This article focuses on an incident in colonial Peru during which a Spanish sailor attacked his former lover—a free black laundress—with a knife. A close reading of the woman's subsequent lawsuit reveals that, in addition to a near-lethal attack, she suffered from myriad other abuses. In the months prior to the physical altercation, she endured ongoing harassment and verbal abuse from her assailant. And, as she attempted to recover from her wounds and seek justice in the aftermath of the attack, skeptical investigators subjected her to a grueling interrogation, which converged with other forces to result in her leaving town before the case could be resolved. In tracing the woman's experiences before, during, and after her attack, this article seeks to both deepen and complicate our understanding of the relationship between honor and violence in colonial Latin American history.


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pp. 11-32
Launched on MUSE
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