The Forbidden Lands: Colonial Identity, Frontier Violence, and the Persistence of Brazil's Eastern Indians, 1750-1830

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Stanford University Press, 2006 - History - 408 pages
The Forbidden Lands concerns a pivotal but unexamined surge in frontier violence that engulfed the eastern forests of eighteenth-century Brazil's most populous region, Minas Gerais. Focusing on social, cultural, and racial relations, it challenges standard depictions of the occupation of Portuguese America's vast interior, while situating its frontier history in the broader context of the Americas and the Atlantic world. The author argues that the key to understanding the colony's internal consolidation, ignored and misconstrued by scholars fixed on coastal events and export-led development, resides in the incompatible ways in which Luso-Brazilians, Afro-Brazilians, and seminomadic indigenous peoples accused of cannibalism sought to territorialize their distinctive societies. He demonstrates that cultural conflict on the frontier was a defining characteristic of Brazil's transition from colony to independent nation and a fundamental consequence of its relationship to a wider world. The study moves Brazil to a prominent place in our understanding of the hemispheric sweep of internal colonization in the Americas.
Essays based on material in this book have won two prizes for scholarly articles: the 2006 CLAHprize and the 2005 Tibesar Prize

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About the author (2006)

Hal Langfur is Assistant Professor of History at SUNY, Buffalo.

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