Native Wills from the Colonial Americas showcases new testamentary sources from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. It provides readers with translations and analyses of wills written in Spanish, Nahuatl, Yucatec Maya, K’iche’ Maya, Mixtec, and Wampanoag.
Divided into three thematic sections, the book provides insights and details that further our understanding of indigenous life in the Americas under colonial rule. Part One employs testaments to highlight the women of Native America and the ways their lives frequently challenged prescribed gender roles and statuses. Part Two uses testaments to illustrate the strategies of the elite in both negotiating and maintaining their power in a colonial, Spanish world. Part Three contributes to our understanding of the individual and collective nature of death by extracting from wills the importance of conversion, kinship, and societal ties in the colonial Americas. Capturing individual voices during dramatic periods of change, the documents presented here help us understand how cultures both adapt and persist.
Recent realizations that prehispanic cities in Mesoamerica were fundamentally different from western cities of the same period have led to increasing examination of the neighborhood as an intermediate unit at the heart of prehispanic urbanization. This book addresses the subject of neighborhoods in archaeology as analytical units between households and whole settlements.
The contributions gathered here provide fieldwork data to document the existence of sociopolitically distinct neighborhoods within ancient Mesoamerican settlements, building upon recent advances in multi-scale archaeological studies of these communities. Chapters illustrate the cultural variation across Mesoamerica, including data and interpretations on several different cities with a thematic focus on regional contrasts. This topic is relatively new and complex, and this book is a strong contribution for three interwoven reasons. First, the long history of research on the “Teotihuacan barrios” is scrutinized and withstands the test of new evidence and comparison with other Mesoamerican cities. Second, Maya studies of dense settlement patterns are now mature enough to provide substantial case studies. Third, theoretical investigation of ancient urbanization all over the world is now more complex and open than it was before, giving relevance to Mesoamerican perspectives on ancient and modern societies in time and space.
This volume will be of interest not only to scholars and student specialists of the Mesoamerican past but also to social scientists and urbanists looking to contrast ancient cultures worldwide.
“Tom Diaz has worn out some shoe leather, much like a good detective, in gathering facts, not myths or urban legends. As a result he has produced an accurate and comprehensive look at a grave and present danger to our society.”
—From the Foreword by Chris Swecker, former Assistant Director of the FBI and former head of the FBI’s Criminal Investigation Division
No Boundaries is a disturbing account of what many consider the “next Mafia”—Latino crime gangs. Like the Mafia, these gangs operate an international network, consider violence a routine matter, and defy U.S. law enforcement at every level. Also, the gangs spawn kingpins such as the notorious Nelson Varela Martinez Comandari, who nearly became the first “Latin godfather” in the United States.
Focusing on the Los Angeles–based Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street Gang, and the Chicago-based Latin Kings, Tom Diaz describes how neighborhood gangs evolved into extremely brutal, sophisticated criminal enterprises and how local and federal authorities have struggled to suppress them. As he makes clear, the problem of transnational Latino gangs involves complex national and international issues, such as racial tensions, immigration policy, conflict in Latin America, and world economic pressures.