Focused on pre-Columbian Mesoamerican rulership, this collection stems from collaboration among a group of scholars who came together for a conference organized in 2015 in Mexico. El gobernante en Mesoamérica contains five essays that boldly aim to discuss the state of current knowledge about native government across Mesoamerica. Such work is necessary and increasingly relevant, particularly given recent studies on the persistence of native government in the early colonial period that have sought to understand how native rulership helped to shape the identity and limits of colonialism in New Spain. Yet problems have always existed in understanding native institutions. The invasion and the passage of time have destroyed documentation, native and European actors have sought to position themselves advantageously using the past, both political and religious actors have sometimes misconstrued or misunderstood preinvasion native ideas about rulership and governance, and Mesoamerica consisted...

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