Masters and Indians

In the early seventeenth century, the colonists of São Paulo began to impose a greater distance – geographic and social – between the Indians they captured and the societies from which these slaves originated. Indeed, as we saw in the previous chapter, the introduction of thousands of captives provoked the elaboration of an ideological and institutional structure that could organize relations between settlers and Indians. However, the agency and experience of indigenous captives within colonial society also contributed in significant ways to the historical construction of Indian slavery. In this regard, it is important to remember that the active participation of native peoples shaped the structures of domination that characterized seventeenth-century Paulista society, and that Indians, in turn, confronted colonial subordination and captivity in multiple, sometimes contradictory ways, their actions constituting a dimension of their history that has gone largely unexplored.

To be sure, the shock of conquest, aggravated by repeated outbreaks of epidemic disease, debilitated and disarticulated indigenous societies. However, the many Indians who survived this initial impact, and who were then subjected to one of several modalities of colonial domination, hardly disappeared. Rather, they underwent a transformation through which members of once vigorous societies came to form the most miserable and exploited ranks of colonial society. From hinterland to settlement, from Indian to slave – this was the process endured by the majority. Yet, we should not think of it as a straightforward process, since it involved the development of complex relations between masters and Indians, relations that were shaped by the ties that bound them together, and by the Indians’ own actions and experiences.

From Survival to Slavery

“It is well known,” declared a colonist involved in a suit over Indian slaves, “that one piece from the settlement is worth more than four newly brought from the wilderness.”1 It was a simple, direct statement that expressed the difference between Indians recently introduced from the hinterland and those born in captivity or considered acculturated, a difference that manifested itself, throughout the seventeenth century, in the prices paid for captives.2 To some extent, the higher prices commanded by Indians born into slavery, who were called crioulos (“creoles”), reflected the colonists’ expectation of those Indians’ greater longevity and, especially, productivity. But the larger significance of this differentiated scale lay in the implicit process of transformation of native peoples into chattel slaves.3 The very term índio– redefined over the course of the century – serves as evidence of this process: in documentation from the period the term refers only to the inhabitants of mission villages, the vast majority of the indigenous population receiving the suggestive denomination of negros da terra (literally, “blacks of the land,” hence “native blacks”).

As slaveowners attempted to transform new captives into productive laborers, they encountered a series of obstacles that stood in the way of the formation of a well-defined slave class. Expeditions to the wilderness yielded a wide variety of ethnic types, and every Indian introduced from the interior faced a period of adaptation to the new regime of forced labor. Masters proved sensitive to distinctions within the captive population, and different types of slaves were valued accordingly. Maria Pacheco, for example, in seeking compensation for an Indian who had been murdered on the estate of Bento de Alvarenga, demanded that the victim be replaced with “a black of the same nation as the deceased.”4 In another case, Cornélio Rodrigues de Arzão allowed four fugitive slaves to remain on the estate of Antonio Lopes Benavides so long as Benavides agreed to give him “four equal pieces” in exchange.5 Maria da Cunha of Mogi das Cruzes remarked in her will that her slave Domingas, a bastarda (as the illegitimate daughter of an Indian woman and Portuguese settler would be called), could be traded, but only “for another of her quality.”6 Not all Paulistas were so easily satisfied with equal trades, though. When João Barreto achieved a favorable judgment over Pedro Porrate de Penedo and was to receive twenty-two Indians in satisfaction of a debt, he requested that the Indians be auctioned, preferring money over flesh, “inasmuch as pieces are not permanent goods but mortals and may dwindle away and cause losses to heirs.”7

Though slave price information is scarce for the seventeenth century, the available figures show variations that reflected the diversity of the population in terms of ethnic background and occupational specialization. The clearest distinction was drawn between Indians recently introduced from the hinterland and those born in captivity (the crioulos) or considered fully adapted to the regime (ladinos). Throughout this period, it would seem that the value of a crioulo or ladino slave remained four or five times higher than that of an unseasoned captive; in the second half of the seventeenth century, the price of a seasoned Indian ranged between 20 and 25 milréis, while Indians recently arrived from the backlands were sold for 4 or 5 milréis each.8 In one specific case, Antonio Rodrigues Velho arranged with his brother-in-law to exchange 20 Indians from the backlands for 12 from the colonial settlement. Believing himself to have struck an excellent bargain, Antonio was subsequently disappointed to learn that his brother-in-law was only willing to deliver five adults and one young boy as payment for the 20 captives from the backlands, an exchange that probably more accurately reflected their relative value.9

At the other end of the price spectrum, Indians with well-defined specializations were valued accordingly. For example, “a native black carpenter named Tomás,” was listed separately from 61 other Indians in the inventory of Antonio Correia da Silva and his value was assessed at 50 milréis, nearly equivalent to the price of an African slave. In another inventory, an Indian weaver was included on a list of African and mulato slaves and assigned a monetary value.10 At the same time, crioulos and mestiços (metis, in the first generation, nearly always the offspring of European fathers and Indian mothers) usually commanded high prices, in some cases as high or higher than the average price of an African slave. In 1653, for example, a bastarda belonging to Simão de Araujo was appraised at 80 milréis, about twice the value of an African captive.11 Similarly high values were assigned to the offspring of Indian-African unions, who were quite often listed in estate inventories as slaves, even when their mothers’ status as Indians should have led to their being registered separately, as personal servants.12

The preference for locally born over recently captured Indians, and for mestiços over either, undoubtedly had a great deal to do with the vicissitudes of slave-hunting, which profoundly shaped the formation of São Paulo’s slave society. While in the early seventeenth century colonists believed that the wilderness offered an inexhaustible supply of Indians, they soon discovered that it was an unreliable source for the physical reproduction of their labor force. After all, mortality rates were bound to be high in a regime characterized by wasteful exploitation, in which Indian captives were considered expendable so long as replacing them remained cheap and easy.

Though the records offer only a fleeting glimpse at patterns of mortality within the regime of personal service, the question of longevity certainly played a vital role in determining the continued viability of Indian slavery. It would seem that the survival rate for captives immediately following their capture remained very low. The long marches that captives were forced to make from their communities of origin to São Paulo, during which food supplies were always scarce, was one of the main reasons so many died. Those who survived the tribulations of the long journey faced further ordeals, especially in their first few years in São Paulo: illness, hunger, and abusive treatment decimated this population. Documentary evidence, though spotty, indicates that the attrition rate for the captive Indian population remained high, which meant that slaveholdings tended to diminish when not replenished with new captives.13

Periodic calamities aggravated this negative demographic balance. The Indian population, especially the recently captured segment of it, proved extremely susceptible to Old World disease, which, in turn, made it necessary to continually reconstitute the workforce through new slaving expeditions. For example, the smallpox epidemic that afflicted the captaincy in 1665–1666 precipitated a sharp decline in the local population, which served as justification for the large-scale expedition of 1666. Other epidemics were recorded in 1624, 1630, and 1635, each related to a recent influx of large contingents of Guarani captives, just as the intensified introduction of African slaves in the 1690s led to new outbreaks.14 Though it is not clear how many Indians perished, each of these outbreaks provoked the intensification of raiding, as the colonists desperately tried to reconstitute their holdings.15

On other occasions, disease struck isolated estates with devastating results. Domingos Leite de Carvalho, master of many Indian slaves, observed in his will: “I do not declare the heathen of the land as they are sick and go on dying.”16 In the late 1680s, the wealthy couple Pedro Vaz de Barros and Maria Leite de Mesquita boasted of having more than 500 Indians among their holdings west of the town of São Paulo, but a measles epidemic decimated the ranks, leaving only 47 at the time of Vaz de Barros’s death in 1697.17

Hunger was another factor contributing to high mortality rates among captives. The irregular influx of new captives, which caused the colonial population to grow in spurts, placed significant pressure on the food supply, since the vast majority of slaves were destined for activities linked to commercial production and transport, rather than the cultivation of subsistence crops for local consumption. In 1652, the Municipal Council discussed on multiple occasions the great hunger that the Indians suffered, in spite of the regular transport of large quantities of meat and wheat to the coast.18

The colonists were well aware of the high attrition rate for Indians in captivity, which is why they clung so dearly to the right to “descend” Indians from the wilderness. Indeed, the death of Indian servants came often enough to be a constant concern for the colonists. Martim Rodrigues Tenorio, for example, recorded slave obituaries in his account book: “Silvestre passed away on March 29, 1601, on a Thursday at around noon. Apollonia died on May 22.”19 Manuel Temudo and Gaspar de Oliveira, who died nearly forty years apart, each took care to set aside small sums in their wills so that masses could be delivered for the “heathen of my service who died in my household.”20 In 1660, when he petitioned to establish the rural chapel of Conceição de Taiassupeva on his property in Mogi das Cruzes, Baltasar de Godoi Moreira requested authorization to establish a cemetery for the serviços (literally, “services,” thus servants) and other poor people of the neighborhood, since it was too costly and difficult to bring them all the way to town for a Christian burial.21

This concern for Indians at the hour of their deaths reflected a more general attempt to impose some cohesiveness on the fragile structures that made up the local slave system. As raiding expeditions became more difficult, dangerous, and costly, the colonists attempted to forge structures that would foster the preservation of the system. Somewhat like the Jesuits, they had the creation of an ideal Indian in mind: docile, disciplined, and Christian. The result – an increasingly disappointing one over time – was the development of fragile structures that could not offset the trend of demographic decline.

Paths to Integration

If the transformation of indigenous captives into Indian slaves required adjustments on the part of masters, it also involved a process of adaptation on the part of enslaved peoples. This process unfolded over the course of the seventeenth century, contributing to the development of the precarious structures that were to hold together the regime of personal service. One of the central elements in this process was religion, which served as a means of putting a definitive distance between Indian servants and the social organization and culture from which they had been torn. Thus, to the slaveowners, at least, the ideal of conversion went well beyond its use as the principal justification for Indian slavery.

It is not entirely clear to what point the Paulistas inculcated Christianity in their slaves. Clearly, though, the masters’ religion reaffirmed existing relations of domination and served as an instrument to enforce authority. One example of this comes from a judicial inquest in which an Indian informant, ironically named Inocêncio, was cautioned by the interpreter who took his oath “that he speak the truth and not lie because he had sworn on the evangelical saints and the Devil would take him should he not speak the truth.”22

For such warnings to have any significance required introducing Indians to the world of Catholicism through baptism and the assignment of Christian names. Parish registers reveal that many masters were content with baptizing Indians in collective rites shortly after bringing them from the interior. Other masters, however, evidently made a conscious effort to indoctrinate their slaves before baptizing them, as indicated by the interval between the arrival of some Indians and their baptisms. Many estate inventories included unbaptized Indians who were listed either without names or with their native appellations transcribed into often indecipherable Portuguese. For example, Maria Moreira’s inventory included “Jacó and his wife with two children who being Tapuios [i.e., Tapuias] and unbaptized do not have names,” while Catarina Tavares’s inventory contained names so garbled by the imaginative scribe who penned them as to be incomprehensible to the modern researcher, though they may refer to personal names or the names of local Indian groups from around the Tocantins River in the Amazonian north.23 Those Indians who did not yet have Christian names apparently went through some religious instruction before baptism. Thus, when the infant Albana was christened, the vicar noted that Albana’s mother, “now pagan, is to be called Luzia when she is baptized,” which occurred more than a year later.24

In addition to bestowing Christian names on Indians, the baptism ritual also introduced them to the practice of compadrio, or ritual coparentage, an important element of the Luso-Christian world of colonial Brazil. Analysis of seventeenth-century parish registers reveals patterns in relationships between masters and Indians that afford a better understanding of the structure of slave society on the Paulista plateau. The richest evidence comes from the parish of Sorocaba, where several collective baptisms of recently enslaved Indians took place in the 1680s. An analysis of these records reveals two interesting features of the baptism of new slaves. First, almost all of the Indians christened were children, registered as filhos de pagãos (“children of pagans”), which suggests that newly enslaved adults were not immediately subjected to baptism. Second, Indians who had already converted to Christianity, generally ones belonging to the same estate as those being baptized, served as godparents in most cases. For example, of the fifty-three captives belonging to André de Zúñega who were baptized on the same day in 1685, forty-six had Indian godparents. The following day, when thirty-one Indians belonging to Diogo Domingues de Faria were baptized in a single ceremony, all had Indian godparents.25 Based on these figures, we may assume that seasoned Indian slaves, as godparents, served as intermediaries in the process of transforming more recent arrivals into Christian slaves, at least in a symbolic sense.

Beyond this relationship between ladinos and new captives, there is some evidence that suggests greater complexity in the ritual kinship of compadrio. For example, Martinho Garcia personally oversaw the baptism of thirty-six Indians he had enslaved on the Zúñega expedition, assuming the role of godfather to all the adults and to seven children who received Christian names. His brother Miguel Garcia served as godfather to eleven children, while the remaining eleven, all girls, became the godchildren of the African slave Simão and the Indian Laura, both of whom belonged to the neighboring estate of Diogo Domingues de Faria.26

Such proximity between masters and captive children was rare, though. In the Sorocaba registers, masters appear as godfathers of their own slaves in a mere 25 instances out of nearly 700 baptisms. Significantly, masters appeared as godfathers to their own Indians only in cases where no father was declared, in adult baptisms, or where they themselves were the father of the child to be christened – a pattern also observed in the parish registers of Santo Amaro, Itu, and Conceição dos Guarulhos during this period. Masters, in other words, might choose to be godfathers to their slaves, but not in cases where it would mean becoming a coparent with a male slave. They thereby avoided creating bonds of equality or solidarity with their slaves, while allowing the godfather–godchild relationship to reinforce the paternalistic ethos of slave mastery.

Figures on infant baptisms registered in the parishes of Sorocaba and Santo Amaro beginning in the late seventeenth century illustrate other interesting features of compadrio in São Paulo during that era (see Tables 7 and 8). The results differ slightly in the two cases, the differences reflecting the contrasting demographic structures of the two parishes. Sorocaba had a much greater concentration of Indians in its overall population, as 62 percent of registered baptisms were of children born to Indian parents, compared to only 24 percent for Santo Amaro. At the same time, there was a substantially higher percentage of children whose fathers were unidentified in Santo Amaro (22 percent) than in Sorocaba (9 percent). This difference becomes especially clear when expressed in terms of the Indian population: among the children born to Indian mothers in Santo Amaro, 49 percent did not have fathers who recognized their paternity, while in Sorocaba this figure stood at only 12 percent. These figures reflect the different stages of development of the two parishes. Santo Amaro included communities that had existed for three generations, while Sorocaba was an area of relatively recent settlement. Moreover, the Indian population of Sorocaba received large infusions of new captives during this period.

Table 7Ethnicity of Parents and Godparents of Children Baptized in Sorocaba, 1684–1692*









I + I







U + I





Wh + I


Wh + Wh









*I = Indian, U = undeclared father, Wh = white, AS = African slave. Men precede women in the order of couples and godparents.

Source: Batizados de Sorocaba, servos, 1684–1694 (inserted in Batizados Livro 1), Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Sorocaba.

Table 8Ethnicity of Parents and Godparents of Children Baptized in Santo Amaro, 1686–1710*









I + I







U + I






Wh + I






U + AS





I + AS




AS + I


Wh + Wh









*I = Indian, U = undeclared father, Wh = white, AS = African slave. Men precede women in the order of couples and godparents.

Source: Batizados de Santo Amaro, Livro 1 (1686–1725), Arquivo da Cúria Metropolitana de São Paulo, 04-02-23.

Differences between the two parishes also appear in the composition of godparents. In Sorocaba, 55 percent of the children born to Indian parents where the father was declared had two Indians as godparents, while 30 percent had a pair of white godparents and 11 percent had mixed godparents, usually a white godfather and an Indian godmother. These percentages were practically reversed in Santo Amaro, where only 30 percent of the children baptized had two Indians as godparents, while a full 59 percent had two white godparents.27 This apparent preference for white godparents in Santo Amaro was even more acute in the case of illegitimate children whose fathers were not declared in the register. About 75 percent of the children born to unmarried Indian mothers had two white godparents, while only 14 percent had two Indian godparents. In every case in which a colonist assumed paternity of a child born to an unmarried Indian woman, the godparents were both white. The results from Sorocaba show a smaller concentration of white godparents, but a preference for them nonetheless: 57 percent of children born to unmarried Indian mothers had two white godparents, 28 percent had a pair of Indian godparents, and 15 percent had mixed godparents.28

The hierarchical patterns suggested in the baptismal registers may reflect differentiated strategies of socialization. However, they reveal little about the significance of ritual coparentage to the Indians themselves. Any conclusions derived from these figures, therefore, must be regarded with some suspicion. Oftentimes, the choice of godparents was no choice at all, as candidates were selected by masters. In other cases, godparents assumed the role only because they were present at the time of the ceremony, which is suggested by the repeated appearance of certain godparents on the same date. On other occasions, when likely candidates were lacking, the responsibility of serving as godmother fell to Indian women belonging to the officiating priest or even to the mother of the christened child herself. Even when the choice was apparently made more or less freely, it sometimes followed a logic of its own. That was the case of the twins Amaro and Sebastião, sons of an unmarried Indian woman and an unidentified father, the former (Amaro) receiving two whites as godparents and the latter (Sebastião) two Indians.29

Even if ritual coparentage did not have the same meaning for converted Indians as it did for the colonists, it nevertheless represented a significant step in the integration of Indians into Paulista society. On the one hand, in cases in which godparents and parents alike were Indians, it produced bonds of solidarity defined by the shared experience of slavery. On the other hand, particularly in cases where colonists served as godparents to the children of unmarried Indian women, ties of ritual kinship reinforced the master–slave relationship.

Much as the acceptance of ritual coparents at the baptismal ceremony may have represented little more than pro forma compliance with general ecclesiastical practice, the adoption of a Christian name was not necessarily a sign of acculturation. Frequently, names were chosen – or assigned – according to the Christian calendar, which appears to have served mainly to help masters identify their slaves. For example, during the compilation of the inventory of Maria Tenoria’s estate, three Indian children entered the list unnamed, “as they are on the roça and no one remembers their names.”30 Other Indians, particularly ones brought from the sertão, appear in the documentation as having two names, one Christian and the other pagan.

The question of language, though little studied, offers further traces of the complex social processes that characterized seventeenth-century São Paulo. Historians have long held that Tupi was widely spoken in São Paulo until at least the middle of the eighteenth century, when it gave way to Portuguese and, in rural areas, the caipira dialect.31 The Bishop of Pernambuco’s commentary regarding Domingos Jorge Velho has been frequently cited in support of this view: “This man is one of the worst savages I have ever encountered: when he met with me he brought an interpreter with him, for he does not even know how to speak, nor does he differ from the most barbarous Tapuia, except in saying that he is a Christian.”32 In truth, however, not only could Domingos Jorge Velho speak Portuguese, but he could also write it, an uncommon attribute for any “Tapuia.” Though hardly a fluent writer, he did manage to pen a letter to the Crown, and his quite readable signature appears with some frequency in the notary books of Santana de Parnaíba.33 As it happens, the Bishop of Pernambuco, like other new arrivals from Portugal, apparently was quick to classify creole Portuguese, with its smattering of Indian and African elements, as an Indian language. As to the more general question of how conversant most Paulistas were in Tupi, it is worth pointing out that command of the Tupian lingua geral or any other indigenous language was regarded as a special skill even in São Paulo, where only the greatest backwoodsmen were fluent speakers of indigenous languages. In the 1690s, when a Paulista mercenary petitioned the Bishop of Rio de Janeiro for permission to spread the gospel among a recently contacted Tupi group in one of the northeastern captaincies, ecclesiastical authorities collected sworn statements by leading citizens of São Paulo attesting to his expertise in the lingua geral.34

It seems likely that an ancestral form of the caipira dialect, which remained heavily laced with words of Tupi-Guarani origin into the twentieth century, developed during the seventeenth century alongside the regime of personal service.35 The slave population, primarily Guarani though increasingly heterogeneous beginning in the second half of the century, was basically bilingual, though many Indians found it difficult to express themselves in Portuguese. When called to the witness stand in judicial proceedings, first-generation Indian captives often used interpreters, while Indians born into slavery usually testified in Portuguese. In short, the language division followed the bipolar structure of colonial society. At the base, slaves from different ethnic and linguistic groups communicated in increasingly corrupted forms of Guarani, which amounted to the Paulista version of the lingua geral. At the top, the Luso-Brazilian community distinguished itself from the great mass of captives through their use of the colonial tongue, even as they inevitably came into daily contact with bastardized Guarani.

This dual pattern was also reflected in the terminology employed to describe Indians and Africans in São Paulo.36 Over the course of the seventeenth century, Indian slavery produced a rich and varied terminology, which is evidence not only of the ethnic, racial, and occupational diversity of the local population, but also of the complex historical process involved in its formation.37 In general, due to the legal restrictions on Indian enslavement, the colonists avoided the use of terms such as “slave” or “captive,” though both appear in private correspondence as well as in public documentation. Until the late seventeenth century, the term used to refer to Indians most often was negro, though it gradually gave way to other terms with the increasing presence of Africans in the captive population. By the end of the seventeenth century, colonists called their Indians gentio do cabelo corredio (“straight-haired heathen”), administrados (“administered ones,” in deference to the 1696 agreement), servos (“servants”), pardos (“dark-skinned ones”), and, finally, carijós. This last term encapsulates a great deal of the indigenous experience in the region, particularly the process of transformation that the captive population underwent.38

Beginning in the mid-sixteenth century, the ethnonym carijó served as a general term for the Guarani, the main object of Paulista slave-hunters as well as of the Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries of Spanish and Portuguese America. Until 1640 Paulista society was profoundly marked by the constant influx of Guarani captives, originating particularly from the Sertão dos Patos and Guairá. From that date onward, however, the supply of Guarani captives abruptly declined due to Indian and Jesuit resistance. As a solution to this crisis in the labor supply, the Paulistas redirected their slaving expeditions, introducing captives of the most varied origins into São Paulo.

The adoption of the term carijó to refer to an ethnically diverse captive population, long after the massive inflow of Guarani had ceased, is thus curious. Yet it makes perfect sense in the context of colonial São Paulo. First of all, the extraordinarily high number of Guarani captives introduced before 1640 – reaching, perhaps, 50,000 individuals – left indelible marks on the social composition of the captaincy. More important, however, was the fact that the ethnic diversity of the subaltern stratum of colonial society in the post-1640 period destabilized the system of private administration. Abrupt changes in the age structure, sexual makeup, and ethnic base of the captive population had profound repercussions in the organization of production and the sphere of social control. As we shall see, the 1650s saw the outbreak of a series of violent revolts, which called into question the viability of Indian slavery. In this context, the resignification of the term carijó almost certainly reflected a strategic attempt on the part of colonists to render a varied population more uniform by imposing Guarani captivity as a model.

In any case, it is clear that by the early eighteenth century the term had ceased to indicate Guarani origins and was used to refer to any subjugated Indian. For example, in the manumission letter that freed Maria Carijó in Sorocaba in 1722, Maria appears as a “Carijó of the Vargis nation.”39 Thus, carijó came to acquire a generic meaning associated directly with Indian slavery. Another example comes from the 1726 will of Pedro Dias, of Parnaíba, which states “that I possess some straight-haired Carijó which I leave free and unbound [forros e livres] by any kind of slavery and they may go wherever they like.”40 Similarly, in the will of Margarida da Silva, the Indian servant Catarina was freed, while her husband and children “shall remain in the status of the other Carijó” (correrão o foro dos mais carijós).41 In short, placing the entire captive population into a single, standardized ethnic category represented much more than the express policy of the slave-owning stratum or a simple semantic exercise: it was, rather, part of a larger historical process involving the transformation of Indians into slaves.

One may note a similar process of change over time involving the terminology that referred to persons of mixed origins. Two terms, often taken to be synonyms, actually expressed a critical distinction in the seventeenth century: mamaluco and bastardo.42 Both terms referred to the progeny of an Indian mother and a white father. The fathers of mamalucos, however, publicly recognized their paternity, while the fathers of bastardos did not. As a result, mamalucos usually were considered free and Portuguese, while bastardos remained tied to the Indian segment of society, having inherited their mothers’ status as servants. By the eighteenth century, the term mamaluco fell into disuse, while bastardo came to refer generically to anyone of Indian ancestry, as in the 1765 census, which referred to the neighborhood of Pari as being inhabited “mainly by bastardos.”43

While shifts in terminology are indicative of the disintegration – or, in the case of the term carijó, reconstitution – of Indian identity, marriage practices and the composition of slave families followed the same general trend. Some masters displayed concern with the maintenance of families on their estates, perhaps with the natural reproduction of their slaveholdings in mind. Estevão Furquim, for example, stressed in his will that the Indian families passed on to his heirs were not to be split up under any circumstances.44 In another case, an heir had to make do with a different Indian than the one left to him in his father’s will, because the latter was married and therefore “they cannot be separated.”45 Francisco Cabral de Távora of Jundiaí stated in his will: “I declare that the pieces that we possess of heathen of the land are not to be sold and that they remain in the allotments as they are so that my wife and my son Francisco may administer them and give them good treatment as I gave them.”46

In general, however, family stability was more the exception than the rule on seventeenth-century estates. Few Indian couples catalogued on inventory lists had Church-sanctioned marriages, a trend confirmed by the almost complete absence of the latter in parish registers. On numerous occasions, ecclesiastical authorities pointed to informal marital arrangements among Indians in São Paulo as evidence of priestly neglect or the lack of qualified clergy. In 1700, during his ecclesiastical inspection of the interior of the captaincy, the Jesuit Antonio Rodrigues performed ninety-seven marriages under the Law of Grace and “revalidated” ninety others.47 In certain cases, informal marital arrangements facilitated the splitting up of families when estates were divided. For example, in the inventory of Antonio Ribeiro Roxo, the Indians Pedro and Branca appear as a married couple in the initial listing of goods, but in the partition they were classified as “single” and were assigned to different heirs.48 Other inventories indicate the persistence of indigenous practice, as in the case of Cristóvão, a Guarani who was listed “with two wives one Hilária the other Luzia,” an arrangement that clashed with the Christian concept of monogamy.49

Over the course of the seventeenth century, the proportion of married couples in the Indian population declined slightly. Table 9 demonstrates this downward trend, showing the most precipitous drop in the 1650s. These figures confirm the hypothesis that the slave population underwent a trying phase of readjustment in these years, during which new patterns of slave-hunting resulted in a general shift in the ethnic composition and sexual balance of the servant population. A similar pattern emerges on the largest estates, which tended to have the most pronounced family structures. Before 1640, more than 50 percent of adult males and 40 percent of adult females on estates with 100 or more slaves had marriage partners. These rates declined slightly thereafter, though they remained higher than the average shown.50

Table 9Married Indians as Percentage of Adult Population, São Paulo and Santana de Parnaíba, 1600–1689




























*%M: Percent of adult male population listed as married.

**%F: Percent of adult female population listed as married.

Sources: Inventories of probated estates, São Paulo and Parnaíba. IT, vols. 1–44; AESP-INP, cxs. 1–40; AESP-IPO, various cxs.; AESP-IE, cxs. 1–6.

The instability of the Indian family in seventeenth-century São Paulo is also shown in the age structure of the slave population. The number of children listed as dependents in inventories of “pieces” fluctuated with shifting patterns of slave-hunting and slave marriage.51 As we have emphasized, in the Paulistas’ attacks on Guarani villages and the missions of Guairá, women and children predominated among the resulting captives, which explains the higher percentage of children in the population early in the century. In the 1640s and 1650s, when the Paulistas mainly captured adult males on their raids among the Guaianá and Guarulhos, this percentage fell. The relative stability of such figures beginning in the 1660s was due – in part, at least – to higher birth rates among the slave population. However, it is important to note that there was an increase in the number of children born to unmarried women during these years, which undoubtedly contributed to the destabilization of family structures in the Indian population. This trend is clearly visible in the parish register of Santo Amaro, which shows that more than half of all the Indian children baptized between 1686 and 1727 were born to unmarried Indian mothers and “unknown” fathers.52

Rates of mixed marriage – between Indians of different ethnic groups, between mission-village residents and personal servants, and between African and Indian slaves – also appear to have increased toward the end of the century. The royal decree of 1696, which laid down regulations for private administration, expressly prohibited marriage between personal servants and the Indians of the mission villages, as well as between personal servants and African slaves. Throughout the seventeenth century, colonial authorities were greatly concerned that mission-village Indians were being transferred into personal service through marriage. Colonists were generally conscious of the distinction, however, and despite occasional abuses, they tended to exclude free Indians and mission villagers from the partitioning of estate inventories, even when they were married to Indian slaves. In 1632, Antonia de Oliveira, whose husband André Fernandes commanded a large labor force of slaves and mission-village Indians, wrote in her will that the many Indians from the mission village of Barueri who served her and her husband were not to be listed in the inventory because of their status.53 A half-century later, Maria Diniz referred to “a young man by the name of Custódio, who is free and unbound [forro e livre], and no one may force him into any servitude save of his free will should he want to be in the company of his wife.”54

Marriage between Indians and African slaves appears to have been infrequent in the seventeenth century. If seventeenth-century masters promoted such marriages in order to increase their slaveholdings, they were surely disappointed, as these marriages proved remarkably unfruitful, with a negligible number of children of these mixed unions appearing in the baptismal records of Santo Amaro, Sorocaba, and Itu. In the eighteenth century, however, this situation began to change due to a dramatic increase in São Paulo’s population of African origin and heightened competition over available labor. The earliest evidence of forced marriages emerges in this context. When questioned by the authorities about his participation in a series of crimes, the slave tailor Pedro Mulato Papudo claimed that he had been kidnapped by Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria and forced to marry Teresa, an Indian servant. The records of the same case also indicate that Faria had forced Isabel, a free bastarda, to marry the slave Luciano, described as a mulato.55

The Pursuit of Autonomy

The different ways in which Indian labor was appropriated and Indians were integrated into Paulista slave society reflected the basic changes faced by the indigenous population of the region. In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, when the regime of personal service was still in formation, the colonists relied upon precolonial forms of organization in order to extract labor from the Indians. Thus, at the inception of colonialism, the terms of exchange and of alliances mitigated the exploitation of native labor. As the seventeenth century proceeded, however, and slave relations were firmly established, this situation was reversed, and the indigenous population was forced to adjust to a new reality. While unable to reproduce pre-conquest organizational forms, the Indians of São Paulo pursued a somewhat separate existence within colonial society. This pursuit, though it yielded results that were as often as not ambiguous, came to be expressed in the everyday struggle for survival as well as in multiple forms of resistance.

The spatial organization of towns and rural estates illustrates the process by which Indians were transformed into slaves. Throughout the seventeenth century, Indian living quarters figured prominently in urban and rural landscapes, and in both settings were associated explicitly with the sphere of work. In the towns, Indians’ quarters invariably were located in the rear of properties, usually alongside the kitchen, separated from the main house by a garden. In the countryside, the dwellings of Indian workers were located near the subsistence plots where corn, manioc, and other staples were grown.

To a certain extent, the evolution of Indian dwelling-places during the seventeenth century reflected the general transformation of Luso–indigenous relations in São Paulo. At the beginning of the century, Indians on rural estates lived in large, straw-covered huts or lodges, called tijupares, probably similar to those found in precolonial Guarani societies. Over time, however, these constructions began to assume some of the broad characteristics associated with the Paulista variety of colonial architecture. Collective housing gave way to single family units in such a way as to mirror the rural and urban living arrangements of the dominant class, while building materials gradually approached the European norm as new constructions were increasingly roofed with ceramic shingles instead of straw.56 Finally, in the early eighteenth century, when the African presence began to be firmly established in the region, Indian housing came to be referred to by the Kimbundo-derived term senzala.57

Meanwhile, colonial forms of labor organization, by imposing radical changes in the traditional division of labor in indigenous societies, also contributed to the transformation of the native population. In the countryside, Indians maintained subsistence plots to feed themselves, which may have afforded some continuity between precolonial and colonial forms of organizing production. But the exigencies of the colonial economy altered the division of labor such that subsistence agriculture no longer followed traditional patterns. While most Indian women continued to work in agriculture – since the Paulistas used so many men in transport and backwoods raiding – some colonists seemed to prefer them as domestic servants. For example, in the inventory of Antonia de Chaves, eleven of fifteen female Indians were listed as house servants.58 In the inventory of José Preto of Mogi das Cruzes, who owned 106 Indians, 22 female Indians were listed under the heading negros de casa de serviço, or “house-servant blacks.”59

This division left some agricultural chores to men, whose increasing presence in agricultural activities served to further distance Indian slaves from their indigenous past, in which the planting and harvesting of crops was carried out almost entirely by women. At the same time, the use of European tools exacerbated the rupture with tradition. The will of Jerônimo de Brito, the owner of a large number of Indian slaves, provides suggestive evidence of this trajectory. Granting freedom to all of his Indians, he left each man a scythe, a hoe, and an axe “for them to make their plots to feed themselves.”60 Pedro Morais Dantas left his Indians to his son, the Jesuit Antonio Ribeiro, who was finishing his studies in Portugal. Dantas’s will explained: “while the aforementioned my son Antonio Ribeiro is absent [the Indians] will be on their plots that at present they are planting for their food and sustenance.”61 In some cases, Indians established independent production units of their own, according to several land-sale documents that refer to Indian farmers as neighbors.62

Other roles assigned to Indians in the colonial economy also distanced them from indigenous traditions. In the seventeenth century, almost all artisanal activities were executed by Indian craftsmen and apprentices. Many slaveowners, particularly town-dwelling ones, lived off the earnings of their artisan slaves. Others concentrated larger numbers of Indian craftsmen on their estates. Such was the case of José Ortiz de Camargo, who counted five cobblers, two blacksmiths, and two carpenters among his slaves. Captain Guilherme Pompeu de Almeida, who commanded hundreds of Indian and African slaves on his massive estate of Voturana, dominated the crafts market of the town of Parnaíba with his many master artisans, a tradition maintained by his son and namesake.63 Likewise, according to Pedro Taques de Almeida’s description, Lourenço Castanho Taques, the younger, had “numerous slaves, who were destined to labor in workshops, in which worked masters and craftsmen of various trades, his slaves, from which he received the profits from the salaries they earned.”64

The modest market provided by local towns created opportunities for Indian artisans, producers, and vendors, some of whom worked on their own rather than for masters. By the 1650s, Indian vendors began to compete seriously with Portuguese peddlers in the town of São Paulo, especially in the trade in local products, such as flour and hides. Wills and inventories frequently attest to this activity, as many colonists listed outstanding debts to Indians for goods and services the latter had provided. Manuel Alves Pimentel, for example, owed an Indian named Pedro more than 1 milréis for a certain amount of sweets. Before he passed away, Antonio Vieira Tavares settled a debt with “a black blacksmith by the name of Salomão for having made a scythe.”65

On several occasions over the course of the seventeenth century, colonial authorities inveighed against this Indian-run informal economy. The Municipal Council of São Paulo established stiff fines as punishment for colonists who bought specific kinds of goods from Indians. In 1647, the Council registered a complaint of “thefts and other disorders and excesses” resulting from trade with the “blacks of the land [in] compulsory service,” then instructed settlers that they should only trade with Indians who had permission from their masters to sell local goods. In 1660, the Council suddenly became stricter, prohibiting all trade with the Indians, “under penalty of being charged with theft.” Shortly thereafter, however, the councilmen relented, making an allowance for trade with the “blacks of the land” in transactions of 200 réis or less, which excluded almost everything except small amounts of locally grown produce.66

Despite its repeated insistence, the Municipal Council was unable to suppress the independent, informal commercial activities of the Indians. It nevertheless demonstrated this persistent, if futile concern for two important reasons. First, the development of a black market in hides and meat violated the monopoly privileges bestowed upon local Portuguese merchants, whose purchase of municipal contracts gave them exclusive rights to the sale of fresh meat. Second, much of the meat and hides sold in town by Indians was the product of plunder, which presented serious problems in terms of social control and public order.

By the 1660s, the situation was practically out of hand, with complaints of Indian plunder regularly being brought to colonial authorities. For example, in her will Grácia de Abreu referred to a suit brought against her by Salvador Bicudo because her “people” had stolen two loads of wheat flour that belonged to him and slaughtered some of his pigs.67 It seems likely that both of these items, with significant commercial value in the context of the local economy, found their way to the marketplace. In a similar, if more violent case, Francisco Cubas pressed a lawsuit against the heirs of José Ortiz de Camargo, claiming that Camargo’s Indians had repeatedly raided his estate, slaughtering cattle and plundering the fields. At one point they attacked Cubas’s son, who was minding the estate, “with offensive and defensive weapons … saying kill, kill João Cubas,” who escaped “miraculously,” hiding from the raiders, though the Indian Agostinho died “with the many arrow wounds they gave him and they split his head and ransacked and robbed the house and property.”68

To a certain extent, this wave of “criminal” activity reflected the patterns of adjustment to slave society experienced by Indians. Cattle rustling, the pilfering of crops, and monetary theft were very common in São Paulo in the seventeenth century. However, slave crime was far more than a simple reaction to the disorientation inherent in the transformation of Indians into slaves, though in some cases hunger and despair contributed to such acts. In many ways, the crimes perpetrated by Indians resembled those attributed to African and Afro-American slaves in other contexts.69 Their values in manifest conflict with the values of the dominant society that held them as slaves, Indians were unlikely to consider the appropriation of a pig or a calf from a neighboring estate to be stealing, especially if their own well-being depended upon it. At the same time, masters tacitly accepted such activities, assuming responsibility – including legal responsibility – for property stolen or destroyed by their Indians.70

It is useful at this point to distinguish between the independent native hunter, who, living on the margins of colonial society, attacked cattle either as game or as a reaction to the threat that cattle posed to his society, and the Indian slave who slaughtered cattle in order to sell meat and hides on the internal colonial market. Though both were described as criminals by colonial society, the hunter would suffer reprisals and even extermination, while the slave rarely was punished. In this sense, while crimes perpetrated by Indian slaves appeared to threaten the stability of the slave regime, more than anything they reflected a determined level of integration – what others have called “resistant adaptation” – in which the Indian slave forged spaces of survival within his new social reality.71

The Inevitable Conflict

Municipal authorities confronted the unruly behavior of Indians with increasingly repressive legislation, which tended to exacerbate the inherent conflict between settlers and their captives. The power exercised by local councils rarely reached beyond their respective municipal seats, but that was precisely where unrest erupted most frequently. As early as 1623, the Municipal Council of São Paulo dedicated a session to discussing “the heathen that in this town have many dances both day and night and whereas at said dances occur many mortal sins and insolent acts against the service of God and the common good in committing flights and uprisings and other things that are too indecent to declare.”72 In 1685, the Council posted an order prohibiting the sale of sugar-cane brandy (aguardente) to Indians during Holy Week “to avoid some damages and offenses that they commit on those days.”73 Finally, near the end of the period of Indian slavery, the councilmen drafted an edict that prescribed corporal punishment for “carijó and black youths” who disrupted religious processions with roguish behavior.74

More serious measures were taken in response to cattle rustling and physical assaults committed by armed Indians. These measures included the construction of a gallows in the 1620s. Though there is no evidence that it was ever used, its symbolism was not lost on its potential victims, as a defiant group of Indians set fire to it in the 1640s.75 Similar precautions were taken in the towns of the interior, beset by disorder throughout the colonial period. The municipal councils of Parnaíba and Sorocaba repeatedly prohibited the carrying of knives, sharpened sticks, and muskets by Indians within the urban perimeter, while authorities in Guaratinguetá built a jail specifically for “the heathens who bring so much confusion to this town.”76 The records of the Municipal Council of Sorocaba, though fragmentary, refer to repeated melees, generally involving the Indians of the Benedictine convent. In 1672, for example, the wedding of Pedro Leme da Silva, one of the principal colonists of Sorocaba, was disrupted by a street brawl between the convent’s Indians and the “blacks” of Captain Jacinto Moreira Cabral.77 Three years later, the heirs of Baltasar Fernandes, who had founded Sorocaba twenty years earlier, complained that the Indians of the convent were causing great damage to the crops and livestock left them by the town father.78

If slaveowners could rely to a certain extent on the municipal councils for the control of the Indian population in urban areas, they were on their own when it came to social control on their rural estates. The regimentation of the Indian population was hardly achieved by peaceful means alone. Like other slave systems, the Paulista version included a fair amount of coercion and violence exercised by the master class in its efforts to impose discipline on its subordinates. The paternalist mentality had its violent side, which paralleled the disciplinarian approach that authoritarian Portuguese fathers adopted in child-rearing. Pedro Taques mentions a Paulista, Francisco de Almeida Lara, “well known for the ardor of his temper in punishing his slaves and instructing his children, because of the rigor of which he was known by the nickname Caga-fogo” (literally, “shit-fire”).79 Another, Fernão Pais de Barros of Sorocaba, so brutalized his Indian and African slaves that complaints reached royal authorities in Lisbon.80 Antonio Bororo, under the administration of João Lopes Fernandes, sued for his freedom, alleging that his master held him in “torturous captivity as the blows and marked instances of violence never ceased.”81 In a similar case, Grimaneza and other Indians who belonged to Manuel Moreira claimed that their late master had stipulated in his will that they were to serve his heirs as free persons, but that these treated them as slaves, administering frequent beatings to remind them of their social position.82 It would seem that the second of the three P’s of the popular colonial-era saying – pão, pau, e pano, or bread, rod, and cloth – figured prominently in the Paulista slaveholders’ lexicon.

Many of the repressive measures taken by the municipal councils and by individual colonists reflected a genuine concern with the possibility of revolt. Colonists certainly had genuine reason to fear, particularly in the 1650s – it was in this decade that a series of bloody revolts broke out – when the concentration of the Indian population rose to alarming levels and proportions as high as eight Indians to each white were reached in many rural areas.83 This situation was aggravated by the fact that the ethnic composition of the Indian population was undergoing important changes, with the introduction of many Guarulhos and Guaianá captives. It was thus a period of readjustment, since the colonists faced greater difficulties in subjugating non-Tupi peoples, not only because of the language barrier and the new captives’ unfamiliarity with the colonial labor regime, but also because these peoples proved more prone to revolt. Another aggravating circumstance was the apparent crisis in the food supply, which must have weighed most heavily on the Indian population. In addition to the complaints registered by the Municipal Council of São Paulo during these years, one may gauge the degree of dearth by the excessive value attributed to corn plantings in an inventory from 1653. The appraisers of the estate left by João de Oliveira estimated that his three alqueires sown in corn were worth 15 milréis, an extremely high quantity when compared with the negligible value attributed to corn in other inventories from throughout the century. One may also compare it to the five alqueires that were listed in the inventory of Manuel Alves Pimentel in 1666 with a value of 5 milréis.84

The 1650s were likewise marked by the conflict between the Pires and Camargo factions, a rift in the dominant class that created a climate of social instability. Both sides mobilized large numbers of Indians, who fought pitched battles in the town of São Paulo. During his inspection of 1653, a crown magistrate observed: “there is the great scandal that the Indians roam this town with clubs, bows and arrows from which results brawls and disasters.”85 A final source of tension emerged as rumors circulated that the Governor of the South, Salvador de Sá, intended to declare the Indians free as part of his plans for the development of mining. The colonists feared that such news would incite the Indians to a mass uprising.86

The most dire forecasts began to be confirmed in 1652, when the first great revolt by Indian slaves broke out on the estate of Antonio Pedroso de Barros, in the bairro of Juqueri. Pedroso de Barros, a major wheat producer, owned between 500 and 600 Indians, some of them Carijó, others Guaianá, most of whom would have been recently brought from the wilderness. It is difficult to assess the causes of the rebellion, but all available evidence indicates that the Indians struck at the very system of personal service itself. Not only did they murder Pedroso de Barros and other whites found on the estate, they also destroyed crops and livestock. It fell to Pedro Vaz de Barros, the victim’s brother, to describe the devastation: “So great was the number of heathen that on that occasion flocked to the murder of their master and still others that they did not leave a living thing that they did not destroy, kill and eat since they are perverse by nature as is notorious in all of this captaincy.”87 The authorities had a difficult time putting down the revolt, which they accomplished only after a large number of rebels had fled.

The process of assessing and dividing Pedroso de Barros’s assets reveals some interesting details about the structure of the slave population on a large estate and is suggestive of some of the conditions that prompted the uprising. At first, colonial authorities were unable to approach the estate, fearing that the Indians would “rise up and flee for being an indomitable people and not having names in our common Portuguese for not being baptized.” This was a reference to the Guaianá, as “only the Carijó are called by their names.” Even so, the Carijó were so numerous that they were organized in “lots” headed by Indian leaders, who ended up working out a peaceful solution to the impasse. Only in 1670 was an inventory of slaves composed, listing 318 captives who were partitioned among the heirs of Antonio Pedroso de Barros. In the eighteen-year interval between the revolt and the inventory, however, many Indians had sought refuge on other estates in the region, while a large group of Guaianá had escaped to the wilderness and established a community on the Atibaia River. Though unusually large, this rebellion set the tone for subsequent unrest.88

Another, smaller-scale revolt occurred in the same year near the mission village of Conceição dos Guarulhos. In this case, some Guarulhos Indians rose up, killing João Sutil de Oliveira and his wife, Maria Ribeira, who had established a rural property with fifty-nine Indian laborers shortly before. The causes of this rebellion remain obscure as well, though the inventory that was made of the couple’s estate offers some clues. The rebellion broke out at a time when settlers were beginning to usurp lands belonging to Conceição dos Guarulhos and to transform its residents into forced laborers, which must have heightened friction between the two sides, and it may be seen as a response to this situation. However, not all of the Indians on the Sutil de Oliveira estate were from the mission village. It appears that many Indians who took part in the uprising had been brought from the sertão recently. As much is suggested by the listing of Indians in the inventory, where the names of several couples are curiously similar: Ascenso and his wife Ascensa, Ambrósio and Ambrósia, Simão and Simoa, Luís and Luísa, a pattern suggestive of recent, pro forma baptisms. Two women who fled the scene had odd names – Sefaroza and Perina – that suggest they had not been baptized at all. Yet another clue comes from the statement of Sutil de Oliveira’s father-in-law, who declared: “the Guarulhos murderers abducted some youths who have not been heard from since and [it would seem] that the others are dead.” It is possible, then, that the rebels included Guarulhos from outside the property, perhaps from the mission village or, more likely, from the group that had been raided recently, who were attempting to rescue relatives who had been enslaved. Speculation aside, is it worth noting that most of the Indians remained on the estate after the crime, as only two men and nine women ran away.89

Another wave of unrest broke out in 1660, when various revolts claimed the lives of several slaveholders. In Mogi das Cruzes, the Guaianá of Bartolomeu Nunes do Passo rebelled, killing their master and destroying his property. When the probate judge arrived to make an inventory of the property of the deceased, the distraught widow, Maria Diniz de Mendonça, stated that it would scarcely be worthwhile, “as there is little wealth left over from the destruction that the heathen made of their goods on the occasion of the murder they committed.” She added that “what else [the couple] owned said blacks have taken with them to find refuge in the bush.” Of the twenty-eight Indian slaves that the couple had possessed, only nine remained on the property at the time of the inventory. The other “pieces” fled after the murder, “of which all named belong to her and her children and that if one or another should reappear one day the law will be informed to do what is fitting and good.” It is worth noting that unlike in the other cases, most of the Indians involved in the rebellion were not new captives. Indeed, some of the culprits listed by the widow had been part of the inheritance she received nine years earlier from her first husband.90

At around the same time, other revolts broke out in the bairro of Juqueri. In this area characterized by large wheat-producing properties and the greatest concentration of Indian slaves in the region, there were uprisings on the estates of Manuel de Morais, Ascenso de Morais Dantas, Fernão Bicudo Tavares, and Francisco Coelho da Cruz. The latter two were killed, though detailed information exists only in the case of Coelho da Cruz. As in the revolt in Conceição dos Guarulhos, Francisco Coelho da Cruz and his wife Maria Leme were newly established settlers. But contrary to the pattern, their holdings of Indian slaves were relatively small and unusual in composition. Among their ten slaves, there were five of each sex, four of them couples and the remaining two single. There were no children. All of them, except for the single man, took part in the killings and then fled the estate.91

The outbreak of five rebellions in a single year shook the foundations of Indian slavery, leaving the colonists in a state of panic. As is common in such situations, their first response was to imagine a conspiracy theory, attributing the rebellions to agitation stirred up by Salvador de Sá. Furthermore, there were rumors that they should expect the worst at the end of the year, “due to the great risk there is of the heathen rising up when it becomes public that the said General [Salvador de Sá] will free them, an idea that has them agitated, and part of them has risen up in the Bairro of Juqueri.” According to the colonists, it was this inspiration that moved the Indians to kill Francisco Coelho da Cruz, Bartolomeu Nunes do Passo, and Fernão Bicudo Tavares.92

However, as hard as the settlers searched for an external trigger for the Indians’ unrest, it became increasingly clear that the problem had its roots on the plateau. The concentration of captives in the overall population was a constant threat, particularly in the middle decades of the seventeenth century, when the Indians were at an indisputable numerical advantage. For the first time since the conflicts of the sixteenth century, the absolute domination exercised by the settlers was confronted head on by the Indians. In this new conjuncture characterized by social instability, some settlers apparently came to believe that only masters who could discipline their slaveholdings were capable of possessing large numbers of Indians. In 1662, for example, Leonor de Siqueira, whose husband Luís Pedroso de Barros had disappeared on an ambitious expedition destined for the Andes Mountains, hurriedly sold sixty slaves belonging to her Juqueri estate for 20 milréis apiece, “because they were mutinous and because of the risk involved.” The purchaser was Fernão Pais de Barros, her brother-in-law and the owner of a vast property near São Roque. Pais de Barros certainly had the means to control the hundreds of Indians under his administration, having learned the painful lesson provided by the death of his elder brother, Antonio Pedroso de Barros.93

The Ambiguous Meaning of Flight

While cases of collective revolt were relatively rare, flight and truancy occurred frequently throughout the entire period of Indian slavery’s existence. According to many historians, running away constituted a well-characterized form of resistance to the slave system; paradoxically, however, it also indicated an advanced degree of integration. This assertion stands at odds with the long-standing view in the historiography of colonial Brazil, which contended that Indians were much more likely to flee from slavery than their African counterparts, since they were native to Brazil and because their “backward” culture stood in the way of their adaptation to the rigors of forced labor. But an analysis of flight among Indians in São Paulo reveals, on the contrary, that a marked similarity existed between São Paulo and other slave societies.

The incidence of flight, like that of rebellion, increased after 1640, and probably for many of the same reasons.94 The sharp rise in the proportion of fugitive slaves reported in the inventories may be attributed in part to the influx of Guaianá and Guarulhos captives. It also coincided with the period of greatest concentration of Indians in the general population. Predictably, with the decline of the Indian population, the runaway rate also fell.

Different aspects of the slave regime motivated individual fugitives. Bad treatment, the desire to be reunited with family members who lived on other estates, or simply the desire for freedom were all compelling reasons for abandoning a particular household. For example, the Carijó Tetecola declared that she had fled because she did not want to serve the heirs of her late mistress.95 In a similar case, Manuel Ruivo, a bastardo of the administration of Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, explained how he ended up in Faria’s service in his statement during a judicial inquest. He said that after the death of his master, Miguel da Costa, on whose estate he was born, he rejected the administration of Costa’s heir Tomás Correia and fled to the estate of Bartolomeu Fernandes.96 Cristóvão Diniz recalled in his will that several years before he had owned a Kayapó slave who ran away to a Jesuit estate, where he married and raised many children.97

As this last case suggests, most Indians identified as runaways were actually to be found on other properties in the region. It is difficult to distinguish between coercion and protection, however, as it is clear that some Indians sought refuge on other estates, while others were obviously held against their will and forced to serve other masters. In either case, the recuperation of runaways became a sticky legal issue, as the uncertain status of Indian slaves and the relative immunity of rural estates to colonial justice came into play. This may be illustrated by a suit pressed by Catarina do Prado in 1682, which reveals the ambiguity of fugitive status, while illustrating the roles played by Indians in conflicts over the ownership of particular slaves. In her suit, Catarina stated that four “blacks of the land” belonging to Bartolomeu Bueno Cacunda had invaded her estate and kidnapped Úrsula, an Indian in her service. Úrsula, she argued, belonged to her because her husband, Estévão Ribeiro de Alvarenga, had brought her from the wilderness sixteen years earlier. Unconvinced by this claim, the judge decided to question Úrsula. Through an interpreter, Úrsula, known as Bahehu “in her land,” told her side of the story. In response to the question “Whose are you?” the scribe recorded her as having answered:

Only to Captain Bartolomeu Bueno Cacunda, for having brought her from her land to his fields at Sapucaí, where he left her … and when from the said fields she tried to make her living or at her leisure she was found by the said deceased Estévão Ribeiro de Alvarenga and he took her to [this] settlement to his house with all her children who were in her company.

The judge then asked, “Why did you remain so long without returning to the house of the aforementioned your master?”

She answered because they had imprisoned her in irons and [once] not having done so and finding herself unbound she came to seek the house of her owner without any person having induced or counseled her to do this but that she did all of the above of her own accord.

The defendant, Bartolomeu Bueno, was absolved, and the “fugitive” Úrsula remained with her original master. It is an interesting case, not only for what it reveals about the issue of flight, but also because it demonstrates the process of distancing the Indian slave from her indigenous past.98

While flight by individual slaves occurred frequently, cases of mass flight involving the wholesale rejection of slave society were rare in seventeenth-century São Paulo. Slaves who fled to the bush were invariably from local groups, mainly Guaianá and Guarulhos, and had been brought to the Portuguese settlements only recently. In general, fleeing to the wilderness made little sense for Indian captives brought from distant homelands who had witnessed the destruction of their societies by the Paulistas.99 Except in rare cases in which entire groups succeeded in fleeing at once, as in the aftermath of the rebellion on Antonio Pedroso de Barros’s estate in 1652, it was practically impossible to recreate the world that had been lost.

That said, numerous reports of individuals running away to the sertão appear in the documentation. Usually, though, these reports refer to cases in which the fugitive – an ambiguous term in this context – had joined or been forced to join a slaving expedition. In his will, drawn up in 1676, Pedro Vaz de Barros noted: “I declare that I have many fugitive pieces particularly with the people of Captain Fernão Dias Pais,” who was in Minas Gerais.100 Another master, distraught over the loss of two Indians he had rented to Captain Braz Moreira Cabral to serve as translators on a slaving expedition, lamented that they remained in the Vacaria region of Mato Grosso as Cabral’s henchmen, only to be used “against their master.”101

Most fugitive slaves, however, remained within the regional slave society. References to fugitives often included the location where they took refuge, as the masters of these fugitive Indians knew precisely where the runaways were to be found. For example, Antonia Chaves recorded in her will that the Indian Isabel “went about as a fugitive” and that “they say it is certain that she is in the household of Antonio Ribeiro de Morais, resident in the town of São Paulo.”102 Another settler, Manuel Rodrigues de Góis, declared “that I have a young man of the Carijó heathen whom I bought with my money by the name of Tomás who is fugitive in the household of Salvador de Miranda from which I order my heirs to collect him.”103 In a similar case, the widow of Estevão Furquim pressed a suit to recover a runaway who had been working for seven or eight years on the estate of Inês Rodrigues in distant Taubaté, “in plain sight of all the world.” To consolidate her acquisition, Inês Rodrigues had married the fugitive to one of her own servants, a strategy that became more and more common as Indian labor became increasingly scarce.104

These cases indicate that many masters sheltered fugitives as a means of expanding their labor force at the expense of less powerful slaveowners. Ana Machado de Lima, who had ten Indians in her service, noted revealingly in her will that six of them belonged to other masters, “as my husband well knows.”105 João Missel Gigante, an important slaveowner in Parnaíba, included among his last wishes that the Indians found on his estate who belonged to other colonists should be returned to their rightful owners.106 Similarly, Pedro Vidal declared that “on my estate there are three female blacks and an old black man, fugitives of the Goianá, heathen, and it is not known who they belong to [and] should their owners appear I order that they be turned over to them.”107

The owners of Indian slaves were therefore able to turn a potential form of resistance to the system of forced labor to their own benefit, as in the context of the local economy Indian flight basically resulted in the redistribution of labor. For the Indians, this situation allowed for a certain measure of mobility, restricted as it was. It may well have been that the circulation of captives served to lessen the tensions inherent to the master–slave relationship. In the final analysis, however, this situation reinforced that relationship, even as it favored the wealthier and more powerful colonists, who were better able to resist attempts by other slaveowners to recover their fugitive or stolen property by force of arms or through the unreliable mechanisms of the colonial legal system.

Despite the unreliability of the latter, colonists proved increasingly litigious toward the end of the century, as Indian labor became increasingly scarce and the relative value of slaves rose. Authorities took an explicit stance on the issue as early as 1649, when a royal magistrate established fines and punishments for colonists who harbored fugitives. Interestingly, the fines clearly corresponded to the value of slaves as laborers. As time went on, however, legal ordinances became progressively tougher. In 1675, during his inspection of the captaincy, Crown Judge Castelo Branco established that owners of fugitive slaves were to receive compensation of 20 milréis in addition to the value of the Indian in question, to be paid by the colonist who was using that Indian’s labor. The Indian would remain in the hands of the latter, who by sheltering a fugitive would effectively have bought a slave. As an alternative, the injured party could collect his slave along with an indemnity that corresponded to the going rate for renting a slave. In 1687 this amount was set according to location: the daily rate for an Indian fugitive who was put to work in the same bairro was 80 réis; around the town center, 200 réis; within the township, but at a considerable distance from the master’s home, 640 réis; in a neighboring township, 1 milréis; and in the sertão, the considerable sum of 4 milréis.108 While this measure may have discouraged the use of fugitive Indians on slaving expeditions and in the transport of goods to the coast, it placed no real onus on settlers who put fugitives to work locally, as the penalty remained below the going rate for renting an Indian. What seems most important to note, however, is that colonial authorities connived to manage – without formally regulating – the use and abuse of Indian slaves, which would be pointed out by Vieira in his polemic with the colonists five years later.

Some settlers appealed to these measures in attempting to recover personal losses provoked by the absenteeism or sequestration of their Indians. However, such an approach usually meant a costly, drawn-out suit that had to be brought before the probate judge (in cases involving inheritances), or the ordinary judge of the Municipal Council, or even a Crown magistrate on a periodic judicial inspection. Onofre Jorge, for example, spent nine years trying to recover an Indian he knew was being held by João Barreto, leaving the task to his heirs when he died.109 João Vaz Madeira of Mogi das Cruzes was one of the few colonists who succeeded in recovering a runaway Indian, but tellingly, he did so outside of the judicial system, spending 6 milréis on the services of the man who recaptured the fugitive. This sum represented about 20 percent of the value of the captive.110 In lawsuits, most colonists had to settle for simple restitution of the fugitive or, at most, payment of the Indian’s approximate value. Such was the case of Captain Antonio João de Moura, who sued the estate of João Pires Monteiro, demanding restitution for the value of seven Indians at the rate of 20 milréis each, plus an amount equivalent to their rental for 750 days. While Moura won the case, he received only the 20 milréis per Indian.111

In the last analysis, as we will see in greater detail in the final chapter, the increase in litigation over fugitive Indians reflected the crisis that the regime of personal service was undergoing. All of the resulting tensions came together in the case of the outlaw Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, who in the early eighteenth century still held more than two hundred Indian and African slaves. In 1718, when Faria was arrested and charged with a double homicide, authorities confiscated 98 Indians from his estates in Jacareí and Iguape. The list they compiled of these captives revealed that nearly all of them belonged to other estates. Most belonged to the rural chapel left by Brígida Sobrinha in 1694 in a will that was also in the power of Bartolomeu Fernandes. In addition, the list included four free bastardas – daughters of Indians, born into compulsory service, but since freed – who had been “seized by the old man to serve him,” as well as a free bastarda who was forced to marry a mulato slave belonging to the old man.112

Few settlers went as far as Captain Bartolomeu Fernandes in their attempts to ensure the availability of Indian labor in the midst of a supply crisis, but it was becoming increasingly clear to all that other strategies for acquiring – and maintaining – labor were necessary.

From Indian to Slave: Final Comments

The trial of Captain Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria also provides illuminating evidence of the process of transformation from Indian to slave. While the term carijó captured much of this historical experience, the imposition of this model by masters can be illustrated by the case of Joana de Siqueira, a free bastarda of twenty-eight years of age who was forced into slavery. At some point in the mid-1710s, henchmen of Bartolomeu Fernandes ambushed Joana along with two traveling companions. The latter were brutally murdered, while Joana was taken to the estate of Bartolomeu Fernandes, where she came face-to-face with her new master:

who said to her, the witness, you come here that I want to take you to serve me and he ordered her to raise her skirt and placed a stick between her legs and ordered her whipped by his son João Fernandes and by Antonio Fernandes … which they did until a quantity of blood ran from her, the said Bartolomeu Fernandes saying that he did that so that from then on she would recognize him as her master … and after the said Bartolomeu Fernandes took her to his roça and dressed her in a tipóia and was using her until now as his captive.113

The case of Joana de Siqueira demonstrates how violence and submission figured as two crucial elements of the structure of domination that characterized Paulista society in the seventeenth century. Joana’s humiliation played an important role in the affirmation of social relations of domination, which must have provoked strong resentment on her part, particularly since she had previously lived as a free person. Lashed like a slave, forced to wear a tipóia, the typical dress of Guarani women, thus was Joana reduced to slavery and identified as belonging to the enslaved community.114

But violence represented only one facet of the complex relationship between masters and slaves. Without it, to be sure, control over the Indian population would have been practically impossible. However, while the colonists may have been interested primarily in the fruits of Indian labor, every master recognized the need to create additional mechanisms to soften the inherently conflictual relationship between oppressors and oppressed. These mechanisms ultimately were couched in the paternalistic discourse with which the colonists sought to justify their domination over the Indians. More than simple rhetoric, though, this posture was also manifested in practice, in the sense that masters took care to establish extra-economic bonds with their slaves, with the aim of imposing some stability on the fragile structures of the slave system.115 The protective attitude they adopted toward their presumed social inferiors, far from being incompatible with economic exploitation, reinforced the unequal relations that drove the system of production.


1.“Protesto de Domingos de Góis,” in inventory of João Furtado, 1653, AESP-INP, cx. 1.

2.Because Indian slavery was technically illegal, there exist few records of sales of Indian slaves with which to chart changes in prices over time. Beginning in the 1670s, however, alvidrações, or appraisals of the values of serviços (literally “services,” but in practice meaning “servants”), appearing in inventory lists of Indian wards permit the creation of price charts. For a preliminary attempt, see Monteiro, “São Paulo in the Seventeenth Century,” 255 (table 11).

3.For an interesting discussion of the concept of “creolization,” see Charles W. Joyner, Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), esp. the intro. and pp. 246–247.

4.Petition of Maria Pacheco, June 11, 1670, in inventory of João Pires Monteiro, 1667, AESP-INP, cx. 9.

5.Register of trade of Indians between Cornélio Rodrigues de Arzão and Antonio Lopes Benavides, Jan. 17, 1681, AESP-Notas Parnaíba, 1680.

6.Will of Maria da Cunha, Mogi das Cruzes, 1681, AESP-Mogi.

7.João Barreto v. Pedro Porrate Penedo, 1686, AESP-AC, cx. 3434-1.

8.See note 2, above.

9.Inventory of Antonio Rodrigues Velho, 1616, AESP-IE, cx. 1, doc. 3.

10.Inventory of Antonio Correia da Silva, Parnaíba, 1672, AESP-INP, cx. 12; inventory of Juliana Antunes, Mogi das Cruzes, 1682, AESP-INP, cx. 12.

11.Inventory of Simão de Araujo, Mogi das Cruzes, 1653, AESP-Mogi.

12.According to Pedro Taques de Almeida Paes Leme, young mulatos – the mixed offspring of Indian women and African men – frequently served as pajens, or page boys, in the seventeenth century.

13.For a more detailed discussion of Indian mortality, see John Monteiro, “Os escravos índios de São Paulo no século XVII: alguns aspectos demográficos,” Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Pesquisa Histórica 5 (1989–1990): 11–18.

14.No systematic study of colonial-era epidemics exists. Information on the outbreaks listed here was compiled from local documentation, especially the Actas da Câmara de São Paulo. See, among others, CMSP-Atas, 4:73, Dec. 14, 1630, as well as Camargo, História de Parnaíba, 101–103. See also the discussion in Chapter 2, above.

15.I explore this dynamic in Monteiro, “Escravidão indígena e despovoamento.”

16.Will of Domingos Leite de Carvalho, 1692, AESP-INP, cx. 21.

17.Manuel da Fonseca, Vida do veneravel padre Belchior de Pontes, da Companhia de Jesus da provincia do Brasil, facs. edn. (São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1932 [1752]), 128–129; inventory of Pedro Vaz de Barros, 1697, IT, 24:13–67.

18.For example, see CMSP-Atas, 5:535, Nov. 9, 1652.

19.Account book of Martim Rodrigues Tenorio [de Aguilar], IT, 2:75.

20.Will of Manuel Temudo, 1660, AESP-INP, cx. 5; will of Gaspar de Oliveira, 1696, AESP-IPO, 15.620.

21.“Treslado da concessão da ordem com que se eregiu a capela da Senhora da Conceição,” 1660, in “Livro de tombo” of Mogi das Cruzes, 1747, Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Mogi das Cruzes.

22.“Protesto de Domingos de Góis,” in inventory of João Furtado, 1653, AESP-INP, cx. 1.

23.Inventory of Maria Moreira, Taubaté, 1675, Museu de Taubaté, Inventários e testamentos, cx. 1; inventory of Catarina Tavares, Parnaíba, 1671, AESP-INP, cx. 12. Catarina Tavares was the wife of the backwoodsman Sebastião Pais de Barros, who led a large-scale expedition through the region of the Tocantins River that reached the city of Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon River.

24.Batisados, Santo Amaro, Mar. 25, 1699 and July 18, 1700, AMDDLS, 04-02-23.

25.Batisados, Sorocaba, Jan. 21, 1685, Jan. 31, 1685, and Feb. 1, 1685, ACDS, livro 1.

26.Batisados, Sorocaba, Feb. 20, 1685, ACDS, livro 1.

27.In this context, the term “white” refers to the free population, as distinct from the class of Indian servants. This population included, of course, a wide variety of ethnic types.

28.While the clear preference for white godparents is not surprising, the figures for the São Paulo region offer a strong contrast with the results found by Schwartz for the parish surrounding the Sergipe do Conde plantation. In Bahia, only 9 Indians appeared as godfathers and 21 as godmothers in 234 baptisms. It should be pointed out, however, that the level of detail found in the baptismal registers of Sergipe do Conde is inferior to that found in the Paulista registers, with the lack of specific indications of the ethnic origin of the parents and godparents in almost half of all cases. See Schwartz, Sugar Plantations, 61 (table 6).

29.Batisados, Sorocaba, Oct. 8, 1690, ACDS, livro 1.

30.Inventory of Maria Tenoria, 1620, IT, 44:33.

31.The “caipira dialect” refers to the form of Portuguese spoken by the native-born rural poor of São Paulo and parts of adjacent captaincies/provinces/states that were settled by Paulistas between the late eighteenth century and the early twentieth. Studies of the historical evolution of the caipira dialect are few, focusing mainly on folkloric aspects rather than on ethnolinguistics. Historians have clung to the notion that everyone in colonial São Paulo spoke Tupi. A curious exception, Joaquim Ribeiro, Folclore dos bandeirantes (Rio de Janeiro: José Olympio, 1946), contends that the Paulistas spoke a local dialect of Portuguese. For a good general introduction to the subject of caipira culture, see Carlos Rodrigues Brandão, Os caipiras de São Paulo (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1983).

32.Letter of Frei Francisco de Lima, Bishop of Pernambuco, quoted in “Consulta da Juncta das Missões de 29 de outubro de 1697 sobre as cartas do Bispo e Gov.°r de Pernambuco…,” in Ennes, As guerras nos Palmares, 353.

33.Domingos Jorge Velho to the Crown, July 15, 1694, in Ennes, As guerras nos Palmares, 204–207; AESP-Notas Parnaíba, 1691.

34.Auto de genere of Salvador Sutil, 1696, AMDDLS, 1-2-32. Guarani, like Tupi, belongs to the Tupian language family.

35.Examples of the Guarani etymology of various words from the caipira dialect may be found in Amadeu Amaral, O dialeto caipira: gramática, vocabulário, 4th edn. (São Paulo: Hucitec, 1982 [1920]).

36.A similar pattern was identified by Schwartz in his study of Indian labor in Bahia, where the Portuguese coined a series of terms that reflected European biases while attaching precise definitions to different social and occupational categories. Schwartz, “Indian Labor,” 61–62.

37.On these terms, see John Monteiro, “A escravidão indígena e o problema da identidade étnica em São Paulo colonial,” Ciências Sociais Hoje (1990): 237–252.

38.The diffusion of the term carijó has led to some ethnographic confusion, especially when it appears as an ethnonym in the regions of present-day Minas Gerais, Goiás, and Mato Grosso. In fact, the presence of so-called Carijó in those regions was related to Portuguese expansion in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. Colonists who traveled there were accompanied by numerous Indian slaves, whom they called carijó to distinguish them from African slaves, who were present in ever-greater numbers. In an interesting chapter in Luso–indigenous relations, a large group of Carijó captives fled from settlers in Goiás, then established autonomous communities along the Tocantins River and resisted the subsequent advance of European colonization. These groups came to be known as Canoeiro or Avá-Canoeiro (the latter term suggesting possible – if also debatable – Guarani origins). For a very interesting ethnohistorical account, see André Amaral de Toral, “Os índios negros ou os Carijó de Goiás: a história dos Avá-Canoeiro,” Revista de Antropologia 27–28 (1984–1985): 287–325.

39.“Carta de liberdade a Maria Carijó,” Sept. 30, 1722, AESP-Notas Sorocaba.

40.Will of Pedro Dias Pais, Parnaíba, 1726, AESP-INP, cx. 28.

41.Will of Margarida da Silva, 1726, AESP-INP, cx. 28.

42.There has been a long-standing debate on the origins of the term mamaluco, with some (including the Spanish Jesuits of the seventeenth century) suggesting that it derived from the Egyptian term mamluk (mameluco in Portuguese), which referred to the warrior-slaves of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. However, the word invariably appears as mamaluco in the Paulista documentation, which led Sérgio Buarque de Holanda to favor this spelling. A seventeenth-century glossary of Brazilian Tupi identifies the term with Tupi origins. “Vocabulario da lingua brasilica,” Biblioteca Municipal de São Paulo, ms. a4. See also the linguistic analysis of Plínio Ayrosa, “Mameluco é termo árabe ou tupi?” Revista do Arquivo Municipal 1 (June 1934): 21–24.

43.Other late seventeenth-century terms point to the increased heterogeneity of the population of São Paulo. The terms caboclo and curiboca appeared for the first time in the 1680s, both of them referring to offspring of either white and Indian unions or African and Indian unions. The terms cabra and pardo had varied meanings, but increasingly referred to individuals of at least partial African ancestry. See Monteiro, “São Paulo in the Seventeenth Century,” 283–284, 286.

44.Will of Estevão Furquim, IT, 16:201.

45.IT, 14:208.

46.Will of Francisco Cabral de Távora, Jundiaí, 1692, AESP-INP, cx. 21.

47.Antonio Rodrigues, “Carta da missão que no ano de 99 fizeram dois religiosos da Companhia de Jesus na vila de São Paulo e mais vilas adjacentes,” Jan. 25, 1700, ARSI Brasilia 10, fol. 3v. Marriage patterns among poor whites followed this pattern well into the nineteenth century.

48.Inventory of Antonio Ribeiro Roxo, 1653, AESP-INP, cx. 1.

49.Inventory of Garcia Rodrigues, 1632, IT, 8:405.

50.Monteiro, “São Paulo in the Seventeenth Century,” 427–429.

51.On this subject, see Monteiro, “Os escravos índios de São Paulo.”

52.Batisados, Santo Amaro, livro 1 (1686–1725), AMDDLS, 04-02-23; Table 7, above.

53.Will of Antonia de Oliveira, Parnaíba, IT, 8:311–312.

54.Will of Maria Diniz, 1682, AESP-INP, cx. 16. At one point in its half-hearted efforts to maintain the mission-village system, the Municipal Council of São Paulo tried to discourage colonists from promoting marriages between their Indians and mission-village residents. CMSP-Atas, 6a:356, Mar. 1, 1664. Crown justice took a more serious approach, as one magistrate ordered that in the case of forced marriages, the master would lose both parties to the mission village. CMSP-Atas, 6:384–389, Nov. 10, 1675.

55.Testimony of Pedro Mulato Papudo, Oct. 10, 1718, Justice v. Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, AESP-AC, cx. 6, doc. 98. Notwithstanding its filing in AESP-AC, this document is actually a Devassa, or criminal investigation, and not an Auto Civil.

56.On Indian quarters, see, for example, inventory of Isabel da Cunha, 1616, IT, 4:319; inventory of Maria Pais, 1616, IT, 4:454; inventory of Matias de Oliveira, 1628, IT, 6:276; inventory of Paulo da Silva, 1633, IT, 32:73; “Cartas de datas de terras,” Jundiaí, 1657, Museu Histórico e Cultural de Jundiaí; inventory of Antonio Correia da Silva, Parnaíba, 1672, AESP-INP, cx. 12; record of land sale by Francisco Proença to Antonio Dias Diniz, Oct. 26, 1682, AESP-Notas Parnaíba, 1680.

57.For example, the criminal José Grande Carijó casually mentioned his place in the “sanzala” in his testimony before a Crown magistrate. Justice v. Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, AESP-AC, cx. 6. The inventory of Bento Amaral da Silva, which dates from 1719, lists “various houses of straw and senzalas,” evidently to house his 42 African slaves and 21 Indian servants. AESP-IPO, 14.308.

58.Inventory of Antonia de Chaves, 1640, IT, 14:lxii–lxiii.

59.Inventory of José Preto, 1653, AESP-Mogi, cx. 1.

60.Will of Jerônimo de Brito, 1644, AESP-IE, cx. 2, doc. 4.

61.Will of Pedro Morais Dantas, 1644, IT, 14:289.

62.For example, record of sale by Gaspar de Brito to Simão Jorge Velho, May 8, 1690, and by Paulo Proença to [illegible], Oct. 18, 1700, AESP-Notas Parnaíba.

63.Inventory of José Ortiz de Camargo, 1663, AESP-INP, cx. 7; donation by Guilherme Pompeu de Almeida, Feb. 11, 1687, in “Livro de tombo” of Santana de Parnaíba, fol. 31, Arquivo da Cúria Diocesana de Jundiaí, cód. 505.

64.Paes Leme, Nobiliarquia paulistana, 1:130.

65.Inventory of Manuel Alves Pimentel, 1626, IT, 31:168; will of Antonio Vieira Tavares, Itu, 1710, AESP-INP, cx. 26.

66.CMSP-Atas: 5:261, Feb. 2, 1647; 5:295, Mar. 2, 1647; 6a:216, Dec. 18, 1660; 6a:382, Aug. 8, 1664. Maria Odila Leite da Silva Dias, in Quotidiano e poder em São Paulo no século XIX (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1984), also notes the constant presence of the Municipal Council in the informal world of petty commerce in nineteenth-century São Paulo.

67.Will of Grácia de Abreu, Parnaíba, 1660, AESP-INP, cx. 5.

68.Francisco Cubas v. heirs of José Ortiz de Camargo, 1664, AESP-AC, cx. 6033-1.

69.For a solid analysis of slave crime in the province of São Paulo, including its relationship to market activities, see Maria Helena P. T. Machado, Crime e escravidão: trabalho, luta e resistência nas lavouras paulistas, 1830–1888 (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1987), esp. 100ff. See also the discussion in Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Pantheon, 1974), 599–613. An excellent, pioneering article comparing indigenous and African resistance in the English Caribbean is Michael Craton, “From Caribs to Black Caribs: The Amerindian Roots of Servile Resistance in the Caribbean,” in Gary Y. Okihiro (ed.), In Resistance: Studies in African, Caribbean, and Afro-American History (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986), 96–116.

70.For example, in Padre Domingos Gomes Albernás v. Frei João Batista Pinto, 1691, a suit over a theft of money by one of Pinto’s Indians, the litigant remarked that if one of his Indians were involved in such a case, he would pay damages immediately, “without contention in justice.” AESP-AC, cx. 1, doc. 22.

71.On the concept, see Steve J. Stern (ed.), Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant World, 18th to 20th Centuries (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987), 9–13.

72.CMSP-Atas, 3:56, Oct. 21, 1623.

73.CMSP-Atas, 7:280, Apr. 17, 1685.

74.CMSP-Atas, 8:275, Feb. 19, 1712.

75.CMSP-Atas, 3:79–80, Jan. 27, 1624; Afonso d’Escragnolle Taunay, Piratininga: aspectos sociaes de S. Paulo seiscentista (São Paulo: H. L. Canton, 1923), 28–29.

76.Câmara Municipal de Parnaíba, Atas, livro 1, fols. 19v–20, Feb. 17, 1680, AESP, cx. 6049-1; Câmara Municipal de Sorocaba, Vereanças, June 5, 1669, AESP, cx. 472-1; Municipal Council of Guaratinguetá to Municipal Council of São Paulo, n.d., AHMSP, Correspondência Avulsa, cx. 4.

77.“Protesto do Padre Presidente Frei Anselmo da Anunciação,” 1672, Câmara Municipal de Sorocaba, Livros de Vereança, AESP, cx. 472-1.

78.“Requerimento do capitão do povo,” June 24, 1675, Câmara Municipal de Sorocaba, Livros de Vereança, AESP, cx. 472-1.

79.Paes Leme, Nobiliarquia paulistana, 1:200.

80.Padre Manuel da Cruz ao Conselho Ultramarino, Aug. 24, 1739, AHU-SP, Aditamentos, cx. 252.

81.Antonio Bororo v. João Lopes Fernandes, 1733, in Departamento do Arquivo do Estado de São Paulo, Boletim do Departamento do Arquivo do Estado 7 (1947): 53–54.

82.Grimaneza, Filhos e Companheiros v. Maria Pedrosa and Domingas Moreira, 1717, AESP-AC, cx. 5, doc. 80.

83.This calculation is based on an estimate of forty Indians per slaveowner, the average for the decade (see Table 2, above), divided by five (the average figure for the size of a slaveowning family).

84.Inventory of João de Oliveira, 1653, AESP-INP, cx. 1; inventory of Manuel Alves de Aguirra, 1666, AESP-INP, cx. 9.

85.“Autos de correição, capitulo 18,” June 7, 1653, CMSP-Atas, 6:37; and CMSP-Atas, 6a:101–102, Dec. 24, 1658.

86.CMSP-Atas, 6a:211–212, Nov. 8, 1660.

87.Inventory of Antonio Pedroso de Barros, 1652, IT, 20:55–56.

88.Inventory of Antonio Pedroso de Barros, 1652, IT, vol. 20, passim.

89.Inventory of João Sutil de Oliveira and Maria Ribeira, 1652, IT, 42:129–171 (quote on 147).

90.Inventory of Bartolomeu Nunes do Passo, Mogi das Cruzes, 1660, AESP-Mogi; inventory of Antonio Pedroso de Lima (first husband of Maria Diniz de Mendonça), 1651, IT, 41:257–290.

91.Inventory of Francisco Coelho da Cruz, Parnaíba, 1660, AESP-INP, cx. 5.

92.CMSP-Atas, 6a:209–212, Nov. 2 and 8, 1660. On the conspiracy thesis, see Municipal Council of Rio de Janeiro to Antonio Mariz, n.d., in RIHGB 3 (1841): 22–23.

93.Inventory of Luiz Pedrozo (Luis Pedroso de Barros), Parnaíba, 1662, IT, 43:289–290.

94.According to the inventories of probated estates in São Paulo, there was notable increase in slave flight in the 1660s, when the rate of male fugitives per 1,000 slaves reached 59. In the decades that followed, this rate fell to 39 per 1,000, still a high rate. The figures for Parnaíba, and for female slaves in both townships, show a similar pattern. See Monteiro, “São Paulo in the Seventeenth Century,” 316.

95.Petition of Diogo Mendes, Oct. 29, 1619, in inventory of Isabel Fernandes, 1619, IT, 30:214–215.

96.Testimony of Manuel Ruivo Bastardo, Sept. 12, 1718, in Justice v. Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, AESP-AC, cx. 6.

97.Will of Cristóvão Diniz, Parnaíba (Itu), 1650, IT, 41:135.

98.Catarina do Prado v. Bartolomeu Bueno Cacunda, 1682, AESP-AC, cx. 1.

99.See, for example, inventory of Francisco Borges, 1649, IT, 39:97–98; will of Domingos Dias Felix, Taubaté, 1660, Museu de Taubaté, Inventários e testamentos, cx. 1; inventory of Maria da Cunha, 1670, IT, 17:488.

100.Will of Pedro Vaz de Barros, Parnaíba (São Roque), 1674, AESP-INP, cx. 22.

101.Salvador Moreira v. Braz Moreira Cabral, July 2, 1690, in inventory of Salvador Moreira, Parnaíba, 1697, IT, 24:97–100.

102.Inventory of Antonia de Chaves, Parnaíba, 1640, IT, 14:lxii.

103.Will of Manuel Rodrigues de Góis, 1662, AESP-INP, cx. 6.

104.Inventory of Estevão Furquim, 1660, IT, 16:278–279.

105.Will of Ana Machado de Lima, 1684, AESP-INP, cx. 17.

106.Will of João Missel Gigante, Parnaíba, 1645, IT, 32:122.

107.Will of Pedro Vidal, 1658, AESP-INP, cx. 4.

108.“Capítulo de correição,” Mar. 16, 1649, CMSP-Atas, 5:367; “Correição, capítulo 9,” June 7, 1653, CMSP-Atas, 6:34; “Capítulos de correição,” Nov. 10, 1675, CMSP-Atas, 6:389; and “Capitulo de correição,” Dec. 30, 1687, CMSP-Atas, 7:342–343.

109.Will of Onofre Jorge, 1688, AESP-IPO, 14.645.

110.Petition of João Vaz Madeira, n.d., in inventory of Antonio Pereira Magalhães, Mogi das Cruzes, 1679, AESP-Mogi.

111.Antonio João de Moura v. Heirs of João Pires Monteiro, Oct. 7, 1671, in inventory of João Pires Monteiro, 1667, AESP-INP, cx. 9.

112.“Auto de sequestro,” June 18, 1718, in Justice v. Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, AESP-AC, cx. 6. The corresponding passage of Negros da terra refers to “a white girl who had been a foundling” among Fernandes’s illicit holdings, but no such figure appears in a discussion of this situation in Monteiro’s subsequently published “Sal, justiça social e autoridade régia: São Paulo no início do século XVIII,” Tempo 8 (Aug. 1999): 23–40 which later appeared, with “some small modifications and corrections,” as chap. 4 of the thesis he presented for the title of livre-docente at the University of Campinas in 2001. See Monteiro, “Tupis, tapuias e historiadores: estudos de história indígena e do indigenismo” (tese de livre-docência, Unicamp, 2001), 79–96 (quote on 79n). The editors and translators of this book have updated their text accordingly.

113.Justice v. Bartolomeu Fernandes de Faria, AESP-AC, cx. 6.

114.On the tipóia, originally associated with Guarani societies and perhaps spread to other groups by the Jesuits, see Alfred Métraux, “The Guarani,” in Julian H. Steward (ed.), Handbook of South American Indians, 7 vols. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1946–1950), 3:82–83.

115.On the issue of paternalism, see, for example, Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, esp. chap. 1. For nineteenth-century Brazil, see the interesting discussion in Robert W. Slenes, “The Demography and Economics of Brazilian Slavery, 1850–1888” (Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University, 1976).

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