Chapter

Petitions as Prayers in the Field of <i>Reducción</i>

Joel Robbins

in Converting Words

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257702
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944916 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257702.003.0010
Petitions as Prayers in the Field of Reducción

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Like the other notarial genres, collective letters and petitions are the products of cabildo members acting in their official capacities. Most show the full notarial apparatus: one or more scribes, a specified date and place of production, a “we,” “in front of them,” addressing a “you.” Whereas the major land documents performatively create places through the actions of the principals, the petitions describe a preexisting grievance or condition, usually some suffering inflicted upon the principals by others. This chapter discusses letters, illustrating some of their features: the salience of the addressee, the stance of the petitioner, and something of the verse style typical of the genre.

Keywords: notarial works; cabildo; land documents; petitions; letters

Chapter.  9996 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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