Contact Strategies: Independent Indians in the Brazilian Borderlands, 1700-1800


ACLS Fellowship Program



Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This book-length project examines the political choices of independent Indians in the interior of Brazil during the eighteenth century. Focusing on their interactions with Portuguese colonial society, this study explores the ways in which Indian nations sought to preserve their sovereignty through various forms of contact, and how these strategies changed over time in response to shifting provocations or overtures by colonists. The challenges of getting at the perspectives and aims of independent Indians are formidable, because they did not keep their own written records. Despite these limitations, important insights about native political strategies can be reached through a critical reading of the rich documentary record on borderlands conflicts and interactions in Brazil.