Thursday Sep 24, 2015
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Featuring Robert J. Tórrez, this presentation discusses the capture and enslavement of Native Americans in colonial New Mexico and the evolution of this human traffic.
The servitude it entailed evolved into a class of free Native Americans called genizaros. While the practice of taking captives during inter-tribal raiding began long before Europeans arrived to settle New Mexico, it continued and was officially sanctioned by the Spanish and Mexican governments. Initially brought into colonial society as little more than slaves, genizaros became an important element in the settlement and defense of New Mexico’s vast frontier. Several present-day communities in New Mexico were founded by groups of these detribalized Native Americans.