Tlilli tlapalli

Amapohuani at Amapohuani at
Sun Jun 3 20:06:21 UTC 2001

In a message dated 6/2/01 4:26:13 PM, dcwright at writes:

<< I've been digging around, and I'm more and more convinced that the
traditional (20th century) translation of tlilli tlapalli as "the black, the
red", in reference to codices, writing, wisdom and tradition, is imprecise,
and that "the black, the colors" gives a much better idea of the appearance
and technique of pre-Hispanic and early colonial central Mexican pictorial
texts, and probably reflects more accurately the original concept. Tlapalli,
in certain compound words, refers to redness, but both Molina and SahagĂșn
make it quite clear that tlapalli is a generic term for colors that are used
to paint or to dye. >>


While the translation of tlilli tlapalli may vary according to each person's
understanding and experience, the essential thrust of the above remarks was
made over a decade ago to me in correspondence by Arthur J. O. Anderson.

Ye ixquich.
Barry D. Sell

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