Catalogue


Yaxcabá and the caste war of Yucatán : an archaeological perspective /
Rani T. Alexander.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c2004.
description
xiv, 207 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
ISBN
0826329624 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, c2004.
isbn
0826329624 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Legacies of resistance -- Agrarian change and the caste war -- The political economy of Yaxcabá -- Archaeological settlement patterns -- Archaeological site structure before the caste war -- Yaxcabá and the caste war in archaeological perspective.
catalogue key
5185873
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-200) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-03-01:
In a novel study, anthropologist Alexander (New Mexico State Univ.) applies archeological methods to resolve a historical question: did the loss of land to whites and the increasing pressure it put on Mayan farmers in Yucatan cause the 19th-century Indian uprising known as the "War of the Castes"? That uprising was among the most successful ever by Indians anywhere in the hemisphere, and several major scholarly works explore the causes and course of the 50-plus-year conflict. Alexander provides an overview of that scholarship before turning to test the reigning hypothesis that land pressure fueled the revolt. She focuses on one county, providing an overview of its history from the Spanish conquest on, before turning to the archaeological evidence. Based upon study of house lots in towns, smaller villages, and abandoned haciendas, Alexander paints a complex picture of prewar conditions. She finds that Mayan farmers coped with or resisted the pressures of economic and political change in different ways. This work will be of interest both to historians of that period of Mexican history and to students of the ancient Maya as an informative case study for interpreting the evidence that house lot surveys may yield. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. P. R. Sullivan independent scholar
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Choice, March 2005
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
The Caste War of Yucatán (1847-1901) is widely regarded as the most successful Indian rebellion in the New World. An attempt by the Maya to rid themselves of foreign domination and revitalise their traditional culture, the conflict led to successful agrarian reform and the reassertion of traditional land use by the Maya. It also generated a new religion with its own priesthood and cultural practices focused on the worship of a prophetic 'talking' cross. This war's economic and cultural transformations provide blueprints for understanding present-day Mexico and the expansion of capitalism to rural areas world-wide. Although important in its consequences, the origins of the war and its interpretations remain controversial. Rani Alexander's interdisciplinary study uses archaeological evidence along with ethnography and history to understand the nature of the region's agrarian system and the processes of resistance. Yaxcabá and its environs, caught in the crossfire of the conflict, were attacked and burned nine times in the course of the war. In view of the enormous loss of life and destruction of property, the post-war agrarian reform seems to be a consequence of economic ruin rather than successful resistance. Only an interdisciplinary approach to these complex events can produce the complete picture that Alexander's work provides.
Main Description
The Caste War of Yucatán (1847-1901) is widely regarded as the most successful Indian rebellion in the New World. An attempt by the Maya to rid themselves of foreign domination and revitalize their traditional culture, the conflict led to successful agrarian reform and the reassertion of traditional land use by the Maya. It also generated a new religion with its own priesthood and cultural practices focused on the worship of a prophetic "talking" cross. This war's economic and cultural transformations provide blueprints for understanding present-day Mexico and the expansion of capitalism to rural areas worldwide. Although important in its consequences, the origins of the war and its interpretations remain controversial. Rani Alexander's interdisciplinary study uses archaeological evidence along with ethnography and history to understand the nature of the region's agrarian system and the processes of resistance. Yaxcabá and its environs, caught in the crossfire of the conflict, were attacked and burned nine times in the course of the war. In view of the enormous loss of life and destruction of property, the postwar agrarian reform seems to be a consequence of economic ruin rather than successful resistance. Only an interdisciplinary approach to these complex events can produce the complete picture that Alexander's work provides.
Table of Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Legacies of Resistancep. 1
Agrarian Change and the Caste Warp. 15
The Political Economy of Yaxcabap. 37
Archaeological Settlement Patternsp. 69
Archaeological Site Structure before the Caste Warp. 117
Yaxcaba and the Caste War in Archaeological Perspectivep. 151
Glossaryp. 163
Notesp. 169
Works Citedp. 183
Indexp. 201
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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