Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos (Clayton Wheat Williams Texas Life Series)

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9780890968345: Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos (Clayton Wheat Williams Texas Life Series)
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Texans of Mexican descent built a unique and highly developed ranching culture that thrived in South Texas until the 1880s. In Tejano Empire historian Andrés Tijerina describes the major elements that gave the Tejano ranch community its identity: shared reaction to Anglo-American in-migration, tightly interconnected families, cultural loyalty, networks of communication, Catholic religion, and a material culture well adapted to the conditions of the region. After the introduction's historical overview of the region, the chapters address specific elements of the lives people led in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas: work ways and tools, housing and ranch layouts, family networks and authority patterns, education and the arts, religion and daily prayer.

A gallery of energetic line drawings by the late Ricardo M. Beasley and graceful pen-and-ink detail drawings by Servando G. Hinojosa of Alice, Texas, commissioned especially for this book, intricately portray scenes from South Texas daily life.

"The scope and depth of Tijerina's research is breathtaking and the detail in which he passes his findings to us is exhaustive. . . . Tejano Empire is a long-needed corrective and valuable addition to the historical record of Texas. It's sure to become a standard reference on Hispanic culture in the state."--Dallas Morning News

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From the Inside Flap:

A SILENT STORY is told by the stone chimneys of South Texas that were used to prepare the Tejano ranch meals of an earlier century and by the rifle port holes still seen in crumbling walls that once protected families. It is a story of a life and culture rarely portrayed in standard historical accounts, but to some degree kept alive in literary works and ballads and revealed mutely in the material culture nineteenth-century ranchers left behind.

Andres Tijerina has mined both traditional and nontraditional sources to portray the daily lives of the Texans of Mexican descent who peopled the Nueces Strip and surrounding areas in the period following the Texas Revolution. From then until the major demographic changes of the 1880s, Mexico-Tejanos laid the foundation for later leadership within the Mexican American political and business movements. In terms clear to a general reading public, Tijerina describes the major elements that gave the Tejano ranch community its identity: shared reaction to Anglo-American immigration, strong family values, cultural loyalty, networks of communication, Catholic religion, and a material culture well adapted to the conditions of the region.

As Tijerina shows, the Tejano ranch family was one of the pillars of their community, serving as the inner sanctum of Tejano history, language, and culture. After the introduction's historical overview of the region, the chapters address specific elements of the lives people led in the Valley and South Texas: work ways and tools, housing and ranch layouts, family networks and authority patterns, education and the arts, religion and daily prayer.

Bold, energetic line drawings by the late Ricardo M. Beasley of SanDiego, Texas, and graceful and accurate detail drawings by Servando G. Hinojosa of Alice, Texas, graphically portray scenes from South Texas daily life, adding to the book's appeal and its worth.

As for decades Tejanos kept alive the values, folklore, music, and beliefs of their parents, so now Tijerina makes that heritage available not only to the grandchildren who may have felt shame at their own language but also to the larger population which can choose to appreciate and value that part of the American heritage.

From the Back Cover:

This award-winning volume documents the transfer of land and power that accompanied the cultural exchange between Mexican and Anglo pioneers before the Texas Revolution.

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9781603440516: Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos (Clayton Wheat Williams Texas Life Series)

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ISBN 10:  1603440518 ISBN 13:  9781603440516
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press, 2008
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