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BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Authors

Diane E. Wirth

Abstract

The number seven was significant to the pre-Columbian communities of Mesoamerica, as it was in the Book of Mormon. A pan-Mesoamerica legend tells of a core people descended from seven tribes, which may coincide with the seven lineages mentioned three times in the Book of Mormon. While no verifiable evidence ties these two accounts together, a closer look at the Mesoamerican legend is warranted. This article examines numerous depictions of the seven tribes in Mesoamerican art contained in their lienzos (pieces of fabric with historical drawings or maps), illustrated books called codices, and post-Conquest documents that were shown to and translated for Spanish clergy, who made a record of the various accounts.

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