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By Fernando Armstrong-Fumero

ISBN-10: 1607322382

ISBN-13: 9781607322382

 In Elusive Unity, Armstrong-Fumero examines early twentieth-century peasant politics and twenty-first-century indigenous politics within the rural Oriente sector of Yucatán.

The rural population of this quarter have had a few of their most vital dealings with their nation’s executive as self-identified “peasants” and “Maya.” utilizing ethnography, oral heritage, and archival learn, Armstrong-Fumero indicates how an analogous physique of narrative tropes has outlined the neighborhood event of twentieth-century agrarianism and twenty-first-century multiculturalism.

Through those recycled narratives, modern multicultural politics have additionally inherited a few ambiguities that have been outfitted into its agrarian predecessor. particularly, neighborhood studies of peasant and indigenous politics are formed by means of tensions among the vernacular language of identification and the serious factionalism that regularly defines the social association of rural groups. this crucial contribution should be of curiosity to historians, anthropologists, and political scientists learning Latin the United States and the Maya.

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Extra info for Elusive Unity: Factionalism and the Limits of Identity Politics in Yucatán, Mexico

Sample text

The timing of this burn is crucial, as it must be completed and the seeds planted before the coming of seasonal rains, usually in late June or July. The summer rainy season is spent in weeding and cutting secondary growth. Different varieties of corn ripen at different times and are used at different stages of maturation, so harvesting tends to be a gradual process lasting from September into early winter. The number of years that corn, beans, squash, and other cultivars can be raised in a kool can vary depending on soil quality, but a given kool will generally produce one harvest a year for two or three successive years.

This theoretical observation suggests some methodological principles for approaching the history of vernacular narrative. At the same time that the semantic content of terms like “culture” is flexible and subject to a range of tactical manipulations, the mechanisms that produce regularities in form can be found in concrete social behaviors, for example, the different sites where letters are composed, read out loud, and translated. Following Greg Urban and Michael Silverstein as well as other students of speech genre, we can see these sites as spaces of “entextualization” (Sherzer 1987; Silverstein and Urban 1996; see also Briggs and Bauman 1992).

In this sense, this key moment in the history of identity politics in Oriente was consistent with a pattern of tensions between solidarity and factionalism that would be a recurring theme in the region. The ambivalence of the agrarian reform stems in part from the sometimes awkward relationship between notions of territoriality that were recognized by the Mexican state and traditional, Maya-language ways of naming and occupying places. Many of these tensions are still evident in the settlement patterns and collective memory of communities such as Xcalakdzonot, in the municipality of Chan Kom.

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Elusive Unity: Factionalism and the Limits of Identity Politics in Yucatán, Mexico by Fernando Armstrong-Fumero


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