Ordinarily, a first book appears at the beginning of an academic career, but Susan Deeds’s is the culmination of the many years of research and publication on the ethnohistory of northern Mexico. It is not surprising, therefore, that those who know her work will find many familiar themes. She expands on previous research to draw conclusions about how five indigenous peoples of present-day Sinaloa, Durango, and Chihuahua responded to different aspects of the Spanish Conquest. Her objective is to account for the survival of the Tepehuanes and Tarahumaras as distinct ethnic groups into the twentieth century and the simultaneous demise of the Xiximes, Acaxees, and Conchos. All five were subjected to Spanish demands for labor and pressure from missionaries to convert and move into mission villages. Likewise, all experienced the devastation of disease and the pressures of acculturation from both Spaniards and other...

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