Huichol Territory and the Mexican Nation
Indigenous Ritual, Land Conflict, and Sovereignty Claims
Liffman writes that “the cultural grounds for territorial claims were what the people I wanted to study wanted me to work on.” Based on six years of collaboration with a land-rights organization, interviews, and participant observation in meetings, ceremonies, and extended stays on remote rancherías, Huichol Territory and the Mexican Nation analyzes the sites where people define Huichol territory. The book’s innovative structure echoes Huichols’ own approach to knowledge and examines the nation and state, not just the community. Liffman’s local, regional, and national perspective informs every chapter and expands the toolkit for researchers working with indigenous communities. By describing Huichols’ ceremonially based placemaking to build a theory of “historical territoriality,” he raises provocative questions about what “place” means for native peoples worldwide.
“Books like Huichol Territory and the Mexican Nation are welcome, necessary reminders that Indians in Mexico still must fight for respect and their ancestral lands.”—Gustavo Arellano, author of Ask a Mexican
“This book represents an important intervention and addition to the literature as it combines the study of place and ceremony with finely honed awareness of contemporary indigeneity, indigenous politics, and the politics of representation.”—Kirstin C. Erickson, author of Yaqui Homeland and Homeplace: The Everyday Production of Ethnic Identity