The absence of native voices in historical accounts of the Americas is due, at least in part, to the canons of historic scholarship. The present volume sets out to correct this by gleaning new interpretations from conventional sources such as clerical records, military archives, civil registries, court documents, and official correspondence, as well as unconventional resources such as maps, ethnographies, and oral accounts.

The book's eight chapters examine nearly four centuries of assimilation, accommodation, and resistance (1500–1890) as the Portuguese colony and, later, the Brazilian state expanded inland. Two chapters take up the aldeia, or mission village system, the systematic resettlement of indigenous populations into agricultural communities where they could be governed, groomed in European habits, trained as laborers, and converted to Christianity. The first of these, by Alida Metcalf, considers the sixteenth-century arrival of the Jesuits to claim that “the...

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