by Juliet B. Wiersema
University of Texas Press, 2024
eISBN: 978-1-4773-2775-3 | Cloth: 978-1-4773-2774-6
Library of Congress Classification G1731.S12
Dewey Decimal Classification 912.861

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | REVIEWS | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK

An exploration of Colombian maps in New Granada.

During the late Spanish colonial period, the Pacific Lowlands, also called the Greater Chocó, was famed for its rich placer deposits. Gold mined here was central to New Granada’s economy yet this Pacific frontier in today’s Colombia was considered the “periphery of the periphery.” Infamous for its fierce, unconquered Indigenous inhabitants and its brutal tropical climate, it was rarely visited by Spanish administrators, engineers, or topographers and seldom appeared in detail on printed maps of the period.

In this lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched volume, Juliet Wiersema uncovers little-known manuscript cartography and makes visible an unexamined corner of the Spanish empire. In concert with thousands of archival documents from Colombia, Spain, and the United States, she reveals how a "periphery" was imagined and projected, largely for political or economic reasons. Along the way, she unearths untold narratives about ephemeral settlements, African adaptation and autonomy, Indigenous strategies of resistance, and tenuous colonialisms on the margins of a beleaguered viceroyalty.


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