This book examines frontier colonisation in Spanish America by looking at a far-flung and inhospitable region known to the Spaniards as El Chocó. Located on the Pacific flank of the colonial territory of the Nuevo Reino de Granada, the New Kingdom of Granada, the Chocó was a gold-producing locality that experienced repeated Spanish incursions from the beginning of the sixteenth century. However, both Spaniards and Indians who fought for control of the land and its resources found that colonisation of the Chocó was a complex and lengthy process. The book describes how the Chocó came to be incorporated into the politics and economy of the colony, and analyses the dynamics of Spanish–Indian interactions between the 1570s and 1690s. It discusses the development of Spanish policy towards the conquest – later ‘pacification’ – of frontier populations as well as the strategies used to subdue and control indigenous peoples. The book focuses on the peoples of Citará, a stretch of territory corresponding roughly to the headwaters of the Atrato river.
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