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Etnicidad, economía y simbolismo en los Andes

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Silvia Arze
, 
Rossana Barragán
, 
Laura Escobari
, 
et al.

Economia y sociedad

Indian migration, the textile industry, and socioeconomic change in the audiencia of Quito. Seventeenth century

Karen Powers Vera

Texte intégral

1The Spanish invasion of the Andean World set in motion a dynamic movement of native peoples that began as a survival strategy, but ended having a determinant effect on both indigenous and Spanish colonial societies. Many indians responded to the abuses of the new regime by migrating to Spanish cities and haciendas as well as to other native communities where they would be exempt from tribute and the mita.

2In the sixteenth century migrations in the Audiencia of Quito tended to occur between Indian communities, as dispossessed and abused natives searched for subsistence and were recruited by caciques desiring to fill labor vacuums in their districts.

3These movements, while disruptive to the balance of power among native leaders, at least served to retain the majority of the indigenous population in the indian sphere where its labor was available to the native economy, In contrast, continual land divestment and Indian depopulation gave rise to migrations in the seventeenth century that were increasingly directed toward the Spanish sphere -- a pattern that carried labor away from indian communities and toward European enterprises. This paper will measure the impact of the latter movements on the socioeconomic evolution of the Spanish colony and will attempt to demonstrate the role that forasteros played, not only in the transition from forced to free labor, but in the creation of new economic classes among Spaniords.

4Although Indians migrated to all sectors of the Spanish economy (ranching, agriculture, and textile production), the data does not permit a differentiated sectorial study of the impact of demographic movements on each. Even if we take as the unit of analysis, the obrajes complex -- the regions primary industry if the period under Investigation -- the linkage between the quantitative and qualitative data is at best opaque. This is owing both to the format of colonial census materials and to the serendipitous organization of textile production in the region. The economic activities of migrant Indians were not sistematically included in the censuses; frequently Indians were recorded being resident in a city or on an hacienda, but what they did there was apparently not the census taker's concern. To further befuddle matters, the textile industry operated through a vast array of production arrangements resulting in a number of different types of work sites, some of which were small to medium-sized shops located in private homes in the cities or on haciendas in the countryside. Consequently, when the census taker reported that an indian was resident on an hacienda, we cannot just assume that he was a shepherd or a farmhand; he may very well have been a weaver or a corder or may have performed a combination of activities.

5The illicit nature of a substantial part of a industry also precludes a quantitative assessment of a sectorial flows.

6Indeed, part of Quito's textile boom was predicated upon the proliferation of informal workshops operated with forastero labor whose owners counted upon escaping bureaucratic notice; hence, it is unlikely that a numerical accounting could ever be achieved of these work forces.

7Nevertheless, despite the lack of correlative quantitative data, there is abundant qualitative data which point to a simbiotic relationship between the obrajes complex and Indian migration. Therefore, the rest of this paper will take the textile sector as the unit of analysis and attempt to delineate the process by which the fortunes of the industry became inextricably linked to native population movements.

8The steady migratory outflow from the indian sphere during the sixteenth and early seventh centuries, while of limited proportions, did constitute an incipient "free" work force.

9During the seventh century, this group was greatly inflated by the increasing number of new arrivals in the Spanish sphere. But, more importantly, the availability of this growing forastero labor supply lent dynamism to the region's economy a propitious moment. Between the 1580's and the 1660's, the silver mines at Potosí served as a growth pole and generated an integrated and far-flung colonial economy. Whithin this economy, each region specialized in one or two products for export to the mines and associated urban centers. Quito participated in this economic network by providing textiles to Potosí, Lima, and to a lesser extent Nueva Granada.

  • 1 Tyrer,p.86.
  • 2 Ibid.,p.89.

10According to Tyrer's definitive study of the obrajes complex, cloth exports to the cities and mining centers of the viceroyalty was a perfect economic activity for Quito's colonists. It was the only way that a relatively unendowed, peripheral Spanish population could earn enough specie to be able to participate as a consumers in the trans-Atlantic trade1. In addition, textile production was an activity highly suited to the region for a variety of reasons. First, the extensive paramos of the central Ecuadorean sierra were superb grazing lands for the huge flocks of sheep necessary for wool production, making possible vertically-integrated enterprises which were more profitable2.

  • 3 Their pre-Hispanic experience was rooted in cotton cloth production, but one assumes that some par (...)

11Second, cloth production was indeed labor intensive and the central sierra had a dense indigenous population which already had a long weaving tradition3. Quito was also able to solve the problems of distance from lucrative markets by producing cloth, a product that was non-spoilable, light, not bulky, and hence relatively easy to transport.

12Another key element in the success of Quito's textile industry was the availability of forasteros labor. The proliferation of small and medium-sized factories worked with the labor of the ausentes functioned to provision local markets, while the larges obrajes, worked with mitayos, supplied exports for external markets.

13The chain of events looked like this: the mines of Charcas generated both primary and secondary commercial opportunities, which, when combined with the economic needs of a growing Spanish population in Quito, motivated further divestment of native resources and accelerated abuses of the forced labor system. The Indians responded by fleeing to the Spanish sphere both to escape tribute and the mita and in search of subsistence. The migration of dispossessed and abused indians created an alternative labor force which generated new enterprises. These new enterprises created more employment opportunities and spurred more migration and more new enterprises, the cycle was played out repeatedly until a dialectic was formed between Indian migration and the partial composition of a free labor market.

14Since the independent, private textile sector -- independent of the state - sponsored labor systems, that is — was the axis of the dialectic described above, it will be necessary to expound upon the relationships between this sector and the demographic movements of the seventeenth century. A review of the documentation points to an exceedingly tight correlation between the formation and expansion of unlicensed obrajes and the indian migrations of the period. The emergence of an independent textile sector in the early seventeenth century was clearly preceded by the spontaneous migration of numerous, disaffected Indians who sought to survive the onslaught of the Spanish regime by fleeing their communities of origin. Although Quito's natives were not subject to the likes of the Potosí or Huancavelica mitas, the distance from colonial power centers led to gross abuses and excessive labor exactions on the parts of encomenderos, bureaucrats and priests. The natives who fled this unhappy state of affairs eventually came to constitute a vagabond group which facilitated the formation of private work forces.

  • 4 The small obrajeros who garnered labor through the phenomenon of forasteris-mo were part of a larg (...)

15Sixteenth century migrations had by the end of that century produced a large group of unattached Indians who were exempt from the mita and whose labor potential was not lost on the growing number of non-elite Spaniards in Quito. These were people who had come to the New World, not for encomiendas or high offices, but to make a decent living as tradesmen, entrepreneurs small farmers. Neither, however, was impoverishment and low status what they or their ancestors had in mind when they left their loved ones and familiar surroundings behind in Spain. This group, denied access to labor through the official system (mita) and ready to do business, saw the illicit textile industry and the employment of forasteros as their salvation from lives of material hardship and social obscurity4. Indeed, it was an Indian survival strategy, migration, which led to the availability of an alternative labor supply and made possible the establishment of the first, prototypical obrajuelos (small, unlicensed workshops). Thus, the dialectic was set in motion, precipitating the expansion of both the textile industry and of native population movements toward the Spanish Sphere.

  • 5 AGI, Quito 9, Doc.45, Carta del Licenciado Don Blas de Torres Altamirano, 17 de abril de 1602, f.2 (...)
  • 6 AGI, Quito 17, Carta del cabildo a su magestad sobre que se de licencia general para que haya obra (...)

16By 1602, there were already sixty of these private obrajes within ten leagues of the City of Quito5. By 1604 the cabildo had written a letter to the king requesting permission to license small and medium-sized obrajes which would be operated with "voluntary" labor and would be dedicated to production for local needs. Large private obrajes and community obrajes, both worked with mitayo labor, would continue to produce for export to Lima, Potosí, and Cuzco. The council members argued that the promotion of small textile producers would help to resolve two urgent problems: 1) The poverty of the audiencia and relative dearth of economic opportunities for the area's Spanish inhabitants ; and 2) The need to press the growing number of Indian vagabonds "who do not do the mita" into gainful employment6.

  • 7 The "Obrajes" section of the Archivo Nacional de Historia in Quito is full of these "composiciones (...)
  • 8 AGI, Quito 28, Carta de Alonso de Cabrera a su magestad, 1613.

17Despite the cabildo's urgings, however, the overwhelming majority of small obrajes remained unlicensed, as demonstrated by the late seventeenth-century composiciones, aimed at legalizing illicit activities in the face of crown "ransoms"7. Perhaps elite pressure to curtail competition in textiles limited the issuance of licenses by the viceroy, but certain local administrations, challenging viceregal prerogatives, issued licenses on their own authority. A related and more likely explanation emerges, however, from the 1613 appeal of one small obrajero, Alonso de Cabrera, to the king that the license he obtained from the president of the audiencia not be revoked by the viceroy. Apparently, the latter hand ordered that only licenses issued by him be recognized. Cabrera complained bitterly that these inordinately expensive viceregal licenses could only be afforded by the wealthy8.

  • 9 AGI, Quito 10, Doc. 54, Carta de la Audiencia de Quito a su Magestad, 15 de abril de 1620.

18By the 1630's, Indian migration to private obrajes had become the sine qua non of the expansion of the unofficial industry. As early as 1620, the audiencia, in a proposal to tighten up administration of the crown repartimiento of Otavalo, recommended that corregidores, caciques and private citizens who received forasteros be severely punished and that the renter of the community obrajes be prohibited from hiring contract laborers because it prejudiced the repartimiento's ability to pay its tributes. It further proposed that private obrajes be prohibited in the province under any circumstances and that even those that were licensed be demolished. The Audiencia argued that the proliferation of these establishments and made wool scarce and hence more expensive and, more important, that private obrajes were monopolizing skilled labor9.

  • 10 AGI, Quito 10, Doc. 73, Carta del Presidente Antonio de Morga a su Magestad, 15 de marzo de 1630.

19Ten years later, President Antonio de Morga registered nearly the same complaints and recommendations for the audiencia as a whole. He counseled the king to establish community obrajes in all crown repartimientos in order to stem the tide of human resources flowing toward private obrajes which "are operated with the voluntary labor of the forasteros". He also suggested that the formation of community obrajes might induce the absentees to return to their towns of origin10.

  • 11 AGI, Quito 12, Doc. 38, Autos hechos en la Real Audiencia de Quito...por la defensa de los indios (...)

20Similarly, in a suit of 1635 between the Augustinians and the community obrajero of Los Sigchos (Latacunga), it was claimed that so many unlicensed obrajes had been established in the audiencia that overproduction had caused textile prices to decline. The major complaint, however, was that the illicit industry was monopolizing labor — a problem which prompted local ordinances forbidding Indians to migrate to or work for unlicensed obrajes11. Implicit in all these reports and recommendations is a perception on the part of the official industry that out-migration and the resultant labor drain had reached prejudicial proportions and that the "upstart" obrajeros were chiefly to blame.

  • 12 AGI,Lima 44, № 9, ff. 86-94. Parecer de la Audiencia de Quito sobre la reducción general de indios (...)

21That the relationship between Indian migration and the independent textile industry had been consolidated by 1630 is evident in an audiencia report to the Viceroy on the feasibility of a general reducción. On this matter Quito's officials presented a realistic assessment of the viceregal plan, claiming that a reducción in Quito would be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, because "so many Indians have migrated to private obrajes where they receive better pay, better treatment, and lead more comfortable lives than the rest"12.

22Also by the 1630's, a battle over labor had already sized up between the large and small obrajeros which had as its centerpiece the physical mobility of the Indians. The large operators included the Spanish administrators or renters of community obrajes and a small group of elite factory owners; these operators constituted the official industry and were recipients of mita labor. The small obrajeros, on the other hand, were composed of non-elite owners of small to medium-sized operations which were usually unlicensed, located in the Spanish sphere (cities or haciendas), and worked primarily with "voluntary" contract labor.

23As the natives beat a more and more heavily trodden path to the private obrajes of ilegal operators, large obrajeros complained ever more loudly. The latter's establishments were strategically located in or near Indian towns in order to tap mita labor more easily; consequently their fortunes depended on the integrity of native communities.

24In 1630, Quiteño officials presented a graphic account of the reasons for antagonism between the licensed and unlicensed obrajes. They reported that:

  • 13 AGI, Lima 43, N° 21, Pareceres sobre si hagan obrajes en los repartimientos de la Corona Real para (...)

The majority of Indians who have been distributed as laborers (mitayos) to the community obrajes and to other licensed obrajes from which they earn money for their tributes and sustenance are absenting themselves from their communities and fleeing from the service of these obrajes and into the service of private, unlicensed obrajes and even more so if they are owned by other Indians....13.

25It was further reported that the illicit operators hid these absentees and rose to their defense when Spanish or Indian officials came in search of them. Furthermore, the caciques themselves often made deals with private obrajeros and earned handsome profits by providing them with native contract workers. In short, the unofficial industry was syphoning off labor from the large obrajes -a drain which had caused many to close down.

26Clearly the battle lines between these two opposing forces were drawn over the issue of migration and forasterismo; the establishment was in favor of "educing" the native absentees to their original communities where tribute and forced labor could be more efficiently extracted, while the upstarts supported freedom of movement and continued exemption from the mita. Put succinctly, the success of the official obrajes depended on the demographic integrity of the Indian sphere, while that of the unofficial sector implied its erosion.

27As the labor drain toward the independent textile industry proceeded unabated, the large obrajeros began to supplement their official outcries with pragmatic adaptations to the new labor conditions. Juxtaposed to judicial appeals designed to strengthen the beleaguered mita, they rearranged their work forces to include substantial numbers of Indian contract laborers. This surreptitious transition toward free labor, however, reflected both the decisions of the indigenous peoples and resultant demographic trends; as migration and forasterismo became more predominant, the human and financial resources of native communities dwindled while the pool of alternative labor expanded.

28In the case of community obrajes, native population movements resulted in a situation in which free labor became cheaper than forced labor. By mid-seventeenth century, the problem of tribute arrears caused by out-migration had become so acute that even the Spanish administrators and renters of community obrajes preferred to contract free laborers. The rationale of this strategy can be found in the financial trajectory of these enterprises.

  • 14 AGI : Quito 12, Doc. 51, f. 448v - 450v.

29Community obrajes were theoretically owned by the Indian communities where they were located and had been established specifically to underwrite the tributes and tribute arrears of the community. As the absent population increased and a diminishing mitayo population was left with an enormous fiscal burden, each individual mitayo began to cost the community obrajeros more and more as the century progressed. As early as 1638, it was reported that administrators and renters of community obrajes were resorting increasingly to "free" labor because, under the present demographic and financial conditions of Indian communities, a mitayo cost between 60 and 70 pesos annually, only 18 to 20 of which were given to the Indian in salary; the remaining fifty pesos were forwarded to his community for the payment of tributes, absent Indians representing a substantia] percentage of the tax14.

30Since the project of administrators and renters was to skim off from community obrajes as high a profit margin as possible, it eventually behooved them to recruit free labor in spite of the higher salaries they had to offer as incentives; an unskilled contract worker, according to the 1638 account, typically received a salary as high as 30 pesos but at least his tributes and the back tributes of his community were not the obrajero's responsibility.

31Admittedly, the conditions described above were unique to community obrajes, although significant, since as a group these were the operations with the largest work forces. Nevertheless, contract workers became more prevalent in the other sectors of the official industry as well - that is, in the large private obrajes which were traditionally worked with mita labor. The latter began to supplement an increasingly unreliable mitayo work force with outsiders and with insiders who were willing to perform contract labor after their mita duties terminated.

  • 15 ANH/Q, Indígenas HS: 172, Caciques de Pelileo sobre que indios voluntarios reemplazan esclavos neg (...)
  • 16 AGI, Quito 7, Doc. 19, Carta de don Antonio Lopez de Galarza a su magestad, 1664.

32An especially interesting case of the partial transition to free labor, and one which exhibits conditions similar to those of the community obrajes, was the large private obrajes of San Ildefonso in the Corregimiento of Ambato. Traditionally worked with a small contingent of mitayos and a much larger group of African slaves, this obrajes gradually replaced its slave labor force with native contract workers between 1619 and 1695, years during which the migration process had intensified considerably. The caciques of Pelileo, a neighboring town, complained in 1695 that their subjects were migrating to San Ildefonso in order to escape the mita15. Evidently, Indian migration and partial proletarianization had produced a large enough pool of unattached workers to male free labor more profitable than African slave labor - apparently so much more profitable that some Indians charged that their contracts with San Ildefonso were frequently not entered into freely16. Hence, the term "free" labor must be qualified, since it seems that in some large obrajes coercion often accompanied the free gravitation of workers toward these enterprises and played a significant role in the labor transition.

  • 17 Of course, the intent of royal and local legislation on the maintenance of the mita is not always (...)
  • 18 ANH/Q, Obrajes 8 № 2, 1688.

33Ironically, the large obrajeros use of and later preference for free labor was in flagrant violation of royal and local ordinances intended to protect the mita and hence the smooth functioning of their very operations 17. Recruitment of contract workers, while productive in the short term, only served to accelerate the migration process by making available to forasteros and would-be forasteros even more employment and at higher wages than those of mitayos. Contract workers typically received double the wages of forced laborers; in 1688, a free carder in the Obrajes of Peguche (Otavalo) received an annual salary of 36 pesos, while his mitayo counterpart in the Community Obraje of Otavalo received only 18 pesos18. In short, contrary to the accusations of the official industry, the illicit operators were not the only "culprits" in the promotion of native migration and the resultant denigration of the forced labor system. Clearly, the expedient strategies of the large obrajeros themselves contributed to the demographic diffusion of the Indian sphere and the near-total collapse of the mita by late seventeenth century.

  • 19 Quito's problems were also exacerbated by the growing contraband trade in English and French texti (...)

34The large obrajeros continued their barrage of complaints for the entire seventeenth century and into the eighteenth. As production at the Potosí silver mines fell off during the second half of the seventeenth century, so also did that of Quito's licensed textile industry --an industry that depended heavily on demand generated by the "red mountain"19. Despite the vagaries of the silver economy, the large obrajeros continued to blame their demise on Indian migration to private obrajes. Whether an attempt to find scapegoats for their lagging fortunes or perhaps a ruse to capture the local market by displacing small and medium-sized operators is difficult to know; what is more certain, however, is that labor shortages and the migratory flow to private obrajes continued to be the chief concerns of the official industry through the first decade of the eighteenth century.

  • 20 ANH/Q, Obrajes: 7, 3-IX-1678; Autos Seguidos por Don Francisco de de Torres Pizarro sobre el manej (...)
  • 21 ANH/Q, Obrajes : 8, Doc. 2 ; Connaturalizados y originarios de San Pablo sobre obrajes de Peguche, (...)

35In 1678, Don Francisco de Torres Pizarro's account of the state of the textile industry in Riobamba describes all the same conditions present in the reports of the 1630's : the labor drain from community obrajes to small, private obrajes, the ensuing labor shortages and tribute arrears, and the wool shortages, over production, and declining prices that resulted from the proliferation of the unlicensed sector. By 1678, however, Torres Pizarro was able to define more sharply the major protagonists: on one side he placed the renters of community obrajes, the owners of large operations worked with mi-tayos, the encomenderos, and the Indian communities; on the other, the owners of the obrajuelos and the forasteros who migrated to them20. In other words, the battle line was drawn between all those who were prejudiced by and all those who benefitted from native migration and the demographic breakdown of the traditional Indian sphere. Also present in the reports of the period were repeated claims that Indians continued to migrate from community obrajes where they were abused and poorly paid to private obrajes where they received higher pay, better treatment and enjoyed the freedom to move from one workshop to another21.

  • 22 In 1680 the crown, desperate for revenues, issued a decree to demolish all unlicensed obrajes in Q (...)
  • 23 A "chorillo" was a small textile workshop usually located in an urban setting.
  • 24 AGI, Quito 69, Documentos respectivos..., f. 338-377.

36That the relationship between Indian migration and private obrajes had become institutionalized in the audiencia's economy can be borne out in various testimonies during the crisis of the 1680's22. The Cabildo of Quito, the private obrajeros, the protector of the Indians, the fiscal of the audiencia, and several religions orders all testified that the small obrajes were essential to the livelihood of the province and to the wellbeing of the Indians23. They claimed that 60,000 natives in the Corregimiento of Quito, alone, needed this work and that private obrajes paid double the wages of those of the mita24.

  • 25 AGI, Quito 142, (Duque de Uzeda pide licencia para hacer un galpón en el pueblo de San Luis...) 16 (...)
  • 26 ANH/Q, Obrajes: 10, 12-VII - 1703.

37Once again, the large obrajeros responded by accompanying their official complaints with expedient adjustments. If labor would not come to them, they would go to labor. Increasingly, elite owners petitioned for licenses to establish galpones or annexes in cities, on haciendas - wherever there was a large labor pool. The case of the Duque de Uzeda is instructive. He owned obrajes in the native towns of Guano, Ylapo, and San Andres, Corregimiento of Riobam-ba, which he worked with mitayos from those towns. In 1697, he reported that whole parcialidades of one hundred Indians each had migrated from Ylapo and Guano to the private obrajes of Diego de Rio Frio in the town of San Luis and refused to return to their mita duties in his establishments. Although the complaint is embellished with all the usual indignant claims of injustice and impropriety, his real motive was to obtain a license to establish a galpon in San Luis where his mitayos were residing25. The case of the owner of the obrajes of Yaruquís, another Indian town in Riobamba, is quite similar. In 1703, he requested a license to establish a galpon in the barrio of San Diego (City of Quito) because there were no longer enough indians in Yaruqufs to operate his obrajes, while there was a plentiful supply of labor in the city of Quito26.

38In short, the dialectic between Indian migration and the independent textile industry contributed to a significant transition in settlement patterns and hence in the very construct of the colony and its economy. The economic enterprises of elite Spaniards were traditionally centered in or near Indian communities precisely because that was where the Indian population was concentrated; nevertheless, native decisions, and more specifically migratory behavior combined with economic conditions to turn the imperial construct of spatially separate Indian and Spanish Republics on his head. With such huge numbers of natives living in the Spanish sphere, elite owners were now forced to follow the work force.

  • 27 ANH/Q, Indígenas HS : 172. Piden que los sueldos de los indios ausentes de los obrajes se apliquen (...)

39The impact of this native population movement on the official textile industry is of passing significance compared to the impact it must have had on the Indian sphere. Official concern for the desintegration of native communities may be read in a proposal of 1688 to remit the salaries of private obrajes workers back to the communities from which they had fled27.

  • 28 AGI, Quito 69, Documentos respectivos a la visita hecha por Don Fernando Ruiz de Velasco en los ob (...)

40Unlicensed obrajes, while a source of constant vexation for the official industry and the subject of numerous investigations, continued unimpeded by government restrictions until the royal crises of the late seventeenth century when the crown issued a decree to demolish them. In 1684, on the eve of its execution, however, the decree was rescinded by a sweeping and highly profitable composición of the unlicensed industry. Rather than an honest effort to save the official industry, the decree appears to have been a royal scare tactic to extort a huge ransom - a measure quite characteristic of the period. From that point on, the licensing of new obrajes became a mere bureaucratic transaction like any other. Finally, the royal Cédulas of 1689 and 1704 abolished the mita de obrajes altogether and order-er that all obrajes be worked with "voluntary " contract labor28. Thus, the upstarts emerged triumphant in their century-long struggle with the large obrajeros, the survival strategies of the Indian population having been one of the most determinant factors in the outcome. Of course, that they now presided over a seriously declining textile industry made for a rather anti-climactic conclusion to what had been a long and volatile clash of interests.

41Karen Powers Vera

42Northern Arizona University

434015 E. Soliere Ave.

44Flagstaff - Arizona 86004

45USA

Notes

1 Tyrer,p.86.

2 Ibid.,p.89.

3 Their pre-Hispanic experience was rooted in cotton cloth production, but one assumes that some part of those skills was transferable.

4 The small obrajeros who garnered labor through the phenomenon of forasteris-mo were part of a larger group of middle and lower strata Spaniards whose numbers grew considerably between 1570 and 1630 and who arrived at a time when labor assignments and prime lands had already been monopolized by the descendants of the early conquerors and settlers — those with "seniority in the Indies", as Lockhart would describe them.
Parallel to the small obrajeros'battle with the elite obrajeros,there developed a similar conflict between small landowners and large landowners, the former competing for labor with the latter and often recruiting labor from among forasteros.

5 AGI, Quito 9, Doc.45, Carta del Licenciado Don Blas de Torres Altamirano, 17 de abril de 1602, f.282.

6 AGI, Quito 17, Carta del cabildo a su magestad sobre que se de licencia general para que haya obrajes en aquella provincia con los indios que de su voluntad quisieren servir, 20 de abril de 1604.

7 The "Obrajes" section of the Archivo Nacional de Historia in Quito is full of these "composiciones," especially Box 8.

8 AGI, Quito 28, Carta de Alonso de Cabrera a su magestad, 1613.

9 AGI, Quito 10, Doc. 54, Carta de la Audiencia de Quito a su Magestad, 15 de abril de 1620.

10 AGI, Quito 10, Doc. 73, Carta del Presidente Antonio de Morga a su Magestad, 15 de marzo de 1630.

11 AGI, Quito 12, Doc. 38, Autos hechos en la Real Audiencia de Quito...por la defensa de los indios de los Sichos...sobre que se les quiten las doctrinas..., 1636. f. 371 - 375v.

12 AGI,Lima 44, № 9, ff. 86-94. Parecer de la Audiencia de Quito sobre la reducción general de indios, 1633.

13 AGI, Lima 43, N° 21, Pareceres sobre si hagan obrajes en los repartimientos de la Corona Real para facilitar la cobranza de tributos en Quito, 30 de mayo de 1630.

14 AGI : Quito 12, Doc. 51, f. 448v - 450v.

15 ANH/Q, Indígenas HS: 172, Caciques de Pelileo sobre que indios voluntarios reemplazan esclavos negros en el obrajes de San Ildefonso, 1695; ANH/Q, Obrajes:2. Libro de Cuentas del Obraje de San Ildefonso, 1619 - 1665

16 AGI, Quito 7, Doc. 19, Carta de don Antonio Lopez de Galarza a su magestad, 1664.

17 Of course, the intent of royal and local legislation on the maintenance of the mita is not always clear; lack of enforcement sometimes makes it appear to be nothing more than a formal appeasement of traditional elites.

18 ANH/Q, Obrajes 8 № 2, 1688.

19 Quito's problems were also exacerbated by the growing contraband trade in English and French textiles in Lima. Tyrer, p. 168.

20 ANH/Q, Obrajes: 7, 3-IX-1678; Autos Seguidos por Don Francisco de de Torres Pizarro sobre el manejo de unos obrajuelos en Guano y San Andrés, 1678.

21 ANH/Q, Obrajes : 8, Doc. 2 ; Connaturalizados y originarios de San Pablo sobre obrajes de Peguche, 1688; AGI, Quito 69, Documentos respectivos a la visita hecha por Don Francisco Ruiz de Velasco en los obrajes de la Provincia de Quito...1676 - 1704, f. 460-465, 247v, 338-377; AGI, Quito 74, Doc. 15, Carta del fiscal Antonio de Ron, 15 de julio de 1694; ANH/Q, Obrajes : 7, (1705-V-2)

22 In 1680 the crown, desperate for revenues, issued a decree to demolish all unlicensed obrajes in Quito. The decree produced the expected outcry and in 1684 the order was rescinded on condition that all unlicensed operations be "composed" for a fee.

23 A "chorillo" was a small textile workshop usually located in an urban setting.

24 AGI, Quito 69, Documentos respectivos..., f. 338-377.

25 AGI, Quito 142, (Duque de Uzeda pide licencia para hacer un galpón en el pueblo de San Luis...) 1697.

26 ANH/Q, Obrajes: 10, 12-VII - 1703.

27 ANH/Q, Indígenas HS : 172. Piden que los sueldos de los indios ausentes de los obrajes se apliquen a las comunidades, 1688.

28 AGI, Quito 69, Documentos respectivos a la visita hecha por Don Fernando Ruiz de Velasco en los obrajes de la provincia de Quito...1676 a 1704.

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Northern Arizona University

© Institut français d’études andines, 1992

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