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Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War
The events of July 19, 1878, marked the beginning of what became known as the Lincoln County War and catapulted Susan McSween and a young cowboy named Henry McCarty, alias Billy the Kid, into the history books. The so-called war, a fight for control of the mercantile economy of southeastern New Mexico, is one of the most documented conflicts in the history of the American West, but it is an event that up to now has been interpreted through the eyes of men. As a woman in a man’s story, Susan McSween has been all but ignored. This is the first book to place her in a larger context. Clearly, the Lincoln County War was not her finest hour, just her best known. For decades afterward, she ran a successful cattle ranch. She watched New Mexico modernize and become a state. And she lived to tell the tales of the anarchistic territorial period many times.
Based on more than thirty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Highland Guatemala, this study of Maya diviners, shamans, ritual dancers, and religious brotherhoods describes the radical changes in traditional Maya religious practice wrought by economic globalization and political turmoil. Focusing on the primary participants in the annual festival in the K’iche’ Maya village of Santiago Momostenango, the authors show how older religious traditionalists and the new generation of “cultural activist” religious practitioners interact within a single local community, and how their competing agendas for adapting Maya religiosity to a new and continually changing political economy are perpetuating and changing Maya religious traditions.
Strategies for Empire Unification
The Inka empire was the largest pre-Columbian polity in the New World. Its vast expanse, its ethnic diversity, and the fact that the empire may have been consolidated in less than a century have prompted much scholarly interest in its creation. In this study, Besom explores the ritual practices of human sacrifice and the worship of mountains, attested in both archaeological investigations and ethnohistorical sources, as tools in the establishment and preservation of political power.
Besom examines the relationship between symbols, ideology, ritual, and power to demonstrate how the Cuzqueños could have used rituals to manipulate common Andean symbols to uphold their authority over subjugated peoples. He considers ethnohistoric accounts of the categories of human sacrifice to gain insights into related rituals and motives, and reviews the ethnohistoric evidence of mountain worship to predict locations as well as motives. He also analyzes specific archaeological sites and assemblages, theorizing that they were the locations of sacrifices designed to assimilate subject peoples, bind conquered lands to the state, and/or justify the extraction of local resources.
Heritage and Carnival in San Antonio
Fiesta San Antonio began in 1891 and through the twentieth century expanded from a single parade to over two hundred events spanning a ten-day period. Laura Hernández-Ehrisman examines Fiesta's development as part of San Antonio's culture of power relations between men and women, Anglos and Mexicanos.
A History of the Death Penalty in the United States
Until the early twentieth century, printed invitations to executions issued by lawmen were a vital part of the ritual of death concluding a criminal proceeding in the United States. In this study, Gordon Morris Bakken invites readers to an understanding of the death penalty in America with a collection of essays that trace the history and politics of this highly charged moral, legal, and cultural issue. Bakken has solicited essays from historians, political scientists, and lawyers to ensure a broad treatment of the evolution of American cultural attitudes about crime and capital punishment.
An American Modernist
The first full-length critical analysis of the paintings of Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, this book focuses on Smith’s role as a modernist in addition to her status as a wellknown Native American artist. With close readings of Smith’s work, Carolyn Kastner shows how Smith simultaneously contributes to and critiques American art and its history.
Smith has distinguished herself as a modernist both in her pursuit of abstraction and her expressive technique, but too often her identity as a Native American artist has overshadowed these aspects of her work. Addressing specific themes in Smith’s career, Kastner situates Smith within specific historical and cultural moments of American art, comparing her work to the abstractions of Kandinsky and Miró, as well as to the pop art of Rauschenberg and Johns. She discusses Smith’s appropriation of pop culture icons like the Barbie doll, reimagined by the artist as Barbie Plenty Horses. As Kastner considers how Smith constructs each new series of artworks within the artistic, social, and political discourse of its time, she defines her contribution to American modernism and its history. Discussing the ways in which Smith draws upon her cultural heritage—both Native and non-Native—Kastner demonstrates how Smith has expanded the definitions of “American” and “modernist” art.
Building on his earlier work, A History of the Jews in New Mexico, Henry Tobias incorporates new material and sources in this updated volume. He demonstrates how Jewish awareness in New Mexico following World War II gave rise to significant cultural and political influence, introducing writers, musicians, and such artists as Ira Moskowitz, Arthur Sussman, and Judy Chicago to the state's flourishing art scene.
The Restoration of San Esteban del Rey Mission
Built by Spanish Franciscan missionaries in the seventeenth century, the magnificent mission church at Acoma Pueblo in west-central New Mexico is the oldest and largest intact adobe structure in North America. But in the 1920s, in danger of becoming a ruin, the building was restored in a cooperative effort among Acoma Pueblo, which owned the structure, and other interested parties. Kate Wingert-Playdon’s narrative of the restoration and the process behind it is the only detailed account of this milestone example of historic preservation, in which New Mexico’s most famous architect, John Gaw Meem, played a major role.
Family, Friends, and Adventures
Since 1980 the John Muir Center at California's University of the Pacific has hosted the John Muir Institute dedicated to promoting the legacy of the famed environmentalist. These essays were papers presented at the John Muir Center's institute in 2001.
A Critical Biography
This is the story of a remarkable woman whose artistic mission was to relate Mexican cultural history to English-language readers. A world-renowned playwright in the 1930s and best-selling novelist in the 1940s, Josefina Niggli published at a time when Chicana/o literature was not yet recognized as such. Her works revealed Mexico from an insider's point of view, although she found herself struggling with publishers who wanted an American hero pitted against a Mexican villain.