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6640 - The struggle for power in late 16th century Zinapecuaro, Michoacán: the case of Don Alonso Huapean

An extensive corpus of pictorial documents from the 16 th century is related to Zinapecuaro (located in the northeast of Michoacan) and its cacique Alonso Huapean. The latter, member of a ruling lineage that claimed Prehispanic roots, was accused of abusing his authority and causing severe economical and even physical damage to other nobles and commoners in the main town and its subject settlements. In 1567, the numerous complaints against the cacique were presented to the court in the form of codices and oral testimonies. The documentation provides a unique insight into the changing internal structure and organization of a república de indios (indigenous town) located outside the Tarascan core area, showing the demise of a traditional ruler of noble blood whose authority was successfully challenged by other ascending elite groups and allied commoners. The paper contains the first results of an ethnohistorical analysis of the mentioned pictorial corpus .

Keywords: Códices, Cacicazgos, Repúblicas de Indios, Michoacán, México

Author: Roskamp, Hans (El Colegio de Michoacán, A.C., Mexico / Mexiko)

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