Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

James M. Córdova

Second Advisor

Claire J. Farago

Third Advisor

Kirk T. Ambrose

Fourth Advisor

Gerardo Gutiérrez


Recent scholarship regarding the Viceroyalty of New Spain has emphasized the fluid and provisional - rather than fixed and innate - political, cultural, and ethnic identities negotiated by the Spanish colony's heterogeneous population. However, the dynamic social position of the indigenous peoples collectively glossed as "Chichimecs" has largely escaped such analysis. The present work attends to this lacuna by explicating the formation and re-articulation of a visual and textual trope associated with this cultural malapropism between 1526 and 1653.