Although scholars increasingly recognize that community survival depends on ongoing processes of renovation and innovation, and not simply on the persistence of past identities into the present, the historical processes of community formation and fragmentation in colonial situations is seldom documented. In this article, I examine both the tactical engagement of indigenous peasant migrants with the colonial Mexican state over spatial rights and the migrants’ emergent sense of place in a newly settled locale. I suggest that place making involves place breaking, and I seek to add a diachronic dimension to understanding of indige- nous societies and identity politics.
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