Codex cuara, [16--?].

Manuscript, Book
  • Spanish
  • Burmese
1 v. (22 leaves) : paper ; 31 x 22 cm.


Former owner
Rare books genre
Getty AAT genre
Contained in
Robert Garrett collection, ca. 1340 B.C.-1900s.
Linking notes
Forms part of the Robert Garrett Collection (C0744).
Summary note
The manuscript represents the land titles and genealogy of the descendants of Don Miguel Irecha ("king") Cuar (also spelled Quara) . It was probably made to document claims of heredity rights or possession of lands within the context of some litigation. It includes six pages of Tarascan and Spanish text. On one of the plates is the following inscription: "...Dios trin y uno que tien el poder padre hijo señor desta trira" (God, three and one, the power, father and son, the holy spirit, amen. Titles of the ancient lords of this land).
  • Decoration: 19 full-page pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings. Plate 1 depicts Miguel Cuara seated below a device surmounted by an eagle. There are simple plans of properties and show fields, houses, and water courses. It includes a fragmentary leaf with a calendar wheel with golssed European month names; the months from May through September are shown by crescent moons and human faces. The nine remaining pages containing drawings of men, women, and children in Indian costume.
  • Other titles: Códice de la Familia Cuara; Genealogía de la Familia Cuara; Genealogía de los Caciques Cuara Irecha de Patzcuaro.
Binding note
Conserved and bound, 2006.
Language note
Text in Tarascan.
The manuscript was secured in 1892 for the Museo Michoacano, Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico by Dr. Nicolas León from the descendants of the Cuara family (presumably from Patzcuaro, Michoacan). In reporting this, León added that the codex was no longer in that museum. In 1939 the director of the Museo Michoacano stated in a letter to the Museo Nacional in Mexico City that the "Códice de la Familia Cuara" was in private possession but did not indicate that he knew (or did not know) who that person was (later in Museo nacional de Antropologia, Mexico, administrative files). The codex is described on page one of a two-page typed and undated advertisement on the letterhead of the Mexico City book dealer "Mexlibris". It is not know from whom Garrett acquired the manuscript and it is not identifiable in the three lists of books and manuscripts given by him to the Institute for Advanced Study in 1942 unless it is comprehended under no. 11 of List 3, "several damaged documents, mostly XVIII century (?)" or in the addenda to that list, "a few papers, apparently relating to various matters."
Source acquisition
Gift Robert Garrett, 1949.
Publications about
The codex was copied by Rahael Aguilar in Morelia in 1892 for the "Exposición Histórico-Americana" held in Madrid, 1892-93. This copy is in the codex collection of the Museo nacional de Antropologia, Mexico, and has been published in its entirety by Mateos Higuera. It has been described by Paso y Troncoso (1892-93), Mateos Higuera (1944), John B. Glass (1964), and Nicolas León. For a description see Handbook of Middle American Indians, v. 14, p. 116, no. 87.
Cite as
Garrett Mesoamerican Manuscripts, no. 14, Manuscripts Division, Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
Other title(s)
  • Códice de la Familia Cuara
  • Genealogía de la Familia Cuara
  • Genealogía de los Caciques Cuara Irecha de Patzcuaro
Robert Garrett Collection, ca. 1340 B.C.-1900s
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