This translated work updates and expands upon an earlier Spanish-language publication—Pueblos y caciques yucatecos, 1550–1580 (1993)—that is considered a classic piece of scholarship on the early colonial period in Yucatán. Here Terry Rugeley presents an English-language version that significantly broadens the impact of this magisterial study. Based on archival research, the study is strongly place-based and contains 56 pages of detailed appendixes.

The author is most concerned with how lords and their pre-Columbian overlords—batabob and halach uinicob—lost political power as a result of Spanish incursions and the establishment of a colonial administrative and missionary structure across the Yucatán. Sergio Quezada maintains that colonizing Spaniards reshaped the political geography of the Yucatán peninsula to privilege territorial jurisdictions (i.e., pueblos) over a more relational configuration of power that had been exercised during pre-Columbian times. Through archival research, Quezada is able...

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