Constructing the Boundaries of Places, Spaces and Identities in Abra (1823–1904)



In this essay, I narrate the historical processes of creating towns (pueblos) in the Province of Abra during the nineteenth century. also discursively analyze the notions of place and displacement at work, as well as the significance of spaces and places, in the historical process of constructing local identities. I argue that one cannot separate the historical processes of building towns (ereccion de pueblos) and the social construction of identities of peoples therein. As the physical boundaries of new towns were laid out, new axes of social differences also emerged. Tensions in notions of “home” or “homeland” among the colonizers and colonized surfaced. Within the framework of power relations, the pueblos served as colonial spaces where the natives were counted, measured, analyzed, controlled, and governed. The pueblos also became spaces for transgressions by colonial subjects and therefore became battlefields of competing discourses and practices.

Keywords: place, displacement, space, colonial and post-colonial discourse, Cordillera, indigenous peoples.

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