Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan

A lienzo is a painting on cloth that was used by indigenous peoples in Central America to communicate knowledge.  The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan dating from the 1530's tells the story of how the Quauhquecholtecans of central Mexico allied with the Spanish conquistador Jorge de Alvarado to conquer Guatemala.  The painting forms a map showing the path of conquest with important rivers and towns represented as symbols.

The lienzo is kept in a museum in Puebla, Mexico. The Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM) in Guatemala City restored the painting in digital form and developed a web site to display the Lienzo interactively with a map, timeline, graphics and historical details. Clicking the Dynamic Web Map link will get you to the interactive experience. However, it will probably ask you to download Silverlight-Microsoft's new-ish web plugin that allows for smoother web browsing. This plugin is free, works in all major browsers and platforms (according to our Microsoft overlords) and should not affect anything else on your computer. It will take a few minutes for the process to run and another couple to load the page.

Here are some screen shots from the interactive map.

This shows the area around Retalhuleu, the first area the allies reached from Mexico. Notice the similarity of the dashed green line on the map above and the path of travel shown in the detail below.
Clicking on the red dots accesses information about the meaning of each area.
There are also pages that interpret the symbols, digital restoration information and lots of other good stuff on the web site.


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Map of mexico said...

All the mexican map views are amazing and it will be very useful for the Mexican travellers