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versión On-line ISSN 0719-2681
TEGLIA, Vanina M. A GARDEN FOR THE INDIANS, IN BARTOLOMÉ DE LAS CASAS. Diálogo Andino [online]. 2016, n.49, pp.47-55. ISSN 0719-2681. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0719-26812016000100007.
The Historia de las Indias and Apologética historia sumaria by fray Bartolomé de las Casas makes a little number of references to the New World nature, specifically to Caribbean nature. The few allusions to the Indian flora, fauna and geography are all rewritings of the fertile and pleasant garden taken from Christopher Columbus' texts. The friar's main interest turned out to be the relation between natives and their natural environment. For this reason, he made use of the descriptive model of Arcadia to represent the Indian geography before the Conquest, because it emphasizes, among other elements, the harmonic coexistence between space and its inhabitants, who need so little to live happily. On the contrary, to characterize the Indian space after the Spanish colonization, Las Casas invoked the tradition of Cucaña, where its inhabitants live with excess and the nature ends up being a bare desert. In order to explain the links between space and the habits of the natives, he turns to the authoritative theory of determinism. Finally, I reach the conclusion that the constant mention to the lost Indian Arcadia constitutes a pervasive and hopeful element that rhetorically follows the restoration of the lost natural space.
Palabras clave : 16th century; New World; nature; environmental determinism; Las Casas.