Blacks, Indians, and Spaniards in the Eastern Andes
examines the little known province of Mizque and its colonial populations from 1550 to 1782. Mizque's sub-puna valleys, lowland plains, and tropical forests boasted multiple desirable ecological zones. It was inhabited by diverse Andean ethnic groups, some with Amazonian ties and some who were aggressive warriors. The Spanish conquest of the region, incomplete at best, reconfigured the land and labor systems and created a hinterland-to-highland colonial market system, fostering an economic boom in wine, sugar, coca, and livestock. African slaves brought in to supplement the rapidly declining indigenous labor force further contributed to demographic and economic change beyond the control of the Spanish imperial state.
Lolita Gutiérrez Brockington's work also analyzes how imperial control met with resistance and how Africans, Indians, and Spaniards, and their descendants interacted with one another. Her study uncovers an intersection and cross-fertilization of sociocultural measurements identifiable in the workplace, courts, church, and private lives. Brockington innovatively uses Spanish colonial documentary sources, including serial financial accounts of wealthy orphans, court cases, parish records, and census information of hacienda workers to elucidate race, ethnic, class, and gender issues within the colonial reality of contradiction and ambiguity.