American Studies •  Anthropology •  Southwest and Sociology

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Land of Disenchantment: Latina/o Identities and Transformations in Northern New Mexico

Michael Trujillo

New Mexico's EspaƱola Valley is situated in the northern part of the state between the fabled Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains. Many of the Valley's communities have roots in the Spanish and Mexican periods of colonization, while the Native American Pueblos of Ohkay Owingeh and Santa Clara are far older. The Valley's residents include a large Native American population, an influential "Anglo" or "non-Hispanic white" minority, and a growing Mexican immigrant community. In spite of the varied populace, native New Mexican Latinos, or Nuevomexicanos, remain the majority and retain control of area politics.

In this experimental ethnography, Michael Trujillo presents a vision of EspaƱola that addresses its denigration by neighbors--and some of its residents--because it represents the antithesis of the positive narrative of New Mexico. Contradicting the popular notion of New Mexico as the "Land of Enchantment," a fusion of race, landscape, architecture, and food into a romanticized commodity, Trujillo probes beneath the surface to reveal the causes of social dysfunction brought about by colonization and the transition from a pastoral to an urban economy.


Michael L. Trujillo is assistant professor of American and Chicano Hispano Mexicano Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He earned his PhD in anthropology from the University of Texas, Austin in 2005. This is his first book.


"Trujillo's engaging work raises questions and issues which must be faced, not only for an understanding of how this part of New Mexico has gotten to where it is today, but also to determine how it might move forward."


H-Net Reviews

"( Land of Disenchantment) is both an ethnographic and literary triumph. It is extremely well written and should be understood by the general reader as well as scholars and students, anthropological and otherwise. . . . It should become a 'classic' New Mexican ethnography and would be particularly useful for college courses in Chicano studies or in-depth reading on New Mexico's fascinating history and culture."


Journal of Anthropological Research

6 x 9 in. 288 pages 32 halftones