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Volume 60 / Humanities


Colonial Period

MICHAEL T. HAMERLY, Special Project Librarian, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
SUSAN M. SOCOLOW, Professor of History, Emory University
S. ELIZABETH PENRY, Assistant Professor of History, Fordham University
LANCE R. GRAHN, Dean, College of Letters and Science, and Professor, University of Wisconsin, Stevens-Point


JUDGING BY THE "GENERAL WORKS" on Spanish South America that have come to our attention during the last quinquennium, the production of specialized study after specialized study and of microhistory after microhistory continues unabated. Even the general works of overarching importance herewithin noted are themselves anthologies of specialized studies and/or microhistories, namely Al final del camino, which focuses on death or rather how the living have dealt with death in the Andean world (item #bi2004000204#), and Saberes andinos, which consists of seven essays on the inadequately known history of science and technology in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia (item #bi 99006854#). [MTH]


Guided still by the work of masters of their craft, some who continue to build an impressive legacy such as Tovar Pinzón (item #bi 00007041#) and Del Rey Fajardo, S.J. (item #bi 00006979#), and others like Colmenares, whose books remain a historiographical touchstone (items #bi 00006999# and #bi 00007036#), this biennial collection of current scholarship demonstrates noteworthy maturity and insight. Several publications tackle the complexity of interlocking power relationships that move beyond essential, but foundational, institutional histories to concentrate instead on their contested character. Ferrigni's important study of the late-colonial Venezuelan economy casts change as a broadly based rejection of colonial priorities (item #bi 00006981#). Assessments of cabildo influence and aspirations, such as those of Meza (item #bi 00007048#) and Guerrero Rincón (item #bi 99000397#) appropriately exhibit more concern for the mix of economic, social, and political conflict funneled through this crucial local body than for the council's governmental mechanics. Similarly, Uribe places legal education in late-colonial New Granada as a focal point in the battle between the state and its rivals for dominant sociopolitical influence (item #bi 99000396#). Foz y Foz also takes education as an analytical framework but uses it to examine the quest for gendered self-expression within the dialectic of faith and reason (item #bi 99008925#). Similarly, Troconis de Veracoechea complements solid but more traditional studies of the well-known Venezuelan conspiracy of 1797 (see, for example, item #bi 00006985#) with her emphasis on Juaquina Sánchez de España, wife of the infamous rebel José María de España. Ramírez and Rodríguez shift the focus of conflict to the confrontation between the moralism of the patriarchal state and alleged sinfulness of quotidian life among the popular sectors (items #bi 00007033# and #bi 00003699# respectively), while still emphasizing the dynamic and multilayered nature of sociopolitical contestations.

Four other works merit special mention. Three books beautifully exhibit the power of artifacts and illustrations to both enliven a text and to substantiate an argument as text themselves: Vivas Pineda's La aventura naval de la Compañía Guipuzcoana de Caracas (item #bi 00006866#), Amodio's El camino de los Españoles (HLAS 59:713), and Morales Folguera's Tunja (item #bi 00006987#). And Solórzano's Se hizo señas (item #bi 00006996#) presents an intriguing analysis of the societal construction and interpretation of time in 18th-century Caracas. [LRG]


An exceptionally significant number of books and articles on the future of Ecuador appeared in the second half of the 1990s. The most important books are: 1) Büschges' Familie, Ehre und Macht: Konzept und soziale Wirklichkeit des Adels in der Stadt Quito (Ecuador) während der späten Kolonialzeit, 1765–1822 (Stuttgart, 1996); fortunately, Büschges has been making his work available to those who do not read German in an ongoing series of revisionist, multifaceted articles in Spanish on the titled nobility of Quito during the late colonial and independence periods (represented in HLAS 60 by items #bi 99008969#, #bi 98014555#, #bi 99010023#); 2) Jamieson's Domestic Architecture and Power, the first major study of the historical archeology of the country (item #bi2003006979#); 3) a set of documents on oidor Martínez de Arizala's important but forgotten visita of 1735–36 to Cuenca with a pithy introductory study by Paniagua Pérez, Ramos Gómez, and Ruigómez Gómez (item #bi2004000199#); and 4) Poloni-Simard's doctoral dissertation, La mosaïque indienne, a truly pioneering and revealing history of indigenes and mestizos in urban and rural Azuay and Cañar from the Spanish conquest through the late 1700s (item #bi2004000189#).

As for the articles, only a few salient points can be made in order to accommodate as many as possible of the growing number of worthwhile publications. Well-researched and written studies are being produced on a variety of topics that heretofore had received inadequate attention: the essays on domestic violence (item #bi2003005714#); the Caja Real de Quito during the first half of the colonial period (item #bi2003005712#); and nunneries (items #bi 98009826#), for example. New, novel studies have also appeared on places, periods, personages, and themes that have already been well worked. Exceptionally significant are: Aburto Cotrina and Newson's articles on the late and early colonial history of the Oriente (items #bi 97006395# and #bi2004000050#); Lane's piece on slavery in Quito and Popayán (item #bi2001001389#); León Borja de Szászdi's monograph on early Guayaquil (item #bi 98005614#), the five studies by Ramos Gómez and others on the oidor Martínez de Arizala and his visita (items #bi 97012008#, #bi2004000193#, #bi 98011655#, #bi 97008495#, and #bi 00002303#); and Simard's splendid study of the demography and morphology of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca (item #bi 98006387#). [N.B. Jacques Poloni, Jacques Poloni-Simard, Jacques P.-Simard, and Jacques P. Simard are one and the same person.] The third and final point is that there has been a delay in receipt of recent issues of Procesos and other significant serials due to a serious arrearage at the Library of Congress. Once again, therefore, we will play catch up in HLAS 62.

Clearly what has long since been true for Peru now also holds for Ecuador. The quantity and quality of literature, especially, but hardly exclusively on the colonial period, has become nearly overwhelming. What is now needed is a one-volume history of the former Audiencia of Quito that pulls the new and recent work into a comprehensive whole. [MTH]


Two outstanding works considered here are the prize-winning Colonial Habits by Burns (item #bi 99004855#), and the seminal study by Mills, Idolatry and its Enemies (item #bi2001001673#). Burns' book (along with her 1998 HAHR article, item #bi 98009334#) makes two important and distinct contributions: first, it puts colonial nuns squarely in the center of Cuzqueña economic life; and second, it reveals the role of the convent in gendered dimensions of power. Mills' work moves beyond the simplistic dichotomous image of Andean religiosity as either resistance or complete conversion and instead focuses on "lived" religion. (For a similar perspective on the Charcas region, see Abercrombie's fine work on extirpation and idolatry (HLAS 59:1040).

Many other praiseworthy studies also take religion as their focus. Hampe Martínez's article reviews much of this literature published in the 1990s (item #bi 98016154#). Castañeda Delgado's La Inquisición de Lima will surely serve as a standard reference on the Inquisition for years to come (item #bi2001001698#), and Muñoz Delaunoy's article complements this institutional history with a finely detailed case study of an Inquisition trial (item #bi 00003819#). The body of work by Van Deusen contributes to a deeper understanding of the institution of recogimiento and shows that it frequently served other purposes than religious functions (items #bi 98009063# and #bi 98000830#). Still in the vein of religion, but linking it more precisely to power, Ramírez makes a fine case illustrating how curacas used religion to maintain legitimacy in their communities (item #bi2001000518#).

Another noteworthy and ongoing trend is the interest in literacy and related issues of book and newspaper circulation, and readership. Clément's book-length study on the Mercurio Peruano is encyclopedic (item #bi2001001649#), while Peralta seeks to locate a change in reading habits that would underpin the independence movements (item #bi 97016240#). González Sánchez (items #bi 98006396# and #bi2001000794#) and Hampe Martínez (item #bi 98012725#) provide detailed information on books available to and held by colonials.

Rebellion continues to attract scholarly attention. O'Phelan, the dean of Andean rebellion studies, has produced a fine analysis of the transition from curacas to alcaldes (item #bi2001001651#). One of the major strengths of O'Phelan's work is that she considers regional rebellion as a whole rather than anachronistically separating "Bolivian" events from "Peruvian" ones. Sala i Vila investigates a similar issue as O'Phelan's latest work, the transition in authority in indigenous communities (see HLAS 58:2335). Much like O'Phelan, Sala i Vila sees the 1780 rebellions as pivotal events leading the Spanish state to force a change from hereditary caciques to elected alcaldes. Turning to an earlier period of rebellion, Jeremy Mumford's judicious review of Onqoy studies and the materials on which those studies are based, provides a much needed perspective (item #bi 98008923#). A number of important primary sources have recently been published, among them are Anello Oliva's Historia del reino y provincias del Perú (item #bi2001001428#), Cantos de Andrade's El señorío de Pachacamac (item #bi2001001648#), Lanuza y Sotelo's Viaje ilustrado a los reinos del Peru (item #bi2001001427#), and the recently discovered third part of Cieza de León's monumental history of Peru (item #bi2003006582#). The late-18th- and early-19th centuries, the "middle period" integrated within the framework of this reference book, though not treated as a separate period, has produced major studies. In the rush to trace the transition to independence and nation-state formation, the 17th century has been left relatively unstudied, in spite of its clear centrality to the formation of Creole consciousness, the "crystallization" of colonial indigenous social formations in the wake of massive popular movements, indigenous religiosities, and the like. An important exception is Peru's version of Mexico's Gruzinski, the prolific and inventive Glave, whose De Rosa y espinas presents a vital addition to the study of baroque culture in the vein of history of mentalidades (item #bi2001001681#). [SEP]


As Bolivian historian and former director of the Archivo y Biblioteca Nacional de Bolivia, Barnadas has pointed out, Bolivia was never officially referred to as Alto Peru during its colonial period. Instead, it was the Audiencia of Charcas. In keeping with the other headings for this section, it is appropriate to consider this area by its named government, Charcas. The most significant trend in the works under consideration here is the decisive shift from political economy to works in social and cultural history. In particular, younger scholars in Bolivia are turning to considerations of gender. Notable here is the support for publication provided by the Subsecretaria de Asuntos de Género of the national government. Three books reviewed in HLAS 60 were produced as part of their series "Protagonistas de la Historia": De indias a doñas (item #bi2001001645#), Mujeres en rebelión (item #bi2001001688#), and María Sisa y María Sosa (item #bi2001001687#). Although these small books are clearly aimed at a broad audience in Bolivia, they are sufficiently scholarly to be of use to historians. Like De indias a doñas, Pentimalli, Albornoz, and Luján's Mirar por su honra: matrimonio y divorcio en Cochamba, 1750–1825 draws from the still largely untapped riches of the municipal archives of Cochabamba (item #bi 98008154#). The other notable work that treats gender is Beltrán's long-awaited book based on her dissertation research, Alianzas familiars: elite, género y negocios en La Paz (item #bi2001001689#).

A very welcome trend is the continuing publication of primary sources. I have noted in the annotations for this chapter those works with documentary appendices. Two articles on Polo de Ondegardo with transcriptions are particularly important for early colonial scholars: "El encomendero Polo de Ondegardo" (item #bi 99004649#) and "Trabajadores forzados en el Cusco" (item #bi 99001001#). A work that will interest historians of popular culture, literacy, and issues related to independence is the slim volume El pasquín en la independencia del Alto Perú by Torrico Panozo, which brings together all the known protest broadsides issued in major towns (item #bi2001001431#). The single most important primary source to appear for many years is Alvarez's massive De las costumbres y conversion de los indios del Perú, a document that only recently came to light but is already being eagerly mined by scholars (item #bi2003006580#). The multivolume Historia de Tarija, the colonial portion of which was edited by Julien, makes accessible documents from American and European archives (item #bi2001001674#). Also significant among the published primary documents is the Spanish translation of du Biscay Acarete's travel diary (item #bi2001001695#). Finally, two outstanding books that treat both colonial and republican history should be noted, Abercrombie's Pathways of Memory and Power (item #bi2001000060#) and the second edition of Larson's important work on the agrarian economy of Cochabamba (item #bi2003006581#). [SEP]


Colonialists in Chile have been more productive than recent Handbook listings give us to understand. The late Jara, together with Mellafe, for example, gave us a major source group, Portocolos de los escribanos de Santiago: primeros fragmentos, 1559 y 1564–1566 (Santiago de Chile: Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos, Centro de Investigaciones Diego Barros Arana, 1996; 2 v.; [Fuentes para el estudio de la Colonia; 3]), before his death and on his own a pithy summary and commentary upon several of his own contributions, Nuestro hacer de la historia: de guerra y sociedad en Chile a El costo del imperio español, 1700–1810 (Santiago: Ediciones del Depto. de Estudios Humanísticos, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Univ. de Chile, 1996).

Although there has been no lack of interest in 19th- and 20th-century Chile by North American scholars, no one in the US or Canada appears to be doing anything of significance on the colonial period. The late Della Flusche (1936–99) had been the only North American scholar publishing anything of importance on colonial Chile for some time. See, for example, her posthumously published, pioneering analysis of the records of the Juzgado de Bienes de Difuntos (item #bi 00006723#).

European scholars, on the other hand, have been somewhat more active as exemplified by the multiple contributions of Boccara (items #bi2002000009#, #bi2001001407#, and #bi 99010021#). Even more important has been the impact of French scholarship and training on Chilean historians. Much of the work in question is either too new for coverage herewithin or came to our attention too late for inclusion this time around and therefore will have to wait until HLAS 62. In the meantime, see the two articles by Valenzuela annotated below (items #bi2004000255# and #bi 00003763#). [MTH]


While much of the historiography of colonial Buenos Aires is still centered on rural issues (items #bi 99006575#, #bi2001000628#, #bi2002000022#, #bi 99004099#, #bi 98003332#, #bi 98000483#), a new generation of social history of regions other than Buenos Aires is beginning to appear (items #bi2002000540#, #bi2001003690#, #bi2001001240#, #bi 99005042#, #bi2001000644#, #bi2001000631#). The new work coming from historians trained in Spain is also striking (items #bi2001000619#, #bi2002000540#, #bi2002000531#, and #bi2001000640#). While the interest in land continues, the Church in general, and the Jesuits and their aftermath in particular, is a growing field. There is also a developing ethnohistorical literature, and interestingly two books on the mission experience in the Chaco (items #bi2002000537# and #bi2001000640#). While the 18th century continues to produce the majority of the colonial literature, there is also new interest in the intellectual currents entering the region during first decade of the 19th century with the introduction of newspapers. [SMS]

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