Corr, Rachel. Interwoven: Andean Lives in Colonial Ecuador’s Textile Economy. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2018.
By N. H. Gill
Oct. 25, 2018
Rachel Corr looks at the social history of Pelileo and the San Ildefonso obraje in the Ecuadorian highlands from the perspectives of the indigenous families and enslaved people of African descent who worked there.
Focusing on the colonial and post-independence periods, Interwoven sheds light on the “nature of interracial relationships” between Indigenous and Black workers in highland Ecuador (179) and the ways in which Spanish colonialism affected indigenous families, topics largely overlooked in Ecuadorian historiography.
Corr argues that indigenous workers used a variety of methods to cope with the harsh labor conditions of the obraje, including migration, lawsuits, violence and other forms of resistance, as well as by forging new bonds of kinship and identity as a way to preserve their cultural lifeways.