John Pohl's - Ancient Books - Highland Mexico CodicesThe following pages are intended as a basic introduction to the codices of highland México. These Pre-Columbian style books were employed by a multi-cultural royal class that dominated central and southern México between 1200-1520. The Mixtec group is basically historical in nature, while the Borgia group emphasizes matters of prophecy. Despite thematic variations, all of the codices prescribe the sacred feasts and festivals that bound royal families together into systems of alliance and mutual obligation. After the conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, a few learned Spaniards began to collect pictographic books and sent them back to Europe. The differences in ritual and religious behavior reflected in the Borgia Group and Mixtec Group codices extends into the tradition of polychrome "codex-style" ceramics as well.
WAYEB - European Association of Mayanists - HomepageMayan Textiles: Backstrap LoomsUsing the backstrap loom, a weaver can produce fabric with a plain weave. Most simply, this is an over-under-over-under pattern. Unlike the treadle loom, the backstrap loom allows the weaver to brocade designs into the fabric as it is woven. Brocade can be woven with a supplementary weft, added along with the ground weft. The elaborate brocading of huipils has given Mayan weaving its distinctive character. An orange deer brocaded on a black background; from a Kekchi ceremonial huipil. For a comparison of backstrap and treadle weaving, see this page. A = A cord or rope is used to tie the loom to a tree or post. B = End bars are used to hold the warp (vertical threads) to the upper and lower ends of the loom. C and D = Shed rods maintain the crossing of the warp's threads. E = The heddle rod lifts alternate threads of the warp. F = The batten helps to separate alternate threads of the warp to allow the bobbin (G) to pass through them.