Mestizaje, Hybridity and Cultural Entanglements in Colonial Latin America: Mesoamerica


>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, DC.>>Georgette Dorn:
Good afternoon. Buenas tardes. My name is Georgette
Dorn and I’m the head of the Hispanic Division
of the Library of Congress. It is a great pleasure to
welcome this wonderful symposium to the library and a great
honor for the Hispanic Division to have you all here, and especially welcome is
Professor Serge Gruzinski, who is an eminent historian. The Hispanic Division
is the home of 170– The library has 170
million items. Of those, 14 million
relate to up to Latin America,
Spain and Portugal. The Hispanic Division is
also the home of the Handbook of Latin American Studies,
which is a scholarly resource to study Latin America. It is also the home
of the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape. We have recorded 750 authors
until today and we’re adding 50 of those a year online. Welcome. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Ralph Bauer: Thank
you, Georgette. Thank you all for coming on this
[inaudible] Friday afternoon in the last day of March. I’m Ralph Bauer. I’m at the University
of Maryland and I’m currently the convener of the Early Americas Working
Group, which is a group of local Early Americanists
that coordinates and organizes events relating
to the early Americas. So it’s my distinct pleasure
to welcome you to the symposium “Mestizaje, Hybridity and
Cultural Entanglements in Colonial Latin America” with a keynote addressed
by Serge Gruzinski. First of all, I’d like
to thank Georgette Dorn and Talia Guzman-Gonzalez
and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, as well as the Hispanic
Cultural Society for hosting this event today. Also, I’d like to thank the
Kislak Family Foundation for their generous
support of this symposium, as well as of our initiatives,
the group’s initiatives here over the last several years. And of course, also, I’d like to
thank the Early Americas Working Group for helping to
co-organize this event. Finally, also the University
of Maryland at College Park for their administrative
support. So, we’re going to proceed
in two different panels today and then those will be– We’ll take a break in
between the two panels and then we’ll finally conclude with our keynote
address at the end. So I think– Are we all
set with the PowerPoints? That’s great. OK. So I think we’ll just stick
with the original order then. So our first speaker
today in the first panel, which will be dealing with
Mesoamerica in the first panel, our first speaker will be Joan
Bristol, an associate professor of history at George
Mason University. She’s the author of numerous
articles that have appeared in edited collections
and such journals as “Boletín del Archivo General
de la Nación” and the “Journal Of Colonialism And
Colonial History” as well as of a monograph entitled,
“Christians, Blasphemers, and Witches: Afro-Mexican
Ritual Practice in the Seventeenth
Century” which was published by the University of New
Mexico Press in 2007. She’s now working on a
new book about pulque. And I think this presentation
is drawn from that new project as her presentation is
entitled “Mixing Pulque and Drinking Coyotes
in Colonial Mexico”. So, Joan.>>Ralph?>>Ralph Bauer: Yes. [Inaudible] Maybe
later for the Q&A.>>All right. We’re ready. So–>>Joan Bristol: OK. Which one? Thank you very much for coming. Thank you, Ralph,
for inviting me and I’m really happy to be here. Today I’m going to talk
about the way that pulque, a fermented beverage, was used
as a way to talk about race and especially about indigeneity
in the colonial period in Mexico in a way that has
resonance for the present. And I should say that the
remarks are drawn from a chapter that I wrote for
an edited volume that I think Marcy [assumed
spelling] wrote the introduction for, called “Substance and
Seduction: Ingested Commodities in Colonial Mesoamerica, the
Atlantic World and Beyond” which was edited by Kathryn
Sampeck and Stacy Schwarzkopf. So it will be coming
out in print. But it’s also a work in progress because it is part
of a larger book. So, pulque is an alcoholic
beverage, which is made by fermenting the sap
of the maguey plant, which is also called the agave,
and here we have a picture. And then this is–
And then this is a– This is a picture
of a [inaudible], a person who is taking the
sap from the maguey plant through a gourd and then the
sap will be made into pulque. Mesoamericans have been drinking
pulque for probably millennia. There is some debate
about how old it is. Although its popularity has
waxed and waned, particularly in the past hundred years or so. Pulque is quite perishable
so it usually only last for a few days, maybe
up to a week after it’s finished fermenting. Although recently some
companies have begun canning it for export. And so here we have
Pulque La Lucha, and we’ll come back to that. The alcohol level varies,
so I think it can be as low as 2 to 3% alcohol. I looked at public health
records from the early nine– the early 20th century in
Mexico City, and there, the alcohol content
seemed to be like 3 to 4%. I think that this canned
pulque is 5% alcohol. So probably for as long as
people have been talking about pulque, they’ve
been arguing about issues of moderation and abuse. So in the 1540s, friar
Toribio de Motolinia said that pulque made indigenous
people “violently drunk and accordingly more
cruel and bestial”. Although he then went on
to say, actually, however, if taken with moderation, pulque is wholesome
and very nutritious. And this is this
contrast you see in a lot of– I have
many examples. So you can see here
in this quotation, in addition to the issues
of moderation and abuse, you can see that Spaniards, as well as indigenous people saw
this as an indigenous product that was consumed by indigenous
people, although in fact like everybody drink it in
many different settings. This multilinea quotation
also points to the fact that colonial chroniclers
tended to discuss pulque through categories of
order and disorder, purity and mixture
and health and vice. So as Mary Douglas and
others have explained, these sorts of ideas
about purity and pollution are often
used to maintain boundaries and reinforce social
hierarchies. And this connection
between purity and social order is
particularly obvious in colonial debates
over mixed pulque. So, pulque sellers mixed pulque
with all kinds of things, with fruit, with meat,
occasionally with peyote and with herbs and
different kinds of roots. And so for Spanish
officials, pure pulque, which they called pulque blanco
or like literally white pulque, pulque blanco was tolerable. I mean, sort of more or less
tolerable in different times, but overall, generally
tolerable. But mixing it with
anything made it bad in the eyes of Spanish
officials. As early as 1529, Spanish
officials prohibited the sale of pulque mixed with
any other ingredient and this regulation continued
throughout the colonial period. So viceregal decrees of 1535, 1671 and 1792 prohibited
yellow pulque and which– and they called yellow
pulque corrupt. And they defined this yellow
pulque as having “the root, the raiz that strengthens
it, causing drunkenness that is dangerous to health
and to good customs and from which come the crimes,
sins, and abominations that we see continually.” So these decrees proclaimed that public stands must sell
only pulque that was “pure and clean” of all confection,
mixture, root or corruption. And the root that
they were talking about was palo de timbre. And this is well
not– like I googled. I googled palo de
timbre and this came up on a culinary website. So this is a plant that is still
used to speed up fermentation. And according to this culinary
website, all different parts of it can be used to speed
fermentation, still are used. So it could be the leaves,
it could be the branches. So I don’t know, when they
say raiz or root, I don’t know if they’re really
talking about the root or if the branch maybe was used. It don’t look like a
root, but they’re talking about this palo de timbre. So, palo de timbre was
mentioned in many other texts, including the 1681 Recopilación
de leyes de los reinos de Indias, the compilation
of the colonial laws. And the Recopilación warned
against the damaging effects of “introducing ingredients
to pulque that are noxious to spiritual and
temporal health”. Legislators describe the
Indian practice of “mixing it with certain roots, boiling
water and lime which makes it so strong that it makes them, indigenous people,
lose their senses”. Then they went on–
“Then being alienated, they commit idolatries,
make ceremonies and Gentile sacrifices.” So it’s not just that Spanish
officials tolerated the consumption of pure
or white pulque, but they actually made money
from its sale, so they had like, you know, skin on the game. In 1668, the crown established
the asiento de pulque. They named an administrator
to collect pulque taxes. And then in 1763, pulque taxation became
the responsibility of the Real Hacienda
or the royal treasury. So this seems somewhat
paradoxical. So if collecting tax money was
the primary concern of crown and viceregal authorities,
why would they ban the sale of mixed pulque, from which
they could also make money? So it’s not surprising
that officials would want to prohibit the sale of pulque
with like things like peyote or maybe other kinds
of materials that had obvious
pharmacological properties. And in fact Daniel Nemser, who
has written about these issues for the late 17th century, has shown that Spaniards
actually thought of pulque that had been mixed
with certain materials as fundamentally altered and
different from pulque blanco. So he quotes a theologian as using the term
transubstantiate to talk about this. So this is a material
that’s totally different. But we might ask what’s the
problem with adding fruit or meat or other kind– you know, adulterating it
in other kinds of ways. So the fact that officials were
not profiting from all pulque but were in fact trying to
discourage the consumption of some pulque suggest that
pulque regulations have to do with concerns that were
not strictly financial. So I want to suggest
that the reason that Spanish officials
prohibited mixed pulque was at least in part because
of its mixed nature. So we know very well that Spaniards valued
purity of blood. So to have high status or
to occupy certain positions, you had to prove that you had
limpieza de sangre or, you know, translated as purity of blood. Meaning, really,
that you could prove that you are an old Christian
but it’s sort of in– in sort of in fact kind of meant that you could prove
you’re of European descent. Presumably, Spaniards also look
for purity in the substances that went into physical bodies. And so my favorite example
to describe this conjunction of ideas about pulque and
ideas about blood lineage comes in a set of responses to a
survey of drinking habits that the viceregal
government sent out in 1783. And so there is a survey, what
do you drink, what’s it made out of, when do you drink it. And so this yielded a great list
of alcoholic drinks, you know, saying where these things were
drunk and what went into them and this kind of thing. And so most of these
recipes were sort of neutrally explanatory. So, for example, to make a drink
that is called mantequilla, which in this period I think
would translate literally as lard. I don’t know why it’s
called mantequilla. But informants reported that
they “mixed” aguardiente or distilled alcohol,
and pulque and sugar or some other sweetener. So this was a mixture but
this is reported in a sort of matter of fact way. In this list, a drink
called coyote stands out. So, coyote was “composed of
inferior pulque, dark honey and palo de timbre,” this plant,
“and putting it in an infusion, it gets stronger and people
drink it although it’s very harmful”. And the term is nocivo. The term always– I
translated it I think as noxious at one point and then I
translated it as harmful but it’s always– it’s
almost always nocivo. So that’s interesting. You know that this word is
like through the century sort of repeated in relation to
this mixed, mixed pulque. So the name of this
drink, this– the name coyote is striking. In the eight– as
you I’m sure know– In the 18th century the
term coyote was used to describe a person of mixed
descent, theoretically one who is three quarters indigenous
and one quarter Spanish. So liquid coyote– and OK, I did
have a slide, I can remember. So liquid coyotes and human
coyotes then were both characterized by mixture. So the description of the
beverage coyote as harmful and low grade recall some
contemporary Spanish ideas that castas or people of
mixed racial background, including so called
coyotes were inferior, dangerous and disorderly. So in 1763, the Capuchin
chronicler Francisco de Ajofrín wrote, “lobos, [inaudible]
and coyotes,” these are these categories
of mixed people, “are fierce people
of bizarre customs.” This is not the only kind
of depiction of these castas or these mixed people. So I brought these
caste paintings because they show people
drinking pulque so you can sort of see what it might have,
you know, been like in action. But you can also see that these
are paintings of mixed people but they show the sort of
harmonious family unit. And then those of you to whom
I spoke before this know– and was like sort of confused
because the caste painting that we have on our program
today actually doesn’t have [inaudible] so I don’t
know what that means, but we can talk about that. So the connection
between lineage– sorry, liquids and
lineage is clear in the 1611 Spanish dictionary
in which the noun mezcla or mixture was defined as
“the incorporation of a liquid with another” and its verb form,
this dictionary defined mezclar, the verb to mix as meaning
“to unite diverse things”. And then the example
was “to mix lineages when some lineages are mixed
up with others that are not of the same calidad or quality”. The dictionary went on to say– and we say it is a thing
without mixture when it’s pure. So, purity, mixture, process. Calidad use– the word
used in the 1611 dictionary in a general way, meaning sort
of quality or type was also used to indicate social status
in the colonial period. So there are several ways to
approach the Spanish fears about these mixed drinks. So first, these kind of– these rules in legislation
reflect a sort of material solution
to fears about mixing. So Spanish officials feared
that the mixing of liquids and other ingredients
in pulque drinks because of resulting inebriation
could lead to the mixing of bodies, and ultimately the
mixing of blood, both in terms of like the bloodshed
that comes from violence, and also the mixing of
lineages that could, you know, happen when people had
sex with each other and had kids together. So possibly through pulque
fuel the sexual relations. So we’ve seen example of
these in the ban of sales of all pulque after the 1692
bread riots in Mexico City. So in this– right after
these riots, officials claimed that the insurrection had
been planned in pulquerias and then they banned
pulque briefly. There was like a little bit of
a disagreement between the crown and the viceregal government. And Daniel Nemser, this person I
have mentioned before has talked in at length about this– he
wrote an article about this. He said the study of mixed
pulque offered a lead to language for talking
about race mixing, mestizaje, while simultaneously
constituting pulque consumers as a seditious collective
subject, a plebe defined, like pulque, by mixing. So he’s talking about
this issue in this period. So as Nemser’s work indicates, this worry about mixing pulque
was also a manifestation of biopower, biopolitics
in the way that Foucault has
talked about it. So by claiming to
protect colonial residents from the disorderly
effects of mixing pulque, the state was trying to control
their bodies and their actions and it was then also
another way to sort of perpetuate this discourse as
of– about mixing as undesirable and corrupting and bad. Spanish officials
were not only worried about Spanish identity
being adulterated, however, but they were also worried about indigenous identity
being adulterated. And we see this like
all over the place. So we see this in regular
decrees prohibiting Spaniards, blacks and castas, mixed people, from living in indigenous
villages. And we also see this in
the two republic idea, the idea that the colonial
world should be split up sort of juridically and
also spatially into the republica de indios
and the republica de Espanol. Although it’s like only a
fantasy, it never works. So, ideas about pure
Indianness and pure pulque and the importance of
maintaining the purity of both were linked in crown and viceregal policies
limiting the sale of the permitted white
pulque to indigenous sellers. Decrees from 1608, 1635 and
1639 restricted licenses for selling pulque
to indigenous women, although in practice
Spaniards, as well as men of different groups were
involved in the trade in Mexico City certainly by the
18th century or possibly before. Religious leaders were
specifically worried about Spanish cultural
polluting indigenous people. In the mid 16th century, the friar Diego Duran condemned
mixed pulque writing “today, what is called pulque made by
Spaniards from the black honey and water with the root
in it was never known to the ancients,” meaning sort of the Nahua people
before contact. He’s writing in Central Mexico. “Nor do they know how to
concoct it until the blacks and Spaniards invented it.” And so this seems to be
the recipe for coyote that we see later, much later,
200 years later in the 179– in the 1783 text that
I talked about earlier. Duran and– goes on to
describe white pulque as “their own native wine”
which is lighter and medicinal, meaning Nahua people’s
native wine, and then describes this
mixed variant as “diabolical, stinking, black, potent, rough,
without flavor or taste”. So, again, so mixture makes
pulque diabolical while white pulque is both purely indigenous
and better and more wholesome but also kind of
rooted in the past. In the 1634 Nahua to
confession manual, Bartolome de Alva addressed
indigenous Mexicans directly. I mean, sort of, lamenting
that “for a gourd of pulque, or a cup of wine, you
cast your souls to hell and give them to the devil.” And he claimed that before
contact with Spaniards, Nahua people, “had
discretion, prudence, fear, shame and good breeding, but he said that now they
had been turned into beasts by drunkenness and
intoxication.” So he wrote, “even though the
ancients, your elders, drink– excuse me, it was with
moderation and restraint as your neighbors, the
Spaniards, do today.” Which I don’t really know
what to make of that but– And if by some chance
they sometimes they used to discover some drunkard, they immediately took
away his life for it. And now in our times, it exists
because nobody restrains you with the death penalty. And this is actually in
reference to this idea that comes from the Florentine
Codex that under the Aztecs, the drinking of pulque
was restricted to ritual specialists
and the elderly. Although it seems that this
was– this never really– This was not really the
case, but there is this– people think that
this is the case. So Duran and Alva then
were idealizing the past, this Nahua past, and using
pulque as a way to argue for the need to protect
but really to regulate native bodies. Yet in reality, of course, people and practices
were actively mixing in all kinds of ways. Friar Ilarione da Bergamo,
who is an Italian Capuchin who dropped– traveled
in New Spain in the 1760s described
maguey in this way. So, maguey, the plant, right,
from which pulque comes. So he says, as you can read,
this plant is also held in special esteem by the
Most Blessed Virgin Mary because in the year
1540 she appeared to an Indian named Juan
de Aguila on the hill of Totoltepec, which is not far
from Mexico City, and told him that he should look for her
image in the very same place. After initial efforts he
found in the middle of one of these plants a small
statute of the Blessed Virgin with her babe in her arms
though it’s not known from what material it is made. The Mexicans showed great faith
and devotion to this and in time of greatest need they have
a special recourse to it through public prayers. So what does this sound like? It sounds like the Virgin
of Guadalupe, right? So the Virgin of Guadalupe just
nine years before had appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac
and she, you know, appears in this hill where Tonantzin was
important, this earlier deity. This description also calls to
Mayahuel, who is the goddess of maguey and pulque depicted
in both the Codex Mendoza and then here of an image
from the Codex Borgia, as a woman with 400 breasts
nursing a baby while sitting in a maguey plant. And so, you know, this is how
it’s been interpreted, so. However, pulque was pragmatic– was hybrid in a more
pragmatic way as well. So it’s hybrid just because
lots of people drink it in many different situations. So the same Italian friar wrote,
today consumption of pulque is so widespread that
everyone drinks it. There are public pulquerias, which are like our
public wine shops. A few years ago, it was not
proper for people with any kind of social standing
to go into them because entering a place
frequented only by drunks and by rabble of
every ilk seemed to undercut their
respectability. Now, people of every
rank frequent them, and during the time
of my stay in Mexico, I observed many carriages and
coaches of gentlemen, ladies, merchants and other respectable
people heading to these places. And this is my favorite part. As for myself, in the roughly
five years that I resided in that country, I could not
get used to drinking that liquor because of its foul odor. Even though Europeans,
after drinking it for two or three days became
even more keen on it than the local population
itself. So Bergamo here is obviously
participating in the sort of discourse that sees Spanish
creoles as sort of degraded because of their
American origins. But it’s also interesting
because it shows– and he’s saying in this
period but I think it’s true or it’s definitely true early as
well that pulque consumption was of course not only limited
to indigenous people. However, much the discourse
about pulque revolved around identifying them as
the primary pulque drinkers. So ultimately, I’m
interested in the way that this colonial
pulque discourse may or may not foreshadow
ideas about indigeneity and Mexican identity in the
19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. So after 21– I’m sorry,
after 1821, caste distinctions and ethnic privileges and
protections were abolished by liberal policymakers. After 1910, mixture
was celebrated. The idea the Indian as part of the cosmic race
really became a linchpin for Mexican national
identity and the idea here was that the Indian was part of the past while the
mestiza was the future. And I should say going
back to the 19th century, Deborah Toner has written
this wonderful book, which I can’t remember
the name of, but about the representations
of alcohol and drunkenness and the relationship to national
identity in the 19th century. So that’s very good book. But so the modern– In
the modernization products of the early to mid
20th century, pulque sort of fell behind. So the state actually
encourages beer consumption over pulque consumption. Beer was taxed less heavily. There weren’t as many
hygienic regulations. The state was subsidizing
some of the beer producers. And in part, this is because
it’s seen as sort of modern and progressive and clean,
and pulque is characterized as not clean in this period. Now in the 21st century,
pulque is having a resurgence as middleclass students and all
kinds of people go to pulquerias and it’s very, very hip. That’s the word that– and so
it was used to describe it. So the New York Times and the
LA Times have had articles in their travel sections within
the past five years or so which emphasize how
pulque is sort of the symbol of Mexicanness. So much of the current
pulque discourse revolves around defining Mexico through
a purely indigenous past. And so here we have
again Pulque La Lucha. This is advertised, as you
can see it down there in that like ribbon on the bottom, it
says it’s older than tequila, stronger than beer, it’s the
original drink of Mexico. And the website go– It
claims that the drink “survived the ravages
of the European invaders for three centuries
prior to the formation of the Republic of Mexico.” And I guess none of these
things are really not– are untrue, you know, but it– but it’s sort of the
way they’re using it to advertise, it’s interesting. The New York Times
describes pulque in one these travel
articles, it’s “a thick and pungent 2000 year
old Aztec drink.” We know the Aztecs were
not 2000 years old. And “a toast to the Aztec gods.” So I’ll end by saying
that it’s tempting to see historical continuities
between the colonial and modern idealizations
of indigenous identity and the effort to
discursively define Indians as pure in both cases. And that was really where
my emphasis lay, I think, when I first started
thinking about this. But when we examine this more
closely, we see a rupture with the colonial past as well. Today’s pulque discourse
emphasizes the mixed nature of Mexican identity and in many
ways relegates its indigenous identity to the past. However, throughout
the colonial period, indigenous people
were a central concern of the Spanish colonial
authorities and one of the ways that Spanish authorities try to contain indigenous
people and their economics. Sorry, and their economic
activities was specifically through this pulque discourse. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Ralph Bauer: OK. I’d like to hold the questions
until the end of the panel. So we’ll proceed right
to the next speaker who will be Garry Sparks who
is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at
George Mason University. His research and teaching
focus on anthropological and socio-cultural
and linguistic as well as ethnohistorical
understandings of theological production
in the Americas, particularly among
indigenous peoples. His areas include histories
of Christian thought and the theories of
religion and culture, religions of indigenous
American peoples, and the religion
in Latin America. Since 1995, he has done
human rights work with and conducted fieldwork among
the Highland Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas in Mexico. His first book, “The Americas’
First Theologies: Early Sources of Post-Contact Indigenous
Religion” is forthcoming from Oxford University Press
in August of this year. He is currently revising his
second book, “Domingo de Vico, K’iche’ Maya Intellectuals,
and the Theologia Indorum: Recovering the Legacy of the
Americas’ First Theology,” which is under contract,
to be published with the University
Press of Colorado. And also, he is completing
with the support of the NEH, Scholarly Translation
and critical addition of the Theologia Indorum, which
will be published in 2020. His titled– His talk
today is entitled, Religiously Appropriating
Indios: 20th- and 16th-Century
Theological Production from and by…well, Indios.>>Garry Sparks: Great. Many thanks. The title is supposed to be
somewhat of a double entendre which I hope will become a
little more clear as we proceed. And if you had never heard of
the Theologia Indorum before in Ralph’s nice introduction,
I’ll unpack that as well. Based on the use of the term,
since at least the medieval era and the application or perhaps
better said, the misapplication of Indorum to the Americas,
it served as a catchall phrase for all fantastic objects
from an exotic land, namely its flora, fauna and
peoples, and by extension, their rights, customs and laws. Accompanied with the
emergence of the Spanish Empire and its ideology of clean
or pure blood, the category of Indio was further relegated
to a pejorative status socially, politically, as well
as theologically. And much of the history is
own religion in Latin America by focusing on records of
the out of the phase tale of early missionaries’
preoccupation for the endurance of indigenous religions as
forms of idolatry, witchcraft or heresy, especially when
seen as mixed with Christianity and thus akin to a
spiritual mysticism. As a result, many cultural
theories even those sympathetic to native peoples like
postcolonialism tend to relegate indigenous people to
the options of a simple binary, of only being either
overly-romanticized reactionary resistors or passive victims who are simply coerced
into a new religion. Thus ironically such
binary options limit and undervalue the agency and
reasoning of indigenous peoples, both historically and presently. And yet on the other hand,
the early paper trail written in indigenous languages
by both missionaries and early indigenous
peoples also drew from– oh, excuse me, evinces a
more complex engagement of where native peoples and
mendicant missionaries also drew from the world views of the
proverbial other to reconfigure, if not also translate
and maintain their own. Now among the earliest of these
documents of course written by the Highland Maya
in particular in Quechan languages is
the Popol Vuh which serves for Mayanists and indigenous
activists as a cornerstone within a larger body of early
Native American literature. However, the references to Christianity have remained
a perennial puzzle leading some scholars to argue that the Maya
authors were resisting either Spanish Christendom at large
or the specific practices of missionaries in
general, such as preaching or doctrinal teaching. And most of this confusion
lies in the opening lines. The dates of the Popol Vuh
if you’re not familiar, redaction dates are
1554 to 1558. And the first line of the Popol
Vuh, the K’iche’ authors state that their text is “the root of the ancient word”,
the ojer tzij. Only to then juxtapose
their ancient word with what they refer to a
few lines later as the talk about god, uch’ab’al Dios. In this way, the K’iche’
authors used Christianity and the missionaries “talk about
god” as a foil against which to reassert a pre-contact
Maya cosmology. However, the specific phrase
uch’ab’al Dios was not coined by the K’iche redactors
of the Popol Vuh, but rather they lifted it
from among the writings of a Dominican friar,
specifically Domingo de Vico. In other words, rather than
merely referring to Christianity in general in this opening
preamble of the Popol Vuh, by this phrase the authors
of the Popol Vuh indicate that they have read and
are responding directly to the first theology
written in the Americas, Vico’s Theologia Indorum. Of the early mendicant
missionaries, Domingo de Vico compiled
the first important works on numerous Mayan languages
after arriving into the Americas in 1544 with over 40 other
Dominican missionaries and Bartolome de las Casas. Within a short time, Vico is
said to have learned no less than seven different
Mayan languages. And one year prior to
his death, in 1555, he completed his
Theologia Indorum, a theology for the Indians
or theology of the Indians. Consisting of almost
1000 manuscript pages, divided into 218 chapters
across two distinct volumes, Vico’s Theologia Indorum
addresses a variety of theological, moral
and cultural issues. And while no first generation or even complete
manuscript has survived, a positively identified
a now 17 partial versions in at least three, if not
five different Highland Maya languages which allow for a complete reconstruction
of the full text. This is simply a chart of the
size of those manuscripts, so more or less, where
they reside mostly in Paris and Princeton. As one of the first generations
of Spanish students to study at the University of Salamanca
after the arrival or return of Francisco de Vitoria
and the establishment of domestic scholasticism
alongside humanism as the curricular standard, Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae
serves as both the general
organizing structure of Vico’s Theologia Indorum
but also the analogical method by which Vico strove to
reconcile Catholicism with the Maya world view, much
like Aquinas had centuries prior but with the Jewish and
Muslim Aristotelianism. In this compendium
genre of Summa, Vico presented narrative
summaries of biblical characters in a stylic and to the
hagiographic stories of the popular Golden Legend. For example, volume 1 which
Vico finished in 1553 begins with the domestic themes of
the names and being of god, and continues with
stories and lessons of the Catholic Old Testament
while integrating elements of Highland Maya
religious material. The second volume, finished in
early 1554, presents narratives of the New Testament and
incorporates standard but much more detailed than usual catechism material
particularly at a time when catechisms were
becoming much more simplistic because indigenous
peoples were deemed as rudimentary [inaudible],
who just needed to memorize their rudimentary
material of doctrine. In contrast, the
contemporaneous mendicant– to other contemporaneous
mendicant text, Vico’s Theologia Indorum
distinguishes itself in four important ways. First, Vico’s theology
is not a translation of a previously written
work elaborated in Europe and then exported and
translated into Mesoamerica but rather explicitly
references Maya rituals and narratives based on his
own direct conversation with and ethnographic
study among the Maya. Secondly, the Theologia Indorum
is never in fact ever written, let alone translated into
Latin or Castilian Spanish, what was originally
composed in K’iche. Thirdly, the Theologia Indorum
is the first known work written in either North or South America to explicitly declare
itself a theology, thus intentionally
distinguishing itself in terms of genre from its textual peers. And finally, I think
perhaps most importantly, while apparently commissioned
as an aid for priests, the primary readers
directly addressed in Vico’s texts are not fellow
clergy but rather literate Maya to whom he refers as ix, you
all and numi’al, nuk’ajol, my daughters and my sons, by which the Theologia
Indorum then emerges as a direct Christian
reply to the Maya and their cosmogonic
narratives found in text like the Popol Vuh. Now while Vico’s obvious aim
pertains to the conversion of the Maya to Catholicism, his strategy builds
off an affirmation of pre-Hispanic Mayan religion. In Chapter 25, he argued
against the autonomous mixing of Mayan religious practices
with Catholic devotionalism. But it does not rule
out altogether a mixing of Catholic theology and
indigenous devotional practices. Furthermore, he wrote not
only in the K’iche languages in which he makes his argument and assumes a literate
Maya readership but also used the high register of Maya ceremonial
discourse typified by elaborate poetic parallelisms
and archaic turns of phrases which are traceable to
ancient glyphic text. A common example of
this is the phrase, [inaudible] which means
literally, yellowness, greenness, but it is
more or less a couplet or lexical parallelism
for wealth, and we find this actually
in the hieroglyphic text of the classic period. Just as notably, Vico
selected motifs and phrases from Maya theogony also
found in the Popol Vuh. He chose the Maya term for
the other world Xibalba that mean hell, and he employed
a Mayan metaphorical language of weaving and sewing that
we see in the beginning of the Popol Vuh for his
narrative of cosmogenesis rather than say, use that
of the biblical book which is more language
of pottery and smith making–
metalsmithing. And he selected terms for his
god, like Tz’aqol, B’itol, the Maker and the Modeler and
Alom, K’ajolom, the Bearer and the Begetter over
other phrases also found in Maya theogony such as
the Sovereign Plumed Serpent or Heart of Earth, Heart of Sky. And he even refers to his
Christian god explicitly as qachuch qaqajaw, our
mother and our father, thus modifying the
doctrine of god, the father, as the first person or
persona of the triune deity. Now, in addition
to the Popol Vuh, beginning in the early
1550s, most certainly 1552, Highland Maya began to write
numerous other documents in their own languages
and exclusively for their own purposes. They’re not for the crown,
not for the audience. They are not under
editorial control of clergy. But in the mendicant
script or alphabet and employing the
Iberian legal genres, many of which show
further influence of both the Theologia
Indorum and the Popol Vuh. The Title of Totonicapan
is arguably the third most important K’ichean text. And the first seven folios, 14
pages, consist of a redaction of key chapters directly
from the first volume of the Theologia
Indorum and even list and cites the specific
chapter numbers used beginning with Chapter 30 and
the story of Genesis in the opening line
of this [inaudible]. However, within their
autonomous appropriation of the Theologia Indorum, the Title of Totonicapan
further contextualized or corrected Vico’s
theology by, for example, specifying that Cain was killed in his [inaudible],
his [inaudible]. And that Moses confronts a
burning Boysenberry Bush, a toucan, a boundary–
a shrub that’s used as a boundary marker even to
this day among Highland Maya to distinguish property lines. Details not in the
Theologia Indorum. Furthermore, by the eight folio
of the Title of Totonicapan, the authors of that text begin
to integrate myths also found in the Popol Vuh as if to reconcile the pre-Hispanic
Maya religious narratives with the biblical material
presented by Vico and equating, for example, the mythical
Mesoamerican city of Tolan with the biblical
city of Babylon. Now curiously in contrast with
earlier K’iche writings of 1554, like the Popol Vuh and
the Title of Totonicapan which dates most certainly
to 1554, that is to say both of these texts are
written one year after Vico finished
the first volume of his Theologia
Indorum in 1553. Later independent K’iche
writings actually mentioned Vico and his Theologia by name. For example, the third
title of the [inaudible] which states the
1598 also argues that the legendary mythological
Maya ancestors made of maize by the divine grandmother,
Xmukane, according to the Popol
Vuh, are direct descendants of the prophets and
the patriarchs listed in the Catholic Old
Testament as the Title of the Totonicapan did. Thus via this supposed land
deed, the K’iche Maya argued for the validity of their
pre-Hispanic religious narratives, ritual
practices and authority by not resisting Hispanic
Catholicism like the authors of the Popol Vuh did but
rather by grafting onto it. Furthermore, this
[inaudible] explicitly cites, if you notice the last
line, it’s cited there, Vico’s Theologia Indorum as its
source, which you didn’t see because I didn’t advance
the slide, case in point. Now, unfortunately the
Highland Maya paper trail thins out after the 1600s. And while there is no
evidence that clergy outside of the Guatemala Highlands, say
other Dominicans further North in Oaxaca, were ever aware of
Vico’s theology even there. Local references [inaudible]
Guatemala and his work in ecclesial accounts seem to
peer out by the 19th century. However, as recently as– by
the mid 1960s, both Catholic and Protestant clergy
concerned with social issues, issues of social
justice and areas with predominantly
indigenous populations, like Southern Mexico and
the Andean region began to reevaluate the role and value
of culture in large part due to the influence of
indigenous activists. While clergy and theologians,
such as some Dominicans, Jesuits and Maryknolls but also some
Presbyterians, Methodists and Lutherans began
to elaborate a– what’s called the theology of enculturation
alongside the theology of liberation even prior to the second Vatican
council in the 1960s. By the 1970s, indigenous
activists within various Christian
denominations began to produce their own
strands of enculturated or indigenized Christian
theology through various international,
regional and highly local workshops aided by sympathetic clergy
and bishops often. Indigenous activists helped to
establish an informal network of centers, curricula and
publications that argue for ways that indigenous religious world
views can constructively engage Christian thought and practice. For example, for various
Highland Maya of Chiapas and Guatemala, the wives of
Mayan men ordained as deacons in the Catholic Church also
serve as unofficial deaconesses in accord with the
cosmogonic principle of gender complementarity. I should be very delicate
on this matter because it– there was an incidence
that was investigated by then Cardinal Joseph
Ratzinger in the diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas. Just– This is public,
it didn’t happen. The– And the liturgical and hagiographic church
calendars are integrated in many parishes with
the 260 day Mesoamerican ritual calendar. Clergy, in many cases Jesuits,
often don’t wear habits or even the Roman color
but rather the attire of traditional Maya
elders in villages. The Eucharist I’ve seen
celebrated on a platter or patent in the shape
of the back of a turtle, therefore referencing the
fertile surface of the Earth as well as the constellation
belt of Orion from which Hunahpu and Xbalanque emerged with
the resurrected father as the god of maize. And in certain services
scripture readings are often paired with or accompanied
by readings from the Popol Vuh translated
into other local Mayan languages such as Tzotzil, Tzeltal and
Q’anjo’bal, thus aligning the “word of the lord” with the
Maya ancient word, ojer tzij. As a liberation, this
theological movement, but in the hands of modern
indigenous intellectuals, they struggled for a name
that would not separate them from the class analysis
of liberation theology or the cultural attentiveness
of enculturation theology, but simultaneously
would indicate that their approach was
distinctively indigenous and one shared in common
across the Americas, across distinct indigenous
languages, world views and even national histories of oppression unique
to native peoples. In the end, the term that they
thought best indicated their unique condition of oppression,
historical perspectives and cultural resources
from which to respond as indigenous peoples
that all native peoples in the America shared
was the category, Indios. And so, they began a two-fold
effort of, one, reappropriating and redefining on their terms
a pejorative category arguably much like [inaudible] did with
term mestizo in the 19th century for the ideology of La Raza
to elaborate a distinctively but hemispherically
Teologia india. And two, to begin to specify
a move beyond the category of Indio for the elaboration
of particular theologies of distinct peoples like
a particular Maya theology or even more specific, a K’iche
theology, a Tzeltal theology, a Q’anjo’bal theology,
Tzotzil theology, et cetera. What has been proposed
here is not that there is any direct link
between Vico’s Theologia Indorum and the writings of Highland
Maya elites in the 16th century and the current efforts
by indigenous peoples to develop Christian
understandings on their own cultural
and spiritual terms in the movement they
called, Teologia India. In fact I find it quite ironic
that I can literally count on my hand, actually
a couple of fingers, the number of academic
Latin Americans involved in Teologia India who even know
who Vico is or was and neither of them have actually
read anything by Vico because they don’t know K’iche. Any explicit textual dots
to connect between the 1550s and the 1970s is too
vague and spread thin. So any legacy of Vico lies
not in the written record of later clergy or Maya but
rather at best implicitly in the local traditions of
how Maya leaders continued to navigate between
their indigenous and their Christian
understandings. But at the very least, a
thicker ethnohistorical context, based on intratextual
analysis of the wider corpus of K’ichean writings
by both mendicants and Maya provides a
diachronic lens through which to read current trends in
Latin American religion and thus further reevaluate
the continued agency and intellect of, well, Indios. [ Applause ]>>Ralph Bauer: Thank
you, Garry. Our third speaker will be
John Tutino who is a professor of history and international
affairs as well as the director of the Americas Initiative
at Georgetown University, where he focuses on the
history of Mexico in the context of the Americas in the world,
in particular the history of popular communities as
they engaged, colonial rule and early capitalism,
national states and industrial challenges, as
well as revolutionary promises and national developments. He’s the author of many
journal articles, book chapters and books including, “From
Insurrection to Revolution in Mexico: Social Bases of Agrarian Violence,
1750 to 1940”. It’s published by Princeton
University Press in 1986. “Making a New World: Founding
Capitalism in the Bajio and Spanish North
America” published by Duke University
Press in 2011. And “The Mexican Heartland: How
Communities Shaped Capitalism, a Nation, and World
History, 1500 to 2000”, published by Princeton
this year. The title of his talk
today is, “An Old Regime and a New Economy: A Dynamic
Balance in Spanish Mesoamerica”.>>John Tutino: Thank you
Ralph for the invitation and for organizing and to
Georgette for hosting us all. I come as an enormous
admirer of Serge Gruzinski from his early essays
to the Man-Gods book, to colononizacion
de lo imaginario, to “The Eagle and the Dragon”. I can just I have learned
so much and more important, always been set to
new ways of thinking. Early on, he and I focused I
want to say in different ways but on social-cultural
encounters in the Mesoamerican core. More recently, we both
turned to Spain’s empire and its global role,
again, in different ways. And I want to say
exactly as it should be. How dull life would be if we were all doing
things in the same way. As to speak today, I
quickly came to two goals. First, I wanted to build on one
of the concepts I most admire in Serge’s work, the
notion of hybridity. And second, I wanted to take
the chance to offer a preview and gain some feedback on
some of my work in progress. As I thought about it,
because when asked for a title, you come up with what you think
of it the day you’re invited. In certain ways, a better
title of what I want to do today might be simply
called a hybrid political economy, Spanish
Mesoamerica from 1550 to 1800. And this comes out of the
fact that I am in the process of completing two things. In fact, while “The Mexican
Heartland” book has a 2017 date on it, I am– you have given me
a break from reading the copy of the manuscript
today so I want to thank you all for that too. It will not be out
until November. And because I have the
copyedited manuscript in front me, if you straight
me out on something pivotal, I still have time to tinker. And I simultaneously have just
finished what hopefully is the last draft of a manuscript. I had to get it done
before the copyedits came– of a book entitled
Mexico City, 1808, which I tell people is the book
no one will believe Tutino wrote because it is urban,
political and short [laughter]. And I have never fallen into
any of those traps before. But I’m trying and I have
succeeded, it’s going to publish to less than 200 pages
of readable text. So I count it a triumph. “The Mexican Heartland”
book very much focuses on the rural communities of
the basins around Mexico City, precisely to distinguish it
from the Bajio that I wrote about in making a new world. The Mexico City book focuses on a pivotal moment
of regime change. From what– And this is
really what I’m going to focus on today. From a regime that ruled
primarily by mediation backed by claims of divine
sovereignty to a lesser regime, and I want to call
it more a state, that ruled by military
assertion backed by claims of popular sovereignty. And I’m not going to get into
the transition today other than to say one of the things
the book tries to do is point out that the shift came in 1808,
before the wars of independence. The turn is part of the
stimulus to the conflicts. It is not a result
of the conflicts. That’s not for today. What I want to emphasize
today is that both projects, the Mexican Heartland project and the Mexico City
1808 project, required me to push forward
on a rethinking of the nature of the Spanish regime
in New Spain. Over the long haul, and
particularly prior to 1760 in the coming of the
Bourbon assertions and thus to rethink the impact
of what we too– we call the Bourbon reforms that hit New Spain
hardest from the 1760s. And my emphasis there is that
that impact was far more limited than we have often
taken it to be. But today, I want to focus
on my emerging understanding of the regime of more
or less 1550 to 1750 and its pivotal role
in sustaining and stabilizing a silver economy
that funded Spain’s empire that drove global
trades and focusing on it in what I have dubbed the
Mexican Heartland a region grounded in enduring
self-governing landed indigenous communities. My argument and in
the original title is that it is an old
regime sustaining, promoting a new economy. I use old regime very explicitly
as the English variant of what Europeans would
call an ancien regime. An ancien regime tied to an economy becoming ever more
capitalist and that the fusion of them is what matters. And I’m going to argue that both
the ancien regime as it evolved in New Spain was a hybrid. The new economy as it evolved in the Mesoamerican
regions was a hybrid and thus the fusion
is a double hybrid. Let me try to make the case. And you’ll quickly see
that I am building upon and giving my own twist to a lot
of work by colleagues I admire. So on the ancien regime
following the work of Alejandro Caneque, following
Ernesto Sanchez de Tagle, whose work is mostly known
in Mexico, following the work of Annick Lempérière,
and also following the work of my colleague Jim Collins
who has argued for decades that what is called
absolutism in France and Europe is overunderstood as
coercive and needs to be seen in very different more
negotiating mediating ways. I see the regime that emerged
in New Spain after about 1550 as a classic ancien
regime in key ways. It is based on multiple
corporations and institutions sanctioned
with multiple rights and laws integrated and overseen
by a regime that focuses on mediation, sometimes
judicial, sometimes political, but everything is
a balancing act. And it does that and you can
play with the cause and effect because certainly in the
interior of New Spain, it is a regime with notably
limited coercive capacities. It has very little ability to
force anybody to do anything and thus it turned to force
only as a last resort, and it understands that
if everything I’ve said to that fits the model of the
scholars I have listed I think in terms of being an Ancien
regime in the New World. But I want to emphasize, in New
Spain, it is very much a hybrid because it was grounded in the
creation of literally thousands, one good Mexican scholar
has had it over 4000, indigenous republics with rights
to land and self-rule built on the remnants of the
indigenous altepetl ruled by native notables
adapting variants of what I just generically
call indigenous Christianities. I don’t think very far from
where Garry is going here. And that operate with
sanctioned rights to mediations through special courts. What perhaps, this I
offer speculatively, made this hybrid a
particularly unique variant of an ancien regime is what–
is really the extreme dearth of military power on
the ground in New Span. If– As my colleague Jim
Collins has detailed, the French ancien regime
mediated first and coerced only when pressed when it had to. There was no dearth of
coercive force in Europe. War guaranteed that there
were coercive forces around and available, sometimes one
wonders, a little more dispersed than we sometimes think. In New Spain after 1550 in
the Mesoamerican regions, after 1600 in the end of what
are called the Chichimeca wars in the Bajio and regions north, the indigenous majority
was disarmed. That’s famously known. Less often recognized is the
Spanish regime essentially disarmed too and
relied on what I had– best can call minimal
and uncertain malicious. Certainly not controlled,
funded or commanded by anybody in the regime. Now, again, there
were military efforts. But the Spanish empire’s
military activity focused first on a naval protection
of trade and on holding in New Spain the far
northern frontiers and I will quickly note that
in the latter its success was pretty limited too. It didn’t have all that
much effective force in the far north as well. So if I’m right, the question
becomes, how could a regime with such limited coercive
powers be sustained for centuries? And I want to argue, there are
really two key factors looking behind this. The first is, I don’t
know how else to put it, the greatest calamity of
contact and conquest was– became the basis for the
underlying success of the regime that followed, and that
is the depopulation. That by the late 16th century, resources are astonishingly
ample to a radically shrunken
surviving native populations organized in the new indigenous
republics and also to Europeans who are building
commercial states, other commercial activities. It is in that context
that Woodrow Borah, Brian Owensby have documented
for the 16th and 17th century, William Taylor for
the 18th century that overwhelmingly indigenous– indigenous republic to indigenous republic
relations had conflicts, indigenous republic
and Spanish officials, merchant conflicts were
mediated in the court. And the ability of the courts to mediate legitimated the
continuity of the regime. So the depopulation creates
an environment, a true rarity, I would say in modern history,
in which resources are scarce for almost no one
for a period of time and the regime consolidates
in that context. Simultaneously– and the
intersection may be even more rare historically. The opportunity of silver from
the 1550s created possibility of profits for merchant
financiers, for mine operators, for commercial estate
growers, and no shortage of resources to do it. But also we sometimes don’t
recognize enough opportunities to market produce
and gain wage income for indigenous peoples inside and outside the indigenous
republics. And in that context, society of Spanish Mesoamerica is
integrated by an ancien regime that used negotiated processes
of petition and mediation to balance interests among the
powerful and used the courts to mediate disputes among
indigenous communities between indigenous communities
and states and merchants, et cetera, all backed
by exceptionally limited and uncertain militias. I have almost gotten– it
is so regular for scholars, students to just– it’s a
language that comes to all of us so naturally, the Spanish
forced, the Spanish coerced, the Spanish made it happen. And I say, wait a minute, tell
me– They may have ordered, they may have mandated but
find me the coercive power, where is it in the
neighborhood that that happened? And I haven’t gotten
many answers that it’s actually there. Something else is going
on and I’m searching for a way to understand it. All right. That hybrid ancien regime, my
argument is, sustain an economy, I increasingly describe as silver capitalism
by the 18th century. And in Mesoamerica, I want
to emphasize, particularly in the core basins around Mexico
City, my Mexican Heartland, that silver capitalism
was also a hybrid. Finance, commerce concentrated
in the capital, in the city, as did the wealthy
families leading mining, landed entrepreneurs, they’re
concentrated in the oligarchy as capitalist as any in the
world in the 18th century. The distinction, in the
Bajio in the regions north, the subject of my Making
a New World, this is owns with few landed self-governing
native republics. Commercial capitalist
ways, the new economy, shaped life all the way to
the base, top to bottom. From the 17th century
through the 18th, mineworkers, tenant-growers, wage
workers in fields and factories including
the thousands of women in the great tobacco
factories in Mexico City and Queretaro live
in a commercial– I think rapidly becoming
capitalist society. But in the Mexican heartland,
the Mesoamerican heartland at this point, outside
the city and mining towns, the vast majority
of the population, 90% live in indigenous
republics, speaking indigenous languages,
Nahuatl or Otomi in most cases, through to the end
of the 18th century. While their populations had
been low and lands were ample, late 16th through
the 17th century, people of the republics had
basically had the capacity to sustain themselves and
to take wage supplements, market earnings at mines in the
states providing for the city. After 1700, population
begins to grow, land becomes less efficient but not radically
scarce in the republics. And it becomes less possible
for families and communities to maintain the autonomous
production of sustenance that had marked them
post-depopulation through the 17th century. But in the 18th century, as
Spanish entrepreneurs took over the commercial
production of indigenous crops, indigenous crops, maize and
pulque, were primarily produced by indigenous community
based growers through the 17th century. From about the 1720s, major
landed entrepreneurs based in Mexico City took
over production of– commercial production
of maize and pulque. They took over the
Mexico City pulquerias. And they create– while
they profit wonderfully, their capitalist utopia,
they offer increasing amounts of wage labor at their estates to sustain families
and communities. So, people are capable, are able
and they do remain residents, vicino, citizens of the
indigenous republics. They produce sustenance
to the extent they can. But as they can’t, they
increasingly cap the income of the commercial economy
through some marketing, but ever more through
wage labor. And in the process, it
sustains the republics and their families. And in fact through the
18th century, subsidizes and sustains a growing
commercial silver capitalism. They’re actually essential to its endurance
and profit ability. Simple characterization
of a complex problem. Production of silver,
the– international trade, the internal commercial economy and regime revenues all
grew more than four times over in the Mesoamerican
regions of New Spain from 1700 to 1800 while the population
a little more than doubled. And what is too often
not recognized, in the Mesoamerican heartland,
stability held past 1800. There is no major
destabilizing challenge to this regime until 1808, 1810. The break I argue came in 1808. It came in May in Spain. It came July to September
in Mexico City, when in the reverberations that
came from Napoleon’s invasion. Politics were militarized
in Spain and in New Spain. And the militarization
of politics came coupled with claims of popular
sovereignty. And I will simply say, that
has set me to thinking a lot about a rethinking of the
19th and 20th century. But that’s a new and different
history and I’m just going to say thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Ralph Bauer: Thank you, John. We are running a little bit
late but maybe we have time. We’ll just take a couple
of questions and then go to a very short break and then
continue with the second panel after about a five-minute break. So, are there any questions or? Please.>>Right. I have
three questions. First question for you. And I was [inaudible] between this race and this
pulque, just– It’s about Bartolome de Alva. You– do you–>>Joan Bristol: Yeah, yeah.>>Regarding Bartolome and
I would like to ask if you– if you could comment more
because he is a mestizo.>>Joan Bristol: Yes.>>So think about–>>Joan Bristol: Right.>>– this [inaudible].>>Joan Bristol: Yeah.>>The second question
is for you, Garry. The link between the theology,
theology of liberation and this theology of
enculturation in the Mayans of– And, John, the last question. And what’s the role of
religion and of the lack of secularization
in the [inaudible] of the ancien regime
till beginning and last years of
the 19th century?>>Ralph Bauer: OK. Joan, do you want to go first?>>Joan Bristol: Well, maybe
you could help me think of that. I mean, so Bartolome de Alva
was a mestizo and he was– I mean, I– he was writing this. He wrote this confession
manual for–>>He’s a priest.>>Joan Bristol:
Yeah, he’s a priest. Yeah. And he wrote
a confession manual to be used among the
Nahua speaking people. So, I guess he– I think
he was really talking– the way– my interest in him I guess is the way that he
is sort of distinguishing between the Nahua people in
the past and the present. He’s not really talking
about mixing. So, he– I mean,
so you’re saying because he himself is mixed and
sort of what does that mean.>>For us.>>Joan Bristol:
Yeah for– Yeah.>>At least for us.>>Joan Bristol: Yes.>>I don’t think he comes with
[inaudible] he’s a priest.>>Joan Bristol: Uh-huh. So, you’re– so, you’re
saying– So what– So he considered himself
as a Nahua or as a–>>As a priest.>>Joan Bristol: As a priest? OK. Yeah. All right. So, you tell me. So, what do you think
the implications are?>>No, I don’t know [laughter]. I was very interested
because we–>>Joan Bristol: Yeah. Yeah.>>Bartolome de Alva–>>Joan Bristol: Yeah.>>– is a priest.>>Joan Bristol: Yes.>>And he’s a sort of mestizo.>>Joan Bristol: Yes.>>And he is the
brother of [inaudible].>>Joan Bristol: Yes. Yes.>>Supposed to be Indian or
a Spaniard, but just in front of these people talking
about this topic–>>Joan Bristol: Yeah.>>– and adding all of this
problem of defining themselves.>>Joan Bristol: Right. Right. Right.>>Or not defining themselves.>>Joan Bristol: All right.>>I have no answer.>>Joan Bristol: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t have
[inaudible], but well, that’s a– That is a good way. I mean, that’s very interesting. I think I– Because also
the way he sort of functions in my paper is he sort of tacked
on to this discussion of mixing. But then really, he is
saying something different. So, I think I need to think
about the connection really between those two parts more. So unfortunately, I don’t
really have an answer either, but it’s a very interesting
question. So, thank you.>>Perhaps I’ve been–>>Joan Bristol: Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. No, that’s a very good question. Thank you very much. I’m sorry I can’t really
address it further.>>Garry Sparks:
So, the relationship between liberation theology and enculturation theology
particularly in New Spain or Latin America– Turn it on. I don’t know. Oh, I’m sorry. It’s a great question because
there is oftentimes I think a false understanding that
there’s these three movements within current Latin America
and Christian theology initiated after Vatican II
liberation theology. And then, there’s this
conservative reaction against it which is the Catholic renewal
or the charismatic theology which comes about a bit later in
the 1980s and then the offshoot from liberation theology
particularly around 1992 and the counter-protest
in Columbus’ anniversary, the 500th anniversary by
indigenous people, the emergence of enculturation theology. But yet if you look at
the local paper trail, really enculturation theology
begins prior to the Second Vatican Council in
places like Chiapas, the Dominicans mid 1960s, liberation theology would
be much more clear in 1971 and then charismatic renewal
also began simultaneous to liberation theology and doesn’t acquire a conservative
sort of dimension to it until late ’70s and early
’80s, but they’re all in concurrent relation– movements rather than sort of
splintering off the main trunk. The main distinction
though liberation theology and enculturation theology is
liberation theology is first and foremost concerned
with class analysis. So, that’s the primary
sort of locus of oppression that needs to be addressed. Indigenous peoples found that
they find that rather racist. And so, reading early
sort of [inaudible] by say Leonardo Boff
really sort of tip a hat to gender oppression
or ethnic oppression. For many indigenous
peoples, once said to me by a [inaudible] colleague,
I’m poor because I’m Maya. I’m not Maya because I’m poor. And then for them, the primary–
the sort of the super structure of oppression to put
it in Boff’s terms, Marxist terms is racism and that
the class oppression is really more of the infrastructure. And so, they sort of flip it. And they also think that
the liberations theology– agenda has a bit more
of an assimilationist. Most of the advocates for
liberation theology come up with liberal political
wing of Latin America which typically wants to sort of
assimilate and build in which– into mainstream indigenous
people which has a tenor of ethnocide for many indigenous activists who are trying to actually preserve some
[inaudible] other culture. So, there’s– in that sense,
they’re somewhat shared with the common discourse
of [inaudible], the elimination of hierarchies [inaudible] of egalitarian
horizontal structures as opposed to vertical structures,
political, economic, ecclesial. But the ways that they think
are the roots of the problem, diagnoses, and then
prescriptions for that [inaudible]. I don’t know if that’s
the question but– OK. Yeah.>>Thank you.>>John Tutino: Very easily–
Religion, if pivotally central, I could easily make it
the third hybridity. If I argue for a
regime hybridity and economic hybridity, certainly there is a
religious hybridity embedded in all of these. And I’ll first escape
the question with the highest
praise I can think of. It made no sense for me
to add that hybridity because that is the issue that
Serge Gruzinski has addressed in such great depth and
detail for New Spain. I don’t have much to add there
other than to learn from you. But I’ll characterize my view
of this right now in two moments in a pretty broad
overly general way. First, looking at the end of
the 16th, early 17th century, the moment on which I
see this system sort of consolidating
for the first time. And two things come
together there that have really struck me. If you look at the
communities, almost everybody in the indigenous republics,
they’re not speaking Spanish. But in the areas certainly
anywhere close to Mexico City, everyone is taking Cristiano. They are self-defining
themselves as Christian. At the same time, the
clerical discourse, shall we say the tired
missionary class, is writing about their failure. They have not created Christians
in their definitional sense. And to me, that mixes
everything, that indigenous peoples
have adapted, evolved and consolidated their
vision, their understanding of what Christianity
is and should be as it’s meaningful to them. They’re developing their
devotions to virgin, saints, the cofradias that sustain
them, et cetera, et cetera. And at the same time, it is pretty clear
there was a resistance to European notions
of sin and morality. So it is a very much hybridized
religion that I have just come– and I use it in the plural
indigenous Christianities. There may be one
for every community. This is not a broadly
shared reality. And that the whole system had to
live by the religious hierarchy and the regime learning
to accept all of that diverse hybridity
at the local level. The classic best known
example of course is we know when devotion to Guadalupe
emerges in the regions of Mexico City, it is
resisted by the powerful for the earlier century
and there’s a point in the mid 17th century where
it can’t be resisted so we might as well adapt and
promote, et cetera. And the regime goes forward in that mixed negotiated
hybrid way. And then I’ll just add,
get to the 18th century, and here you have
what [inaudible] so clearly the Magistrates
of the Sacred. Yes, bourbon reformers wanted
to impose a new more moralizing, more true Christianity
on the communities. And what he found were
letter after letter written by those [inaudible]
saying, if I do that, they won’t pay my fees. If I do that, they’ll
run me out of town. I cannot do that. I have to accept
the Christianity that is– that is there. That’s my short tale
of the third hybridity, but it is very much
a hybrid too.>>Ralph Bauer: OK,
may– one more question. OK, please.>>Does the hybridization of
the religion in the 20th century impact the Indian community
as it slides, you know, adapt their agricultural
technology in Guatemala?>>Garry Sparks: I’m sorry. I missed the first part
of the question, sir.>>Does the hybridization
of religion in the Indian communities
impact the efforts on the part of the Indian community to move
towards the new agriculture?>>Garry Sparks: I
don’t– I don’t think so. I mean, I just say, I’m
reticent to sort of buy into anything distinctively
hybrid about the Christianity in, say,
Mesoamerica, Guatemala given the fact that we put up a Yule tree around the Roman Saturnalia
festival Christmas and look for Easter eggs on the
fertility festival. Easter– I mean, Christianity is kind
of a hybridity, all going down, right, sort of all going
down in that sense. So I’m not entirely convinced
Maya have ever really been doing things different than say Celts
in Ireland or even Palestinians for the past 2000 years,
Palestinian Christians. But no, I mean, if you
can look at things like– I mean, just probably
like as interesting as the text is [inaudible]
where she talked about her father working
in the Peace Corps in order to implement new
sort of farming techniques and yet she is trying harvest
a particular distinctively indigenous identity with about
13 of her chapters beginning with epigraphs, The
Book of Rule. And so I think for many of them,
I think they’re negotiating a, you know, both modern
technology, modernity today just as they were
negotiating modernity with cofradias and
[inaudible] 500 years ago. And many of the– particularly
say 1950s, 1960s authors that are bringing in– some agents that are
bringing in modern technology, Maryknoll priests
are also bringing in liberation theology, right. So [inaudible] cardamom
production in [inaudible] and yet sort of what’s happening
with also Jesuits in that area of enculturation theology. And of course, Guatemala is one
of the larger producers of– and exporters of
cardamom [inaudible]. Yeah, very politicized
liberationist or you can say [inaudible],
very active with Jesuits, and so they’re combining
Christian identity, that might be. So I don’t think
they see them anyway that is mutually
exclusive necessarily. Are you– Is there a
particular concrete example?>>Well, I was thinking the
fact that in the 16th century, indigenous community, a lot of different indigenous
community I know begin to look at the use of fertilizer
in a different way. And I think that was a part of
their ability to see fertilizer from a different vantage point
in terms of what was happening in relation to [inaudible] because at one time, it was
very difficult to get them to change their survival
agricultural habit. I mean– Right. So that’s what–>>Garry Sparks: I think it also
have to do with the local sort of political tension
particularly in that period with the introduction
of Catholic action.>>Yeah.>>Garry Sparks: And trying to
break the sort of political–>>Absolutely.>>Garry Sparks: —
stronghold of the cofradias which would see themselves
as traditional even though, you know, their traditional
sense in the 1550s or in the 1580s. So I think in some way, that’s
much more of a political tension between those principalities
that voiced up specific religious
hierarchy and those that are more trying to confirm a more merit-based way of
the socioeconomic access of power and circumvent that. It gets couched in
religious discourse but I think it’s much
more of a political.>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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