“Strange Lands and Different Peoples”
Spaniards and Indians in Colonial Guatemala
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
360 Pages | 6 x 9 | 3 b&w illus., 4 maps, 40 tables
The studies assembled here, focusing on the first century of colonial rule (1524–1624), discuss issues of conquest and resistance, settlement and colonization, labor and tribute, and Maya survival in the wake of Spanish invasion. The authors reappraise the complex relationship between Spaniards and Indians, which was marked from the outset by mutual feelings of resentment and mistrust. While acknowledging the pivotal role of native agency, the authors also document the excesses of Spanish exploitation and the devastating impact of epidemic disease. Drawing on research findings in Spanish and Guatemalan archives, they offer fresh insight into the Kaqchikel Maya uprising of 1524, showing that despite strategic resistance, colonization imposed a burden on the indigenous population more onerous than previously thought.
Guatemala remains a deeply divided and unjust society, a country whose current condition can be understood only in light of the colonial experiences that forged it. Affording readers a critical perspective on how Guatemala came to be, “Strange Lands and Different Peoples” shows the events of the past to have enduring contemporary relevance.
“Drawn from several decades of research in both Maya and Spanish sources, ‘Strange Lands and Different Peoples’ brings us a sensitive and beautifully written account of the Spanish conquest and colonization of Guatemala and its indigenous people. The authors do a splendid job of explaining not only the conquest period but also the survival of Maya people and their culture.”—Ralph Lee Woodward, Jr., author of A Short History of Guatemala and Central America: A Nation Divided