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This case study of the village of Carmona, Spain explores the lived experiences of indio slaves, the complexities of legal theatre in a local context, the politics of identification and the power of perception, the importance of witnesses and kinship alliances, the entangled nature of the Spanish and Portuguese empires, and the ways in which the expanding globe was being imagined. Two litigation suits spanning the years from 1557 to 1572 and encompassing three generations (two women, their daughters, and grandchildren) pit inhabitants of the village, including slaves from India, Africa, and disparate parts of Latin America, against one another. Also at play were relationships of power and class distinctions among the factionalized local elite and the polarized pecheros, or Spanish laborers, who worked side by side with slaves.

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