The Yaquis and the Empire - Folsom, Raphael Brewster - Yale University Press

Social Science

Series Information
The Lamar Series in Western History

The Yaquis and the Empire

Violence, Spanish Imperial Power, and Native Resilience in Colonial Mexico

  • Raphael Brewster Folsom
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Winner of the 2015 Latin American Studies Association Social Science Book Award.

This important new book on the Yaqui people of the north Mexican state of Sonora examines the history of Yaqui-Spanish interactions from first contact in 1533 through Mexican independence in 1821. The Yaquis and the Empire is the first major publication to deal with the colonial history of the Yaqui people in more than thirty years and presents a finely wrought portrait of the colonial experience of the indigenous peoples of Mexico's Yaqui River Valley. In examining native engagement with the forces of the Spanish empire, Raphael Brewster Folsom identifies three ironies that emerged from the dynamic and ambiguous relationship of the Yaquis and their conquerors: the strategic use by the Yaquis of both resistance and collaboration; the intertwined roles of violence and negotiation in the colonial pact; and the surprising ability of the imperial power to remain effective despite its general weakness.


Published in Cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Raphael Brewster Folsom is assistant professor of history at the University of Oklahoma.