Invisible War Indigenous Devotions, Discipline, and Dissent in Colonial Mexico

ISBN-10: 0804788650
ISBN-13: 9780804788656
Edition: 2011
Authors: David Tavarez
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Description: After the conquest of Mexico, colonial authorities attempted to enforce Christian beliefs among indigenous peoples—a project they envisioned as spiritual warfare. The Invisible War assesses this immense but dislocated project by examining all known  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication date: 4/15/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 400
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

After the conquest of Mexico, colonial authorities attempted to enforce Christian beliefs among indigenous peoples—a project they envisioned as spiritual warfare. The Invisible War assesses this immense but dislocated project by examining all known efforts to obliterate native devotions of Mesoamerican origin between the 1530s and the late eighteenth century in Central Mexico.The author's innovative interpretation of these efforts is punctuated by three events: the creation of an Inquisition tribunal in Mexico in 1571; the native rebellion of Tehuantepec in 1660; and the emergence of eerily modern strategies for isolating idolaters, teaching Spanish to natives, and obtaining medical proof of sorcery from the 1720s onwards. Rather than depicting native devotions solely from the viewpoint of their colonial codifiers, this book rescues indigenous perspectives on their own beliefs. This is achieved by an analysis of previously unknown or rare ritual texts that circulated in secrecy in Nahua and Zapotec communities through an astute appropriation of European literacy. Tavarez contends that native responses gave rise to a colonial archipelago of faith in which local cosmologies merged insights from Mesoamerican and European beliefs. In the end, idolatry eradication inspired distinct reactions: while Nahua responses focused on epistemological dissent against Christianity, Zapotec strategies privileged confrontations in defense of native cosmologies.

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Rethinking Indigenous Devotions in Central Mexico
Before 1571: Disciplinary Humanism and Exemplary Punishment
Local Cosmologies and Secular Extirpators in Nahua Communities, 1571-1662
Secular and Civil Campaigns Against Native Devotions in Oaxaca, 1571-1660
Literate Idolatries: Clandestine Nahua and Zapotec Ritual Texts in the Seventeenth Century
After 1660: Punitive Experiments Against Idolatry
In the Care of God the Father: Northern Zapotec Ancestral Observances, 1691-1706
From Idolatry to Maleficio: Reform, Factionalism, and Institutional Conflicts in the Eighteenth Century
A Colonial Archipelago of Faith
Glossary
Abbreviations
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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