Scoundrels or Saviors: Indigenous Participation in Guerra Guasu (Paraguay, 1864-1870)
Marie Tolan, UCSC
Often described as the first total war in Latin America, the war of the Triple Alliance (also known as the Guerra Guasu (the great war)) pitched Paraguay against the alliance of Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, newly emergent nation-states themselves. Because of the need for all actors in this conflict to forge strong alliances with as many people as possible, the war offered a unique venue for many marginalized people such as indigenous peoples, free Afro-descendants, or, in the case of Brazil, even slaves, to negotiate their position in the nation in exchange for participation in the conflict. In this presentation, I will examine key encounters between indigenous leaders and between the Allied army and the Paraguayan army and civilians that presses us to rethink the importance of indigenous actors in this conflict. I will focus in particular on the actions of Cacique Galeano, leader of the Kaiowá people of Eastern Paraguay, who was critical in the rescue of Paraguayan women taken hostage by their own government.
Wheelock Student Center, Murray Board Room