The publication of Bernardino de Sahagún’s Florentine Codex in 1576 has been considered the first American ethnography and an authoritative text compiled from Aztec survivors of the Spanish conquest. However, the period in which source research was conducted potentially allowed for cultural misinterpretation. By examining European histories, colonial agendas, early drafts, and the final manuscript itself, this publication takes on an increasingly biased and Europeanized perspective. While the Florentine Codex originated Western ethnography in the Americas, because of its inherent prejudices and assumptions, it should not be considered the sole authentic source of primary knowledge of pre-Conquest Mexico.
"A Step Ahead of Other Nations: The First American Ethnography and Implicit Biases,"
University of Massachusetts Undergraduate History Journal: Vol. 2, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/umuhj/vol2/iss1/9