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Between Resistance and AdaptationIndigenous Peoples and the Colonisation of the Chocó, 1510–1753$
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Caroline A. Williams

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780853237297

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312670

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Discovery, Exploration and First Experiments in Colonisation

Discovery, Exploration and First Experiments in Colonisation

(p.10) Chapter One Discovery, Exploration and First Experiments in Colonisation
Between Resistance and Adaptation
Liverpool University Press

Some of the earliest contact between Spanish explorers in search of gold and booty and the indigenous peoples of the South American mainland took place in a territory that later came to be known as ‘El Chocó’. Contact started with the establishment of Santa María la Antigua at Darién in 1510 as Spain's first permanent settlement in this part of South America, followed by the discovery of the Pacific Ocean three years later. However, the Spaniards found that the Chocó up the Atrato, which empties into the Gulf of Urabá, and down the Pacific coast, was not easy to conquer, and encountered extremely hostile Indians. From about the mid-sixteenth century, recession in the mining industries of those areas was linked to Spanish efforts to occupy and colonise the Chocó frontier. This chapter focuses on the Spaniards' discovery, exploration, and first experiments in colonisation. It first describes the peoples of Urabá and the Pacific during the sixteenth century and colonial gold mining, before turning to the native peoples of the ‘Upper Chocó’ and Spanish colonisation in the early seventeenth century.

Keywords:   Spain, indigenous peoples, South America, Chocó, colonisation, gold mining, discovery, exploration, Indians, Urabá

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