Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands

Overview

This sweeping, richly evocative study examines the origins and legacies of a flourishing captive exchange economy within and among native American and Euramerican communities throughout the Southwest Borderlands from the Spanish colonial era to the end of the nineteenth century.

Indigenous and colonial traditions of capture, servitude, and kinship met and meshed in the borderlands, forming a "slave system" in which victims symbolized social wealth, performed services for their ...

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Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands

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Overview

This sweeping, richly evocative study examines the origins and legacies of a flourishing captive exchange economy within and among native American and Euramerican communities throughout the Southwest Borderlands from the Spanish colonial era to the end of the nineteenth century.

Indigenous and colonial traditions of capture, servitude, and kinship met and meshed in the borderlands, forming a "slave system" in which victims symbolized social wealth, performed services for their masters, and produced material goods under the threat of violence. Slave and livestock raiding and trading among Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas, Navajos, Utes, and Spaniards provided labor resources, redistributed wealth, and fostered kin connections that integrated disparate and antagonistic groups even as these practices renewed cycles of violence and warfare.

Always attentive to the corrosive effects of the "slave trade" on Indian and colonial societies, the book also explores slavery's centrality in intercultural trade, alliances, and "communities of interest" among groups often antagonistic to Spanish, Mexican, and American modernizing strategies. The extension of the moral and military campaigns of the American Civil War to the Southwest in a regional "war against slavery" brought differing forms of social stability but cost local communities much of their economic vitality and cultural flexibility.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard White
This is a stunning book, likely to be controversial in its particulars.
David J. Weber
Bold and brilliant. [This] vivid narrative tells us why people simultaneously preyed on one another and absorbed one another in this violent land.
Karen Ordahl Kupperman
Makes it impossible for historians to ignore colonial relationships in the Southwest that began contemporaneously with Jamestown and Plymouth and developed throughout the colonial period.
From the Publisher
"Contributes important new perspectives to continuing debates and opens new doors for comparisons and syntheses of borderlands as contested spaces of power and merging identities."
New Mexico Historical Review

"Brooks tells this history with clarity and judiciousness."
Journal of American History

"This is a stunning book, likely to be controversial in its particulars."
— Richard White, Stanford University

"Bold and brilliant. [This] vivid narrative tells us why people simultaneously preyed on one another and absorbed one another in this violent land."
— David J. Weber, Southern Methodist University

"Makes it impossible for historians to ignore colonial relationships in the Southwest that began contemporaneously with Jamestown and Plymouth and developed throughout the colonial period." Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

James F. Brooks is president and chief executive officer of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is editor of Confounding the Color Line: The Indian-Black Experience in North America.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps, Illustrations, and Tables
1 Violence, Exchange, and the Honor of Men 1
Maps 41
2 Los Llaneros: Creating a Plains Borderland 45
3 Los Pastores: Creating a Pastoral Borderland 80
4 Los Montaneses: Traversing Borderlands 117
5 Elaborating the Plains Borderlands 160
6 Commerce, Kinship, and Coercion 208
7 Peaks and Valleys: The Borderlands Speak 258
8 Closer and Closer Apart 304
Epilogue: Refugio Gurriola Martinez 361
Chronology 369
Glossary of Spanish and Native American Terms 373
App. A Navajo Livestock and Captive Raids, 1780-1864 377
App. B New Mexican Livestock and Captive Raids, 1780-1864 382
App. C New Mexican Peonage and Slavery Hearings, 1868 385
Acknowledgments 405
Index 409
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