In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans of the Far West forged dynamic economies based on livestock, furs, and agriculture. Simultaneously, though, Natives in the borderlands between New Mexico and California expanded their economic and military power even as Californios and Nuevo Mexicanos emerged as dominant ruling classes. Through the formation and expansion of an indigenous captive-and-livestock raiding economy, the “Interior World” challenged the power of newcomers in the Far West. Understanding this raiding economy provides an important look at colonial exchanges from the indigenous perspective within the context of interregional trading networks and borderlands.

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