The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture

Overview


Prior to the Spanish conquest, the Nahua indigenous peoples of central Mexico did not have a notion of “sex” or “sexuality” equivalent to the sexual categories developed by colonial society or those promoted by modern Western peoples. In this innovative ethnohistory, Pete Sigal seeks to shed new light on Nahua concepts of the sexual without relying on the modern Western concept of sexuality. Along with clerical documents and other Spanish sources, he interprets the many texts produced by the Nahua. While ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $14.32   
  • New (7) from $19.52   
  • Used (6) from $14.32   
The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$25.95 List Price

Overview


Prior to the Spanish conquest, the Nahua indigenous peoples of central Mexico did not have a notion of “sex” or “sexuality” equivalent to the sexual categories developed by colonial society or those promoted by modern Western peoples. In this innovative ethnohistory, Pete Sigal seeks to shed new light on Nahua concepts of the sexual without relying on the modern Western concept of sexuality. Along with clerical documents and other Spanish sources, he interprets the many texts produced by the Nahua. While colonial clerics worked to impose Catholic beliefs—particularly those equating sexuality and sin—on the indigenous people they encountered, the process of cultural assimilation was slower and less consistent than scholars have assumed. Sigal argues that modern researchers of sexuality have exaggerated the power of the Catholic sacrament of confession to change the ways that individuals understood themselves and their behaviors. At least until the mid-seventeenth century, when increased contact with the Spanish began to significantly change Nahua culture and society, indigenous peoples, particularly commoners, related their sexual lives and imaginations not just to concepts of sin and redemption but also to pleasure, seduction, and rituals of fertility and warfare.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Flower and the Scorpion is a fascinating history of understandings of Nahua sexuality from the precontact era through the early colonial period. Drawing on a stunning array of Nahuatl- and Spanish-language primary sources, Pete Sigal considers what the Nahua wrote about their beliefs, deities, rituals, and activities relating to sexuality. But The Flower and the Scorpion is not only about the Nahua; it is also about the Spaniards and what they thought about sexuality, their own and that of the Nahua. Sigal shows us how different the perceptions of the Nahua and the Spaniards were, especially as they related to sex, and how different their ideas remained well into the seventeenth century, even as they lived in close proximity to one another.”—Susan Schroeder, editor of The Conquest All Over Again: Nahuas and Zapotecs Thinking, Writing, and Painting Spanish Colonialism

“This book emerges from a scholarly utilization of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century primary sources to illuminate not only very complex Nahua thought and practices but also the colonial context that shaped the discourse around themes that defy our modern labels, such as ‘sex’ itself. Pete Sigal employs his training in Nahuatl to analyze terms and texts in their original language, producing his own translations and interpreting meanings, always with an effort to delineate Western frames and biases that might color our understanding.”—Stephanie Wood, author of Transcending Conquest: Nahua Views of Spanish Colonial Mexico

Rocío Cortés

“The scholarship offered by this study is sound, enlightening, and interesting. This work contributes to our understanding of Nahua perceptions of gender and sexuality according to autochthonous frames, and how they adjusted to the demands of Christianity. The Flower and the Scorpion is clearly written and very enjoyable to read.”
Gender and History - Caroline Dodds Pennock

“This is an important and provocative book, which deserves to be widely read by both Nahua specialists and gender historians. This is challenging territory, but those brave enough to venture there will find ideas which encourage us not only to rethink Nahua ideas of sexuality, but also to challenge the fixed nature of individual and collective identity.”
Hispanic American Historical Review - Roc�o Cort�s

“The scholarship offered by this study is sound, enlightening, and interesting. This work contributes to our understanding of Nahua perceptions of gender and sexuality according to autochthonous frames, and how they adjusted to the demands of Christianity. The Flower and the Scorpion is clearly written and very enjoyable to read.”
American Historical Review - Louise M. Burkhart

“By exceeding any previous analysis of Nahua rituals’ sexual aspects, Sigal has made a valuable contribution to the history of religion and the history of sexuality.”
Ethnohistory - John F. Schwaller

“[A] masterful job…. This is a fascinating and challenging work. Sigal has taken the reader back to pre-Columbian times and attempted to strip away the colonial layers of Spanish discourse and worldview in order to reach the Nahua of before the conquest. His is a compelling argument and will certainly serve as a point of departure for further research.”
From The Critics

“The scholarship offered by this study is sound, enlightening, and interesting. This work contributes to our understanding of Nahua perceptions of gender and sexuality according to autochthonous frames, and how they adjusted to the demands of Christianity. The Flower and the Scorpion is clearly written and very enjoyable to read.” - Rocío Cortés, Hispanic American Historical Review

“By exceeding any previous analysis of Nahua rituals’ sexual aspects, Sigal has made a valuable contribution to the history of religion and the history of sexuality.” - Louise M. Burkhart, American Historical Review

The Flower and the Scorpion is a fascinating history of understandings of Nahua sexuality from the precontact era through the early colonial period. Drawing on a stunning array of Nahuatl- and Spanish-language primary sources, Pete Sigal considers what the Nahua wrote about their beliefs, deities, rituals, and activities relating to sexuality. But The Flower and the Scorpion is not only about the Nahua; it is also about the Spaniards and what they thought about sexuality, their own and that of the Nahua. Sigal shows us how different the perceptions of the Nahua and the Spaniards were, especially as they related to sex, and how different their ideas remained well into the seventeenth century, even as they lived in close proximity to one another.”—Susan Schroeder, editor of The Conquest All Over Again: Nahuas and Zapotecs Thinking, Writing, and Painting Spanish Colonialism

“This book emerges from a scholarly utilization of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century primary sources to illuminate not only very complex Nahua thought and practices but also the colonial context that shaped the discourse around themes that defy our modern labels, such as ‘sex’ itself. Pete Sigal employs his training in Nahuatl to analyze terms and texts in their original language, producing his own translations and interpreting meanings, always with an effort to delineate Western frames and biases that might color our understanding.”—Stephanie Wood, author of Transcending Conquest: Nahua Views of Spanish Colonial Mexico

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822351511
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 11/25/2011
  • Series: Latin America Otherwise
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,344,495
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

About the series ix

Illustrations xi

Acknowledgments xiii

Preface The People, the Place, and the Time xv

1 The Bath 1

2 Trash 29

3 Sin 61

4 The Warrior Goddess 103

5 The Phallus and the Broom 139

6 The Homosexual 177

7 Sex 207

8 Mirrors 241

Appendix The Chalca Woman's Song 255

Abbreviations 263

Notes 265

Bibliography 327

Index 352

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)