In recent years, numerous studies have emerged by scholars of Latin America that explore the African presence in early Spanish and Portuguese colonial societies. Largely confined to the plantation zones or lucrative commercial and densely populated urban centers in Mexico, Brazil, the Andes, and the Caribbean, these studies often seek to uncover a historical past that has been lost or subsumed beneath modern nationalizing discourses that envisioned Africans and their descendants as outside the nation, and by extension outside its history. Russell Lohse's groundbreaking study owes much to this literature. However, the author offers an original and insightful take on Africans and the early process of creolization in colonial Costa Rica that challenges notions of a monolithic, culturally and ethnically cohesive African identity in the Americas. More importantly, by centering Africans in the colonial narrative, Lohse dismantles previously accepted notions in Costa...

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