The colonial-era documents commonly referred to as títulos were composed in Maya communities of the Guatemalan highlands in the context of significant societal change following the initial Spanish conquests in the region in 1524. Based on detailed analysis of five Nija’ib’ K’iche’ títulos and examples from other Highland Maya títulos, this article argues that the Highland Maya títulos served as instruments in negotiating power in the immediate community. As community records composed by indigenous scribes using the alphabet introduced by the colonizers, the títulos physically manifested their elite authors’ privileged access to literacy and their influence on local historiography. Furthermore, the títulos redefined the sociopolitical landscape by integrating written records of territorial claims, historical events, social relationships, and political status into the dialogue of local-level power negotiations.

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