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Title Pintura del beneficio dela grana cochinilla en Mexico [manuscript]: [ca. 1775]
Document Type Art
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: [8] leaves, bound (last leaf blank) : col. ill. (watercolors) ; 31 cm. Unsigned, undated illustrated ms., probably from Mexico, possibly from around 1775, documenting the planting, cultivation, and harvesting of the prickly pear or nopal cactus in Mexico for the production of cochineal dye. Twelve large watercolor scenes illustrate the annual cycle of planting, cultivating, and harvesting the nopal cactus, beginning in December and January with the propagation of new plants using pieces pruned from mature plants. In March and April, the cochineal insects are placed on the new cactus plants to develop, and are harvested in August and September. The cycle begins anew with the pruning and replanting of the nopals in December. The watercolors, within ruled and/or decorated watercolor frames, are arranged vertically, two to a page; numbered captions, also within ruled compartments, run vertically along the right margin of each page.
Places Mexico
Keywords illustration, art, Mexican, agriculture, subsistence, observation, custom, culture
Theme Indigenous Peoples of Mexico; Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Culture Area Mesoamerica
Language Spanish
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 2178
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue