1st Edition

A History of Indigenous Latin America
Aymara to Zapatistas

ISBN 9781315228402
Published March 25, 2020 by Routledge
422 Pages

What are VitalSource eBooks?

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

A History of Indigenous Latin America is a comprehensive introduction to the people who first settled in Latin America, from before the arrival of the Europeans to the present.

Indigenous history provides a singular perspective to political, social and economic changes that followed European settlement and the African slave trade in Latin America. Set broadly within a postcolonial theoretical framework and enhanced by anthropology, economics, sociology, and religion, this textbook includes military conflicts and nonviolent resistance, transculturation, labor, political organization, gender, and broad selective accommodation. Uniquely organized into periods of 50 years to facilitate classroom use, it allows students to ground important indigenous historical events and cultural changes within the timeframe of a typical university semester.

Supported by images, textboxes, and linked documents in each chapter that aid learning and provide a new perspective that broadly enhances Latin American history and studies, it is the perfect introductory textbook for students.

Table of Contents

List of images

List of maps

List of textboxes


Introduction: Indigenous People from the Southern Cone meet an Important Person

1 Indigenous Latin America: Introductions, Methodology and Definitions

2 Indigenous Latin America: Abya Yala

3 Indigenous Encounters with Europeans: 15th Century

4 Natives Challenge the Conquerors Yet Help to Create a New World, 1500-1549

5 Colonial Alliances and Demographic Collapse, 1550-1599

6 The High Colonial Period: Indigenous People Join Imperial Systems, 1600-1649

7 Transculturation, Urbanization and Isolated Revolts, 1650-1699

8 Demographic Recovery and Growing Insurrections, 1700-1749

9 Religious Conflicts, Widespread Resistance, and New Countries, 1750-1826

10 Indigenous Responses to New Rulers and Frontier Expansion, 1811-1869

11 Struggles for Land, Labor and Political Leverage in Neocolonial Latin America, 1870-1930

12 Diverse Indigenous Paths toward Self-Determination, 1930-1971

13 Indigenous Organization and Opposition to Military Rule, 1971-1990

14 Indigenous People Enter the New Millennium, 1990-2012


Bibliography of Sources Cited

Appendix: Organization Abbreviations

Appendix: Indigenous People


View More



Dr. René Harder Horst is I.G. Greer Distinguished Professor 2018 to 2021 in History at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, United States. He is author of The Stroessner Regime and Indigenous Resistance in Paraguay, Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America, El Régimen de Stroessner y la Resistencia Indígena, and numerous articles on Indigenous history in Latin America.


'Finally, a Latin America textbook that places the lives and experiences of Indigenous peoples at its center!  Horst carefully introduces theoretical and conceptual debates in accessible ways as he ably covers 500 years of history from an indigenous perspective. The book’s generous sweep encompasses the diversity as well as common themes of indigenous livelihoods with close attention to native sources and voices. Centering indigenous history creates a compelling narrative thread for a coherent history that is nonetheless attentive to geographical variation and to individual experience. Unflinchingly presents indigenous peoples as both victims and protagonists. Readable, accessible, and rich in detail and analysis.'

Professor Avi Chomsky, Department of History, Salem State University, USA

'A History of Indigenous Latin America is a masterful text that provides a critical tool for teaching the history of indigenous peoples across Latin America. Impressive in its chronological and regional scope, and written with verve and flair, this book will significantly enhance the learning of undergraduate and graduate students.'

Professor Nicola Foote, Arizona State University, USA

'The native "voice" has long been under-emphasized in historical accounts of the New World, almost to the point of non-existence. René Harder Horst, in this fine and highly detailed work, thus offers a needed corrective. He demonstrates that the quality of the indigenous experience provides its own quite distinct legitimacy and proves, I think, that the Apristas of Peru are right in eschewing the traditional term "Latin America" in favor of the far more comprehensive "Indoamerica." We might very well learn from them as we go forward.'

Professor Emeritus Thomas L. Whigham, Department of History, University of Georgia, USA

'We have long needed an Indigenous history of Latin America. René Harder Horst is one of those rare and outstanding scholars who possesses the breadth and depth of knowledge necessary to tackle such an important but difficult subject. A History of Indigenous Latin America fills an important gap in the field. This engaging text will introduce students to new ways of understanding and interpreting the Americas that for far too long have been approached from a colonialist point of view. An Indigenous perspective provides a counter narrative that embraces those who are traditionally marginalized and are often left out of history. As such, this book contributes a much more complete understanding of the Americas than that to which we have previously had access.'

Professor Marc Becker, Department of History, Truman State University, USA

'A History of Indigenous Latin America . . . contains a complete historical-anthropological [picture], from pre-Columbian times to modernity . . . [and] allows us to understand . . . the complexity of this continent.'

Professor Henryk Gaska, Department of Anthropology, Catholic University of Asunción and the National University of Itapua, Paraguay

'This book represents a unique effort for uniting this diverse and sometimes contradictory corpus and, at the same time, methodologically overcoming the boundaries found when trying to tackle these plural histories . . . In times when indigenous peoples in Latin America are leading social, political and environmental processes that are greatly influencing the region, this study will broaden . . . the depth and relevance of their current role and encourage research on a common cultural heritage.'

Professor Mireya Salgado Gómez, FLACSO, Ecuador

Support Material