Indigenous Literature

Primary historical and literary sources provide valuable information about the individuals and cultures that produced and consumed them. Beyond their literary value, the “extra-textual” elements of primary sources—physical characteristics such as size, shape, and format, as well as the materials used to create it, such as the paper, parchment, or other supports that might be used to carry the “text;” the inks and pigments used to record and embellish textual and illustrated content; and other materials added to the object to help package and preserve it and facilitate its use—constitute “texts underneath the text” replete with insights about the complex material, cultural, artistic, and intellectual contexts underlying historical texts of all types.