FIGURE 1. Pages 32 to 35 of the Codex Nuttall.
The Ñudzavui screenfolds were scripts for performance. The human body, therefore, is extremely important in screenfold imagery. A look at any one of the screenfolds attests to this: their pages are literally covered with human figures (Figure 1). John Monaghan has pointed out that the human form is the primary bearer of information in the Ñudzavui screenfolds, and that this “embodied” nature of Ñudzavui writing correlates well with the way that the contents of Ñudzavui books were presented to an audience.1 In performance, the meanings conveyed by bodies painted on a gessoed page would have guided the corporeal body of a raconteur as he or she danced, gestured, and sang the contents of a screenfold. The following pages will focus on the painted image of the Ñudzavui body as a locus for communication through metaphor, costume, and skin decoration.
Spatial Metaphors >
1 Monaghan 1994.