Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Memories of war: Race, class, and the production of post Caste War Maya identity in east central Quintana Roo
by Montes, Brian, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009, 213; 3363134
Abstract (Summary)

In 1847 a group of Maya, known today as Cruzo 'ob or Caste War Mayas, participated in one of the largest and most successful indigenous uprisings in the Americas: The Caste War of Yucatán. Led by indigenous leaders Jacinto Pat, Manuel Antonio Ay, and Cecilio Chí, the rebellion nearly drove the ruling aristocracy (Spanish Creoles) from the Yucatán Peninsula. In 1901, however, General Ignacio Bravo, under the authority of Mexican President Porfirio Díaz, set out to recover the Yucatán Peninsula. Another battle ensued and by 1910 the Cruzo 'ob, for reasons presently contested, retreated into the jungle.

This dissertation, entitled Memories of War: The Production of Post Caste War Maya Identity in East Central Quintana Roo, is an ethnographic look into the memory of Yucatán's Caste War and its role on the formation of a contemporary ethno-racial Maya identity within the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Through the analysis of oral narratives and cultural performances, this dissertation demonstrates how memories function to shape an indigenous Maya ethnic polity throughout the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. This dissertation then addresses how a Maya ethnic polity is played out in Mexico's ethnic and political landscape.

More importantly, however, this dissertation serves as the first collection of personal narratives on the Caste War from the vantage point of Caste War Mayas. As noted by Victoria Bricker (1977:257) over twenty-five years ago, “the history of the Caste War of Yucatan needs to be rewritten with more attention paid to the Maya version of the conflict.” By highlighting their own often-silenced views of history in relation to the Caste War of Yucatán, and by looking at the way in which memory works to maintain a complex local, national and transnational identification, this dissertation not only challenges the theoretical presumption held by some that Yucatán's Caste War was purely a class conflict but also demonstrates the ways in which memories and mnemonic performances are used to mobilize local and transnational networks of political and social action across Maya communities throughout the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lugo, Alejandro
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Latin American history
Keywords: Caste War of Yucatan, Identity, Maya, Maya of Yucatan, Memory, Mexico, Pan Maya, Quintana Roo, Race
Publication Number: 3363134
ISBN: 978-1-109-22025-4
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