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notes
introduction
1. Anzaldúa, ‘‘Doing Gigs,’’ 216.
2. Moraga, ‘‘A Long Line of Vendidas,’’ 136.
3. Lila Abu-Lughod warns against feminist scholars’ inclination to ‘‘romance
resistance’’ when studying women’s attempts to gain power (‘‘The Romance of
Resistance,’’ 16, and Writing Women’s Worlds, 13).
4. Common themes of those I located included recollections of Mexico and
traditional lifestyles, women’s work within and outside the home, and participa-
tion in labor struggles. Several early collections in which women of Mexican
origin or ancestry are represented include Hubert Bancroft’s California histo-
ries of the 1870s at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, and
the Federal Writers Project New Mexico collection of the 1930s and 1940s at the
History Library of the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe. Genaro Padilla, in
My History, Not Yours, notes that many personal narratives lie buried in archives
and when unearthed will constitute ‘‘a huge inventory that must, and shall,
overturn the ethnocentric assumption that Mexican American culture has a
meager literary production’’ (5). However, he also acknowledges that many of
the written narratives, as opposed to oral narratives, were produced by ricos,
members of the landed upper class (x), and that ‘‘women’s narratives were
considered supplemental to men’s’’ (111). In a survey of several university and
state historical society collections in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, I found
only a small number of archived narratives. A number of transcribed oral
histories can be found at the Arizona State Historical Society in Tucson, al-
though they are not well catalogued and one must locate them by skimming the
catalogue for individual names. An excellent collection housed at the University
of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research is Cecilia Portal’s ‘‘Las Mujeres
de la Tierra del Sol/Women from the Land of the Sun.’’ Also, Fran Leeper
Buss’s ‘‘Work and Family: Low Income and Minority Women Talk about their
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