Rural Slavery and the Emergence of a Black Peasantry in Pará, 1850–88

Friday, January 6, 2012: 3:30 PM
Ontario Room (Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers)
Oscar de la Torre Cueva, University of Pittsburgh
While part of the present day black peasants of the Amazon descend from former maroons (i.e. runaway slaves), a good share of them originated from plantation slaves. I will argue that, in the case of the latter, three processes taking place under slavery shaped the emergence of this “re-constituted peasantry:” the diversity of productive and extractive activities on Amazonian plantations, the slaves’ construction of their own social life, and the gradual process of abolition, culminating in 1888. While this process is similar to what happened in other parts of Brazil, all three elements were shaped by Amazonian social, economic, and cultural conditions.
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