van Deusen on Diaspora and Bondage in Lima

Editors Note:  This blog prioritizes scholarship and other items related to the Atlantic African diaspora.  However, the following article is a poignant reminder that Africans and people of African descent do not have a monopoly on the history and heritage of chattel slavery.

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van Deusen, Nancy E. “Diasporas, Bondage, and Intimacy in Lima, 1535 to 1555.” Colonial Latin American Review 19, no. 2 (2010): 247.

Paragraph steal:

“We can rely upon the meticulous work of historical demographers and ethnohistorians who have pored over royal decrees, census records, and ordinances to detail the loss of life of the hundreds of thousands of indigenous slaves and servants.2 Seminal works by Saacutenchez-Albornoz (1974), Cook (1981, 1989, 2002), Newson (1986, 1987, 1995) and many others demonstrate the severe demographic collapse of Andean peoples. Their findings iterate the position taken by the indefatigable Bartolomeacute de las Casas, who exposed, albeit with inflated figures, the decimation wrought by microbes and the brutality of Spanish labor practices (Cook 1992; Newson 1995). Other ethnohistorians focus on the migratory patterns and labor practices of those who survived the Spanish invasion (Saignes 1986; Wachtel 1977; Wightman 1990). In particular, Powers’ analyses of migration patterns show how much the movement of peoples in the pre- and post-contact periods reflected what she calls Spanish-directed, or forced, and Andean-initiated, or voluntary and strategic, relocations (Cook 1989, 126; Powers 1995, 14)…”

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