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Indian Conquistadors: Indigenous Allies in the Conquest of Mesoamericaby Laura E. (edt) Matthew
Synopses & Reviews
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 warriorsandmdash;Nahuas, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, Mayas, and othersandmdash;spread throughout the region to participate with the Spanish in a common cause.
By offering a more balanced account of this dramatic period, this book calls into question traditional narratives that emphasize indigenous peoplesandrsquo; roles as auxiliaries rather than as conquistadors in their own right. Enhanced with twelve maps and more than forty illustrations, Indian Conquistadors opens a vital new line of research and challenges our understanding of this important era.
Book News Annotation:
Containing several excellent maps and derived from research of primary sources, the nine essays of this collection offer a detailed examination of a little acknowledged aspect of the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica, namely, the role of native fighters. The essays include several specific cases; the accounts of Aztec conquistadors; a more general overview by Oudijk (Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico City) and Matthew Restall (history, Pennsylvania State U.); and related subjects, including an essay by Robinson A. Herrera (history, Florida State U.) on Spanish sexual relations with native women in 16th-century Guatemala. Together, the studies make a valuable addition to Mesoamerican conquest history. A glossary is provided. Annotation Â©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The conquest of the New World would hardly have been possible if the invading Spaniards had not allied themselves with the indigenous population. Indian Conquistadors examines the role of native peoples as active agents in the Conquest and the overwhelming importance of native allies in both conquest and colonial control.
Reassesses the first invasion of the New World
About the Author
Laura E. Matthew is Assistant Professor of History at Marquette University, Milwaukee.
Michel R. Oudijk is a Researcher at the Institute of Philological Investigations, Universidad Nacional AutÃ³noma de MÃ©xico, Mexico City, D.F.
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History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General