Untangling Mythstories of Ancient Mexico

Join us at 2nd Story for a talk by Geoff and Sharisse McCafferty, who will highlight how the ancient peoples of central Mexico envisioned themselves and their ‘mythstories’ through their art, as well as their relationship with the sacred landscape.

Art has the ability to transcend language. The Indigenous Ancestors of Mexico understood this and painted their ‘mythstories’ in vibrant pictorial manuscripts, or codices, that could be read’ by anyone with a basic understanding of the themes. In contrast to Maya hieroglyphic texts, codices in the Borgia and Mixtec traditions from central Mexico were mostly figural, depicting mortals and supernaturals with minimal glyphic notations. In addition to ritual and genealogical information, they provide a rich presentation of the material culture, ranging from costume to architecture, and including the natural environment.

This event is presented in conjunction with Israel Campo’s current exhibition, Cleansing of the Sentinels. In his artistic practice, Campos’ draws influenced by surviving pre-Columbian codices, in combination with stylistic elements from contemporary Chicano culture.

Geoff and Sharisse McCafferty are Adjunct Professors in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Kentucky. For five decades they have studied the archaeology and visual culture of Mexico and Central America, with particular focus on social identities such as gender and ethnicity.


Jun 14 2024


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


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