Abstract and Keywords
The formation of northern New Spain was anticipated by numerous events that took place centuries before the first Europeans set foot in what would later become the North of Mexico and the US Southwest: successive expansions of Mesoamerica, substantial population movements of various northern peoples, and consequent ethnic encounters, exchanges, conflict, and continual reconfigurations. For the Mesoamerican groups that took part in the conquest and settlement of northern New Spain, their participation signified the recovery of the lands of their distant ancestors from the legendary Chicomoztoc. Some northern groups confronting the Spanish, on the other hand, had only arrived in that contested zone a few generations before, initiating a long process of transformations that gave rise to the extreme cultural diversity that characterized the extensive North of New Spain.
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