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Abstract

This article considers the pinturas of New Spain from the Relaciones Geográficas de Indias as an ambitious and imperialistic metropolitan project for a Ptolemaic chorography of the Indies that was, in the end, redefined in the colony by the tlacuiloque and the local communities as a sort of ‘invention of a New Spain’. For the Council of Indies, the project of the Relaciones and their pinturas meant the final stage of a cosmographical appropriation of the American territories. For New Spain, however, the resulting hybrid cartographic representations meant a sort of foundational act of a “New Spain”. The local communities and the authors of the pinturas took the opportunity given to them by their new lords to reinvent their own version of the territory appropriating the initial imperial design to establish their own new identities.

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