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New book examines effects of European arrivals in Mexico: UNM Newsroom

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The new book, edited by Heather Edgar, an anthropology professor at the University of New Mexico, and Cathy Willamette, an anthropology professor at Central Michigan University, shows that the arrival of Europeans in the Americas changed the Mexican population’s cultural and biological I am exploring how it was formed academically.

Edgar and Willermet arranged a scholarly symposium in 2020, from which the book grew, wrote the preface, edited the book, and authored three chapters.

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The Biocultural Impact of Contact in Mexico: Five Centuries of Change Edgar explores how Mexico’s population changed in the years following the defeat of the Aztec Empire. , highlighting the work and perspectives of Mexican scholars.

“In 1521, several indigenous cultural groups in central Mexico joined forces with the recently arrived Spanish forces to defeat the Triple Aztec League and overthrow the government of Tenochtitlan. , Casta A system developed as a way of organizing a society according to the social composition of bloodline and race. Spanish (Spanish), indio (indigenous) and black man (African). However, this pattern was soon superseded by more complex classification systems.children of Spanish and indio called Mestizochildren of ; Muratos descendants of ( black man and Spanish) and indio called Lobos…Ladinos It was a black man who freely adapted to Spanish culture, with its own corporate identity … such a term defined not only one’s heritage, but also the potential for educational and economic opportunities, including land ownership. I did…” the book explains in the first chapter.

In the book chapter Casta The system affected individual and group access to power, social mobility, health, and mate choice, Edgar said. Scope and reveal national identity. Mestizahe It has replaced it—creating inequalities and structural violence of stress and health disparities, as well as genetic admixture. 500 years after the Spaniards first clashed with Aztec forces and began to influence modern Mexico, this volume adds to the discussion of colonialism, restructuring of biosocial relations, and decolonization work. will be

Contributors include UNM alumni Corey Ragsdale (now associate professor of anthropology at Southern Illinois University) and Kate Rusk (quantitative UX researcher). The remaining contributors are academics from other institutions, about half from the United States and half from Mexico. Drawing on a variety of methods from archaeology, bioarchaeology, genetics, and history, the contributors to this volume examine European responses to colonization and the resilience of Mexicans in the face of turbulent change. provided proof.

Edgar is also a forensic anthropologist at the UNM Office of Medical Investigator, Tooth Morphology for Anthropology: An Illustrated Manual.

Biocultural effects of contact in Mexico: Change in the 5th Century is available from the University of Florida Press.

Photo by Genaro Servín

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