By Susan Kellogg, Matthew Restall
Final wills and testaments include a minimum of 1/2 the surviving records written in indigenous languages in the course of the Spanish colonial interval. either women and men, mortally unwell, most likely bedridden, participated within the customized as they summoned kin, shut buddies, might be enterprise affiliates, and the notary, who really wrote the dictated ultimate assertion. no matter if in Nahuatl or Spanish, Mixtec or Maya, even if within the dry flatlands of the Yucatan peninsula or the west valleys of the Quito highlands, the ritual opened within the similar way--"In the identify of the daddy, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"--and the in poor health and demise went directly to do away with their worldly items. The lists of fabric goods sandwiched among spiritual and criminal formulation lends those records an easy and mundane visual appeal; although, the essays accumulated right here reveal in different and interesting methods their significance as wealthy ethnohistorical resources. as well as supplying info on households, gender roles, estate holdings, institutional buildings, social and familial relationships, and non secular ideals and practices, the wills for a given sector offer facts for figuring out cultural switch through the years. the 10 contributions to this quantity, that are dedicated to the outline and research of wills, goal at extensive geographic and chronological insurance, exploring a quarter from important Mexico to Bolivia and spanning the interval from the mid-sixteenth to the early-nineteenth centuries. on hand for the 1st time, this finished primary-source fabric supplies person voice to peoples frequently both overlooked or handled merely as collective entities, particularly the "Maya," or the "Inca."
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Extra resources for Dead giveaways: indigenous testaments of colonial Mesoamerica and the Andes
2, this volume). First of all, clearly both men and women are presumed to be candidates for making a will, and indeed, both men and women did, seemingly in equal numbers in the various collections of extant indigenous wills. In the model will, both men and women are to be asked what property they own; whether they owe or are owed money; and whether they have borrowed goods or others have borrowed from them. ''Hast thou charge of someone else's property? Something like a house, or land, or money, or cotton mantles or cacao?
The mother-to-be was to have charge of the estate, presumably until the child reached a certain (unspecified) age. Molina's working assumption for estate division is that the line of inheritance is to be lineal kinparents, children, and grandchildren, both male and female. Wives (but perhaps husbands as well) have no claim on the estate if there are children. Children born of a sacramental marriage have full rights to inherit, but children of less formal unions have variable rights, depending on the presence or absence of legitimate children.
63r). This model would be consistent with the Castilian practice of preparing a will in advance of death and periodically reviewing it (Eire 1995: 23). In this volume, Karen Powers gives an example from the Andean region of someone who recovered his health and made another will later. "24 Here there are crucial instructions to the notary concerning categories of persons who could not serve as witnesses. They were not be "neighbors" of the dying person, nor kin. Rather, the witnesses were to Page 20 be those who lived somewhat farther away from the testator.