For decades after Independence more than half of continental Latin America's territory remained beyond the nascent republics' control. Indigenous populations inhabited most of these regions, and by the late-nineteenth century the Latin American states started to target them in an effort to secure national borders and consolidate territorial control. With only a few exceptions, states turned to international Christian missionary orders to help them in the “civilization” of these indigenous areas, and by the first decade of the twentieth century the missionaries were active in many of them, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. In spite of the missionaries' widespread presence, there exist only a few studies about the impact they had on the indigenous populations they targeted and on the states' nation-building projects. This study examines precisely these questions by focusing on the case of Tierradentro, a region in southwestern Colombia inhabited mostly by Nasa Indians, and where Catholic missionaries from the Congregation of the Mission initiated a mission in 1905 that survives until the present.
This dissertation studies the transformations that indigenous authorities underwent in response to the new republican reality, the missionaries' “civilizing” agenda and the ways in which indigenous demands shaped it, the Indians' active participation in elections and political parties, their struggles to defend their communal lands, and the negotiation between Catholic and non-Catholic traditions that characterized the Indians' ritual life. It utilizes documentation produced by the missionaries, local and national authorities, travelers, anthropologists, and the Indians themselves.
This study argues that the Nasa Indians from Tierradentro managed to retain significant levels of political and cultural autonomy not by remaining isolated, but by actively engaging with a wide variety of local, national, and international actors. Starting in the 1970s Indians from Tierradentro and other localities used several of these strategies to build one of the most successful self-identified indigenous movements in Latin America.
|School:||University of Pittsburgh|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Latin American history, Latin American Studies|
|Keywords:||Andean Indians, Cabildos, Caciques, Cauca, Colombia, Indigenous, Resguardos, Tierradentro, Vincentians|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be