Indigenous colonial archives: Micro-histories and comparisons

Indigenous colonial archives: Micro-histories and comparisons

This project aims to examine indigenous practices of production, accumulation, preservation, and circulation of Portuguese-language records and written documentation, in the context of local cultural practices and of colonial histories of encounter. It is a central hypothesis of this study that the shared histories of European – and particularly Portuguese – colonialism and indigenous societies need to be understood in relation to a proliferation of vernacular archival cultures, literacy, and writing practices, so far little explored. It asks how and why indigenous cultures of writing, literate mediation, and document curating come into being in the context of colonial interactions; how they look like in relation to both indigenous cultural repertories and forms of governmentality and to histories of colonization, trade, conquest, evangelization, and state administration; and it considers the ways through which the colonizers themselves could relate to these varied archival cultures over time.

The research will translate these issues into a set of comparative micro-historical studies on the social life of indigenous colonial documents and their related political, ritual, and social uses amongst distinct communities in Portuguese Asia and Africa: village communities in rural South Asia (Goa); indigenous kindgoms (reinos) in island Southeast Asia (Timor); and African states (sobados) in central Angola.

 

Estatuto: 
Proponent entity
Financed: 
Yes
Keywords: 

Archives, Writing, Colonialism, Portuguese empire

This project aims to examine indigenous practices of production, accumulation, preservation, and circulation of Portuguese-language records and written documentation, in the context of local cultural practices and of colonial histories of encounter. It is a central hypothesis of this study that the shared histories of European – and particularly Portuguese – colonialism and indigenous societies need to be understood in relation to a proliferation of vernacular archival cultures, literacy, and writing practices, so far little explored. It asks how and why indigenous cultures of writing, literate mediation, and document curating come into being in the context of colonial interactions; how they look like in relation to both indigenous cultural repertories and forms of governmentality and to histories of colonization, trade, conquest, evangelization, and state administration; and it considers the ways through which the colonizers themselves could relate to these varied archival cultures over time.

The research will translate these issues into a set of comparative micro-historical studies on the social life of indigenous colonial documents and their related political, ritual, and social uses amongst distinct communities in Portuguese Asia and Africa: village communities in rural South Asia (Goa); indigenous kindgoms (reinos) in island Southeast Asia (Timor); and African states (sobados) in central Angola.

 

Parceria: 
Unintegrated
Catarina Madeira Santos

INDICO

Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/10/2018
End Date: 
30/09/2021
Duração: 
36 meses
Active