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Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias

The Indigenous Peoples of Chiapas and the Zapatista Rebellion

Edited by Jan Rus; Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo and Shannan L. Mattiace - Contributions by José Alejos García; Andrés Aubry; Araceli Burguete Cal y Mayor; George A. Collier; Christine Eber; Gustavo Esteva; Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo; Xóchitl Leyva Solano; Shannan L. Mattiace and Jan Rus

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The dramatic January 1, 1994, emergence of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas, Mexico, brought the state's indigenous peoples to the attention of the international community. Yet indigenous peoples in Chiapas had been politically active and organized for years prior to the uprising. This compelling volume examines in detail these local and regional histories of power and resistance, powerfully bolstered by gripping and heartrending details of oppression and opposition. Situated broadly within the field of political anthropology, the authors trace the connections between indigenous culture and indigenous resistance. Their case studies include the Tzotzils and Tzeltals of the highland region, the Tojolabals of eastern Chiapas, northern Ch'ol communities, the Mams of eastern and southeastern Chiapas, and the settler communities of the Lacandon rain forest. In the wake of the Chiapas rebellion, all of these groups have increasingly come together around common goals, the most important of which is autonomy. Three essays focus specifically on the issue of Indian autonomy—in both Zapatista and non-Zapatista communities.

Offering a consistent and cohesive vision of the complex evolution of a region and its many cultures and histories, this work is a fundamental source for understanding key issues in nation building. In a unique collaboration, the book brings together recognized authorities who have worked in Chiapas for decades, many linking scholarship with social and political activism. Their combined perspectives, many previously unavailable in English, make this volume the most authoritative, richly detailed, and authentic work available on the people behind the Zapatista movement.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 328Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7425-1147-7 • Hardback • September 2003 • $137.00 • (£90.00)
978-0-7425-1148-4 • Paperback • September 2003 • $51.00 • (£34.95)
978-1-4616-4005-9 • eBook • September 2003 • $49.99 • (£32.95)
Jan Rus is director of the Native Language Publishing Project, Instituto de Asesoría Antropológica para la Región Maya, A.C., San Cristóbal, Chiapas. Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo is a senior researcher at the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS), Mexico City. Shannan L. Mattiace is assistant professor of political science, Allegheny College.
Chapter 1 Foreword
Chapter 2 Introduction
Part 3 Part I: Mayan Lives: Continuity and Change
Chapter 4 A Generation of Crisis in the Central Highlands of Chiapas: The Cases of Chamula and Zinacantán, 1974-2000
Chapter 5 Between Civil Disobedience and Silent Rejection: Differing Responses by Mam Peasants to the Zapatista Rebellion
Chapter 6 The Ch'ols Reclaim Palenque, or the War of Eternal Return
Part 7 Part II: Mayan Lives: Making New Societies
Chapter 8 Regional Renegotiations of Space: Tojolabal Ethnic Identity in Las Margaritas, Chiapas
Chapter 9 Buscando una nueva vida: Liberation Through Autonomy in San Pedro, Chenalhó, 1970-1998
Chapter 10 Regional, Communal and Organizational Transformation in Las Cañadas
Part 11 Part III: Mayan Utopias: Rethinking the State
Chapter 12 The de Facto Autonomous Process: New Jurisdictions and Parallel Governments in Rebellion
Chapter 13 Autonomy in the San Andrés Accords: Expression and Fulfillment of a New Federal Pact
Chapter 14 The Meaning and Scope of the Struggle for Autonomy
A compelling and essential volume for understanding the complexities of Chiapas, its people—the indigenous citizens but also the state—and the context of the polarized moment in that part of the world.
Todd Eisenstadt, American University


This important set of articles is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of indigenous societies in the midst of the process of globalization. Its integration of the complexities of geography, cultures, and history poses fundamental questions for the future of humanity. By explaining with sympathetic detail the origins of the underlying tensions and the vast array of resources that local communities can mobilize, the authors also pose fundamental questions for students concerned about their own futures...
David Barkin, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana


From the foreword: It is an extraordinary thing for a book to be born a classic. And yet this is the fate that surely awaits Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias. This book fills a niche that has until now been empty, that of providing real histories of Chiapas' many indigenous societies—societies that up to now have too often been regarded by outsiders as a monolithic whole, without details or differences. Indispensable—provides a long-needed historical benchmark....
Samuel Ruiz García, Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


A book of deep wisdom; canny insight; trustworthy accounts from the inside; radical honesty from the outside; comprehensive sympathy with its subjects; precise sensitivity to nuance and difference; acute social, political, and cultural analysis; masterlyevaluation; cogent argument; and wonderful clarity in explanation. It is the most authoritative work in any language on Chiapas's contemporary Mayans, their struggles, and their hopes....
John Womack Jr., Harvard University


One of the best collections I have seen on the Zapatista Rebellion and its implications for Mexican politics and society. The authors facilitate a multidisciplinary, intimate understanding of the complex causes and consequences of peasant and indigenous rebellion.
Donna Lee Van Cott, University of Tennessee, Knoxville


This important set of articles is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of indigenous societies in the midst ofthe process of globalization. Its integration of the complexities of geography, cultures, and history poses fundamental questions for the future of humanity. By explaining with sympathetic detail the origins of the underlying tensions and the vast array of resources that local communities can mobilize, the authors also pose fundamental questions for students concerned about their own futures.
David Barkin, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana


From the foreword:It is an extraordinary thing for a book to be born a classic. And yet this is the fate that surely awaits Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias. This book fills a niche that has until now been empty, that of providing real histories of Chiapas' many indigenous societies—societies that up to now have too often been regarded by outsiders as a monolithic whole, without details or differences. Indispensable—provides a long-needed historical benchmark.
Samuel Ruiz García, Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico


A book of deep wisdom; canny insight; trustworthy accounts from the inside; radical honesty from the outside; comprehensive sympathy with its subjects; precise sensitivity to nuance and difference; acute social, political, and cultural analysis; masterly evaluation; cogent argument; and wonderful clarity in explanation. It is the most authoritative work in any language on Chiapas'scontemporary Mayans, their struggles, and their hopes.
John Womack Jr., Harvard University


A welcome addition to the literature. . . . The book's introduction provides a cogent discussion of how, over decades, economic crisis has produced Indian mobilizations and finally rebellion, while the final three essays usefully explore Mexico's continuing national debate over Indian rights and autonomy. . . . Highly recommended.
CHOICE


An important contribution to our understanding of what has happened in Chiapas, and why. As such, it will be of immense use to anthropologists, historians, sociologists and political scientists interested in the relationship between indigenous peoples and the nation-state in post-colonial societies. It will also appeal to Mexicanists and scholars of Latin America grappling with the social, economic and political legacy of the region's long history of globalization and the more recent demise of corporate structures of governance.
Journal Of Parapsychology


Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopias brims with factual details and insider knowledge, complemented by original maps of the region and numerous photographs. Even specialists are sure to find new information and insights, while novices will find a compelling introduction to the topic.
Hispanic American Historical Review


This edited collection is essential reading for anyone desiring a historically complex and ethnographically and politically sophisticated understanding of the roots of the Capatista rebellion and its impact on Mayan indigenous communities.Mayan Lives, Mayan Utopies is an outstanding text that offers one of the most complex, honest, and sophisticated analyses of the impact of the Zapatista rebellion on indigenous peoples in Mexico and on the political future of the Mexican nation.
Lynn Stephen, University of Oregon; Journal Of The Royal Anthropological Institute


—Subtantive general introduction and part introductions offer students context and background for understanding the readings

—Unique in its detailed descriptions of local and regional histories

—Includes the work of the most respected andknowledgeable scholars and activists in the field.

—Maps and photos enrich the text

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