One of the most beautiful and most highly detailed mixtecan manuscripts with an undisputed historical documentation has been in the possession of the Austrian National Library in Vienna (formerly k.k. Hofmuseum) since the year 1677. Contained on 52 folding pages are colour-clad pictograms which depict not only mythological events but moreover an entire historical background of information.
In the formal structure as well as in stylistic and content aspects, the front and back section of the manuscript clearly differ from one another. The front section contains vertical columns in boustrophendonmanier strung together pictograms which are precisely designed. With regard to content the genealogical and mythological themes (i.e. the birth of the Gods in mythological antiquity) are presented. The content of the horizontally structured back section of the manuscript deals with the description of historical facts (family tree of the Mixtecan dynasty with a dated citation). Altogether it offers a fascinating look into the religious beliefs, historical circumstances and ritual conventions and usages of an old Indian culture.