A rich and detailed account of indigenous history in central and southern Mexico from the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries, Mexico's Indigenous Communities
is an expansive work that destroys the notion that Indians were victims of forces beyond their control and today have little connection with their ancient past. Indian communities continue to remember and tell their own local histories, recovering and rewriting versions of their past in light of their lived present.
Ethelia Ruiz Medrano focuses on a series of individual cases, falling within successive historical epochs, that illustrate how the practice of drawing up and preserving historical documents-in particular, maps, oral accounts, and painted manuscripts-has been a determining factor in the history of Mexico's Indian communities for a variety of purposes, including the significant issue of land and its rightful ownership. Since the sixteenth century, numerous Indian pueblos have presented colonial and national courts with historical evidence that defends their landholdings.
Because of its sweeping scope, groundbreaking research, and the author's intimate knowledge of specific communities, Mexico's Indigenous Communities is a unique and exceptional contribution to Mexican history. It will appeal to students and specialists of history, indigenous studies, ethnohistory, and anthropology of Latin America and Mexico