In Mapping Indigenous Land, author Ana Pulido Rull investigates how Native nobles and painters used maps to intervene in land distribution in New Spain between 1536 and 1620. Mexico City’s Archivo General de la Nación (AGN) preserves over two hundred land-grant maps (mapas de mercedes de tierras) and appended court documents. While Pulido Rull focuses on fourteen maps, the volume’s findings emerged from an exhaustive examination of the genre’s corpus. In New Spain, painted maps were required evidence in land litigation, and the creation of a map was an essential step in the procurement of land titles. Pulido Rull shows how the design and visual conventions of Native-made maps influenced the outcomes of conflicts over land, arguing the cartographs represent subjective understandings of space. The analysis places renewed attention on the pictorial and legal processes that drove the commodification of Indigenous lands in the early colonial period,...
Skip Nav Destination
Book Review| July 01 2022
Mapping Indigenous Land: Native Land Grants in Colonial New Spain
Mapping Indigenous Land: Native Land Grants in Colonial New Spain. By Ana Pulido Rull. (
University of Oklahoma Press,
2020. x + 258 pp., acknowledgements, introduction, illustrations, appendixes, notes, bibliography, index. $45.00 cloth.)
Ethnohistory (2022) 69 (3): 366–367.
Savannah Esquivel; Mapping Indigenous Land: Native Land Grants in Colonial New Spain. Ethnohistory 1 July 2022; 69 (3): 366–367. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-9706109
Download citation file:
Don't already have an account? Register
You could not be signed in. Please check your email address / username and password and try again.
Could not validate captcha. Please try again.
Sign in via your InstitutionSign In