Sandstrom, Alan R.. Corn is our blood: culture and ethnic identity in a contemporary Aztec Indian village

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Corn Is Our Blood

Chapter 1 Entering The Field

Background And Aims Of The Study

Anthropology And The Study Of Culture

My Introduction To The Nahuas

The Incident At Chote

The Village In The Nation And The World

Economic Development In Mexico

Chapter 2 The Village In Its Setting

Living And Working In Amatlán

The Region: “a Place Of Rich Cattle Ranchers And Gunmen”

Land And People



The Marketplaces

Regional And Village History: The Legacy Of Violence

Ethnicity And History

Chapter 3 Amatlán And Its People

The Village Layout


Who Lives In Amatlán?

Milpa Horticulture And House Gardens

Gathering, Hunting, And Fishing

Village Animals


Cash Crops And Wage Labor

Nahua Social Character

The School


Chapter 4 Social Organization And Social Action

A World Of Trails

Social Organization

The Ejido

Nahua Family And Kinship

The Domestic And Life Cycles

Stress Points In Nahua Kinship Systems

Ritual Kinship

Politics, Kinship, And The Land Question

Chapter 5 Amatlán Household Economic And Production Activities

The Household And Consumption

Production Strategies And Constraints

Production Paradoxes

The Household And Production

Decision Making In Amatlán

Chapter 6 Religion And The Nahua Universe

Ritual Specialists


Aspects Of Nahua Cosmology

The Spirit Pantheon

Concepts Of The Human Soul

Paper Spirits

Nahua Ritual Paper Images

Nahua Rituals

Curing Rituals

Ritual Sponsors And The Civil-religious Hierarchy

Costumbres And Christianity

The Costumbre Religion

Chapter 7 Ethnic Identity And Culture Change

Being An Indian

Ethnic Identity As A Strategy

Amatlan Cultural Features And The Creation Of Indian Identity

The New Amatlán

The Crisis In Indian Identity

Women's Identity In Amatlán

How Some Of The Villagers View Change

The Indian Village In Mexico: Views From Amatlán

The Village In Transition

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Corn is our blood: culture and ethnic identity in a contemporary Aztec Indian village

Published By: Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. xxvii, 420 p., [16] p. of plates: ill., maps

By line: by Alan R. Sandstrom

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Nahua (NU46)

Subjects: Cultural identity and pride (186); Ethos (181); Cereal agriculture (243); Community structure (621); Ethnic stratification (563); Inter-ethnic relations (629); Research and development (654); Missions (797); Religious intolerance and martyrs (798); General character of religion (771); Cosmology (772); Political movements (668); Real property (423); Education system (871); Sociocultural trends (178); Acculturation and culture contact (177);

Abstract: This book discusses dynamics of culture and ethnic identity among Nahua Indians who claim a direct ethnic descent from the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. It shows that the Nahua exhibit linguistic and cultural features that distinguish them from many other ethnic groups of modern Mexico, despite many years of Spanish conquest and a series of government attempts to incorporate them into the dominant Mestizo culture. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the author identifies two broad local and national processes that accounted for this continuity. One of these concerns participation in traditional religious ceremonies which produced ancient Aztec ideas about nature and people. The other relates to the benefits villagers hoped to obtain in ethnicity (i.e., in being Indian) in the context of their desire to win land claims and access government provided social services.

Document Number: 4

Document ID: nu46-004

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Field Date: 1970-1990

Evaluation: Anthropologist-5

Analyst: Teferi Abate Adem; 2008

Coverage Date: 1970-1990

Coverage Place: Mexico

LCSH: Nahuas--Ethnic identity/Nahua mythology/Nahuas--Social life and customs/Villages--Mexico--Veracruz-Llave (State)--Case studies/Veracruz-Llave (Mexico : State)--Social life and customs


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