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date: 24 April 2017

Jesuit Missions and Private Property, Commerce, and Guaraní Economic Initiative

Summary and Keywords

The mission economy supported tens of thousands of Guaraní Indians and made the Jesuit reducciones (1609 to 1767) the most populous and financially prosperous of all the missions among native peoples of the Americas. The communal structure of collective labor, shared ownership, and redistribution of communal property formed the basis of the mission economy and seemed to leave little room for the possession of private property, independent trade, and economic initiative on the part of the resident Guaraní. Late 18th century Jesuit authors reinforced such an understanding in an attempt to defend their order and its actions in Paraguay. They argued that the Guaraní were incapable of managing their own affairs and that Jesuit management of the communally structured economy was indispensible for the wellbeing of both the missions and the Guaraní. Such accounts overlook evidence to the contrary. Mission Guaraní did in fact own private property—yerba mate, horses, clothing, and jewelry—and Jesuit leaders repeatedly issued orders for the missionaries to allow the Guaraní to independently trade yerba mate. Furthermore, although Jesuit authors repeatedly denied that they paid mission Guaraní wages—to do so would go against the communal structure that they so vehemently defended—the missionaries acknowledged that they paid mission Guaraní bonuses as a reward for their skills or extra labor. These bonuses served as a way to motivate individual economic initiative or agency within the framework of the missions’ communal structure. In sum, the communal structure allowed for more flexibility in the ownership of private property, independent commerce, and economic initiative by the Guaraní than has been portrayed in both the 18th century writings of Jesuit authors and much of the current literature.

Keywords: Guaraní, Jesuits, missions, Río de la Plata, Paraguay, ethnohistory, mission economy, yerba mate

Visiting one of the Guaraní missions during their peak in the 18th century likely left a strong impression. Many miles from any city or town, a cathedral-sized church with cupolas and a bell tower suddenly emerged out of nowhere and alerted the visitor that she was about to arrive at the mission. Soon rows and rows of uniform buildings appeared. Along the length of these long and narrow buildings, about a half a dozen doors were equally spaced. Each door represented a single-family housing unit. The buildings housed 1,000 or more people. They lined both sides of a road leading to the heart of the mission and encircled a central plaza on three sides. The central plaza was huge—large enough for the entire mission population to gather together at one time. On the other side of the plaza was a large church with an ornately decorated stone façade. Inside the church, vaulting and columns gave an air of elegance and sophistication, while numerous paintings and sculptures of saints added color and vitality. Next to the church were storerooms, workshops, and classrooms used for the mission’s material and religious operations. All of these buildings and infrastructure were built by Guaraní Indians, who labored often under coercion in the mission economy.1 This economy was based on a communal structure of collective labor, shared ownership, and redistribution of communal property.2 While such a generalization of the mission economy is accurate, it risks obscuring and overlooking independent economic activity and initiative by the Guaraní.

Much of our knowledge about the mission economy derives from various 18th century Jesuit accounts written in defense of their order’s activities in Paraguay. These writings were in response to reformers, who condemned Jesuit missionaries for obstructing private property and commerce in the missions. Jesuit authors did not deny that private enterprise played a minor role in the missions; rather, they asserted that it could be no other way. They claimed that their brethren had tried to promote private property and commerce but were, and would continue to be, unsuccessful because the Indians were too lazy and incapable to manage their own affairs. As a solution, Jesuit authors insisted that there was no alternative to the mission economy’s communal structure; for only under Jesuit guidance and tutelage could the Guaraní prosper. Their reasoning made a strong case for Jesuit management, but it conveniently ignored evidence of economic independence on the part of the Guarani. Even though the communal structure underlay the mission economy, some Guaraní traded on their own behalf—at least in the early years of the missions—and a differentiated remuneration structure rewarded mission inhabitants based on skill and effort. Such evidence complicates our understanding of the mission economy and yields a more nuanced interpretation of the underlying communal structure.

18th-Century Critique of the Guaraní Missions and the Jesuit Response

In the accounts about the state of the Jesuit missions of Paraguay, it is known that there is no country in the world in which the subjects are treated with a slavery equal to that which the Indians suffer on the part of the Jesuits, the priests of their pueblos. [The Indians] constantly work for the benefit of the priests, and only on Sunday, they are left free to work on their own behalf for themselves and their women. [The Jesuits] are not more rigorous with the Indians than the most severe masters are with their slaves. The agricultural and artisan products produced with the sweat of the Indian are transported to the storehouses that the Jesuits have in Spanish towns, where they sell [the goods], and in return for those good Indians receive a small part of the benefit.3

This quote by Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes, a Spanish statesman and writer, reflects the criticism of the Guaraní missions that intensified during the second half of the 18th century. Enlightenment thinking and new economic thought lauded private property and commerce as the means for development and advancement. The missions, with an economy based primarily on communal structure rather than private enterprise, clearly conflicted with such thinking. Stories of the Jesuits exploiting the Indians abounded, and by the time of the Jesuit expulsion in 1767, many believed that the missionaries held their Guaraní charges in conditions equivalent to slavery. Rodríguez Campomanes’ report justified the Crown’s rational for expelling the Jesuits from all Spanish territory. The Jesuits did not take such attacks sitting down. José Cardiel, Pierre François Charlevoix, Martín Dobrizhoffer, Juan de Escandón, Jaime Oliver, and other Jesuits vociferously defended their order’s activities in the Guaraní missions. The rich details in these accounts, some of the most frequently cited primary sources for describing all aspects of the Guaraní missions, include important information on the mission economy.

One of the main Jesuit responses to the attacks on the mission structure was to emphasize that the missionaries did not discourage private property and that each family had its own plot of land to sustain itself. In his history of Paraguay published in 1769, Jesuit historian Pierre François Charlevoix asserted that private property definitely existed in the missions.

Several persons imagine, that, in this republick, there is no private property; but that, every week, each family receives the necessary food; and, from time to time, the other necessary articles for their subsistence. Some such regulation might possibly have existed, when those Indians, but newly united, were not in a capacity to procure themselves, by their labours, a certain and regular supply of the necessaries of life; nor well established in places of sufficient security. But in process of time, and especially, since they have been no longer exposed to the danger of being obliged to remove from place to place, there has been assigned to every family a piece of land, sufficient, if properly cultivated, to supply it with the necessaries of life.4

Like Charlevoix, other Jesuit authors stressed that each nuclear family had its own plot of land for growing food for sustenance.5 While Jesuit authors drew attention to the private plots of land and the ostensible opportunity for the Guaraní to possess private property, this did not mean that they claimed that private property played a major role in the mission economy. Rather, all agreed that communal ownership prevailed in the missions.6 In the same document, Charlevoix sought to dispel the idea that private property did not exist in the missions, and spoke of the existence of communal plots for the public good.7 Furthermore, he later contradicted his earlier assertion about the importance of private property in the missions writing, “mine and yours are unknown words; because, it is, in fact, to have no exclusive property.”8

Jesuit authors overwhelmingly argued that private property played a minor role in the missions because it was impossible to do otherwise. One of the best examples of such line of reasoning is the writings of José Cardiel, a Jesuit missionary who spent over thirty years among the Guaraní. Cardiel wrote some of the most detailed descriptions of the Guaraní missions. While an undercurrent of defending Jesuit governance runs throughout his writings, Cardiel was not subtle in his response to attacks on Jesuit restriction of private property and commerce. He asserted that the missionaries wanted to and tried to promote such practices, and he wholeheartedly agreed with the ideal that

. . . each Indian should have his milk cows and another team of cattle for food, as the Spanish in the countryside do; a plot of yerba mate plants; a plot of tobacco plants; and his own horses and mules [so that he can] produce yerba and tobacco in abundance and have Spaniards come trade with him, with the priests only teaching the Christian doctrine.9

Cardiel’s retort was that while the Jesuits wanted such an outcome, it was not possible. He continued, “what more could we have wanted than to achieve this: to be free from so much temporal concerns. Many efforts on various occasions were made to realize this, but nothing could be achieved.”10 Cardiel further specified that in thirty-eight years, he only saw two examples of individual Guaraní initiative. The corregidor (head of the Guaraní cabildo) of Candelaria planted yerba mate trees and each year harvested two bags of yerba mate that he had the priest of his mission send to Buenos Aires in exchange for cloth (bayeta or paño), knives, and beads. Similarly, the captain of war of another mission planted sugar cane, giving seventy-five or a hundred pounds of sugar yearly to the priest of his mission to trade for goods. Cardiel emphasized that these two individuals were the exception among thousands of Guaraní; he never heard of any other mission Indian who produced enough to trade goods on his own behalf.11

Jesuits like Cardiel defended the relatively minor role of private property in the missions by arguing that the Guaraní were lazy and incapable. Missionary Jaime Oliver claimed, “[the Guaraní] are by nature so lazy that they would be without food because of not working. It is necessary that the priest see that in the same [fields] they are flogged for not having planted enough for the year or for not having hoed. And [the priest] must return again and again until they do it.”12 Another missionary, Juan de Escandón, wrote that the Jesuits took charge of temporal matters because “experience taught that the Indians are incapable without the direction of the priests. Because without a doubt, generally in none of the missions is there more ability, reason, or discretion than what we see in a school of children learning to read and write.”13

Cardiel was even more specific. “The Indians do not have their own cows, nor oxen, nor horses, nor sheep, nor mules; only chickens, because they are not capable of more.”14 He further explained that it was not for lack of trying by the Jesuits. Cardiel claimed that the missionaries had tried many times to give the Guaraní their own large or small livestock or some beasts of burden to care for but the Indians could not manage such a task. According to Cardiel, either the Guaraní killed and ate the animal, or it strayed away or died because they did not give it food or care for it.15 Cardiel also argued that the Guaraní were incapable of storing their own harvest.

They waste it without looking to the future. For this reason, leaving in their house the necessary quantity for two or three months, [the missionary] requires that they bring all of the rest of their harvest in bags to the communal granaries, and there, [the missionary] guards it with the name of each person marked on his sacks, and when the grains in their houses are ending, [the missionary] gives them their storage and takes precaution so that they do not sell the sustenance of their family for four pieces of glass.16

While Cardiel criticized the Indians for trading all of their harvest for worthless trifles, Escandón complained that without oversight the Guaraní ate or wasted all of their harvest without saving any seeds for planting. Like Cardiel, Escandón emphasized that the Jesuits had to manage the grains.17

Jesuit authors like Cardiel, Escandón, and Oliver had ulterior motives for describing the Guaraní as lazy and incapable: they wanted their readers to believe that the missions could not function without Jesuit management. By emphasizing the inability of the Guaraní to productively use private property and engage in commerce, the missionaries pointed to the vital importance of the missions’ communal structure. Since the Jesuits oversaw the communal structure, the authors were trying to convince their audience that the Jesuits were necessary for the well being of both the Guaraní and the missions. Instead of straight out refuting accusations that the missionaries prevented individual Guaraní from engaging in economic activity on their own behalf, Jesuit authors took the approach that such strict oversight was absolutely necessary and a good thing.

The Guaraní were not lazy and incapable, but they did not value wealth accumulation like Europeans did. Prior to European contact, the Guaraní culture did not try to accrue goods as status symbols or as a reserve for later use. Rather than equating status with the accumulation of material goods, they valued reciprocity and generosity. Furthermore, just as in nature, they expected that there would be periods of plenty followed by periods of scarcity.18 While European concepts of wealth accumulation were new to the Guaraní, close readings of Jesuit documents show some examples of mission Guaraní engaging in economic activity on their own behalf.

Libro de Ordenes: Examples of Private Property and Commerce

Early Jesuit writings allude to the Guaraní as having private property and engaging in commerce. Of particular usefulness is the libro de órdenes (book of directives), which recorded orders or directives made by the Jesuit hierarchy (generals, provincials, and superiors) regarding management of the missions and the Province of Paraguay. Each mission was supposed to have a copy of the libro de órdenes used by the missionaries to guide all of their management decisions and day-to-day affairs. Because the audience for this work was the lower levels of the Jesuit hierarchy, the writing was straightforward about management concerns. Moreover, the writings in this book were not for public dissemination or for people outside of the Jesuit order, and thus, there was less incentive to hide or distort information in an effort to portray the Jesuit order and the missions in the best possible light. As a result, the libro de órdenes has been a good resource for understanding the Jesuits’ priorities, concerns, and challenges regarding the missions.

While 18th-century authors like Cardiel claimed that mission Guaraní were incapable of managing private property and conducting trade on their own behalf, the libro de órdenes was less definitive. Three separate entries in the book ordered missionaries to allow Guaraní returning from the yerba mate harvest to keep their own yerba mate and to trade it for other items. As early as 1667, Andrés de Rada, the provincial in charge of the Province of Paraguay, wrote that the missionaries “could not obligate the Guaraní to sell their yerba mate in their mission, or even less to the priests, if it is better for them to sell it somewhere else where [the person with whom they are trading] will give them more [in exchange] or an item that they need more.”19 Fifteen years later, Thomas de Baeza, another provincial of Paraguay, ordered that the Indians returning from harvesting yerba mate not be obligated to register the bags or baskets holding their own yerba mate. Like de Rada before him, de Baeza also highlighted that they not be obligated to bring the yerba mate to the priest’s quarters. Rather, they should voluntarily bring the yerba mate [for trade] when they want to buy some things that they need.20 Both de Rada and de Baeza emphasized that the Indians should not forcibly be made to hand over their private supplies of yerba mate to the priests.21 Both provincials also stressed that the Indians be allowed keep and manage the yerba mate themselves; furthermore, the Indians should be allowed to trade the yerba mate freely. Such orders imply not only that the Guaraní were capable of managing private property and conducting trade, but also that they were doing so from the early years of the missions.

The matter of allowing the Indians to maintain control over the yerba mate that they brought back from the harvest was not resolved with the orders issued by de Rada and de Baeza. Some fifty years later, the Provincial of Paraguay Jaime Aguilar again warned the missionaries that they could not rigorously compel an Indian returning from the harvest to turn over any more of the yerba mate than that which easily met the Indian’s tribute payment.22 Aguilar further specified that the missionaries could not take any yerba mate from the Indian to cover the cost of oxen, mules, or food for the trip.23 The repetition of similar orders from three provincials suggests that at least some missionaries had difficulties relinquishing control of the yerba mate to the Guaraní.

Jesuit Interference

Only later do we find evidence of the Jesuits increasingly limiting economic activity. The Provincial of Paraguay Antonio Machoni issued a directive about the Guaraní possessing their own horses that points to the missionaries purposefully limiting the Indians’ ability to possess and independently manage private property. In 1742, Machoni ordered that, if Indians owned horses that caused harm to a mission, the missionary should force the Indian to sell his horse by taking away the animal and paying the Indian the just price or by trading the horse for a donkey or a cart with a team of oxen if his agricultural fields were distant.24 Machoni’s directive also complicates Cardiel’s claim that the Guaraní were unable to care for large livestock. Cardiel asserted that whenever a mission Guaraní owned a large animal such as a horse, it either died or strayed due to lack of care. In contrast, Machoni ordered missionaries to confiscate such animals based on their own judgment: if the missionary deemed that the Indians “take advantage of [the horses] to the detriment of their mission or others nearby.”25 Machoni’s directive acknowledges that some Guaraní owned their own horses. The fact that he mandated confiscation only under the condition that such ownership was harmful to the missions further implies that at least some Guaraní were able to care for their own property.

The Jesuits knew that, legally, the Guaraní had the right to own property and conduct trade. Various Spanish laws stipulated that the Indians of the Americas could own property, enter into economic exchanges, and freely trade goods.26 The Jesuits knew that they had to be careful not to go against such laws. In 1667, Andrés de Rada’s directive discussed above explicitly acknowledged that to do otherwise would be in opposition to what was decreed in the royal cedulas about the liberty of the Indians.27 Tensions arose between the need to allow the Guaraní to own and trade private property and the Jesuits’ desire to shape the Guaraní into their idea of good Christians. Such conflict can best be seen regarding items that the Jesuits viewed as luxuries.

The libro de órdenes exposes several instances where Jesuit provincials ordered the missionaries to restrict Guaraní ownership of and trade in certain items. In 1678, the Provincial of Paraguay Diego Altamirano mandated that the missionaries reform what he believed to be excesses in the way that some Guaraní women dressed: the many necklaces and bracelets, decorated skirts, and similar finery. While Altamirano did not explicitly state how the missionaries should prevent the Guaraní from wearing such items, he did give his rational for such reforms: to keep the Indians from falling away from God.28 Several years later, Provincial of Paraguay Thomas Bonavides ordered the missionaries to intervene in the way that some Guaraní dressed. Bonavides emphasized that allowing the Guaraní to possess such clothing was a challenge to Jesuit authority. The use of “all [of these excessive clothing items] needs to be stopped because if [the Indians] spend their efforts in such things, the priests will not be able to come to them nor have them as subjects.”29 Enforcing such orders restricted the Indians’ ability to possess private property and freely trade for the goods that they desired.

The Missions’ Communal Structure

While the Jesuits justified their intervention as necessary for the Indians’ spiritual welfare, the communal structure of the missions also seemed to undermine private property and independent trade. The missionaries acknowledged that distributions of food and other items were critical for attracting Guaraní to the missions. When describing the founding of Mission Yapeyú in a Carta Anua (letter to the head of the Jesuit order in Rome summarizing the pastoral work of the province of Paraguay), Provincial Diego de Boroa underscored that daily distributions of beef brought many Indians to the mission. According to de Boroa, the mission was located in an area where Indians sowed crops in the forests. Some also traded with and learned bad customs from Spaniards who lived nearby. De Boroa acknowledged that the Jesuits had a hard time convincing Indians to settle in Yapeyú, but he claimed that the situation changed when missionary Andrés de la Rua gathered a small heard of cattle and began distributing beef daily “. . . and with this means, many Indians that lived in a scattered and lazy manner took shelter [in the mission] . . .”30 Throughout the missions’ lifespan, distributions of beef from communal supplies continued to be critical. Years later, Cardiel wrote, “the good or bad of the mission in temporal and spiritual [matters] depends on the good state of these [livestock] ranches,” from which the Indians received beef rations.31 The missions’ communal supplies not only gave Guaraní residents beef, they also regularly provided the Indians with yerba mate, tobacco, and cotton and wool cloth. Moreover, the Guaraní could also rely on supplemental assistance from communal supplies during times of need. One could argue that such distributions made the Guaraní complacent. While such forces might have been at work, they did not squash all individual initiative. As the Jesuits’ regulations about clothing and attire highlighted, mission Guaraní possessed private property. A mission’s communal structure did not preclude economic initiative. Rather, incentives existed within the communal structure to encourage such behavior.

The very strength of the communal structure depended on a number of Guaraní taking on additional responsibilities and/or utilizing special skills. As a reward for such efforts, these individuals received special incentives and recompense. The libro de órdenes specified that mission Guaraní had to be paid for transporting yerba (1667 and 1735)32 and trade goods (1689),33 and an entry by the Provincial Thomas Donavides, in 1688, stipulated the amount of cloth that mission weavers were to receive in recognition of the great service that they gave to their mission.34

While explicitly asserting that mission Indians did not receive wages, the 18th century Jesuit authors who defended their order’s activities in the missions acknowledged that missionaries gave rewards and bonuses to individual Guaraní who exercised special skills or took on additional responsibilities. They justified these payments to skilled Guaraní artisans and craftsmen because such individuals worked more than the rest of the mission inhabitants or because their work was more difficult than other tasks. The Guaraní who had special skills (weavers, blacksmiths, and all the other mechanical trades) did their work without payment, but they did receive additional remuneration from communal supplies, since they worked more than everyone else.35 Furthermore, Jesuits justified the extra cloth given to the weavers “because their work is reputed to be the most difficult.”36

Learning a skill or trade was not the only way to exercise individual initiative and receive extra compensation while residing in the mission. Indians who traveled on behalf of their mission—to harvest yerba mate, hunt livestock, or transport trade goods—also received extra compensation. In such cases, the Jesuits again claimed that the recipient was not receiving a wage but rather a reward, which was justified by the extra work performed by the recipient. According to Cardiel,

. . . when the work of the traveler is greater [than those who stay in the mission to repair buildings or cultivate the communal fields], or they exercise their assignment with more care or utility, upon the return [the missionary] gives them their reward. The rewards are rosaries, strings of glass beads for themselves or their women, cloth, knives, spurs, bridles, locks, axes, and wedges.37

The Jesuits did not equate such bonuses with wages, and they explicitly emphasized in their writings that mission Guaraní did not receive wages. Indeed, Cardiel prefaced almost every mention of extra compensation for labor with the caveat that such a reward did not constitute a wage. The Jesuits did not want anyone to draw the conclusion that mission Guaraní received wages because salaries directly conflicted with the idea of equality that constituted the very essence of the communal structure of collective labor, shared ownership, and redistribution of communal property. Regardless of this conflict, in practice, the Jesuits needed to motivate mission Guaraní, and material rewards were an effective tool for doing so.

In 1682, the Provincial of Paraguay Thomas de Baeza explicitly described how the missionaries were to use bonuses and extra distributions from communal supplies to motivate individual Guaraní into taking on extra work that they did not want to do. In this case, de Baeza gave instructions to the missionaries for dealing with a shortage of wet-nurses to care for orphaned babies.

And since many orphaned babies who are still of breastfeeding age die (their mothers dead) because there is nobody to give them milk, you need to take care to give them to caregivers that will breastfeed them. And to facilitate this, give to the women who refuse to be caregivers clothing and a ration of meat every day and have them helped with their agricultural field, and from time to time give them yerba mate, and give them an orphan that [is the age that needs to be carried], and to this [baby] also give clothing and a ration every day.38

Essentially, de Baeza ordered the missionaries to bribe reluctant women—with extra clothing, meat, yerba mate, and labor—into providing milk and caring for orphans. Few Jesuit accounts are as explicit about how the missionaries were to use such rewards. Instead, most accounts simply describe the rewards as extra compensation for individuals whose labor exceeded that of everyone else.

Just as the libro de ordénes exposes how the missionaries used extra rewards of material goods to manipulate the Indians into doing more work and taking on extra responsibilities, it also exposes the fact that sometimes missionaries practiced favoritism by giving extra material to certain Indians without sufficient justification. In 1721, Provincial José de Aguirre censured missionaries who extensively distributed “without reservation ribbons (listones) and colored cotton fabric (ruanes) for [the Indians’ clothing], or very vain adornments” to the Guaraní males who worked in the missionaries’ quarters and who did little or nothing to serve the community. According to de Aguirre, such unequal distributions of the mission’s communal goods resulted in a shortage of simple cloth (lienzo de la tierra) and wool cloth (bechara) for the clothing of “a large part of the poor male and female Indians who work with more utility for the communal good.” De Aguirre demonstrated that he understood how a missionary could come to show such favoritism by prefacing his criticism with the following warning: “Of this universal love is also born the paternal love of the Indians that are or were under our care, without letting it lead us to have more affection for some over others, which usually is the origin of great turmoil.” While de Aguirre understood why a missionary might give special gifts to favorite Guaraní, he clearly did not condone such actions. De Aguirre concluded his directive with the withering critique that such a missionary “not only lacked compassion and mercy that is so practiced in these blessed missions since their first founding but also the equality and justice in the sound administration of the properties that are common to all [of the Guaraní].”39 Jesuit authors repeatedly acknowledged that sound management of the missions required that missionaries give extra distributions from communal supplies to motivate and reward economic initiative that benefited the communal good.

As these examples show, the communal structure of collective labor, shared ownership, and redistribution of communal property exhibited more flexibility than was previously thought. While the Indians did not explicitly receive wages for their labor, they did receive distributions from communal supplies and bonuses based on skill and/or effort. These bonuses motivated and rewarded individual initiative. Furthermore, despite claims to the contrary by 18th-century Jesuit authors, evidence shows that individual Guaraní possessed private property and conducted commerce on their own behalf. The Guaraní kept their own yerba mate and traded it themselves; they owned and cared for horses; and they acquired clothing and jewelry that the Jesuits considered unnecessary luxuries. As their order and its activities in Paraguay came increasingly under attack in the 18th century, the Jesuits felt pressure to defend themselves and justify their presence in the missions. Jesuit authors tried to play down such initiative on the part of the Guaraní. By portraying the Indians as lazy and incapable, they hoped to show that both the communal structure and Jesuit oversight were vital to the welfare of the missions and the Guaraní. As a result, a distorted image of the mission economy emerged that emphasized the communal structure and downplayed Guaraní initiative, but evidence shows that, even under the communal structure, the Guaraní received bonuses that rewarded skills and effort, and they possessed private property and conducted commerce.

Discussion of the Literature

A significant number of works have been written about the Guaraní missions. Much of the literature is in Spanish and, more recently, in Portuguese. A good place to start a study of the Guaraní missions is with the works of Pablo Hernández, Guillermo Furlong, Magnus Mörner, Aurelio Porto, and Rafael Carbonell de Masy. Informative and rich with detail, these studies serve as a jumping off point for further research. While they provide a foundation for understanding the Guaraní missions, these works are generally biased in favor of the Jesuits and pay limited attention to the Guaraní experience.40

In recent years, scholars have become more critical of sources and have shifted their focus away from the Jesuits and toward the Indians’ experience and Guaraní agency. A good example is Barbara Ganson’s work.41 In addition to reading traditional sources against the grain, much of this scholarship relies on new sources. Guaraní letters are especially rich.42 Other sources such as accounting records and census records are also being used to draw out the Guaraní experience.43

Cultural history is also important in much of the recent scholarship on the Guaraní and their missions. These works primarily explore Guaraní identity—how the Guaraní view themselves and the world around them. Anthropologists, starting with Branislava Susnik, have contributed greatly to our understanding of Guaraní culture.44 More recently, Brazilian anthropologists have made significant contributions to our knowledge of Guaraní culture and practices before the arrival of the Jesuits, and Argentine anthropologist Guillermo Wilde provides valuable insights about ethnogenesis in and beyond the missions.45 The music of the Guaraní missions is a fruitful line of future research that is only in its beginning stages, much less advanced than the music of the Chiquitos missions to the north.46

The economic history of the missions has also received less attention. Arnaldo Bruxel studied the different forms of property in the missions.47 Writing at the height of the Cold War, Oreste Popescu applies 20th century economic theory to the Guaraní missions and concludes that the mission economy was an economic theocracy.48 Taking a more concrete approach, Theresa Blumers describes Jesuit accounting practices and reproduces accounting documents, but she does not analyze their content.49 Rafael Carbonell de Masy incorporates Blumers’s work into his own, and he, along with John Crocitti, provides an overview of the mission economy that uncritically restates Jesuit sources.50 Although Juan Carlos Garavaglia’s Marxist interpretation is highly critical of the missions, his work is the first to provide concrete data and analysis about the missions’ regional economic importance.51 Sarreal delves deeper into mission accounting records to trace Guaraní living standards and experiences during the Jesuit and post-Jesuit periods.52 By exploring Guaraní concepts of economics before European contact, José Souza, Bartomeu Melià, and Dominique Temple also shed light on the changes experienced by the Guaraní in the missions, but their work focuses on the transition of the Indians to the missions.53

Scholars have delved into a variety of other aspects of the missions, including demography, religion, native leadership, and Guaraní militias.54 Of particular use for undergraduate teaching are the film The Mission, James Schofield Saeger’s article that critically analyzes the film, and the English translations of five Guaraní letters in the appendices to The Guaraní Under Spanish Rule.55 Much still remains to be studied about the Guaraní missions, and the rich troves of primary source material promise abundant fruitful research for years to come.

Primary Sources

A large amount of primary source material related to the Guaraní missions has been published, is available electronically, or is accessible at one of various archives around the world. Scholars have edited and, in some cases translated, the written accounts of various Jesuit missionaries about their time among the Guaraní. These sources are readily available in print or online in digital form.56 For information about the formation of the missions and their early years, scholars should consult the cartas anuas—yearly letters from the Jesuit provincial in charge of Paraguay to the general of the Jesuit order in Rome—and the work of Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (an early Jesuit missionary among the Guaraní).57 The writings of both Ruiz de Montoya and Martin Dobrizhoffer (who worked among the Guaraní and the Apibones) are among the few primary source materials that have been translated into English.58 Most of the published writings by Jesuits date from the 18th century. José Cardiel, a missionary who spent over thirty years among the Guaraní, was perhaps the most prolific of the Jesuit authors, and his works are among the most frequently cited.59 In the mid-20th century, Guillermo Furlong published numerous short books about Jesuits who worked among the Guaraní, along with some of the priests’ writings.60 The 18th century histories of the Guaraní missions by Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix and Lodovico Antonio Muratori—both of whom never visited the missions—might also be of interest.61 Hugo Storni’s catalogue of the Jesuits who worked in Paraguay during the colonial period is useful for tracing the lifespans and trajectories of individual missionaries.62 For the post-Jesuit period, scholars should read the report of Gonzalo de Doblas, a civilian administrator in charge of several Guaraní missions, and the documents compiled by Francisco Javier Brabo.63 Guillermo Furlong published a compilation of Jesuit maps of the Río de la Plata region, many of which include mission territory.64 Art from the missions can be viewed at various museums in the region, and many of the thirty missions located in Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil are open to visitors.

Documents pertaining to the Guaraní missions can be found in various archives in South America, Europe, and the United States, only some of which are listed below. In Buenos Aires, Salas IX, X, and XIII and the collections of Andrés Lamas and the Biblioteca Nacional in the Archivo General de la Nación contain a wealth of materials. The archive in the Museo Mitre, also in Buenos Aires, has material about the Guaraní missions. In Paraguay, the Colección Rio Branco, Sección Civil y Judicial, Sección Historica, and Sección Nueva Encuadernación at the Archivo Nacional de Asunción are worth consulting. Documents from the latter collection can be viewed electronically through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint’s Family Search website.65 The Coleção de Angelis in the Biblioteca Nacional de Rio de Janeiro has a wealth of information. Jaime Cortesão published seven volumes of this material, all of which are accessible electronically.66 In Spain, material about the Guaraní is found in various archives, including the Archivo Histórico Nacional and the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid, the Archivo General de Simancas and the Archivo General de las Indias in Seville. Some documents from these archives can be found online; others must be consulted in person.67 Pablo Pastell published eight large volumes of documents housed at the Archivo General de las Indias that are related to the Jesuits in Paraguay. The Benson Latin American Collection of the University of Texas at Austin has written copies of a number of these documents.68 The Jesuit archive in Rome (Archivum Romanum Societatus Iesu) also contains documents about the Guaraní missions. In the United States, Saint Louis University has microfilms of material related to Jesuit missions compiled from various archives, including the Archivum Romanum Societatus Iesu and Archivo General de las Indias.69 Among other material, The John Carter Brown Library houses the largest collection of printed books from the Guaraní missions.70

Further Reading

Blumers, Teresa. La contabilidad en las reducciones Guaraníes. Asunción, Paraguay: Centro de Estudios Antropológicos, Universidad Católica, 1992.Find this resource:

Bruxel, Arnaldo. “O Sistema de propiedades das reduções guaraniticas.” Pesquisas 3 (1959): 29–198.Find this resource:

Ganson, Barbara. The Guaraní under Spanish Rule in the Río de la Plata. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.Find this resource:

Kern, Arno Alvarez. Missões: Uma utopia polîtica. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Mercado Aberto, 1982.Find this resource:

Livi-Bacci, Massimo, and Ernesto J. Maeder. “The Missions of Paraguay: The Demography of an Experiment.” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 35.2 (Autumn 2004): 185–224.Find this resource:

Melià, Bartomeu, and Dominique Temple. El don, la venganza y otras formas de economía guaraní. Asunción, Paraguay: Centro de Estudios Paraguayos “Antonio Guasch,” 2004.Find this resource:

Mörner, Magnus. Actividades políticas y económicas de los Jesuitas en el Río de la Plata: La era de los Habsburgos. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Paidós, 1968.Find this resource:

Neumann, Eduardo. O trabalho guarani missioneiro no Rio da Prata colonial, 1640/1750. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Martins Livreiro, 1996.Find this resource:

Popescu, Oreste. El sistema económico en las misiones jesuitas. Barcelona: Ariel, 1967.Find this resource:

Quarleri, Lía. Rebelión y guerra en las fronteras del Plata: Guaraníes, jesuitas e imperios coloniales. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009.Find this resource:

Sarreal, Julia. “Revisiting Cultivated Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Daily Life in the Guaraní Missions.” Ethnohistory 60.1 (January 2013): 101–124.Find this resource:

Sarreal, Julia. The Guarani and Their Missions: A Socioeconomic History. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014.Find this resource:

Souza, José Otávio Catafesto de. “O sistema econômico nas sociedades indígenas guarani pré-coloniais.” Horizontes Antropológicos 8.18 (2002): 211–253.Find this resource:

Susnik, Branislava. Los aborígenes del Paraguay. Vol. 4, Cultura Material. Asunción, Paraguay: Museo Etnográfico “Andrés Barbero,” 1982.Find this resource:

Wilde, Guillermo. Religión y poder en las misiones de guaraníes. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Editorial Sb, 2009.Find this resource:


(1.) Due to length restrictions, I cannot discuss the exploitative labor practices upon which this labor regime was based. For more information about the daily work schedule see, Julia Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions: A Socioeconomic History (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2014), 66–72; Julia Sarreal, “Revisiting Cultivated Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Daily Life in the Guaraní Missions,” Ethnohistory 60.1 (2013): 101–124. For more about corporal punishment see, Barbara Ganson, The Guaraní under Spanish Rule in the Río de la Plata (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), 78–79.

(2.) Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions.

(3.) Pedro Rodríguez de Campomanes, Dictamen fiscal de la expulsión de los jesuitas de España (1766–1767), ed. Jorge Cejudo and Teófanes Egido (Madrid: Fundación Universitaria Española, 1989), 131. Similarly, in describing his reforms to the missions after the Jesuits were removed, the governor of Buenos Aires Francisco Bucareli wrote “for the most part [the Indians]’ labors were converted into the benefit of others; even though the food and clothing was acquired with their own hard work, it was most meagerly distributed to them such that their nakedness was notorious and scandalous. In sum, up until this time the Indians were made to suffer effectively in slavery, violating their natural and divine rights, and almost innumerable royal decrees, licenses, and laws.” Bucareli, “Adición a mi instrucción,” Buenos Aires, January 15, 1770, in Colección de documentos relativos a la expulsión de los jesuitas de la República Argentina y del Paraguay en el reinado de Carlos III, ed. Francisco Javier Brabo (Madrid: Estudio Tipográfico José María Pérez, 1872), 303.

(4.) Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, The History of Paraguay, vol. I (London: Lockyer David, 1769), 267–268.

(5.) Jose Cardiel, “Breve relación de las misiones del Paraguay” (1771), in Las misiones del Paraguay, ed. Héctor Sáinz Ollero (Madrid: Dastin Historia, 1989), 69–70; Juan de Escandón to Andrés Marcos Burriel, Madrid, June 18, 1760, in Juan de Escandón S.J. y su carta a Burriel (1760), ed. Guillermo Furlong (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Theoria, 1965), 108, 114–115.

(6.) For example, Escandón explains, “. . . and with this word (tupambaé) they also call every other thing communally owned by the mission (which is most or almost all) in distinction to the individual and particular things of each person.” Juan de Escandón to Andrés Marcos Burriel, 92.

(7.) “There are some [plots] that belong to the community, and the produce of which is deposited in the publick magazines.” Charlevoix, The History of Paraguay, 268.

(8.) Charlevoix, The History of Paraguay, 272.

(9.) Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 95.

(10.) Ibid, Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 95.

(11.) Ibid, Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 98.

(12.) Jaime Oliver, “Breve noticia de la numerosa y florida xptiandad Guaraní,” Archivum Romanum Societatus Iesu, Rome, Historia 1530–1767, Paraq., 21.

(13.) Juan de Escandón S.J. y su carta a Burriel, 106.

(14.) Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 75.

(15.) Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 75.

(16.) Cardiel, “Declaración de la verdad,” 293–294.

(17.) Juan de Escandón S.J. y su carta a Burriel, 115.

(18.) Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions, 18. Marshall Sahlins argues that primitive societies generally tried to meet their needs rather than produce a surplus. Marshall Sahlins, Stone Age Economics (Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1972); Arno Alvarez Kern, “O processo histórico platino no seclo XVII: Da aldeia guarani ao povoado missioneiro,” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 15.2 (1985): 21–41; José Otávio Catafesto de Souza, “O sistema ecônomico nas sociedades indigenas guarani pré-coloniais” Horizontes Antropológicos 8.18 (2002), 242–243.

(19.) Padre Andres de Rada, Carta comun de su ra. del padre provincial para todos lo p.p. de estas reducciones del Paraguay, December 19, 1667, p. 50, Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid (hereafter BNM), Mss. 6976.

(20.) Carta del Padre Provincial Thomas de Baeza para los padres misioneros de Paraná y Uruguay, April 15, 1682, p. 119, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(21.) According to de Rada, Carta comun, “. . . tampoco se les obligara a que vender en su pueblo y menos a los curas su yerba . . .” According to de Baeza, Carta del Padre Provincial, “. . . ni menos se les obliguese que lo lleven a la casa del Padre . . .”

(22.) In the Guaraní missions, males between the ages of 18 and 50 had to pay 1 peso of tribute per year. Caciques, primogenitors of a cacique, the disabled, and a few church officials were exempted.

(23.) Carta de P. Provincial Jaime Aguilar a los p.p. misionarios, Candelaria, November 23, 1735, Mss. pp. 277–278, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(24.) Memorial del Padre Provincial Antonio Machoni para el padre superior, y sus consultores, que comunicara a los p.p. misioneros de estas doctrinas del Paraná y Uruguay en la segunda visita de March 7, 1742, p. 296, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(25.) Memorial del Padre Provincial Antonio Machoni, p. 296, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(26.) Laws 24 to 29 of Book 6, Title 1 of the Recopilación de leyes de los reinos de las Indias, summarize various earlier laws that mandate that Indians be allowed to engage in trade, Recopilación de leyes de los reinos de las Indias (Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1973), 220–221.

(27.) Padre Andres de Rada, Carta comun.

(28.) Diego Altamirano to mission priests, Mission San Ignacio del Paraguay, November 15, 1678, p. 105, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(29.) The excesses described by Bonavides are, “capas y calzoncillos o pañetes labrados, cuyas labores se muestran por debajo de los otros calzones, manquillas de Ruan, listones, botones, y también lo de las quedejas; y aun en las Indias, se dice, ayental o tal parte algún exceso.” Carta del Padre Provincial Thomas Bonavidas a los p. padres misioneros del Paraná y Uruguay, December 10, 1685, Mss. 6976, p. 130. Again, in 1724, another provincial (Luis de la Roca) expressly limited the clothing that the Guaraní could possess: “do not allow any male or female Indian use as clothing or on his or her person ruan (cotton fabric from Rouen, France stamped with colors) or bretaña (fine fabric from Brittany, France).” Ordenes del Padre Provincial Luis de la Roca para las doctrinas del Paraná y Uruguay en la visita de 1724, p. 237, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(30.) Diego de Boroa to the Jesuit General in Rome, Cordoba, July 26, 1635, in Cartas anuas de la Provincia Jesuítica del Paraguay: 1632 a 1634, ed. Ernesto J. A. Maeder (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Academia Nacional de Historia, 1990), 205.

(31.) Cardiel, “Breve relación,” 79.

(32.) Padre Andres de Rada, Carta comun; Carta de P. Provincial Jaime Aguilar a los p. p. misionarios.

(33.) Provincial de esta provincia, Gregorio Horozco, Santiago, February 6, 1689, p. 150, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(34.) Padre Provincial Thomas Donavidas to mission priests after his visit in 1688, Santiago, October 26, 1688, p. 140–141, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(35.) Cardiel, Breve relación, 72.

(36.) Juan de Escandón S.J. y su carta a Burriel, 109.

(37.) José Cardiel, “Costumbres de los Guaraníes,” in Historia del Paraguay: Desde 1747 hasta 1767, comp. Domingo Muriel, trans. Pablo Hernández (1779; reprint, Madrid: Librería General de Victoriano Suárez, 1919), 497. Cardiel provides a similar description in “Breve relación,” 94.

(38.) Carta del Padre Provincial Thomas de Baeza.

(39.) Padre Provincial Joseph de Aguirre to missionaries, Itapua, January 18, 1721, p. 225, BNM, Mss. 6976.

(40.) Hernández and Furlong were Jesuit priests, and Carbonell de Masy is a Jesuit priest. These three are the most pro-Jesuit in their writings. Pablo Hernández, Misiones del Paraguay: Organización social de las doctrinas guaraníes de la Compañía de Jesús, 2 vols. (Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 1913); Guillermo Furlong, Misiones y sus pueblos de Guaraníes (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Imprenta Balmes, 1962); Rafael Carbonell de Masy, Estrategias de desarrollo rural de los pueblos Guaraníes, 1609–1767 (Barcelona: Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana, Instituto de Estudios Fiscales, 1992). The Spanish translation of Mörner’s work is more comprehensive than the English translation. Magnus Mörner, Actividades políticas y económicas de los jesuitas en el Río de la Plata: la era de los Habsburgos (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Paidós, 1968). Porto focuses on the seven missions in present-day Brazil and relies primarily on information gleaned from the Coleção de Angelis at the Biblioteca Nacional in Rio de Janeiro. Aurelio Porto, História das missões orietais do Uruguai, 2 vols., (Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa Nacional, 1943).

(41.) Barbara Ganson, The Guaraní Under Spanish Rule in the Río de la Plata. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003.

(42.) Eduardo Neumann, “Prácticas letradas guaraníes en las reducciones del Paraguay (siglos XVII y XVIII),” (PhD diss., Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 2005); Eduardo Neumann, “’Mientras volaban correos por los pueblos’: Autogoverno e prácticas letradas nas missões Guaraní-século XVIII,” Horizontes Antropológicos 10.22 (2004): 93–119; Eduardo Neumann, “A lança e as cartas: escrita indígena e conflito nas reduções do Paraguai-século XVIII,” História Unisinos 11.2 (2007): 160–172; Guillermo Wilde, Religión y poder en las misiones de Guaraníes (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sb, 2009); Ganson, The Guaraní Under Spanish Rule; Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions.

(43.) Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions; Sarreal, “Revisiting Cultivated Agriculture and Animal Husbandry”; Julia Sarreal, “Caciques as Placeholders in the Guaraní Missions of Eighteenth Century Paraguay,” Colonial Latin American Review 23.2 (2014): 224–251.

(44.) Branislava Susnik, El indio colonial, 3 vols. (Asunción: Museo Etnográfico “Andrés Barbero,” 1965–1971); Branislava Susnik, El rol de los indígenas en la formación y en la vivencia del Paraguay, 2 vols. (Asunción: Museo Etnográfico “Andrés Barbero,” 1982–1983); Branislava Susnik, Los Aborígenes del Paraguay, 7 vols. (Asunción: Museo Etnográfico “Andrés Barbero,” 1978–1987).

(45.) Artur H. F. Barcelos, Espaço & arqueologia nas missões Jesuíticas: o caso de Soão João Batista (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2000); André Luis R. Soares, Guarani organização social e arqueologia (Porto Alegre, Brazil, 1997); Souza, “O sistema econômico nas sociedades indígenas Guarani pré-coloniais”; Solange Nunes de Oliveira Schiavetto, A arqueologia guarani: construção e desconstrução da identidade indígena (São Paulo: FAPESP, 2003); Wilde, Religión y poder.

(46.) Guillermo Wilde, “El enigma sonoro de Trinidad: Ensayo de etnomusicología histórica” Resonancias 23 (2008): 41–67; Guillermo Wilde, “Toward a Political Anthropology of Mission Sound: Paraguay in the 17th and 18th Centuries,” trans. Eric Ederer, Music and Politics 1.2 (2007); Piotr Nawroot, Indígenas y cultura musical de las reducciones jesuíticas. Guaraníes, Chiquitos, Moxos (Bolivia: Editorial Verbo Divino, 2000); Piotr Nawrot, “Teaching of Music and the Celebration of Liturgical Events in the Jesuit Reductions,” Anthropos 99.1 (2004): 73–84.

(47.) Arnaldo Bruxel, “O Sistema de propiedades das reduções guaraniticas,” Pesquisas 3 (1959): 29–198.

(48.) Oreste Popescu, El sistema económico en las misiones jesuitas (Barcelona: Ariel, 1967).

(49.) Theresa Blumers, La contabilidad en las reducciones guaraníes (Asunción: Centro de Estudios Antropológicos, Universidad Católica, 1992).

(50.) Carbonell de Masy, Estrategias de desarrollo. John J. Crocitti, “The Internal Economic Organization of the Jesuit Missions among the Guaraní,” International Social Science Review 77.1–2 (2002): 3–13.

(51.) Juan Carlos Garavaglia, Economía sociedad y regiones (Buenos Aires, 1987), 119–192.

(52.) Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions; Sarreal, “Revisiting Cultivated Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Daily Life in the Guarani Missions.”

(53.) Souza, “O sistema econômico”; Bartomeu Melià and Dominique Temple, El don, la venganza y otras formas de economía guaraní (Asunción, Paraguay: Centro de Estudios Paraguayos “Antonio Guasch,” 2004).

(54.) For demography, see Massimo Livi-Bacci and Ernesto J. Maeder, “The Missions of Paraguay: The Demography of an Experiment,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 35.2 (2004): 185–224; Ernesto J. A. Maeder, “La población de las misiones de guaraníes (1641–1682): Reubicación de los pueblos y consecuencias demográficas,” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 15.1 (1989): 49–80; Ernesto J. A. Maeder and Alfredo S. C. Bolsi, “La población guaraní de las misiones jesuíticas: Evolución y características (1671–1767),” Cuadernos de Geohistoria Regional 4 (1980): 1–45; Ernesto J. A. Maeder and Alfredo S. C. Bolsi, “La población guaraní de la provincia de Misiones en la época post jesuítica (1768–1809),” Folia Histórica del Nordeste 54 (1982): 61–106; Robert H. Jackson, “Demographic Patterns in the Jesuit Missions of the Río de la Plata Region: The Case of Corpus Christi Mission, 1622–1802,” Colonial Latin American Historical Review 13.4 (2004): 337–366; Robert H. Jackson, “The Population and Vital Rates of the Jesuit Missions of Paraguay, 1700–1767,” Journal of Interdisciplinary History 38.3 (2008): 401–431. For religion, see Graciela Chamorro, Teología guaraní (Quito, Ecuador: Abya-Yala, 2004); Hélène Clastres, The Land-Without-Evil: Tupí-Guaraní Prophetism, trans. Jacqueline Grenez Brovender (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1995); Judith Shapiro, “From Tupã to the Land Without Evil: The Christianization of Tupí-Guaraní Cosmology,” American Ethnologist 14.1 (1987); Dot Tuer, “Old Bones and Beautiful Words: The Spiritual Contestation between Shaman and Jesuit in the Guaraní Missions,” in Colonial Saints: Discovering the Holy in the Americas, 1500–1800, eds. Allan Greer and Jodi Blinkoff, 77–98 (New York: Routledge, 2003). For native leadership, see Wilde, Religión y poder; Guillermo Wilde, “Prestigio indígena y nobleza peninsular: La invención de linajes guaranties en las misiones del Paraguay,” Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 43 (2006): 119–145; Sarreal, The Guaraní and Their Missions; Sarreal, “Caciques as Placeholders”; Kazuhisa Takeda, “Cambio y continuidad del liderazgo indígena en el cacicazgo y en la milicia de las misiones jesuíticas: Análisis cualitativo de las listas de indios guaraníes,” Revista Tellus 12.23 (2013): 59–79. For Guaraní militias, see Lía Quarleri, Rebelión y guerra en las fronteras del Plata: Guaraníes, jesuitas e imperios coloniales (Buenos Aires: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2009); Lía Quarleri, “Gobierno y liderazgo jesuítico-guaraní en tiempos de guerra (1752–1756),” Revista de Indias 68.243 (2008): 89–114; Mercedes Avellaneda and Lía Quarleri, “Las milicias guaraníes en el Paraguay y Río dela Plata: alcances y limitaciones, 1649–1756,” Estudos Ibero-Americanos 33.1 (2007): 109–132; Takeda, “Cambio y continuidad del liderazgo indígena.”

(55.) The Mission, written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffé (1986; Burbank, CA: Warner); James Schofield Saeger, “The Mission and Historical Missions: Film and the Writing of History,” The Americas 51.3 (1995): 393–415; Ganson, The Guaraní Under Spanish Rule.

(56.) An excellent online source for many of these documents is the Internet Archive and Open Library.

(57.) “Cartas anuas de la Provincia del Paraguay, Chile y Tucumán, de la Compañía de Jesús (1609–1614),” in Documentos para la historia Argentina, vol. 19 (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Talleres S. A. Casa Jacobo Peuser, 1927); “Cartas anuas de la Provincia del Paraguay, Chile y Tucumán, de la Compañía de Jesús (1615–1637),” in Documentos para la historia Argentina, vol. 20 (Buenos Aires: Talleres S. A. Casa Jacobo Peuser, 1929); Ernesto J. Maeder, ed., Cartas anuas de la Provincia Jesuítica del Paraguay: 1632 a 1634 (Buenos Aires: Academia Nacional de Historia, 1990); Ernesto J. A. Maeder, ed., Cartas anuas de la Provincia Jesuítica del Paraguay: 1637–1639 (Buenos Aires: FECIC, 1984); Ernesto Maeder, ed., “Cartas anuas de la Provincia del Paraguay, 1641 a 1643,” in Documentos de Geohistoria Regional, no. 11 (Resistencia: Instituto de investigaciones Neo-históricas, 1996); Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, The Spiritual Conquest Accomplished by the Religious of the Society of Jesus in the Provinces of Paraguay, Paraná, Uruguay, and Tape (1639), trans. C. J. McNaspy (St. Louis, MO: The Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1993). The Spanish version is available electronically: Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, (Bilbao, Spain: Imprenta del Corazon de Jesus, 1892).

(58.) Ruiz de Montoya, The Spiritual Conquest; Martin Dobrizhoffer, An Account of the Apbipones, an Equestrian People of Paraguay, trans. Sara Henry Coleridge, 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1822). Various copies of the three volumes are available electronically.

(59.) The first two are available electronically: José Cardiel, , ed. Pablo Hernández (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Juan A. Alsina, 1900). Cardiel, “Costumbres de los Guaraníes” is reproduced in a section of Domingo Muriel, , comp. Domingo Muriel, trans. Pablo Hernández, 463–544 (1779; repr., Madrid: Librería General de Victoriano Suárez, 1919). Cardiel, “Breve relación de las misiones del Paraguay.”

(60.) These include but are not limited to, Furlong, ed., Juan Escandón y su carta a Burriel (1760); Guillermo Furlong, ed., Antonio Sepp, S.J. y su “gobierno temporal” (1732) (Buenos Aires: Theoria, 1962); Guillermo Furlong, ed., Manuel Querini S. J. y sus “Informes al Rey” 1747–1750 (Buenos Aires: Theoria, 1967); Guillermo Furlong, ed., Bernardo de Nusdorffer y su “Novena Parte” (1760) (Buenos Aires: Theoria, 1971).

(61.) These works can be found online: Pierre Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, , 2 vols. (London: Lockyer David, 1769); Lodovico Antonio Muratori, , trans. unknown (London: J. Marmaduke, 1759).

(62.) Hugo Storni, Catálogo de los jesuitas de la provincia del Paraguay (Cuenca del Plata), 1585–1768 (Rome: Institutum Historicum S.I., 1980).

(63.) Gonzalo de Doblas, Los escritos de D. Gonzalo de Doblas relativos a la provincia de Misiones, 1785 & 1805, ed. Walter Rela (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ediciones de la Plaza, 1988). Francisco Javier Brabo, ed., Colección de documentos relativos a la expulsión de los Jesuitas de la república Argentina y del Paraguay (Madrid: J.M. Pérez, 1872).

(64.) Guillermo Furlong, Cartografía Jesuítica del Río de la Plata (Buenos Aires, Argentina: Tallares S. A. Casa Jacobo Peuser, 1936).

(65.) See “Paraguay, Miscellaneous Records, 1509–1977,” on the Family Search site, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

(66.) Jaime Cortesão, ed., , 7 vols. (Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca Nacional, Divisão de Obras Raras e Publicações, 1951–1969). The volumes are also available electronically through Biblioteca Nacional Digital Brasil.

(67.) A copy of the libro de ordenes that missionaries were to use to guide their management decisions and day-to-day affairs (Mss. 6976) can be accessed electronically by searching “cartas de los PP. Generales” on the Biblioteca Digital Hispánica website. PARES (Portal de Archivos Españoles) is the search engine for Spanish national archives, and some documents can be viewed electronically.

(68.) Pablo Pastells, ed., Historia de la Compañía de Jesús en la provincial del Paraguay según los documentos originales del Archivo de las Indias, extractados y anotados, 8 vols. (Madrid: Librería General de Victoriano Suárez, 1912–1949).

(69.) For more information, see The Knights of Columbus Vatican Film Library collection on the St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO) Library webpage.

(70.) One of the six books can be viewed electronically in the John Carter Brown Paraguay Collection of