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Garrett Mesoamerican Manuscripts, no. 3a, fol. 18v-19r (C0744).jpg
CreatorJacobo de Testera
Time period
16th to 19th centuries

Testerian is a pictorial writing system that was used until the 19th century to teach Christian doctrine to the indigenous peoples of Mexico, who were unfamiliar with alphabetic writing systems. Its invention is attributed to Jacobo de Testera, a Franciscan who arrived in Mexico in 1529.


  • Haberly, David (1963). "The Hieroglyphic Catechisms of Mexico".
  • Leeming, Ben (2005). "Preaching With Pictures: How Hieroglyphic Catechisms Shaped Native Mesoamerican Christianity in Sixteenth-Century Mexico".
  • Normann, Anne (1985). "Testerian Codices: Hieroglyphic Catechisms for Native Conversion in New Spain".
  • Robertson, Donald (1994). Mexican Manuscript Painting of the Early Colonial Period: The Metropolitan Schools. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 53–55. ISBN 0-585-14632-2.