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Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 9.44.24 AM.pngTotacho: Our Way of Talking
By Kurly Tlapoyawa
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Perhaps the most pervasive myth among New Mexican Spanish speakers is the notion that New Mexican Spanish is an archaic form of Castilian. This idea comes from the misconception that New Mexico existed in a continuous state of isolation, separated from the rest of New Spain and the later Mexican Republic by hundreds of miles and for hundreds of years, causing its colonial inhabitants to retain the language of sixteenth-century Spain. This idealized vision of Spanish “purity” has been repeated so often, and with such near-religious zeal, that is has come to be accepted as fact in many circles. However, this romanticized version of New Mexican Spanish simply doesn’t exist. To cling to this myth is to ignore the complexity of New Mexico’s colonial-era history, which in reality is quite different, and far more fascinating than any notion of Spanish “purity” can offer. The Indios Mexicanos that made up the bulk of New Spain’s northward expansion brought with them many rich linguistic and cultural traditions, the impact of which can be felt to this very day. These Indios Mexicanos spoke a variety of Mesoamerican languages, but it was the Nawatl (Nahuatl) language of the Aztecs that would have the largest impact on the way Spanish is spoken in New Mexico. The influence and contributions made by Mesoamerican people to the state of New Mexico and Southern Colorado have been ignored for far too long. Regardless, Mesoamericans have left an indelible mark on New Mexico, and totacho – our way of talking – remains.



618+qQq3bYL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgReturn to Aztlan: Indians, Spaniards, and
the Invention of Nuevo Mexico
By Danna A. Levin Rojo, Ph.D.
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Long before the Spanish colonizers established it in 1598, the “Kingdom of Nuevo México” had existed as an imaginary world―and not the one based on European medieval legend so often said to have driven the Spaniards’ ambitions in the New World. What the conquistadors sought in the 1500s, it seems, was what the native Mesoamerican Indians who took part in north-going conquest expeditions also sought: a return to the Aztecs’ mythic land of origin, Aztlan. Employing long-overlooked historical and anthropological evidence, Danna A. Levin Rojo reveals how ideas these natives held about their own past helped determine where Spanish explorers would go and what they would conquer in the northwest frontier of New Spain―present-day New Mexico and Arizona. Return to Aztlan thus remaps an extraordinary century during which, for the first time, Western minds were seduced by Native American historical memories.

 

indianconquerers.jpgIndian Conquistadors: Indigenous Allies in the Conquest of Mexico
By Laura E. Matthew
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The conquest of the New World would hardly have been possible if the invading Spaniards had not allied themselves with the indigenous population. This book takes into account the role of native peoples as active agents in the Conquest through a review of new sources and more careful analysis of known but under-studied materials that demonstrate the overwhelming importance of native allies in both conquest and colonial control.

In Indian Conquistadors, leading scholars offer the most comprehensive look to date at native participation in the conquest of Mesoamerica. The contributors examine pictorial, archaeological, and documentary evidence spanning three centuries, including little-known eyewitness accounts from both Spanish and native documents, paintings (lienzos) and maps (mapas) from the colonial period, and a new assessment of imperialism in the region before the Spanish arrival.

This new research shows that the Tlaxcalans, the most famous allies of the Spanish, were far from alone. Not only did native lords throughout Mesoamerica supply arms, troops, and tactical guidance, but tens of thousands of warriors—Nahuas, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Mayas, and others—spread throughout the region to participate with the Spanish in a common cause.

 

51P8Cv31g3L._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgWhen Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away
By Ramon A. Gutierrez
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This social history of one remote corner of Spain’s colonial American empire uses marriage as a window into intimate social relations, examining the Spanish conquest of America and its impact on a group of indigenous peoples, the Pueblo Indians, seen in large part from their point of view.

 

 

512rc-66wGL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Coronado Expedition: From the Distance of 460 Years
Edited by Ricjard Flint & Shirley Cushing Flint
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In 1540 Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, the governor of Nueva Galicia in western Mexico, led an expedition of reconnaissance and expansion to a place called Cíbola, far to the north in what is now New Mexico. The essays collected in this book bring multidisciplinary expertise to the study of that expedition. Although scholars have been examining the Coronado expedition for over 460 years, it left a rich documentary record that still offers myriad research opportunities from a variety of approaches.

Volume contributors are from a range of disciplines including history, archaeology, Latin American studies, anthropology, astronomy, and geology. Each addresses as aspect of the Coronado Expedition from the perspectives of his/her field, examining topics that include analyses of Spanish material culture in the New World; historical documentation of finances, provisioning, and muster rolls; Spanish exploration in the Borderlands; Native American contact with Spanish explorers; and determining the geographic routes of the Expedition.

 

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The Pueblo Revolt
By David Roberts
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The dramatic and tragic story of the only successful Native American uprising against the Spanish, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

With the conquest of New Mexico in 1598, Spanish governors, soldiers, and missionaries began their brutal subjugation of the Pueblo Indians in what is today the Southwestern United States. This oppression continued for decades, until, in the summer of 1680, led by a visionary shaman named Pope, the Puebloans revolted. In total secrecy they coordinated an attack, killing 401 settlers and soldiers and routing the rulers in Santa Fe. Every Spaniard was driven from the Pueblo homeland, the only time in North American history that conquering Europeans were thoroughly expelled from Indian territory.

Yet today, more than three centuries later, crucial questions about the Pueblo Revolt remain unanswered. How did Pope succeed in his brilliant plot? And what happened in the Pueblo world between 1680 and 1692, when a new Spanish force reconquered the Pueblo peoples with relative ease?

David Roberts set out to try to answer these questions and to bring this remarkable historical episode to life. He visited Pueblo villages, talked with Native American and Anglo historians, combed through archives, discovered backcountry ruins, sought out the vivid rock art panels carved and painted by Puebloans contemporary with the events, and pondered the existence of centuries-old Spanish documents never seen by Anglos.

 

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The Pueblo Indian Revolt of 1696
By J. Manuel Espinosa
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The Franciscan letters and related documents, translated into English and published here for the first time, describe in detail the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1696 in New Mexico and the destruction of the Franciscan missions. The events are related by the missionaries themselves as they lived side by side with their Indian charges. The suppression of the revolt by the Spaniards, and the reestablishment of the missions, was a turning point in the history of the Southwest.

The New Mexican colony had been founded and settled in 1598 and had endured until 1680, when an earlier Pueblo Indian revolt had forced the Spaniards co retreat south co El Paso. In 1692, Governor Diego de Vargas led a military expedition into New Mexico that met virtually no resistance, convincing him that he could return and reconquer and resettle the region for Spain. In 1693, after a bloody battle at Santa Fe, the Spanish colony was reestablished in the midst of the concentration of Indian pueblos along the upper Rio Grande. It was then that hostile Pueblo Indian leaders, recalling their victory in 1680, secretly plotted the revolt that cook place in 1696.

J. Manuel Espinosa has written a superb introduction placing the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1696 in historical perspective and presenting the important events recorded in the documents that constitute the major part of the book. The letters and writs, by mission friars and Spanish military authorities, reveal the agonizing decisions that the colony of priests, soldiers, and farmers faced in meeting the challenge of undaunted Indian leaders. The documents also contain information on the pueblos and Indian life not found in any other source.

This book presents a remarkable view, from the Spaniards’ perspective, of the clash of cultures in the pueblos, as well as insights into the causes and results of the Pueblo revolt. The documents contribute greatly to our knowledge of events in northern New Spain that proved very significant in the development of the region. No other work deals in such detail with this period in New Mexico history or provides such broad documentary coverage.

 

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The Pueblo Revolt of 1680
By Andrew L. Knaut
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In August 1680 the Pueblo Indians of northern New Mexico arose in fury to slay their Spanish colonial overlords and drive any survivors from the land. Andrew Knaut explores eight decades of New Mexican history leading up to the revolt, explaining how the newcomers had disrupted Pueblo life in far-reaching ways – they commandeered the Indians’ food stores, exposed the Pueblos to new diseases, interrupted long-established trading relationships, and sparked increasing raids by surrounding Athapaskan nomads. The Pueblo Indians’ violent success stemmed from an almost unprecedented unity of disparate factions and sophistication of planning in secrecy. When Spanish forces retook the colony in the 1690s, freedom proved short-lived. But the revolt stands as a vitally important yet neglected historical landmark: the only significant reversal of European expansion by Native American people in the New World.

 

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The Nahuas After the Conquest
By James Lockhart
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A monumental achievement of scholarship, this volume on the Nahua Indians of Central Mexico (often called Aztecs) constitutes our best understanding of any New World indigenous society in the period following European contact.
Simply put, the purpose of this book is to throw light on the history of Nahua society and culture through the use of records in Nahuatl, concentrating on the time when the bulk of the extant documents were written, between about 1540-50 and the late eighteenth century. At the same time, the earliest records are full of implications for the very first years after contact, and ultimately for the preconquest epoch as well, both of which are touched on here in ways that are more than introductory or ancillary.