Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and the author of The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, also published by Duke University Press.
Mapping Economies of Death: From Mexican Independence to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
2016. "Mapping Economies of Death: From Mexican Independence to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo", Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo
Download citation file:
This chapter focuses on the imbrication of Mexico's nineteenth-century war against the Apache and Comanche with the U.S.–Mexico war. Erstwhile enemies in their imperial ventures, U.S. and Mexican state governments nevertheless jointly executed a war against the equestrian tribes. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo designated the "savage tribes" as the enemy of both nations, as northern Mexican states established bounty programs for the heads or scalps of the indios bárbaros—Apache, Comanche, Seri, and Kiowa warriors who raided their towns and ranches from 1810 to 1870. U.S. whites, indigenous, and African Americans participated in these programs, becoming Mexican citizens in exchange. Scalping as a form of liberal statecraft and enfranchisement reified the previously flexible divide between good Indians and bad, establishing permissible forms of indigenous humanity for the new models of racial citizenship on both sides of the border through the radical exclusion of indios bárbaros. The treaty further required annexed Mexicans to renounce this dangerous indigenous heritage, a profound psychic loss examined in George Washington Gómez by Américo Paredes.