By Nancy E. van Deusen
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Extra resources for Global Indios: The Indigenous Struggle for Justice in Sixteenth-Century Spain
The tales litigants relayed encapsulated their abduction from their places of origin and their subsequent migratory paths to Spain. Indigenous litigants speaking in Spanish began by recounting the initial deracination. Deponents then explained their movements from one location to another with different own ers or merchants, and ended their testimonials by detailing how they had come to serve their current masters. ”107 In local contexts, complainants, defendants, and witnesses utilized the law to render the past into a palatable present.
69 I reconstitute fragmented tales about loss and cultural relocation to show how enslaved individuals made sense of bondage. Although the tales of mobility and migration of those indigenous slaves who litigated for their freedom vary considerably, certain experiential patterns emerge when the trajectories of the Spanish conquest and economic trade are weighed. The story told to a Spanish lawyer in 1552 of the abduction of Catalina, a Pipil, illustrates the severe disruption that she and many other indigenous people experienced and how her forced mobility and ultimate freedom is illustrative of early colonial governance.
124 Although in the litigation suits their talking-back voices—which “moved from silence into speech”—were filtered through others’ pronouncements, they were still voices with important historical density. 125 The Book’s Architecture In chapter 1, a case study of the village of Carmona, twenty miles northeast of Seville, I highlight this volume’s many themes related to slavery and migration, the vicissitudes of legal culture, the politics of identification, the relevance of witnesses and kinship alliances, the construction of cultural geographies, and the entanglement of empires.