Anthropology, Department of


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Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 22 (2007). Copyright © William E. Altizer; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


The Roman Catholic missions of New Spain were an essential component of the Spanish colonial enterprise, and the effects of the missionization process on the Native American populations of the Americas were profound. How did these native populations respond to the new imperatives of colonization and religious conversion? In what ways were they able to maintain their cultural identity under the mission system? This paper examines the ways in which archaeology can address these questions of cultural continuity, with particular emphasis on the eighteenth-century Spanish missions of San Antonio, Texas.

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