Based upon substantial new research, this book investigates the heterogeneity of experiences of rural and urban indigenous women in Peru during the first two centuries of Spanish colonization. Using wills, as well as other notarial and legal documents, it discusses changes in their working lives and how their identity as "Indians" as well as women was shaped in a multicultural society. From their utilization of colonial law to seek redress, to their creation of urban dress styles that reflected their new positions as consumers and as producers under Spanish rule, the early colonial period witnessed a dramatic upheaval in indigenous women's lives. By analyzing the migration from rural to urban areas, interaction with Spanish as well as African society, and the lives of both plebeians and elites, the author provides a thorough picture of this transformational period.
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