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Legal Status, Social Ties, and the Material Bonds of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Lima

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Abstract:

Whether laboring in private homes, escorting owners through city streets, selling wares for daily wages, or performing work for hire, slaves operated at every point on Lima’s urban spectrum. Their travels throughout the city’s public and private spaces exposed them to all kinds of people, goods, and attention, and while the bond between master and slave certainly determined many important parameters of slaves’ behavior, their lives were also shaped by the ties that they forged and maintained in living quarters, work environments, and everywhere in between. For the enslaved men and women who navigated the city’s terrain each day, social ties and material goods were thoroughly intertwined. Each offered or fortified access to the other, and together, they could yield new opportunities.

Through an exploration of these informal networks and exchanges, this paper will show that eighteenth-century Lima was home to a remarkable degree of cross-caste and cross-status interaction and sometimes cooperation. Moreover, it argues that the settings that offered the greatest potential for slaves to receive assistance were those closest to home. Free and enslaved blacks often belonged to the same households, families, and extended clans, and these and other such connections provided slaves with access to valuable social and material resources, as well as opportunities for the creation of social identities that fell outside the social lines and color lines drawn by the colonial state.
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Association:
Name: Association for the Study of African American Life and History
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208248_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Walker, Tamara. "Legal Status, Social Ties, and the Material Bonds of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Lima" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Atlanta Hilton, Charlotte, NC, <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208248_index.html>

APA Citation:

Walker, T. J. "Legal Status, Social Ties, and the Material Bonds of Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Lima" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Atlanta Hilton, Charlotte, NC <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p208248_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: Whether laboring in private homes, escorting owners through city streets, selling wares for daily wages, or performing work for hire, slaves operated at every point on Lima’s urban spectrum. Their travels throughout the city’s public and private spaces exposed them to all kinds of people, goods, and attention, and while the bond between master and slave certainly determined many important parameters of slaves’ behavior, their lives were also shaped by the ties that they forged and maintained in living quarters, work environments, and everywhere in between. For the enslaved men and women who navigated the city’s terrain each day, social ties and material goods were thoroughly intertwined. Each offered or fortified access to the other, and together, they could yield new opportunities.

Through an exploration of these informal networks and exchanges, this paper will show that eighteenth-century Lima was home to a remarkable degree of cross-caste and cross-status interaction and sometimes cooperation. Moreover, it argues that the settings that offered the greatest potential for slaves to receive assistance were those closest to home. Free and enslaved blacks often belonged to the same households, families, and extended clans, and these and other such connections provided slaves with access to valuable social and material resources, as well as opportunities for the creation of social identities that fell outside the social lines and color lines drawn by the colonial state.

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