Assault on Paradise
Tatiana Lobo Northwestern University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PQ7489.2.L58A7313 1998 | Dewey Decimal 863
Assault on Paradise vividly depicts the Conquistadores and the Church invading Central America, impoverishing one world to enrich another. In a fast-paced, bawdy, swashbuckling adventure in Central America of the early 1700s, Costa Rican novelist Tatiana Lobo lays bare the dark legacy of the Conquistadores and the Church. Through the central picaresque story of Pedro Albaran, Lobo dramatizes the intrigues of politicians and the Inquisition and the bloody battles between the native people and the invaders, while simultaneously presenting a reverent poetic recreation of indigenous cosmogony and mystical values which the natives seek to use to drive out the invaders.
Fosters a holistic understanding of the roles of Maya heroic figures as cornerstones of cultural identity and political resistance and power.
In the sixteenth century, Q’eqchi’ Maya leader Aj Poop B’atz’ changed the course of Q’eqchi’ history by welcoming Spanish invaders to his community in peace to protect his people from almost certain violence. Today, he is revered as a powerful symbol of Q’eqchi’ identity. Aj Poop B’atz’ is only one of many indigenous heroes who has been recognized by Maya in Mexico and Guatemala throughout centuries of subjugation, oppression, and state-sponsored violence.
Faces of Resistance: Maya Heroes, Power, and Identity explores the importance of heroes through the analyses of heroic figures, some controversial and alternative, from the Maya area. Contributors examine stories of hero figures as a primary way through which Maya preserve public memory, fortify their identities, and legitimize their place in their country’s historical and political landscape. Leading anthropologists, linguists, historians, and others incorporate ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archival material into their chapters, resulting in a uniquely interdisciplinary book for scholars as well as students.
The essays offer the first critical survey of the broad significance of these figures and their stories and the ways that they have been appropriated by national governments to impose repressive political agendas. Related themes include the role of heroic figures in the Maya resurgence movement in Guatemala, contemporary Maya concepts of “hero,” and why some assert that all contemporary Maya are heroes.
This translation of Severo Martínez Peláez’s La Patria del Criollo, first published in Guatemala in 1970, makes a classic, controversial work of Latin American history available to English-language readers. Martínez Peláez was one of Guatemala’s foremost historians and a political activist committed to revolutionary social change. La Patria del Criollo is his scathing assessment of Guatemala’s colonial legacy. Martínez Peláez argues that Guatemala remains a colonial society because the conditions that arose centuries ago when imperial Spain held sway have endured. He maintains that economic circumstances that assure prosperity for a few and deprivation for the majority were altered neither by independence in 1821 nor by liberal reform following 1871. The few in question are an elite group of criollos, people of Spanish descent born in Guatemala; the majority are predominantly Maya Indians, whose impoverishment is shared by many mixed-race Guatemalans.
Martínez Peláez asserts that “the coffee dictatorships were the full and radical realization of criollo notions of the patria.” This patria, or homeland, was one that criollos had wrested from Spaniards in the name of independence and taken control of based on claims of liberal reform. He contends that since labor is needed to make land productive, the exploitation of labor, particularly Indian labor, was a necessary complement to criollo appropriation. His depiction of colonial reality is bleak, and his portrayal of Spanish and criollo behavior toward Indians unrelenting in its emphasis on cruelty and oppression. Martínez Peláez felt that the grim past he documented surfaces each day in an equally grim present, and that confronting the past is a necessary step in any effort to improve Guatemala’s woes. An extensive introduction situates La Patria del Criollo in historical context and relates it to contemporary issues and debates.
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.
Politics, Economy, and Society in Bourbon Central America, 1759-1821 examines how the Spanish policies known broadly as the Bourbon Reforms affected Central American social, economic, and political institutions. Although historians have devoted significant attention to the purpose and impact of these reforms in Spain and some of Spain's other New World colonies, this book is the first to explore their impact on Central America.
These reforms profoundly changed aspects of Central America's politics and society; however, these essays reveal that changes in the region were shaped both internally and externally and that they weakened the region's ties to metropolitan Spain as often as they reinforced them. Contributors focus on specific policy changes and their consequences as well as transformations throughout the region for which no direct Bourbon inspiration appears to be responsible. Together they demonstrate that whether or not the Crown achieved its primary goals of centralization and control, its policies nevertheless provided opportunities for evident, often subtle, and occasionally unintentional shifts in the colonial government's relationship to its constituent populations. Contributors include Christophe Belaubre, Michel Bertrand, Jordana Dym, Jorge H. González, Timothy Hawkins, Sajid Alfredo Herrera, Gustavo Palma, Eugenia Rodriguez, Doug Tompson, and Stephen Webre.
The writings of William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870) provide a sweeping fictional portrait of the colonial and antebellum South in all of its regional diversity. Simms's account of the region is more comprehensive than that of any other author of his time; he treats the major intellectual and social issues of the South and depicts the bonds and tensions among all of its inhabitants. By the mid-1840s Simms's novels were so well known that Edgar Allan Poe could call him "the best novelist which this country has, on the whole, produced." Perhaps the darkest of Simms's novel-length works, Vasconselos (1853) presents a fictionalized account of one of the first European efforts to settle the land that would become the United States, the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1539. Set largely in Havana, Cuba, as the explorers prepare to embark, the work explores such themes as the marginalization of racial and national minorities, the historical abuse of women, and the tendency of absolute power to corrupt absolutely. In addition, Simms anticipates in this colonial romance the works of renowned scholars who would follow him, including the historian Frederick Jackson Turner and the entire formal scholarly field of psychology, which would take shape only long after the author's death.