properties of caciques and principales. In corregimiento the tribute. Ramo de Indios. In the suppression of the frontier uprising of 1541 caciques and principales marched out with Spanish troops and led their followers on horseback against the insurrectionists. In church building it was repeatedly the local caciques who made the initial commitment... I. Genaro Garcia and Carlos Pereyra. and routine legal enforcement were handled by or in association with the native nobility. Mexico.1896). Mexico.. 296.IV. AGN. Memoriasde la Academiamexicanade la historia. II. and arranged for "voluntary" Indian labor .ed. dealt with drunkards and vagabonds. Nueva colecci6n(1886-1892). labor. In Indian town government the principales who served as alcaldes and regidores in the cabildos punished minor offenses.passim.. Porruia e hijos. and performed innumerable other duties of municipal administration. III. Bouret. a Boban. often with symbolic public reference to their subjugation to the Spanish crown. Oviedoy Valdes. CDIAI. El Colegio de Mexico. Documentosineditos6 muy rarospara la historiade Mexico (36 vols. 1905-1911). 135. cit. Archivo General de la Nacion. who were themselves led by a native "nobility" in a late resistance to conquest. I. viceregal receptions.XII. 1952). In the repartimientosor labor drafts. Spaniards who "used" the Indian leaders likewise abused them. Boban. 34.pp. op. Andr6sPerezde Rivas. 173 if. directives were addressed to them by the viceroy or byjueces repartidoresrequiring them to arrange for the labor quotas and to guarantee the delivery of macegual workers. 256v-257r. Ramo de Mercedes.IV (1945). and Atlas. 28 . Plate XXVII. eds. Spanish imperialism was administered through them in a variety of particular institutions.. Jose Miranda. Vda.
when the governorship was achieved by an Indian other than the cacique. 12-13.. fols.I. particularly one at some distance from the viceregal capital. 210 ff. AGN.32 A town in encomienda.. but there can be no question that the Spaniards' own position in the mid and late sixteenth century was depending less upon the mediation of the traditional Indian ruling group than Documentos. op. 128-136. et passim. IV. Maza. VI. 175 ff. 261 ff. .30 Lands of the priests and lands of nobles killed in the conquest were rapidly sequestered. 171.. tributes. Ternaux-Compans. pp. Cuevas. pp.g. 6-7. 184. Cuevas. 221-222. Epistolario. XIII. 33 34 CDIAI. Fototipia de Hauser y Menet. 31-32. Don Vascode Quiroga al del Memorialde los indiosde Tepetlaoztoc monarcaespanolcontralos encomenderos pueblo (Madrid.33 The prohibition of "slave" holding by the Indian nobility after 1538. 34. might be under the nearly absolute control of its encomendero. Actas de cabildo. AGN. and the intrusion of non-hereditary gobernadoresin the Indian towns progressively reduced the caciques' position. rapidity. ed. pp. 7. ed. Paso y Troncoso. VI. 36 Revistamexicana de estudioshist6ricos... Ramo de Tierras. 509. 29. Documentos. exp. I. VIII. XIII. the regularization of tribute. It.IV.I. op. Nueva coleccion(1886-1892). 398-400. 57 ff. II. CDIIA. ed. Documentos. 102. cit. An observer of 1554 asserted that the descendants of the Tlatoque had already been reduced to a condition of poverty exceeding that of the maceguales and that he personally had seen the senor (cacique) of Meztitlan working his own land with a digging stick "like the poorest macegual of the pueblo.. 224-225.180 CHARLESGIBSON history that begins with Cortes' earliest dealings with the native aristocracy.. the gradual limitations on the authority of caciques and principales. 34. Actas de cabildo. 32 CDIAI. Ramo de Tierras. CodiceKingsborough pp.. cit. 129 ff. op.31 Spaniards further weakened the position of caciques and principales by extorting gold from them and in lieu of gold or other property taking from them their dependents. at first conveniently classified as esclavos (the point here was that a "slave" supposedly recognized as such in native society could be justifiably maintained as a slave by the Spaniards. VIII. pp. and universality of the caciques' decline. ed."36 Other evidence demonstrates that this and similar accounts exaggerated the degree. Garcia and Pereyra..35 The caciques complained of their misery and abundant sympathetic testimony in the colony recorded their plight. An Indian noble who traveled to Spain always incurred the risk that his properties would be pre-empted during his absence. Actas de cabildo. I. 50. p. whereas a "free" Indian could not be enslaved). cit..34 In a large number of communities. Paso y Troncoso. 59 ff. op... fols. Epistolario. opportunities were offered for the alienation of cacicazgo lands. eds.who could circumvent or exile the cacique and place in the governorship his own candidate. 339. Many such territories were geographically scattered and could not be properly guarded or maintained even by an Indian who remained in Mexico. who might be a macegual or even a naborio. Garcia Icazbalceta. XIII. 1912). CDIAI. Don Vascode Quiroga Documentos.XIII. cit. II. 256 if.. 31 30 Peniafiel. 501. 320r ff. 35 E.. Cuad. 28.. rents. 296-297. ed. 134 ff. 455-460. ed. and services. XV. 223. 4.II (1928).
. op.. and the development of an Indian or partly Indian clergy. Mexico. fols.Americaindigena.38 Some educated Indians became maestros in the colegios.p. a well-appointed cacique would have received training at one of the several colegios established for the Indian upper class. p. (Clerics of Indian descent were much more common in the later colonial period. Caciques and principales in the sixteenth century adopted Spanish forms of dress.4. Decorme.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 181 upon more direct kinds of personal control or upon control through mestizo or mulatto or non-noble Indian hirelings. which came ultimately to include some bishops. 560. 112r. governor of Tenochtitlan in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.279-280.ficos de la Nacion. and a native cacique's headdress. carried arms. 66. Nicol. Mexico. Rodriguez Franco. III. op. 38 Juan de Torquemada.40 The domestic accoutrements of upperclass Indians reveal similar mixtures.. Talleres Gr... Epistolario.. 84-85. Epistolario. I. I. Vega". Paso y Troncoso. Diaz del Castillo. Whereas a macegual of the mid or late sixteenth century would normally have received only a rudimentary ecclesiastical instruction. N. than in the earlier.Santa Cruzde Tlaltelolco(Mexico. like Spanish colonists. a melange of Spanish and Indian articles of apparel with the traditional insignia of rank retained. 1929). El primercolegio de America. II. . For them Hispanization was both a symptom of authority and a method of maintaining authority.e. 113-115. fol.Historiade todoslos colegiosde la ciudadde hasta 1780 (Nuevosdocumentos ineditoso muyrarospara la historia Mexico desdela conquista de Mixico. op. 224v.39 A portrait of one of the great caciques of central Mexico in 1542 shows him wearing Indian sandals. could express their complaints in writing to the monarch.ed. They might accept the Spanish bed with 37 Decorme. 40 Analesde Tlatelolco. 190. "El indigenismode Fray Jos6 Diaz de la XVII (1957). I. and some caciques' sons were ordained as priests for missionary work. was contraryto the earliestecclesiastical policy). Madrid. cit. 248. Felix de Osores(y Sotomayor). Bibliomexicano. 248. Primera(Segunda. II.Tercera)parte de los veintei vn librosritualesi monarchiaindiana(3 vols. i. and to speak Spanish and possibly Latin (Don Antonio Valeriano.I. and rode through the cities and towns with equipages and retinues of Indian servants. however.Nuim. 1944). 39 Decorme.. 386 ff. an ocelot-skin shirt tailored in Spanish style.pp. I. such as the Franciscan Colegio de Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco or the Jesuit school at Tepozotlan. op. 248. Spanish breeches. as they did frequently in Spanish and occasionally in Latin. Francisco Borgia Steck. Their ambitions in this complemented official Spanish policy in its "positive" phase. cit. 81v..37 He would have learned to read and write. 89 ff. Historiade la iglesia. grafia mexicanadel siglo XVIII (Boletindel Institutobibliogrdfico 1903).s Le6n. cit. 110 and Plate. 1723). ed. to study grammar and rhetoric. AGN. Ramo de Generalde Parte. Memoriasde la Academiamexicanade la historia. XV. was probably the foremost Indian Latinist of his day). Paso y Troncoso. fac. X. Centro de Estudios Franciscanos. Jos6 Alcina Franch. Literacy and Hispanization in general meant that caciques and principales. II. cit. Cuevas. Nevertheless the particular position of caciques and principales in colonial society normally induced them to look with a certain favor upon Hispanic ways and to Hispanize themselves as actively as circumstances allowed.VI (1947).
Ramo de Generalde Parte. 40-41. AGN.. fols. I. But as a group they strove to maintain their positions by self-interested compromise. Paso y Troncoso. CDIAI.T. fol. pp. They imitated the great economic promoters of the colony. IV. 115r. . 19.AGN.La vida economica social de NuevaEspanaal finalizarel y siglo XVI (Bibliotecahist6ricamexicanade obras ineditas. I. Alvarado Tezozomoc. especially in the herding of sheep. Diccionarioautobiogrdfico conquistadores pobladoresde Nueva y Espana(2 vols. 78. 42 (C6dice Cozcatzin). 100.IV. whose ethics they adopted and whose techniques they adapted to local circumstances. cit.. Memoriales (Documentoshist6ricos de Mejico. Luis GarciaPimentel. Mexico. Espana. sometimes reducing maceguales to the status of mayeques. Madrid. de Francisco A. Boban. cit. fol. Coleccionantigua. 445. 82r-82v. etc. XV. Ramo de Generalde Parte. They forced maceguales to plant their fields and build their houses. 50r. AGN. Paso y Troncoso.X.pp..VI. 450. 43 ClementsLibrary. Ramo de Indios. de Icaza.I. MS No. fols. some maintaining private flocks of thousands of head and ranches of horses and cows with majordomos and Indian servants. II.. II.En casa del editor. which they exploited to the full. intra-Indian tribute. Native colonial texts such as the Cronicamexicayotl betray an obsession with Indian genealogy and pedigree rivalling that of the Spanish hidalgo class itself.. 62. Epistolario. 122-124. Mexico. ed. A single town 41 Gonzalo G6mez de Cervantes. 44 Garcia and Pereyra. 515-516. II. 86v.44 They possessed the advantage of a partially legal.182 ICHARLES GIBSON its mattress and bedclothes while rejecting the Spanish dining furniture of tables and chairs and continuing to eat on the ground. to labor for them and serve them in unprecedented ways. to run their errands.ed. op. 115-116. 142v. p. Alberto Maria Carrefio. op. 136. 216 ff. cit. 1923). 1944). 9r-10r. Mexico. de "El Adelantadode Segovia". 123 ff. Their conduct was retaliatory toward maceguales and competitive toward Spaniards.Universityof Michigan. 33 ff.43 Caciques and principales seized available opportunities to imitate Spanish society in another way by intensifying the severity of their treatment of maceguales. Madrid. they made their wills and left a calculated portion of their lands and other property to the church. or the women married Spaniards and became the matriarchs of influential mestizo families.pp.I. Ramo de Mercedes.... fols.. Museo Nacional. They seized the communal lands of maceguales. Like Spaniards great and small they practiced formal Christian monogamy (the pre-conquest nobility had been partly polygamous).eds. ChimalpahinQuauhtlehuanitzin.. III. 63r. Ramo de Congregaciones.Impr. Phillipps MSS 13685. thus countering the alienation of mayeques to direct service for Spaniards and further controlling the maceguales' lands and tributes. 42 Motolinia (Toribio de Benavente). op. Paris. fol. AGN. In the mid-sixteenth century a community paying 1000 pesos in tribute to the king might be paying up to 4000 pesos to its own Indian upper class. Antigua LibreriaRobredo. cit.ed. 449.. thus preserving the "purity" of native rank. passim.41 Undoubtedly individual caciques and principales differed in their private responses of rejection or acceptance of the particular items of Spanish colonial civilization. 35 ff. They built their houses in Spanish colonial styles. 2 57. Papeles de Nueva op. ed. 1903). AGN. de Jose Porruae hijos.42 Noble Indian men and women continued to marry within their own Indian upper class. 8v-9r.
VIII. Mercedes. PhillippsMSS 13685.op. I. cacao.. many times the income of the average encomendero.IV.their income included money. When Indians accused their caciques and principales of excessive tribute exactions and other kinds of ill treatment.Ano de 1554 (Documentos para la historiadel Mexico colonial. make himself a favorite. 503. pp. fol. Ternaux-Compans. IV. In the post-conquest world that state had ceased to exist. generally military. salt. passim. I. No. 1957). XXI. like the tributes themselves. 47 CDIAI. As Viceroy Mendoza observed. 442. But the approved amounts diminished during the course of the sixteenth century. CDIIA. mantas. cit. 46 . Sucs. Mexico.in sobras de tributos. The maceguales' techniques reveal an adept manipulation of the conditions of the Spanish colony. which while it endorsed a limited exaction by caciques and principales saw in excessive exactions both a social ill and a loss of income for the royal treasury. Mexico.pp.II. 491. 33 ff. Analesde Tlatelolco. Alternatively he might serve the friars in a monastery. 233v. Adams. the sobras de tributoscame to be assigned in fixed quantities. achievement and formally sanctioned by the native state. the common viceregal procedure was to appoint another cacique or principal from another town to investigate and to perform a residencia. VI. Ramo de p. whose desperate exploitation of maceguales is to be interpreted as a response to strain.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 183 is recorded as paying 8000 pesos. firewood. 254. 16r ff. Ramo de Indios. 226.. Jose Porruae hijos.p. chickens. both ethical and practical. AGN.45The record contains numerous examples of approved tribute schedules for caciques . X. IV. 63 ff. Clements Library.if they were not favored they lacked authority to rule. A macegual might engage in commerce. eds. Museo Nacional. France V. and time and custom could reinforce these usurpations to the point at which their colonial origin might be forgotten.CXC. and the Spanish administration had not been immediately prepared to forestall the initiative of maceguales. ocote.46and the extent of intra-Indian tribute became a constant source of concern to the monarchy. 119. 360. The problem contained a variety of implications. Colecci6n franciscana. Vacancies left by the loss of local leaders in the conquest could be surreptitiously occupied by ambitious maceguales.ed. VIII. an effort to maintain position and security. Scholes and EleanorB. Informacion sobre los tributos los indiospagaban que a Moctezuma.47 It is not surprising that individual maceguales in the colony made efforts to escape from their condition and to pass as principales. chiles.. 188-189. but they were then characteristically dependent on recognized. or. fols. 1933). if remembered. 280 ff. Cuevas. No. if the principaleswere favored they mistreated the maceguales. with the result that the local predicament might be compounded rather than solved. MS. gain a measure of wealth and local influence. 100. and various other goods in quantities sufficient to enable them and their families to live in abundance. University of Michigan. 339. 256. Codicesindigenas algunospueblosdel marquesado de del valle de Oaxaca (Mexico. In most communities the mid and late sixteenth century was a time of precarious self-preservation for the Indian upper class. CDIU. Instances of personal rise in the social scale are not unknown from pre-conquest times. 509. Documentos.. CDIAI. ignored. and become accepted as a principal. tomatoes. 46 AGN. 31.
I. IV. Ratios as high as 1900 terrazgueros in a community of 3000 are recorded. In Huitzilopochco the gobernadorpreserved a patrimonio of about fifty Indian families in a total population of less than 500 families in 1551. with threeprincipales in a population of some 125tributaries. on which caciques and principales directly depended. Or again he might win the favor of his encomenderoand be elevated to a position of gubernatorial power. J. 361. CDIAI. one-third had become "nobles" by illegal means.49 These factors of imprecision and change affect any calculations regarding the number of caciques and principales in relation to the non-noble population.. op. with some thirteen principales and about 1750 tributaries. Mexico. Such practices contributed to a further blurring of the borderline between principalesand maceguales. 177. 257. A basic point is that the ratios varied from town to town. The moderate-sizedtown of Tequixquiac. pp. Ternaux-Compans. persisted into the later sixteenth century in decreasing numbers and ultimately merged with maceguales or became peones on Spanish haciendas. M6xico. cit. Andrade. 257-258. a large town.ed. CDIAI. 48 . the mid-sixteenth century ratio of principales to tributary population was approximately 400:7000 (a nobility of over five per cent). XIII. had a considerably smaller ratio. 66-67.IV. Ixtlilx6chitl. latifundia. And a mid-century corregidorreported that in a community of 3000. cit.a process that became more pronounced in time and one that was affected not only by macegual ambition but by economic status.. VIII. 1897). 57. cit. 445. 172.II. with ten or twelve principales. XV. CDIAI. with a population of about 800 families. Coleccionde documentos para la historiade Mexico (2 vols. 449. In Colhuacan. Pereyra. In Xochimilco. and such figures as are available suggest a customary principal nobility under ten per cent. 151. 450.1945). in defiance of the electoral principle and the claims of caciques and principales. if indeed the corregidor's report may be accepted.48 An observer of the 1550's asserted that in various parts of Mexico the number of new or pseudo-principaleswas greater than the number who belonged rightfully and by birth to this class. VIII. Descripciondel arzobispado Mexico hechaen 1570 y otros de documentos(Mexico. 123. p.. Garciaand op.eds. trans. 50 Luis Garcia Pimentel. 49 Ternaux-Compans. miscegenation. and move out of Indian life and into Spanish life.. Approximately the same ratio is found in the small community of Oztoticpac.. 225. M.p. Thus the community of Tizayuca in the mid-sixteenth century is known to have contained between 550 and 600 tributary families..51 But land usurpation. and in Huitzilopochco 40:400 (a nobility of ten per cent). Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta. CDIAI. 160 or twenty per cent served the gobernador and principales in a sub-macegual status in 1550. Jos6 Joaquin Terrazas e hijas imps. was surely exceptional.and many other standard conditions of colonial existence... 53-54.ed. op. Relaciones.. Anales de Cuauhtitlan Leyenda de los soles (Primo Feliciano y VelAzquez. C6dice Chimalpopoca. 298-299. IV. 1858-1866). under the assumption that he was a principal.ImprentaUniversitaria.50 The sub-macegualclasses. or a nobility of about two per cent.i84 GIBSON tCHARLES escape the tribute and labor rolls of his community. The ratio 1:2. 51 CDIIA.
What disturbed cacicazgo inheritance was not so much usurpation from maceguales as disputed successions involving competing claimants within the cacique family itself. 7. did a specific principle of primogeniture come to be fixed. Such practices came under severe administrative scrutiny in the eighteenth-century programs of imperial economy. with the revision of regulations regarding the payment of royal tribute. deciding in favor of the more immediate relative against obvious external usurpation. VI. and a number of other factors of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries reduced this sub-macegual population thereafter or transferred it directly to Spanish masters. recognizing both primogenital descent and local custom. or any other of the troublesome matters of inheritance. Thus in a 52 Recopilaci6n de leyes de los reynos de las Indias (4 vols. and uncontested.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 185 cacicazgo failure. A summary of royal legislation favoring caciques is contained in CDIIA. only the "hijo mayor" being excepted. of Christian habits. CMXCIV. epidemic. AGN. The fact implies the loss of control by caciques and principales as well as the more general deterioration of the whole principle of native status. Ramo de Tierras. VIII. and a device available to some influential Indians had been the assertion of a related cacique status in order to escape the tribute levy. Viceroy Mendoza (1535-1550) adopted an ad hoc policy: to confirm the decisions arrived at according to the custom of the community providing that the candidate were of good repute. from innovation. The monarch was understandablyfar less concerned with the operation of cacicazgo inheritance than with the operation of encomienda inheritance. Madrid. Audiencia and other decisions in cacicazgo inheritance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries followed the Mendoza precedent so far as it went.and the Audiencia reasserted that all cadet sons of caciques were to be enrolled as tributaries. 428. female descent.. 17r ff. Caciques and their eldest sons had been legally exempt from royal tribute since 1572 (caciques before that had sometimes paid tributes just as did other Indians). truancy. CDIAI. VI. 501-502. 333 ff. passim. in accordance with a standard royal directive and Spanish policy. Lib. Cuevas. I. The cacique class was more resistant than the principal class to direct usurpation from below. 1681). Tit. In the mid-eighteenth century for the first time the Mexican Audiencia outlined elaborate procedures for proof of eligibility in tribute exemption .52 Only in the eighteenth century. . and refraining always. Single towns maintained only one or a very few cacique families and since these were known to all inhabitants intrusive and innovating claims to cacicazgo in any community were instantly recognized as fraudulent. fols. Through the sixteenth century and through most of the seventeenth century viceroys and audiencias received from the monarchical administration a general endorsement of cacique continuance but in the absence of detailed instructions on primogeniture. Historia de la iglesia. Early royal law was applicable only in a general way to the settlement of the family quarrels of cacicazgo.the rules resemble the limpieza de sangre regulations for Spaniards .
the brother of Montezuma I. fol. l2poca 4. 264. Recopilacion sumaria de todos los autos acordadosde la real audienciay sala del crimende esta Nueva Espana. ed. ChimalpahinQuauhtlehuanitzin. Tit. and objecting to the excessive tributes.54 Don Hernando Cetochtzin's younger brother. 354. continuously provided for by his town. and their combined properties included an enormous number of lands and houses in the vicinity of Coyoacan and elsewhere. Royal cedulas were issued to him in 1534. By a taxation of 1560. bushels) of maize and 200fanegas (probably ca. op. He "married" the daughter of Huitzilatzin.y providencias de su superior gobierno (2 vols.53 The practical meaning of these various generalizations is best illustrated by a series of examples. 257. and 1551. Codice Chimalpopoca. Nueva coleccion (1886-1892). i. Documentos. the Texcocan cacique who was burned in 1539. cit. Por D.. Don Juan de Guzman Itztollinqui was a typical mid-sixteenthcentury cacique. Cuevas. 5. Ley 18. Alvarado Tezozomoc. Their eldest son. He served the Spaniards in suppressing the Mixton uprising. Lib. Anales del p.e. Ternaux-Compans. IV.. thus reversing the criterion. He married a cacica. 315 standard U. op. Garcia Icazbalceta. complaining that Spaniards treated his Indians as if they were slaves. 356 if." Viceroy Mendoza issued him a license permitting him to carry a sword. Cetochtzin. Tlatohuani of Huitzilopochco and granddaughter of Huehuezacatzin. after the Spanish manner.which sometimes permitted brothers to succeed prior to sons. He spoke Spanish and as the viceroy stated (in his own and Don Juan's favor) was "always treated as a Spaniard.Historia y Etnografia. op. p. ed. Eusebio Bentura Belefia. For the Tepanec (Tacuba) area the community of Coyoacan exhibits a single durable cacicazgo well suited to purposes of exemplification. Mexico. 40. VIII.proceeded generally in the direction of Spanish mayorazgo rules.S. Don Juan received from Coyoacan each year 400 fanegas (probably ca. I. ed.. VI. 630 standard U. was then installed as Tlatohuani in Coyoacan by Cortes in 1526. 226. Don Juan de Guzman Itztollinqui." He wrote to the king commenting on his father's and his brother's services to the crown.S. where he died in 1525.. Mexico. bushels) of wheat.. V (1927). MS 482. 85v. Epistolario. In practice the modification of Indian systems of inheritance . a position that he held until his death in 1569. 1545. p. Museo Nacional de Arqueologia. conceding him a coat of arms and confirming his private properties "by just and legitimate right and title. Felipe de Ziuiiga y Ontiveros. with reference to exemption from tribute.. 348. He was an affluent native aristocrat. 131-134. cit. Paso y Troncoso. 135. third pagination... 1787). 63. baptized as Don Hernando. pp. 38-39. cit. 54 . 208. Its Tlatohuani at the time of the Spaniards' arrival was Cuappopocatzin. VI. the niece of Don Carlos. X. Biblioteca Nacional. each week he 63 Recopilacion. But a cacique's eldest son in the later eighteenth century might claim the primogenital succession to the cacicazgo precisely for the reason that he had been exempted from tribute while his father lived. inherited his father's position as Tlatohuani of Coyoacan after the father died in the conquest and accompanied Cortes to Guatemala.186 CHARLESGIBSON sense the principle of effective primogeniture entered the statute books indirectly. 34. and which included some local and circumstantial variants .
six loads of wood. The succession of Don Juan Hidalgo was confirmed first in 1683.354-355. ed. Fernmndez Castillo. ChimalpahinQuauhtlehuanitzin.5 liters as most likely. 32. 210. sometimes with the connivance 55 Actas de cabildo. one loaf of salt. II. the former dying in 1573. his sons Don Juan de Guzman the younger. two loads of fodder. Anales del Museo Nacional. two baskets (chiquihuitls) of maize. She thereupon took possession of all that had been granted to Don Juan Hidalgo. fol. 354. 290. II. cit. 57 AGN.. While all these intra-family disputes were taking place in the late seventeenth century. cit. By another assessmenthe receivedeach day three fowls. ChimalpahinQuauhtlehuanitzin. 2r. 87. del p.X. 58 Quauhtlehuanitzin. 210.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 187 received four Indian servants. as senor natural in the 1530's. 210. Spaniards and mestizos were appropriating the lands and houses of the cacicazgo. the Audiencia reaching its decision in 1687 in favor of the cacica Doina Tharia de Guzman.lpoca 4. p. and two bunches of ocote. 322r. and as cacique and gobernador in the 1540's. op. AGN. GarciaIcazbalceta.e. Don Lorenzo de Guzman. 24 ff. cit. Coleccion. 114. each day he received one-half loaf of salt. II.55 In Nahuatl notices Don Juan was designated as Tlatohuani.I. 280. pp. pp. cit. Ramo de Generalde Parte. Analesdel MuseoNacional. fols. 133v.58 In the seventeenth century a major crisis in the inheritance occurred following the death of the incumbent cacique Don Juan Estolinc (Itztollinqui) y Guzman.. but the point remainsdisputable. daughter of Don Alonso and wife of Don Thomas de Larrales.ltpoca 4. and five loads of fodder. Actas de cabildo. 400 cacaos. 107r. Actas de cabildo. by human carrier) of wood.. The community was to maintain four pluts of land for his use. Ramo de Generalde Parte. But the succession was promptly disputed again by Don Ignacio de Tapia and Don Carlos Patinio.IV. . 216r. Don Felipe. outsiders.. I.. 268v. the latter two dying in the epidemic of 1576. three loads (i. Ramo de Mercedes. 200 chiles. fols.57 After his death. eight female servants. V (1927). and Don Hernando de Guzmin served as Tlatoque in rapid succession.II. AGN. The governorship fell to Don Lorenzo's son. in 1573. 311. AGN.56 But in Coyoacan as elsewhere the hereditary cacicazgo and the elective governorship were not continuously held by the same individual. In Spanish documentation he was indicated as senor of Coyoacan in the 1520's. of which two were to be sown in maize and wheat each season and two to lie fallow. Ramo de Mercedes. but his full possession was hindered by the claims of Don Thomas de Larrales. The suit was actively prosecuted in Spanish colonial courts during the mid-1680's. 56 op.op. provided and paid for by the town. cit. Fernandezdel Castillo. The natives of Coyoacan had to build his house and to maintain ten masons and ten stonecutters in readiness for its repair and to pay him fees for the privilege of selling their goods in the market of Coyoacan.. son-in-law of the preceding cacique Don Alonso de Guzman. fol. 210. ten male servants. op. V (1927). p. 4. I. We select the Castilianfanegaof 55. two fowls. The earliest documented accession of a second party to the governorship in Coyoacan is dated 1554. II.. 4. Don Juan regained the governorship after this but was unable to maintain it regularly. and 700 chiles and 700 tomatoes. Chimalpahin op.
the extended legal wrangles. and finally died in prison. the extensive landed properties officially confirmed to the cacicazgo in the sixteenth century had in large part been lost. For twenty-one years (1465-1486) the area possessed no Tlatoque. exp. following the tenure of the cacique Don Miguel Cortes Ramirez. and the loss of properties. To exemplify the institution in its more complex form the case of Amecameca may be selected. the occasional succession by brothers rather than by sons. By the time of the late eighteenth-century cacique. 6. 302. is interesting chiefly for its typicality: the early identification of the Tlatohuani as cacique. the governorship first held by the caciquehimself and then by others. cit. The Mexican conquest followed a series of wars between Chalco Province and Tenochtitlan and was principally achieved under Montezuma I (1440-1469). He waged a thirty-yearlawsuit. 165-166. conquest here brought about an interruption in the local dynastic history.. ChichimecaTecuhtli. The prodigious efforts of the incumbent of the 1790's and early nineteenth century to recover them proved unavailing. Atlauhtecatl Tecuhtli. 5. op. Fernmndez Castillo. 1487 ca. maintained himself as a carpenterin Madrid. exp. Teohua Tecuhtli. In the mid-eighteenth century. exp. pp. All were standard and characteristicfeatures of cacicazgo history in post-conquest times. 1486 1511 as infant Ytztlacoqauhcan Chichimeca Cihuayllacatzin Tecuhtli 9 AGN.Leg.MDCCXXXV. AGN. 1492 ca. Ramo de del Tierras. 120. the inheritance by women. The local Subdivision Panohuayan Tecuanipan Tzacualtitlan Tenanco Tlayllotlacan Tlatohuani Title Incumbent Accession Date Behavior Death 1519 Met Cort6sat Amecameca Fled to Mexico Fled Met Cort6sat Amecameca Met Cortesat Amecameca 1519 1522 1520 1519 1572 Tlamaocatl Cuauhcecequitzin ca. Archivo del Hospital de Jesfis. worked his passage to Spain as a sailor. engaged in protracted conflict with Godoy and other royal ministers.59 The cacicazgo history as a whole.188 CHARLESGIBSON of the cacique contenders themselves. 1488 Tecuhtli Chichimeca Miccacalcatl Tecuhtli Tlaltetecuintzin Tlayllotlac Tecuhtli Teohua Tecuhtli Yotzintli Cacamatzin ca. . Tlamaocatl Tecuhtli. Leg. 2. Prior to the conquest of this community by Tenochtitlan in the mid-fifteenth century its political history was one of many lords and local place-names with an unusual richness of Tecuhtli titles: Tlayllotlac Tecuhtli. while it offers some dramatic and unique features. Tlatquic Tecuhtli. As in many other instances in pre-colonial history. as cacicas. the long-standing dispute resolved itself into a conflict between Doina Theresa de Guzmainand the heirs of Don Carlos Patifio.
allowedto wearSpanishclothingand to ride a horse.201.son of Don Juande SandovalTecuanxayacatzin. fols.. TlamaocatlTecuhtliand Tlatohuani. .installedas Tlatohuani1564. 308-309. ChichimecaTecuhtli..died of plague 1520. Tlatocapilli Tzacualtitlan imprisoned1588.son of predecessor.fol. 263. cit. son of predecessor. installedas Chichimeca Tecuhtli 1561.. V. Don AugustinBaptistaCuitlachihuitzin. 245.I. 15. Ramode Mercedes. Don Pablo Santa Maria Cuitlaquimichtzin. 183. 63 Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin.60 A "normal"community of the sixteenthcenturymaintained. died 1564 after a rule of about seventeenyears. Don FelipePaez de Mendoza. sixth AGN. pp. fol. installedas Tlatohuani1589. 190. presumptively 3. 221. 6. Don Pedro Tlahuancatzin. cit. op. 255. and of a cihuapilli (female installedas Tlatohuaniby his father 1548. 13. 13. op.grandsonof Miccacalcatl.. 202. 373. Yotzintli. 2. Tlamaocatl Tecuhtli. ParteI. of of 1565. 262. 202. 221. 204-205. Tlatohuaniof Tlayllotlacan. after a lapse of ten years. MuseoNacional.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 189 dynasties were then reinstated under the Tenochtitlan rulers Tizoc (1481-1486) and Ahuitzotl (1486-1502).ruled ca. resulting in five separate dynastic divisions in the single community of Amecameca at the time of the Spaniards' arrival (see table). 282v. 286. I. Thematerial tabulated derived is fromdatain Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. AGN.Ramode Tierras. grantedan estanciain 1594. pagination.. son of Miccacalcatl ruleduntil his death 1572.as has been noted. installed as Tlatohuanica. 199. Don Estebande la Cruzde Mendoza. 105r-106r. Tecuanipan:62 1. 60 Seetableoverleaf. 308r-308v. VII.died 1522in Tlaltetequintzin. 210. of Tzacualtitlan Tenanco:63 1.Tlamaocatl Tecuhtli.TlayllotlacTecuhtliand Tlatohuani. 245. de Indios. 5. cit. Don JuanBaptistade SandovalToyaotzin. passim. pp. Don MiguelBaptistade Gaona. governedeight principal)of Tecuanipan. antigua.VI. 1530. Don Joseph de Santa Maria Teuhctlacogauhcatzin. The successions in the five subdivisions during the first post-conquest generations were these: Panohuayan:61 1. 187ff. ruledto his deathin 1575. 1573.fols. of Tenanco. AGN. AGN. AGN.TeohuaTecuhtli. XVIII. fols. pp. 189. Chichimeca Tecuhtli.332r. Ramode Mercedes. AGN. 10. 62 Ramode Indios. years.fols. presumably 4. installedas Tlatohuani1548. fols. TlamaocatlTecuhtliand Tlatohuani.died 1519. Ramo op. Cuauhcecequitzin. grandsonof Cuauhcecequitzin. Amecameca is noteworthy for the reason that its five Tlatohuani successions were preservedlong after the conquest. fol. a single acciqne family. 4. AGN. 162v. CMXCIV. Ramode p. Tenochtitlan afterescape. 115r. 18.becameTlatohuani Tlayllotlacan 3. 309v-310r. Miccacalcatl Chichimeca Tecuhtliand Tlatohuani. XIX. XVIII. Tlaltetequintzin.imprisonedfor the murder his wife. 273-274. Colecci6n 245. Ramode Mercedes.installedas Tlatohuani1575as grandson on his mother'sside of Don SanchoToctecontzin. cit. 289. 13. 61 Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin.M6xico. op.probablyruledto his deathin 1604. The restorations involved some innovations and simplifications. Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin.gobernador Amecameca1594and 1595. pp. 19. Indios. 2. permittedto dress in Spanishclothing and to carrya swordand dagger.277rff. 105r-106r.
pp. AGN. p.208. 63. fol. 1522-1523. installedas Tlatohuani1548. Tlayllotlacan:64 TeohuaTecuhtliand Tlatohuani. and several individuals shifted from one Tecuhtli title to another. op. ChichimecaTecuhtli.AGN. Chichimeca Tecuhtli.left two sons. Don Juan de Santo Domingo de MendozaTlacaeleltzin.Ramode Mercedes. 1521-1522 Chichimeca Tlatohuaniof Tlayllotlacan. 183r. installed Tlatohuani as Tecuhtli. 3. Tecuhtlica. cit.son of Don Tomaisde San MartinQuetzalmagatzin. Don HernandoCortesCihuayllacatzin. VIII.pp.Ramode I. TlayllotlacTecuhtli.Colecci6n p. Ramode Tierras. 263.ruled to his death in plague 1576. 3. caciqueat least by 1580. TlayllotlacTecuhtli.AGN. death at unknowndate. Teohua Tecuhtli. installed as Tlatohuani1582. cit. San Martin Quetzalmagatzin. 105r-106r. ruled to his death 1580.installed as afterbrieflapsein succession.312. as in the cases of Don Juan Baptista de Sandoval Toyaotzin and Don Tomas de San Martin Quetzalma9atzin. Tecuhtli. Ramode Indios. Don Diego and Don Pedro..caciqueat least by 1580. VII. op.date of deathunknown. Ir ff. 190. 4.installedas Tlato2. 4. 4.installedfrom Tzacualtitlan Tenancoby Cortes 1523. 244-245. 307. Don Tomaisde San Martin Quetzalmacatzin.TeohuaTecuhtli. 371. fol. 5. 189.son of Cacamatzin. Don Miguelde Santiago.190 CHARLESGIBSON 2. Don Gregorio de los Angeles Tepoztlixayacatzin. details obscure and possible confusionwith Don JuanBaptistade SandovalToyaotzin. YtztlacoCauhcan:65 1. III. Here a number of significant points emerge. Cacamatzin. fols. The Tecuhtli ranks were preserved through the sixteenth century. Tierras. son of Cacamatzin.son of Yotzintli. 1.I. AGN. 1.Mexico. Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. 1525afterlapse.203-205. Don JuanMaldonadoMiygahuitzin.. 65 Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin. 289-290. MDCCCXXVIII. Don Hernando CortesCihuayllacatzin. MDCCCXXVIII.273-274. . ruledto his deathin 1565.died 1519. installedas Tlatohuani1565. fols.AGN. installedas Tlatohuani1548aftera lapseof sometwenty-two years.governed only a few weeks and became Chichimeca Tecuhtliin Ytztlacogauhcan. antigua. Chichimeca Tecuhtli. 262-263. Don Tomas de Villavicensiothe younger. RamodeIndios.died 1572.are suggestive of an interrelation64 C6dice Chimalpopoca. ChichimecaTecuhtli.punishedfor idolatry1530. huani ca. The comparable changes in office from one dynastic lineage to another. Don Juan de SandovalTecuanxayacatzin. fol.installed as Tlatohuani 1591. Ramode Mercedes. Tlatohuaniof Ytztlacogauhcan. Tlayllotlac ca. 162v. lr ff. 13. 298. installedas Tlatohuani1564. Don Joseph del Castillo Ehcaxoxouhqui.son of Aocuantzin. 5.ChichimecaTecuhtli. Don JuanBaptistade SandovalToyaotzin. AGN.son of predecessor. 6. fols. Don Tomasde San MartinQuetzalmanatzin. Chichimeca Tecuhtli. MuseoNacional.ruled to his death 1563.diedinplague1576. Chichimeca 2. deposedas Tlatohuani1527.son of Don Tomasde uncle of predecessor.ruled to his deathwithoutheirs 1587.ruledto his death 1547. exp. fols. Don Juan de Sandoval. 3. 1.servedas guardianof the two sons of Don Juan de Santo Domingo.underthe care of Don Miguelde Santiago.105r-106r. exp. 19r.
Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin..67 The five cacique dynasties of Amecameca underwent many periods of stress and crisis after the sixteenth century. e. 299r. Tlatohuani of Tlayllotlacan.CMXCV. to create a situation of mingled Spanish-Indian antagonisms resembling that of the period of military conquest. cit.. fol. cousin of Don Luis. Interruptions. fols. When Don Domingo Paez.exp. 13r. The circumstances provided an opportunity to Don Francisco Paez. Ramo de Tierras. privileges. Don Miguel Baptista de Gaona in 1595 and Don Felipe Paiez de Mendoza on several occasions prior to 1600. Mestizos were introduced in the cacique families in the seventeenth century. Succession by sons and succession by brothers or the sons of brothers occasioned intricate disputes. restorations. Technically a cacique was the single dueno of the cacicazgo and the heir of the preconquest Tlatohuani. involving the Tlatohuani of Tlayllotlacan and a noble woman (cihuapilli) of Tecuanipan. cacique of Panohuayan. XIX. It is noteworthy that Don Juan Maldonado served as gobernador before 1591. cit. Ramo de Indios. sixth pagination.passim. pp. to intrude in the succession and seize the cacicazgo with its properties. contested for long periods. all of immediate practical concern to the individuals involved but exhibiting at the same time a similarity that suggests the conditions under which survival was possible and the limits within which "legitimate" cacicazgo could function. AGN. But it is evident that this technical sense was not universally recognized or fully admitted among the Indians of the Mexican towns. an absence of isolation among the cacique families of Amecameca. op. fol. died in the eighteenth century. VII. Testaments. MDCCCXXVIII. the first gobernador being Don Juan de Sandoval Tecuanxayacatzin. 2r ff.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 191 ship. baptismal records. fol. and documentary titles. Examples are available from later colonial times in which the sons and AGN. Ramo de Tierras. were complicated by some imprecision and local variation in the popular concept of the institution. . An instance of intermarriageis revealed. III. 183r. AGN. and land mercedes were repeatedly cited to establish "legitimacy". and impositions occurred.. op.g. 254-255. CMXCIV. fol. A despacho issued in the early eighteenth century to place the caciques in the possession of their cacicazgos was disputed by the gobernador and other non-cacique officials of the Indian government. Ramo de Mercedes. A governorship was created in 1560. 1. the date at which he succeeded his nephew as Tlatohuani at Ytztlaco9auhcan.68 Such conflicts. AGN. his son Don Luis was a minor and too young to assume the position. pp. 68 66 67 ChimalpahinQuauhtlehuanitzin.notably in the 1530'swhen competing caciques allied themselves with the competing Franciscan and Dominican orders in Amecameca. 277r-277v. and the trials brought to light conflicting testimonies and much evidence of the abuse of cacique authority. 234 ff. Governors of the later sixteenth century included some of these Tlatoque.66 Critical rivalries among the cacique heirs occurred. which are wholly characteristicof colonial cacicazgo litigation of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
120.69 Again a criterion sometimes advanced as indicative of cacique status was the holding of office in Indian government.and while it is true that caciques did sometimes hold the gubernatorial office in the seventeenth and eighteenth as well as in the sixteenth century. L. having served as governor for many years without election (elections were supposed to be made annually or biennially) and being challenged by the election of a rival in 1755.72 Occasionally fraudulent efforts were made to establish new cacicazgos in later colonial times. claimed descent from a conquest ancestor and connection with the noble Indian lineage of Austria y Montezuma. 22r ff.70 Outright inheritance by female caciques was recognized from an early date. and his further claim to full authority over the town reflects a late colonial tendency to confuse cacique status with generalized local gobernacion. especially his brother and his grandfather. and that the cacicazgo was a factitious one invented for private ends. AGN.192 CHARLES GIBSON daughters of an individual cacique all successfully adopted the cacique title. 70 AGN. In the community of Axapusco. fols. exp. to the confusion of viceregal investigators. Archivo del Hospital de Jesus. Ramo de Tierras. Ramo de Tierras. Juan de los Santos and other members of his family. still neither the cacique office nor the governorship was a legal prerequisite to the other. fols. CMXCIV. Ramo de Clero Regulary Secular. 46v-48v. Birth out of wedlock (but without any necessary implication of infidelity) was common among cacique families as it was among maceguales. Ramo de Mercedes. AGN. where the several sons and daughters of a cacique had themselves been "reputed to be caciques". fol. exp. Cf. 7. 2v. Ramo de Indios. 317r-317v. Don Juan de los Santos. particularly the office of gobernador. lOr-llr. 355r. 72 AGN. 302. Archivo del Hospital de Jesus. sin nfmero. fols. exp. The newly elected governor countered properly with the assertion that the lands in question were the possessions of the community rather than of any cacicazgo. XV. and very clear instances of mestizo succession and the assumption of cacique title by mestizos are recorded in violation of the law. fols. with its lands and bienes de comunidad. thus legitimizing the heir. His cacicazgo claim was a false one. and probable that their candidacies to this position were enhanced by their status as caciques. passim. The Audiencia regulations of the mid-eighteenth century brought to light instances of multiplication. 69 AGN. 6. Leg. op. . Audienciasafter the sixteenth century do not appear to have taken very seriously the matter either of mestizaje or of illegitimacy.71 At other times pretenders to a cacicazgo sought to disqualify their opponents by accusing them of being mestizos and hence ineligible for the succession. and in any case a cacique on his deathbed might perform the marriage ceremony with his lifelong "wife".CXXX. fol. asserted himself to be a cacique and hence entitled to retain control of the pueblo. Leg. Together with accusations of mestizaje went accusations of bastardy . 156: "cihuapilliMestiza". a principal.and indeed the words mestizo and bastardo were not unrelated in colonial usage. 1. 77r. 4r ff. fols. AlvaradoTezozomoc. VII. 3v-4r. MDCCCXXVIII. cit. AGN..exp. 71 AGN. p.
1-24. Ramo de Tierras. AGN. Coleccion. Criminal proceedings sentencedto prison. de J. C. 1. which is to speaksnaivelyand in a styleand tone whollyinappropriate 1526. colonialeffortsto restorethembeingsporadic late Afterthe greatdeclinein Indianpopulation and almostwhollyunsuccessful..the failureof Indiantowns to preserve of the subordination Indiansto systemsof hacienda peonage. 98 ff. cit.73 deteriorated In generalthe position of legitimatecaciquesand principales furtherin late colonial times. op. fols. 5. allegedto have beengrantedby Cortesin 1526to the includinga bogusmerced "indios caciques conquistadores"of Axapusco. pp. exp. and Spaniards numberof tributaries continuedto hold Indian gobernadores responsiblefor collection.exp. attributes. 1880).. the ineffectualefforts of the governmentto control white theirlands and exploitationof Indians. Barbedillo y Ca. cit.THE AZTEC ARISTOCRACY 193 in whichhad beenprominent especially Tlatelolcoin the earlycolonialperiod. R. 29.74 the of the late sixteenth earlyseventeenth centuries Indiannobilitycameto and the officeholdingprivilege. Noticias de Mexico (2 vols. 83 ff. and in some instances special colegiosfor the sons of caciquesdeteriorated ceasedoperationaltogether. x-xxiii."The Indianpopulationin generalis freefromthe vice of ambition. Archivo hist6rico de hacienda. II."andfew Indiansnow 73 AGN.. exp. pp.El imperial (Mexico. 84-85.. I. any case eighteenth-century werebroughtand the instigatorswere came to nought." BishopPalafox y Mendozasolemnlynoted in the seventeenth century. cit. Ramo de Civil.Testimonies hadexistedin Axapuscowithinthe memoryof oppositionwitnesses thatthe and Santos relativeshad bought the alleged mercedfrom a Spaniard.MCDLXVI. .and of two caciques Axapuscowho met Cortesat San Juan de Ulua bearinggifts. pp. op. pp. The and status. Impr. 61 ff.. Documentary includeda royal appendages of of confirmations the sixteenth confirmation 1537and a numberof additional elicitedthe factsthatno local cacicazgo and seventeenth centuries. Le6n. The attemptto fabricate withits romanticized in local cacicazgo. To supportthese assertionsa portfolio of forged documentswas presented. See also GarciaIcazbalceta. Leg. op. preserved." Acamapichtli's the white and beardedstrangerwho warnedhim againsthumansacrificeand of the eatingof humanflesh.for the reduced look with diminished favor upon could not maintainthe tributequotas. Fernando colegiode indiosde la Santa Cruzde SantiagoTlaltelolco Ocaranza. of vision of of paintingsand books and "ancientprophecies. FranciscoSedano. The document. Steck.. 4 ff.frequently themfor arrears partialpayments sequestering in or and theirproperties jailing 75 the effortto makeup the balances. 225.who then a in claimedto havefoundit in archives MexicoCity. 74 Osores. 32v ff. In mosttownsofficeholdingceasedto be a lucrativesinecureand became instead a prelude to impoverishment. 76 AGN. Their decline was an aspect of a much larger process: the decay of the enthusiasticMendicanttutelageof the early postconquest period. 1934).ed. Mexico.
his stables and store-houses and other possessions compared favorably with those of wealthy Spaniards. and yielding an income of thousands of pesos per year. trans. Longman. Madrid. Orme. When caciqueswere powerful in the eighteenth century their power rested upon forms of economic and social domination characteristic of the ruling families of whatever origin. a separate subject and one that here circumstantially overlaps with cacicazgo. In the sixteenth century Tacuba supported a cacique family in pride and ostentation. Hurst. and Brown. but in a precarious or indifferent form. rents. BibliotecaNacional. He was a wealthy hacendado. 77 Alexander de Humboldt. His great house was equipped with Spanish furniture. Virtudes indio (Colecci6nde librosraros 6 curiososque tratande America. Political Essay on the Kingdomof New Spain (John Black. 4 vols. and it is worth noting that no known circumstance of the sixteenth-century history of its cacicazgo can be demonstrably related to its later affluence. and mode of life in approximation of the generalized norms for hacendadosand rancheros. wheat. Their properties were enlargedby methods that cannot be meaningfully distinguished from the methods of the propertied class in general. Like any Spanish hacendado.CMXCIV. Rees. By late colonial times a number of cacicazgos had ceased to exist altogether."76 The statement epitomizes a characteristic mid-colonial ecclesiastical and secular view. The cacicazgo retained terrazgueros and renters to the end of the eighteenth century. and rich tapestries. This was the case even in important communities such as Cholula and in whole partidos such as Ecatepec. and if they remained successful they managed their lands.. CMXCV. 1893). 37 ff. Whereas in the sixteenth century caciques had imitated Spaniards.passim. 1811-1822). The Panohuayan cacique of the late eighteenth century in Amecameca outstripped his cacique colleagues decisively in this matter of latecolonial adjustment. 294r. . 287v. dueno of the hacienda of San Antonio Tlaxomulco and other properties producing maize.77 In other cases cacicazgo survived. del 76 Juan de Palafox y Mendoza. pistols. wherein accuracy of observation was only partially informed by understanding. in the eighteenth century "caciques"and "Spaniards"might both be mestizos. while not "fortuitous" or without cause.X. Mexico. MS 451. The family was the possessor of a coat of arms granted to Don Antonio Cortes by Philip II in 1564 for his own and his descendants' use. and the kinds of action natural to the early post-conquest years were vitiated by complacency. and maguey.78 But Panohuayan was an exceptional case.194 CHARLES GIBSON aspire to be gobernadoror alcalde. he possessed an arms collection with guns. is to be regarded as relevant primarily to latifundio.pp. Ramo de Tierras. and steel and silver swords.I. the cacique took a regular income from Indians who cut wood and grazed animals on his property. London. One further example may be selected to suggest the limitations of late colonial cacicazgo: that of the Cortes lineage of the former imperial capital of Tacuba. fols. Its success. 78 AGN..passim. agricultural production. 185. silver dining service. without political authority or material wealth.
CDIIA. CddiceChimalpopoca. 169. Paso y Troncoso. pp. p.. . cit. y imprentade loan Ruyz. 6. 81v ff. descended on his mother's side from Don Diego Huanitzin. exp. Colecci6n antigua. P6rezde Rivas. 82 Museo Nacional.Chr6nica la ordende San Agustinen NuevaEspaia (Mexico.. of which the following are examples: 1. Don Jose Jorge Cortes Chimalpopoca in the early nineteenth century appealed to the viceroy for the restitution of his privileges as the cacique of Tacuba and in 1810 was confirmed in a long list of specific favors.80 His son.THEAZTEC ARISTOCRACY 195 The entire cacicazgo family was descended from Totoquihuatzin.de J. 80 CDIIA. I. M6xico. 63. p.escribano.and early eighteenth-century caciques enjoyed their privileges and displayed their arms on the Parroquia tower beside the royal arms. 3 vols. 55-56. Quartaparte del Teatromexicanode los successos religiosos(M6xico. 1697). 79 AGN. denied the Cortes genealogy and testified that the descendants of Don Antonio Cortes had been tribute payers. After this the Tacuba native family of Alvarado . 194.CXXX. 64-65. M. Mexico. or alguacil. Nobilariode conquistadores. the great Tlatohuani of Tlacopan at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards. Juan de Grijalva. after Don Juan Cortes died.repartimientos. ed. I.fol. was placed on the tribute matricula. I. Representatives the jurisdictionof Tacuba were to attend the Cortes family of funerals. I. but his parents married in 1769 two months before his father's death. 2.81 In the 1590's. The cacique'sservantswere not to be liable for road repair or other public or privateservices. 81 de en FranciscoJavierAlegre. In communityfunctionsthe caciquewas to be separately seated. 71-74.op.. In the last quarter of the eighteenth century... Don Leonardo Xicotencatl of Tlaxcala. 3. Ramo de Clero Regulary Secular.Por Dofia Mariade Benavidesviuda de Ivan de Ribera. Augustinde Vetancur.Impr." and the caciqueheir.in a chairbearing his name.79 The cacique of the sixteenth century wrote letters to the king and received citation for his commitment of 3000 Indians in Tacuba for the construction of the first Jesuit church in Mexico City. He had been baptized as a bastard at the time of his birth in 1738. Don Jose Jorge Cortes Chimalpopoca. the governorship passed to an alien cacique. with an intrusion in the succession. as indeed they had.273-274. The caciquewas to be excused from serving in any minor capacity. Historiade la Compania Jestus Nueva-Espana (CarlosMaria de Bustamante. Epistolario. AlvaradoTezozomoc. the family came to be "treated as macegualesand plebeyos. fols.p.82 The seventeenth. the traditional privileges were lost. It was he who directed the construction of the Franciscan church in Tacuba and who was further celebrated as a witness of the apparition of the Virgin of Los Remedios. Augustin.supported by the cura and justicia.merino.Chronica la provinciadel Santo Evangeliode Mexico. 70.En el religiosissimo de conuento de S. and 5. 193-194.a name that the Cortes family insisted was a false one . The caciquewas to be excusedfrom tributes. as topil. 253-255. de op.regidor. 524.p. otherexactions.XVI. cit. 1841-1842). cacique of the late sixteenth century. Lara. 1624). ed. 4. sin numero. 5r. Don Juan Cortes. Tlatohuani of Tenochtitlan. fiscal in the town government. The caciquewas to be excused from the compulsorySunday worship and the contributionof one or one-halfreal.
The desperate Spanish monarchy of the early nineteenth century had nothing further to offer to the heirs of the fifteenth-centuryTlatoque. All these privilegeswere to apply equallyto the caciques'wives and widows. 175 ff. and nothing in the nineteenthcentury ideologies of political independence. 85 Lucas AlamAn.. It is symptomatic of these later transformations that Emiliano Zapata's Plan de Ayala (1911) could classify caciques with hacendados and cientificos as the greatest enemies of reform. Whenthe caciqueshouldvisit the Spanishsubdelegado was to be given a chair and not to be kept standing. The term cacique had already been internationalized. noble. Alexander von Humboldt. one of the most perceptive observers of the Mexican scene of any period. The caciques' kingdom. M6xico. sin nfimero.83 Even to an ear unaccustomed to the tonalities of Mexican history this listing will have a hollow ring. the event of seriouscrime. arms. he 9.196 CHARLES GIBSON 7.Historia de Mexico (5 vols. Centrode EstudiosHistoricos. exp. liberal egalitarianism. in the earlier sense. See also ServandoTeresade Mier. land-owning ranks in John Locke's Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina.but in Mexico itself his pretensions were ridiculed. 179.. cit. The caciquemight never be imprisonedfor debt. The long process of diminishing Indian "protection" under Spanish authority and the often empty acts of patronization were about to come to an end. Legitimate cacicazgo per se had little meaning beyond family pride in the conditions of the late colony. The conditions of Mexican independencewere only superficiallyseen as opportunities for the recreation of Indianist values. 440 if.such at least was the report . El Colegio de Mexico. A descendant of Montezuma who sought to take personal advantage of independence was invested as Mexican emperor in a Paris hotel room . noted in the first years of the nineteenth century that caciques were by that time hardly distinguishable from the mass of the Indian population in their economic circumstances and mode of daily life.. London. I. etc. 382.. 84 Humboldt. in 8.V. 86 John Locke.was to be in the casas reales.85 The term principal lost its colonial meaning in the nineteenth century. W. . Ramo de Clero Regulary Secular.CXXX. The cacique's imprisonment. It figured as one of the hereditary. GIBSON CHARLES State Universityof Iowa 83 AGN.oxen. Imprenta de Victoriano Agiieros y Comp. 11. 1812). be horses. 1883-1885).the process was already under way in colonial times . Works(10 vols. or creole domination was to restore the decayed prestige of the Indian nobility. op. on the eve of independence.and acquired the meaning of political boss or local tyrant.passim.84 Neither the urban economy of Mexico City nor the hacienda economy of the countryside favored the preservation of cacique status. of nameswere to be includedin the nobilarios all the cities of the 10. clothing.or furniture sequestered. Otridgeand Son. nor might his house. 1944).and not in the publicjail.. X.86 But in nineteenth-century Mexico the term cacique was vulgarized and lost hereditary significance .p. Escritosineditos(M6xico.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.