This book brings together the work of 11 authors. Of the nine main essays, six deal with the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, one each focuses on the early sixteenth century and the eighteenth century, and another spans the seventeenth and the early nineteenth centuries. Five of the nine essays focus on Mexico, three examine Peru, and one considers both countries. This narrow focus on the two core areas of the Spanish empire is a shortcoming in a volume whose title refers to Latin America as a whole.

The collection addresses three main themes: the social and economic dynamics of indigenous collectives that traditional approaches have barely mentioned, the writings of indio and indio-descended scholars, and indigenous religious beliefs and how Spanish and indio writers portrayed them. Together, the chapters addressing the first theme show that in colonial Latin America...

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