Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Passive But Stubborn Resistance Of Mexican Indians Shows Some Resistance Is Always Possible

The following is from Alan Taylor’s American Colonies: The Settling of North America. It is about the passive but meaningful resistance of subjugated people. It is about the response of Mexican Indians to Spanish domination in the 16th Century.

” To sustain a measure of psychological autonomy, Mexican Indians privately nurtured a mythic understanding of the Spanish conquest as cosmically insignificant and ephemeral: of no more enduring significance than the many previous cycles of rising and falling native powers. Having experienced the Aztecs, and the Toltecs before them, the natives of Mexico expected to outlive their Spanish masters.. From our own vantage point on the radical transformation of Indian lives under the onslaught of colonization, this native myth seems far from “true.” But the Indians preserved much of their cultural identity within that transformation, rendering the myth real in their thoughts.

Because of the internal nature of native resistance, the friars could achieve no more than a compromise in matter’s of faith and practice. They ultimately had to tolerate a vibrant religious syncretism in which the new Catholic forms absorbed native content. The cult of the Virgin assumed a special importance as it came to resemble the former celebration of the maternal spirits of the maize, the corn mothers.”      

I think this is useful in seeing how people today and always have responded when to outsiders a situation might seem hopeless. There is always some way to respond.   

November 1, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History | , , , , , ,

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