By Jane E. Mangan

ISBN-10: 0822334704

ISBN-13: 9780822334705

Located within the center of the Andes, Potosí was once arguably crucial city middle within the Western Hemisphere through the colonial period. It was once the world over recognized for its ample silver mines and domestically notorious for its exertions draft. Set during this context of opulence and oppression linked to the silver exchange, Trading Roles emphasizes way of life within the city’s streets, markets, and taverns. As Jane E. Mangan indicates, foods and drinks transactions emerged because the most typical website of interplay for Potosinos of alternative ethnic and sophistication backgrounds. inside twenty years of Potosí’s founding within the 1540s, nearly all of the city’s population now not produced nutrients or alcohol for themselves; they bought this stuff. Mangan offers a colourful social heritage of colonial Potosí via an research of daily trade through the city’s monetary heyday, among the invention of silver in 1545 and the waning of construction within the overdue 17th century.

Drawing on wills and dowries, judicial instances, city council files, and royal decrees, Mangan brings alive the bustle of alternate in Potosí. She examines quotidian financial transactions in gentle of social customized, ethnicity, and gender, illuminating negotiations over seller destinations, kinship ties that sustained city exchange in the course of the process silver booms and busts, and credits practices that constructed to mitigate the pressures of the industry economic climate. Mangan argues that exchange exchanges functioned as websites to barter identities inside of this colonial multiethnic society. through the research, she demonstrates how ladies and indigenous peoples performed crucial roles in Potosí’s economic climate throughout the advertisement transactions she describes so vividly.

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Additional resources for Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosí

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Not everyone, however, had the financial backing to profit in mining. Furthermore, many could not secure employ- ment in the refining industry or commerce. ’’ 105 The Crown surmised that many had left Europe without permission, and it requested a report detailing names, nations, and occupations of all foreigners in the Villa. The answers to this query must have been disconcerting: by 1589 the Crown warned city leaders to ‘‘throw out . . ’’ 106 Potosí also hosted many soldiers, mestizo and criollo, who had fought in Spanish battles of expansion into what is today Paraguay.

For Friday meals, fish came salted from Arica or fresh from the lakes in the Chucuito region. Fruit was abundant; pears arrived from Chuquisaca, raisins from Arequipa, apples from Cuzco, and the market stocked fresh grapes for six months out of the year. Fruit preserves survived the journey from Cuzco, La Paz, or Chuquisaca. 40 Grains from the fertile Cochabamba valley and from Tomina provided for bread and chicha. ’’ 41 The trade of coca leaf is exemplary of economic changes in this era because it shows the transformation of a product with highly ritual significance into one with commercial purpose.

From the very year the mines opened, colonial forces conspired to bring workers to Potosí to earn for their encomenderos or for their ayllus’ tribute; either way, the mines drew them into the colonial economy. These scenes of the crowded roads, mines, and marketplace were unlikely visions for a town perched thirteen thousand feet in the Andes, in the midst of highland plains known for bitter cold winds and parched earth. But the scenes had begun to unfold. ’’ 17 The first hints of urban settlement one encountered on approaching the town were not the Spanish buildings or patterned streets but the rancherías, indigenous neighborhoods characterized by buhíos, modest round dwellings constructed of adobe and straw.

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Trading Roles: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Urban Economy in Colonial Potosí by Jane E. Mangan


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