Bernardino Verastique. Michoacan and Eden: Vasco de Quiroga and the Evangelization of Western Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000. xviii + 194 pp. $40.00 (cloth) ISBN 0-292-78737-5; $19.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-292-78738-4.
Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb (National Endowment for the Humanities)
Published on H-LatAm (June, 2000)
Amerindian and Spanish Cultural Conflict and Syncretism inMichoacan, Mexico
[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the reviewer and not of his employer or any other federal agency.]
The author of this important book-length synthesis, Bernardino Veastique, completed research on his volume while at Harvard's Center for the Study of World Religions; he is currently associate professor of Religious Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. In this significant contribution to Mexican history, historiography, anthropology, and religious studies, Verastique assesses the evangelization efforts of the first bishop of the west Mexican province of Michoacan (a region larger than the modern state), Don Vasco de Quiroga (1477 or 1478 to 1565). The author also places into context and evaluates the dramatic cultural and historical impacts resulting from this effort by focusing on Quiroga who served as bishop from 1535 until his death in 1565. Quiroga remains a controversial figure the Mexican historiography --Renaissance humanist, social liberal, reformer, "miracle worker," progenitor of the Mexican social security system, defender of indigenous peoples, or violent authoritarian -- depending upon which biographer the reader consults (p. xiv). The significance of Bishop Quiroga to Mexican history and historiography is attested to by the fact that there have been more than a dozen biographies by Mexican and American historians and religious scholars representing a number of theoretical orientations.
As a Judge (oidor) and Bishop, Quiroga was driven by a profound respect for Spanish jurisprudence and his desire to convert the Purhepecha-Chichimeca to a purified form of Christianity free of the corruption of European Catholicism, and strove to establish "New World Edens" in Michoacan by congregating the native populace into "pueblo-hospital" communities. In these towns, mendicant friars could more easily instruct them in the fundamental beliefs of Christianity as well as the values of Spanish culture. Quiroga patronized the construction of three pueblos each of which included a hospital, as well as the great cathedral of Santa Ana, numerous churches and schools, and the Colegio de San Nicolas Obispo. These were no small feats, given that the Purhepecha kingdom of Michoacan also included parts of the modern states of Guerrero, Guanajuato, and Quetaro -- an area of 70,000 square kilometers and 1.5 million inhabitants.
Structurally, the volume contains an introduction, eight chapters, and an epilogue, 10 sets of endnotes (a total of 404), a bibliography with 274 entries (78 in Spanish), and a 10-page double column index of predominantly proper noun names, supplemented by one map and 10 figures, all of which are line drawings. The figures are adapted from Craine and Reindorp's edited translation of The Chronicles of Michoacan (1970) -- sometimes called the "Morelia edition," which served as Verastique's primary source, in addition to the three-volume Cronica de Michoacan (1932), and some documents from Mexico's Archivo General de la Nacion (A.G.N.), Justicia. He also relies heavily upon the writings of Americo Castro (1971), Miguel Leon-Portilla (1963), Stanley Payne (1984), R.A.M. Van Zantwijc (1967), and J. Benedict Warren (1985) for background information. In addition to the biographies of Quiroga noted previously, Verastique employs Josefina Muriel's (1980) enlightening essay and the Paulino Castaneda Delgado edition of Quiroga's report Informacion en derecho (1974).
Bishop Quiroga's organizational model for these new communities derived from the Judeo-Christian myth of Eden and Plato's concept of the republic as a perfect commonwealth governed by intellectuals. Verastique states that Silvio Zavala exaggerates the claim that Quiroga was influenced extensively by Thomas More's Utopia (p. xiv, 113, 117). He contends that early chroniclers such as Gomara and Oviedo, the philosophical concepts of Montesque and Raynal, and anthropological theoreticians including Edward Burnett Tylor and Louis Henry Morgan, colored the interpretations of "Amerindian" culture. Verastique, exhibiting cultural sensitivity, employs that term instead of Native American or Indian. He begins the volume with an illustrative introduction in which he states that his thesis is that these varying opinions and contradictions about Quiroga  "are due to the continual transmission of misinformation concerning the 'New World' and to historical interpretations shaped by the authors' own prejudices and worldviews" (p. xiv). He further notes that he assumes that "a basic characteristic of a culture is its symbolic construction of boundaries, both internal and external. In other words, a culture's core identity is encapsulated in its perception of differences: differences within a culture, such as varying class and caste statuses, and differences between it and surrounding cultures. A community and its members thus define themselves in relation to significant others" (p. xvii). After the Metzica (Mexica or Aztecs), the Purhepecha were the second most powerful Prehispanic Amerindian state in northern Mesoamerica, and the Purhepecha elites saw themselves as heirs of the Toltec monarchs and, therefore, that they had a sacred entitlement to the land. They distinguished themselves from their enemies -- the Metzica to the east, and the Chichimecs to the north.
In the initial chapter, "The Purhepecha-Chichimeca of Michoacan" (pp. 1-19), the geographical and cultural landscape of the Purhepecha kingdom is reviewed, as are cultural precursors from ca. 40,000 BCE to the end of the Postclassic Toltec period ca. 1150 CE. Verastique uses an inappropriate Old World archaeological term, "upper Paleolithic period," ca. 40,000 B.C., to describe the entry of early humans into the Western Hemisphere across the Bering Strait land bridge -- this is more correctly the Early Paleoindian period of the New World. His discussion of "Michoacan from the Olmecs to the Toltecs" relies upon the works of art historians George Kubler and Laurette Sejourne, ethnohistorian Jacques Soustelle, and archaeologist R.E.W. Adams. Readers would be advised to consult the writings of Pollard, Weaver, Williams, and Bell. 
By page eight, the narrative has turned to a consideration of the English-language The Chronicles of Michoacan (more properly La Relacion de Michoacan in its original Spanish edition), a manuscript prepared for the first viceroy of New Spain from 1535-1550, Don Antonio de Mendoza. The original manuscript (Codex C-IV-5 or Codex del Escorial_) consists of 140 sheets, 3 Purhepecha calendric pages, and 44 illustrations, is deposited in the Real Biblioteca del Escorial in Madrid.  The disputed authorship (p. 9) -- Fray Martin de Coruna or Fray Jeronimo de Alcala, among others -- is evaluated cogently, but nonetheless the document is the primary source on the social history of the Purhepecha.
The relationship between the Purhepecha and nomadic Chichimec tribes is reviewed, and the misuse of the term "Tarascan" to describe the Purhepecha kingdom is demonstrated. Tarascan is a general term meaning all Amerindian peoples of Michoacan (including Otomi, Matlaltzinca, and Teco peoples) much as the generic term "indio" means "Indian." Verastique moves then to a discussion of the founding of the Purhepecha kingdom, the succession of priest-king rulers (cazonci), and the Purhepecha elite (nobles, priests, and warriors). There is little information on the commoners. Nonetheless, there are similarities to Aztec social structure (calpullis [wards or districts], cities, towns, rancherias, and extended families). The "dominant elite" occupied the apex of the social pyramid, and women fared better in Purhepecha society and politics than they would under the Spanish. Priestly class offices were inheritable within a state religion. Verastique uses the terms lineage and clan rather loosely (p. 15, 16); there have very precise anthropological connotations and I would have wished for clarity.
In Chapter 2 "The Purhepecha Religious Worldview" (pp. 20-35), the author relates the sacred principle of duality, three-realm cosmos (celestial, earthly, and subterranean), the astronomical orientations of communities, five directions (the center and four cardinal points, the latter with corresponding colors, winds, clouds, and birds), the five tiered pantheon, and fertility and regeneration themes (agrarian festivals and human sacrifice). Lake Patzcuaro is seen as the sacred center of the world and the Purhepecha capital and major city, Tzintzuntzan, has five-tiered pyramids.
The next two chapters, "The Historical Landscape of Spain" (pp. 36-49) and "Religion in Spain on the Eve of the Spanish Conquest" (pp. 50-65) provide essential background on the Iberian Peninsula and its geographic and cultural heterogeneity. Verastique briefly traces the historical landscape from the Neolithic to the Phoenecians, Carthaginians, Romans, and Visigoths to the Arabs and the introduction of Islam. The discussion of Spain (Al Andulas or "Hispania") during the Middle Ages emphasizes Castilla, the Christian-dominated social order (clergy, nobility, and commoners), the nobility derived from Visigothic lords, classes of nobles (hidalgos, caballeros, optimales, grandes senores, and magnates), commoners (ranging from free peasants to serfs), and conversos (especially Jews). Following the writings of Payne and Castro, Verastique also considers Santiago de Compostela, the "Warrior Apostle," and the synthesis of military and religious ideals into a military patriotic ideology. He notes that "by the later 15th century, Roman Catholicism had become the spiritual and philosophical foundation of Spanish culture" (p. 50). The political unification of Iberia under Ferdinand and Isabella was not duplicated in religious culture, but the Spanish church was, in fact, governed by the Spanish crown (p. 52). Theological diversity (regionalism, reevaluation of faith, vernacular books, and contending religious milieus of the period -- particularly the Protestant Reformation) are also discussed. Church-state relations, the fall of the Sultanate of Grenada (January 2, 1492), the conversion of 50,000 Jews to Christianity and the expulsion 150,000 Jews to Portugal, and the development of the Holy Office of the Inquisition are reviewed. A book by William Christian, Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain (1981), is the basis for Verastique's discussion of popular religion in rural areas.  Verastique observes the tendencies toward devotion to patron saints, relics, cultic images and practices directed toward the crucified Christ, and shrine worship dedicated to the Virgin Mary. He ends the chapter with an assessment of the influential Alumbrado (Illuminist) movement which sought to achieve worldly spiritual perfection, and reviews of Santa Teresa de Jesus a converso to the Carmelites, Erasmian humanism in Spain (after Erasmus of Rotterdam, 1469-1536), and the Christian humanism of Jimenez de Cisneros.
Chapter 5, "The Conquest of Michoacan and the Appointment of Vasco de Quiroga" (pp. 66-91), begins with a recounting of the expeditions to Michoacan by Francisco Montano in 1521 and Cristobal de Olid from 1522-1524. Verastique correctly characterizes the 1520s as a "brutally violent decade" (p. 66), with the destruction of temples and indigenous pictographic manuscripts and looting by the Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies, Franciscan and Augustinian evangelization, the enslavement of the Purhepecha, and epidemics, culminating with the imprisonment, torture, and assassination of the calzonci, Tzintzicha Tangaxoan II, on 14 February 1530. Warren's The Conquest of Michoacan (1985) adds more detail to this episode.  Verastique recounts the tribute survey of Antonio Carajal in 1523, the discovery of gold in west Michoacan in 1527, and the role of the Council of the Indies. The president of the Audiencia, Beltran Nuno de Guzman, assumed office in November 1528 and was charged with restoring stability and ending the anarchy that existed in New Spain, but came into conflict with the Franciscan Juan de Zumarraga as hostility between the church and state authorities increased and conflict between and within religious orders increased. The forced labor encomienda system became a "fertile ground for bribery and corruption" (p. 86), but more crucial is an "ecological collapse" due to military conquest, sporadic warfare, the encomienda emphasis on cattle raising and silver mining, and epidemics resulted in a 30 percent demographic decline among the native population in Michoacan from 1520-1565. The failure of the first Audiencia led to the appointment of a second Audiencia in 1532 and the division of New Spain into four dioceses (Michoacan, Tlaxcala-Puebla, Antequeria, and Neuva Galicia). Among the new appointees was Vasco de Quiroga, about whom little is known in the documentary record until ca 1520. A Spanish aristocrat born in Galicia, Quiroga was trained in the law and served as a judge in Oran, North Africa until he was about fifty years of age -- F. B. Warren's biography (1963) is the definitive source. 
In "The Christianization of the Purhepecha" (pp. 92-109), Verastique states that the primary task assigned to Quiroga was to "rectify the disorder in which Nino de Guzman had left the province after the assassination of the cazonci" (pp. 92-93). In this regard, Quiroga was benevolent, assuming a pastoral role of protector, spiritual father, judge and confessional physician to the Purhepecha. Formally installed as Bishop of Michoacan in 1536, he began construction of the cathedral of Santa Ana in 1540, established the Colegio de San Nicolas Obispo, organized the Purehepecha into congregaciones modeled on Thomas More's Utopia, and extended his territorial jurisdiction which brought him into direct conflict with the Spanish encomenderos. The evangelization process, effects of the Franciscans and Augustinians and religious rivalries are discussed. Quiroga recognized that Christianizing the Purhepecha depended upon preserving their language and understanding their worldview, hence, a multicultural and multilingual access to Christians was promulgated. Jeronimo de Alacala, compiler of The Chronicles of Michoacan, and Maturino Gilberti's Arte de la lengua de Michuacan are cited as examples. Robert Ricard's The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico (1966) adds to this discussion. 
In "Informacion en derecho: Quiroga's Report to the Royal Council of the Indies" (pp. 110-123), a document dated to July 4, 1535, Verastique discusses the conversationalist style of the text, Quiroga's attempts to reestablish order in the province, and attempt to gain more freedoms for the native population by using personal devotion and his considerable persuasive power. Of particular note are the essays on the legitimacy of the Conquest and Spain's claim to the Americas, the use of reducciones and congregaciones for acculturation and evangelization, and attempts at democracy. The author concludes that Quiroga's "brand of humanism was not humanitarian" (p. 123).
Chapter 8, "The Utopian Experiment: Santa Fe de Laguna" (pp. 124-140), considers that Quiroga created three pueblo-hospital communities and patriarchal sanctioned agrarian communities that emphasized the raising of Spanish livestock -- one at Santa Fe, founded in 1538, serves as an example. At Santa Fe, Quiroga was able to influence the elder Don Pedro Cuinierangari to give up polygamy and adopt monogamy and other Purhepechans followed this sociopolitical and religious leader's decision. Familias (clan/kinship wards) were the basic social units followed by towns (6,000 familias each), while Tzintzuntzan was a royal town (corregimiento). Verastique notes that three types of cofradias (confraternities) existed in Michoacan: transplanted Spanish cofradias, new ones established by recent emigres, and Amerindian cofradias.
In addition, Quiroga encouraged native resistance to encomendero Juan Infante who sought to acquire additional 25 tribute towns in Michoacan. The Quiroga-Infante conflict escalated in spite of the intercession of Viceroy Mendoza, and Infante eventually took possession of the towns, lawsuits continued after Quiroga's death in 1565.
The "Epilogue" (pp. 141-152) assesses the evangelization process and religious syncretism (e.g., the coalescence of religious traditions from different cultures) and how this blending in Michoacan differed from the same experience in the Yucatan. Verastique references Louise Burkhart's (1989) evaluation of Aztec-Spanish syncretism (p. 146).  The standard reference in religious syncretism is William Madsen's (1967) chapter in Handbook of Middle American Indians, which emphasizes the Aztecs (pp. 369-382) and Maya (pp. 382-391).  However, Madsen presents no information on west Mexico or Michoacan, so that Verastique's discussion is especially valuable. The author writes that "the death of Don Vasco marked the end of a generation of passionate and well-educated missionaries who hoped to impart a form of apocalyptic Christianity to the Amerindians" (p. 141).
Verastique notes that "one fundamental error in reconstructing the history of the Conquest of Mexico is the assumption that a monolithic Christianity encountered a generically uniform Amerindian culture" (p. 1). Further, he asserts that this misunderstanding has had the unfortunate effect of contributing to a voluminous literature on the successes and failures of Christian evangelization among the indigenous peoples of Mexico. The author emphasizes cultural and religious variations among the Spanish conquerors and among the native cultures of Mesoamerica, and he documents compellingly how cultural and geographical environments influence religious experience, and how native people appropriated and modified Christian theological concepts. He writes in a style that appeals to students and general public. Verastique logically begins his assessment by documenting the worldviews of the Purhepecha and the Spanish at the time of their first encounters in 1521 and concludes that the complex socioreligious views held by both cultures were compatible. The processes of cultural assimilation and resistance to culture change figure prominently in both cultures as the Spanish established their political, economic, and religious dominance in Michoacan. Verastique describes the cultural and religious syncretism that occurred between the indigenous beliefs, practices, and rituals of the Purhepecha and those in Christianity. In addition, he assesses the Hispanic-indigenous syncretism in Michoacan with similar developments in other regions of Mexico.
Verastique sought to clarify opinions and contradictions about Quiroga, which he believed "are due to the continual transmission of misinformation concerning the 'New World' and to historical interpretations shaped by the authors' own prejudices and worldviews" (p. xiv). In this regard he has been partially successful by presenting a clearer view of the man and his accomplishments. Unfortunately, documents about Quiroga's early life have not been found and there is scantly information about portions of his thirty-year bishopric. Nonetheless, Verastique presents a balanced account of Don Vasco and his supporters and detractors insofar as the extant documentary record permits. He has convincingly detailed why the term Purhepecha is preferred to Tarascan. Additional text on the differences between the religious orders (Augustinian, Dominican, Franciscan, and Jesuit) might have been included, but the discussion of Nahuat Meztica (Mexica or Aztec) acculturation and syncretism offers a useful parallel to the Purhepechan experience. In sum, the volume provides a fine historiographic assessment but little new information about Quiroga and minimal new light on "Eden." A minor citation error is noted on p. 180: "McKeever, Furst, and Jill Leslie" should read McKeever Furst, Jill Leslie. Nonetheless, this volume will be welcomed by the Mexican-American community and by general readers as well as to informed scholars. It is a broad synthesis of culture contact, acculturation, and syncretism in a significant region of Mesoamerica and adds immeasurably to our understanding of the Purhepecha (Tarascans) and Michoacan.
. Among the notable biographical treatments are those by Rafael Aguayo Spencer, Don Vasco de Quiroga: Documentos (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial, 1939) and Don Vasco de Quiroga: Taumaturgo de la organizacion social (Mexico, D.F.: Ediciones Oasis, 1970);Antonio Arreaza Ochoa, Don Vasco de Quiroga y la ciudad de Patzcuaro (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Libros de Mexico, 1978); Marcel Bataillon, "Vasco de Quiroga et Bartolome de Las Casas" in Revista de la Historia de America 33:3-95 (1952); Enrique Cardenas de la Pena, Precursor de seguridad social (Mexico, D.F. Instituto Mexicano de la Seguro Social, 1968); Father Paul L Callens, S.J. [Society of Jesus], Tata Vasco: A Great Reformer of the Sixteenth Century (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Jus, 1959); Lewis Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice (Philadelphia: Little, Brown, 1949); Benjamin Jarnes, Don Vasco de Quiroga: obispo de utopia (Mexico, D.F.: n.p., 1942); Paul S. Lietz ,"Vasco de Quiroga: Oidor Made Bishop" in Mid-America 32:13-32 (1936) and "Vasco de Quiroga: Sociologist of New Spain" in Mid-America 32:247-259 (1936); Nicolas Leon, El Ylmo: Senor Don Vasco de Quiroga: primer obispo de Michoacan (Mexico, D.F.: n.p., 1904); Nicolas Leon and Jose Quintana, Documentos ineditos referentes al ilustrisimo senor Don Vasco de Quiroga (Mexico, D.F.: n.p., 1940); Carlos Pellicer, Don Vasco de Quiroga y los hospitales pueblos (Coyoacan, Mexico: Ediciones Padilla, 1968); Manuel Ponce , editor, Don Vasco de Quiroga y arzobispado de Morelia (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Jus, 1965); Felipe Tena Ramirez, Vasco de Quiroga y sus pueblos de Santa Fe en los Siglos XVIII y XIX (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Porrua, 1977); Fintan B. Warren, Vasco de Quiroga and his Pueblo-Hospitals of Santa Fe (Washington, D.C.: Academy of American Franciscan History,1963); Silvio A. Zavala, Ideario de Vasco de Quiroga (Mexico, D.F.: Colegio de Mexico,1941) and Recuerdos de Vasco de Quiroga (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Porrua, 1965).
. The key documents are The Chronicles of Michoacan: The Description and the Ceremonies, Rites, Population, and Government of the Indians of the Province of Michoacan, 1540-1541, edited and translated by Eugene R. Craine and Reginald C. Reindorp (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1970) and Pablo Beaumont's Cronica de Michoacan, 3 tomos (Mexico, D.F.: Editorial Porrua, 1932). A source not cited by the author is Relacion de Michoacan (1541) Relacion de las ceremonias y ritos y poblacion y gobierno de Michoacan, reproduccion facsimilar (Madrid: Aguilar Publicistas, 1956). Sources in the Archivo General de la Nation (A.G.N.), Justicia are mentioned in the endnotes but not cited in the bibliography.
. These include Americo Castro, The Spaniards: An Introduction to Their History (Willard F. King and Selma Margaretten, translators, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971); Miguel Leon-Portilla, Aztec Thought and Culture (Norman: University of Arizona Press, 1963); Stanley Payne, Spanish Catholicism: An Historical Overview (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984); R.A.M. Van Zantwijk, Servants of the Saints: The Social and Cultural Identity of a Tarascan Community in Mexico (Assen, The Netherlands: Royal Van Gorcum, 1967); and J. Benedict Warren, The Conquest of Michoacan: The Spanish Domination of the Tarascan Kingdom in Western Mexico, 1521-1530 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985).
. Josefina Muriel's "Las cofridas hospitalarias en la formacion de la conciencia communitaria" in La cultura purhe: Segundo coloquoia de antropologia e historia regionales, edited by Francisco Miranda, pp. 225-236 (Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacan, 1980); and Vasco de Quiroga's Informacion en derecho del licienciado Quiroga sobre algunas provisiones de Real Consejo de las Indias, edited by Paulino Castaneda Delgado (Madrid: Ediciones Jose Porrua Turnanzas, 1974).
. Verastique relies upon Richard E. W. Adams's first edition of Prehistoric Mesoamerica (Boston: Little, Brown, 1977) rather than the later, definitive edition (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996). For general background readers may wish to consult Muriel Porter Weaver's The Aztecs, Maya, and the Predecessors: Archaeology of Mesoamerica, 3rd ed. (San Diego and New York: Academic Press, 1993), especially the sections on the Tarascans, pp. 434-438 and 486-487. Indispensable is Helen Perlstein Pollard's volume, Tariacuri's Legacy: The Prehispanic Tarascan State (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993). Other sources on Michoacan include: Betty Bell, editor, The Archaeology of West Mexico (Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico: Sociedad de Estudios Avanzados del Occidente de Mexico, 1974), Eduardo Williams, editor, Contribuciones al arqueologia y etnohistoria del Occidente de Mexico (Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacan, 1994), and Eduardo Williams and Robert Novella, coordinators, Arqueologia del Occidente de Mexico (Zamora, Michoacan, Mexico: El Colegio de Michoacan, 1994). Verastique cites none of these in his volume.
. Some historians believe that the Escorial manuscript is a copy; copies are known to exist in the Aubin Collection in the Bibliotheque Nacional in Paris, the Peter Force Collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, and in the Obadiah Rich Collection of the New York Public Library.
. William Christian's Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,1981) is a splendid source for additional information.
. The standard source is J. Benedict Warren's The Conquest of Michoacan: The Spanish Domination of the Tarascan Kingdom in Western Mexico, 1521-1530 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985).
. Verastique depends upon Fintan B. Warren's biography, Vasco de Quiroga and his Pueblo-Hospitals of Santa Fe (Washington, DC: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1963), for this section.
. Robert Ricard's The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the Evangelizing Methods of the Mendicant Orders in New Spain (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966) provides additional information.
. Louise Burkhart's The Slippery Earth: The Nahua-Christian Moral Dialogue in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1989) is essential, while John Frederick Schwaller's Church and Clergy in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987) provides illuminating context.
. An encyclopedic chapter by William Madsen, "Religious Syncretism" in Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 6: Social Anthropology, edited by Robert Wauchope, pp. 369-391. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967, documents syncretism only among the Aztecs and Maya. A popular version of this phenomenon is Anita Brenner's Idols Behind Altars (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929; reprinted. New York: Biblo and Tannen, 1967, Boston: Beacon Press, 1970).
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Charles C. Kolb. Review of Verastique, Bernardino, Michoacan and Eden: Vasco de Quiroga and the Evangelization of Western Mexico.
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