Death and Dying in Colonial Spanish America

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Martina Will de Chaparro, Miruna Achim
University of Arizona Press, Dec 1, 2011 - History - 276 pages
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When the Spanish colonized the Americas, they brought many cultural beliefs and practices with them, not the least of which involved death and dying. The essays in this volume explore the resulting intersections of cultures through recent scholarship related to death and dying in colonial Spanish America between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. The authors address such important questions as: What were the relationships between the worlds of the living and the dead? How were these relationships sustained not just through religious dogma and rituals but also through everyday practices? How was unnatural death defined within different population strata? How did demo-graphic and cultural changes affect mourning?

The variety of sources uncovered in the authorsÕ original archival research suggests the wide diversity of topics and approaches they employ: Nahua annals, Spanish chronicles, Inquisition case records, documents on land disputes, sermons, images, and death registers. Geographically, the range of research focuses on the viceroyalties of New Spain, Peru, and New Granada.

The resulting recordsÑboth documentary and archaeologicalÑoffer us a variety of vantage points from which to view each of these cultural groups as they came into contact with others. Much less tied to modern national boundaries or old imperial ones, the many facets of the new historical research exploring the topic of death demonstrate that no attitudes or practices can be considered either ÒWesternÓ or universal.
 

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Contents

An Introduction to Death and Dying Martina Will de Chaparro and Miruna Achim
1
How the Indigenous Elite of the Colonial PueblaTlaxcala Valley Prepared to Perish Erika Hosselkus
28
Histories of Suicide in New Spain Zeb Tortorici
53
Corporal Meanings in SeventeenthCentury Mexico Miruna Achim
78
4 The Death of the Monarch as Colonial Sacrament James Flaks
100
The 1639 Auto de Fe Ana E Schaposchnik
121
6 Angelic Death and Sacrifice in Early Modern Hispanic America Andrew Redden
142
Conflicts over Burial Reform and Piety in Lima 18081850 Adam Warren
170
Notes
203
Select Bibliography
255
About the Contributors
263
Illustration Credits
267
Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Martina Will de Chaparro is an independent scholar and author of Death and Dying in New Mexico. Miruna Achim is an associate professor of humanities at the Universidad Aut—noma MetropolitanaÐCuajimalpa in Mexico City. She is the author of Lagartijas me-dicinales: Remedios americanos y debates ilustrados.

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