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  You are in: Home > Latin American Studies > New World, First Nations  
 

New World, First Nations
Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule

Edited by David Cahill and Blanca Tovías

David Cahill is Professorial Fellow, School of History, University of New South Wales. He has recently published From Rebellion to Independence in the Andes: Soundings from Southern Peru, 1750–1830, and (with co-author Peter Bradley) of Habsburg Peru: Images, Imagination and Memory.

Blanca Tovías is a Researcher at UNSW and the editor (with David Cahill) of Élites Indígenas en los Andes: Nobles, Caciques y Cabildantes bajo el Yugo Colonial.

 

The Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas dramatically transformed the lives of native peoples in Mesoamerica and the Andes. This revolutionary and multilayered process varied greatly in its intensity and timing from region to region, but in all cases radically changed indigenous societies, their values and beliefs. The encounter between native peoples and the Spanish conquistadors and later settlers was marked by violence and drastic, epidemic-driven population decline. This dislocatory phase gradually gave way to myriad forms of accommodation, resistance, and social, cultural and religious hybridity – the colonial heritage of Spanish America.

The innovative essays in this volume compare the colonial experience of native peoples of the conquered Aztec, Maya and Inca civilizations, from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. They highlight their creative responses to the challenges posed by colonial rule, its institutions, religion, and legal and economic systems. Interdisciplinary in approach, the essays distil a generation of scholarship and suggest an agenda for future research. This book will be of great interest to historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and postcolonialists.

Acknowledgments

Introduction: First Nations between Conquest and Independence, David Cahill and Blanca Tovía

Part I Conquest and the Creation of Colonial Culture
1 Writing Two Cultures: The Meaning of “Amoxtli” (Book) in Nahua New Spain, Susan Schroeder
2 The Cosmological Bases of Local Power in the Andes during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Susan E. Ramírez
3 Las mercedes que pedía para su salida: The Vilcabamba Inca and the Spanish State, 1539–1572, Kerstin Nowack
4 Some Avatars of Death in New Spain’s Southeast, Elsa Malvido

Part II The Colonial Economy and Social Transformation
5 Beyond the Indian/Ladino Dichotomy: Shifting Identities in Colonial and Contemporary Chiapas, Mexico, Janine Gasco
6 Indigenous Production and Consumption of Cotton in Eighteenth-Century Chiapas: Re-evaluating the Coercive Practices of the Reparto de Efectos, Kevin Gosner
7 Recent Studies on Gender Relations in Colonial Native Andean History, Nancy E. van Deusen

Part III New Politics and the End of Hegemony
8 A Liminal Nobility: The Incas in the Middle Ground of Late Colonial Peru, David Cahill
9 A Historical and Cultural Perspective on the 1814 Revolution in Cuzco, Luis Miguel Glave
10 A Nationalist Movement without Nationalism: The Limits of Imagined Community in Mexico, 1810–1821, Eric Van Young

Contributors
Index

“Besides a short introductory essay by David Cahill and Blanca Tovías, the book contains ten articles that reassess in a variety of ways the social and ethnic changes that occurred in the Andes and Mesoamerica with the Spanish Conquest, the imposition of the colonial order, and the coming of independence. Thus, the unifying message of these essays is the need for flexibility in considering the historical complexities of indigenous peoples under Spanish colonialism and the dangers of overgeneralization. Selective reading of the articles will reward most Andeanists and Mexicanists.” Choice

“This multi-faceted volume on indigenous experience in the Americas covers both Mesoamerica and the Andes as the sub-title indicates, but also stretches from the time before contact with Spain to the political break with that nation that occurred in the early nineteenth century. Given the ‘messiness’ of identity formation in the colonial era, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the book ends with contributions that explore the indigenous relationship to the political break with Spain. The latter is not traditionally seen as a topic of direct relevance to ‘First Nations’ peoples, but in a volume that questions any and all dichotomies, all topics become potentially relevant to indigenous experience.” The result is an edited book tied thematically by a goal to take ‘stock of this wealth of innovative research and of comparing and contrasting the respective experiences of native Mesoamerican and Andean peoples under Spanish colonial rule (1492–1825)’ (p. i). This book is recommended for classroom use and for those interested in comparative studies of indigenous peoples in the Americas.” Colonial Latin American Historical Review

“This important and imaginative collection of essays brings together some of the most innovative scholars currently working on indigenous societies during the Spanish American colonial period. This is a field that has been evolving rapidly in recent decades, and this volume makes no small contribution to that transformation. Moving from the Conquest to Independence, between Mesoamerica and the Andes, these historians offer a rich stew of succinct syntheses, provocative insights, and original, new findings – one that should appeal to the appetites of specialists and students alike.” Matthew Restall, Professor of Latin American History, Anthropology, and Women's Studies, Director of Latin American Studies, Pennsylvania State University

“This substantial collection stretches across a historiographic divide that still often separates studies of related themes in Mesoamerican and Andean colonial settings. And it pushes persuasively past tired assumptions about the kinds of interaction that ought to follow violent conquest and dislocation. Cahill and Tovías’s contributors raise big questions about social transformation that should challenge others and re-open entire realms of research. Their essays juxtapose everything from demography, labour regimes and gender constructions, through cosmological principles and appropriated written expression, to the revision of reigning theories of identity formation and proto-national mythmaking.” Kenneth Mills, Professor of History and Director, Latin American Studies at the University of Toronto

“This multi-faceted volume on indigenous experience in the Americas … not only covers both Mesoamerica and the Andes as the subtitle indicates, but also stretches from the time before contact with Spain to the political break with that nation that occurred in the early nineteenth century. … As all conference-based volumes must, the book struggles against the twin threats of dissonance and incoherence, but it does so successfully in large measure and ends by making a valuable contribution to the literature.

Given the ‘messiness’ of identity formation in the colonial era, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the book ends with contributions that explore the indigenous relationship to the political break with Spain. The latter is not traditionally seen as a topic of direct relevance to ‘First Nations’ peoples, but in a volume that questions any and all dichotomies, all topics become potentially relevant to indigenous experience.” The Americas

“This edited volume, created out of a 2002 conference at the University of New South Wales in Australia, compares conquest and colonialism in the Andes and Mesoamerica. The editors have grouped the essays – five for each area – in roughly chronological order, covering military conquests and an initial sizing up between indigenous peoples and Europeans in the sixteenth century; the solidifying of a colonial system in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries; and the transition to nationhood in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. … The predominance of historiographical essays and summations of already-published work makes New World, First Nations most useful, perhaps, to those wanting to assess the state of a field outside their own – the point of this comparative exercise.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

 

Publication Details

 
Hardback ISBN:
978-1-903900-63-5
 
 
Page Extent / Format:
304 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
 
Release Date:
January 2006
  Illustrated:   No
 
Hardback Price:
£25.00 / $67.50
 
 

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