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Africans to Spanish AmericaExpanding the Diaspora$
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Sherwin K. Bryant and Rachel Sarah O'Toole

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036637

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036637.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Between the Cross and the Sword

Between the Cross and the Sword

Religious Conquest and Maroon Legitimacy in Colonial Esmeraldas

(p.95) 4 Between the Cross and the Sword
Africans to Spanish America

Charles Beatty-Medina

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores how Christianization became an indispensable tool for Afro-Amerindian rebels seeking political legitimacy and continued autonomy on the frontiers of the Spanish empire and within an African diasporic world. Focusing on the period 1577–1617, it considers how clerical intervention and the discourse of religious conversion shaped colonization over time by looking at the case of Esmeraldas maroons on the coast of early colonial Ecuador. By analyzing aspects of marronage and maroon societies in Spanish America, it elucidates how the colonial state resorted to Christian missionizing and conversion as part and parcel of its pacification campaign. It shows that the Esmeraldas maroons deftly navigated both religious intervention and the discourse of Christian conversion in order to situate themselves as the legitimate lords of Esmeraldas.

Keywords:   religious conversion, Christianization, Afro-Amerindian rebels, political legitimacy, Esmeraldas maroons, Ecuador, marronage, missionizing, pacification, religious intervention

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