Global Colonialism Series
“This is a compelling and crucial collection of studies that should be read by all scholars of both the Maya and (post)colonialism in the Americas. However we conceive of the task—as decolonizing the ethnohistory of the Maya or as exploring coloniality as a way to better understand the Maya past and present—it is clear that a new conversation needs to take place, that these eighteen contributors have started it, and that we must join it as soon as possible.”
—Matthew Restall, author of When Montezuma Met Cortés and Return to Ixil
“This publicly engaged archaeology of recent Yucatán pasts as the subject of an entire collection is long overdue.”
—Minette E. Church, University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands explores what has been required of the Maya to survive both internal and external threats and other destabilizing forces. These include shifting power dynamics and sociocultural transformations, tumultuous political regimes, the precarity of newly formed nation states, migration in search of refuge, and newly globalizing economies in the Yucatecan lowlands in the Late Colonial to Early National periods—the times when formal Spanish colonial rule was giving way to Yucatecan and Mexican neocolonial settler systems.
The work takes a hemispheric approach to the historical and material analysis of colonialism, bridging the often disparate literatures on coloniality and settler colonialism. Archaeologists and anthropologists working in what are today southeastern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras grapple with the material realities of coloniality at a regional level. They provide sustained discussions of Maya experiences with wide-ranging colonial endurances: violence, resource insecurity, land rights, refugees, the control of borders, the movement of contraband, surveillance, individual and collective agency, consumption, and use of historic resources.
Considering a future for historical archaeologies of the Maya region that bridges anthropology, ethnohistory, Indigenous studies, settler colonial studies, and Latin American studies, Coloniality in the Maya Lowlands presents a new understanding of how ways of being in the Maya world have formed and changed over time, as well as the shared investments of historical archaeologists and sociocultural anthropologists working in the Maya region.
Contributors: Fernando Armstrong-Fumero, Alejandra Badillo Sánchez, Adolfo Iván Batún Alpuche, A. Brooke Bonorden, Maia C. Dedrick, Scott L. Fedick, Fior García Lara, John Gust, Brett A. Houk, Rosemary A. Joyce, Gertrude B. Kilgore, Jennifer P. Mathews, Patricia A. McAnany, James W. Meierhoff, Fabián A. Olán de la Cruz, Julie K. Wesp