Leave us alone, we do not want your help. Let us live our lives : indigenous resistance and ethnogenesis in Nueva Vizcaya (colonial Mexico)
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This thesis looks at the people of Nueva Vizcaya’s history of resistance to incorporation into the state during the colonial age, and how this history is connected to the contemporary context in the Sierra Tarahumara. To do this, I use and frame the concepts of community, resistance, violence, ethnogenesis, territory and history as intertwined in such a way that the Sierra Tarahumara and its inhabitants cannot be completely disassociated one from another. By looking at the engagements between colonizers and native people of the colonial North of the Nueva España –Tarahumara and other native indigenous people of the Sierra Madre Occidental– in history, and frame the narratives about these historical encounters, drawing colonial accounts, modern narratives and other sources, I contest in this work, allows to frame indigenous societies agency in history. In addition, this thesis endeavors to engage with the broader discussion about ethnogenesis, indigenous resistance to colonialism, native community and ecological conflicts in Nueva Vizcaya and in the Sierra Tarahumara. Finally, this research wants to make sense of the contemporary conflicts over land rights that indigenous communities of the Sierra Tarahumara face today, and connect them with the history of the colonial encounters of the people of the Nueva Vizcaya. I propose that these encounters, in the colonial time of the conquest of the Nueva Vizcaya, and in the national period, are largely a consequence of a colonial process of ethnogenesis that taxonomically indexed native people in categories related to colonial labor needs and control over the territory, which I frame as tarahumarizacíon and raramurización.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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