Between resistance and adaptation: indigenous peoples and by Caroline Williams

By Caroline Williams

A learn of the interactions among Indians and Spaniards within the Chocó all through a lot of the colonial interval, revealing the complexity of inter-ethnic kinfolk in frontier areas. the writer considers the altering relationships not just among Spaniards and Indians but in addition among factions of either teams, exhibiting how Spaniards and Indians occasionally allied with one another opposed to different ethnically combined teams with diverse agendas. No related examine covers this topic.

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Additional info for Between resistance and adaptation: indigenous peoples and the colonisation of the Chocó, 1510-1753 (Liverpool Latin American Studies)

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But when severe recession hit the gold-mining industry of Antioquia, and to a lesser extent Popayán, in the second and third decades of that century, it was to the Chocó frontier that the search for additional deposits was once again directed. Despite the difficulties and dangers involved in penetrating and occupying the region, the gold-mines exploited during the twenty-year occupation of Toro still served to attract Spanish settlers intent on finding new sources of wealth. In recommending the speedy conquest of the Chocó in , for example, the alguacil mayor of Antioquia, Fernando de Toro Zapata, expressed the view that ‘it is very important that the said conquest should be achieved .

We have seen, however, that Spanish sources dating from the last quarter of the sixteenth century identify a total of nineteen groups in the Upper Chocó alone – the region stretching approximately from Cape Corrientes to Buenaventura – and that Kathleen Romoli estimated for those groups a total population of between , and , at the beginning of the s. The accounts of participants in late-sixteenth-century expeditions also show that Spaniards were well aware that many other groups occupied territories to the north of Cape Corrientes and east and west of the Atrato river, and considered the area to be densely populated.

Meanwhile, a small heavily armed force of approximately  men conducted a punitive expedition against the Chanco Indians (and the neighbouring Chiloma), alleged to have been responsible for attacks against Spaniards.  Medrano’s account of the expedition shows that over the months between June and November , the Spaniards learned that a multiplicity of independent groups inhabited the Chocó at this time. In addition to the Chanco and Chocoes, the Spanish encountered the Yngará,Tootuma and Guarra, and heard of many other groups that controlled territory in the region.

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