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