This article presents a translation and analysis of the only extant formal confession of human sacrifice written in an Indigenous language in the colonial Americas. An analysis of this document, written in Northern Zapotec by the town officials of Yalalag in 1704, provides numerous insights about how a community deployed traditional rhetoric to seek mercy from their civil magistrate, and to provide a justification for committing acts of idolatry and child sacrifice. Rather than aligning with the canonical middle ground (nepantla), often used as a yardstick, this confession eloquently and incisively places Northern Zapotec society in tentative terrain point in terms of their knowledge of Christianity, and depicts Christianization as a long-term process, which confessants boldly tied to latent forms of negotiation.

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