Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 December 2020
Having fled the violence of the Caste War in Mexico (1847−1901), the San Pedro Maya occupied nearly two dozen small villages in the forests of western British Honduras and the northeastern Peten from the 1850s to the 1930s. With no physically demarcated borders between British Honduras and its neighbors present prior to the late 1880s, archival and archaeological data demonstrate that the San Pedro Maya moved freely through the lightly populated forests of the area. Ultimately, however, the San Pedro Maya's ambivalence toward the border between British Honduras and Guatemala provided the Belize Estate and Produce Company (BEC) with an excuse to evict them from their villages in the 1930s. In this article, we present archival information and archaeological data from Kaxil Uinic, a small San Pedro Maya village in British Honduras, to examine the following issues: the conflicting views of the border held by the San Pedro Maya and their colonial counterparts; the evidence for ties between Kaxil Uinic and Icaiche, Mexico; and the roles chicle smuggling and commercial logging had in the eviction of the San Pedro Maya from BEC lands.
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