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Amazonian RoutesIndigenous Mobility and Colonial Communities in Northern Brazil$
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Heather F. Roller

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804787086

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804787086.001.0001

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Defining Indians and Vagrants

Defining Indians and Vagrants

(p.165) 5 Defining Indians and Vagrants
Amazonian Routes

Heather F. Roller

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the emergence of a native and mixed-race population that was not tied to the old institutions of colonial Indian life. The existence of such a population provoked difficult questions of definition and identity, for both colonial officials and colonial subjects: Who was an Indian and who was not? Who could be obligated to serve in the villages of the Indian Directorate and who could legitimately claim exemption? As antivagrancy campaigns attempted to corral increasing numbers of Indians into the state-run villages in the 1770s and 1780s, individuals devised novel strategies to live where they wished and to control their own labor. By the end of the century, the stability of the corporate Indian villages had been undermined, and the Directorate system was abolished.

Keywords:   vagrancy, antivagrancy campaigns, labor, ethnic identity, status, Indian Directorate, internal migration

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