Land, Water, And Government: Conflicts In Santiago Tlatelolco In The Sixteenth And Early Seventeenth Centuries
This dissertation discusses conflicts over land and water in Santiago Tlatelolco, an indigenous community located in Mexico City, in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The specific purpose of this study is to analyze the strategies that the indigenous government and indigenous people in general followed in the defense of their natural resources in order to distinguish patterns of continuity and innovation. The analysis covers several topics; first, a comparison and contrast between Mesoamerican and colonial times of the adaptation to the lacustrine environment in which Santiago Tlatelolco was located. This is followed by an examination of the conflicts that Santiago Tlatelolco had with neighboring indigenous communities and individuals who allied themselves with Spaniards. The objective of this analysis is to discern how indigenous communities in the basin of central Mexico used the Spanish legal system to create a shift in power that benefitted their communities. The next part of the dissertation focuses on the conflicts over land and water experienced by a particular group: women. This perspective provides insight into the specific life experience of the inhabitants of Santiago Tlatelolco during Mesoamerican and colonial times. It also highlights the impact that indigenous people had in the Spanish colonial organization and the response of Spanish authorities to the increasing indigenous use of the legal system. The final part discusses the evolution of indigenous government in Santiago Tlatelolco from Mesoamerican to colonial rulership. This section focuses on the role of indigenous rulers in Mexico City public works, especially the hydraulic system, in the recollection of tribute, and, above all, in the legal conflicts over land and water. The dissertation concludes that new forms of land tenure as well as other forms of social pressure changed social relations and the relationship with the environment. In the midst of change, nonetheless, indigenous peoples used traditional and innovative strategies to survive and thrive.