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1 Natural Histories

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Chapter Summary

This chapter characterizes Jesuit writing. It also rounds up the discussion by looking at a series of questions involved in the characterization of the Jesuit natural histories. The natural histories written by Jesuits missionaries in Paraquaria are an identifiable way of writing about the geography, land, climate, animals, plants, and peoples of that country. The thematic organization of the short section on natural history in Lozano's Chorographic Description of the Great Chaco can be taken as a condensed version of the rest of the works. The natural histories of Paraquaria can be seen as a result of the encounter between Jesuits and the Guaraní, a cultural artifact that was a symmetric counterpart to the churches and images of saints in the characteristic style of art evolved in the reductions of Iberian America.

Keywords: Guaraní; Jesuit writing; natural histories; Paraquaria; textual organization



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