Leticia Reina presents a comprehensive study of the nineteenth-century Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which she describes as a region that has greatly benefited from its geographical location in southern Oaxaca. The author convincingly portrays the isthmus's multicultural character as the result of interethnic mixing with neighboring indigenous groups, freed blacks, and the immigrants who arrived following the region's commercial exchange with worldwide economies. The Isthmus Zapotecs, Reina argues, encouraged newcomers to adopt their culture while strategically embracing foreign introductions. The author, who is a highly regarded scholar at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, researched the isthmus over three decades. The book is thematically composed of four chapters, respectively addressing territory and settlement, regional economy, society and politics, and identity and culture.

In line with recent Oaxacan studies, Leticia Reina reminds us in the first chapter that the Spanish presence in Oaxaca...

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