Epilogue
During the past five centuries, the racial hierarchies that European dis-
coveries birthed in Latin America have changed little.The descendants
of indigenous people, whether they self-identify as Indian or not, re-
maineconomically,politically,andsociallymarginalized.Inmanycoun-
tries, the state of racism can be compared to apartheid in South Africa
orJimCrowintheUnitedStates.UntilrecentlyinEcuador,forexample,
newspaper advertisements ‘‘offered haciendas for sale with Indians in-
cluded,asiftheywerecattleorhorses.’’
1
Moreover,aslateasthe1990s,
Indians were frequently prohibited from entering buses, and if they
managedtoboard,werethensubjectedtoverbalassaultor,worse,were
thrown from the buses and
killed.2
Resistancetothismarginalizationis,ofcourse,notanewphenome-
non. Yet a number of indicators suggest that many of the changes de-
scribed in this book—such as the growing shift toward Indian identi-
ties, the intensification of indigenous mobilization, increasing efforts
to revitalize indigenous cultures, and heightened racial literacy and
antiracist practices—are occurring elsewhere in the region ‘‘in what
some have termed ‘the Indian awakening in Latin America.’’’
3
In sev-
eralcountries,identitiesandmovementshaveemergedthatwouldhave
been virtually unimaginable as recently as the 1980s. For instance, in
Guatemala, the majority of the contemporary leaders and intellectuals
ofthePan-Mayanmovementcouldpassasnon-Indian,‘‘giventhatthey
are educated, fluent in Spanish and economically mobile.’’
4
Many of
these individuals, just one decade earlier, likely would have distanced
themselves from Indianness and certainly would not have become in-
volved in the movimiento maya. As Kay Warren notes, now ‘‘rather than
becomingurbanLadinos,...activistshaveturnedtothedifficultproject
of promoting the resurgence of ‘Maya culture.’’’
5
Mexico offers another clear illustration of Indian resurgence. For
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