Scott Cave (IAH/CEMS Jr. Scholar)
Translating Sin: Ethnography, Indigenous Taboos, and Translation as an Act of Cultural Destruction in a 1613 Confessional Guide
This talk examines a 1613 confessional guide written for the indigenous Timucua of north Florida. Its author, the Franciscan friar Antonio de Pareja, describes in intimate detail the details and meaning of the elaborate system of Timucua rituals and taboos that structured daily life, with an aim to eradicate these “idolatrous” practices. Pareja, and those that followed this guide, essentially forced Timucua to commit sins against their old worldview in order to avoid sin in their new religion. This talk examines the world revealed by this remarkable document, and how ethnography could simultaneously function as a tool of cultural preservation and destruction in the Spanish empire.
Light lunch at 11:45 a.m. Presentation starts promptly at 12:00 p.m.