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Castaways : the narrative of Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

Author: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; Enrique Pupo-Walker
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1993.
Series: Latin American literature and culture (Berkeley, Calif.), 10.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Castaways (or Naufragios) is the first major narrative of the exploration of North America by Europeans (1528-1536). It is also an enthralling story of adventure and survival against unimaginable odds. Its author, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a fortune-seeking sixteenth-century Spanish nobleman, was the treasurer of an expedition to claim for the Spanish Crown a vast area that includes today's Florida, Louisiana, and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Biography
Early works
Early accounts to 1600
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar, 16th cent.
Castaways.
Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1993
(DLC) 92025645
(OCoLC)26263563
Named Person: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Material Type: Biography, Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca; Enrique Pupo-Walker
ISBN: 9780520910287 0520910281 0585130027 9780585130026
OCLC Number: 43476614
Notes: Translation of: Relación y comentarios.
Description: 1 online resource (xxx, 158 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: Which recounts when the fleet sailed, and the officers and men who went in it --
How the governor arrived at the port of Jagua and brought a pilot with him --
How we reached Florida --
How we marched inland --
How the governor left the ships --
How we reached Apalachee --
Of the manner of the land --
How we departed from Aute --
How we departed from the Bay of Horses --
Of the fight we had with the Indians --
Of what befell Lope de Oviedo with some Indians --
How the Indians brought us food --
How we had news of other Christians --
How four Christians departed --
What befell us in the Isle of Ill Fortune --
How the Christians departed from the Isle of Ill Fortune --
How the Indians came and brought Andrés Dorantes and Castillo and Estebanico --
Of the report given to Figueroa by Esquivel --
How the Indians separated us --
How we escaped --
How we cured some sufferers there --
How they brought us more sick folk next day --
How we departed after eating the dogs --
Of the customs of the Indians of that land --
Of the Indians' readiness to use arms --
Of the tribes and their languages --
How we moved and were well received --
Of another new custom --
How some Indians robbed the others --
How the custom of receiving us changed --
How we followed the maize road --
How they gave us hearts of deer --
How we saw traces of Christians --
How I sent for the Christians --
How the mayor received us well on the night we arrived --
How we caused churches to be built in that land --
Of what befell when I decided to return --
What befell the others who went to the Indies --
Appendix A : Note on the text --
Appendix B : The American cultures described in Cabeza de Vaca's Naufragios.
Series Title: Latin American literature and culture (Berkeley, Calif.), 10.
Other Titles: Relación y comentarios.
Responsibility: edited by Enrique Pupo-Walker ; translated by Frances M. López-Morillas.
More information:

Abstract:

Castaways (or Naufragios) is the first major narrative of the exploration of North America by Europeans (1528-1536). It is also an enthralling story of adventure and survival against unimaginable odds. Its author, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a fortune-seeking sixteenth-century Spanish nobleman, was the treasurer of an expedition to claim for the Spanish Crown a vast area that includes today's Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. A shipwreck forced him and a handful of men to make the long journey to the West coast, where they would meet up with Hernan Cortes, on foot. They endured unspeakable hardships, some of them surviving only by eating the dead. Others, including Cabeza de Vaca joined native peoples he met along the way, learning their languages and practices, and serving them as a slave and later as a physician. When after eight years he finally reached the West, he was not recognized by his compatriots. Cabeza de Vaca displays great interest in the cultures - so alien to his own - of the native peoples he encountered on his odyssey, observing their customs and belief systems with a degree of sophistication and sensitivity unusual in the conquistador. As he forged intimate bonds with some of them, sharing their brutal living conditions and curing their sick, he found himself on a voyage of self-discovery that was to make his reunion with his fellow Spaniards less joyful than expected. Cabeza de Vaca's narrative is a marvelously gripping story, but it is also much more. It is a first-hand account of sixteenth-century Spanish colonization, of the encounter between the conquistador and the Native American, of the aspirations and fears of exploration. It is a trove of ethnographic information, its descriptions and interpretations of native peoples' cultures making it a powerful precursor to modern anthropology. And it is a masterpiece of exploration writing, its author keenly aware of the fictive thrust that often energizes the writing of history.

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