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Archaeology of Early Colonial Interaction at El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba$
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Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061566

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061566.001.0001

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An Indian Town in Times of the Encomienda

An Indian Town in Times of the Encomienda

(p.299) 8 An Indian Town in Times of the Encomienda
Archaeology of Early Colonial Interaction at El Chorro de Maíta, Cuba

Roberto Valcárcel Rojas

University Press of Florida

Chapter 8 interprets the results of diverse lines of evidence. The demographic differences and mortuary behavior between locals and non-locals, the ethnic composition of the burial population, the chronology of the cemetery and of the non-funerary zones, the particulars of the material culture present, and the historic information for the zone where the site is located, identify this place as a town of Indian encomendados. The cemetery developed under pressure from the Spanish but appears to be maintained by the indigenous population. It is a place of syncretic character that combines diverse cultural traditions and reflects the needs of a region of intense colonial activity. Evidence of Christianization, the abandonment of indigenous practices, such as cranial modification, and the burial of individuals in clothing point to the appearance of the Indio as an individual adjusted to colonial requirements. This place appears as a stage in the process of transculturation in which new individuals emerged (Indians, mestizos, criollos).

Keywords:   Syncretism, Encomienda, Christianization, Indian, Transculturation, Colonialism

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