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Gutiérrez, Ramón A. When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991.
When Jesus Came, The Corn Mothers Went Away is an intense exploration of the convergence of Spanish, Franciscan and Pueblo Indian cultures in Spain's remote colonial American empire prior to Anglo contact. To form a foundation from which to understand this analysis, Ramon Gutierrez discusses Pueblo Indian life prior to outside contact, Franciscan theology, and the class structure of Spanish communities in the beginning of each of the book's three sections. Then, using the institution of marriage as a window, Gutierrez examines meanings of gift exchange, ownership, trade, sexual rights, labor, kinship, social status, religious beliefs, honor and more as each relates to the interacting cultures. His symbolic analysis and interpretation of the complex cultural meanings of marriage illustrates the ways in which the inhabitants of New Mexico continuously created and recreated their social worlds, the areas in which conflict arose, and how inequalities were maintained between the three cultures. Gutierrez notes that "this book is premised on the assumption that every society is a system of inequality." He continues that "the task is not to explain why inequality exists but to expose the different forms it has taken during a period of rapid social change, specifically the Spanish conquest of the Pueblo Indians beginning in 1539." He draws extensively from historic and archival records, clerical publications, court, baptismal and marriage records, songs, poems, folklore and academic texts on mysticism, marriage, trade, southwestern history, gender, religion and many more. This work is a detailed analysis from the view of the Pueblo Indians of the ways in which the Franciscan ministry first conquered New Mexico's indigenous peoples through force and manipulation of their own spiritual beliefs as well as the challenges that both the friars and the pueblos faced when the Spanish residents and government asserted their supremacy over the region and its peoples. Thus, When Jesus Came, The Corn Mothers Went Away explores the history of rebellion, religious-political conquest, loss and reconquest in New Mexico's cultural landscape between 1500 and 1846. It provides the "historical depth and understanding to the cultural conflicts that would occur in New Mexico in the second half of the nineteenth century--conflicts that are still very much alive in New Mexico to this day." [M. Enloe]