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This chapter explores the macho as “the superman of the multitude,” a “national type” by which Mexico, as a nation, is often classified. Through this decidedly folklorist definition, Américo Paredes makes machismo out to be an aspiration handed down from generation to generation of Mexicans in the laments of songs, as a stereotypical yet identifying characteristic of men in Mexican folklore. Paredes debates its source.

In this chapter, Martha Menchaca examines the northward migration of Indians, mestizos, and afromestizos into the Southwest, drawn by promises of a relaxed racial order where people of color would be given some of the economic opportunities only enjoyed by whites in the interior of Mexico. She also explores the conquest of many indigenous groups of the Southwest and their conversion to Christianity.

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