My final project for this class is related to my research that I am doing independently. For the sake of the class, I decided to focus more on how indigenistas (promoters of a political ideology known as indigenismo in post-revolutionary Mexico) were using archaeology to promote nationalism, push for certain education reforms and reshape Mexican history.
With this research project, I became easily sidetracked from education to eugenics when learning about indigenismo. It is a fascinating topic that I am excited to learn about. This class gave me an excuse to look deeper into archaeology and anthropology instead of just knowing the basic information of Manuel Gamio (the father of Mexican anthropology) being an active indigenista. Learning more about the role of anthropology in shaping indigenismo and social reform programs led me to understand the incredible impact this discipline had on the ideology.
Which was perfect. In a Spanish secondary source, I came across the first woman indigenista, a feminist mestiza named Elena Landázuri. She not only helped Gamio in excavating archaeological sites, but also helped established misiones permanentes. Many people saw feminists as a threat to national identity, including Gamio who addressed it in his patriotic essay Forjando Patria. I look forward to learning more about this character and how her feminist views as a mestiza affected the policies made for indigenous women during my trip to Mexico City.
To follow my research before presenting this May, you can visit my blog at DaisysFindings.