When the Spanish arrived in Mexico, the Aztecs and neighboring groups employed a painting and writing tradition we can call “Mexican pictography.” Pictoglyphic methods were used for everything from record keeping to songwriting to the documenting of religious ideas. Pictographs that expressed poetic or religious knowledge were often interpreted through oral traditions that were passed down to the younger generations of the political and cultural elite. In short, pictographs were used to accomplish many of the same goals as both writing and painting did in Europe at this time. In the wake of conquest, colonial authorities outlawed all native religious traditions. While introducing new cultural products in the form of books and Christian paintings, they destroyed Mesoamerican objects. In the name of the fight against barbarism, indigenous documents and paintings were burnt.