The Yaquis and the Empire: Violence, Spanish Imperial Power, by Raphael Brewster Folsom

By Raphael Brewster Folsom

This groundbreaking new examine examines the historical past of the Yaqui humans and their interactions with the Spanish Empire from first touch via Mexican independence. The Yaquis and the Empire focuses on 3 ironies: the Yaquis either resisted and got here to worth their ties with empire; approaches of violence and negotiation have been ongoing and intertwined during the colonial interval; and the empire, although susceptible in manpower and far away from its bases of army and fiscal power, was once strangely potent in its force to remodel the Mexican northwest.
utilizing vast, newly unearthed documentation from information in Mexico, Spain, the U.S., and Italy, Folsom shines excellent mild at the desires, struggles, and tragedies of all contributors within the drama of come across. This finely wrought portrait of the Yaqui humans in colonial instances exhibits in vibrant aspect how natives, Jesuits, settlers, and govt officers jointly introduced a particular borderlands society into existence.
released in Cooperation with the William P. Clements heart for Southwest reports, Southern Methodist University

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Additional info for The Yaquis and the Empire: Violence, Spanish Imperial Power, and Native Resilience in Colonial Mexico

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Every study of the Yaqui people quotes the account of Jorge Robledo, one of Guzmán’s henchmen, as evidence of Yaqui ferocity. There is some truth to this interpretation, and indeed there is much in Robledo’s account that prefigured later developments in Yaqui history. But the account describes much more than Yaqui defiance of white intruders. The Yaqui response to the advent of the Spanish was a sophisticated mix of menace and diplomatic curiosity. Thousands of armed Indians confronted the Spanish and began to throw fistfuls of dirt into the air, drawing their bows and grimacing fiercely: From among them there emerged an Indian distinguished from the others by a black sambenito like a scapulary, which was sown [sembrado] with meticulously crafted conchs of pearls, [representing] many little dogs, deer and many other things, and since it was the morning, and the sun shone on him, the garment glittered in the manner of silver, and he had his bow and quiver of arrows, and a well-­crafted staff in his hand, and he came ruling over the people.

S. Southwest. The context in which such trade occurred is in equal measure important, intriguing, and difficult to pin down. Trade certainly did take place, as did intermarriage among native groups, captive exchange, and collective violence. Later Jesuit chroniclers observed that political leadership in the native towns of the northwest fell to war leaders and that war emerged from competition for land, 2. A Yaqui household ca. 1910. Several elements of this scene are attested in seventeenth-­century Jesuit documents.

The human population of these valleys was also distinct from that of the plains. Natives who spoke variants of a language the Spanish called Cáhita settled densely by the riverbanks. The prosperity of their villages was stunning to Spanish visitors. An eighteenth-­ century Jesuit wrote, “The fertility of Sonora is almost unbelievable. ” This riverine land was rich indeed, but the Jesuit was wrong to think that Indians did not cultivate it. By all accounts, Cáhita-­speaking peoples pursued an unusual and highly productive kind of agriculture in the sixteenth century.

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