Corn is Our Blood: Culture and Ethnic Identity in a Contemporary Aztec Indian Village.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

eHRAF World Cultures database


Human Relations Area Files (HRAF), Inc., Yale University

Place of Publication

New Haven, CT


Indexed online version; HRAF indexing analyst Teferi Abate Adem

Peer Reviewed



This book [first published in 1991 by University of Oklahoma Press] discusses dynamics of culture and ethnic identity among Nahua Indians who claim a direct ethnic descent from the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. It shows that the Nahua exhibit linguistic and cultural features that distinguish them from many other ethnic groups of modern Mexico, despite many years of Spanish conquest and a series of government attempts to incorporate them into the dominant Mestizo culture. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, the author identifies two broad local and national processes that accounted for this continuity. One of these concerns participation in traditional religious ceremonies which produced ancient Aztec ideas about nature and people. The other relates to the benefits villagers hoped to obtain in ethnicity (i.e., in being Indian) in the context of their desire to win land claims and access government provided social services.


HRAF Outline of Cultural Materials (OCM) subjects: Cultural identity and pride (186), Ethos (181), Cereal agriculture (243), Community structure (621), Ethnic stratification (563), Inter-ethnic relations (629), Research and development (654), Missions (797), Religious intolerance and martyrs (798), General character of religion (771), Cosmology (772), Political movements (668), Real property (423), Education system (871), Sociocultural trends (178), Acculturation and culture contact (177)


Social and Cultural Anthropology

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