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2015-07-01 23:04:04
Arias de Saavedra, Hernando (dit Hernandarias).
Manuscript collection of 29 decrees concerning the treatment of Indians on encomiendas
1598. Asuncion [Paraguay]. In folio (size varies somewhat). 7 ff. (15 written sides) in Spanish cursive, signed by Hernandarias and others on final leaf; offered with 7 ff. (13 sides) of additional MS material bound before and after the decrees. Unbound.- Exceptional 16th century manuscript written in Paraguay, including a collection of 29 decrees on the treatment of Indians under the encomienda system, promulgated during the earliest years of Hernandarias's first tenure as Governor of Rio de la Plata province (Asuncion and Buenos Aires). Common to many 16th century Spanish colonies, the encomienda system effectively forced the indigenous inhabitants into slave labor in exchange for the salvation of their souls. The present decrees are important evidence of an interest in the welfare of the Indians prior to Hernandarias' outright abolition of the entire encomienda system in 1603. "The feathered and painted beings the Spaniards encountered in America... confounded the entire Spanish nation, from King to commoner. Who was the Indian? Was he man or beast? Was he a rational being? Could his land be expropriated? Could he be made to work and pay tribute? If he were mere beast, why should he not be enslaved? What type of religious instruction should he be given? Should the converted Indian be tithed? Could he be left to live alone, caring for his own needs, even governing himself as the Spaniards did? Today such questions seem shocking. But in the sixteenth century they were the order of the day" (Maria Paz Haro) Hernandarias' proclamations of 1598-9 show a significant … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: HS Rare Books [Argentina]

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