In memory of the birthday. Between the word and León Portilla

He did not come into the world with any claim to fame or fortune. Everything was happening little by little and from time to time. Although on some occasion she would say that from the womb of his mother it was foreseen what she was going to be and that was precisely what had happened to her. Born in Mexico City on February 22, 1926, Miguel León-Portilla would have to unveil and explain the art and thought of the Nahuatl civilization, but also rescue the language, literature and language of the original peoples. Mexicans.

Author of such important works as Vision of the vanquished (1959) and Los Antiguos Mexicanos through his Crónicas y Cantares (1961), León-Portilla traced his origins as a researcher to the walks he took as a child with his uncle Manuel Gamio to explore Teotihuacan. And of his beginnings as a writer he spoke of the “newspaper” that he circulated among family and friends at the age of 12, made and written by himself.

His thesis The Nahuatl Philosophy studied in its sources became a fundamental text for the study of pre-Columbian history.

Before Miguel León-Portilla, the manifestations of art and culture in the great centers of the Nahua Renaissance such as Texcoco and Tenochtitlan were almost pure astonishment. Delight of locals and strangers, as witnessed from the Cortés Relationship Letters and the stories of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, to the amazing reports of Humboldt. Sometimes exquisite travel memories such as the diaries of Madame Calderón de la Barca. However, in those times nobody knew anything about the original word, about poetry, about how the indigenous man expressed his vision of his own existence and his relationship with the universe. Much less of philosophy. And it is that none had read Miguel León-Portilla.

Leave a Comment