In the Lands of Fire and Sun

In the Lands of Fire and Sun

Resistance and Accommodation in the Huichol Sierra, 1723–1930

Michele McArdle Stephens
 

216 pages
4 photographs, 5 illustrations, 5 maps, index

Hardcover

May 2018

978-0-8032-8858-4

$50.00 Pre-order

About the Book

The Huichols (or Wixarika) of western Mexico are among the most resilient and iconic indigenous groups in Mexico today. In the Lands of Fire and Sun examines the Huichol Indians as they have struggled to maintain their independence over two centuries. From the days of the Aztec Empire, the history of west-central Mesoamerica has been one of isolation and a fiercely independent spirit, and one group that maintained its autonomy into the days of Spanish colonization was the Huichol tribe. Rather than assimilating into the Hispanic fold, as did so many other indigenous peoples, the Huichols sustained their distinct identity even as the Spanish Crown sought to integrate them. In confronting first the Spanish colonial government, then the Mexican state, the Huichols displayed resilience and cunning as they selectively adapted their culture, land, and society to the challenges of multiple new eras.

By incorporating elements of archaeology, anthropology, cultural geography, and history, Michele McArdle Stephens fills the gaps in the historical documentation, teasing out the indigenous voices from travel accounts, Spanish legal sources, and European ethnographic reports. The result is a thorough examination of one of the most vibrant, visible societies in Latin America.
 

Author Bio

Michele McArdle Stephens is an assistant professor of Latin American history at West Virginia University specializing in Latin American communities. 
 

Praise

“A much-needed addition to the scholarship on the Huichol and on indigenous peoples in Mexico more generally. Unlike most studies of indigenous peoples, In The Lands of Fire and Sun effectively spans the colonial and modern periods, demonstrating the incredible continuity in Huichol resistance and adaptation. . . . It will be an excellent choice for single-semester surveys of Mexican history as well as upper-division and graduate courses in history, anthropology, and indigenous studies.”—Andrae Marak, dean of the College of Arts and Science at Governors State University
 

 

“McArdle Stephens delivers carefully measured arguments in prose that is at once vivid, reflective, and a pleasure to read. . . . In the Lands of Fire and Sun is ethnohistory as it should be: acutely sensitive to local detail while casting a sophisticated gaze on the politics of a changing world.”—Raphael Folsom, associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma and author of The Yaquis and the Empire: Violence, Spanish Imperial Power, and Native Resilience in Colonial Mexico

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
Introduction
1. From Native Neighbors to Spanish Conquerors
2. Facing the Young Nation-State
3. Between Tolerance and Rejection of the Church
4. In Defense of Lands
5. Foreign Scholars as Tools of Resistance
6. A Revolution Comes to the Huichols
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Also of Interest