Black Conquistadors Analysis

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When thinking of the Spanish Conquest, two groups often come to mind: the Spaniards and the Native Americans. The roles of each of these groups and their encounters have been so heavily studied that often the role of Africans is undermined. As Matthew Restall states in his article Black Conquistadors, the justifications for African contribution are often “inadequately substantiated if not marginalized [as the] Africans were a ubiquitous and pivotal part of the Spanish conquest campaigns in the Americas […]” (Restall 172). Early on in his article, Restall characterizes three categories of Africans present during the Conquest – mass slaves, unarmed servants of the Spanish, and armed auxillaries (Restall 175). Estebanico, the protagonist of The…show more content…
The role of historical explorers is often exaggerated, and many times, they are presented as mythical figures who have overcame great feats. Men such as Christopher Columbus and Hernan Cortes are recognized as such important figures due to external factors such as the symbolism of their name or their connections to the Spanish crown, respectively. In the novel, Estebanico states that often times, the Spaniards were not entirely truthful in their reports back to the Spanish crown. He indicates that though he fully wants to include the details of his relation with his Native American wife, Oyomasot, the other Castilians refused to include details that were contradictory to the rulings of the crown. (Lalami 234). All in all, these mythical figures were essentially just “ordinary [men] caught in extraordinary circumstances” (Lalami 74). Often times, the downfalls of such characters are undermined while their successes are exaggerated. The Moor’s Account accurately summarizes the thought process of modern historical perspective on the past as it being a “law of human nature that our greatest accomplishments are more easily remembered than our occasional failures” (Lalami…show more content…
Though at first, the Spanish were reluctant, they soon realized that it was imperative to try to heal the sick as their own survival depended on it. Estebanico describes that “the cures we performed may not have healed everyone we attended, but I can vouch that they saved four lives: our own” (Lalami 232). The interactions between castaways and the Indians were substantial in challenging the common European perspective of the Indians as “inferior savages”.Though the conquistadors in the novel were initially wary of the Indians, they later realized that their ways were crucial to

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