This stellar collection of essays turns the old Boltonian concept of the Spanish borderlands on its head by examining Spanish colonial missions — those quintessential Boltonian institutions of civilization on the frontier — from the perspectives of native societies themselves. As the editors explain in their introduction, “The overarching goal of this volume is to highlight the agency of Native people living in the Spanish Borderlands of North America, where missions were the primary institution of colonization” (p. 7). They argue that “missions were more than colonial outposts — they were also indigenous places” embedded in indigenous landscapes “that had existing tensions, alliances, and systems of belief” (p. 7).

Those borderlands extended from coastal Florida and Georgia to Alta California. Interestingly, six of the nine case studies focus on the Atlantic and Pacific margins (three chapters on each), while only three explore...

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