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The Aztecs at independence : Nahua culture makers in central Mexico, 1799-1832 / Miriam Melton-Villanueva.

By: Melton-Villanueva, Miriam [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Tucson : The University of Arizona Press, 2016Description: 1 online resource (pages :) : illustrations, maps.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780816534630; 0816534632.Subject(s): Nahuatl-Spanish dialect -- Mexico -- Sources | Nahuatl language -- Social aspects -- Sources | Nahuatl imprints -- Sources | Nahuas -- Writing -- Sources | Nahuas -- Ethnic identityAdditional physical formats: Print version:: No titleDDC classification: 305.9 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Inside the Altepetl of San Bartolomé; 2. Spanish-Language Texts by Nahua Escribanos; 3. The Escribanos Who Still Wrote in Nahuatl; 4. Nahuatl Formulas over Time and in Other Altepetl; 5. Death Rites, Local Religion, and Women on Church Grounds; 6. Household Ritual; Conclusion; Epilogue; Appendix 1. Testament List from the Independence Archive with Reference Codes; Appendix 2. Notaries of the Independence Archive by Altepetl; Appendix 3. Sample Testaments; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.
Summary: This manuscript offers the first internal ethnographic view of central Mexican indigenous communities at the critical time of Independence. Melton-Villanueva uses previously unknown Nahuatl-language sources--primarily last will and testaments--to provide a more comprehensive understanding of indigenous society during the transition from colonial to post-colonial times. Describing their own world, Nahuatl-speaking women and men left last wills in their own tongue during an era when the written tradition of their language was generally assumed to have ended. In testaments clustered around epidemic cycles, they responded to profound changes in population, land use, and local governance with astonishing vibrancy. At the moment of Independence, after an entire colonial period of legal decrees aimed at eradicating indigenous languages, local notaries began to adopt Spanish as a means of preserving their communities' interests. The careful work of the notaries themselves allows a window into the development of modern Mexican Spanish, its unique character founded in indigenous concepts of space, time, and grammar--Provided by publisher.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
F1221.N3+ (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1f1hdgc Available ocn957312494

Revised edition of author's dissertation.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

This manuscript offers the first internal ethnographic view of central Mexican indigenous communities at the critical time of Independence. Melton-Villanueva uses previously unknown Nahuatl-language sources--primarily last will and testaments--to provide a more comprehensive understanding of indigenous society during the transition from colonial to post-colonial times. Describing their own world, Nahuatl-speaking women and men left last wills in their own tongue during an era when the written tradition of their language was generally assumed to have ended. In testaments clustered around epidemic cycles, they responded to profound changes in population, land use, and local governance with astonishing vibrancy. At the moment of Independence, after an entire colonial period of legal decrees aimed at eradicating indigenous languages, local notaries began to adopt Spanish as a means of preserving their communities' interests. The careful work of the notaries themselves allows a window into the development of modern Mexican Spanish, its unique character founded in indigenous concepts of space, time, and grammar--Provided by publisher.

Print version record.

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Inside the Altepetl of San Bartolomé; 2. Spanish-Language Texts by Nahua Escribanos; 3. The Escribanos Who Still Wrote in Nahuatl; 4. Nahuatl Formulas over Time and in Other Altepetl; 5. Death Rites, Local Religion, and Women on Church Grounds; 6. Household Ritual; Conclusion; Epilogue; Appendix 1. Testament List from the Independence Archive with Reference Codes; Appendix 2. Notaries of the Independence Archive by Altepetl; Appendix 3. Sample Testaments; Notes; Glossary; Bibliography; Index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Melton-Villanueva (history, UNLV) uses last wills and testaments written in Nahuatl and Spanish from Indigenous testators in the Toluca Valley (Mexico) to examine Nahua social organization and ritual life at the time of Mexican independence. The book examines four altepetl (Nahua city-states) but focuses primarily on San Bartolomé Tlatelolco. Melton-Villanueva uncovers the surprising persistence of Nahuatl record keeping into the 19th century, a continuity made possible by organized notarial networks that valued cultural conservatism. Even after the decline of Native-language record keeping, Nahuatl heavily influenced Indigenous documentation written in Spanish. Through a close reading of the wills, the author discovers a vibrant form of ecclesiastical self-government that she labels the fiscalía, which paralleled the Indigenous town council. Participation in the fiscalía was widespread among male altepetl members. Melton-Villanueva interprets this as a manifestation of Nahua cellular organization. Turning to ritual, the author finds that Nahuas used "nominally Christian saints" to maintain customs, such as ancestor veneration and household devotions. She argues that women played a vital role in ritual organization in the church and the home, and thus served as important culture makers in Nahua society. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students/faculty. --Brian R. Larkin, St. John's University/College of St. Benedict

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Miriam Melton-Villanueva is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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