Global Indios: The Indigenous Struggle for Justice in Sixteenth-Century Spain
Nancy E. van Deusen is Professor of History at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. She is the author of Between the Sacred and the Worldly: The Institutional and Cultural Practice of Recogimiento in Colonial Lima and The Souls of Purgatory: The Spiritual Diary of a Seventeenth-Century Afro-Peruvian Mystic, Ursula de Jesús.
This chapter explains the rationales for indigenous slavery in the sixteenth century and why it continued despite laws to the contrary. It also reflects on what it meant to be an indio, including the construct’s precariousness and its associations with the unfree labor of slaves from other parts of the world. It explains how and why 184 indios entered the Spanish courts, including the House of Trade and the Council of the Indies to litigate for their freedom. It introduces the neologism, indioscape to contend that diasporic indio slave identities were not spatially bound or culturally homogeneous, but rather trans-imperially present in the imaginations of those slaves and masters whose own local experiences in foreign locations were mirrored against the experiences of other slaves and masters. Such a perspective reveals the larger-scale temporal and spatial perspectives of Spanish colonialism.