After the colonization and missionary period in the 18th century, the economic development propelled by Europeans and Americans in the 19th century, and the establishment of the new United States-Mexico border in 1848, the Yuman groups experienced a dramatic population diminishment and dispersion. This included integration into a cash economy and cattle culture and the fission of their traditional lineages into two different nationalities. The Yumans became “invisible” before the Indianist agencies of the government, as a stereotyped image of indigenous people. However, in recent years, the Yumans have reinvigorated their ethnic identity through transborder articulations. This article illustrates how a Yuman ethnogenesis is fueled by the transborder reencountering of fissioned Yuman lineages and the linkages between a growing ethnic self-reference and ethnicities of diverse origin. This article also shows how modern communication plays a central role in this process. Finally, making the invisible Yumans visible may help legitimize their territorial claims and ancestral rights over their land resources and assist their efforts for official recognition and government services.

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