Essay on When Jesus Came the Corn Mothers Went Away

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When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away:
Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846

Megan Prue

History 1700 American Civilization- Section 004

Dr. Roger C. Blomquist

September 21, 2011

When Jesus Came, The Corn Mothers Went Away gives an in-depth history of the Pueblo Indians before and after the Spanish conquest. It describes the forced changes the Spanish brought to the Indians, and also the changes brought to the Spaniards who came to “civilize” the Indians. The author's thesis is that the Pueblo Indians and other Indians were treated cruelly by the Spanish, who justified their crime by claiming they were civilizing an uncivilized nation, by changing their way of culture, social standing, marriage and sexuality practices to what the Spaniards deemed as correct. The Spaniards refused to acknowledge the Indian's culture as culture and set out to forcibly change the Indians. Even while the Spaniards themselves were influenced by the Indian way of life, the Indians continually suffered under the Spanish rule. One of the strengths of this book is the historic content. The author recorded a great deal of history about the life of the Pueblo Indians before the Spanish conquest. Customs and rituals were cleverly depicted. The story was told of not just what the Indians did, but also gave some premise as to why. The frequent explanations gave appreciable insight into the lives of the Pueblo Indians. Several traditional stories were included which illustrated what the Indians believed their genesis to be. The stories provided an engaging backdrop to the book. Their traditions were portrayed in a neutral light, without signifying a positive or negative influence on their way of life. One of the strengths was the way the Indians were presented as knowledgeable, and not ignorant, as is often depicted. The Indians had traditions and culture...
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