In this article I delve into the life story of one particular cacique (indigenous leader), Angelino Uicab of the town of Teya, during a particularly significant period in the history of Yucatán: the Caste War. Focusing on the 1840s and 1850s I use the Uicab case to show how “ordinary,” nonrebel caciques engaged in political alliance making on the ground. While traditional renditions of the Caste War represent it as a race war, I show how, for Uicab, strategic rather than racial concerns remained pivotal in shaping political alliance making at the local level. In doing this, I emphasize that we need to look at nonindigenous, or vecino, politics and the way in which it influenced indigenous and cacique politics. Finally, I show that the rhetoric that represented the Caste War as a race war was partly produced by local government officials as they sought to camouflage their exploitation of indigenous labor.
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Rajeshwari Dutt; Crossing Over: Caciques, Indigenous Politics, and the Vecino World in Caste War Yucatán. Ethnohistory 1 October 2014; 61 (4): 739–759. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2717849
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