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(Re)Reading The Old/New World In The 1640s: The Relación Of Antonio De Montezinos

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a close reading of a text from the mid-seventeenth century, the Relación of Antonio de Montezinos, which purports to relate the discovery of a previously unknown group of Jews in the Spanish colony of Nueva Granada. It places it in its historical and discursive context, which entails a comingling of the Converso/Sephardic experience of persecution by Catholic Spain and Portugal with the Converso/Sephardic experience of the opening up of new continents with European overseas expansion. In particular, the chapter juxtaposes the Relación of Montezinos with knowledge from the seventeenth and twentieth/twenty-first centuries of actual Amerindian populations in Nueva Granada, something no one seems to have thought to do. The excursus in the chapter comprises a midrash on a mestizo text, one following Franz Fanon in Black Skin, White Masks, a reading of the messianic theo-political dreams of Conversos and Conversos who managed to flee to open Judaism.

Keywords: Amerindian populations; Antonio de Montezinos; Conversos; Jews; Portugal; Relación; Spanish colony of Nueva Granada



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