The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997 Page: 129
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missions during the colonial and early republican periods. Drawing on numer-
ous primary and secondary sources, the book's seven contributors explore select
missionary efforts at sites ranging from Alta California to Paraguay. The various
case studies illustrate divergent indigenous responses to the missions such as
Guajiro armed resistance in New Granada and the mutual cultural adaptation
among Guaranf and Spanish subjects in Paraguay.
One particularly insightful essay is Susan M. Deeds's study of the Tepehuan,
Tarahumara, and Concho Indians of northern Durango and Chihuahua. Deeds
presents the interaction between Indians and Spaniards as a complex and dy-
namic process in which the natives employed a multilayered strategy of revolt,
active and passive resistance, accommodation, appropriation, and even legal ap-
peals to colonial authorities. She also contrasts the world views and ritual systems
of the missionaries and the indigenous peoples, illuminating their distinct per-
ceptions of religious celebrations and other significant elements of mission life.
Some essays in the collection are less successful in articulating the indigenous
perspective, no doubt due to a lack of primary sources. For example, the presen-
tation on Bolivian missions outlines their influence on the frontier economy but
does not relate clearly the native people's response to the missions nor to their
subjugation as laborers. Some conclusions in the book are also questionable,
such as the contention that the "loss of enthusiasm for life [among Indian neo-
phytes] must be seen as a sign of mental illness" (p. 14) or the statement that,
for California Franciscans at Mission Nuestra Sefiora de la Soledad, economic
concerns "superseded [attempts to promote] the transformation of the culture,
social organization, and world view" of the missionized Indians (p. 126). Given
the relative scarcity of extant primary data, such claims are speculative at best.
Despite these limitations, this work advances the comparative analysis of fron-
tier missions in Latin America and underscores the necessity of probing the in-
digenous perspective in ongoing studies of the missionary enterprise.
Loyola Marymount University
TIMOTHY M. MATOVINA
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 100, July 1996 - April, 1997, periodical, 1997; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101218/m1/157/: accessed January 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.