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Feast of Souls

Indians and Spaniards in the Seventeenth-Century Missions of Florida and New Mexico

Robert C. Galgano

Publication Year: 2005

Feast of Souls explores native peoples' responses to Spanish attempts to challenge and replace traditional spiritual practices in Florida and New Mexico. In these two regions, Franciscan missions were the primary mechanism for both spiritual and secular colonization in the seventeenth century.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Title Page

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pp. iv


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pp. vii

LIst of Illustrations

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pp. ix


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pp. xi-xii

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Introduction: Frontiers and Missions

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pp. 1-10

Without the presence of Indians, no Spaniard would have settled Florida or New Mexico. Explorers would have marched through empty lands in vain attempts to find sources of fortune. Their journeys would have been shorter without Indian guides and sustenance; their expeditions would not have taken slaves or killed...

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1: Different Paths

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pp. 11-35

Before local scouts tracked the hairy-faced, metal-clad beings on American shores, before mariners stocked vessels to search for undiscovered sea passages, before robed and tonsured men uttered the first incantations of a foreign faith to native audiences, Indians, Spaniards, and Franciscans had evolved in separate worlds. Despite...

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2: Conquering the Spirit

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pp. 37-60

Spaniards’ New World conquests were extensive by the end of the sixteenth century. They had toppled the Aztecs of central Mexico in 1521, had deposed the Incas of highland Peru in 1533, and thirty years later had spread their influence over tens of thousands of square miles in Central and South America. Following patterns developed during...

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3: Braving the Storm

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pp. 61-87

By the first decades of the seventeenth century, the Indians’ world had begun to look vastly different than it had a generation before. Where once moccasined feet had trod silently on the dirt paths between settlements, galloping horses’ hooves punctured the trails and wooden wheels rutted the roads. Armed men, even some overly dressed...

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4: The Imbalance of Power

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pp. 89-118

The terms of conquest that Spaniards and Indians negotiated over the first decades of the seventeenth century changed after the 1640s. The survival of Spain’s frontier colonies was largely dependent on extracting native labor and proselytizing native souls. But recurrent epidemics, raids by non-Christian Indians, and onerous labor demands ravaged indigenous populations. Disgruntled native converts...

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5: Breaking Faith

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pp. 119-144

The end of the Spanish missions in Florida and New Mexico was as prolonged as the conquest had been. Decisive moments—such as the Pueblos’ successful revolt in 1680—punctuated protracted episodes of retreat, resettlement, and eventual abandonment. From the 1670s through the century’s close, Indians and Spaniards moved to an increasingly discordant rhythm. Whether intended or not, decades of...

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6: Reckoning

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pp. 145-155

The seventeenth-century Spanish missions in Florida and New Mexico were contested ground. Despite imposing colonial governance over the Guales, Timucuas, Apalachees, and Pueblos through military conquest, the Spaniards could not compel mission Indians to adopt Christianity. While some natives did become practicing Catholics for their own motives, many others either rejected their...


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pp. 157-188

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 189-208


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pp. 209-212

E-ISBN-13: 9780826336507
E-ISBN-10: 0826336507
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826336491
Print-ISBN-10: 0826336493

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 12 halftones, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2005