Visions of paradise : primordial titles and Mesoamerican history in Cuernavaca /
Robert Haskett.
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2005.
xi, 420 p.
0806135867 (alk paper)
More Details
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2005.
0806135867 (alk paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-01-01:
Haskett (Univ. of Oregon) writes about postconquest Mexico as portrayed in indigenous documents, focusing on the Tlalhuica people of the altepetl, or city-state of Cuauhnahuac, now Cuernavaca in Morelos. These "primordial titles" are for the most part 18th-century Spanish translations of earlier Nahua codices of uncertain date, though postconquest, that reveal a preconquest notion of history that telescopes time and reorders events while establishing the political legitimacy of the altepetl and its indigenous elites. Haskett provides overviews of Cuauhnahuac in the Triple Alliance, conquest, and postconquest periods, stressing the survival of indigenous people, culture, language, leadership, and worldview. The Tlalhuica's continued resistance against Spanish encroachment took litigious form after military resistance collapsed. This resistance reached a crescendo in the early 18th century, when many of the titles surfaced and were used in court cases to defend against Spanish land usurpations and forced labor demands. The Tlalhuica resorted to symbols and claims of aegis from all sources--Aztec, Spanish, Christian--to assert their traditional, local claims of identity and legitimacy. Haskett argues that the titles shine light on the intellectual world of a people facing invasion and colonial subjugation, while at the same time confirming the integrity and legitimacy of the altepetl. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate students and specialists. S. A. Harmon Pittsburg State University
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Choice, January 2006
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Main Description
Cuernavaca, often called the "Mexican Paradise" or "Land of Eternal Spring," has a deep, rich history. Few visitors to this modern resort city near Mexico City would guess from its Spanish architecture and landmarks that it was governed by its Tlalhuican residents until the early nineteenth century. Formerly called Cuauhnahuac, the city was renamed by the Spanish in the sixteenth century when Hernando Cortes built his stone palacioon its main square and thrust Cuernavaca into the colonial age. In Visions of Paradise, Robert Haskett presents a history of Cuernavaca, basing his account on an important body of late-seventeenth-century historical records known as primordial titles, written by still unknown members of the Native population. Until comparatively recently, these indigenous-language documents have been dismissed as "false" or "forged" land records. Haskett, however, uses these Nahuatl texts to present a colorful portrait of how the Tlalhuicas of Cuernavaca and its environs made intellectual sense of their place in the colonial scheme, conceived of their relationship to the sacred worlds of both their native religion and Christianity, and defined their own history. Surveying the local history of Cuernavaca from precontact observations by the Aztecs through postclassic times to the present, with a concentration on early colonial times, Haskett finds that the Native authors of the primordial titles crafted a celebratory history proclaiming themselves to be an enduringly autonomous, essentially unconquered people who triumphed over the rigors of the Spanish colonial system.
Unpaid Annotation
A history of Cuernavaca, Mexico, based on late seventeenth-century records. 6 x 9, 64 b&w illustrations, 3 maps.
Unpaid Annotation
A history of Cuernavaca, Mexico, based on late seventeenth-century records.
Table of Contents
Cuernavaca, the land of eternal springp. 25
From Tamoanchan to Cuernavacap. 58
History in the landscapep. 122
The past is the futurep. 194
An age of faith and miraclesp. 250
Primordial titles and Mesoamerican historyp. 297
Document reference key
Representative landmarks and boundary markers
Heroes and narrators of the primordial titles
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