Indigenous Life After the Conquest: The de la Cruz Family Papers of Colonial Mexico (Latin American Originals #16) (Paperback)
This book presents a unique set of written records belonging to the De la Cruz family, caciques of Tepemaxalco in the Toluca Valley. Composed in Nahuatl and Spanish and available here both in the original languages and in English translation, this collection of documents opens a window onto the life of a family from colonial Mexico's indigenous elite and sheds light on the broader indigenous world within the Spanish colonial system.
The main text is a record created in 1647 by long-serving governor don Pedro de la Cruz and continued by his heirs through the nineteenth century, along with two wills and several other notable documents. These sources document a community history, illuminating broader issues centering on politics, religion, and economics as well as providing unusual insight into the concerns and values of indigenous leaders. These texts detail the projects financed by the De la Cruz family, how they talked about them, and which belongings they deemed important enough to pass along after their death.
Designed for classroom use, this clear and concise primary source includes a wealth of details about indigenous everyday life and preserves and makes accessible a rich and precious heritage. The engaging introduction highlights issues of class relations and the public and performative character of Nahua Christianity. The authors provide the necessary tools to help students understand the colonial context in which these documents were produced.