Over the last four decades, scholars have made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of indigenous societies under Spanish colonial rule by using native-language archival documents. Caterina Pizzigoni contributes to this rich vein of ethnohistory with The Life Within: Local Indigenous Society in Mexico’s Toluca Valley, 1650–1800, a meticulous study of the Valley of Toluca based on the translation and analysis of over two hundred Nahuatl-language last wills and testaments and relevant Spanish-language documents. The work examines household-level changes and continuities in gender roles and relations, kinship terminology, language, community fragmentation, the residential complex, and land tenure. The study aims to approach “the life of the society from the point of view of its members, from the inside looking out, when possible using sources generated by themselves, containing their own concepts and vocabulary and concerning the heart of their experience in a...

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