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Title: European visitors in native spaces: Using palaeography to investigate religious dynamics in the New World
Authors: Samson, Alice V. M.
Cooper, Jago
Caamaño-Done, Josué
First Published: 2016
Publisher: Society for American Archaeology (SAA)
Citation: Latin American Antiquity, 2016, in press
Abstract: Recent archaeological fieldwork on Isla de Mona in the Caribbean has led to the discovery of a substantial corpus of early colonial inscriptions inside the dark zone of one of the island's two hundred cave systems. Cave 18, like multiple others on the island, was a well-established indigenous spiritual realm in the centuries leading up to European colonization. Christian symbols, individual names, written dates, and Spanish and Latin religious commentaries are located in direct association with pre-existing indigenous iconography and activities. This paper applies palaeographic (handwriting) analysis to establish the authenticity, authorship, and chronology of the inscriptions and interpret the nature of this early spiritual encounter. We conclude that these sixteenth-century inscriptions represent visits to the cave by first generation Europeans, including Spanish royal officials in Puerto Rico, and reflect their reactions to native religious landscapes. The inscriptions on Isla de Mona capture personal, face-to-face encounters with native religion, and represent Christian commentaries and reactions to indigenous spaces and indigenous worldview in the early colonial period.
ISSN: 1045-6635
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2016. After embargo this will be an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License ( ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Description: The file associated with this record is under embargo while permission to archive is sought from the publisher. The full text may be available through the publisher links above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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