This book—like other recent work by Jorge Augusto Gamboa Mendoza, Juan Cobo, and Joanne Rappaport—makes an effort to connect often-isolated research on the colonial New Kingdom of Granada to debates emerging from other regions of Latin America. By looking at indigenous leaders as they engaged with the Spanish legal system, Santiago Muñoz Arbeláez contributes to ongoing conversations that involve such scholars as Brian Owensby, Jovita Baber, Karen Graubart, Alcira Dueñas, Yanna Yannakakis, Gabriela Ramos, and John Charles.

At its heart, this monograph is a study of two systems for organizing human labor and production—one exemplified by a Spanish economic institution and the other by an indigenous ceremony—and their role in rationalizing the “transcultural” intergrowth of the economies of the early Spanish colony and the surrounding native communities from which it extracted wealth. The first of these is the Spanish encomienda. Muñoz...

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