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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

During the late eighteenth century, a range of autonomous Indian nations in Brazil forged more peaceful relationships with the Portuguese without submitting to colonial governance. This indicates the need to look beyond colonial policies of “pacification” to understand how these peace processes unfolded. This chapter builds on recent scholarship on indigenous peacemaking in colonial Latin America and presents new findings on the aims and perspectives of two important groups in western and northern Brazil (the Mbayá-Guaikurú and the Mura). These cases reveal that independent Indians had their own ideas of how peace should be made and what it should entail, compelling even the most cynical colonial officials on the ground to make concessions and compromises. The chapter also draws on the recent literature on peace agreements between Indians and Spaniards to provide a comparative perspective on the ways in which peace was made (and unmade) in the late colonial Iberian borderlands.

Keywords: autonomous Indians, interethnic alliances, peacemaking, diplomacy, intermediaries, resistance

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