TYPE: Broadside
NOTES: According to León-Portilla there are only 5 decrees of Viceroys in Nahuatl: • Jose Antonio Velarde y Cienfuegos, 1762 • Jaime Berenguer de Marquina, 1800. • Jose de Iturrigaray, 1803. • (2) Francisco Xavier Venegas de Saavedra, 1810. Portilla notes that the existence of these broadbands reveal an increasing interest of the authorities to give a greater diffusion of the political matters among the Náhuatl speaking population (98p., Vol. 1).
ITEM ID: 4709

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Mexican Broadside in the Nahuatl (Aztec) Language

Year: 1810
Decade: 1810s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)
Notes: October 5, 1810

A Mexican Broadside in the Nahuatl (Aztec) language dated 1810-one of five such Mexican broadsides ever issued.

“Ayamo moyolpachihuitia in Totlatocatzin Rey D. Fernando VII…” (English: “Our ruler King Don Fernando VII is not yet satisfied”) are the first words of a Nahuatl-language broadside printed on October 5, 1810 by Francisco Javier Venegas de Saavedra, viceroy of New Spain, as propaganda during the Hidalgo revolt. It announced the abolition of tribute payment by the Indians of New Spain, which, it was hoped, would reduce Indian support for the rebellion.

Although Venegas stated that Nahuatl was used simply to reach as many Indians as possible, relatively few speakers of Nahuatl were literate, and those that were usually could also read Spanish or Latin. It is more likely that Nahuatl was used for ideological reasons, to strengthen the legitimacy of the colonial government in the eyes of native people. Indigenous languages and Nahuatl in particular had been banned in 1770, and the use of Nahuatl in government publications in 1810 was a new endorsement of the language.

The translation of the text into Nahuatl has been attributed to Rafael Tiburcio Sandoval. The text shares several orthographic and grammatical traits with Sandoval’s grammar of Nahuatl, which was also published in 1810 and was the first new work to be published in Nahuatl since the ban.

Francisco Javier Venegas de Saavedra y Ramínez de Arenzana, 1st Marquess of Reunión and New Spain, KOC (1754 in Zafra, Badajoz, Spain – 1838 in Zafra, Spain) was a Spanish general in the Spanish War of Independence and later viceroy of New Spain from September 14, 1810 to March 4, 1813, during the first phase of the Mexican War of Independence.