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  • Notes


1. The word “Indigenist” here is not to be confused with “indigenous.” The Instituto Nacional Indigenista was developed within a longer history of “indigenismo” (literally, “indigenism”), a movement which in Mexico began largely in the three or so decades following the 1910 Revolution. In broad terms, indigenismo—and its promoters, indigenistas—advocated for the rights of Mexico’s indigenous peoples. INI was indigenismo’s state institutional form. I use the Spanish term indigenista throughout because it has no good English equivalent. In terms of the subject matter of this narrative, the closest English-language equivalent would be an Indian agent employed by the federal government—the Bureau of Indian Affairs, for example—to implement social programs in indigenous communities.

2. Roughly, this is an indentured servant living on the rancher’s land rent-free, but who is also deeply indebted to the rancher.

3. “Yori” is the term used by the Guarijíos, as well as their neighbors to the west, the Yoremem (Mayos) and (Yoemem) Yaquis, to refer to non-Indians. At various points in history it has meant “white” or Spaniard as well.

4. An ejido is a form of communal land tenure developed in the wake of the 1910 Revolution and put into practice through subsequent agrarian reforms and [End Page 549] in mamy cases the breakup of large estates. Ejidos and communities are often one and the same thing across Mexico, but they are not synonymous. Production on ejidos can be conducted in a collective manner, but typically it is done individually. Ejidal commons are sometimes maintained for things like gathering firewood, wild harvest of edible and medicinal plants, and hunting and fishing, among other uses.

5. The tuburada is a Guarijío ritual that consists of prayer and dancing for three consecutive nights. The prayers are called tuburi, and the dance is the pascola, or deer dance. The ritual is carried out to give thanks and make requests of God, or to say goodbye to the dead.

6. In November 1990, Sierra de Nadie won first place in the national book competition “Fifty Years of Indigenismo in Mexico,” sponsored by the INI, which published the book in 1994 with a print run of 3,000.

7. Article 27 of the 1917 Constitution among other things created the basis for Mexico’s far-reaching agrarian reform, and laid the foundation for the creation of the ejidal land tenure structure. It declared that lands and waters were “originally owned by the Nation,” essentially nationalizing soils and surface waters. Reforms introduced in 1992 were a fairly radical break with this provision, making legally possible the fee-simple titling and privatization of ejidal lands. For the Guarijíos, becoming “comuneros” would have meant legally constituting a comunidad indígena (indigenous community), a juridical classification that would have given them some added protection for their lands.

8. Entre Yoris y Guarijíos includes a longer bliography on the Guarijíos containing the work of several of these important authors: Alejandro Aguilar, Andrés Ortiz, Armando Haro, Claudia Hariss, David Yetman, Donancio Gutiérrez, Isabel Barreras, Leticia Acosta, Mario Camberos, Patricia Salido, Refugio Palacios, Sergio Sandoval, Vidal Salazar, and Walter Dodd.

9. Sobre los Testimonios Indígenas y la Tarea Antropológica al Editarlos was published originally as “Voz de los Sin Voz: Notas sobre el Papel de los Testimonios Indígenas en la Historia Oral y la Perterbante Tarea de Editarlos, Una Perspectiva Antropológica” (1994). We have omitted this portion of Entre Yoris y Guarijíos for this translation and reproduction in Journal of the Southwest.

10. EZLN: the Zapatista National Liberation Army.

11. A term used by those who would claim to be descended from the original Spanish colonizers of San Cristóbal de las Casas and, thereby, establish their atristocratic pedigree.

12. Roughly, “On What the Field Anthropologist Should Record” and “Voice of Those without a Voice: Notes on the Role of Indigenous Testimonies in Oral History and the Perturbing Task of Editing Them—An Anthropological Perspective.”

13. “Tropóloga” was a misunderstanding of the word antropóloga, or female anthropologist.

14. Gentry was actually trained as a botanist, though much of his published work...


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