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Spanish Captives in Indian Societies: Cultural Contact along the Argentine Frontier, 1600-1835 Author(s): Susan Migden

Spanish Captives in Indian Societies: Cultural Contact along the Argentine Frontier, 1600-1835 Author(s): Susan Migden Socolow Source: The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 72, No. 1 (Feb., 1992), pp. 73-99

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HispanicAmiiericanHistoricalReview72:1

Copyright(? 1992 byDuke UniversityPress ccc ooi8-2i68/92/$1.50

SpanishCaptivesinIndian Societies:CulturalContactAlongthe

ArgentineFrontier,1600-1835

SUSAN MIGDEN

SOCOLOW

EUR O P E A N-I ND I AN frontiers,the intermediate

zones between areas of secure European settlement and those where Amerindians maintained their au- tonomy,were similarin manyways in the American empires of Spain and Great Britain. In both colonial empires frontierregionswere usually zones

of tensionand conflict,wherefrequentraidingsometimesgave way to open warfare.In bothempires,violencebetweenEuropeansand Indians regularlyled tomutualtakingofcaptives.WhileliterateAnglo-Americans had littleinterestin capturedIndiansand rarelybotheredtorecordinfor- mationabout them,theywere ofteninterestedin theirfellowswho had been heldcaptivebyIndians.As a resultAnglo-Americanhistoricallitera- tureincludesa substantialdocumentaryrecordon Europeancaptives,ma- terialthatprovidesextremelyvaluable,oftenunique,informationabout the societieson bothsidesofthefrontierand theirinteraction.'Frontier

The authorwouldliketo thankJamesSaeger,KristineJones,JuanCarlos Garavaglia,and JohnJuricekfortheirhelpfulcommentson earlierversionsofthispaper.

i. The studiesofcaptivesinEnglishAmericaincludeJamesAxtell:TheInvasionWithin (1986), The Europeanand theIndian(1981),and "The WhiteIndiansofColonialAmerica," Williamand MaryQuarterly32 (1975), 55-88; AldenT. Vaughan,"Crossingthe Cultural Divide: IndiansaildNew Englanders,1605-1763,"ProceedingsoftheAmericanAntiquarian Societygo (April1980), 23-99 (withD. Richter),and Puritansamongthe Indians (with EdwardW. Clark).See alsoJ.NormanHeard,WhiteIntoRed:A StudyoftheAssimilation ofWhitePersonsCapturedbyIndians(Metuchen,N.J.:ScarecrowPress, 1973); A. Irving Hallowell,"AmericanIndians,Whiteand Black:The PhenomenonofTransculturalization," CurrentAnthropology4 (i963), 519-31. One ofthemajorsourcesavailableto U.S. histori- ans has been thecaptivitynarrative;see WilcombWashburn,ed., The GarlandLibraryof NarrativesofNorthAmericanIndianCaptivities(New York:Garland,1977). For an inter- estinganalysisoftheweaknessofthesesourcessee Rov HarveyPearce,"The Significances ofthe CaptivityNarrative,"AmericanLiterature19 (1947), 1-20. Because Latin America lackedbotha strongtraditionofwidespreadliteracyand a religioustraditionthatempha-

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relationsbetweenEuropeansand Indianshavebeen studiedfarless thor- oughlyforSpanishAmerica,althoughrecentworkon northernMexico and New Mexicohas begunto examinethisquestionin a SpanishAmeri- can context.2This essayis intendedas a contributiontowardfillingthat gap in thehistoricalliteratureforone frontierarea, centraland southern Argentina,usingthe oftenfragmentarybut nonethelessintriguingdata fromthesixteenthto theearlynineteenthcenturies.

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PatternsofFrontierRelations

The southernregionof SouthAmerica,the area thatin the eighteenth centurywould become the Viceroyaltyofthe Rio de la Plata, was, like northernMexico, a regioninhabitedby severalIndian societiesable to fendoffSpanishconquestin greaterorlesserdegreeuntilthenineteenth century.The independenceofthesegroupswasinpartaidedbytheadop- tionofthehorse,whichbytheend ofthesixteenthcenturyhad become an integralpartofindigenousculturein southernSouthAmerica.As a complementto the Indians' warriorethos,the animalallowed forthe developmentofa "horseculture"and permittedIndiansto imagineand sometimesto achievemilitaryequalitywiththe Spaniards.Indiantribes also graduallybecamedependentoncattleas botha sourceoffoodandan objectoftradewithotherIndiansand Spaniardsalike.Butitis thehorse

sized the Babyloniancaptivity,captivitynarrativeswererelativelyrareduringthecolonial period.The mostwell-knowncaptivitynarrativein LatinAmericais Cautiveriofeliz,written by FranciscoNnfiezPineday Buscafian,heldcaptiveinChile in 1629 forsevenmonths.For Argentina,A. Guinnard,Tresanos de esclavitudentrelos Patagones(BuenosAires-M6xico:

Espasa-Calpe, 1941),recountsa Frenchman'sexperiencesin 1856-59. Some studieshave concentratedon thelargerissueofwarfarealongthecolonialfrontier,includingJuanCarlos Garavaglia,"La guerraen el Tucumancolonial:sociedady economiaen un area de frontera (1660-1760), HISLA 4 (i984), 21-34; PhilipW. Powell,Soldiers,Indians,and Silver:The NorthwardAdvanceofNew Spain, 1550-16oo (Berkeley:Univ.ofCaliforniaPress, 1952); AlvaroJara,Guerre et societeau Chile: Essai de sociologiecoloniale(Paris: Inistitutdes HautesEtudesde l'Am6riqueLatine,1961).Forcaptivesininon-Indianisocietysee ElleniG. Friedman,SpanishCaptivesin NorthAfricain theEarly ModernAge (Madisoln:Univ.of

WisconsinPress,1983).

2. On Mexico,see Oakah L. Jones,Nueva Vizcaya:HeartlandoftheSpanishFrontier (Albuquerque:Univ.ofNew MexicoPress,1988);ThomasH. NaylorandCharlesW. Polzer, The Presidioand theMilitiaon theNorthernFrontierofNew Spain:A DocumentaryHis- tory(Tucson:Univ.ofArizonaPress, 1986).Two notableexceptionsto thisgeneralization are PeterAlanStern,"SocialMarginalityandAcculturationontheNorthernFrontierofNew Spain" (Ph.D. diss., Univ.ofCalifornia,Berkeley,1984),312-53;and GabrielGuardaGey- witz,"Los cautivosen la guerrade Arauco,"Boletinde la AcademiaChilenade la Historia 54:98 (1987),93-157. The firstdescriptionofSpanishcaptivesintheLatinAmericanihistori- cal literatureis providedbyBernalDiaz del Castillo,whoencounteredtwoSpanishcaptives in his 1519 expeditionto Mexico. BernalDiaz del Castillo,TheDiscoveryand Conquestof Mexico,1517-1521(New York:Harper& Bros., 1950),45-46.

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thatheightenedthe level ofconflictamongIndiangroupsand between Indiansand whitesociety.3In addition,theseIndiangroupstendedto in- habitzones thatwereeitherperipheralor inaccessibleto themainstream ofSpanishcolonization,to live in dispersedand smallcommunities,and tobe adeptatthetechniquesofseminomadiclivingand guerrillawarfare. Fromthe beginningsofSpanishsettlementin the sixteenthcentury, ranches,towns,and citieswereperiodicallythreatenedby Indian raids:

to the norththe Ava-Chiriguanosand the Calchaquies;in the centerof the region,the Chaco groupssuchas the Guaycurua,the Charrua,and the Mocobi; and to the southPampas,Pehuenche,Tehuelche,and Arau- canian tribes.4At timesa stateofendemicwar existed,as Indian raids and Spanishentradasexplodedalongthefrontier.5In the middleofthe eighteenthcentury,however,a combinationofforeignandcolonialpolicy considerationscausedtheSpanishcrowntoreexamineitsdefenseposition

3. ThroughoutthispaperthetermSpaniardis usedtodescribethosepeople, regardless

oftheirbirthplace,who believedthemselvesto be ofHispanicculture.On theheightenled conflict,JamesSchofieldSaeger,"AniotherViewoftheMissionas a FrontierInstitution:The GuaycuruainReductionsofSaintaFe, 1743-1810," HAHR 65:3 (Aug.1985),495. On cattle, KristineJones,"La Cauitiva:AnlArgenitineSoltutionto Labor Shortagein the Pampas,"in Brazil and theRio de la Plata: Challengeand Response,an AnthologyofPapersPresented at the SixthAnnual Conferenceof ICLLAS, ed. Luis Clay M6ndez and LaureniceBates (Charlestoni,IL., 1983),92. On grotipclharacteristics,ThierrySaignies,"La gtierra'salvaje' en los confinesde los Andesy del Chaco: La resistenciachiriguanaa la colonizaci6neuro-

pea," QuintoCentenario(UniversidadComplutensede Madrid)8 (1985),104.The Indiansof

thisregionitendedtotravelwithiniwell-definedareasandwerethereforenlottrulyniomiiadic.

4. For a moredetaileddiscussionofthe colonialperiodsee SusanlMigden Socolow,

"Los cautivosespafiolesenilas sociedades indigenas:el contactoculturala trav6sde la fronteraargentina,"AnuarioIEHS (Tandil,Argentina)2 (1987), 99-136. See also Thierry Saignes, "M6tis et sauvages:Les enjeux du metissagesur la frontierechiriguano(1570- 1620)," Melangesde la Casa de Vel6zquez18:1 (1982),87; PadreHernandode Torreblanica, Relaci6n hist6ricade Calchaqui (Buenos Aires: Ediciones CulturalesArgentinas,1984); Teresa PiossekPrebisch,PedroBohorquez:El Inca del Tucumdn, 1656-1658 (BuenosAires:

Gente de Letras, 1983); EdbertoOscar Acevedo,"El gobernadorMartinezde Tineo y el Chaco," Revistade HistoriaAmericanayArgentina12 (1983-84), 11-65; JamesS. Saeger, "Eighteenth-CenturyGuaycuruanMissionsin Paraguay,"in Indian-ReligiousRelationsin Colonial SpanishAmerica,ed. SusanE. Ramirez(Syracuse:MaxwellSchoolofCitizenship and PublicAffairs,1989),55-86; KristineL. Jones,"Conflictand Adaptationin theArgen- tinePampas, 1750-1880"(Ph.D. diss., Univ.ofChicago,1984),38; AlfredJ.Tapson,"The IndianProblemon theArgentinePampas,1735-1852"(Ph.D. diss.,Univ.ofCalifornia,Los Angeles,1952),and"IndianWarfareon thePampaduringtheColonialPeriod,"HAHR 42:1 (Feb. 1962), ii. Forcontemporaryreportson thefrontierand Indiansocietiessee Pedrode Angelis,comp., Colecci6nde obrasy documentosrelativosa la historiaantiguay moderna de las provinciasdel Rio de la Plata,6 vols. (BuenosAires:Imprentadel Estado, 1836,re- printEditorialPlus Ultra,1969), andThomasFalkner,S.J.,A DescriptionofPatagoniaand

theAdjoiningPartsofSouthAmerica[1744] (Chicago:ArmanandArmann,1935).

5. Accordingto Urbanode Iriondo,by 1722 notone estanciain SantaFe had escaped

attackby Indians,alongwiththelossofpropertyand livesand thetakingofcaptives.Jos6 Urbanode Iriondo,"Apuntespara la historiade la Provinciade Santa Fe," Revistade la

Juntade EstudiosHist6ricosde SantaFe I, 44.

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in SpanishAmerica.One resultwas a new plan ofmilitarizationon the southernIndianfrontierthatcombinednew presidiosand fortswithan increasingmilitarypresence.The governmentestablisheda line ofmili-

taryfortsinthe1750s, reinforcingthemduringthe1770S and178os.6The

crownalsoencouragedthesettlingofcivilianpopulationclosetoeachfort. Allmaleinhabitantsoftheruraldistrictswererequiredtoenlistin militia units.In addition,a specialmilitaryunitcreatedto protectthe frontier, the blandengues,was formedin 1751 and reorganizedshortlyafterthe foundingoftheviceroyalty. The Spanishcombinedthisline offortsand missionswitha program ofpacificationandcooptationofhostiletribes.Indianleaderswereinvited to Spanishsettlements,wheretheywereentertainedand presentedwith trinkets.7Funds were also suppliedby thesisa taxto pay forransoming captivesand rewardingfaithfulIndians.When,forexample,an Indian referredto as Sinforosoand his uncle broughtback a Spanishcaptive fromtheTobas, the intendentrewardedthemand theirmenwithgoods worth104 pesos, includingponchos,hats,uniforms,a baston,tobacco, and knives. Sporadicincidentscontinuedalongthe Indianfrontier,8but in gen-

6. On the forts,RobertoH. Marfany,"Fronteracon los indiosen el sud y fundaci6n

de pueblos,"in Historiade la naci6nArgentina,ed. RicardoLevene, vol. 4, part1, 307-

33. See also F6lix de

guarniecenla linea de froniterade BtuenosAirespara enisanichlarla,"in Colecci6nde obras y

docuimentos,comp. Angelis,vol. 5. For anlanalysisofthereactionon thepartofthe rural

populationitothisdraftsee CarlosA.

BuenosAires,1737-1810,"JahrbuchfurGeschichtevonStaat,WirtschaftundGesellschaft

Lateinamerikas24 (1987),251-63. On theblandengues,Marfany,El indioen la colonizaci6n

de BuenosAires(BuenosAires:Comisi6nNacionalde Cultura,1940),85-106.

7. On entertainiingvisitingIndiancaciques,Jos6TorreRevello,"Agasajosa los inidios

Azara, "Diario de un reconocimientode las guardiasy fortiniesque

Mayo,

"Sociedadruralv militarizaci6nide la froniteraeni

(1797)," Boletindel Institutode InvestigacionesHist6ricas17 (1938), 126-30. This practice

is also mentionedbyAngelis,whoadds thattheviceroyswore"su trajede etiqueta,"a sign ofesteemfortheirguests.Colecci6nde obras y documentos,comp. Angelis,3:106. For a viceroy'sexpenditureson entertainingIndianssee Andr6sde Torres,Diario de gastosdel Virreydel Rio de la Plata Marques de Loreto, 1783-1790,forewordby Jos6M. Mariluz Urquijo (Bilbao: Diputaci6nForal del Sefioriode Vizcaya,1977). On sisa funds,Archivo Genieralde la Naci6nArgenitina,BuenosAires[hereafterAGNA],Testimoniiodel expedienite sobrela gratificacionhechaa los indiosfieles ., Hacienda,Legajo 122, Expedieiite3081,

IX-34-5-8.

8. In 1784 Indiansraidedtheestanciasin the Mendoza region,and in 1786and i8o6

theyattackedacrossthe San Luis frontier.In 1784 the priestin chargeof the Charriian missionofCayastarequestedthatthemissionbe movedto Los Mananciales,a sitenearthe

originalsettlementofthecityofSantaFe, in orderto freehiswardsfrom"theinvasionsof theinfidel[Indians]oftheChaco." AGNA,Justicia,Legajo 15, Expediente363, IX-31-4-4. As late as 1802 Toba Indiantribeswere makingincursionsalongthe Rio Dorado. AGNA,

Testimoniodel

Spanish-Indianillegaltrade,KristineJones,"NineteenthCenturyBritishTravelAccountsof Argenitina,"paper presentedat theAmericanAnthropologyAssociationmeeting,Chicago, Nov. 1983. A revisedversionofthispaperwaspublishedin Ethnohistory33:2 (1986), 195-

., Hacienda, Legajo 122, Expediente3081, IX-34-5-8.On

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eral Spanishpoliciescombinedwithadversenaturalphenomena(suchas drought),contagiousdisease, and widespreadfoodshortagesto weaken Indian assaultsand imposean uneasypeace. AlthoughIndian tribesin the Chaco regioncontinuedto raid each other,a bufferzone between theSpanishand hostileIndiansessentiallyhelduntilafterindependence. Moreover,the establishmentoffortsand coastaldefensivecoloniesalso broughtthe Spanishand Indiansin directcontactwithone anotherand stimulatedan activeand profitable,thoughextralegal,tradebetweenthe twogroups.Withtheirbordersmoreorless pacified,theSpanishslowly began to open up new lands forcolonization,increasingthe numbers of Spaniardsinhabitingruralareas and extendingagricultureand stock raising.Beginninginthe178os,theresultofpeace waspopulationgrowth in the ruraldistrictsof BuenosAires,Cordoba,and to a lesser degree SantaFe, accompaniedbyincreasedproductionofcerealsand hides. This periodofcomparativepeace ended in the decade followingthe EnglishinvasionsofBuenosAiresin 1806-7. PerhapstheIndiansrealized thatstrifein theArgentineprovincesnowgave themtheopportunityto redressthe increasingencroachmenton theirterritory.In addition,the new provincialgovernments,concernedfirstwithwarand peace against Spain and then withwar and peace amongthemselves,failedto tend to the line offortificationsand neglectedIndianleaders.9Revolutionary forcesmovingnorthrequisitionedentirecompaniesofsoldiersthathad previouslygarrisonedthefrontier.The resultwas widespreadstrifealong whathad been a pacifiedfrontier.To thesouth,theChileangeneralJose Miguel Carrerajoined withthe Ranquel Indiansand Pampasgroupsto raid Salto and Melincuein 1820. To the north,the Chaco Guaycuruans attackedSantaFe and Santiagodel Esteroin 1821. The newly independentArgentineprovinces,dependentto a far greaterdegreeon theexportofcattlehidesand otherproductsthanthe viceregalcolonyhad been, began to organizea defense.In 1819 cattle ranchersin the provinceofBuenosAirescreateda Sociedad de Labra- doresy Hacendados,usingtheirlaborersas a "mobilearmy"todefendthe

211. For populationgrowthsee JorgeComadranRuiz, Evoluci6ndemnograficaargentina

dutranteel periodo hispano (1535-1810) (Buenos Aires: Eudeba, 1969), 97-114.

Increased

agriculturaland pastoralproductionare discussedin JuanCarlos Garavaglia,"Economic Growthand RegionalDifferentiations:The RiverPlateRegionat theEnd oftheEighteenth

Century," HAHR 65:1 (Feb. 1985), 51-89.

9. For an attemptbythefirstindependencejuntato surveythefrontierand a plea not

to neglectthearea see PedroAndresGarcia,"Diario de un viagea SalinasGrandes,en los camposdel sud de BuenosAires[181o],"Colecci6nde obras y documentos,comp. Ange- lis, vol. 3. For an exampleoftrooprequisitioning,in 181oGeneralManuelBelgranotook

thetwocompaniesofblandengueswhohad protectedtheSantaFe frontierwithhimas he marchedto Paraguay.Urbanode Iriondo,"Apuntes,"49. On theattacks,Saeger,"Another

View of the Mission," 515.

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moreisolatedranches.The nextyeartheprovincialgovernmentofBuenos Aires,underthe militaryleadershipofthe governor,MartinRodriguez, adopteda moreoffensiveposturewitha campaignto the southmodeled closelyon colonialentradas.Duringthisfour-yearcampaign,Rodriguez and hismeninvadedIndianterritorythreetimesbutsucceededinfound- ingonlyone newfort,FuerteIndependencia(present-dayTandil). Nine years later the new governorof Buenos Aires, General Juan Manuel de Rosas, again interestedin pacifyingthe frontierto assure greaterproductionofcattleproducts,began another"desertcampaign." Rosas was a prominentrancherand industrialist.He was also a consum- mate,ruthlesspoliticiancommittedto extendingthegrazinglandsofthe provinceofBuenosAiresandwillingtoallyhimselftoso-called"friendly" Indians to achievehis ends. His goal was to freethoselands between the Salado Riverto thenorthand theColoradoand Negroriversand the cordillerato thesouthfromhostileIndianencroachment.'0 Rosas was successful.He added to BuenosAiresprovincean area ex- tendingtwo hundredleagues west to the Andesand southbeyondthe Rio Negro." Moreover,as leaderofone ofthreedivisionsinvolvedin the 1833-34 campaign,he was able to returnwitha largenumberofpeople previouslycapturedby the PampasIndians.Rosas' division,responsible fortheleftflankoftheinvasion,advancedfromhisranchat Los Cerrillos to the islandof Choele-Choelon the Rio Negroand fromthereto the mouthoftheRioColorado.Here thetroopssplit,withone groupcontinu- ing southalongthe coastto the Rio Negroand thenup thisriverto the confluenceoftheLimayand theNeuquen. Othertroopsmarchedinland, followingthe Coloradointoareas "neverbeforeseen by theChristians." The captivesthatRosasbroughtbackto"civilization"wereallencountered in thislargeregion.

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The TakingofCaptives

The factthatRosasencounteredSpanishcaptivesinhis"desertcampaign" is hardlysurprising,forone ofthe constantsof Spanish-Indianwarfare in the Rio de la Plata throughoutfourcenturieshad been the taking

10. Arturode Carranza,La campaiiadel desiertode 1833 (BuenosAires,1969). John

Lynch,ArgentineDictator:JuanManuelde Rosas, 1829-z852 (Oxford:ClarendonPress,

1981),39-41 discussesRosas'recruitmentofIndiansforhisownpoliticalends.

11. On Rosas' conquest,Lynch,ArgentineDictator,54. On thecaptives,Relaci6nde

los cristianossalvados del cautiveriopor la divisionizquierdadel ejercitoexpedicionarioal

mandodel SeiiorBrigadierGeneralD. JuanManuelde Rosas (BuenosAires:Imprentadel Estado, 1835). A facsimileeditionentitledJuanManuelde Rosas y la redenci6nde cauti- vos en su campana al desierto(1833-1834)was publishedby theAcademiaNacionalde la

Historia (Buenos Aires, 1979).

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ofcaptivesby bothparties.Whetherit was the Ava-Chiriguanosto the north,the tribesofthe Chaco thatassaultedSpanishsettlements,or the Indian groupsto the south,all seemed to be interestedin two types of booty-livestock and humancaptives.'2As early as 1577, the Avd- ChiriguanosattackedthenewlyfoundedSpanishsettlementofTarijaand carriedoffsome40 people. BycapturingSpaniardsandmestizostheAva'-Chiriguanoswereinfact continuingtheirtraditionalculturalpatterns,fortheyhad alwaystaken

captivesfromotherIndiantribes.'3AlthoughofficiallyforbiddenbySpan-

ish law, theseIndianprisonersofwarweresoldas slavesto Spanishand mestizolandowners.Spanishandmestizocaptives,suchas twoveryyoung girlsand a youngmestizofreedin 1590, wereeitherransomedor recap- turedby the Spanishand returnedto Spanishsociety.More than two

centurieslater,theAva'-ChiriguanoswerestillresistingSpanishencroach-

mentandstilltakingcaptives.In 1809,theAva'-ChiriguanochiefCumbay, angered thatfivecaptiveshad been turnedover to the comandanteof Santa Cruz, mentionedthat"sinceolden times,it has been the custom to ransom[captives]forone silverpeso apiece." Althoughin the peace treatysignedwiththeSpaniardsthesameyearCumbaypromisedto turn overall Christiancaptiveswithintwoyears,by i8ii thisclause had not yetbeen honored. In the south,in the pampas region,probablythe firstreferenceto takingcaptivesconcerneda Spanishsailorcapturedby the Tehuelche Indiansin theearlyi6oos.'4 Bythebeginningoftheeighteenthcentury,if

12. On Indiancaptives,CarlosA. Mayo,"El cautiverioysusfuncionesen una sociedad

de frontera:el caso de Buenos Aires (1750-1810), Revista de Indias 45:175 (1985), 235. On

Tarija,ThierrySaignes,"Andalucesen el poblamientodel surboliviano:en tornoa unas figurascontrovertidas,el fundadorde Tarijay sus herederos,"II Jornadasde Andaluciay AmericaII, 186.

13. Saignes,"Metiset sauvages,"89, 93, 118,119. In generaltheSpanishdid notenter

intoformalwrittentreatieswithIndiansuntilafter1763,farlaterthaneithertheFrenchor

theEnglish.LawrenceKinnaird,"SpanishTreatieswithIndianTribes,"WesternHistorical

Quarterly 10 (1979), 39-48.

14. The sailor'scaptivitystoryis toldin SilvestreAntoniode Rojas, "Derroterode un

viaje de Buenos Airesa los Cesares," Colecci6nde obras y documnentos,comp. Angelis,

2:537-48. On the freeingofcaptives,see forexamplethe 1738letterofJuande Santisso y Moscosa to the Marquesdel Torrenuevadetailinginvasionsand the takingofcaptivesin C6rdoba and Tucuman(ArchivoGeneralde Indias,Seville [hereafterAGI], Audienciade Buenos Aires49); the letterof Miguelde Salcedo to Josede la Quintanamentioningthe takingof"somecaptives"in an Indianraidon theArrecifearea oftheprovinceofBuenos Airesin 1740 (AGI, Audienciade BuenosAires42); theletterfromtheCabildo ofAsunci6n describingtheinvasionofthenationsoftheGranChaco andtheirtakingofcaptivesin 1761 (AGI, Audienciade BuenosAires48). As lateas 1789,Rafaelde Sobremonte,theintendant

ofC6rdoba,referredtoIndianinvaderstaking"somewomencaptivesalongtheRioTercero"

(AGI, Audienciade BuenosAires50). Foran exampleofthefreeingofcaptivessee theletter ofJuanVictorinoMartinezde Tineotothecrown(AGI, Audienciade BuenosAires49).

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notearlier,mostIndiangroupsincludedsomecaptivesamongtheirpopu-

lation.ReportsofmyriadincursionsbyhostileIndiansnormallyincluded mentionofthe takingofcaptives,whileSpanishentradasoftenfreedat leastone ortwo.It wasfromtheranksofex-captiveswhohad learnedthe languagesand customsoftheircaptorsthatthe Spanishoftenrecruited interpretersand scouts. Sporadichostagetakingcontinuedalongwithsporadicraiding.Some of thesehostageswere incorporatedintoIndian society,but otherses- caped, and stillotherswereransomedbackto Spanishsociety.Governors andviceroyswereoftencalledupontocontributetofundsfortheransom ofcaptives.In 1788,forexample,ViceroyLoretodonateda totalof663 pesos 31/2realesto ransomfromIndiancaptivitySpaniardswhohad prob- ablybeen capturedin the 1786 San Luis raids. Fromthe entriesin his accountbooks,thepriceforrescuinga captiveseemstohaverangedfrom 50 pesos 41/2realespaid fora womanin April1788to ioo pesos paid for

a mantwomonthsearlier.'5The viceroyalso paid 512 pesos 7 realesfor eightcaptivesfreedin Salinasin December 1788,an averageof64 pesos per individual. Such relativelylargeprivategiftswerenottheonlysourceofmoney forfreeingSpaniards.Afterreceivinggovernmentpermission,individual citizensalso ransomedmembersoftheirfamilieswhohad been takencap- tive. In addition,all people drawingup willsin colonialRio de la Plata donatedat least tworealesto the FundfortheRedemptionofCaptives, one ofthemandasforzasasoriginallyenvisionedtoaid infreeingcaptives in the Holy Land. In theRio de la Platathismoneywas used to ransom local people. Indianswerenottheonlyonesto takecaptives.Spanishofficialswere not averse to holdingIndiansas hostagesin an attemptto coerce local tribes.Afterlearningofan Indianraid in 1582,forexample,Pedro de Segura, corregidorofTomina,held hostagea groupofAva'-Chiriguano chiefswhohad cometo visit. 16 It is alsoclearthatthroughouttheRio de la

15.

i6.

Torres,Diario de gastosdel Virrey. On Segura,Saignes,"Metiset sauvages,"88. An6nimo,"Viaje al Rio de la Plata y

Chile (1752-1756),"Revistade la Juntade EstudiosHist6ricosde Mendoza9:2 (1980),367, mentionsthat"theSpanishsoldiersattacktheIndians,enslavingthosewhomtheycapture." Recentlypublishedresearchshowsthatduringthe seventeenthand eighteenthcenturies SpaniardstookIndiancaptivesin theTucumanarea. See Gast6nGabrielDoucet, "Sobre cautivosde guerray esclavosindiosen el Tucuman:Notasen tornoa un ficherodocumental salteniodel sigloXVIII," Revistade Historiadel Derecho 16 (1988), 59-152, foran interest- ingdiscussionofhow the Spanishauthorityused Indiancaptivesas slavesand fordetailed informationabout SpanishcaptureofbothCalchaquisand Guaranis.On the Salta official, GuillermoFurlong,PedroJuanAndreuy su cartaa MateoAndreu(BuenosAires:Libreria

del Plata, 1953), 123.

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Plata many Indians whom the Spanish managed to capture in battle were enslaved. In 1750, the JesuitAndreu mentioned a governmentofficialin Salta who had captured some Indian children and was selling them for ioo pesos apiece. In addition, Indians held in prison by Spanish authori- ties or workingin religious institutionsor privatehomes in Spanish towns

and

The finedistinctionsbetween captivityand imprisonmentor between cap- tivityand Christianization escaped many Indians.'7 From time to time, captives were exchanged. In 1783 Pedro Pablo Maldonado was sent to the

Lujain fortby his Indian captors to deliver a message offeringto exchange two Christiansfortwo specificIndians. Ifthe exchange were effected,the Indians would consider it a sign of peace, but if the Spaniards failed to release these two captives, the Spaniards would be attacked when they made theiryearlyvisitto the Salinas salt flats. Spanish societyprobablytookcaptives as booty,forprofit,and to teach

"heathen savages."' 8 Although scarcityof labor, Indian slaves

a lesson to

the Spanish colony oftensufferedfroma

were too few in number and too intractableto offera viable solution to

Spanish society. Indian societies probably took captives forprofit,to gain

a medium of exchange with other Indian groups and the Spanish, and to increase their labor force. Adult male captives were oftenenslaved, or at least thoughtof themselves as being in some type of serfdom.In the sur- viving captivitydeclarations, both men and women referto their "amo," their Indian master. Surviving documents furtherattest to the use of the captives, espe- cially children, as a medium of exchange or as goods to be bought, sold, or bartered.'9 In 1790, for example, the Auca Indians approached the

cities commonlybelieved themselvesto be captives of the Spaniards.

those whom they considered

17. On Indians'confusionaboutcaptivity:"One Indianandone Christianwhosaidthey

had escaped fromtheRancheriaarrived[intheIndiancamp],and theytoldhow thevhad been heldwithhandcuffs(grillos).LatertwogirlswhoescapedfronmtheResidenciabygoing

overtheroofcame, and theytoldus howmuchtheyhad been madetoworkon thelooms." Carlos A. Mayo, Fuentespara la historiade la frontera:declaracionesde cautivos(Uni- versidadNacionaldel Mar del Plata, 1985), 19, Declaraci6nde Andresde Rodriguez,San Juande Chascomus,Feb. 20, 1781. On theChristian-Indianexchange,idem.,23, Declara- ci6nde Pedro Pablo Maldonado,Fronterade Lujan,Aug.26, 1783.

18. For the sale ofIndiancaptives,so-calledpiezas in Tucuman,see Doucet, "Sobre

cautivos,"lo-12. Accordingto Mayo(Fuentes,1), captiveswereused as slaves,as partof intertribalcommerce,as hostages,as messengers,and as peace offerings.See "amo" refer-

ences in,forexample,thetestimonyofRafaelde Soto (BuenosAires,June14, 1752) and of JuanMacias (Fuertede NuestraMadrede Cristoy Fronteradel Zanj6n,Dec. 31, 1768), in

Mayo,Fuentes, 3, 11.

19. The testimonyofJuanPascualZurita,Guardiadel Zanj6n,Dec. 26, 1768, in Mayo

(Fuentes,9), alludes to Indians"whohad fiveChristiancaptivesto sell." Nicolas Romero, afterspendingtwo monthsas a captiveofthe Pampas,was sold to the Pehuenchesfora

poncho.Mayo,Fuentes,17, Declaraci6nde NicolasRomero,Guardiadel Monte,Jan. 15,

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smallSpanishgarrisonin Patagoniaofferingto trade"a girlaged 4 or 5, daughterof Christians,"for"aguardiente,flannelbaize, yerba, yellow tinfoil,shavingbowls,and othergoods."The governmentrespondedby supplyingblue glassbeads, baize, littlemirrors,smallbells, ribbonsof variouscolors,and blue woolenstufffromtheroyalwarehouse,and pur- chasingaguardiente,hats,spurs,bridles,smalltinbasins,thimbles,large ringsforreins,tobacco,yerba,and driedfigsfortheIndians.The entire shipment,worth295 pesos6 reales,wasdispatchedsouth,whilefundsto coverthisexpenseweretransferredfromtheFundfortheRedemptionof Captivesto theWarDepartment.Preparationswerealso madetoreceive the childin the BuenosAiresorphanagewhilewaitingto see ifher par- entsoranyrelativeclaimedher.Althoughthegovernmentwarnedagainst "havingcaptivitybecome a branchofcommerce,"that,in part,is what ithad alwaysbeen. The veryfactthattheRoyalWarehousestockedsuch itemsas glassbeads and smallbells atteststo an ongoingtradefueledby theransomingofSpanishcaptives.In addition,captiveswereoccasionally used in intertribaltrade;PampasIndians,who did notthemselvesprac- tice formalbondage, providedthe Araucanianswithslaves.20Captives, ransomedbacktotheSpaniardsorexchangedbetweenaboriginalgroups, provideda mediumofexchangeforIndiancommerce. The periodicreturnofcaptivesto Spanishsocietycould sometimes serveeitheras a ritualdemonstrationthatan Indiangroupwas willingto enterintopeace negotiationswiththelocalauthoritiesoras an affirmation ofthatpeace.21Captiveswerealso used byIndiangroupsas a vehiclefor signalingtheirwillingnessto come intomissions.In the mid-eighteenth century,forexample,as soonas a provisionalpeace was signedbetween the Spaniardsand an IndiangroupinwhichtheIndiansrequestedthata missionarybe sentto them,theyvoluntarilyreleasedanycaptivesliving amongthem.As GovernorJosede Andonaeguireportedto the Spanish government,whenthe Indiansrequesteda reduccion,"theybringwith them,at the same time,a largenumberofChristiancaptives."22Indeed

1781. On the younggirl,AGNA,Tribunales,Legajo 227, Expediente17, IX-38-9-2. The

Royal Exchequerfrequentlymentionedsupplyingsimilargoods to the Patagoniagarrison

"so thattheycan buyhorsesand otherlivestock

the 1781testimonyofa womancaptive,"manyofthewomencaptiveswhichtheIndiantook wereexchangedforclothandaguardienteintheSpanishoutpostalongthePatagoniancoast; theyalso exchangedcattle."Mayo,Fuentes,21, Declaraci6nde MariaPaula Santana,Fortin de Areco,Feb. 23, 1781.

fromtheinfidelIndians."Accordingto

20. On thePampasIndians,K. Jones,"ConflictandAdaptation,"34. On captivesas an

exchangemedium,Mayo,"El cautiverio,"237.

21. Mayo,"El cautiverio,"238.

22. AGI, Audienciade BuenosAires49, letterofAndonaeguito Ensenada,June24,

1749. See also Acevedo,"El GobernadorMartinezde Tineo,"34, forthe same behavior

amongtheChunupies.

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the Spaniardslostno timein interpretingthisconductas an indicationof theIndians'willingnesstoleave all "savage"customsbehind. The morethansixhundredcaptivesfreedduringRosas'lengthycam-

paignweretakenfromPampas,Tehuelche,andAraucaniangroups.23Mili-

taryofficialsinterrogatedthe captivesone by one, askinga fixedset of questionsto elicitbasic informationabout themand theirexperience. Upon his returnto BuenosAires,the governorhad a listofthosefreed printedandwidelydistributedinthehopeofhelpingthesemen,women, and childrentofindtheirkinfolk.The publishedlistis an excellentsource ofinformationon thedemographyofcaptivity.Each captiveis described byname,sex,age, yearsincaptivity,andabilitytospeakSpanish.Several entriesare enhancedby moredetailedphysicaldescriptions.Because of the uniformityofthe questionsasked,thelistoffreedcaptivesprovides comparableand quantifiabledataon theentiregroup.Thereis everyrea- son to believe thatthosefreedby Rosaswere representativeofa typical groupofcaptives.

DemographicAnalysisofRosas' List ofFreed Captives

The moststrikingcharacteristicofthoseex-captiveswho had not been born in captivitywas thatwomenoutnumberedmen by almosttwo to

one. Of the totalof634 suchindividuals,389 (6i percent)were female;

245 (39 percent)weremale. Indeed the 1833 groupofcaptivesprobably

had a largerproportionofmenthanmostcaptivegroups,suggestingthe possible presenceof SpanishrenegadesamongthoseRosas classifiedas

captives. In 1764, forexample,the outgoinggovernorofTucumarnre- ferredto33 SpanishraidsintotheChacothathadfreed"20 maleChristian

[and]

240 womenand youngchildren."24Another73

unspecified"childrenbornincaptivity"(presumablymestizos)werefreed

inthe1833 campaign,bringingthetotalnumberreturnedtocreolesociety

to707.

The overwhelmingpredominanceofwomenin thecaptivegroupcan in part be attributedto the Indians'systematicallytakingwomenand childrenwhile killingmen.25In the wordsofa mid-eighteenth-century

23. On theChaco raids,K. Jones,"ConflictandAdaptation,"112.

24. AGI, Residenciade CoronelDon JuanVictorinoMartinezde Tineo, 1764, Audi-

encia de BuenosAires49. Data citedby Axtell("The WhiteIndians,"6o-61) suggestthat NorthAmericanIndiansalso preferredwomencaptives.Two listsofcaptivesfreedin 1764 contain107"men"and 170"womenandchildren."Vaughanand Richterdisagree.

25. Muchthesamepatternofcapturingwomenandchildrenand annihilatingmencan

be seen in theSpanishcaptureofIndiansintheTucumanregion.Doucet, "Sobrecautivos,"

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84

ScottishtravelertotheRiode la Plata,"thedeathofthemenis certainif, by somemisfortune,theyare capturedbythe savages,fortheysacrifice all theSpanishmenexceptthechildren."The sametreatmentofSpanish

malecaptiveswas stillineffectin 1803; accordingtoa freedmalecaptive, the Indiansraided"to robfromthehaciendasand to takethe boysthey encountercaptive,bringingthemup accordingtotheircustoms,and kill- ingtheadults."Twenty-fiveyearsearliertheviceroyoftheRio de la Plata reportedthat"the Indiansare so inhumanethattheydelightin killing, makingnoexceptionsbecauseofage orsex,andonlysometimesreserving thelifeofthewomen,whomtheytakewiththeminordertoindulgetheir abominablevices." Specificorapproximateagesare givenfor97.8 percentofthecaptives. The mean age forwomenis 21.3 years,whilethatformenis only 13 1.

The

womenand 13formen.Whenmenandwomenare dividedintoten-year age groups,belowtheage ofio thereweremoremalesthanfemales(see Table i). The largestgroupofcaptivesfallsintothe 10-19 age group;this groupis also the modalgroupforbothfemaleand male captives.Above

the age of 19 the male and femaleprofilesdiffergreatly.For example, betweentheages of30-39 and 40-49 thereare sizable groupsoffemale captivesbutvirtuallyno males. Regroupingthedataintotwosets-o to 14(childhood)and 15+ (adult- hood)-we can againsee thatwhiletherewereslightlymoremale chil- drenthanfemaleamongthecaptivegroup,intheadultpopulationwomen

predominated(Table2).

Only 35 percentofthe femalecaptiveswere children.The rest,in- deed the largestgroupin captivity,wereadultwomen.The nextmajor groupwerewhitemalesbelowtheage of15. Amongmalesonly38 percent wereadults.Whiletherewasa slightlylargernumberofmalesamongthe totalunder-1sage group,the over-15groupwas dominatedby females. ThusIndiancaptivesconsistedofwomenofallagesandyoungboys.Even amongthe over-15male captives,onlyfourwere above the age of 25. Interestingly,thesefour"older"menweresomewhatatypical:twowere Paraguayansand two,Chileans. The Indian preferenceforfemalecaptiveswas probablybased on a combinationofsexual,strategic,and economicreasons.Possibly,women could help theIndiantribesreplenishtheirpopulation.Spanishwomen,

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same typeofage discrepancycan be seen in the medianage, 19 for

114-16.FortheScottishtraveler,see An6nimo,"Viajeal Rio de la Plata,"367. Forthe 1803

report,AGNA, Testimoniodel

IX-34-5-8.For theviceroy'sreport,AGI, Audienciade CevallostoJos6de Galvez,Nov.27, 1777.

Hacienda,Legajo 122, Expediente3081,

BuenosAires307, LetterofViceroy

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SPANISH

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IN INDIAN

SOCIETIES

TABLE 1: Age and Sex ofCaptives

85

Women

Men

Age

N

percentage

0-9

67

17.7

lo-1g

135

35.4

20-29

8o

20.9

30-39

61

16.o

40-49

30

7.9

50+

8

2.2

N

percentage

79

32.7

137

56.6

22

9.1

1

.4

1

.4

2

.8

Total

Note:Onlycases thatincludedgoodage datawereincludedinthistable.

381

(100o0)

242

(100.0)

TABLE 2: GroupedAge and Sex ofCaptives

Percentage Percentageof

PercentagePercentageof

 

ofall

womenin this

ofall

menin this

Age

Women

women

age group

Men

men

age group

Total

0-14

133

34.9

47.0

150

61.9

53.0

283

(ioo.o)

15+

248

65.1

72.9

92

38.2

27.1

340

(ioo.o)

Total

381

(100o0)

(100o0)

242

(100o0)

(100o0)

623

liketheirIndiancounterparts,wereeconomicallyproductivemembersof nativesociety.Theywere moredocile and physicallyeasierto manage. Once capturedby Indianstheyshowedlittletendencyto escape back to SpanishsocietywithreportsofIndianmilitarypreparations,as did Span- ishmen. Ofcourse,thoseSpanishwomenwhohad bornechildrenwhile in captivitywould have been even less willingto escape, as thatwould haveobligedthemto leave theirchildrenbehind. The data on age at the timeofcaptureare farscantier,in parta re- sultofthelongyearsofcaptivitythatdimmedthememoryofthosetaken captiveyoung(see Table 3). The averagefemalewas i6.2 yearsold at the timeofhercapture,whiletheaveragemale was only7.6 yearsold. It is interestingto notethatfemalerespondentshad a muchhigherrate ofrecall,in parta functionoftheirusuallybeingolderthanmaleswhen takencaptive.While62 percentofthefemalesquestionedcould givethe approximatelengthof timeof theircaptivity,only37.3 percentof the malescould supplythesameinformation.Nevertheless,thedataindicate thatmaleswere overwhelminglyboysbelowtheage of io at thetimeof capture.Youngchildren,bothmale and female,were attractiveto the

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TABLE 3: Age at Capture by Sex ofCaptives

Age

N

0-9

88

lo-19

63

20-29

40

30-39

39

40-49

5

Total

235

Women

percentage

N

Men

percentage

37.5

69

75.8

26.8

'9

20.9

17.0

2

2.2

16.6

2.1

1

1.1

(100o0)

91

(100.0)

Indians because theycould be more fullyacculturatedinto Indian society; yet the data show a relative preference for capturing male rather than female children.26In otherwords, femaleswere at riskto be taken captive

at any age, while the older a male was, the more probable it was that he would be killed ratherthan captured.

relatively greater age at time of capture among the

female population, it is not surprisingthat a sizable number of women captured at age 15 or above were already married (2i percent or 52/ 248) or widowed (another ii percent or 28/248) at the time they were taken. Indian raidersdisplayed no culturalbias againsttakingwomen who had been previously marriedor women withchildren. Indeed, women of proven fecunditymight have been more attractiveas prospective sexual partners. Did female gender help assure better treatmentonce captured? At least one source suggests thatneithernative nor captive women were well treated, both being flogged "in a most barbarous manner" if they lost any ofthe animals under theircare.27On the otherhand, Spanish captive women were oftentaken as wives or concubines by a cacique or warrior among both the Chaco and Pampas tribes,althoughamong certaingroups, such as the Chaco Guaycuruans, captives had such a low status that only

Because of the

26. For example,in 1832Indianraiderscirculatingin a zone ofquintasnearSantaF6

killedeightmen,tenwomen,andone infantintwochacraswhiletakingthreeorfouryoung

boyscaptive.Urbanode Iriondo,"Apuntes,"95.

27. On flogging,K. Jones,"La Cautiva,"91. On Spanishwomenas wivesand concu-

bines,Saeger,"AnotherViewoftheMission,"503; Mayo,"El cautiverio,"240. Formention of"an Indianmarriedto a womancaptive"see theTestimonyofSebastianGonzalez (Fron- teradel Pago de la Magdalenay Fuertedel Zanj6n,Nov. 24, 1770), Mayo,Fuentes, 13. On

statusamongthe Pampas,Raul Mandrini,"La agriculturaindigenaen la regi6npampeana

1 (1986), 12. It has been suggested

y sus adyacencias(siglosXVIII y XIX),"AnuarioIEHS

thatonlycaciquescouldaffordtoprovideformorethanonewifeandanychildrenshe might

bear. On avoidingthebrideprice,Mayo,"El cautiverio,"240.

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menwhocoulddo nobettertookthemas mates.The practiceofpolygamy in Chaco and Pampas Indian societyas well as amongthe Patagonian- based Tehuelches,especiallyamongthecaciques,madeiteasiertoabsorb womenintothe nativefamilystructure.Indeed amongcertainPampas groups,having"manywives,manyhead ofcattleand muchsilver"were

all signsofpowerand wealth,and thereforeofsocial standing.In some tribesthe availabilityof Spanishwomenas matesallowedmen to avoid thepaymentofthe"brideprice"thattheywouldhavehad to pay foran Indianwoman.Seen inthislight,captivewomenrepresentedan attractive alternativeforIndianmenofmarriageableage.

The

practiceof Indian men takingSpanishwiveswas beginningto

change somewhatin the earlynineteenthcenturyas largergroupsof AraucaniansfromChile came to dominatethepampas,restructuringthe indigenouspampa tribesin the processof"Araucanizingthe Desert."28 The Araucaniansdisplayeda widespreadculturalproclivityforcreating male-centeredmythsabout the sexual skillsof femalesof anothercul- ture. They prized Spanish womenfortheirspecial erotictalentsand as a result tended to incorporatefemaleSpanish captives into their societyas slave-concubines,ratherthanas wives. Nevertheless,women held by Araucanizedtribesas consortsor slaves also providedpower, wealth, and statusto theircaptors.The net resultwas that Spanish women,throughone formofsexualliaisonoranother,formedbondswith theirIndiancaptorsthatwereusuallynotcreatedbetweenSpanishmen and Indianwomen.CapturedSpanishadultmenwere rarelyallowedto takeIndianwives,butratherforcedtoendureinvoluntarycelibacy. Even thoughcapturedinharrowingraids,manySpanishwomencame to identifywiththeircaptors,preferringto liveamongtheIndiansrather thanreturnto "civilization."Thiswas especiallytrueofwomencaptured as younggirls.The aforementionedanonymousScotsmanalluded to the case oftwogirlswhowerecapturedas youngchildrenand subsequently

ransomed,butwhosoonafterwardescapedfromSpanishsocietyto rejoin theIndians.29As earlyas theendofthesixteenthcenturySpanishsoldiers

28. K. Jones,"La Cautiva,"7, 93.

29. On thetwogirls,"Viaje al Rio de la Plata,"367. For anotherexampleofa Spanish womanwhopreferredto returnto Inidiansociety,see Mayo,"El cautiverio,"242. In 1573,

theToledo expeditionreportedon "a mestizawhohad remainedwiththechiriguaneswhen

theykilledcaptainAndresManso

she wentwiththem.AlthoughsomeSpaniardswhoknewher,advisedherto remain[with them],she did notwantto return,choosingtofollowtheothers,anduntiltodayshe remainls withtheIndians,havingbecomea chiriguana."AftertenyearsamongtheIndians,she had no second thoughtsabout herloyalty.Reginaldode Lizairraga,Descripcio6nbrevede toda la tierrade Peru, Tucuman,Rio de la Plata y Chile, chap. 38 (Madrid:EdicionesAtlas, 1968),quotedby Saignes,"Metiset sauvages,"85.

whentheotherIndianwomenfledintothe monlte,

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came acrosscaptiveSpanishwomenwhohad been completelyaccultur- ated intoIndiansocietyand who, whengiventhe chance,preferredto remainwiththeirso-calledcaptors. An instructiveepisodeis providedbyLuis de la Cruz,a Spanishmili- taryofficersentto surveya trans-AndeanroutebetweensouthernChile and BuenosAiresin 1806.30 TwentydaysafterleavingSantiago,between Guacaque and Puelee, a womanwhomhe firstbelievedto be an Indian was broughtto de la Cruz. Uponlookingmorecloselytheofficerrealized thatshe had Spanishfeatures,and he proceededto questionher. Her namewas PetronilaPerez, and shewas a nativeofPergamino,one ofthe fortsalongtheBuenosAiresfrontier.She was a captiveofthePehuelches and the wifeofthe Indian Marifian,havingbeen previouslymarriedto Carrilon,brotherofthecacique,whohad sincedied. Petronilarecounted how she had been takencaptiveas a youngchildalongwitha sisterand two stepbrothersin a raid along the BuenosAirespost road, in which her motherand stepfatherhad been killedby the Indians.De la Cruz, amazed at her abilityto speak Spanish,askedherhow she had come to learn it. "I've had dealingswithotherwomencaptiveswho taughtme howto speakas theydid,"Petronilaresponded,testifyingnotonlyto the existenceofa groupofSpanishwomencaptiveswithinIndiansocietybut also totheirawarenessofbeinglinguisticallyandculturallydifferentfrom theircaptors. Whilethefirstpartofde la Cruz'sinterviewwithPetronilasuggestsa self-consciousattemptby Spanishwomencaptivesto preserveand trans- mittheirculture,theirsubsequentconversationrevealsotherlevels of complexity.It is interestingto notethatde la Cruz himselfcould notde- cide whethertotreatPetronilaas a Spaniardoran Indian.He enticedher to returnforfurtherquestioningby offeringher"manygifts,"the tradi- tionalSpanishapproachto influencingIndians.Petronilain captivityhad livedintheSalinasarea,a regiontraversedbyannualSpanishexpeditions to the saltmarshesand a zone ofincreasingSpanishencroachment.She admittedthatovertheyearsshe had seen severalSpaniards,and thatin facteveryyearhertwobrothers,whohad subsequentlybeen freed,came to visitherat herhome. Clearlythefrontierwas a permeablezone with IndiansvisitingSpanishsettlementsand SpaniardsvisitingIndianones. At thispointde la Cruz could no longercontainhis amazement."Why didn'tyoujoin themand returntotheChristians?""I didn'twanttoleave because I love mychildren,"washermosthumananswer.

30. BibliothequeNationalede Paris,Fonde espagnol179,"Diario e informesde Luis

de la Cruz sobrela aperturade uncaminodesde el surde Chile hastaBuenosAires,a trav6s

de los Andes"(i8o6).

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We do notknowhowIndiansocialmoresdictatedthata mantreathis wife,orwhetherwomen,eitherIndianor Spanish,had anysayin choos- ingtheirmarriagepartners.3'Ifcapturedwhilestillyoung,as theabove examplesdemonstrate,Spanishwomencould be integratedintoIndian societywell enoughthattheypreferreditto the"Christian"world.This preferenceprobablyresultedfromtheirloyaltyto theirIndianhusbands and children,and fromfearofreturningto a Spanishworldthatmight brandthemas socialoutcasts. Regardlessof theirmotivation,theirbehaviorwas inexplicableto European men,who could onlyinterpretit as a signoffemininesexual passionand weakness."Theypreferto live like slaves and satisfytheir passions,than reside amongthose of theirrace (so corruptis human nature)."32While womenwho preferredIndianlifewere licentiousand corrupt,menwhochose"captivity"over"freedom"wereseen as outlaws or traitors.To the Spaniards,captivitywasfurthermorea punishmentor- dainedby God; one femalecaptivereportedthatherdaughterhad spent thelastyearsas a beata in theHouse ofReligiousRetreatin BuenosAires beseechingGod thathermotherbe freed,anddoingpenance. Bothmenand womencapturedbytheIndianswereexpectedto par- ticipatein the Indian economy.Amongthe Guaycuruansto the north, Indianwomenand captivesofbothsexesparticipatedin spinning,weav- ing, preparingwild honeyand carobbeans forfermentationintointoxi- cants,and otherdomesticchores.33To thesouthfemalecaptivesworked alongwithIndianwomenat herdinglivestock,mountedon horsebackto tendthecattleandsheepdayandnight.Amongthosetribesthatpracticed agriculture,Spanishwomenwere involvedin cultivatingwheat,barley, and beans. They probablyalso joined in the preparationof raw hides, wool,skins,tallow,grease,and ostrichfeathersfortradeto Spanishmar- kets,as well as in artesanalproductionofwovenfabrics,leathergoods, and silverobjects. Nativewomenand captiveswere also responsiblefor all housekeepingchores,includingcookingfood,saddlinghorses,and settingup thetents(toldos)thatservedas nativehousing.

31. NorthAmericanIndians,accordingto Axtell,were mostcivil to whitewomen,

allowingthemas widea latitudeofchoiceinmarriagepartnersas theydidIndianwomen.He also arguesthatin NorthAmericatheIndianistreatedtheirEnglishcaptiveswithkindness, adoptingthemintoIndianculture."The WhiteIndians,"65, 67 passim.,78.

32. The quote is fromAn6nimo,"Viaje al Rio de la Plata,"367. On the beata, see

Relaci6nde los cristianossalvados,6.

33. On the Guaycuruans,Saeger,"AnotherViewofthe Mission,"496, 504. On herd-

ing,K. Jones,"La Cautiva,"91. On agriculturaltasks,Mandrini,"La agriculturaindigena,"

14. On goodsfortrade,K. Jones,"La Cautiva,"92. See also Mandrini,"La agriculturaindi-

gena,"13. On housekeepingtasks,AlcidesD'Orbigny,El hombreamnericano(BuenosAires:

EditorialFuturo,1944), 244; Raul Mandrini,Los araucanosde las pampasen el sigloXIX (BuenosAires:CentroEditorde Am6ricaLatina,1984), 13.

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TABLE 4: PhysicalAttributesofCaptives

Women

Men

 

N

percentage

N

percentage

Skincolor

White

92

69.2

50

50.5

Swarthy (triguefio)

28

21.0

25

25.5

Dark(moreno)

4

3.0

12

12.0

Not given

9

6.8

12

12.0

Total

133

(100o0)

99

(ioo.o)

Haircolor

Blond

46

34.6

14

14.2

Red

37

27.8

Brownorblack

37

27.8

43

43.4

Notgiven

13

9.8

42

42.4

Total

133

(100o0)

99

(ioo.o)

Eye color

Blue

13

9.8

11

11.1

Brown

87

65.4

64

64.7

Green

2

2.0

Notgiven

33

24.8

22

22.2

Total

133

(100o0)

99

(ioo.o)

The Indians certainlychose theircaptiveswitha view towardwho couldbestservetheirneedswhenacculturatedintotheirsociety.A modi- cum ofphysicalpreferencemayalso have been at workin determining who would be capturedor at least who would survive.Rosas' listpro- videsphysicaldescriptionsfor34 percentofthewomen(133/389)and 41 percentofthemen(99/245)toaid inidentification(See Table4). Ananaly- sis demonstratesa strongpreferenceforpeople describedbythesoldiers freeingthemas fair-skinnedand/orblond(rubio).Blue eyes(ojos azules) were also a popularfeature.This descriptionofthe captivepopulation is ratherstartlinggiventheoverwhelmingpredominanceofdark-skinned (triguenioormoreno),dark-eyedsettlersalongthefrontier.Analyzingthe physicalattributesby the sex ofthe captives,thereis a suggestionthat faircomplexion,probablyequatedwithexoticphysicalbeauty,was even moreprizedin thechoiceoffemalethanmalecaptives. In additiontothosewomendescribedas "dark"weretwoslavewomen (onenegraandtheothermorena),a morenaex-slave,anda parda. Among the men, one was classifiedas a mulatilloand anotheras a black. The captivegroupalso includedthreehispanizedmale Indiansand a woman describedas havingbeen bornin the AbiponReduccion.At mostthis groupofnon-espaiiolesnumberedten.The vastmajority(98.5 percent)of thecaptivesperceivedthemselvesas raciallySpanish.

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TABLE

5: BirthplaceofCaptives

 

Province

Male

Female

Total

Buenos Aires

 

107

143

250

San Luis

41

99

140

Chile

23

36

59

C6rdoba

11

43

54

Santa Fe

 

3

14

17

Santiago del Estero

2

10

12

Mendoza

7

7

Paraguay

3

--

3

San Juan

2

1

3

Entre Rios

 

1

1

Tucuman

1

1

Unknown

52

40

92

Total

245

394

639

An analysis of geographical zones supplying captives shows that the largest group ofcaptives were people born in the province ofBuenos Aires (Table 5). Providing half as many captives was San Luis province to the west of Buenos Aires. The next-largestnumber of captives were born in Chile and Cordoba. The small numbers of paraguayos, tucumanos, and san juaninos freed in the Rosas campaign is not surprisinggiven that the captives found were all in an area to the south of Buenos Aires province, and thus relativelyfarfromthe northernChaco areas. But the small num- ber of mnendozinosis surprising,especially in contrast to the relatively large number ofcaptives born in neighboringChile.

The vast majorityof the captives were countrypeople, inhabitantsof the agriculturaland stock-raisingzones opening along the frontier.Only sixteen individuals (nine women and seven men) had been born in a city; all the others listed rural towns, estancias, and chacras as their places of birth. Their modest originsshow in thatonly eight of them referto their fatherby the title "Don," a universal sign of respect, social standing, and

modicum of wealth in the society. Only one captive made any

referenceto owing propertyherself,and anotheridentifiedher husband as a "wagon driverand owner."34Three city-bornwomen, two ofwhom were related to arrieros, were taken while travelingfromone city to another.

On the whole, the captives were typicalrepresentativesofthe ruralpopu-

at least a

34. The formerwas FelicianaGutierrez,a 50-year-oldwidowfromGuardiadel

Salto,

who declaredthatshe had lefther twosons"and some goods comprisingher fortune"in theplace ofherbirth(Relaci6nde los cristianossalvados,6). The latterwas MariaAngela Benosa,nativeofthecityofC6rdoba,whohad been takenin thesame raidon theGuardia de Saltoas she and herhusbandwerereturningfromBuenosAires(Ibid., 14).

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TABLE 6: RegionWhereCaptureOccurred

Region

Male

Female

Total

Buenos Aires

37

97

134

San Luis

20

56

76

C6rdoba

6

29

35

Santa Fe

2

8

10

Chile

4

5

9

Mendoza

1

1

Total

69

196

265

lationofthe Spanishpampas,people ofmodestmeanswhotendedcattle or raised crops foran absenteelandowneror perhapsthemselvesheld smallparcelsofland.Theydifferedfromtheruralpopulationatlargeonly in theoverrepresentationofwomenin theirmidst.35 Comparinginformationon place ofbirthand place ofcaptureoffers someinsightsintotheruralpopulationofthepampa(Table6). Justas most ofthe captiveshad been bornin BuenosAiresor San Luis, mostwere takencaptivethere.Thosefewlistedas citydwellerswerecapturedinthe campo. The greatmajorityofcaptiveswerecountrypeople takencaptive in theveryzone or regionwheretheyhad been born,a reflectionoflow

geographicalmobilityforthepopulationat large.Seventy-onepercentof thewomenforwhominformationis completewerecapturedin theplace oftheirbirth(127/180); formen the numberwas 64 percent(44/69).A groupofmale and femaleruralmigrantsfromSantiagodel Estero,Men-

doza, and

frontierin thehope offindingbettereconomicconditions.In spiteofthe presenceoffemalemigrants,capturesofwomentendedto occurin the regionoftheirbirth,suggestingless geographicalmobilityforthefemale ruralpopulation. One hundredninety-fiverespondentssuppliedevenmorespecificin- formationon wheretheyhad been captured.Overwhelminglytheyhad been takenwhile on an estanciaor chacra(156 individuals),in a rural chapel (6), or alonga road(8), thatis, in thecountryside.Anothergroup had been capturedinorneara fort (5) orinposthouses(postas)(ii). Only 7 captivesdescribedtheplacewheretheywereseizedas "intown,"while another2 were foundhidingin a coal shed. Those takencaptivewere overwhelminglyruralpeople, performingruraltasks.Theircapturehad probablytakenplace in muchthesamewaythatAndreshad been taken

in 1803.

Paraguayhad movedto the Buenos Aires-Cordoba-SanLuis

35. Axtellalso findsthattheNorthAmericanscapturedbyIndianswerea typicalgroup

ofcolonistsexceptfortheprevalenceofwomen("TheWhiteIndians," 57).

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TABLE 7: LanguageRetentionofCaptives

No Spanish Knows only name in Spanish Minimal Spanish

Total

Women

42

3

25

70

Men

64

5

44

113

Total

1o6

8

69

183

Workingas an indenturedlaborer(conchabado)on theestanciawhich belongsto Don PastorCornejoon the edge ofthe Rio Dorado along theChaco frontier,a lineofseveralIndianwarriorssuddenlyappeared a littleafternoon,and shoutingwarcriesand makinga greatdeal of noise,theymadememountona horse,threateningtokillmeifI didn't do it,and theycarriedme awaywithan Indianleadingmymount.36

Whileitis difficulttodeterminewhatpsychologicalprocessesthecap- tivesunderwentduringtheircaptureand earlycaptivity,thelistoffreed captivesand otherevidenceprovidessomeinterestingsuggestionsas to theabilityofthecaptivesto surviveas culturallySpanish. One importantindicatorofSpanishculturalpersistencewas thereten- tionofspokenSpanish.Althoughlessthana peifectindicationofculture, itis a surrogatevariable.Amongthosefreedin theRosasexpeditionio6 people (or i6.7 percentofthegroup)couldnotspeakonewordofSpanish (Table 7). Another77 werelimitedtoat mosta fewSpanishwords. More strikingis the differencein languageretentionbetweenmale and femalecaptives.While at least28 percentofthe male captives(69/ 245) had sufferedtotallanguagedeprivation,thecomparablepercentage forfemaleswas only ii.6 percent(45/389).Females,who represented 6i. 5 percentoftheentiregroup,wereonly38 percentofthosewho had sufferedlanguagedeprivation.Here, threefactorsseem to have been of capitalimportance:age at timeofcaptivity,exposureto a sizable group ofcaptiveswithinIndiansociety,and thecaptorsociety'sattitudetoward thegroup.Those capturedyoungquicklyforgotnotonlytheirnativelan- guage but even the namesoftheirmotherand father.Conversely,those held withothercaptiveswere able to maintaintheirlanguagein spite of youthand long yearsamongthe Indians.37Finally,Indian societies deemed women'slanguageto be differentfrom,ifnotinferiorto, thatof

36. AGNA, Testimoniodel

IX-34-5-8.

Hacienda,Legajo izz, Expediente3081,

37. Althoughthelistofcaptivesfreedby Rosas givesno indicationofthe numbersof

Spaniardsheld together,colonialsourcessuggestthatat least someIndian groupsheld as

manyas 30 to 50 captivesat a time.Mayo,"El cautiverio,"240-41.

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men and seem to have toleratedSpanishwomencontinuingto speak a differenttongue. Thereis muchindirectevidencethatsomegroupsofSpanishwomen

whospentmuchoftheiradultlivesincaptivityneverlosttheirconscious-

nessofbeing Spanishand theiruse oftheSpanishlanguage.The above- mentionedtestimonyof the capturedPetronilaPerez, the womanwho could speak Spanishbecause "otherwomencaptives"taughtitto her,is evidenceofthe existenceofgroupsofcaptivesawareoftheirlinguistic heritageand workingto preserveitamongotherSpaniards.In the 1833 group,at least eightwomentestifiedthattheyknewtheirnames, the namesoftheirparents,or detailsoftheircapture,as well as theirnative language,because ofinformationgiventothembytheir"companieras."In someareas Spanishwomencaptivesseemtohavebeen so numerousthey almostformedtheirown subsociety,butapparentlythesame culturalor informationnetworkneverfunctionedamongmalecaptives.

The Spanishlanguagewasalso maintainedbycaptiveskeptwithother membersof theirfamilies.Althoughthissituationwas rare,at least 85 captiveswere takenwithat least one otherfamilymember.The largest familygroupfreedwas thatof Dofia Felipa Ortiz,a nativeof Antuco, Chile, and thewifeofDon Pablo Castro.She was freedalongwiththeir fourdaughtersand twosons,ranginginage from22 to6.38Morefrequent werethecases ofmotherstakencaptivewithone ortwosmallchildren. Giventhe predominanceofwomenamongthecaptives,itis notsur- prisingthata groupofchildrenwas bornin captivityto Spanishmothers and Indian fathers.In additionto the 634 men,women,and children

listedin the inventory,another73

of theirrespectivemothers"were also freed,and at least 2 morewere

leftbehindwiththeIndians.39Unlikethosedetailedinthepublishedlist,

thesechildrenhad been bornin captivity. Was one functionofcaptivesto help Indiantribesrecoverfromtheir demographiclosses?The datasuppliedbythe 1833list,whiletoo incom- plete to allow forsophisticateddemographiccalculations,providesome possibleanswers.The above-mentioned75 childrenprobablyrepresent mostof the survivingoffspringofthe femalecaptives,as thereis little reasonto believe thatRosaswas willingto leave morethana handfulof thesechildrenwiththe Indians.Calculatingthe ratioofthesesurviving childrento the numberofwomen(2io) betweentheages of 15 and 39-

youngchildren"who are at the side

38. Relaci6nde los cristianossalvados,50-51.

39. Ibid., 92, givesthetotalnumberofchildrenbornincaptivity.The onlywomanwho

specificallymentionedleavingherchildrenbehindwas ManuelaChasarreta,a 5o-year-old widowwho had spent14 yearsin captivity.Accordingto herdeclaration,"she has lefttwo Indiansonsamongtheinfidelsandhas broughta Christiansonwithher"(Ibid., 38).

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thechildbearingyears-yields a roughestimateof.36 childrenbornand survivingforeach woman. Informationon age at captivityand age at returnprovidesa rough idea ofthenumberofwoman-yearsspentbetweentheages of 15 and 39 amongtheIndians;thatis,thenumberofyearsthefecundcaptivewomen were "at risk"to be impregnatedby Indianmales. The numberof sur- vivingchildren,75, whendividedby thetotalnumberofwoman-years, 1,148, givesa fertilityratioofwomento survivingoffspringof .o65. In otherwords,in anyone yeara captivewomanhad an almost7 percent chanceofbearinga childandhavingthatchildsurvive.Whileadmittedly

a roughcalculation,thisfertilityratioand the above-mentionedchild- womanratiosuggestthatcapturedSpanishwomendid notsignificantly alterthedemographyofindigenoussocietybecause ofeitherlowfertility orhighinfantmortality.The dataalsosuggesttwootherpossibilities.Per- haps capturedwomen,althoughculturallyassimilatedthroughmarriage intoIndiansociety,werenotparticularlyattractiveas sexualpartnersfor Indian men. It is also possiblethatIndiansocietywas moreconcerned withloss ofresourcesthanwithlossofpopulation.Ifthiswere true,the Indiansmighthave practicedsomesortofbirthcontrol,perhapsinfanti- cide or abortion,to preventa surpluspopulationfromstrainingreduced resourcesor limitingthe physicalmobilityofa nonsedentarytribe.Un- fortunatelywe do nothaveenoughethnographicinformationtotestthese hypotheses. Whileourdata do notprovidedirectinformationas towhether,once captured,womenhad a betterchance of survivingbecause of favored treatment,informationsuppliedbythecaptivesdoes allowus to calculate the averagelengthoftimespentin captivity(see Table 8). The average termofcaptivityforthe entiregroupwas 8.8 years.Ifwe analyzetime in captivityby sexwe findlittledifferencebetweenthetwogroups,with womenaveraging8.9 yearsandmen8.6. Thissuggeststhationceadmitted intonativesocietymen and womenexperiencedsimilarsurvivalrates, perhapstheresultofsimilartreatment. Informationon lengthof theircaptivityalso allows us to trace an approximatechronologyof Indian raids in the pampas. If Indian raids had been constantthroughtheyears,each succeedingyearshouldshow slightlyfewercaptives,due to the effectsofmortality,especiallyamong the olderfemalepopulation.But as Table 9 shows,the largestgroupof captiveswasthoseheldfor10to 15yearsandtakenduringthetumultuous earlyyearsofthe i82os. Indeed, 54 captives (15. 1 percentofthe group) had been in captivityfor14years(see Table8). Thisgrouprepresentsthe survivorsofthosemen and womentakenduringthe Carrera-Ranqueles invasionofi82o, perhapsthemostdramaticIndianattackonwhitesettle-

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TABLE 8: Yearsin CaptivityandYearofCaptivity

Yearsin

Year

Captivity

Captured

0

1834

1

1833

2

1832

3

1831

4

1830

5

1829

6

1828

7

1827

8

1826

9

1825

10

1824

11

1823

12

1822

13

1821

14

1820

15

1819

16

1818

17

1817

18

1816

19

1815

20

1814

22

1812

28

18o6

Female

Male

Total

1

1

2

17

9

26

22

8

30

17

8

25

18

7

25

14

4

18

18

3

21

4

4

9

6

15

5

4

9

12

10

22

7

8

15

12

6

18

31

7

38

37

17

54

15

3

18

4

2

6

1

1

2

2

1

3

-

4

4

1

1

1

1

TABLE 9: GroupedYearsin Captivity

0-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20+

Total

Women

75

50

99

22

6

252

Men

33

17

48

7

105

Total

1o8

67

147

29

6

357

RatioW:M

1:0.44

1:0.34

1:0.48

1:0.32

1:0.42

ments.The numberofcaptiveswhohadbeen amongtheIndiansfor5 to9

years was markedly smaller than the 10-14 or the 0-4 cohort, an indica-

tionthatthe raidshad taperedoffduringthe middleofthe i82os. The largenumberofcaptivestakenafteri828 reflectsthegrowingnumberof Indianattacksoccasionedinpartbya majordroughtthatseverelyaffected boththe Indianand theSpanisheconomiesofthepampas.These attacks

promptedRosastoundertakethe1833campaign.Ironically,someofthose

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takencaptivein 1829 werevictimsofthePampasIndianraids,whichwere

probablycarriedoutwiththetacitsupportoftheRosasgovernment.40

Analyzingthe captivesby sex and lengthofcaptivity,it appearsthat Indianpreferencesformaleorfemalecaptiveschangedovertime.The sex ratiois approximately .3 malesto everyfemaleforthoseheldfrom5 to 9 and i5 to 19 years.A verydifferentpatternis foundamongthosein cap- tivityfromo to4 andfrom10to 14years;thatis, thosecapturedbetween i82o and 1824 or 1830 and 1834,yearsofintensecombatalongthefron- tier.Duringthisperiodmalecaptivesare foundin greaternumbers,with morethan.4 malesforeach female.Indeed duringthe 1820-24 period thenumberofmalesrisestoalmost .5 malesforeachfemale.These differ- ing ratiossuggestthatduringrelativelypeaceable periodsIndianswere mainlyinterestedin takingfemalecaptives,whileduringperiodsofwar, theytookmoremale captives.These were,ofcourse,youngmaleswho, the Indiansperhapshoped, could be assimilatedand trainedas warriors in a relativelyshorttime.Takingadultmale captivesin timeofwarwas neverintheIndians'bestinterestbecauseofproblemsofphysicalcontrol.

Conclusions

In the main,captiveswere people ofruraloriginseized in or near the place oftheirbirth.The groupwas predominantlyfemale,but male and femalecaptivesdisplayedmarkedlydifferentage patterns.Males were usuallycapturedyoung,while womenof all ages seemed desirableto Indiancaptors.As a result,and perhapsalso as a resultofdifferentpat- ternsofsocializationoncecaptured,femalesseemedtoretaintheSpanish languageand culturebetterthanmales.Paradoxically,womenwereprob- ablybetteracceptedbyIndiansocieties,marryingnativemenandbearing theirchildren. The relativelengthofcaptivityexperiencedby all membersof this groupraisesquestionsabout theirabilityto readaptto Spanishsociety. Once freed,could these ex-captivesreincorporatethemselvesinto the worldtheyhad comefrom?Thisis a complexissue,dependenton there- actionsofboththeex-captivesandSpanishsociety.Throughouttheperiod under study,male ex-captivesseemed to experiencelittledifficultyin reenteringwhitesociety.Manyofthemwere able to takeadvantageof skillslearnedduringtheiryearsofcaptivity;theysettlednearthefrontier, wheretheyservedas interpretersandguides.Theirexperienceamongthe

40. J.AnthonyKing,Twenty-FourYearsintheArgentineRepublic(London:Longman et al., 1846),224.

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98

Indiansequipped themto performa vitalserviceto the Spanishfrontier communities. In general,malecaptivesseemedmoreeagertoreturntoSpanishsoci- etythantheirfemalecounterparts.Althoughfarfewermenthanwomen

wereheldcaptive,amongthegroupofSpaniardswhoovertheyearsman-

aged to escape fromthe Indiansoftheirown volition,the vastmajority were men.4'While thisimbalanceperhapsreflectsa greaterdaringon thepartofmales,italso suggeststhatSpanishwomenwereless unhappy in theirconditionof"cautivas"thantheirmalecounterparts.Women,in general,seemed less anxiousto returnto Spanishsociety,perhapsbe- cause thistransfer-movingfroma positionas thewifeofan Indianchief to thatof a simplepeasant-meant a loss in status.It is also doubtful whetherthosewomen,victimsof "Indiancaptivityand sensuality,"re- ceived a warmwelcomewhentheyreturnedto Spanishsociety,withor

withouttheirhalfbreedchildren.Atleasta handfulofwomenalwaysat- temptedto go backto theIndiansaftertheirso-calledrescue.Ironically, thecaptivewomenapparentlyspokemoreSpanishand probablyremem- bered Spanishsocietybetterthandid themen.Womenhad strongerties tobothsidesofthefrontierandmusthavefaceda farmoredifficultchoice whenofferedtheirfreedom. To whatdegreedid Spanishfamiliesactivelyattemptto ransomtheir childrenfromcaptivity?We havelittledirectevidencefromeitherearlier captivesor the Rosas group,and whatwe have is oftencontradictory.

Someparentsactivelysoughtthereleaseoftheirchildrenfromthebegin-

ning,welcomedthereturnofthesechildrenfromcaptivity,and probably helped themto readaptto the Spanishworld.42But manyofthefemale captivesfreedby Rosaswere unableto reestablishlinkswiththeirfami- lies and wereplaced underthechargeoftheSociedadde Beneficenciain Buenos Aires.43The sex ofthe individual,the age ofcapture,the years spentamongtheIndians,thebearingofchildrenfatheredbyIndianmen, and the degree to whichan individualhad been integratedintonative societyall influencedtheeagernesswithwhichhe orshesoughttoreiden- tifywithSpanishsocietyandtheease withwhichthissocietyacceptedthe returnee. The economiceffectsofcaptivityon eithertheIndianor the Spanish societiesare hardtoascertain.Atleastone scholarhas suggestedthatthe

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41. For example,in Mayo,Fuentes,ofthetwelvecases ofSpaniardswho successfully

escaped, thereis onlyone woman.

42. Claudio Sarmiento,14 yearsold, had been takencaptivewhileon the estanciaof Don JuanCanario,"and while he was captive,his fatherwentto see ifhe could ransom him."Relaci6nde los cristianossalvados,76.

43. K. Jones,"La Cautiva," 91-92.

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laborofcaptivewomenhelped Indiansocietyto overcomea laborshort- age, but littlenumericaldata on eitherthe numbersof captivesor the size ofIndiansocietiesduringthe seventeenthand eighteenthcenturies makethissuggestiondifficultto explore.The sameauthoralso pointsout

thatthe1833-34ransomingof707captivesfromAraucaniantribes,which

themselvestotaledabout 8,ooo, appears to have seriouslycrippledthe nativeeconomy.44It shouldbe rememberedthatonly340 ofthosecap- tiveswere above the age of 14. Nevertheless,theloss ofthisnumberof productiveadultsmaywell have cripplednativegroupswho were at the edge ofsubsistencemostofthetime. How theloss ofthesepeople affectedtheeconomyoftheirhomere-

gionsis even moredifficultto ascertain,in partbecause of the lack of viabledata on thepopulation.The analysispresentedin thisessayshows thattheruralpopulationlostmoreindividualstocaptivitythandid cities. The analysisfurthersuggeststhatthepeople takencaptivetendedto be peones and smalllandowners,individualswhomadean importantcontri- butiontothelocallaborforcebutwerenotnecessarilyperceivedas essen- tial. Furthermore,the scatterednatureofthe raidstendedto diminish theireconomicimpact.The provinceofBuenosAires,forexample,witha totalfrontierpopulationof9,239in 1836,providedonly134captives,less than1.5 percentofitspopulation,tothe 1833-34group.45 Perhapsmostperplexingis therelativelackofdramaticreactiontothe

continuouslossofsettlerstocaptivityduringtheentireperiodundercon-

sideration.This silenceprevailedperhapsbecause thosemostat riskto be takencaptivewereruralpeople,illiteratefolkwithlittleornopolitical power.Furthermore,because so manyofthecaptiveswerewomen,their loss did not representa dramaticallyvisiblereductionofthe ruralwork force.Nevertheless,the fearofIndianraids,withtheirresultantdeath, destruction,and captivetaking,servedto dissuadefrontiersettlement. Althoughcaptivesare infrequentlymentionedin Spanishsources,their loss had a powerfulpsychologicaleffecton frontiersociety.Regardlessof the actual risk,Spanishsettlersfeltweak and vulnerableto Indian at- tack,and to theappallingalternativesofdeathorcaptivity,untilthefinal decades ofthenineteenthcentury.

44. Ibid., 91.

45. ErnestoJ.A. Maeder,Evoluci6ndemogrdficaargentinade i8io a 1969 (Buenos

Aires:EditorialUniversitariade BuenosAires,1969),34.

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