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versión On-line ISSN 1668-8090


JIMENEZ, Juan Francisco  y  ALIOT, Sebastián L.. Dangerous Relationships: travels, exchange and smallpox among the native societies of the pampas (border of Buenos Aires, eighteenth century). Andes [online]. 2013, vol.24, n.1, pp.00-00. ISSN 1668-8090.

Native societies in the pampas recognized the existence of three kinds of traders: nampulcan, pulperú and huincá huitrán. The first travelled through the territories of different Indian groups; the second offered, in Indian camps, the goods brought from the frontier; the last one crossed into spaces controlled by Spaniard-creoles, visiting their villages. This differentiation between those who travelled across the land (mapu), and those who made their way into cities and towns (warria), reflects a historical experience that linked inter-ethnic contact with high risk situations. The huincá huitrán were ambiguous figures, capable of mediating successfully between different worlds and obtaining the necessary or desired goods, but simultaneously they may be a source of great danger for their own communities. Their activity frequently put them in contact with European diseases, making them involuntary vectors of those diseases. This paper focuses on this last issue, and examines the existing connections between frontier trade and recurrent epidemics of devastating smallpox during the second half of the 18th century. In order to do so, documentary sources will be used and interpreted from a great amount of information contained in several anthropological, demographic and linguistic studies.

Palabras clave : Indian; Traders; Diseases; Frontier.

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