Testera, Jacobo de (ca. 1490-ca. 1544)
Testeriano denotes catechism manuscripts in a pictographic script attributed to the Franciscan friar and missionary Jacobo de Testera (16th century). Writing had already developed in 12th century Central America as a mixture of ideograms, pictograms and phonetic symbols, but the original handwritten witnesses thereof were destroyed in the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century. In order to communicate with the indigenous population, Christian missionaries later adopted this writing system, but they invented many symbols since the goal was to communicate a new, Christian content. For instance, three crowned heads represent the Trinity and thus God, while two crowned heads with key and sword represent the apostles Peter and Paul. The manuscript is read from left to right across both pages; different parts are separated by decorative vertical vignettes. The manuscript contains several short prayers (among them pp. 1v-2r Persignum, 2v-4r Ave Maria, 4v-8r Credo) and a long prayer (pp. 27v-35r) which represents a repetition of the Christian doctrine.
Online Since: 06/25/2015
- Testera, Jacobo de (Scribe)