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Tigers and crosses: The transcultural dynamics of Spanish-Guaraní relations in the Río de la Plata: 1516-1580

Tuer, Dot (2013) Tigers and crosses: The transcultural dynamics of Spanish-Guaraní relations in the Río de la Plata: 1516-1580. PhD thesis, University of Toronto.

Item Type: Thesis (external)
Creators: Tuer, Dot

This is a study of the early colonial period of the Río de la Plata from first contact in 1516 to the emergence of a predominantly mestizo population in Asunción by 1580. The central focus of the study is the period from 1537, when Spaniards founded Asunción in the territories of the Guaraní-speaking Carios, until the establishment of the encomienda, a colonial labour system, in 1556. Through a close reading of archival documents and chronicles, the study presents a narrative history of the transcultural dynamics of Spanish-Guaraní relations, including the convergence of kinship and alliances, cacique and conquistador rivalries, competing spiritual beliefs of shamanism and Catholicism, and the role of castaways, lenguas (interpreters) indigenous women, priests, and mestizos as intermediaries. How these transcultural dynamics were dominated by indigenous norms until 1556, and how they shaped the cultural, social, and spiritual dimensions of mestizaje (racial mixing) are analysed. The study covers key moments in the conquest and early colonial period. These include Sebastián Caboto’s exploration of the Río de la Plata from 1527 to 1529; Pedro de Mendoza’s armada to the Río de la Plata in 1535 that led to the founding of Asunción in 1537 and the first governorship of Domingo Martínez de Irala from 1539 to 1542; the rule of Asunción by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca as adelantado from 1542 to 1544; and Domingo Martínez de Irala’s second governorship of the region from 1544 to 1556. An in-depth examination of the establishment of the encomienda is undertaken to consider how cultural identification, social status, and ethnic distinctions were reconfigured between the Cario and other Guaraní-speaking groups, the Spanish, and mestizos after 1556. The study concludes with an analysis of the Oberá Rebellion of 1579-80 as an example of how kinship and warrior norms, Christianity, and shamanistic practices converged in indigenous resistance to colonial rule.

Official URL: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/357...
Date: July 2013
Divisions: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 16:20
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2021 17:46
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/1882

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