Building Durable Missions Through Cultural Exchange: Language, Religion, and Trade on the Frontier Missions of Paraguay

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Title: Building Durable Missions Through Cultural Exchange: Language, Religion, and Trade on the Frontier Missions of Paraguay
Authors: Farine, Mark
Date: 2017
Abstract: This thesis explores the cultural interactions between the Jesuit missionaries and the Guaraní indigenous peoples in the missions of Paraguay from 1609 to 1767. A particular attention is given to the missions’ formative years in which both groups refined their cultural strategies. Specifically, this thesis will explore the collaboration between the two groups and the cultural concessions made by both sides for the project to succeed. While missions are used as an area of evangelization by the Orders that operate them, involvement with the Jesuits allowed the Guaraní to avoid interactions with other settlers and colonial authorities. By agreeing to convert, they gained the protection of the Jesuits. However, they consistently threatened to leave or to refuse work if their protectors took away their most treasured cultural elements: their divine language and their use of sacred herbs like yerba mate. Furthermore, this thesis delves into power relations in the forgotten frontier. An inconsequential source of income for the Spanish Crown, the Province of Paraguay’s main importance was a presence in the buffer zone next to the Portuguese Empire in Brazil. Actors in this frontier─including the Guaraní and the Jesuits─were granted more autonomy and were able to interact with very little royal interference, resulting in an organic cultural exchange between the groups.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35942
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-20223
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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