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?leaderships and Indigenous Policy in Pampas and Norpatagonia During Xviii Century

Autor:   •  July 25, 2017  •  Creative Writing  •  15,570 Words (63 Pages)  •  155 Views

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Leadershps natives in the south frontier

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Leaderships and Indigenous Policy in Pampas and Norpatagonia during XVIII Century

Florencia Carlón 1 (CEHCMe/UNQ)

florcarlon@hotmail.com

1 Member of History, Culture and Memory Studies Centre (CEHCMe), National University of Quilmes (NUQ). PhD Student in Social and Human Sciences (NUQ), under the supervision of Dr. Silvia Ratto.

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Abstract

Through this work, we are interested to elucidate: What were indigenous leaderships like in the Pampa and Norpatagonia region during XVIII? And which policy did these chiefs use in the colonial borders, mainly in the Buenos Aires border, during this period? To resolve this, we begin with a revision of diverse perspectives of analysis for the study of the indigenous leaderships in Pampa and Norpatagonia and other border areas such as Araucania or Chaco. Then, we reconstruct some of the leaderships that gained greater visibility in the region during the period. We believe that such reconstruction will allow us to characterize the indigenous leaderships in the region during XVIII century and establish comparisons and similarities with other border areas and with the immediate posterior period.

Key words

Leaderships - policy- Pampas and Norpatagonia- XVIII century

Introduction

During XVIII century, it is possible to identify between independent indigenous societies of the Pampeano and Norpatagonic territory certain leaders that had become paramount. Mandrini (2006) explains that the relationships between those chiefs and the Hispanic-Creoles were measured not only by personal goals and interests but also by loyalties towards particular masters and officials. It can be assumed, then, that the indigenous policy had real authority in the definition of social relations in border areas. Those hunter-gatherers organizations whom the first explorers of the region were face (Politis, 2000) had suffered important changes in social and political orders after a century of interethnic contact.

Through this work, we are interested in elucidating: What were indigenous leaderships like in the Pampa and Norpatagonia region during XVIII? And which policy these chiefs used in the colonial borders, mainly in the Buenos Aires border, during this period? To resolve this, we begin with a revision of diverse perspectives of analysis for the study of the indigenous leaderships in Pampa and Norpatagonia and other border areas such as Araucania or Chaco. Then, we reconstruct some of the leaderships that gained greater visibility in the region during the period. The chosen variables of analysis to do such reconstruction were: a) the historical context in which the leaderships were situated, in respect to the relationships of independent indigenous with colonial borders b) the territoriality that they unlawfully hold, defined by areas, goods and resources that they had under their control (livestock, pasture, potable water, commercial routes, access to border) or areas to which they had access because of kinship networks, political alliances and Indian raids c) the kinship networks, blood or symbolic bonds between leaderships and between these and the Hispanic-Creoles and d) the political strategies deployed by chiefs in a intertribal and interethnic level (conflicts, negotiations, agreements and alliances and information flow.) We believe that such reconstruction will allow us to characterize the indigenous leaderships in the region during XVIII century and establish comparisons and similarities with other border areas and with the immediate posterior period.

1. Leaderships and Indigenous Policy: The Problem of Power

The study of indigenous leaderships is inscribed in a bigger problematic field that has to do with the ways of organizations of the Native-American societies that maintained themselves politically autonomous after the Hispanic colonization. In the case of the indigenous of the Pampeano and Norpatagonic territory, even though it has been a widely studied field in the XIX century, the same cannot be said about the Colonial period, where the scarcity of research adds to the lack of agreement in respect to the characterization of these organizations and with it, of the indigenous leaderships.2

Between different interpretations, we found the work of Jones (1985), who identifies these societies as mere extension of bands. On the other hand, Sánchez and Juliá (1976) defined them as tribal societies, in which the indigenous confederations would not be anything else but the "integration of a great amount of particles with a degree of decisive power in a horizontal way” (Sánchez and Juliá, 1976:13). Bechis (1989) also proposes that the Pampeano-Patagonic indigenous possessed a political organization of tribal character, of the “egalitarian” or “segmental” type, comprised by “repetition of almost equal units, self-sufficient in political aspect whose division creates two or more independent units with loss of primitive structure” (Bechis, 1989:20). Adopting the principles from Service (1984) of “fusion” and “fission”, the author considered the Pampas political organizations equipped with a great flexibility that prevented the authority being concentrated in only one person. In this way, the indigenous confederations would not be more than "warrior alliances that disappear when peace is restored" (Bechis, 1989:13). For its part, Mandrini (1987) maintained some of the theoretical guidelines

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