The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Hall of mirrors: power, witchcraft, and caste in colonial Mexico

Hall of mirrors: power, witchcraft, and caste in colonial Mexico
Hall of mirrors: power, witchcraft, and caste in colonial Mexico
Through an examination of caste in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mexico, Hall of Mirrors explores the construction of hierarchy and difference in a Spanish colonial setting. Laura A. Lewis describes how the meanings attached to the categories of Spanish, Indian, black, mulatto, and mestizo were generated within that setting, as she shows how the cultural politics of caste produced a system of fluid and relational designations that simultaneously facilitated and undermined Spanish governance.

Using judicial records from a variety of colonial courts, Lewis highlights the ethnographic details of legal proceedings as she demonstrates how Indians, in particular, came to be the masters of witchcraft, a domain of power that drew on gendered and hegemonic caste distinctions to complicate the colonial hierarchy. She also reveals the ways in which blacks, mulattoes, and mestizos mediated between Spaniards and Indians, alternatively reinforcing Spanish authority and challenging it through alliances with Indians. Bringing to life colonial subjects as they testified about their experiences, Hall of Mirrors discloses a series of contradictions that complicate easy distinctions between subalterns and elites, resistance and power.
978-0-8223-3147-6
Duke University Press
Lewis, Laura A.
3b8fef98-e0ff-4acf-879f-ed9b1c318890
Lewis, Laura A.
3b8fef98-e0ff-4acf-879f-ed9b1c318890

Lewis, Laura A. (2003) Hall of mirrors: power, witchcraft, and caste in colonial Mexico (Latin America Otherwise), Durham, US. Duke University Press, 280pp.

Record type: Book

Abstract

Through an examination of caste in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mexico, Hall of Mirrors explores the construction of hierarchy and difference in a Spanish colonial setting. Laura A. Lewis describes how the meanings attached to the categories of Spanish, Indian, black, mulatto, and mestizo were generated within that setting, as she shows how the cultural politics of caste produced a system of fluid and relational designations that simultaneously facilitated and undermined Spanish governance.

Using judicial records from a variety of colonial courts, Lewis highlights the ethnographic details of legal proceedings as she demonstrates how Indians, in particular, came to be the masters of witchcraft, a domain of power that drew on gendered and hegemonic caste distinctions to complicate the colonial hierarchy. She also reveals the ways in which blacks, mulattoes, and mestizos mediated between Spaniards and Indians, alternatively reinforcing Spanish authority and challenging it through alliances with Indians. Bringing to life colonial subjects as they testified about their experiences, Hall of Mirrors discloses a series of contradictions that complicate easy distinctions between subalterns and elites, resistance and power.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2003
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 346069
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/346069
ISBN: 978-0-8223-3147-6
PURE UUID: a1272a69-a273-4c12-924f-5ffb09aeab19
ORCID for Laura A. Lewis: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2782-7254

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 13 Dec 2012 15:28
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:25

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×