Conquest of the Sierra: Spaniards and Indians in Colonial by John K. Chance

By John K. Chance

Conquest of the Sierra depicts the colonial adventure within the Sierra Zapoteca, a distant mountain zone of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. This densely populated zone is inhabited by way of Zapotec, Chinantec, and Mixe Indians, whose pre-Hispanic societies lacked the wealth, important craft economies, and intergration with alternate networks present in the better-known societies of the neighboring Mixteca and the Valley of Oaxaca. Even through the colonial interval the quarter remained distant. Its sole Spanish cost, Villa Alta, by no means supported greater than a handful of colonists, and haciendas and mining have been of little value. but in the course of the Spanish process of pressured construction, the Indians of the Sierra turned one in all New Spain’s prime manufacturers of cochineal dyestuffs and cotton textiles.

Based on unpublished and hitherto untapped archival resources, this e-book lines the evolution of a special local colonial society. The actions of Spanish political officers, retailers, and the clergy of Villa Alta are particular, however the important concentration is one the Indian communities-their inhabitants, cost styles, economic system, non secular practices, and sociopolitical association. Of certain curiosity is the emergence of past due colonial Zapotec elites and their function within the pressured creation and trade-the repartimientos de efectos-conducted through Spanish magistrates.

The Sierra Zapoteca differed considerably from different areas of Oaxaca and significant Mexico with recognize to the method of conquest, fiscal integration, non secular syncretism, and social stratification. Conquest of the Sierra indicates how a comparatively undeveloped pre-Conquest tradition, coupled with a hugely monopolistic colonial economic climate, produced a particular variation of indigenous society in colonial Mexico.

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No figures for Zoquio or Tultitlan. not mentioned after 1622 (not to be confused with Nexitzo San Juan Tagui). disappeared after 1622. q Half escheated before 1534. rHalf escheated before 1534. 'Disappeared after 1600. Sources: Cajonos. AJVA Civil 1708- 1825, 3; AJVA Civil 1682- 1882, 55; Gerhard, Guide, p. 372; ACN Indios 10, Cuaderno 3, 54; ACI Justicia 230; ACN Reales CCdulas Duplicadas 19, 615; APVA Papeles de Analco; ENE, 9:38-40. Nexitzo. ACI Justicia 230; ACI Patronato 183, 21 9; ACI Justicia 135, l ; ACI Mexico 96, 91, 242; ACI Escribania de C6mara 15 9 ~AJVA ; Civil 1579- 1825, 3; AJVA Civil 1672- 1799, 2; AJVA Civil 1708- 1825, 39; AGN Indios 6, primera parte, 372; AGN Inquisici6n 437, 17; ACN Mercedes 3, 785 :307-8; Zavala and Castelo, 7 :35; ENE, 9: 38-40; Icaza, 1:89; PNE, 1 :278; ccc Libro de la Hermita.

It is possible that these events occurred after initial Spanish penetration of the region, for Tela lived until about 1 558, and his son Theolao, christened don Alonso Perez, ruled in Comaltepec. '^ Turbulent as matters were on the Bixanos frontier, an even wider area of conflict pitted all three Zapotec groups against the Mixes. The Mixe wars were raging when the Spanish arrived, and the town of Villa Alta was founded near the principal line of combat in an effort to put an end to the hostilities.

They largely managed to evade Spanish control until the 1S SOS, three decades after the more developed and geographically accessible parts of the Oaxaca region had already been incorporated into the political structure of New Spain. The Spanish first became interested in Oaxaca's northern sierra-the Provincia de 10s Zapotecas, as they called it-in 152 1, when Fernando Cortks learned from the Aztec emperor Moctezuma that Nahua Tuxtepec was one of the places that furnished the Aztecs with gold dust.

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