It was not long ago that historians viewed indigenous villages in colonial Spanish America as isolated communities, insulated from the marketplace except when forced to provide goods or services to their Spanish overlords. Over the past two decades, economic historians have shattered this erroneous image and have constructed a far more complex representation of the colonial economy. The six essays in this volume contribute to this process by increasing our understanding of Indian participation in the market.

The overarching thesis of the essays is that, contrary to the older historiography, Indians did indeed engage extensively in market activity. The introduction is followed by four chapters that focus on distinct regions of Mexico in the late colonial period. In each, the author documents Indian integration into the market, relating the primary goods traded, and the principal commercial circuits. All of the chapters on Mexico...

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