Latin American Studies

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New World, First Nations

Native Peoples of Mesoamerica and the Andes under Colonial Rule

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.

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


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


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