Media Information

JCB Archive of Early American Images
Accession number:
Record number:
JCB call number:
Codex Ind 42 /3-SIZE
Image title:
[Boban Aztec Calendar Wheel]
Place image published:
Image date:
[ca. 1530]
Image function:
Image dimension height:
35 cm.
Image dimension width:
38.1 cm.
Page dimension height:
35 cm.
Page dimension width:
38.1 cm.
Materials medium:
ink, colors
Materials support:
amatl or maguey fiber
Symbolic representation of the months and day of the Aztec year with explanatory text in Nahuatl language transcribed into European script. At top left of the interior circle is a depiction of Hernando decor [Hernán Cortés?] wearing a black Spanish hat seated on a blue circle [the Lake of Mexico?]. At top right is Don Antonio Pimentel [son of Ixtlilxochitl, an ally of Cortes, and last native king of Texcoco] seated on a representation of a mountain [the Sierras of Acolhuan]. In the middle is an image of Nezahualcoyotl [the king of Acolhuan], and Itzcoatl [his ally, the Aztec emperor] who were allies in the mid-fifteenth century. Each is enthroned with his symbol in front of him. At bottom, are depictions of ancient Chichimecas, founders of the Texcoco empire, or native Americans, who sit before a sacrificial fire which rises to the sun (see facsimile, 30891-2).
The Boban Calendar, named after Eugène Boban, a French archeologist and collector, was brought to general attention in 1866 when Colonel Doutrelaine published a reproduction and explanation of the calendar in Archives de la commission scientifique de Mexique, Paris, 1866-1867, vol. 3, p. 120-133. Because of deterioration, the reproduction made in 1866 shows much greater detail than the original.
The names of the months are written in Nahuatl (but with Castilian characters); the months are given different symbols than are usually present on other Aztec calendars.
Time Period:
Subject Area:
Artifacts, industry, and human activities; Indigenous peoples
geographic area:
Spanish America
Subject headings:
Aztec calendar
Archives de la commission scientifique de Mexique, Paris, 1866-1867, vol. 3, p. 120-133; Robertson, D. Mexican manuscript painting, p. 146-149, fig. 51
Acquired in 1950.
Owner and copyright:
©John Carter Brown Library, Box 1894, Brown University, Providence, R.I. 02912

[Boban Aztec Calendar Wheel]