Urban indians in a silver city : Zacatecas, Mexico, 1546-1810
Stanford University Press 2017EISBN 0804799644
In the 16th century, silver mined by native peoples became New Spain's most important export. Silver production served as a catalyst for northern expansion, creating mining towns that led to the development of new industries, markets, population clusters, and frontier institutions. Within these towns, the need for labour, raw materials, resources, and foodstuffs brought together an array of different ethnic and social groups. On the northern edge of the empire, 350 miles from Mexico City, sprung up Zacatecas, a silver-mining town that would grow in prominence to become the 'Second City of New Spain'. This title illuminates the social footprint of colonial Mexico's silver mining district. It reveals the men, women, children, and families that shaped indigenous society and shifts the view of indigenous peoples from mere labourers to settlers and vecinos (municipal residents).