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Empire of Sand is a documentary history of Spanish attempts to convert, control, and ultimately annihilate the Seris. These papers of religious, military, and government officials attest to the Serisâ resilience in the face of numerous Spanish attempts to conquer them and remove them from their lands. The documents include early observations of the Seris by Jesuit missionaries, descriptions of the collapse of the Seri mission system in 1748, accounts of the invasion of TiburÃ³n Island in 1750 and the Sonora Expedition of 1767â71, and reports of late eighteenth-century Seri hostilities.
Thomas E. Sheridanâs introduction puts the documents in perspective, while his notes objectively clarify their significance. By skillfully weaving the documents into a coherent narrative of SpanishâSeri interaction, he has produced a compelling account of empire and resistance that speaks to anthropologists, historians, and all readers who take heart in stories of resistance to oppression.
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