The Nahuas After the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth Through Eighteenth Centuries

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A monumental achievement of scholarship, this volume on the Nahua Indians of Central Mexico (often called Aztecs) constitutes our best understanding of any New World indigenous society in the period following European contact.

Simply put, the purpose of this book is to throw light on the history of Nahua society and culture through the use of records in Nahuatl, concentrating on the time when the bulk of the extant documents were written, between about 1540-50 and the late eighteenth century. At the same time, the earliest records are full of implications for the very first years after contact, and ultimately for the preconquest epoch as well, both of which are touched on here in ways that are more than introductory or ancillary.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book deserves to be recognized for what it is, as a landmark in the study of the adaptation of the Nahuatl-speaking people, who made up most of the population of Central Mexico, to Spanish rule. But, more than this, it is also a classic study in the history of the cultural encounter of European and non-European."—New York Review of Books

"Lockhart has created an instant classic of the ethnohistorical and broader colonial literature. Its encyclopedic breadth . . . and its deep, reverential empiricism almost bludgeon the reader into an awesome respect for the author's masterful scholarship."—American Historical Review

"A magnificent scholarly achievement. Incomparably the best study of post-conquest New World indigenous society, it is destined to become an indispensable cornerstone for students of the field."—Journal of Latin American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804723176
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 672
  • Product dimensions: 6.56 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.45 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
Views of Postconquest Nahua History 2
Uses of Language 5
Some Dimensions and Attributes of the Book 9
Debts and Affinities 12
2 Altepetl 14
Basic Principles of Altepetl Organization 15
Complex Altepetl 20
The Sixteenth-Century Reorganization 28
Town Government and Structure in the Later Colonial Period 47
3 Household 59
Terminology and Constitution of the Household Complex 59
The Vocabulary of Kinship 72
Hints of Household Interaction 85
4 Social Differentiation 94
Commoners 96
Nobles, Lords, and Rulers 102
General Changes in the Postconquest Era 110
The Evolution of Naming Patterns 117
The Persistence of an Upper Group 130
5 Land and Living 141
Land Tenure at Contact 141
Land in Postconquest Times 163
Economic Life and Material Culture 176
6 Religious Life 203
Religion and the Politics of the Altepetl 206
The Church People 210
Cofradias 218
The Church as Personal Property 229
Saints 235
The Question of Beliefs 251
7 Language 261
Stage 1 263
Stage 2 284
Stage 3 304
"Stage 4" 318
8 Ways of Writing 326
Preconquest Writing 327
The Introduction of Spanish-Style Writing 330
Postconquest Pictographic Writing 331
Alphabetic Writing 335
From Pictographic to Alphabetic 345
Preconquest Modes in Alphabetic Texts 364
The Evolution of the Spanish Documentary Genres in Nahuatl 372
9 Forms of Expression 374
Annals 376
Songs 392
Theater 401
Titles 410
A Glimpse at Art and Architecture 418
10 Conclusion 427
The Stages 429
Some Aspects of Organization in Nahua Culture 436
The Nature of Cultural Interaction 442
Perspectives 446
Appendix A. Four Nahuatl Documents 455
Appendix B. Molina's Model Testament 468
Notes 477
Glossary 607
Bibliography 613
Index 631
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