INTERETHNIC RELATIONS BETWEEN RUNAWAY AFRO-BELIZEANS AND MAYAS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

Dr. Mark Lentz, Utah Valley University, United States

November 2016

About our Guest: Dr. Lentz is a historian and an assistant professor in the Department of History and Political Science at Utah Valley University in the United States. He is the author of Guía del investigador americanista: Mérida, Yucatán (2008) among several other peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Interviewer:  Ana Fonseca

Overview: Dr. Lentz discusses his article, "Black Belizeans and Fugitive Mayas: Interracial Encounters on the Edge of Empire, 1750-1803," published in 2014 in the academic journal The Americas, which provides insights into the nuances and complexities that shaped indigenous and African relations in the frontier region between Yucatan, Guatemala and Belize - a disputed border between British and Spanish colonial powers in the 18th century - while examining the variety of responses adopted by Maya peoples towards Belizean runaway slaves. 

What events in the 18th century motivated Belizean slaves to escape to Spanish territories in Yucatan and Guatemala? How does the frontier region between Spanish Yucatan and Guatemala and English Belize complicate or expand conventional understandings of indigenous and African relations in the Americas in the eighteenth century?  How were the responses of unconquered Mayas towards Belizean runaway slaves different from those of conquered Mayas? Was the identity of maroon used by the Spanish to refer to runaway indigenous Mayas? Can we move away from the conventional perspective of marronage that places it mostly within the framework of institutional slavery? Dr. Lentz explores with us these and other key questions during this conversation.

RH- Interethnic Relations between Runaway Afro-Belizeans and Mayas in the Eighteenth Century.mp3

Keywords/themes: 
Mayas, Afro-Belizeans, inter-ethnic relations, Guatemala, Yucatan , Belize, Petén, marronage, colonization, institutional slavery, frontier regions, eighteenth century.

"Borderland areas are areas where there are both maroon communities and unconquered indigenous societies. From the Spanish perspective, frontier regions are areas of refuge for both runaway slaves and unconquered or fugitive Maya groups as well."

Mark Lentz
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CITING THIS INTERVIEW: 

Audio: Lentz, Mark. "Interethnic Relations between Runaway Afro-Belizeans and Mayas in the Eighteenth Century." Interview by Ana Fonseca. Radio Heteroglossia, audio, November 2016 http://www.radioheteroglossia.com/en/interviews/2016-11-mark-lentz-utah-valley-university-united-states-interethnic-relations-between-runaway-afro-belizeans-and-mayas-in-the-eighteenth-century.

Transcription: Lentz, Mark. "Interethnic Relations between Runaway Afro-Belizeans and Mayas in the Eighteenth Century." Interview by Ana Fonseca. Radio Heteroglossia, transcription, November 2016 http://www.radioheteroglossia.com/en/interviews/2016-11-mark-lentz-utah-valley-university-united-states-interethnic-relations-between-runaway-afro-belizeans-and-mayas-in-the-eighteenth-century.

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