This article analyses the forgery and discovery of the purported tomb of Cuauhtémoc, the last Mexica emperor. An eclectic collection of contemporary sources outlines a subtle interplay between elites, cultural managers and peasants, who alternately collaborated and competed in manipulating the would-be invention. Groups traditionally undervalued in studies of nationalism, namely villagers and petty bureaucrats, went far beyond the mimesis of elites to significantly reshape parts of the national narrative. Their entrepreneurial success in manipulating nationalist symbols demonstrates that the instrumentalist use of the past is a cross-class activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science