Encomienda (Spanish pronunciation: [eŋkoˈmjenda]) was a Spanish labor system. It rewarded conquerors with the labor of particular groups of subject people. It was first established in Spain following the Christian conquest of Muslim territories. It was applied on a much larger scale during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Philippines. Conquered peoples were considered vassals of the Spanish monarch. The Crown awarded an encomienda as a grant to a particular individual. In the conquest era of the sixteenth century, the grants were considered to be a monopoly on the labor of particular groups of Indians (indigenous peoples), held in perpetuity by the grant holder, called the encomendero, and his descendants.
Encomiendas devolved from their original Iberian form into a form of "communal" slavery. In the encomienda, the Spanish Crown granted a person a specified number of natives from a specific community, but did not dictate which individuals in the community would have to provide their labor. Indigenous leaders were charged with mobilizing the assessed tribute and labor. In turn, encomenderos were to ensure that the encomienda natives were given instruction in the Christian faith and Spanish language, and protect them from warring tribes or pirates; they had to suppress rebellion against Spaniards, and maintain infrastructure. In return, the natives would provide tributes in the form of metals, maize, wheat, pork, or other agricultural products.
With the ouster of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish crown sent a royal governor, Fray Nicolás de Ovando, who established the formal encomienda system. In many cases natives were forced to do hard labor and subjected to extreme punishment and death if they resisted. However, Queen Isabella I of Castile forbade Indian slavery and deemed the indigenous to be "free vassals of the crown". Various versions of the Leyes de Indias or Laws of the Indies from 1512 onwards attempted to regulate the interactions between the settlers and natives. Both natives and Spaniards appealed to the Real Audiencias for relief under the encomienda system.
Encomiendas had often been characterized by the geographical displacement of the enslaved and breakup of communities and family units, but in Mexico, the encomienda ruled the free vassals of the crown through existing community hierarchies, and the natives were allowed to keep in touch with their families and homes.
The abolition of the Encomienda in 1542 marks the first major movement towards the abolition of slavery in the Western world.
The heart of encomienda and encomendero lies in the Spanish verb encomendar, "to entrust". The encomienda was based on the reconquista institution in which adelantados were given the right to extract tribute from Muslims or other peasants in areas that they had conquered and resettled.
The encomienda system traveled to America as the result of the implantation of Castilian law over the territory. The system was created in the Middle Ages and was pivotal to allow for the repopulation and protection of frontier land during the reconquista. The encomienda established a relationship similar to a feudal relationship, in which military protection was traded for certain tributes or by specific work. It was especially prevalent among military orders that were entrusted with the protection of frontier areas. The king usually intervened directly or indirectly in the bond, by guaranteeing the fairness of the agreement and intervening militarily in case of abuse.
The encomienda system in Spanish America differed from the Peninsular institution. The encomenderos did not own the land on which the natives lived. The system did not entail any direct land tenure by the encomendero; Indian lands were to remain in the possession of their communities. This right was formally protected by the crown of Castile because the rights of administration in the New World belonged to this crown and not to the Catholic monarchs as a whole.
The first grantees of the encomienda or encomenderos were usually conquerors who received these grants of labor by virtue of participation in a successful conquest. Later, some receiving encomiendas in New Spain (Mexico) were not conquerors themselves but were sufficiently well connected that they received grants.
In his study of the encomenderos of early colonial Mexico, Robert Himmerich y Valencia divides conquerors into those who were part of Hernán Cortés' original expedition, calling them "first conquerors", and those who were members of the later Narváez expedition, calling them "conquerors". The latter were incorporated into Cortes' contingent. Himmerick designated as pobladores antiguos (old settlers), a group of undetermined number of encomenderos in New Spain, men who had resided in the Caribbean region prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico.
Holders of encomiendas also included women and indigenous elite. Doña Maria Jaramillo, the daughter of Doña Marina and conqueror Juan Jaramillo, received income from her deceased father's encomiendas. Two of Moctezuma's daughters, Doña Isabel Moctezuma and her younger sister, Doña Leonor Moctezuma, were granted extensive encomiendas in perpetuity by Hernan Cortes. Doña Leonor Moctezuma married in succession two Spaniards, and left the encomiendas to her daughter by her second husband. Vassal Inca rulers appointed after the conquest also sought and were granted encomiendas.
The status of humans as wards of the trustees under the encomienda system served to "define the status of the Indian population": the natives were free men, not slaves or serfs. But some Spaniards treated them as poorly as slaves.
The encomienda was essential to the Spanish crown's sustaining its control over North, Central and South America in the first decades after the colonization. It was the first major organizational law instituted on the continent, which was affected by war, widespread disease epidemics caused by Eurasian diseases, and resulting turmoil. The settler-conquistadors were confronted by the fury of the aroused Indian lords; voyagers, explorers, and the friars did not. Initially, the encomienda system was devised to meet the needs of the early agricultural economies in the Caribbean. Later it was adopted to the mining economy of Peru and Upper Peru. The encomienda lasted from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the seventeenth century.
Philip II, enacted a law on 11 June 1594 to establish the encomienda in the Philippines, where he made grants to the local nobles (principalía). They used the encomienda to gain ownership of large expanses of land, many of which (such as Makati) continue to be owned by affluent families.
In 1501 Queen Isabella declared Native Americans as subjects to the crown, and so, as Castilians and legal equals to Spanish Castilians. This implied that enslaving them was illegal except on very specific conditions. It also allowed the establishment of encomiendas, since the encomienda bond was a right reserved to full subjects to the crown. In 1503, the crown began to formally grant encomiendas to conquistadors and officials as rewards for service to the crown. The system of encomiendas was aided by the crown's organizing the indigenous into small harbors known as reducciones, with the intent of establishing new towns and populations.
Each reducción had a native chief responsible for keeping track of the laborers in his community. The encomienda system did not grant people land, but it indirectly aided in the settlers' acquisition of land. As initially defined, the encomendero and his heirs expected to hold these grants in perpetuity. After a major crown reform in 1542, known as the New Laws, encomendero families were restricted to holding the grant for two generations. When the crown attempted to implement the policy in Peru, shortly after the 1535 Spanish conquest, Spanish recipients rebelled against the crown, killing the viceroy, Don Blasco Núñez Vela.
In Mexico, viceroy Don Antonio de Mendoza decided against implementing the reform, citing local circumstances and the potential for a similar conqueror rebellion. To the crown he said, "I obey crown authority but do not comply with this order." The encomienda system was ended legally in 1720, when the crown attempted to abolish the institution. The encomenderos were then required to pay remaining encomienda laborers for their work.
The encomiendas became very corrupt and harsh. In the neighborhood of La Concepción, north of Santo Domingo, the adelantado of Santiago heard rumors of a 15,000-man army planning to stage a rebellion. Upon hearing this, the Adelantado captured the caciques involved and had most of them hanged.
Later, a chieftain named Guarionex laid havoc to the countryside before an Indian-Spanish army of about 3,090 routed the Ciguana people under his leadership. Although expecting Spanish protection from warring tribes, the islanders sought to join the Spanish forces. They helped the Spaniards deal with their ignorance of the surrounding environment.
As noted, the change of requiring the encomendado to be returned to the crown after two generations was frequently overlooked, as the colonists did not want to give up the labor or power. The Codice Osuna, one of many colonial-era Aztec codices (indigenous manuscripts) with native pictorials and alphabetic text in Nahuatl, there is evidence that the indigenous were well aware of the distinction between indigenous communities held by individual encomenderos and those held by the crown. In 1574, the Viceroy of Peru Diego Lopez de Velasco investigated the encomiendas. He concluded there were 32,000 Spanish families in the New World, 4,000 of whom had encomiendas. They oversaw 1,500,000 natives paying tribute, and 5 million "civilized" natives.
The phrase "sin indios no hay Indias" (without Indians, there are no Indies – i.e. America), popular in Spanish America especially in the 16th century, emphasizes the economic importance and appeal of this indentured labor. It was ranked higher than allocations of precious metals or other natural resources. Land awardees customarily complained about how "worthless" territory was without a population of encomendados.
The native people of Mexico experienced a series of outbreaks of disease in the wake of European conquest, including a catastrophic epidemic that began in 1545 which killed an estimated 5 million to 15 million people, or up to 80% of the native population of Mexico, followed by a second epidemic from 1576 to 1578 killing an additional 2 to 2.5 million people, or about 50% of the remaining native population. Recent research suggests that these infections appear to have been aggravated by the extreme climatic conditions of the time and by the poor living conditions and harsh treatment of the native people under the encomienda system of New Spain.
Raphael Lemkin (coiner of the term genocide) considers Spain's abuses of the Native population of the Americas to constitute cultural and even outright genocide including the abuses of the Encomienda system. He described slavery as "cultural genocide par excellence" noting "it is the most effective and thorough method of destroying culture, of desocializing human beings." He considers colonist guilty due to failing to halt the abuses of the system despite royal orders. He also notes the sexual abuse of Spanish colonizers of Native women as acts of "biological genocide." Yale University's genocide studies program supports this view, citing the decline of the Taíno population of Hispaniola in 1492 to 1514 as an example noting their population declined from 1,000,000 to 100,000 to only 32,000 a decline of 68% to over 96%. Those numbers are largely based on the accounts of Las Casas and the letters that wrote during the epidemics. Darcy Ribeiro considers that native exploitation was the fuel of the productivity of the Spanish Colonies and, H. F. Dobyns estimated 95%.
Since 1960 several Hispanists and anthropologists, like Julian Juderias or Cook y Borah have challenged both the numbers and the causes offered by Raphael Lemkin. Recent genetic studies Their genetic testing of the present-day American native population showed that a 96% decline did not occur, based on the remaining genetic diversity of the native populace tested. Their study allowed for a maximum possible decline of 25% in the population based on their findings. Brendan D. O'Fallona and Lars Fehren-Schmitz separately estimated a historic native mortality of about 50% loss with a quick recovery and little loss in diversity. Quentin D Atkinson Cook and Borah University of California, Berkeley conducted a decade long study on the historical native demographics of Mexico and estimated that the overall decrease in native population was only 3%. Rosenblat estimates a lower number for Mexico and Colombia. Acuna-Soto R1, Romero LC, and Maguire JH suggested the rate of mortality from disease in native American populations at around 45%.
Regardless of the specific number, it is widely agreed that the peak in mortality started in 1545 and peaked some years later after the New Laws were put in place, the encomienda system was abolished, and women, and more importantly children, were allowed to migrate. What mortality of the native population did occur was mainly attributable to disease. Most scholars agree that the main culprits were European infantile diseases like smallpox, measles, and chicken pox. Elsa Malvido suggests that the plague caused the hemorrhagic fevers described by the Spanish physicians, while a recent, controversial study recently proposed by microbiologist Rodolfo Acuna-Soto suggests that the diseases that decimated the population were actually a native hemorrhagic plague carried by rats.
University of Hawaii historian David Stannard describes the encomienda as a genocidal system which "had driven many millions of native peoples in Central and South America to early and agonizing deaths."
The encomienda system was the subject of controversy in Spain and its territories almost from its start. In 1510, an Hispaniola encomendero named Valenzuela murdered a group of Native American leaders who had agreed to meet for peace talks in full confidence. The Taíno Cacique Enriquillo rebelled against the Spaniards between 1519 and 1533. In 1538, Emperor Charles V, realizing the seriousness of the Taíno revolt, changed the laws governing the treatment of Indians laboring in the encomiendas. Conceding to Las Casas's viewpoint, the peace treaty between the Taínos and the audiencia was eventually disrupted in four to five years. The crown also made two failed attempts to end the abuses of the encomienda system, through the Law of Burgos (1512–13) and the New Law of the Indies (1542). Furthermore, these laws were indeed beneficial to the authorities.
The priest of Hispaniola and former encomendero Bartolomé de las Casas underwent a profound conversion after seeing the abuse of the native people. He dedicated his life to writing and lobbying to abolish the encomienda system, which he thought systematically enslaved the native people of the New World. Las Casas participated in an important debate, where he pushed for the enactment of the New Laws and an end to the encomienda system. The Laws of Burgos and the New Laws of the Indies failed in the face of colonial opposition and, in fact, the New Laws were postponed in the Viceroyalty of Peru. When Blasco Núñez Vela, the first viceroy of Peru, tried to enforce the New Laws, which provided for the gradual abolition of the encomienda, many of the encomenderos were unwilling to comply with them and revolted against him.
When the news of this situation and of the abuse of the institution reached Spain, the New Laws were passed to regulate and gradually abolish the system in America, as well as to reiterate the prohibition of enslaving Native Americans. By the time the new laws were passed, 1543, the Spanish crown had acknowledged their inability to control and properly ensure compliance of traditional laws overseas, so they granted to Native Americans specific protections not even Spaniards had, such as the prohibition of enslaving them even in the case of crime or war. This extra protections were an attempt to avoid the proliferation of irregular claims to slavery.
Nevertheless, the encomienda system was generally replaced by the crown-managed repartimiento system throughout Spanish America after mid-century. Like the encomienda, the new repartimento did not include the attribution of land to anyone, rather only the allotment of native workers. But they were directly allotted to the crown, who, through a local crown official, would assign them to work for settlers for a set period of time, usually several weeks. The repartimiento was an attempt "to reduce the abuses of forced labour". As the number of natives declined and mining activities were replaced by agricultural activities in the seventeenth century, the hacienda, or large landed estates in which laborers were directly employed by the hacienda owners (hacendados), arose because land ownership became more profitable than acquisition of forced labor.
The encomienda was strongly based on the encomendado's tribal identity. Mixed-race (Mestizo) individuals, for example, could not by law be subjected to the encomienda. This moved many Amerindians to deliberately seek to dilute their tribal identity and that of their descendants as a way for them to escape the service, by seeking intermarriage with people from different ethnicities, especially Spaniards or Creoles. In this way the encomienda somewhat weakened Amerindians' tribal identification and ethnicity, which in turn diminished the pool of available encomendados.
The 1712 Huilliche rebellion was an indigenous uprising against the Spanish encomenderos of Chiloé Archipelago, which was then a part of the Captaincy General of Chile. The rebellion took place in the central part of the archipelago.Arroyo de la Encomienda
Arroyo de la Encomienda is a municipality located in the province of Valladolid, Castile and León, Spain. According to the 2015 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 18491 inhabitants.Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas (Spanish: [baɾtoloˈme ðe las ˈkasas] (listen); c. 1484 – 18 July 1566) was a 16th-century Spanish colonist who acted as a historian and social reformer before becoming a Dominican friar. He was appointed as the first president Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies. He described the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples.Arriving as one of the first Spanish (and European) settlers in the Americas, Las Casas initially participated in, but eventually felt compelled to oppose the abuses committed by colonists against the Native Americans. As a result, in 1515 he gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, and advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of Natives in the West Indian colonies. In the 20th century, he has been criticized for being among the founders of the Atlantic slave trade. Later in life, he retracted this position, as he regarded both forms of slavery as equally wrong. In 1522, he tried to launch a new kind of peaceful colonialism on the coast of Venezuela, but this venture failed. Las Casas entered the Dominican Order and became a friar, leaving public life for a decade. He traveled to Central America, acting as a missionary among the Maya of Guatemala and participating in debates among colonial churchmen about how best to bring the natives to the Christian faith.
Traveling back to Spain to recruit more missionaries, he continued lobbying for the abolition of the encomienda, gaining an important victory by the passage of the New Laws in 1542. He was appointed Bishop of Chiapas, but served only for a short time before he was forced to return to Spain because of resistance to the New Laws by the encomenderos, and conflicts with Spanish settlers because of his pro-Indian policies and activist religious stance. He served in the Spanish court for the remainder of his life; there he held great influence over Indies-related issues. In 1550, he participated in the Valladolid debate, in which Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that the Indians were less than human and required Spanish masters in order to become civilized. Las Casas maintained that they were fully human and that forcefully subjugating them was unjustifiable.
Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. Unlike other priests who sought to destroy the indigenous peoples' native books and writings, he strictly opposed this action. Although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts did result in improvement of the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often considered to be one of the first advocates for a universal conception of human dignity (later human rights).Colonial Chile
In Chilean historiography, Colonial Chile (Spanish: la colonia) is the period from 1600 to 1810, beginning with the Destruction of the Seven Cities and ending with the onset of the Chilean War of Independence. During this time the Chilean heartland was ruled by Captaincy General of Chile. The period was characterized by a lengthy conflict between Spaniards and native Mapuches known as the Arauco War. Colonial society was divided in distinct groups including Peninsulars, Criollos, Mestizos, Indians and Black people.
Relative to other Spanish colonies Chile was a "poor and dangerous" place.Cuncunul Municipality
Cuncunul Municipality (In the Yucatec Maya Language: “enchanted by others or vanity”) is one of the 106 municipalities in the Mexican state of Yucatán containing (315.52 km2) of land and located roughly 145 km east of the city of Mérida.Dzán Municipality
Dzán Municipality (In the Yucatec Maya Language: “plunge or sunken") is one of the 106 municipalities in the Mexican state of Yucatán containing (61.31 km2) of land and is located roughly 95 km south of the city of Mérida.Francisco Llano de la Encomienda
Francisco Llano de la Encomienda (1879–1963) was a Spanish soldier who served in Africa and was promoted to General in 1931. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) he remained loyal to the Second Spanish Republic. He was in command of the troops in Barcelona when a military revolt was attempted on 19 July 1936. He was imprisoned by the rebels, and after the revolt was relieved of his command. He was given command of the Army of the North in November 1936 but was not able to form a unified command. He was handicapped by regional jealousies and a mixed command of regular troops and militia. He was dismissed in May 1937 shortly before the north of Spain fell to the insurgents. He took refuge in Mexico after the war.Hacienda
A hacienda (UK: or US: ; Spanish: [aˈθjenda] or [aˈsjenda]), in the colonies of the Spanish Empire, is an estate (or finca), similar in form to a Roman villa. Some haciendas were plantations, mines or factories. Many haciendas combined these activities. The word is derived from the Spanish word "hacer" or "haciendo", which means: to make or be making, respectively; and were largely business enterprises consisting of various money making ventures including raising farm animals and maintaining orchards.
The term hacienda is imprecise, but usually refers to landed estates of significant size. Smaller holdings were termed estancias or ranchos that were owned almost exclusively by Spaniards and criollos and in rare cases by mixed-race individuals. In Argentina, the term estancia is used for large estates that in Mexico would be termed haciendas. In recent decades, the term has been used in the United States to refer to an architectural style associated with the earlier estate manor houses.
The hacienda system of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, New Granada, and Peru was a system of large land holdings. A similar system existed on a smaller scale in the Philippines and Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, haciendas were larger than estancias, ordinarily grew either sugar cane, coffee, or cotton, and exported their crops outside Puerto Rico.Isabel Moctezuma
Doña Isabel Moctezuma (born Tecuichpoch Ixcaxochitzin; 1509/1510 – 1550/1551) was a daughter of the Aztec ruler Moctezuma II. She was the consort of the Aztec emperors Atlixcatzin, Cuitláhuac, and Cuauhtémoc and as such the last Aztec empress. After the Spanish conquest, Doña Isabel was recognized as Moctezuma's legitimate heir, and became one of the Mexican Indians granted an encomienda. Among the others were her half-sister Marina (or Leonor) Moctezuma, and Juan Sánchez, an Indian governor in Oaxaca.Doña Isabel was married to three Aztec emperors and three Spaniards and widowed five times. She had a daughter out of wedlock, Leonor Cortés Moctezuma, with conquistador Hernán Cortés. Her sons founded a line of Spanish nobility. The title of Duke of Moctezuma de Tultengo still exists.Jorge Gamboa Mendoza
Jorge Augusto Gamboa Mendoza (born 27 January 1970) is a Colombian anthropologist and historian. He has been contributing on the knowledge of colonial and pre-colonial Colombia, especially the Muisca. Jorge Gamboa speaks Spanish and French.Juan Tafur
Juan Tafur (1500, Córdoba, Andalusia, Castile - ?, ?) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca people. He was a cousin of fellow conquistadors Martín Yañéz Tafur, Hernán Venegas Carrillo and Pedro Fernández de Valenzuela. Juan Tafur was five times encomendero (mayor) of Santa Fe de Bogotá. He also received the encomiendas of Pasca, Chipaque and Usaquén. The encomienda of Suesca was shared between Tafur and Gonzalo García Zorro.
Knowledge of the life of Juan Tafur has been provided by the work El Carnero (1638), by chronicler Juan Rodríguez Freyle.Juan del Junco
Juan de(l) Junco (1503 in Ribadesella, Asturias, Castile – ? in Santo Domingo) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca people. Del Junco started his career as a conquistador in the 1526 expedition led by Sebastian Cabot exploring the Río de la Plata in present-day Argentina. In 1535, he arrived in Santa Marta on the Colombian Caribbean coast from where the expedition in search of El Dorado set off in April 1536.
Del Junco played a role in the foundations of Bogotá (August 6, 1538), and Tunja (August 6, 1539). He was a senior captain under Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada. Del Junco was named second in line of succession, after Gonzalo's brother Hernán, in the event of the death of the first governor of the New Kingdom of Granada. Del Junco was awarded the encomienda (mayoralty) of Cucaita, close to Tunja, for his efforts as a soldier. In 1541, Del Junco left South America for Santo Domingo, where he married and remained until his death.
Juan del Junco was named by several early chroniclers of the Spanish conquest of Colombia: Epítome de la conquista del Nuevo Reino de Granada (first published in 1889); Elegías de varones ilustres de Indias (De Castellanos, 1589); El Carnero (Freyle, 1638); and Historia general de las conquistas del Nuevo Reino de Granada (De Piedrahita, 1676).New Laws
The New Laws (Spanish: Leyes Nuevas), also known as the New Laws of the Indies for the Good Treatment and Preservation of the Indians (Spanish:Leyes y ordenanzas nuevamente hechas por su Majestad para la gobernación de las Indias y buen tratamiento y conservación de los Indios), were issued on November 20, 1542, by King Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire (Charles I of Spain) and regard the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Following complaints and calls for reform from individuals such as the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, these laws were intended to prevent the exploitation and mistreatment of the indigenous peoples of the Americas by the encomenderos, by strictly limiting their power and dominion over groups of natives. The text of the New Laws has been translated to English.Blasco Núñez Vela, the first Viceroy of Peru, enforced the New Laws. He was opposed by a revolt of some encomenderos and was killed in 1546 by the landowning faction led by Gonzalo Pizarro. He wanted to maintain a political structure based on the Incan model the Spanish found in place. Although the New Laws were only partly successful, due to the opposition of some colonists, they did result in the liberation of thousands of indigenous workers, who had been held in a state of semi-slavery.Pedro Ruíz Corredor
Pedro Ruíz Corredor (d. after 1601) was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca. He searched for El Dorado, returned to Spain, was sent back to the new world, helped consolidate newly conquered Peru for Spain, retired to his fiefdom to raise a family, and lived to a ripe old age.Repartimiento
The Repartimiento (Spanish pronunciation: [repaɾtiˈmjento]) (Spanish, "distribution, partition, or division") was a colonial forced labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America and the Philippines. In concept it was similar to other tribute-labor systems, such as the mita of the Inca Empire or the corvée of Ancien Régime France: the natives were forced to do low-paid or unpaid labor for a certain number of weeks or months each year on Spanish-owned farms, mines, workshops (obrajes), and public projects. With the New Laws of 1542, the repartimiento was instated to substitute the encomienda system that had come to be seen as abusive and promoting unethical behavior. The repartimiento was not slavery, in that the worker is not owned outright—being free in various respects other than in the dispensation of his or her labor—and the work was intermittent. However, it created slavery-like conditions in certain areas, most notoriously in silver mines of 16th century Peru. In the first decades of the colonization of the Caribbean the word was used for the institution that became the encomienda, which can cause confusion. It was a way for people to pay tribute by doing laborious jobs for the mother country.
The repartimiento, for the most part, replaced the encomienda throughout the Viceroyalty of New Spain by the beginning of the 17th century. In Peru encomiendas lasted longer, and the Quechua word mita frequently was used for repartimiento. There were instances when both systems (repartimiento and encomienda) coexisted.In practice, a conquistador, or later a Spanish settler or official, would be given and supervised a number of indigenous workers, who would labor in farms or mines, or in the case of the Philippines might also be assigned to the ship yards constructing the Manila galleons. The one in charge of doing the reparto ("distribution") of workers was the Alcalde Mayor (local magistrate) of the city. Native communities that were close to Spanish populations were required to provide a percentage of their people (2-4%) to work in agriculture, construction of houses, streets, etc. The diminution of the number of natives in the Americas due to European diseases (smallpox, influenza, measles and typhus) to which the native populations had no resistance, as well as to desertion from the work fields, led to the substitution of the encomienda system and the creation of privately owned farms and haciendas. Many native people escaped the encomienda and repartimiento by leaving their communities. Some looked for wage labor; others signed contracts (asientos) for six months to a year, during which time the worker was required to be paid a salary (something the Spanish Crown did not enforce or support), and provided living quarters as well as religious services. There were many cases in which both wage and repartimiento laborers worked side-by-side on farms, mines, obrajes or haciendas.Slavery in Latin America
Slavery in Latin America was practiced in precolonial times.
During the Atlantic slave trade, Latin America was the main destination of millions of African people transported from Africa to French, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies. Slavery was a cornerstone of the Spanish Casta system, and its legacy is the presence of large Afro-Latino populations.
After the gradual emancipation of most black slaves, slavery continued along the Pacific coast of South America throughout the 19th century, as Peruvian slave traders kidnapped Polynesians, primarily from the Marquesas Islands and Easter Island and forced them to perform physical labour in mines and in the guano industry of Peru and Chile.Spanish conquest of Chiapas
The Spanish conquest of Chiapas was the campaign undertaken by the Spanish conquistadores against the Late Postclassic Mesoamerican polities in the territory that is now incorporated into the modern Mexican state of Chiapas. The region is physically diverse, featuring a number of highland areas, including the Sierra Madre de Chiapas and the Montañas Centrales (Central Highlands), a southern littoral plain known as Soconusco and a central depression formed by the drainage of the Grijalva River.
Before the Spanish conquest, Chiapas was inhabited by a variety of indigenous peoples, including the Zoques, various Maya peoples, such as the Lakandon Chʼol and the Tzotzil, and an unidentified group referred to as the Chiapanecas. Soconusco had been incorporated into the Aztec Empire, centred in Valley of Mexico, and paid the Aztecs tribute. News of strangers first arrived in the region as the Spanish penetrated and overthrew the Aztec Empire. In the early 1520s, several Spanish expeditions crossed Chiapas by land, and Spanish ships scouted the Pacific coast. The first highland colonial town in Chiapas, San Cristóbal de los Llanos, was established by Pedro de Portocarrero in 1527. Within a year, Spanish dominion extended over the upper drainage basin of the Grijalva River, Comitán, and the Ocosingo valley. Encomienda rights were established, although in the earlier stages of conquest these amounted to little more than slave-raiding rights.
The colonial province of Chiapa was established by Diego Mazariegos in 1528, with the reorganisation of existing encomiendas and colonial jurisdictions, and the renaming of San Cristóbal as Villa Real, and its relocation to Jovel. Excessive Spanish demands for tribute and labour caused a rebellion by the indigenous inhabitants, who attempted to starve out the Spanish. The conquistadores launched punitive raids, but the natives abandoned their towns and fled to inaccessible regions. Internal divisions among the Spanish led to a general instability in the province; eventually the Mazariegos faction gained concessions from the Spanish Crown that allowed for the elevation of Villa Real to the status of city, as Ciudad Real, and the establishment of new laws that promoted stability in the newly conquered region.Temax Municipality
Temax Municipality (In the Yucatec Maya Language: “place of monkeys”) is one of the 106 municipalities in the Mexican state of Yucatán containing 329.52 square kilometres (127.23 sq mi) of land and located roughly 80 kilometres (50 mi) northeast of the city of Mérida.Yaxcabá Municipality
Yaxcabá Municipality (In the Yucatec Maya Language: “place of green earth”) is one of the 106 municipalities in the Mexican state of Yucatán containing (1079 km2) of land and located roughly 80 km northeast of the city of Mérida.