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The southeastern borderlands around Tarija were the site of sustained tensions between Spanish settlers, who slowly encroached on Indian territory, and Chiriguano tribes, which were not averse to military counteroffensives of their own. In the turbulent late-colonial period, the Chiriguano leader Cumbay both negotiated and warred with Spanish authorities as well as with patriot creole armies over some fifteen years in order to defend Chiriguano autonomy. On two occasions, in 1799 and 1801, Cumbay went to the Audiencia of Charcas to solicit territorial rights. The remarkable account that follows, attributed to an Argentine military oӽcial, describes Cumbay as a proud...

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