"They came to loot our treasures": Indigenous, Pirates, and Indigenous-Pirates on the Mexican Pacific Coast
This is an abstract from the "After Cortés: Archaeological Legacies of the European Invasion in Mesoamerica" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Recent studies show that the Spanish conquest of the Oaxacan Pacific Coast was shaped, and even orchestrated, by indigenous kingdoms (Zapotecs, Mixtecs) and allied groups (Pochutecs, Chontal) that vied for control over key trading ports. These same indigenous players continued their cycles of conflicts, alliances, and trade with other intrusive European powers—English, Dutch, and French—that disrupted the region’s delicate geopolitics throughout most of the Colonial period. In this presentation we explore the complex interactions between these so-called ‘pirates’ and the Chontal people. Both consisted of closed groups which operated on the margins of the Spanish empire. To elucidate this dynamic yet elusive period in Pacific and global history, we consider shifting settlement patterns, landscape modifications, historical records, linguistic evidence, and long-term social memory encapsulated in contemporary festivities.
Cite this Record
"They came to loot our treasures": Indigenous, Pirates, and Indigenous-Pirates on the Mexican Pacific Coast. Danny Zborover, John Pohl. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450617)
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min long: -109.226; min lat: 13.112 ; max long: -90.923; max lat: 21.125 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23789