Description: This disturbing and memorable collection of papers, originating with a 1983 colloquium at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, moves between cultural anthropology, history, and political science. It traverses three important regions of the world on which Western institutions, ideologies, and power have been imposed in different times and circumstances, exposing both the similarity in the process and the difference in vulnerabilities. Discussed in these pages are the issues of political legitimacy stemming from cultural discreteness within a national or supranational context. The claims now being made in the name of cultural identity, no longer based on anthropological interpretations, are inherently political. They express the culture-consciousness of threatened cultures, whose customs, beliefs, memories, and the cultural legitimacy that they entail have suffered the brutal expansion of the West, both politically and spiritually. The claims to identity came as a reaction to the threat to delegitimize any communal will toward self-definition other than that contemplated by the new global system: the techno- or socioeconomic definitions.