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The Rain Gods’ Rebellion examines Nahua oral narratives to illuminate the cultural basis of the 1977–1984 rebellion against the local Hispanic elite in Huitzilan de Serdán, Mexico. Drawing from forty years of fieldwork in the region, James M. Taggart traces the sociopolitical role of Nahua rain gods—who took both human and divine forms—back hundreds of years and sheds new light on the connections between social experiences and the Nahua understanding of water and weather in stories. As Taggart shows, Nahua tales of the rain gods’ rebellion anticipated the actual 1977 land invasion in Huitzilan, in which some 200–300 Nahua were killed.

The Rain Gods’ Rebellion reveals how local culture evolves from the expression of unrest to organized insurgency and then into collective memory. Taggart records a tradition of storytelling in which Nahuas radicalized themselves through recounting the rain gods’ stories—stories of the gods organizing and striking with bolts of lightning the companion spirits of autocratic local leaders who worked closely with mestizos. The tales are part of a tradition of resisting the friars’ efforts to convert the Nahuas, Totonacs, Otomi, and Tepehua to Christianity and inspiring nativistic movements against invading settlers.

Providing a rare longitudinal look at the cultural basis of this grassroots insurgency, The Rain Gods’ Rebellion offers rare insight into the significance of oral history in forming Nahua collective memory and, by extension, culture. It will be of significance to scholars of Indigenous studies, anthropology, oral history, and violence studies, as well as linguistic anthropologists and sociolinguists.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. The Rain Gods’ Rebellion
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  1. Chapter 1 - Introduction
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  1. Chapter 2 - Rebellions in the Sierra Norte
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  1. Chapter 3 - San Miguel and the Rain Gods
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  1. Chapter 4 - “The Rain God,” 1975
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  1. Chapter 5 - “The President and the Priest,” 1975
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  1. Chapter 6 - “The President of Hueytlalpan,” 1978
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  1. Chapter 7 - “The Water in Ixtepec,” 1978
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  1. Chapter 8 - “A Humble Man’s Predicament,” 1978
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  1. Chapter 9 - “Malintzin,” 1978
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  1. Chapter 10 - “The Land Transaction”
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  1. Chapter 11 - After the UCI
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  1. Chapter 12 - “The Storm”
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  1. Chapter 13 - Conclusion
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  1. Appendix
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  1. Notes
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  1. 16_Taggart_References
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781607329565
MARC Record
OCLC
1134457916
Launched on MUSE
2020-06-15
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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