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Jesuit missions in Amazonia: strategies of conversion and Indian agency in Maynas and Mojos, 1638-1767

Grant number: 14/04575-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2014
Effective date (End): November 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of America
Principal Investigator:Pedro Luis Puntoni
Grantee:Francismar Alex Lopes de Carvalho
Supervisor: Emilio José Luque Azcona
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universidad de Sevilla (US), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:12/06580-6 - Indigenous Rule: Iberian Municipal Institutions and Indigenous Identities in Maynas and Mojos Missions (Second Half of the Eighteenth Century), BP.PD


The Maynas missions were established in 1638, in the eastern fringes of the Audiencia of Quito's jurisdiction. Located in a strategic position in the margins of Marañón, Napo and Amazon rivers, Maynas was one of the most important experiments of the Jesuits in Spanish America, but the available studies on the region are still scarce. Central themes, like urbanization, strategies of evangelization and the responses of Amazonian Indians are not sufficiently problematized. As in other regions, Jesuits adapted to the Amazon reality Iberian municipal institutions such as councils, confraternities and militias. This project explores how native participation in municipal institutions and native appropriation of Christian doctrine influenced the formation of their identities. In Maynas, Jesuits experienced specific difficulties like great linguistic and cultural diversity, high number of missions, lack of missionaries and influence of Portuguese slavers. I argue that, in the emergence of municipal identities in the missions, the crucial factor was the permanence, under new conventions, of indigenous schemes of classification and evaluation, in the translation of the elements of urban life and Christianity. A comparison with Mojos missions, installed by the Jesuits in the lowlands of today's Bolivia, will provide new insights about the specific situation of Maynas: although in Mojos the Jesuits found the same difficulties already mentioned, missions achieved great material prosperity and demographic stability. In order to achieve the objectives of this research, systematic survey and consulting of the manuscripts and other documents conserved in Spanish archives and libraries are required. A research period at the University of Sevilla, Spain, for seven months, will allow access to archives and libraries that hold relevant materials. For that reason, this proposal summarizes the research's approaches and presents a plan followed by a detailed schedule of activities. (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE CARVALHO, FRANCISMAR ALEX LOPES. Between Potosi and El Dorado: arbitrismo and political communication in early seventeenth-century Peru. COLONIAL LATIN AMERICAN REVIEW, v. 29, n. 1, p. 47-72, . (12/06580-6, 14/04575-0)

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