In this Book

Aztecs, Moors, and Christians
buy this book Buy This Book in Print
summary
In villages and towns across Spain and its former New World colonies, local performers stage mock battles between Spanish Christians and Moors or Aztecs that range from brief sword dances to massive street theatre lasting several days. The performances officially celebrate the triumph of Spanish Catholicism over its enemies. Such an explanation does not, however, account for the tradition’s persistence for more than five hundred years nor for its widespread diffusion. In this perceptive book, Max Harris seeks to understand the "puzzling and enduring passion" of both Mexicans and Spaniards for festivals of moros y cristianos. He begins by tracing the performances’ roots in medieval Spain and showing how they came to be superimposed on the mock battles that had been part of pre-contact Aztec calendar rituals. Then, using James Scott’s distinction between "public" and "hidden transcripts," he reveals how, in the hands of folk and indigenous performers, these spectacles of conquest became prophecies of the eventual reconquest of Mexico by the defeated Aztec peoples. Finally, he documents the early arrival of native American performance practices in Europe and the shift of moros y cristianos from court to folk tradition in Spain. Even today, as lively descriptions of current festivals make plain, mock battles between Aztecs, Moors, and Christians remain a remarkably sophisticated vehicle for the communal expression of dissent.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Frontmatter
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xi-xii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART ONE: PROLOGUE
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. Beheading the Moor (Zacatecas, 1996)
  2. pp. 3-17
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. Reading the Mask (Cuetzalan, 1988)
  2. pp. 18-28
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART TWO: SPAIN, 1150-1521
  2. pp. 29-30
  1. 3. A Royal Wedding (Lleida, 1150)
  2. pp. 31-36
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. A Medley of Battles (Zaragoza, 1286 –1414)
  2. pp. 37-42
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. A Martyrdom with Hobby Horses (Barcelona, 1424)
  2. pp. 43-53
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 6. A Game of Canes ( Ja
  2. pp. 54-64
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART THREE: MEXICO, 1321-1521
  2. pp. 65-66
  1. 7. The Fields of the Wars of Flowers
  2. pp. 67-73
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. The Festival of the Sweeping of the Roads
  2. pp. 74-84
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. The Festival of the Raising of the Banners
  2. pp. 85-93
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. The Festival of the Flaying of Men
  2. pp. 94-104
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 11. The Dance of the Emperor Motecuzoma
  2. pp. 105-114
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART FOUR: MEXICO, 1521-1600
  2. pp. 115-116
  1. 12. The Conquest of Mexico (1524 –1536)
  2. pp. 117-122
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 13. The Conquest of Rhodes (Mexico City, 1539)
  2. pp. 123-131
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 14. The Conquest of Jerusalem (Tlaxcala, 1539)
  2. pp. 132-147
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 15. The Tensions of Empire (Mexico City, 1565 –1595)
  2. pp. 148-152
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 16. The Travels of Alonso Ponce (New Spain, 1584 –1589)
  2. pp. 153-160
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 17. The Conquest of New Mexico (1598)
  2. pp. 161-170
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART FIVE: SPAIN, 1521-1600
  2. pp. 171-172
  1. 18. Touring Aztecs (1522–1529)
  2. pp. 173-178
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 19. Royal Entries (Toledo, 1533, and Naples, 1543)
  2. pp. 179-183
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 20. Great Balls of Fire (Trent, 1549)
  2. pp. 184-197
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 21. Noble Fantasies (Binche, 1549, and Rouen, 1550)
  2. pp. 198-205
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 22. Fêted Dreams of Peace (Andalusia, 1561–1571)
  2. pp. 206-215
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 23. Changing Tastes (Daroca to Valencia, 1585 –1586)
  2. pp. 216-226
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 24. Gilded Indians (1521–1600)
  2. pp. 227-234
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. PART SIX: EPILOGUE
  2. pp. 235-236
  1. 25. Dancing with Malinche (New Mexico and Oaxaca, 1993 –1994)
  2. pp. 237-250
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 251-280
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 281-298
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 299-310
  3. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.