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Landscapes of Power and Identity: Comparative Histories in the Sonoran Desert and the Forests of Amazonia From Colony to Republic

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Landscapes of Power and Identity

Comparative Histories in the Sonoran Desert and the Forests of Amazonia From Colony to Republic

By Cynthia Radding

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Format: Paperback / softback, 431 pages
Other Information: 28 b&w photographs
Published In: United States, 25 February 2006
"Landscapes of Power and Identity" is a groundbreaking comparative history of two separate colonies on the frontiers of the Spanish empire - the Sonora region of northwestern Mexico and the Chiquitos region of eastern Bolivia's lowlands - from the late colonial period through the middle of the nineteenth century. An innovative combination of environmental and cultural history, this book reflects Cynthia Radding's more than two decades of research on Mexico and Bolivia and her consideration of the relationships between human societies and the geographic landscapes they inhabit and create.At first glance, Sonora and Chiquitos are quite different: one, a shrub-covered desert, the other, a tropical rainforest of the greater Amazonian and Paraguayan river basins. Yet, the regions are similar in many ways. Both were located far from the centres of colonial authority, organized into Jesuit missions and linked to the principal mining centres of New Spain and the Andes, and then absorbed into nation-states in the nineteenth century. In each area, the indigenous communities encountered European governors, missionaries, slave hunters, merchants, miners, and ranchers.Radding's comparative approach illuminates what happened when similar institutions of imperial governance, commerce, and religion were planted in two different physical and cultural environments. She draws on archival documents, published reports by missionaries and travellers, and previous histories as well as ecological studies and ethnographies. She also considers cultural artefacts, including archaeological remains, architecture, liturgical music, and religious dances. Radding demonstrates how colonial encounters were conditioned by both the local landscape and cultural expectations; how the colonizers and colonized understood notions of territory and property; how religion formed the cultural practices and historical memories of the Sonoran and Chiquitano peoples; and how the conflict between the indigenous communities and the surrounding creole societies developed in new directions well into the nineteenth century.Cynthia Radding is Professor of History and Director of the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of "Wandering Peoples: Colonialism, Ethnic Spaces, and Ecological Frontiers in Northwestern Mexico, 1700-1850", also published by Duke University Press.

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This comparative frontier history explores the role that natural environments played in shaping the contours of European-indigenous encounters and processes of colonization

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix Abbreviations xiii Preface xv Acknowledgments xxi Introduction. Savannas and Deserts: Two Histories of Cultural Landscapes 1 1. Ecological and Cultural Frontiers in Sonora and Chiquitos 19 2. Political Economy: Communities, Missions, and Colonial Markets 55 3. Territory: Community and Conflicting Claims to Property 89 4. Ethnic Mosaics and Gendered Identities 117 5. Power Negotiated, Power Defied: Politial Culture, Governance, and Mobilization 162 6. Priests and Shamans: Spiritual Power, Ritual, and Knowledge 196 7. Postcolonial Landscapes: Transitions from Colony to Republic 240 8. Contested Landscapes in Continental Borderlands 295 Notes 327 Glossary 375 Bibliography 385 Index 423

About the Author

Cynthia Radding is Professor of History and Director of the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Wandering Peoples: Colonialism, Ethnic Spaces, and Ecological Frontiers in Northwestern Mexico, 1700-1850, also published by Duke University Press.

Reviews

"This is a beautifully written comparative frontier history that balances in-depth historical analysis of two relatively unexplored regions on the edge of the Spanish empire against broader insights into the active role that ecologies played in shaping the contours of European-indigenous encounters and processes of colonization over long periods of time. With this book, Cynthia Radding takes the 'new environmental history' of conquest and colonization to a new level."--Brooke Larson, author of Trials of Nation Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910 "There has been much talk about comparative history but precious little of it in the Spanish colonial period. Cynthia Radding has led the way."-- David J. Weber, Director of the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University "[A] deeply original work of historical scholarship that opens multiple pathways of analysis into indigenous societies, colonialism, and the environment in Latin America... It deserves wide readership among ethnohistorians, environmental historians, and scholars interested in state-of-the-art comparative history."--Christopher R. Boyer, A Contracorriente

EAN: 9780822336891
ISBN: 0822336898
Publisher: Duke University Press
Dimensions: 23.72 x 16.1 x 3.02 centimetres (0.65 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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