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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the dense web of indigenous trade that crisscrossed Mosquitia, Talamanca, and Darién during the latter part of the colonial period. Most studies have focused on European actors’ geopolitical and economic interests in these regions. Here we concentrate on indigenous populations and their trading networks. Exchange brought together Indians from villages under Spanish control, Indians that remained independent, and a variety of European colonials It also helped cement alliances between some Indians and non-Spanish European powers, and affected Spanish colonizing strategies while increasing the Indians’ ability to retain their independence. Indians played a major role in connecting the Spanish mainland with the non-Spanish commercial hubs that emerged in the Caribbean islands.

Keywords: indigenous trade networks, Amerindian slaves, independent Indians, reducciones, British imperial interests, Central America and the Caribbean

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