Crucifixion stories, the 1869 Caste War of Chiapas, and negative consciousness: A disruptive subaltern study
In this article I apply the methodology of the Subaltern Studies group, especially Ranajit Guha's theory of negative consciousness, to an instance of indigenous insurgency in Mesoamerica. During the Caste War of Chiapas, 1867-69, the Maya apparently crucified a boy and, emboldened by this "Indian Christ," they swept out of the hills killing non-Indians indiscriminately. I argue not only that Guha's "elementary aspects of peasant insurgency" (1983) aid in understanding the ferocious mimesis of the Mayan crucifixion, but also that the Caste War has a disruptive history that challenges theories of resistance as well as the relation of the historian and the ethnographer to the subaltern and to the "colonizer" subject.
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