This is the first book to deal primarily and specifically with relations between Africans and native peoples in colonial Latin America. Matthew Restall has collected nine essays that represent contributions to the larger fields of colonial Latin American history, African diaspora studies, and ethnohistory. Among the subjects addressed are marriage and miscegenation, identity and nomenclature, cultural exchanges, labour, and co-operation in resisting colonialism versus collaboration. The authors examine core areas such as Mesoamerica, the Andes, and Brazil, and peripheral ones such as Florida, Colombia, and the Orinoco basin. The contributors find that relations between black and native peoples were sometimes harmonious, sometimes hostile, depending on local dynamics and individual agendas. Native and black soldiers fought sometimes as comrades, sometimes as adversaries, and couples in mixed marriages might identify as Indian or as black depending on where the advantage lay in a given society.
Introduction -- Black Slaves, Red Paint; Meanings of Military Service in the Spanish American Colonies; Africans and Native Americans on the Spanish Florida Frontier; Common Cause and Confrontation Between Blacks and Natives in Colonial Brazil; Conflict and Collaboration Between Afro-Mexicans and Nahuas in Central Mexico; Race Relations and Popular Political Culture in Nueva Granada; Africans and Natives in the Moines of Spanish America; Black-Maya Relations in Colonial Guatemala and Yucatan; Ethnic Transgression and Hybridity in North-eastern South American and the Caribbean; Black-Native Relations and the Historical Record in Colonial Mexico; Index.