lustie corne and mucha dote gendered readings of nature in new england and new spain n.
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‘Lustie corne’ and ‘mucha dote’: Gendered Readings of Nature in New England and New Spain

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  1. ‘Lustie corne’ and ‘mucha dote’: Gendered Readings of Nature in New England and New Spain Allison Bigelow (UNC, Chapel Hill) Women in the Archives: Women Writers Project Brown University 24 April 2010 Allison_Bigelow@Brown.edu “La virgin de Patrocinio,” Joseph Bernardo de Hogal: Mexico, 1732; “El maíz,” Rodríguez e Ibarra (1756-68). Originals in JCB Library.

  2. Acosta on Potosí: “Por donde vemos que las tierras de Indias más copiosas de minas y riqueza han sido las más cultivadas en la Religión Cristiana en nuestros tiempos, aprovechándose el Señor para sus files soberanos de nuestras pretensiones. Cerca de esto decía un hombre sabio, que lo hace un padre con una hija fea para casarla, que es darle mucha dote, eso había hecho Dios con aquella tierra tan trabajosa, de dalle mucha riqueza de minas para que con este medio hallase quien la quisiese. Hay pues en las Indias Occidentales, gran copia de minas y haylas de todos metales: de cobre, de hierro, de plomo, de estaño, de azogue, de plata, de oro…” (Historia natural y moral de las indias (Sevila: 1590), 222-3). [by which we see that the Indian lands most abundant in mines and wealth have been the most cultivated in the Christian Religion in our age, the Lord taking advantage of our pretensions for his sovereign ends. Along these lines a wise man said that what a father does to marry off an ugly daughter, which is to give her a large dowry, is what God has done with that hard-wrought land: to give her the great wealth of the mines so that she would find someone to love her. And there is in the West Indies a great number of mines and metals: of copper, of iron, of lead, of tin, of mercury, of silver, of gold. And among all the regions of the Indies, the Kingdoms of Peru are the most abundant in metals, especially silver and gold and mercury…] “Potosi, its mountain, and its river” (Constantinople: Ibrahim Mutafarika, 1730 [A.H. 1142]). Based on López de Gómara. JCB.

  3. Álvaro Alonso Barba on the mine of Chaqui: “que su mina está oculta, no lo dudo, pues todos los minerales que en aquella provincia se han poblado, han sido hallados y estrenados por los españoles, sin haberse encontrado hasta hoy con labor ninguna antigua de plata de los indios; constando, por otra parte, que las tuvieron riquísimas, pues además de las corpas o piedras de metales de plata muy escogidas, que los indios me daban de minerales no conocidos, estaban las calles de los pueblos, cuando yo fuí a ser su cura, casi veinte años há, llenas de grandeza menuda de metal muy rico, que yo recogí y aproveché” (Arte de los Metales, 51-2). [that the mine is hidden I do not doubt, for all of the minerals in that province, which is now settled, have been found and revealed by the Spaniards, who despite their great labor have discovered no existing sign of Indian silver; recall, meanwhile, that they had great stocks of the richest silver, for in addition to the raw lumps or metallic stones of the well-hidden silver that the Indians gave to me from unknown minerals, when I went to serve as the priest of the town, almost twenty years now, its streets were full of great deposits of very rich metal that I gathered and benefitted] “El secreto de la mina de Potosí, se descubre a Villarroel y la cantidad de plata, que se sacava en los primeros tiempos.” Tordesillas, Historia general. Antwerp: Juan Bautista Verdussen, 1728. Original in JCB.

  4. “Ha costado su busca vidas de indios que se han muerto con sus proprias manos por no verse obligados a descubrirla” (Barba, Arte de los Metales, p. 51). [The search for the mine has cost the lives of Indians who have killed themselves with their own hands because they would not see themselves forced to discover her.] “El secreto de la mina de Potosí, se descubre a Villarroel y la cantidad de plata, que se sacava en los primeros tiempos.” Tordesillas, Historia general. Antwerp: Juan Bautista Verdussen, 1728. Detail of workers; Giuseppe Maria Terreni, “Veduta della Citta e della Montagna del Potosi” Livomo: Giovanni Tommaso Masi & Co, 1777. Originals in JCB.

  5. Barba’s Paracelsianism, the “semilla masculina y primer agente de la naturaleza en su generación … tiene tanta convivencia la naturaleza del azogue con la de los metales, que aunque no es ninguno de ellos, es convertible en todos,” informs his reading of mineral friendships or sympathies – the “atracción y simpatía natural,” “la vecinidad y conveniencia que tiene la naturaleza del azogue con la de los metales,” “la amistad que con los metales guarda” – that are eventually transformed into intimate relationships marked by the terms of desire: “los penetra y embebe convirtiéndolos en lo que llamamos Pella…”, ““Estando el azogue en su naturaleza siempre cuanto es de su parte está dispuesto para brazar la plata y unirse con ella...” (AM, 89, 107-8, 108). [the masculine seed and first agent of nature in the generation of things … the nature of mercury has such convenience with the nature of metals that, although it is not one of them, it can be converted into all] [natural sympathy and attraction … the closeness and convenience that the nature of mercury shares with that of metals … the friendship that it preserves with metals] [it penetrates them and drinks them in, converting them in what we call Pella, as mercury in its nature is always disposed to embrace silver and unite with her] “Mercury Processing and Llamas.” Amsterdam: R&G Wetstein, 1718.Original in JCB.

  6. Juan de Cárdenas on the role of salt in amalgamation: “La sal se hecha no para que se abraçe con nadie, sino para que, como material caliente, sirva de dar calor y actuar el azogue y otrosí ayudar a recozer, fermentar y esponjar todo aquel metal, porque mejor le pueda penetrar el azogue y abraçarse con la plata.” And without the heat of salt, “es impossible poderse abraçar el azogue con la plata si no es mediante el calor que le actúe y vigore” (Problemas y secretos maravillosos de las Indias, 119, 123). [Salt is made not to embrace anyone else, but rather so that, as a hot material, it serves to give heat and prepare the mercury and to help it to reheat, ferment, and make fluffy all of the metal, so that the mercury can better penetrate and embrace the silver … it is impossible for silver to embrace mercury without the heat that activates and invigorates it] “Lot’s Wife Turned Into a Pillar of Salt,” Travels and Wanderings Through the Holy Land (anon., 1483); “La Dolorosa,” (the virgin Mary in her sorrow, with silver gilding), México 1650-1750

  7. Hugh Platt on the role of salt: “Salt maketh men merrie, it whiteneth the flesh, and it giueth beautie to all reasonable creatures, it entertayneth that loue and amitie which is betwixt the Male and Female, through that great vigour and stirring vppe which it prouoketh in the engendring members, it helpeth to procreation, it guieth vnto creatures their voyce, as also vnto Metalles. … And it is salt that maketh all seedes to flourish, and growe, and although the number of those men is verie small, which can giue anie true reason whie dungue shoulde doe anie good in arable groundes, but are ledde thereto more by custome than anie Philosophicall reason, neuerthelesse it is apparaunt, that no dungue, which is layde vppon barraine groundes, coulde anie way enrich the same, if it were not for the salt which the strawe and hay left behinde them by their putrifaction. And therfore al these simple sots which leaue their muckheaps abroad, and subiect to the weather, shew them selues to bee but meane husbandmen, and that they neuer tasted of any true naturall philosophie. ... But if any man will plow, and sow his ground yearely without dunging the same, the hungry seede in time will drinke vp all the salt of the earth, whereby the earth being robd of her salt, can bring forth no more fruit, vntill it bee dunged againe, or suffered to lie fallow a certaine time...” (Jewell House, 1594, pp. 14-6). me in a salt mine, las tres marías, san pedro de atacama, chile, 2004.

  8. Markham, cnt: “Besides, if no gardens should bee planted but in the best and richest soyles, it were infinite the losse wee should sustaine in our private profit, and in the due commendations, fit for many workemen, who have reduced the worst and barrennest earthes to as rare perfection and profit as if they had beene the onely soyles of this kingdome: and for mine owne part, I doe not wonder either at the worke of Art, or Nature, when I behold in a goodly, rich and fertill soyle, a Garden adorned with all the delights and delicacies which are in mans understanding, because the naturall goodnesse of the earth (which not enduring to bee idle) will bring forth whatsoever is cast into her: Crispin De Passe, “Design for a Summer Garden” Hortus Floridus (Utrecht : 1616).

  9. … but when I behold upon a barren, dry, and dejected earth, such as the Peake-hils, where a man may behold snow all summer, or on the East-mores, whose best herbage is nothing but mosse, and iron stone, in such a place, I say, to behold a delicate, rich, and fruitfull Garden, it shewes great worthinesse in the owner, and infinite art and industry in the workeman, and makes mee both admire and love the begetters of such excellencies” (Markham, English Husbandman, 1635: 192). William Lawson, New Orchard (London: 1618); Markham, Cheap and Good Husbandry (London: 1614). ArtStor.

  10. Gervas Markham on the cultivation of the earth in The Booke of the English Husbandman: “…ever observing this rule, that the more barren it is, the more cost must be bestowed upon it, both in manuring, digging, and in trenching, as shall be shewed hereafter, and the more rich it is, lesse cost of such labour, and more curiositie in weeding, proyning, and trimming the earth, for, as the first is too slow, so the latter is too swift, both in her increase and multiplication” (London, 1635, p. 192). Theodor de Bry, “Mode of tilling and planting” (after Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues, 1590); “Raised Beds” Gardner’s Labyrinth (London: 1586). ArtStor.