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Neutral Ground and Contraband: Trade and Identity on the Frontier

Author(s): Casey J Hanson

Year: 2017

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Béxar’s location on the frontier coupled with stifling colonial economic policies prompted Tejanos to look to the east for economic opportunities and initiated an active contraband market during the colonial period that became a robust import economy during the Mexican period.   While many have focused on the implications of the relationships created through these frontier markets, there has been less of an effort to examine the goods that formed the basis of this trade and the roles that the market played in subject formation.   This paper examines the themes of frontier markets and illicit trade as they appear in the archival and archaeological records.  These data suggest that foreign goods and illicit trade served integral functions throughout the colonial and Mexican periods and I argue that participation in foreign trade not only forged important relationships, but that the mundane items involved were also significant to the formation of Tejano identity.  

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Neutral Ground and Contraband: Trade and Identity on the Frontier. Casey J Hanson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435236)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 598

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America