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2. Teaching the Tule to Become Tribal, 1640-1667


Although the European presence in the Darién was slight throughout the early modern period, the contending powers nevertheless recognized the region to be an integral part of the Spanish empire. While the detailed maps of the region that their cartographers produced may have soothed imperial planners in Madrid, intruders continually made their presence felt in those mapped regions. Owing to the paucity of settlers, administrators, and strategic options, the Darién became one of the several "tribal zones" at the margin of European competitive activity in the Americas. Within these regions intense colonial interactions between Indians and Europeans took place. These interactions were characterized by the imperial state’s inability to dominate the local populations with which it interacted. 1


The territories of each of the imperial powers in the Americas contained similarly problematic areas at their margins. 2 The defining characteristics of these areas, in addition to those described for the Darién, were a small European population, large areas that bordered the settlements of opposing powers, and, most important, the preponderance of autonomous Indians among the population. In their attempts to administer and bring these regions under some semblance of central control, Europeans understood that the demographic realities they faced made success dependent on their ability to establish relationships with Indian leaders who could serve as their representatives. This necessity placed a premium on the skills of men and women who for varied reasons came to the fore and facilitated relationships between the Europeans and the indigenous population. 3


The term tribal in the phrase "tribal zone" is used here in a sense different from that used by nineteenth-century ethnographers. Rather than confine groups of people within strict racial categories, the tribal zone denotes a geographic area at the margin of an imperial system in which both Indians and Europeans interact and eventually affect, transform, and create indigenous polities. These processes are not unidirectional, for they exert profound effects on the politics and peoples of the mother country as well. The interaction of European and Indian, formerly often treated as one in which only the colonizer possessed historical agency, was in fact one in which indigenous leaders wielded considerable power and influence. 4


The central position that face-to-face alliances held in the colonial administration of these tribal zones led to a reorientation of their indigenous power structures. Europeans seeking to make alliances, protectorates, or simple gentlemen’s agreements with the men whom they termed "chiefs" dealt almost always with ambitious village aspirants who were not, in fact, the regional potentates they purported to be. In a further misunderstanding, Europeans assumed that the men they called chiefs naturally wielded coercive power over the peoples inhabiting the extent of the putative chief’s territory. They also believed that coming to an agreement with a region’s local chieftain signaled that formerly rebellious peoples had been brought under effective colonial control.


As I discussed in the previous chapter, early modern Tule society was not organized around the central, coercive power of a single traditional chief. The various Spanish, English, Scottish, and French intruders expected that by attaining a secure understanding with a chief or, at most, a select group of subchiefs, the region could be administered and subdued. This was a commonly held supposition. Although Spain had failed to exploit the Darién and convert it into a prosperous and peaceful core area of the empire, the actions of individual Spanish officials had, in fact, a profound impact on the indigenous polities in the region. This chapter explores the manner in which Spanish pacification and missionization campaigns in the Darién, though they failed in their stated overall objectives, set into motion human interactions and encounters that had unintended and unexpected long-term consequences for the Tule.


The actions of Spanish officials sparked profound changes in the Tule political structure, but they did not do so in a vacuum, or without the interplay of village leaders eager to expand their influence. Some of these men recognized that power could be gained through their use of the leverage that a close relationship with the Spanish colonial administration would bring. In their dealings with Spanish officials these ambitious new men worked to monopolize the interactions of the Tule villagers with outsiders. Brandishing their staves of office, medals, awards, and royal commissions like talismans, several Tule village leaders made serious attempts to consolidate regional power bases predicated on their monopolization of the relationship with Spanish officials. 5 These newly emerging indigenous leaders struggled to create a social and political system that would match what they soon learned about the preconceived notions of the Spanish administrators. Because the Spanish, it appeared, preferred to deal with one supreme Indian leader, or a small group of them, the Tule captains worked to create a political system in which one leader possessed great powers, where no such system had existed before. They labored to make their political arrangements recognizable to the Spanish in order to integrate themselves, when such a strategy was prudent, into the Spanish colonial administration.


Tule leaders had an interest in monopolizing interactions with outsiders and accruing all of the power that such interactions brought into their own hands. It was also in their interest to use force to bring neighboring groups into the newly emerging system, or to extend their newly acquired chiefly power over neighboring villages that had formerly enjoyed individual autonomy. In the minds of the Spanish, the Darién was composed of several coexisting tribes of Indians, who lived in a disarticulated and fragmented fashion over a large area. Officials presumed that semiautonomous regional chiefs who testily competed with one another for prestige, power, and wealth ruled these groupings of Indians. Something approximating this system had come into existence by the close of the seventeenth century, but its creator had been a long period of steady colonial interaction.


The Spanish interaction with the Tule in the Darién between 1640 and 1740 produced a group of self-conscious regional chieftains, men whom the Spaniards termed caciques and capitanes. These regional lords attempted to exert power over a more centralized and unified Darién. They strove to put into place a structure that was widely divergent from the system of authority that had been the norm in Tule society. Having grasped the place that tribal leaders would hold in a Spanish imperial system, the caciques and capitanes attempted to create a unified tribe of Indians, as the Europeans understood one to operate, with themselves as its leaders. The tribalizing process, through which expanding states grouped formerly distinct and autonomous peoples together for the purposes of colonial administration and control, was therefore partially driven and directed by the actions of a cadre of Tule men.


These new tribal leaders, though acting within what they understood to be the European conceptual framework of indigenous political power, were not laboring to make themselves or the people they attempted to rule into Spaniards, Englishmen, or anything other than what they were. Their actions, which in some ways were confined by European categories, were also often at odds with the short- and long-term goals of the colonial administrators in Madrid. The manner in which Spain administered the Darién encouraged the emergence of several new tribal leaders. After judiciously appraising the new strategic reality presented by the Spanish attempt to dominate the region, these leaders made conscious choices that had profound effects on the villagers with whom they were working to consolidate into what the Spanish would recognize as a tribe. Their actions would meet with compliance, resistance, and, at times, indifference by the inhabitants of the communities of the Darién. Together, the emerging chiefs, the Tule villagers, and the European intruders took part in a recoverable historical process that has not yet been described accurately or in detail. 6

Fortune Provides a Mediator


For nearly one hundred years, ranging from the late 1630s through 1726, Spanish attempts to impose administrative stability on the Indians of eastern Panamá were utterly intertwined with and reliant on the fortunes of the members of a family named the Carrisolis. In the early seventeenth century the activities of a young man named Julián Carrisoli de Alfaraz were central to the missionizing activities of a band of Dominican friars; and at the end of the century Julián’s son Luis provided the local Spanish defense against the incessant incursions of the buccaneers.


Throughout the seventeenth century, Spanish churchmen made several attempts to bring the Christian faith to the Indians of the Darién. Friars of several orders made entries from the provinces to Panamá’s south and east, centering their efforts on the region adjoining the Gulf of Urabá. Despite their efforts, they proved unable to found viable missionary towns. 7 The ephemeral settlements that these men founded in the Darién never became actual Indian reducciones, and so ephemeral were they that arguments have simmered between the religious orders as they attempted to establish which among them had founded the first reducciones in the region. 8 Confronted with this record of difficulty, members of the various religious orders came to conclude that the Indians of the Darién must be particularly well acquainted with Satan, who inspired them to resist the efforts of the missionaries with such unnatural and determined vigor. 9


The arrival of an energetic and experienced missionary, a Belgian-born Dominican friar named Adrián de Santo Tomás, changed this inauspicious record. In the 1620s Fray Adrián had been indefatigable in his efforts to bring the faith to the Guaymi Indians who inhabited the strategic mining regions of the central isthmus that bordered the Spanish settlements at Panamá City and Nombre de Dios. 10 In 1637, basking in the glow of this well-known success, Fray Adrián was dispatched, under joint orders issued by the presidente of Panamá and the governor of Cartagena, to perform missionary work among the Indians of the Darién. 11 Adrián de Santo Tomás succeeded in founding several durable Indian towns in the Darién because of the man he chose as his companion. During all of his activities in eastern Panamá the friar was accompanied by a remarkable young man named Julián Carrisoli de Alfaraz, whose presence alone tipped the balance from failure to relative success.


Carrisoli had first arrived in the Darién during a time of regional turmoil. The period from 1616 to 1635 saw frequent disruptions of Spanish administration by a group of the Tule people whom Spanish administrators called the "bugue-bugue." 12 These Indians, considered to be a distinct and particularly rebellious tribe, disrupted Spanish attempts to settle, survey, and exploit the lands to the east of Panamá City, and their armed bands went so far as to make several incursions against the frontier towns close to the capital. 13 In the midst of this unrest in 1623, a party of Indians attacked the crew of a ship while they harvested turtles along the San Blas coast. The Indians killed all of the adults but spared Carrisoli, who was then thirteen years old. 14


Carrisoli was hosted by the most respected man of the village and therefore was nurtured by the Indians as a member of the community. His host and extended family taught him to speak Tule. The young Spaniard claimed to have been well liked by his adoptive family, and Julián later would report that he honestly returned the familial affections of the old man who protected and cared for him. 15 Carrisoli also claimed that his affection for the old man prompted him to consider how best to bring the Christian faith to the Tule village that had harbored him so well. 16 In 1635 a turtling ship visited the San Blas coast, providing Carrisoli with an opportunity to act on his desires to establish connections between the Indians and the outside, Christian, world. Although Julián claimed that he had often spoken of his wishes to do so with his adoptive father, he nonetheless chose an opportunity when the old man was absent to seek out the turtle hunters. Julián’s caution turned out to be unnecessary, for when the old man learned of the youth’s actions he was pleased. 17


The following year Julián Carrisoli accompanied the turtlers when they returned to Cartagena, taking with him four of the principal Indians from the region in which he had lived for fifteen years. He made a good impression on the governor of Cartagena who, responding to Carrisoli’s insistence that the Indians required only religious instruction in order to join the Christian fold, dispatched two friars to return to eastern Panamá with the young man. Although they remained near Julián’s village for ten months, the missionaries failed to gather the neighboring Indians into an established reducción with a governing council. This should have raised warning signs before the eyes of the governor, but it did not. 18


Having learned of the missionary activity taking place on the isthmus, the presidente of Panamá informed the governor of Cartagena that he was willing to provide whatever resources were within his power in order to further the work Carrisoli urged. Carrisoli arrived at Panamá City on November 15, 1637, accompanied by seven Indians. Once again, Carrisoli convinced an important Spanish official of his worth, and when he left for the Darién on November 24 he had the presidente’s blessing. He departed in the company of the noted and experienced missionary Fray Adrián de Santo Tomás. 19

A Pattern Established: Missionary Success, Colonial Failure?


Following established practices, the missionary’s plan was to establish a collection of Indian towns throughout the Darién where an entity that could be identified as the "Darién tribe" could be formed. The towns would form discrete nodes of Spanish power and imperial administrative norms in Indian country, with resident priests, Indian leaders, and Tule representatives at the helm of town and local government. Tule leaders could be rewarded, recruited, and disciplined at such places, and a new generation of hispanicized Tule children could be reliably instructed at the churches and schools. This was an ambitious undertaking, especially when applied to a region that so recently had harbored bands of rebellious Indians. But programs of progressive colonial domination through steady religious instruction had proven effective in the past, and Fray Adrián was a determined missionary with a glowing record of success in the Veraguas region of central Panamá. 20


Upon arriving at the site of the future town of Pinogana at the end of 1637, the friar preached to the few Indians who had accompanied him up to that point. At the end of his catechism he informed his Tule companions that it was absolutely necessary for them to reduce themselves into central towns that could then be equipped with priests and stores for their well-being, and where churches and schools could be built for the nourishment of their own and their children’s’ souls. 21


Fray Adrián reported that the Indian men present unanimously agreed with his designs. These Indians, however, would require more instruction in their new colonial roles before they could become the types of leaders with whom the friar desired to work. The Tule informed him that, contrary to what he might think, the Darién was a populous province in which each man was lord in his own home, and no single person had dominion or lordship over all of them. Although the Tule followed a single law and spoke the same language, no single man could make decisions for them all. Adrián patiently responded that they, of course, could be held responsible only for their own actions, but if they followed his precepts and formed a town of indigenous Christians, God would certainly see to it that the other Indians followed their good example. 22


Because the site chosen for the new town was distant from the fields where the Indians grew their crops, Fray Adrián dispatched the men to return to their fields, feed themselves, and return with provisions for the new settlement. He stayed behind with twenty young people and some of the older Indians; they ate corn and beans that had been planted earlier. In January 1638 Indians began returning to the settlement, and Fray Adrián quickly distributed the metal tools and finished goods the presidente had given him. Even when bolstered with the returnees, however, the settlement was unable to support itself, and the Indians were once again forced to disperse in order to feed themselves. 23


Fray Adrián was concerned that a respected old Indian from the Tacarcuna region named Agustín had not arrived as expected to the previously agreed upon site. Because he was a respected tribal leader who might draw other Indians to the town and anchor the Darién Indian tribe which was to be built, the friar intended for Agustín to serve as the nucleus of the new settlement. He appeared, however, to have decided that the endeavor was not worth his effort. Finally convinced that the old Indian would not come of his own accord, Adrián dispatched Julián Carrisoli to fetch him. 24


Tacarcuna was a seven-day journey from the settlement site, and Carrisoli left immediately, accompanied by a Guaymi Indian who had been in Fray Adrián’s service for many years. The Guaymi carried a written message addressed to Agustín. Its contents had a great effect on the old man. On being informed of the contents, Agustín and several of the principal men set out for Pinogana, arriving there on January 20. The friar welcomed the Tule leaders warmly, and he provided them with wine, axes, and other metal tools as tokens of friendship and signs of his joy at their arrival. 25


During these festivities the band of Tule who had left to provision the settlement returned, and the Indians set themselves to clearing new areas for cultivation of crops and the erection of the town’s buildings. Pleased with these clear signs of progress, Fray Adrián informed the leaders of the group that he felt that it was time for the Indians to choose their cacique, justices, and the other officials who would govern the new town. Without this indigenous ruling structure nothing of importance could be accomplished, not even the instruction in the faith that he was so eager to commence.


Agustín apparently sensed that the mantle of a new form of tribal leadership was being placed on his shoulders, and he flinched at the realization. Having considered the friar’s words for some time, the old man was reported finally to have remarked that although he himself was well disposed to the plan, there were too few of his people present for so weighty a matter to be decided. He did not know, and could not say, how the rest of the Indians would react to his having made such a wide-ranging and momentous decision for them on his own. Among the Tule such decisions required the consultation of a greater number of the people who would be affected. Though Agustín was willing to take on the new responsibilities of a tribal leader within the Spanish system, he was unsure whether the Tule were ready to become a tribal people. 26


Fray Adrián dispatched Julián Carrisoli on another arduous errand through the forest, this time ordering him to visit the settlements near Tacarcuna. He was to invite their leaders to gather at the settlement in order to decide the great matter toward which Agustín had already shown himself well disposed. Although he was ill at the time, Carrisoli diligently carried out the friar’s request, informing the Indians that nothing was to be decided until they had been given the opportunity to hear the missionary themselves. Several of the loyal Guaymi Indians were dispatched simultaneously to nearby densely populated regions, and this flurry of itinerant activity soon bore fruit when great numbers of Tule soon arrived at the settlement. 27


By February 15, a month after the first of the region’s Indian leaders had arrived at the settlement, the amassed Indians had assented to settle in a reduced town and agreed to live as loyal subjects and vassals of the king of Spain. Fray Adrián was pleased to report that the Indians had a great desire to know what their first actions should be in their new capacities as local officials in a Spanish town. The friar informed them that their first responsibility was to select a fertile site on which to build the town, and the following day the men selected a comfortable site half a league distant from the initial site. They chose an area at the mouth of the Yavisa River, one of the main routes of transport into and out of the Darién. The site could be provisioned from the sea, and crops grown at the town could easily be transported throughout the Darién interior.


Fray Adrián was pleased with the selection, and, two days later, he duly blessed the founding of the town in the name of the king, according to his instructions. 28 Fray Adrián, wearing his ceremonial black cape, constructed an impromptu altar and had Julián Carrisoli gather the Indians. The missionary took his place at their head and seated himself on an elevated chair. He ostentatiously ordered Carrisoli to sit at his side on the makeshift dais, and from this elevated position he proceeded to expound, with great authority and passion, upon the king’s commands, the royal laws, and the responsibilities placed on the shoulders of the crown’s Christian subjects and vassals.


The friar let it be known that the benefits of the Christian faith were many and eternal. He informed them that the king and his officers were bound by a holy oath to protect all of the crown’s subjects, whether they were European or Indian. Royal administration was a two-way street, however, and the crown’s officers were equally required to protect the Indians and punish those who transgressed against royal laws and dictates. The dual representative of the Catholic faith and of Spanish imperial power in the Darién was none other than the unarmed priest who sat before them. He was, he assured his listeners, a simple being who had pledged himself to God at the age of two years and had never used a weapon of any sort. 29


After concluding his speech Fray Adrián produced a pen and paper and informed the Indians that he was bound by the king to record their decision, and to place it before that august personage immediately. 30 After conferring with the other leaders, Agustín informed the friar that the response of the Tule was a simple "yes." The Indian stated that he would attest to the fact that the principal leaders of the settlements in the Darién had agreed, without violence or coercion of any kind, to become royal subjects of the crown and to settle as Christians, which they agreed to do gladly and even fervently. 31


Fray Adrián now produced Julián Carrisoli’s commission of office and read it to the assembled Indians. The document granted to Carrisoli the office of justicia mayor with jurisdiction over the entire province. 32 The text of the commission referred to the uniqueness of Carrisoli’s appointment, stating that such offices were usually reserved for graver men with richer administrative experience, but the affection the Indians held for Carrisoli made him the perfect man for the job. The appointment had the intended effect, for Fray Adrián reported that the Indians were very pleased to learn that the crown had been so wise as to appoint someone they knew and trusted to so vital a position. The crown had not always been so considerate. The last appointment had been made at Cartagena, and the governor had installed someone insensitive to their needs and way of doing things. For that reason, and no other, they claimed, the Darién’s Indians had not been the friends of the Spanish. 33


On hearing this expression of indigenous assent, Fray Adrián ordered them all to rise to their feet. He directed Julián Carrisoli to cross to the site of the new town and to pull up some of the grass, vines, and shrubs and to uproot, with his unsheathed sword, several of the larger plants. 34 Julián Carrisoli ended the ceremony of possession at the place that would become the town’s central square, where he was instructed to hold up his brandished sword and shout in a clear loud voice the exhortation, "¡Viva nuestro poderoso Felipe IV, Rey Católico de las Españas y de las Indias! ¿Ay quien me contradiga?" The Indians, informed of the meaning of Carrisoli’s exhortations, responded, "¡Viva! ¡Viva! ¡Viva!"


Fray Adrián now ordered Carrisoli to strike his sword against a tree, and he had one of his Guaymi escorts fire off a musket. These ritualized actions were repeated three times. Following their completion Adrián and Carrisoli named the town San Enríque del Darién at Pinogana, in honor of the presidente of the Audiencia of Panamá, Don Enríque Enriquez de Sotomayor. 35 After these civil acts of possession were completed, Fray Adrián took in his arms a large cross garlanded with flowers, and sang the Te Deum in a clear voice as he walked toward the site of the town’s future church. He forcefully staked the cross into the earth and, after completing several prayers, solemnly took possession of the land in the name of His Royal Majesty the king and the Holy Roman Catholic faith. 36


The election of the reducción’s cacique and several selected municipal officials came next in this day packed with ritual and practical politics. The missionary stated that the cacique would answer to the crown for the actions of all of the town’s Indians and that it would be the leader’s responsibility to discipline rebels, punish renegades, and prevent the harboring of such malefactors in the precincts of the town. Fray Adrián softened this harsh injunction by providing the happy example of the Guaymi Indians, who had chosen to live in towns under their own leaders and not only lived in peace but also had gained riches under Spanish protection. After conferring, each Indian was handed a kernel of corn and was instructed to place the grain in the plate resting in front of the man whom he desired to be his cacique.


The first to cast a ballot was the venerable Agustín, who voted for a very aged and respected man from his own village. All of the other Indians, however, 257 in number, cast their votes for Agustín. Having described the responsibilities of the new office to Agustín, Fray Adrián and Carrisoli handed him the staff of his office and seated him at their side on the dais. From this position of honor and respect Agustín extended the staff outward and pointed down from the dais, and one by one the Indians came forward and kissed the end of the cacique’s staff of office, all the while making signs of the highest obedience and respect. 37


Other town officials were elected and installed on the dais with the two Spanish officials. After saying prayers, Adrián gave ashes to those Indians who were already confirmed Christians and proceeded to say mass. At the close of the ceremony Agustín observed Carrisoli reverently kissing the friar’s hand. He did the same and then urged all of the Indians to come forward and follow his example. The old cacique accompanied Adrián to the clearing where he slept and informed the missionary that things had been placed on a firm footing and that true amity between his people and the Spanish was ensured. Before leaving the friar, Agustín reportedly told Adrián of his ardent wish to become a Christian. 38


Several more Christian reducciones would be needed in order to provide the catalyst for the creation of a "Darién tribe." Fray Adrián crisscrossed eastern Panamá with Julián Carrisoli. The two men founded the reducciones of San Jerónimo de Yavisa in 1638, San Andrés de Cuqué in 1641, and Tarena in 1642. San Juan de la Vega de Tacarcuna and San Sebastian de Capetín followed in 1643. In each case the ceremonies that had been carried out with such apparent good effects in Pinogana were replicated in full, with special care taken for the dramatic reading of Julián Carrisoli’s commission, and the election of the town’s indigenous leadership. 39


Because it required such a great deal of coordination and effort, missionaries such as Fray Adrián were often unable to recognize that the founding of reducciones and the election of an Indian ruling structure were the easy part of the conversion process. A conquest of the Darién, religious or otherwise, would require the Tule in the reducciones to separate themselves physically and culturally from the Indians outside the missionary towns. For the missionaries to lay foundations that might endure, strong existing bonds had to be broken at the same time that new ones had to be acquired.


A new "tribe" of Christian Tule could exist in the form the Spanish desired only if its members completely broke their ties to the violent, uncivilized "bugue-bugue" who were presumed to occupy the mountains and forests. Such a strategy of utter cultural separation was drastic but not entirely misguided. In instances in which the Indian population had been decimated by disease, or terrorized and thinned through warfare, a kind of hermetic isolation within the reducciones did occur, providing the missionaries with ideal conditions. 40


The reduced Tule, however, amounted to a small number of volunteers among an uncounted majority of noncompliant Indians in eastern Panamá, and the rugged isthmian geography afforded Indians who did not enter the reducciones more than ample terrain in which to live autonomously. It was an ominous sign that a vast number of Tule had not volunteered to enter the reducciones, and this fact alone should have been taken as a definite warning to the missionaries, Carrisoli, and the officials in Panamá City. However, Fray Adrián’s zealous spirit of triumphalism rolled on, too genuine and too forceful for anyone but the Indians to resist it.

Julián Carrisoli: Establishing a Colonial Career


Tule leaders such as Agustín were not the only ones engaging in self-definition on the new colonial stage provided by the renewed Spanish interest in the Darién. Julián Carrisoli was also carving out a position of influence and power for himself under the aegis of the provincial administration that Fray Adrián was working to establish. The administrative structure, which would comprise a series of Indian-ruled towns, would need a provincial official at its head, and Carrisoli intended to keep that place for himself. He felt secure in thinking that his services had earned him that position inasmuch as in the five years he and Fray Adrián had been at work they had reduced a great quantity of Indians and aggregated them into several orderly, law-abiding towns. 41


In addition to the retention of his offices, Carrisoli wanted much more from the Spanish crown. In 1645 Carrisoli petitioned that the crown award him the title of "marqués, adelantado o almirante" of the entire province of the Darién in recompense for his exertions. 42 Moreover, he also wished to be awarded two places, one for himself and one for his eldest son, in one of the crown’s prestigious military orders. Carrisoli felt that he was justified in requesting the Colombian title of admiral for himself because he had, after all, almost single-handedly pacified a province that had hitherto been a source of danger, worry, and expense to the Audiencia and empire. The crown did not grant Carrisoli’s inflated requests, though the Audiencia and the king acknowledged his services. 43 More time would be needed to observe events in the province before the crown could declare Carrisoli a regional hero.


Although it is possible for the historian to discern and interpret Julián Carrisoli’s acts of self-fashioning, his superiors in Madrid and Panamá City would not have had the ability or the inclination to do so. His claim of having begun the work of pacifying the Indians as soon as he had found himself living in their midst, for example, was taken as a plausible one, and was not questioned. 44 Carrisoli’s claim that as soon as he had learned to communicate with the Indians he had pointed out to them the utter falsehood of their gods and the transcendent truth of the Holy Catholic faith, too, was unobjectionable. 45 Yet, though the crown did not see the need to challenge the truth of Carrisoli’s assertion, neither did it agree that his actions deserved recognition on the grand scale that the petition requested.


The crown had no interest in questioning the validity of Julián Carrisoli’s statements because no one could deny that Julián Carrisoli’s position as an adopted member of a Tule village had made the reduction of large numbers of these Indians possible. His familiarity with the Indians and the affection they held for him provided the foundation on which a Christian Darién might, after all, be built. This close association with the Indians, however, was a double-edged sword. It provided the basis for the power he had been granted by the Spanish crown, but at the same time it could make officials question his loyalties, for, after all, Julián Carrisoli had lived quite happily in the heart of pagan Indian country at a time when the "bugue-bugue" had been in open rebellion against the Spanish crown. 46


An act of will would be required to fashion Julián Carrisoli into a Spanish hidalgo, but he was up to the challenge. No one reading the correspondence that Carrisoli forwarded to Spanish officials could doubt for a moment that he was–he did not need to pretend–an exemplary servant of the king. However, by comparing documents written by Fray Adrián de Santo Tomás in the midst of the missionization campaign in 1638 with those generated by Carrisoli during his later petition, one can focus on the process through which Carrisoli constructed an identity for himself within the Spanish provincial ruling order.


Julián Carrisoli’s petition reminded his superiors that he was no "white Indian" who had been decivilized and assimilated by the Indians during his thirteen-year sojourn among them. 47 He had, in fact, always remained in his mind, heart, and actions a loyal subject of the Spanish crown and a good Catholic. Rather than passively allow Tule cultural forces to act on him, he had exerted the force necessary to convert and assimilate the Indians to the civilized, Christian way of life.


Carrisoli’s narrative of conversion made use of familiar tropes from the Bible and the lives of the saints, which would have resonated with the readers of his text. Fray Adrián, however, provided a very different picture of the young man on whom he had been forced to rely in 1638. For though the missionary gave the young Spaniard his due, 48 his unflinching report also pointed out that in addition to acting as the mediator who attracted Indians to reducciones, Julián Carrisoli had himself been one of the targets of Fray Adrián’s missionary activity. 49


Thirteen years among the Indians had had an effect on the young man, and Julián Carrisoli by 1638 had become more of an Indian than it was ever safe for him to admit. Fray Adrián reported that "I am very consoled that His Divine Majesty, through my persuasions, has opened the eyes of Julián Carrisoli, who has determined to leave the two women he was living with, each of whom had had children with him, and who are cousins. He did this with much prudence because I explained to the women’s fathers that the young man would not be able to contract marriage with either woman since they were so closely related. I gave the men axes, and machetes, so that they would be able to marry their daughters to other worthy men. Carrisoli lives and sleeps in my encampment, and he takes his lessons and prayers with much care." 50


Carrisoli’s position was an ambiguous one on many different levels. He straddled the Indian and Spanish worlds at the same time that he was operating in a region whose administration fell into the gap between two separate nodes of imperial power in Panamá City and Cartagena. Neither administration wished to initiate policies to deal with the Darién region, but once Julián Carrisoli presented himself, neither wished to be closed off from the action. In the summer of 1637, therefore, Carrisoli had instructions signed by both the presidente of the Audiencia of Panamá and the governor of Cartagena. The presidente’s instructions stated that he was "to serve with the priest as a person who understood the languages of the Indians, and as a person who had been brought up with them. He must also provide whatever material is necessary for the reduction of the Indians to succeed." 51


Julián Carrisoli deftly transformed himself from a polygamous white Indian into the defender of the Darién, no small feat. From that position he came to occupy a unique mediating place within the system of Spanish administration of the Indies. For although local government did devolve on indigenous communities throughout the empire’s domains owing to the paucity of Spanish settlement, the administrative system of the Darién would be unique because positions of provincial and local government, rather than local government alone, were to be entrusted to men who were indigenous, or, in the case of Carrisoli, as much indigenous as European. 52


The governor of Cartagena in turn named Carrisoli protector of the Indians, an official capacity common throughout Spanish America, in recognition of the respect in which the natives held him, and he granted that once the Indians had reduced themselves into towns presided over by priests, Spaniards would be prohibited from entering the region. The governor named Carrisoli justicia mayor of the province with the power to impart justice over the Indians and to regulate the activities of those Spaniards who desired to hunt, fish, or to explore the province of the Darién. Carrisoli would not only rule the Indians, but he would also regulate the activities of Spaniards. 53


These instructions were a remarkable grant of power to a very young man, and Carrisoli could interpret these orders as recognition of his past labors among the Tule and as a reflection of his future value to the Spanish crown. Though his position was more or less unique for a young, untried colonial official, the powers of his position were at the same time uniquely circumscribed. Although he had been given the power to monitor the activities of individual Spaniards who might wish to enter the province, for example, he had not been granted judicial powers over Spaniards who might live in the province. He could regulate the activities of Spaniards, yet he could not decide their fate in a court of law. This was a power he could exercise only over the province’s Indians. 54


Carrisoli’s office and titles were also inextricably tied to the missionizing activities of Fray Adrián de Santo Tomás. He was empowered to be the governor of a province of Christian Indians, and to protect this province during the period in which the services of the missionaries were needed most actively. The unstated, yet explicit, understanding beneath the royal commission was that after their work had been completed and the Darién had taken its place beside the other indigenous provinces of the empire, other administrative positions would be created that would bring the region into conformity with the governing systems of more settled areas. Carrisoli could then find himself unemployed or filling an entirely different position.


Spanish officials were following an evolutionary model of indigenous social and political development, believing that, in incremental and measurable stages, the Tule would come down from the mountains and reduce themselves to organized towns where they and their families could be indoctrinated in the Christian faith. These towns would be self-governing, provide manpower for the local militia, and protect the entire isthmus from attacks by intruders and the depredations of the remaining hostile Indians. Once the region had been pacified, Spanish settlement could be encouraged and controlled, and the economic resources of the land could be mapped, explored, and exploited. Although Carrisoli undeniably was the man of the moment, his superiors hoped that the moment would be transitory. The powers granted to Julián Carrisoli are better understood within such a framework, and, judging from the nature of his petitions to Spanish administrators in Panamá City and Madrid, Carrisoli understood his position as clearly as did those who commissioned him.


Although he always took care to stress his importance as the go-between most able to entice the Tule to come over to the Spanish towns, Carrisoli also pointed out that he worked to secure the defense of the isthmus in the face of foreign threats. He had acted most recently in that capacity in order to counteract the activities of the Dutch, who were actively seeking alliances with Indian leaders in order to plant a permanent settlement of rebellious heretics on the isthmus. Their plan, he reported, was to secure a base from which to disrupt Spanish shipping and impede colonizing activity on the isthmus. 56 In sworn testimony appended to the petition of 1645, Juan Lorenzo, a Spanish army captain, reported that the Dutch had recently arrived on the northern coast of Panamá and had labored to convince the Indians that the Spaniards were a grave threat to them. They argued that the Spanish carried out policies unthinkable to the Dutch in order to force changes to the Indian way of life. The greatest example of this tendency was the Spanish suppression of the Tule practice of polygamy among the Indians who came to live in the reduced towns. The Dutch warned the Indians that a people willing to interfere in so central a cultural practice would not know when to stop, and that even more bitter forms of oppression would certainly follow. 57


The interlopers, it was reported, had convinced the Indians to whom they spoke that a Dutch settlement would better serve the Indians than Spanish rule, and the Dutch then left in order to gather a force to settle and defend the northern coast region. News of this incursion spread among the Indians and eventually reached Carrisoli, who by his own report reacted swiftly to the threat by gathering a force of Indians and speeding to confront those Indians who had welcomed the enemy. Rather than applying retributive force, Carrisoli gathered the Indians and lectured them about the meaning of the oaths they had taken when they became Spanish subjects. 58


Julián Carrisoli must have said much more, for in addition to convincing the Indians of the northern coast to reject the Dutch overtures he also was able to get them to pledge to reject all future blandishments. Apparently, the respect that the Indians held for Julián Carrisoli had worked to contain a dangerous situation. What the actual terms of the discussion between Carrisoli and the north coast Indians had been, however, cannot be known, for Carrisoli would not have needed a translator to mediate while he communicated with them. What is entirely certain, however, is that his language possessed a more indigenous tone than the tired legalities he ultimately reported to his superiors.


Julián Carrisoli knew that in order to maximize his power and heighten his prestige within the community of Spanish administrators and officials, he needed to convince them that the evolutionary model was sound and was producing positive results. Successful reducciones were the key to this case, and this explains the figure of 1,400 baptized Indians that he provided in the papers supporting his petition. This was a substantial number that would surely impress his superiors, even though the number appears small when considered as a percentage of the estimated Tule population of 20,000 for this period. 59 The number gained an almost talismanic power, however, when set against the fact that a few years earlier there was not a single reduced Indian in the Darién. Carrisoli also assumed that working in his favor was the fact that the Indians of the province had, in fact, until quite recently been in open rebellion against the crown. 60


Julián Carrisoli preserved the power that he had been granted because of his many deeds in the furtherance of the Spanish conquest of the Darién. His actions, though important, were not the final yardstick that was used to measure his worth. Not even he could deny that the basis for this power was the simple fact that he had lived with the Indians for many years while he was a boy. The Spanish officials who granted him the authority, as well as the friar who confirmed him in it, noted the importance of Carrisoli’s connection to a powerful elder of the Tule. Carrisoli heightened the importance of the connection when he informed his superiors that his adopted father was a man of influence. They in turn could assume that Carrisoli had great influence with the Indians as well. When all of these factors were taken into account, all could agree that Carrisoli was undeniably the man best equipped to translate the meaning of the Spanish evolutionary project for the Tule.


Spanish officials, aware that the establishment of Indian local government was a necessity, were also mindful that such a system carried considerable risks. The danger was that the new Tule leaders would be granted extensive colonial powers in addition to whatever indigenous authority they already wielded within their Indian communities. For the new system to work, the Spanish administrators had to make the power indigenous leaders derived from the Spanish colonial system the only power that mattered in the region. To do this they needed to accomplish two difficult tasks. They had to create a unified Tule tribe where none had existed before, and, if they succeeded in that objective, they had to control utterly the new polity and its newly minted leadership once it did come into existence. The following chapters will chart Spanish fortunes as they labored to further these goals.


The Spanish had been forced to take these risks in the past by similar strategic realities elsewhere in the empire, 61 but the tenuousness of their hold on the Darién had forced officials in Panamá City and Cartagena to take the additional step of entrusting one of the most sensitive regions of the empire to a man who had been raised from the age of thirteen as one of the Indians. The crown in this case incurred risks similar to those it had faced when Charles V had been forced to make grants of encomienda to the rough-hewn conquistadores. The emperor had been given no other choice but to legalize conditionally the claims to the lands they had taken by force. 62


Julián Carrisoli recognized the rare circumstances that had led to his elevation, and he worked hard, both with his deeds and rhetoric, to convince his superiors that he was in his heart a Spaniard, that his goals were the goals of the empire, and that their trust in him had not been unfounded. Though he failed in his bid to be named an adelantado, Carrisoli did receive the crown’s official thanks for his many services in 1663. 63 In contrast to the conquistadores, who for the most part failed in having their grants made heritable, Julián Carrisoli did succeed in passing his bureaucratic and administrative offices on to his children. His skillful mediation and the use of his persuasive skills ensured that the fates of the Carrisoli family and the Spanish project to hispanicize the Darién would remain intertwined for many years to come.

Julián Carrisoli as the Personification of Success


It soon became clear that the evolutionary project was not to be a linear one in the case of the Darién. Decisive evidence that there were problems in the region reached Madrid as early as 1651 when the panicked cabildo of the city of Panamá informed the crown, "around August of the present year, as if they were one man, the Indians of the province of the Darién rose up in rebellion. They were motivated solely by their own natural malevolence, since they had received nothing but good treatment from the Spaniards acting in your name." 64


The Spanish position in the region was greatly harmed, the letter claimed, "by the Indians having no single head to govern them." The letter closed with a request that the crown mount a military campaign to crush the Indians once and for all, inasmuch as they had responded to good treatment with treachery and rebellion. Lacking the resources to devote to an invasion of the region, the crown’s response was, for the moment, silence.


The crisis of 1651 underscored the continuing Spanish weaknesses in eastern Panamá, but it did not lead to a repudiation of Julián Carrisoli. Administrators in Panamá City and Madrid understood that whatever presence they had in the region they had because of Julián Carrisoli. So well was this fact understood that twelve years following the crisis that had so unnerved the bureaucrats in the cabildo, Carrisoli was duly confirmed in his offices and the titles. On August 6, 1663, the crown confirmed him as alcalde, justicia mayor, and capitán of the militia of the province of the Darién at the sizable annual salary of 600 pesetas. 65


In 1670 the crown went even further, confirming an earlier grant made to Julián Carrisoli and his ancestors, providing dominion over lands and the Indians they could attract to them at the Gulf of San Miguel. 66 This royal grant provided a tangible and meaningful reward for a colonial career that had displayed considerable balance. It was not just a simple donation, for it ceded crown lands to Carrisoli that were to be held as a part of the family’s patrimony. For thirty years Carrisoli had provided a tangible definition of security for his superiors, who could reasonably argue to their own superiors that there existed not only a policy to subdue the region, but also that they had a man on the ground working to make the plan a reality. For the Indians, on the other hand, Julián Carrisoli had acted as the catalyst for tribal formation, rewarding leaders who had cared for him as a boy, serving as the conduit through which provincial gifts and salaries entered the hands of the newly emergent tribal chiefs, and discouraging those who strayed.


Julián Carrisoli fashioned himself for Spanish eyes into the epitome of what they expected a local tribal chieftain to be. He spoke the Tule language, he had the Indians’ loyalty and trust, and, in a crisis, he could be relied on to gather a troop of Indian archers to confront foreign invaders. The Spanish had conceded that colonial domination of the Darién would require the active complicity of local Indian leaders who could marshal influence inside the Tule villages, and Julián Carrisoli convinced the Spanish that in him they had found just such a man.


The tribe the Spanish called the "reduced Darién Indians" existed, at best, in the minds of the colonial administrators, but Carrisoli successfully established himself as the most important chieftain of that imaginary entity nonetheless. In the coming years, however, an increased foreign presence in eastern Panamá would allow other indigenous leaders to make use of the tools they had available in order to establish themselves as similarly viable tribal potentates: a process that would erode Carrisoli’s hard-won monopoly on indigenous interaction with the Spanish administrators.


The imperial competition that characterized the later seventeenth century served as an incubator for new tribal leaders. At the same time, it set in motion a process that worked against the unification of a single tribal entity. The "reduced Darién Indians" developed as a unit characterized by the presence of a multitude of tribal chiefs who ruled over few actual Indian constituents. The following chapters will examine how these paradoxical statements are supported by the facts.



Note 1:  For an analysis of the anthropological concept of the tribal zone, see Neil L. Whitehead and Brian Ferguson, "The Violent Edge of Empire," in War in the Tribal Zone: Expanding States and Indigenous Warfare (Santa Fe, N.M.: School of American Research Press, 1992), pp. 1-31.Back.

Note 2:  A comparative treatment of this issue is provided by J. Adelman and S. Aron, "From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History," American Historical Review 104 (1999): 814-841. Frontier studies have been a lively area across subfields in recent years, and are now providing the opportunity for interdisciplinary studies, as Ferguson and Whitehead's War in the Tribal Zone attests. For recent contributions, see D. J. Guy and T. E. Sheridan, eds., Contested Ground: Comparative Frontiers on the Northern and Southern Edges of the Spanish Empire (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998); A. R. L. Cayton and F. J. Teute, eds., Contact Points: American Frontiers from the Mohawk Valley to the Mississippi, 1750-1830 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998); and E. Langer and R. H. Jackson, eds., The New Latin American Mission History (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995).Back.

Note 3:  The bibliography of works dealing with mediation in colonial situations is enormous. The following does not aim to be complete, but it includes works that have especially influenced my thinking: T. W. Kavanaugh, Comanche Political History: An Ethnohistorical Perspective 1706-1875 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996); J. H. Merrell, Into the American Woods: Negotiators on the Pennsylvania Frontier (New York: W. W. Norton, 1999); the essays in Robert S. Grumet, ed., Northeastern Indian Lives, 1632-1816 (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996), Margaret C. Szasz, ed., Between Indian and White Worlds: The Cultural Broker (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994); David G. Sweet and Gary B. Nash, eds., Struggle and Survival in Colonial America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981); Francis Kartunnen, Between Worlds: Interpreters, Guides, and Survivors (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1994); Edward J. Cashin, Lachlan McGillivray, Indian Trader: The Shaping of the Southern Colonial Frontier (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992); Richard White, The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), Gregory E. Dowd, A Spirited Resistance: The Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992); Richard Price, Alabi's World (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990); Rolena Adorno, Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986); Ashis Nandy, The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983); S. J. Stern, Peru's Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest: Huamanga to 1640 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982); K. Spalding, Huarochirí: An Andean Society Under Inca and Spanish Rule (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984); S. E. Ramírez, The World Upside Down: Cross-Cultural Contact and Conflict in Sixteenth-Century Peru (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996); Timothy J. Shannon, "Dressing for Success on the Mohawk Frontier: Hendrick, William Johnson, and the Indian Fashion," William and Mary Quarterly 53 (1996): 13-42, and Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire: The Albany Congress of 1754 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000); Evan Haefeli and Kevin Sweeney, "Wattanummon's World: Personal and Tribal Identity in the Algonquian Diaspora, c. 1660-1712," in William Cowan, ed., Papers of the Twenty-fifth Algonquian Conference (Ottawa: Carleton University, 1994), pp. 212-224; Cynthia J. Van Zandt, "The Dutch Connection: Isaac Allerton and the Dynamics of English Cultural Anxiety in the Gouden Eeuw," in R. Hoefte and J. C. Kardux, eds., Connecting Cultures: The Netherlands in Five Centuries of Transatlantic Exchange (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 1994), pp. 51-76; Daniel K. Richter, "Cultural Brokers and Intercultural Politics: New York-Iroquois Relations, 1664-1701," Journal of American History 75 (1988-89): 40-67; Nancy L. Hagedorn, "'A Friend to Go Between Them': The Interpreter as Cultural Broker During Anglo-Iroquois Councils, 1740-1770," Ethnohistory 35 (1988): 60-80; Martin H. Quitt, "Trade and Acculturation in Jamestown 1607-1609: The Limits of Understanding," William and Mary Quarterly 52 (1995): 227-258; J. Frederick Fausz, "Merging and Emerging Worlds: Anglo-Indian Interest Groups and the Development of the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake," in Lois G. Carr, Philip D. Morgan, and Jean B. Russo, eds., Colonial Chesapeake Society (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), pp. 47-98; Joyce Lorimer, "The Reluctant Go-Between: John Ley's Survey of Aboriginal Settlement on Guyana Coastline," in C. H. Clough and P. E. H. Hair, eds., The European Outthrust and Encounter (Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press, 1994), pp. 191-223; George C. Edmundson, "The Dutch in Western Guiana," English Historical Review 16 (1901): 640-675; K. Y. Daaku, "The European Traders and the Coastal States, 1630-1720," Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana 8 (1965): 11-23; David Henige, "John Kabes of Komenda: An Early African Entrepreneur and State Builder," Journal of African History 18 (1977): 1-19; Larry W. Yarak, "Kwasi Boakye and Kwame Poku: Dutch-Educated Asante 'Princes,'" in E. Schildkrout, ed., The Golden Stool: Studies in the Asante Center and Periphery (New York: American Museum of Natural History, 1987), pp. 131-145.Back.

Note 4:  For the change in emphasis and sensibility involved in the adoption of the new terminology, see Ferguson and Whitehead, "Violent Edge," pp. 2-3. The multidirectional movement of influences is evident in the case of the Darién in the career of Dionisio de Alsedo y Herrera, which is examined in chapter 7.Back.

Note 5:  In his article "Carib Ethnic Soldiering" (Ethnohistory 37 [1990]: 357-385), N. L. Whitehead examines an analogous process that took place in northeastern South America on what is now the Suriname-Guyana border.Back.

Note 6:  Although it is not possible for any one person to compose a narrative that encapsulates the historical reality of any people or subject, it is possible to bring to light historical events and processes that had previously been ignored or misunderstood. The Tule made remarkable history; administrators, pirates, and churchmen in Panamá, Lima, Mexico City, Madrid, London, and Edinburgh knew of and were affected by their actions. The task of the historian is to compile, study, and assess the divergent sources and to provide an analysis of the manner in which the indigenous people and Europeans interacted on the isthmus.Back.

Note 7:  The efforts of the religious orders to missionize in eastern Panamá are exhaustively treated by Severino de Santa Teresa, O.C.D., História documentada de la iglesia en Urabá y el Darién desde el descubrimiento hasta nuestros días (Bogotá: Biblioteca de la Presidencia de Colombia, 1956-57), esp. volume 4. See vol. 4, chap. 4, "Misiones de los padres agustinos recoletos en Urabá y el Darién," pp. 103-141; chap. 5, "Los hijos de san Francisco en las misiones del Chocó y Urabá," pp. 143-160; and chap. 7, "Misiones de los padres capuchinos en Urabá y el Darién," pp. 175-195. For another treatment, derived from the same sources, see A. Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia: ¿Triunfo o fracaso de la política indigenista? (Panamá: Instituto Nacional de Cultura [Editorial Mariano Arosemena], 1995), chaps. 13 (pp. 291-311) and 19 (pp. 391-429). Back.

Note 8:  See Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, volume 4, pp. 13-25; and the chapters cited in the previous note.Back.

Note 9:  Father Antonio Julián, a Jesuit missionary who arrived in the Americas a generation later described the Darién in these terms. See Antonio Julián, S.J., La perla de la América, Provincia de Santa Marta, edición facsimilar (Bogotá: Academia Colombiana de História, 1980 [1787]), pp. 214-216.Back.

Note 10:  Fray Adrián de Santo Tomás's activities among these Indians are described by the Dominican Juan Meléndez in his Tesoros verdaderos de las Indias: História de la Provincia de San Juan Bautista de Perú de la Orden de Predicadores (Rome: n.p., 1682).Back.

Note 11:  Archivo General de Indias (AGI) Panamá 65. The orders are also transcribed in the Archivo Nacional de Panamá (ANP) 279; extensive portions of the documents are reproduced in Severino de Santo Teresa, História documentada, pp. 38-41.Back.

Note 12:  The derivation of this term is obscure, though pukke pukke in Kuna means "two together"; see N. Holmer, An Ethnolinguistic Cuna Dictionary (Göteborg: Göteborgs Museum, 1952). The Spanish, as has been discussed, erroneously attached various names to the different tribes they created, or imagined into existence, in the Darién, as elsewhere.Back.

Note 13:  For mention of the "bugue-bugue" uprising, see Severino de Santo Teresa, História documentada, p. 30; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, p. 122.Back.

Note 14:  Julián Carrisoli briefly described his capture by the Indians in a petition to the crown of 1645 (AGI Panamá 65; transcribed in ANP 281; and excerpted in Severino de Santo Teresa, História documentada, p. 68-69). A fuller account is provided by Juan Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica y geografíca de la Provincia de Panamá Ańo 1640, ed. M. Serrano Sanz, Relaciones históricas y geograficas de América Central (Madrid, V. Suárez: 1908), vol. 8, p. 117.Back.

Note 15:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, pp. 117-118.Back.

Note 16:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, p. 118.Back.

Note 17:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, p. 118. Julián asked the turtle hunters not to inform the governor of his existence when they returned to Cartagena. The turtlers promised to hold his confidence, having been well treated by the Indians. Upon reaching Cartagena in order to request leave to hunt for the following season, the seamen told no one about the details of their sojourn in the Darién. It was, after all, in the captain's best interest to keep his mouth shut, for Carrisoli and the Indians had informed him of several secret places in the region that, they claimed, were rich in gold.Back.

Note 18:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, p. 117.Back.

Note 19:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, pp. 119-120.Back.

Note 20:  For a discussion of missionary strategies, see Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, chap. 7, "Pacificación indígena por 'via doctrinal'," pp. 159-169; chap. 8, "El modelo política de las misiones," pp. 169-215.Back.

Note 21:  My account of Carrisoli's place in the missionary activities of Adrián de Santo Tomás is drawn from Fray Adrián's own report, contained in a letter to the crown dated 13 March 1638, AGI Panamá 19. Fray Adrián's letter is transcribed in Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, pp. 462-471.Back.

Note 22:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 462.Back.

Note 23:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 463.Back.

Note 24:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 463.Back.

Note 25:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 463.Back.

Note 26:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, pp. 463-464.Back.

Note 27:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, pp. 463-464.Back.

Note 28:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 463.Back.

Note 29:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, pp. 464-465.Back.

Note 30:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465. Agustín later informed the missionary that the Indians commenced their own counsels very aware of the fact that the friar waited, pen at the ready, to record their response.Back.

Note 31:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465.Back.

Note 32:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465.Back.

Note 33:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465.Back.

Note 34:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465. Carrisoli's actions ran counter to those central to the discussion of Spanish justifications of colonial rule contained in P. Seed, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World, 1492-1640 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995). These ceremonies mirror those of the English conquerors Seed discusses in chap. 1.Back.

Note 35:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 465.Back.

Note 36:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 466.Back.

Note 37:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 466. Agustín's election is also described in Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, p. 120.Back.

Note 38:  AGI Panamá 19; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 467.Back.

Note 39:  For the other towns founded, see AGI Panamá 19; Severino de Santa Teresa reproduced the relevant portions of the documents in História documentada, pp. 44-50.Back.

Note 40:  There are several well-known examples of the hermetic nature of the successful reducciones. See Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico: An Essay on the Apostolate and the Evangelicizing Methods of the Mendicant Friars, trans. L. B. Simpson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966 [1933]), esp. chap. 4, "Prebaptismal Instruction and Administration of Baptism," chap. 5, "The Catechism," and chap. 10, "Missionary Conditions and Church Architecture." Also relevant are P. Caraman, The Lost Paradise: The Jesuit Republic in South America (New York: Seabury Press, 1976); D. Block, Mission Culture on the Upper Amazon: Native Tradition, Jesuit Enterprise, and Secular Policy in Moxos, 1660-1880 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994); and I. Clendinnen, Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan 1517-1570 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), esp. chap. 4. For examples of the problems that attended a less than airtight situation, see K. R. Mills, Idolatry and Its Enemies: Colonial Andean Religion and Extirpation, 1640-1750 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997); S. MacCormack, Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991); and F. Cervantes, The Devil in New Spain: The Impact of Diabolism in New Spain (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994). Back.

Note 41:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 55. Carrisoli gave the number of Indians living under Spanish law as 1,400. Carrisoli appended to his report the sworn testimony of two witnesses who had been in the town of San Enríque during Holy Week and attested to the docility, happiness, and the great devotion displayed by the reduced Indians there.Back.

Note 42:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 68-69. For an excellent discussion of the Spanish understanding of the term adelantado, see C. Haring, The Spanish Empire in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1947), pp. 3-25.Back.

Note 43:  Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 69.Back.

Note 44:  Requejo Salcedo, Relación histórica, pp. 117-118.Back.

Note 45:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 68.Back.

Note 46:  The ultimate loyalties of mediators such as Carrisoli were always an open question, especially because they occupied physical and psychological regions between competing empires and states. Similar doubts attended the careers of figures discussed in the works cited in note 3.Back.

Note 47:  For a discussion of the term white Indian, see J. Axtell, "The White Indians of Colonial America," in The European and the Indian: Essays in the Ethnohistory of Colonial North America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 168-207.Back.

Note 48:  Letter of Adrián de Santo Tomás 13 March 1638, AGI Panamá 19; ANP 275; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 469; and Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 41-42.Back.

Note 49:  AGI Panamá 19; ANP 275; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 469; and Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 41-42.Back.

Note 50:  AGI Panamá 19; ANP 275; Castillero Calvo, Conquista, evangelización y resistencia, appendix 15, p. 469; and Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 41-42.Back.

Note 51:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 41-42.Back.

Note 52:  For perceptive discussions of the tradeoffs made by the Spanish in their rule over their indigenous subjects, see C. Radding, "The Colonial Pact and Changing Ethnic Frontiers in Highland Sonora, 1740-1840," in Guy and Sheridan, eds., Contested Ground, pp. 52-67; and R. Haskett, Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Town Government in Colonial Cuernavaca (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991).Back.

Note 53:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 40-41.Back.

Note 54:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 41.Back.

Note 55:  For a thorough discussion of the evolutionary model, see A. Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982), esp. chap. 6, "A Program for Comparative Ethnology: (1) Bartolomé de Las Casas," and chap. 7, "A Program for Comparative Ethnology: (2) Juan de Acosta"; and "Dispossessing the Barbarian: Rights and Property in Spanish America," in his Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination: Studies in European and Spanish-American Social and Political Theory 1513-1830 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), pp. 13-37.Back.

Note 56:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 70-71. For the Dutch threat to the Indies, see Engel Sluiter, "Dutch-Spanish Rivalry in the Caribbean Area, 1594-1609," Hispanic American Historical Review 28 (1948): 165-196; Jonathan Israel, The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World, 1606-1661 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982), and Dutch Primacy in World Trade, 1585-1740 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), esp. pp. 121-197.Back.

Note 57:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 70. For a comparison of Dutch and Spanish methods of contracting empire with the Indians, see Seed, Ceremonies, pp. 149-179. A. Pagden, Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain, and France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), is useful for a comparative approach. C. R. Boxer, The Dutch Seaborne Empire 1600-1800 (New York: Viking Penguin, 1990 [1965]), and The Dutch in Brazil 1624-1654 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1957), provide studies of Dutch interactions with their colonial subjects.Back.

Note 58:  AGI Panamá 65; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, pp. 70-71.Back.

Note 59:  Observers estimated that 20,000 souls inhabited the Darién in this period; see the introduction.Back.

Note 60:  Whether the entire Tule nation was engaged in the "bugue-bugue" rebellion is an open question. The Spanish called any Indian disturbance a rebellion, and care must be taken not to follow their lead. This problem is discussed in my study of the Indian rebellion of 1726 in chapter 6.Back.

Note 61:  For a discussion of strategic imperatives, see D. J. Guy and T. E. Sheridan, "On Frontiers: The Northern and Southern Edges of the Spanish Empire in the Americas," in Guy and Sheridan, eds., Contested Ground, pp. 3-26; and R. W. Slatta, "Spanish Colonial Military Strategy and Ideology," in Contested Ground, pp. 83-97.Back.

Note 62:  For the struggle of the encomenderos to make and extend their claims, see enduring work by L. B. Simpson, The Encomienda in New Spain: The Beginnings of Spanish Mexico, rev. ed. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), pp. 110-144; and L. Hanke, The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America (New York: Little Brown, 1965 [1949]), pp. 83-105.Back.

Note 63:  AGI Panamá 181.Back.

Note 64:  Letter of the Cabildo of Panamá, 20 November 1651, AGI Panamá 31; Severino de Santa Teresa, História documentada, p. 67.Back.

Note 65:  AGI Panamá 181, f. 873v-874r.Back.

Note 66:  AGI Panamá 181.Back.


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