A Homogeneous, Vigorous, and Well-Formed Population
A Homogeneous, Vigorous, and Well-Formed Population
The Northeast and Antioquia
Abstract and Keywords
The third chapter is the first of several chapters that focus on the Chorographic Commission’s depictions of particular regions and aspects of New Granada, through which the commission organized the country’s diversity into ostensibly progressive highland regions and backward lowland regions. The chapter examines the Chorographic Commission’s expeditions during its first three years, from 1850 through 1852, in the northern, largely Andean provinces that soon after became the states of Santander and Boyacá (in the northeast) and Antioquia (in the northwest). The commission represented the inhabitants of each province as both highly diverse and essentially homogeneous. According to Ancízar, a republican mestizo race of granadinos was emerging in the highlands; Indians and blacks were disappearing, absorbed into this new whitened race. In images painted first by Carmelo Fernández and then Henry Price, and in texts authored by Manuel Ancízar and Agustín Codazzi, the population was dissected, depicted, and classified by racial type. Yet, paradoxically, Ancízar and Codazzi also glossed the population of these Andean provinces overall as largely homogeneous and increasingly white.
In 1850, the Chorographic Commission—initially composed of just Agustín Codazzi, Manuel Ancízar, and support workers—embarked on its first expedition. During that year and the following year, the commission traveled through several provinces north of Bogotá in the Eastern Cordillera. In his field notebooks, and especially in his published memoir of the commission’s first two years, Pilgrimage of Alpha, Manuel Ancízar painted verbal portraits of the locations they visited, for example the town of Santa Rosa de Viterbo, capital of the Province of Tundama. He portrayed its inhabitants as exemplifying a pattern that repeated itself across the Northeast.
The picture differs little from its counterparts in the other Andean provinces: the same chubby Indians with their copper coloring and sly physiognomy … the athletic mestizos and the whites with clear complexions and features so Spanish that they seem recently transplanted from Andalucia or Castille; types of population that, with light variations, one finds repeated in Vélez, Tunja and Tundama, and to a certain point in Pamplona.1
In town after town, Ancízar jotted down terse notes in leather-bound notebooks on the appearance of the residents, landscape, cleanliness, climates, residents, houses, plazas, clothing, products. He linked each community’s appearance with its morals, health, productivity, and honesty of public officials; he recorded statistics on population and school attendance.2 Gender and sexuality, along with economics, formed part of his assessment; he noted levels of physical attractiveness and rates of marriage and legitimate birth. As the quoted passage from his published travelogue reflects, he divided pueblos into racial groups or “types,” each with its own essential characteristics.3
Over the course of forty-three chapters, Pilgrimage of Alpha thus painted the northeastern Andeans as a motley assortment of visibly differentiated Indians, (p.55) whites, mestizos, and people of African descent. The book constituted the region as thoroughly heterogeneous. In the final paragraph of the last page, Ancízar noted that the provinces included “all the climates,” of which the “majestic Andes” were, in contrast to the above quote, “inhabited almost entirely by the white race, intelligent and hard working.”4 Then he went on in the next sentence to say that the provinces should therefore be considered “in their totality, as a group with a homogenous population, which grows rapidly.”5 Thus he slid from heterogeneity to homogeneity, eliding in this last sentence not only the diversity of climates he had just mentioned but also the diversity of peoples he had documented in the preceding forty-two chapters. This final observation did not appear in his original notebooks, which recorded only his initial, up-close observations.6 Only after completing the expedition and reaching the final pages of his memoir, it seems, did he stand back and reflect upon the provinces as a whole, from afar.
Some reports by Codazzi demonstrate a similar contradiction. Writing in glowing terms about the three northwestern Andean provinces that had previously constituted (and would soon again constitute) the larger administrative unit of Antioquia, Codazzi commented that the three provinces formed “a single group, with identical characters, inclinations, and customs.”7 Yet, on the next page, Codazzi described the African-descended inhabitants of lowland river valleys and mining districts in one of those same provinces as a distinct race, with inferior characteristics. The inhabitants of Zaragoza, he said, “lack the action and self-respect of the inhabitants of the highlands.”8 In the same set of reports he provided abundant ethnographic detail about local Indians, whom he divided into “naked Indians” and “dressed Indians.”9 He referred to Antioqueños overall as constituting “a particular race” with its own “customs,” characterized by robustness, hard work, and an “enterprising and commercial nature.”10 He referred to Antioqueño pioneers who were opening up new agricultural lands as “the white, vigorous and healthy races.”11 He compared them to Yankees. Neither the African-descended inhabitants of Zaragoza nor the Indians of Antioquia seemed to belong to this enterprising “race.”
In both the northeastern and the northwestern Andean provinces, the commission thus proclaimed racial homogeneity while documenting diversity. In other words, the commission’s empirical observations did not always support its broad generalizations. This chapter explores that contradiction, focusing on the Chorographic Commission’s first three years—its expeditions to Andean areas that are today mainly contained in the departments of Boyacá, Santander, North Santander (all in the Northeast), and Antioquia (p.56) (in the Northwest), from 1850 through 1852—to try to understand the dissonance between the commission’s detailed documentation of local heterogeneity and its proclamations of regional homogeneity.12 The chapter draws on Ancízar’s field notes and vivid memoir, as well as Codazzi’s somewhat drier provincial geographic reports (jeografías).
The chapter also draws on paintings by the commission’s first two illustrators, Carmelo Fernández and Henry Price, particularly their images of inhabitants. The commission’s illustrators were tasked with providing images of “the physical beauties of the country, its social state, costumes, uses, and monuments … the types of population by provinces, the dress particular to them and the characteristic landscape.”13 More than half of the surviving 151 official images depicted people, or rather, types of people. They depicted the roles that both women and men were expected to play in building the nation. As this chapter and subsequent ones will show, gendered and racialized depictions of comportment, dress, and occupation were among the markers that differentiated backward from progressive peoples and provinces.
Even in these relatively “progressive” provinces in New Granada’s highland interior, Codazzi and Ancízar were often dismayed by the “corruption” and backwardness that they perceived, particularly in the northeast. Yet the commission’s overall assessment of the highland regions was ultimately positive, particularly in comparison to other areas of New Granada. The commission’s generally favorable assessment of these regions’ “progress” was closely linked to its effort to paint their populations as overwhelmingly white in appearance, despite the commission’s own abundant evidence to the contrary.
The Northeastern and Northwestern Andean Provinces at Midcentury
The commission visited and mapped the eight northeastern Andean provinces of the Eastern Cordillera in 1850 and 1851.14 The first year, the commission’s official founding members, Codazzi and Ancízar (accompanied by José del Carmen Carrasquel, who supervised a team of workers), apparently surveyed the then provinces of Vélez, Socorro, Tunja, and Tundama. The second year, Fernández and the botanist José Jerónimo Triana also joined the commission, and they reportedly traveled—sometimes together, often apart—through some of those same provinces as well as Soto, Ocaña, Santander, and Pamplona. During these trips they also traveled through the provinces of Bogotá and Cundinamarca.15 In 1852, the commission, without Ancízar (who (p.57) had gone abroad on a diplomatic mission), with Price instead of Fernández, and including the botanist Triana, visited three northwestern provinces that had previously comprised (and would soon again comprise) the larger unit of Antioquia. These provinces were Córdoba, Medellín, and Antioquia in the Central and Western Cordilleras. Codazzi’s teenage son Domingo also joined the expedition.
The northeastern and northwestern Andean provinces were some of the republic’s most densely inhabited, yet they still had large unsettled tracts. Most of the population was concentrated in the temperate highlands, but the topography was punctuated by hot lowlands, snow-covered peaks, and high páramos. The infrastructure for travel was primitive, and the trails that plunged down into the deep valleys between the cordilleras were particularly arduous. Originally built almost straight up and down the mountains, many of the steep trails had deteriorated after Independence. Often utterly impassable in the rainy seasons, they were barely suitable even for horses or mules in the dry season. Some had eroded so badly they formed deep canyons, and could only be traversed on foot or on the back of another human being.
While complaining about the trails, the commission praised the highlands’ relatively dispersed land ownership, whereby small and medium-size individual family farms existed alongside larger estates. Previously the centers of pre-Columbian polities and indigenous populations, much of the northern Andes had undergone a dramatic process of land privatization since the eighteenth century. In other areas of the country, particularly the southwestern highlands, many indigenous communities still managed to hold onto their colonial-era landholdings, known as resguardos. But in these northern Andean provinces the majority of resguardos, along with the corporate communal structures that governed them, had been or soon would be liquidated.16 Codazzi contributed personally to this process in the Northeast when he and two of his students from the Military College surveyed the communal lands of the Guane indigenous community in 1851 for partition.17 His students also surveyed resguardos around Bogotá and throughout the country.18
Slavery was also disappearing. During the colonial period, slavery had been relatively marginal to the economy of most of the Eastern Cordillera, because of the comparatively large sedentary indigenous and mestizo labor force. Ancízar was pleased to record zero slaves in most communities he visited. Those who remained seemed to be in some sort of transitional state. For example, in the pueblo of Gámbita in Socorro Province he noted the existence of “four slaves, but they live as free [libres]” (what he meant by that is (p.58) not clear).19 Traveling in those final two years of slavery, Ancízar joyfully witnessed public manumission ceremonies, through which Liberal politicians publicly linked manumission and emancipation with patriotism and Liberalism.20 The northwestern provinces had relied more heavily on slavery, particularly for gold mining, but slavery there had also declined by the time New Granada emancipated all remaining slaves in the beginning of 1852, just as the commission arrived in Antioquia.
Exports boomed in the northern Andean provinces. Gold was the young republic’s principal export, still constituting about three-quarters of exports in the 1840s.21 Gold mining in rivers and veins had long constituted the economic mainstay of New Granada and provided its principal link to global markets. New Granada’s gold production declined during the Independence period but rebounded in Antioquia by 1850. Gold mining there would continue to expand throughout most of the second half of the nineteenth century. A newly liberalized legal and fiscal framework encouraged exports. A small number of Europeans had invested in the new technology of ore mills, which facilitated the expansion of underground mining.22 Among such immigrants were Carlos de Greiff and James Tyrell Moore, both of whom practiced cartography and collaborated with the Chorographic Commission. The larger mining operations employed the latest technology to exploit underground veins, while smaller groups panned for gold in rivers and streams.23 Medellín became a center of commerce and banking.24 Merchants in Medellín established connections in London and Paris, through which they marketed gold and brought in imports. Around two dozen businessmen based in Antioquia became some of the wealthiest people in New Granada.25
The commission lamented that mining was less developed in the northeastern provinces of New Granada. Several northeastern towns specialized in salt production under a state-imposed monopoly.26 The Northeast experienced two export booms in the 1850s: tobacco and hats. Tobacco production for export was expanding in warmer, low-lying lands adjacent to the Magdalena River. By 1850, tobacco had been freed from a state-controlled system of monopolies. The elite of Bogotá and Medellín invested in tobacco production on recently privatized land, some of it formerly inhabited by indigenous communities or poor farmers of mixed origin. Other than tobacco, agriculture was mainly geared toward local markets, as was livestock. At warmer altitudes, crops such as cotton, sugarcane, cacao, and a little coffee were also grown, while cooler altitudes were suitable for wheat and potatoes. Maize was produced and consumed throughout much of New Granada. Meanwhile, women in highland towns started making hats commissioned (p.59) by traveling merchants, who sent the hats abroad to the plantation societies of the Caribbean and U.S. South. At its peak in the late 1850s, hat making, which at that time was particularly concentrated in Santander, accounted for almost a quarter of the country’s export income, ranked after gold and tobacco.27
Costumbrismo: The Nation as a Gallery of Types
When Ancízar portrayed the “chubby,” copper-skinned Indians along with the whites and mestizos of Tundama province, and cited them as examples of a pattern that he saw repeated across the Eastern Cordillera, he was deploying the concept of “type” (tipo). Late-eighteenth-century scientists had begun to employ the term in categorizing humans and animals. By the nineteenth century, practitioners of new scientific disciplines such as zoology and anthropology would depict an example that they considered the most representative individual of each species (or the most representative species of each genus). Type became a ubiquitous concept in science, literature, and art.28 The qualified, educated observer could define and categorize human types, much in the same way, ideally, that botanists identified the markers that differentiated flora. But, in comparison to botanical classifications, “types of population” were highly unstable and overlapping.
The commission’s watercolors and Ancízar’s Pilgrimage of Alpha reflected the nineteenth-century literary and artistic current known as costumbrismo. Costumbrista literature emerged in Spain and became enormously popular in Mexico and the rest of Latin America by the 1830s. Influenced heavily by European literature, Latin American costumbrismo nonetheless emphasized the autochthonous.29 One of its characteristic forms was the “picture of customs” (cuadro de costumbres; note that cuadro can also translate as “diagram”). As its name suggests, it employed descriptive prose and dialogue to verbally paint a local scene, emphasizing customs and particularities of that locale. These sketches were printed in local literary periodicals and sometimes assembled, along with lithographs, into anthologies with titles such as Museum of Pictures of Customs and Miscellany and The Mexicans Portrayed by Themselves.30 Costumbrista painting in Latin America, meanwhile, formed part of the international rise of genre painting that emphasized the picturesque.31
As will become evident below, the mid-nineteenth-century paintings exhibited some similarities with illustrated works of the eighteenth-century Hispanic Enlightenment. Some of the best known secular examples of the eighteenth-century imperial visual culture included casta paintings, Bishop (p.60) Baltasar Jaime Martínez Campañón’s compilation of images of Peru, and the extensive illustrations produced by botanical expeditions.32 Eighteenth-century artists documented local flora, fauna, inhabitants, and economies in detail. Historian Juanita Rodríguez Congote has rightly pointed out that their direct influence on nineteenth-century New Granada artists was limited by the fact that most of the state-sponsored eighteenth-century illustrations ended up in Madrid. For example, Mutis’s vast Botanical Expedition collection was shipped out on the eve of Independence.33 Nonetheless, some of the survivors of the Botanical Expedition painted cuadros de costumbres in the early nineteenth century, and Triana trained in botany under one of Mutis’s collaborators, so links did exist.34
Nineteenth-century painters in New Granada were influenced by visiting European artists, such as the French diplomat Auguste Le Moyne, the English miner Joseph Brown, the British diplomat Edward Walhouse Mark—who was called upon to evaluate some of the commission’s paintings—and the French naturalist François Désiré Roulin.35 The foreigners produced watercolors and drawings of local inhabitants, celebrations, landscapes, and productive activities. Although most of the images produced by these travelers also ended up abroad, forming the basis for engravings that circulated internationally, they did collaborate with local artists.36 The foreign artists directly influenced the work of the best-known and most prolific costumbrista artist of the mid-nineteenth century, Ramón Torres Méndez, whose images of customs and types were engraved and published in both Colombia and Europe.37 Torres Méndez in turn trained the Chorographic Commission’s third and most prolific official illustrator, Manuel María Paz.38
It would be too simplistic to attribute any one overriding motivation to native-born costumbristas’ depictions of “customs and types,” yet it is worth pondering their intentions in this early period of nation-state formation.39 Art historian Erica Segre argues that Mexican writers and illustrators produced costumbrista works to promote national identity and “rationalize the problematic heterogeneity of Mexican society.”40 She quotes a Mexican writer in 1840: “what I am struggling to characterize, and do not know how, is the physiognomy of that heterogeneous society made up of discrete parts with no ties to each other, which formed a whole from a distance, but seen up close was composed of the most dissimilar of elements.”41 Customs and types linked the diverse and discordant elements, organizing them into patterns that would ideally coalesce into a national profile.
In New Granada, as in Mexico, costumbrismo formed part of patriotic journalists’ efforts to forge a common national identity. Several Bogotá (p.61) periodicals disseminated costumbrista fiction, poetry, and travelogues, occasionally illustrated with woodcuts.42 Among these periodicals were El Neo-Granadino. Ancízar started up the Neo-Granadino press and periodical in 1848, soon after arriving from Caracas.43 Ostensibly nonpartisan, El Neo-Granadino’s guiding principles included commitments to free speech, patriotism, and national progress defined in liberal economic and political terms. “We will be Granadinos above all, Americans always, sincerely democrats” proclaimed Ancízar in its first editorial.44 From the beginning, El Neo-Granadino published detailed reports from the provinces on economic and cultural topics, emphasizing the importance of knowledge about different regions.45 El Neo-Granadino, moreover, first published Ancízar’s travel memoir, Pilgrimage of Alpha, in installments, after Ancízar sold the press.46 According to José María Samper, who contributed to such publications and dabbled in literary costumbrismo, separation from Spain had not conferred a sense of “nationality.”47 In a book published by the Neo-Granadino press, he underscored the challenge of forging a republic divided by what he called “heterogeneous” interests.48
Writers seemed to employ type as a way to impose order and a common identity on the chaotic heterogeneity of the nation. Type allowed for more variety than simply categorizing everyone according to overarching continental races delineated during the Enlightenment (e.g., Caucasian, Ethiopian, American). Employing the term type might have felt more advanced than the colonial term caste. To be sure, type labels drew on both the eighteenth-century template and older caste taxonomies and thus, to some degree, reproduced the hierarchies and essentialism, and often the very vocabulary, of each. But, as anthropologist Julio Arias Vanegas notes, costumbrista types formed part of new national frameworks. They were types of Mexicans, types of New Granadans. Thus, when costumbristas portrayed a characteristic tipo indio, Arias Vanegas insists, they were not so much portraying the indigenous race writ large, but rather, a “derivation of the neogranadino.”49
Types, moreover, were geographically situated in specific localities and regions within the emerging national map, as reflected in the Chorographic Commission’s mandate to elaborate types for each province. According to literary critic Mercedes López Rodríguez, costumbrismo depicted the nation as a “the sum of many regional types that diverged in their appearance and customs.”50 An endless variety of types—defined variably according to criteria such as race, caste, occupation, level of “civilization,” sex, and geographic location—were generated in images and stories. When brought together in books and albums, their repetitive nature generated a sense of sameness, (p.62) a certain stock quality. As Deborah Poole has argued, emphasis on type, whether by an artist or a scientist, made the individuals being portrayed appear interchangeable.51 Ancízar’s midcentury travel narrative alluded to such interchangeability when he described those “same chubby Indians” he encountered in Vélez, Tunja, Tundama, and Pamplona. In another example, he described two pious church ladies: “they were not an exception, rather the genuine representatives of a genre, or if you prefer, type, widely distributed in our country” (emphasis in original).52 Despite all the provincial and local variation that he documented, he also discerned patterns: repetitions of types across each region and even across New Granada as a whole.
Images of Diversity
The watercolor illustrations of the Chorographic Commission documented diverse types. The paintings are small, roughly page-size, positioned either horizontally or vertically on a larger sheet, elaborated in watercolor, often with ink. They often originated in on-site sketches and watercolors, which later provided the basis for the more carefully composed paintings.53 Each watercolor bore a label indicating a province, and sometimes a town or village. Some contained additional notations, most often referring to occupation, class, or especially race, for example “muleteer and weaver” (fig. 11), “notable inhabitants” (fig. 10), and “African and mestizo type” (fig. 5). Restrepo Forero notes that other costumbrista images of the period did not generally include racial labels, a fact that makes the commission’s emphasis all the more notable.54
The vast majority of the individuals depicted are nameless (the two exceptions are discussed in chapter 6); their anonymity suggests generic types. Although type was defined by various criteria, the labels on the paintings mostly used the word “type” explicitly when referring to race, and even then not entirely consistently. The racial categories used were for the most part colonial caste labels (e.g., mestizo, mulato, indio, zambo). Thus we glean from these images that some caste labels were still in circulation. In popular, literary, and scientific discourse, caste had not been fully replaced by republican legal terminology, which since 1821 had supplanted “Indian” (indio) with “indigenous” (indígena). The commission used both words, thus reinscribing the colonial vocabulary of caste as a modern taxonomy of type.
Many of the images, moreover, included no type label, perhaps because the category of the person portrayed would have been assumed to be obvious to contemporary viewers. Captions might have been intended to clarify (p.63)
(p.64) the less obvious distinctions.55 Thus the labels could have been asserting the importance of underlying attributes that were not readily apparent, such as ancestry, in determining type; type was not exclusively visual. In any case, the labels were employed inconsistently, reflecting that however important race might still have been in the young republic, it was nonetheless slippery and unstable.
Without the caption one might assume that a watercolor (fig. 5) by Fernández portrayed three races or castes in the Province of Santander: a black or mulatto man and two women, one white and the other perhaps mestizo. But only two types were referenced in the caption: “African and mestizo type.” Was the woman in front white, “African,” or mestiza? She was lighter-skinned than “mestizo types” shown in other paintings, as light as some other “whites” portrayed by the commission.56 Her fair skin and hair were set off against a darker companion behind her who, per the label, likely represented another variation on the mestizo or possibly “African,” type.57 Types were often flexible enough to encompass people of diverse complexions.
The apparent whiteness of the “mestizo type” in the foreground was perhaps explained by a comment by Ancízar regarding mixed-race women in the town of San José in Santander Province: “there are many of white skin, in whom at first glance, one does not perceive the mix of African blood; they constitute the select portion of their tribe.”58 Fernández, or whoever composed the caption—most likely Ancízar or Codazzi—might have been trying to make the same point: racial mixture leads in the best of cases to an appearance of whiteness.
The faces of the three figures in the foreground were highly individuated, as if based on real people, and lacking in obvious caricature. But the man’s stance, leaning against a tree, would have resonated with the common stereotype in the post-emancipation era that freed slaves and their descendants were lazy.59 The label used for him—“African type”—skirted the question of whether he would have been considered black or mulatto. It might also have indicated reluctance on the part of the commission to label people “black,” a word that carried negative connotations (the word negro to indicate type was used in only one caption in the entire official album of images).60 “African” emphasized ancestry over appearance, yet it implied exoticism and external origins precisely at a historical moment when inhabitants of African descent were loudly claiming their rights as native-born citizens of New Granada.61
The watercolor, like several of Fernández’s illustrations, depicted local flora in great detail: the cacao pods and the flowers behind them. During this (p.65) early period, the botanist Triana participated in the commission and would likely have drawn the artist’s attention to such details. Overall, it was an image of fecundity and potential agricultural productivity. From the clothes and plants, one can infer that the location being depicted was warm to temperate, neither the hottest tropical lowlands nor the bone-chilling tierra fría.
The ambiguity in this and other images by Fernández extended beyond the racial labels to the composition of the scene itself. The figures in this case were not directly interacting, but their positioning suggested an encounter, as if the two women had just met a friend or acquaintance along the road and had stopped to talk or scold or even flirt. Such encounters always had the implicit potential, of course, of leading to further racial mixture (mestizaje). The two figures in the foreground—the light-skinned woman and dark-skinned man—were portrayed as more-or-less social equals; neither showed obvious deference to the other. Yet, a gap at the center of the image hinted at the social distance that could have separated them, and her shoes suggested that her socioeconomic class was higher than his. Slavery had still not ended when this painting was made, though its end was imminent. It is possible that this man was enslaved or only recently freed.
Fernández painted several romantic pastoral and urban scenes that hinted at untold stories of love and intrigue, as if illustrating a series of literary sketches, even as he carefully rendered botanical details that reflected the scientific intent of the expedition.62 Like Ancízar, he seems to have constructed stories, but he was a much more ambiguous and incomplete storyteller; the images’ internal narratives remain opaque. His paintings did not correspond directly to Ancízar’s anecdotes, and Férnandez apparently did not provide explanatory texts of his own.
Ancízar, for his part, noted the racial composition of each locality. In the same passage in which Ancízar mentioned the white appearance of some mestizos in San José, he wrote:
The population is composed of 33 percent whites, in whom reside enlightenment and culture, 27 percent mestizos, who form the intermediate echelon, 40 percent Africans, whose lot is physical labor, and whose patrimony is their inalterable health amidst the swamps and rivers. … The masculine type of the first group is the voluble youth, lightly dressed … linen jacket and suit, on weekends dedicated to commerce … the feminine is the little lady of small proportions, weak manner, tidy habits … in dress very groomed and elegant following the French fashions … extremely sociable and sweet, but always circumspect. (p.66) Music and dance are their vocation, and rare is the house where at nightfall one does not hear a piano with the marked cadences of the waltz, or a Maracaibo harp … In the mestizos is manifest the local type, completely creole from its clothing to it soul: the men of medium stature, svelte and agile, dressing in pants of drill and white shirt … rather attached to the bottle and the bet, but hard working and of good character … the women small, knowing they are pretty … with well-proportioned body, clean and undulating, cheerful.63
Thus Ancízar divided a local population into three racial types, and further divided those into masculine and feminine types. He used “tribe” as a metaphor for race or type. He delineated them much the same way a nineteenth-century ethnographer might have described “tribes” of Indians or Africans, with reference to habits and visible markers such as skin color, body, and dress, without acknowledging much variation within each type. The “African type,” however, was actually the one about which he said the least, and he only referred to its physical strength and suitability for manual labor in the tropical heat, nothing about clothes or social habits. People of noticeably African origin seemed to offer little of interest to him beyond their labor (and their reported joy at being emancipated from slavery by his fellow Liberals). He saw mestizos as having some African or indigenous origins, but in the best cases those origins were no longer visible. Regarding whites and mestizos, he described their education, personalities, consumption, and pastimes as well as their appearance.64 The women of both groups were lovely and sexually desirable, though in very different ways: the white women diminutive and reserved; the mestizas cheerful, “undulating,” and flirtatious. (The association of whiteness with women’s sexual modesty and African origins with overt, unrestrained sexuality was a common trope in elite writings and judicial proceedings in colonial and post-emancipation societies).65 He explicitly identified the mestizo male as epitomizing the local type as well as the national, or creole, identity. It was the (male) mestizo who was truly creole—truly autochthonous, truly Granadino not only in his dress but also in his inner self, his soul. Mestizos were physically more robust than whites. Nonetheless, white appearance was prized; the “most select” mestizos were the whitest.
This description was classic Ancízar in the emphasis on appearance and morality, manifest in dress and phenotype and public comportment, as well as the reference to less clearly visible traits like ancestry, embellished with a vignette of young people making music at nightfall. Ancízar thus brought (p.67) together many of the notable features of nineteenth-century typologies, which emphasized anatomy, appearance, and ancestry with reference to gendered cultural and moral traits inherent to each race. Such traits included particular dress and disposition, as well as adaptability to different climates and suitability for different labors.
The passage also reflects Ancízar’s dual valuation of both whiteness and mestizaje. Throughout his memoir, Ancízar portrayed the plebeian folk as true patriots, hard workers, the heart and soul of the Republic; he even sometimes seemed to prefer common mestizos over elite whites. But the most attractive among the mestizos were clearly the whitest, while pure whites held an exclusive monopoly on education and refined culture.66 In its paeans to the humble classes, Pilgrimage of Alpha reflected the revolutionary optimism and egalitarian impulses of the late 1840s and early 1850s, when elite Liberals attended Democratic Society meetings alongside plebeians.
Like Ancízar, the commission’s artists also provided tableaux of local types for specific towns and villages. After falling out with Codazzi, Fernández was replaced by two painters. The first was the British subject Henry “Enrique” Price, who accompanied Codazzi in 1852 to the northwestern highland provinces that would soon become the state of Antioquia. Price provided some images of people simply standing around in the central plazas of towns or villages. The artist used each plaza as a stage on which was arrayed an assortment of local characters, for example in Types of the Province of Medellín (see fig. 6).
The figures stand awkwardly, with little relation to each other. Yet, as in Fernández’s paintings, Price’s figures exhibited diversity in skin color and facial features. Class was indicated by variation in dress, particularly the wearing or not of shoes. One can easily imagine Codazzi pointing to a plaza and dictating which local types the illustrator should depict there. As Restrepo Forero points out, “nothing is casual in these watercolors [which are] carefully prepared to illustrate the geography and the cultural landscape.”67 Thus each image of people arrayed on a plaza or street served to map the racial and social gradations of the human population that inhabited that locality.
Each image of a plaza also served as a sort of a partial chorographic map or view of the natural and built environment. Notable features of landscape such as mountain peaks—the accurate locations and naming of which were of particular concern to Codazzi—would often provide a backdrop. Plazas, moreover, served as the economic, civic, and religious centers of Spanish American towns; they held communal wells and were surrounded by each (p.68)
community’s finest homes and principal church. Markets took place in plazas; troops were assembled there in times of war and, on rare occasions, executions carried out. Plazas thus served as metonyms for whole communities, exemplifying their progress or lack thereof.68
Perhaps most surprising about this particular image of Medellín is the centrality of a dark-skinned woman, most likely black or mulatto, who stands out in part because of her shawl, which is bright red. Rather than a background figure whose dark skin is used to set off the light skin of the preferred type, as in some paintings by Fernández and Paz, the black woman is almost at the center. She is, moreover, one of only two figures who stare directly ahead, at the viewer. What makes this image particularly surprising is the fact that by the 1850s, the town of Medellín and the rest of highland Antioquia were already gaining a reputation as mostly white, a reputation that Codazzi reinforced in his written reports.69 And yet, as the woman in red exemplifies, Price’s paintings foregrounded tremendous diversity, even in the central public spaces of the most quintessential highland towns.
(p.69) Another watercolor by Price that placed a person of African descent front and center depicted three men in a maize field labeled simply by canton and province (fig. 7).70 The canton was Río Negro (“Black River”) and the dark-skinned man was located directly over the label. Price might not have been able to resist what likely appeared to him as a humorous pun (though in another image of the same canton, not pictured here, he painted a very pale-skinned rural couple).71 Like the woman on the Medellín plaza, the dark-skinned man near the center of the frame stared straight ahead. His expression hinted at anger and defiance. His clothes were identical to those of the white man behind him, with the exception of the white man’s canvas shoes (known as alpargatas). The fact that the dark-skinned man’s feet were bare (like those of the “African type” in fig. 5) implies a lower socioeconomic status than that of the light-skinned man, but both were too poor for leather shoes. An evergreen tree evidenced Río Negro’s location in the cool highlands near Medellín. The crop being harvested was significant; Antioqueños were already known for a diet centered on maize.72 Consumption of maize products, while by no means exclusive to Antioqueños, remains today a salient marker of their regional identity. So it is striking that in this heartland of the ostensibly white Antioqueño provinces, cultivating the food most associated with regional identity, stood an apparently black man, embodying a town named for a black river.
Two of Price’s best-known paintings are of Medellín Province: his watercolor of female gold miners (fig. 21) and his portrait of an elegantly dressed negra in Medellín, Portrait of a Black Woman (not pictured here) portray black women.73 The latter, an elegant formal portrait, is not included in the commission’s official collection, for unknown reasons. In both images, a black woman stared directly at the viewer (as did the black man in fig. 7), with no hint of inferiority or deference. In another of Price’s paintings that was included in the collection, Miner and Merchant. Medellín (fig. 8), an apparently black man and a slightly better dressed light-skinned man exchange a small pouch, presumably containing gold dust.74 An indigenous or mestizo woman in braids and red shawl stares straight ahead; whether she is related to the people conducting the transaction (or is the object of the transaction?) is not clarified.75 By foregrounding black and other nonwhite people—especially women—in his depictions, Price seems to have implied that they were neither submissive nor ignored.
So, while Fernández’s paintings focused noticeably on light-skinned young women, Price seemed rather obsessed with blacks. Foreign travelers from Europe and the antebellum U.S. to New Granada and other parts of (p.70)
post-emancipation Latin America often expressed surprise on encountering people of visible African descent in positions of political power or social ascendance. Especially for U.S. citizens accustomed to slavery, such apparent equality was astounding. Northern travelers heightened the exoticism and even humor of their encounters for audiences back home when they recounted (p.72) the power wielded by magistrates of color or the elegance of well-dressed black or mulatto women.76 Such depictions encapsulated the difference that such travelers perceived between their own ostensibly well-ordered societies, characterized by explicit racial barriers, and the more racially fluid societies of Latin America. Price, an Englishman who had lived in New York before coming to New Granada, might have been viewing Antioquia through a North American as well as English frame of reference on race, which could have led him to highlight the blackness of local inhabitants more than a creole might have. Price might not have felt any imperative to whiten the population of either the region or the nation.
Otherwise, the commissioners tended to portray the essential Antioqueño type as white, civilized, and entrepreneurial.77 They compared Antioqueños to North Americans, echoing observations by contemporary members of the New Granada elite and resident foreigners.78 For example, Manuel Pombo (a prominent Granadino who crossed paths with the commission on a trip from Medellín to Bogotá in 1852) referred to the “beautiful Antioqueño race,” and said the Antioqueños “bring together many aspects of the Yankees.”79 Later, in 1861, Ancízar’s brother-in-law José María Samper would include “the white Antioqueño” in a list of New Granada’s “notable” types.80
Although such types were usually referred to as male, costumbrista authors and painters often paid as much attention to women as to men. Fernández was perhaps the most obvious in his focus on beautiful young women, but all the commissioners depicted women. Women—or rather, female types—were often portrayed by the male members of the Chorographic Commission as objects of desire or disgust, admiration or disdain. They embodied the best and worst qualities of each community. As we can see in Ancízar’s comments about the inhabitants of San José, quoted above, women and men manifested certain gendered virtues and vices commonly associated with each race and locality.
Women workers were central to Ancízar’s narrative. He criticized towns that did not provide primary school education to girls or occupational outlets for poor single women, condemning them, he said, to lives of vice. He admired “hardworking” female artisans, such as milliners, clustered in several villages he visited. He described their orderly clothes in detail, as indicative of how their labors facilitated progress and morality amid a larger context of poverty and corruption: “they are distinguished by their clean clothes composed of a blouse profusely embroidered in colors, skirts of fine flannel, new alpargatas,81 and a jipijapa hat82 with a wide black ribbon.”83 Fernández’s portrayal of hat makers in Bucaramanga (fig. 9) echoed Ancízar. (p.73)
Tension between homogeneity and diversity was evident in this image. The subjects shared common local identity, class status, occupations, and regional dress, and they seemed to interact as social equals. They were nonetheless differentiated by degrees of racial difference as well as gender. Like Ancízar, Fernández portrayed interaction and emotion: gossiping, bargaining, and flirting, and even a hint of anger in one woman’s curled hand and tense arm. It is no accident that this tense figure in the image was clearly meant to personify the “zambo type.” Her stance suggested ongoing tensions underlying the apparent equality enjoyed by these racially diverse types.84 Zambo was a term used to describe people of mixed African and indigenous ancestry. That mulattos and zambos were exceptionally passionate or “turbulent” was a common stereotype in the nineteenth century.85
In addition to the artisan class, Fernández and Price also portrayed fashionably dressed provincial elites.86 For example, in Fernández’s depiction of “notable inhabitants” of Tundama (fig. 10) a couple stands in a high cool wood (the altitude evidenced by evergreens), having apparently just dismounted, with another gentleman standing behind them. Férnandez por (p.74)
(p.75) trayed their elite riding clothing in as much detail as that of the peasants. The man’s riding chaps made of local animal skins and ruana provided touches of local color in an otherwise cosmopolitan ensemble. Most of their clothing would have been imported or made of imported textiles.87 Arias Vanegas believes that such images were intended to “demonstrate the presence of notables in the cities and pueblos as central elements of their progress.”88 In addition, such images might have reflected the friendship and flirtations that Fernández himself seemed to enjoy among the local elites of the Eastern Cordillera.
Ancízar’s and Fernandez’s young women—whether wage-earning “daughters of the people” (hijas de pueblo) or upper-class “little ladies” (damitas)—were expected to become mothers, a future that was hinted at rather than mentioned explicitly. Fernández’s paintings often suggested romance, as in his pastoral scene of a young muleteer and a hat weaver in an encounter or farewell along a trail (fig. 11). That both figures were referred to with masculine adjectives in the caption means that whoever wrote the caption was referring to them as types.89 The light-skinned hat maker, dressed in the usual peasant garb, with her shoulders peaking prettily above her embroidered blouse, continued to weave a hat and keep her eyes turned down even as she interacted with the young man, who was also economically active, as we can see from the hog yoked to his mule and the faint image of another man up ahead on the trail with two oxen. His sideways glance toward the woman suggested he looked forward to returning. Implied, though not explicit, in such scenes, was the future of New Granada. These humble “souls” of the nation—presumably mestizo in origins but white in appearance—would produce (through their labor) and reproduce (through their future progeny) the nation. Their fair-skinned children would exemplify the new national race that Ancízar saw emerging in the highlands of New Granada.
The Granadan Race
The young hat weaver and muleteer exemplified Ancízar’s conclusion that the northeastern Andean highlands were “almost entirely” inhabited by a hard-working “white race” and that the northeastern provinces should be considered together as having a “homogenous population.”90 Yet, as noted above, Ancízar’s concluding statement contradicted the rest of his memoir, not to mention most of the paintings by Fernández. When they got up close, both Ancízar and Fernández documented the diversity of “types” and characters that they saw inhabiting each locality.91 Such heterogeneity was elided in (p.76)
(p.77) Ancízar’s final homogenizing words on the totality of the northeastern provinces. Codazzi’s descriptions of the provinces of Antioquia exhibited similar contradictions.92
The concept of “type” provided a visual and discursive way to manage the heterogeneity they encountered. The commissioners organized the population into various component parts, defined by race, occupation, and place, and celebrated them all as national products, as subsets of the Granadan people. Politically (as chapter 1 explained) the proposed solution was federalism, which some Liberals argued was the only political system that could effectively govern such a heterogeneous nation. Federalism was thought to require homogeneity and coherence on a regional level as a basis for forming coherent and autonomous regional states with their own specific customs and interests.
When Codazzi and Ancízar described the same populations as simultaneously heterogeneous and homogeneous, they were voicing an aspiration that was in the process, they claimed, of becoming a reality. These provinces were becoming homogeneous through “blood mixture” (mezcla de sangre). Ancízar wrote that today the “the indigenous race is being substituted by the granadina, diverse from the former in its nature, its intelligence, and its moral necessities.”93 A superior republican race was replacing the indigenous race of the colonial era, a process that he perceived to be particularly advanced in the eight northeastern provinces of the Eastern Cordillera, where this homogeneous national race was growing.
This improvement was not simply biological. For Ancízar, race was not only a matter of blood. Race was also cultural and social and was shaped by institutions and the environment.94 The new national race was “galvanized by democratic institutions and modified in its manner of living by liberty of industry and movement.”95 In other words, it was a liberal capitalist race. New Granada’s emerging race was shaped by its mixed ancestry but also by democracy, private property, education, and liberty. Part of this process of racial modification was the disappearance of slavery and indigenous communal landholdings, since Ancízar and his radical Liberal cohort viewed both institutions as inimical to individual liberty.
The new race would absorb the types into which the nation was divided, and retain only the best qualities of each. As Ancízar wrote in regards to the population of Vélez: “when the absorption of the indigenous race by the European has been completed, which will not take much longer, a homogeneous, vigorous, and well-formed race will be left, whose character will be midway between the impetuous [character] of the Spaniard and the calm (p.78) and patient [character] of the Chibcha Indian,”96 Elsewhere in the narrative, however, he suggested that the Chibcha element would not be almost imperceptible, at least visually, in the new race. As scholars such as Brooke Larson, Mercedes López Rodríguez, and Frank Safford all point out, Ancízar characterized such mixture as a whitening process.97 Visible traces of African and indigenous descent would be eliminated. In the village of La Paz, people were “so crossed one cannot see the Indian.”98 Throughout the Province of Tunja, “one notes in the new generation the progressive improvement of the castes: the children are white, blonde, with fine and intelligent facial features and better built bodies than their elders.”99
For the northeastern and northwestern Andean provinces, Fernández and Price produced very few paintings of blacks or Indians alone, by themselves; rather, the artists usually placed people of African descent and Indians alongside whites or mestizos to show the gradations of mixture. Price’s painting of dark-skinned women panning for gold and his portrait of an elegant black woman in Medellín were rare in that they showed only black people. Price also painted one watercolor of two Indians alone, without any mestizos or others in the frame, but it is an exception that proves the rule (fig. 12).
Price’s depiction of two aged Indians in Buriticá places them against a backdrop of mountain peaks and twilight sky, next to a primitive thatch lean-to or dwelling of some kind, with a few rather meager possessions. They sit on or near the ground in ill-fitting, generic peasant clothes. A pot and some firewood suggest primitive outdoor cooking methods. The ruana or blanket on the woman’s shoulders locates them in the cold highlands. Their dark hair is tinged with gray, their skin gnarled. They are alone, without any obvious progeny nearby. The caption added on the bottom left makes explicit what the lonely image implies: “Coronel Codazzi supposes that this (pure) race is almost extinguished.” The only “pure” Indians that Price explicitly depicted as such in the three provinces of Antioquia were about to disappear.
Thus the images of racial types produced by the commission updated the eighteenth-century genre of casta paintings for the republican era.100 Casta paintings had charted how the Spanish Empire produced new categories of people through the intermixture of colonial castes.101 Arranged in series, they portrayed triads—father, mother, child—that began with “Spaniard + Indian = Mestizo.” Subsequent pictures in each series would then go on to portray the progeny of various mixtures, until they reached absurd, humorous labels such as “Jump backwards” (Salta atrás). As each casta series proceeded from pure Spaniards down through various mixtures, the dress of the families also changed, as their social station lowered. The casta paintings, (p.79)
like the costumbristas’ typologies, imposed order on a racially mixed and complex society.102 But Ancízar, Codazzi, and their colleagues did not generally view racial mixture as producing such minutely differentiated castes. Rather, the ultimate result would be uniformly white-looking and virtuous republicans. Unlike the colony, which relied on Indian tribute and labor, the new republic (in this view, at least) had no use for Indians; they would simply disappear. Unlike the casta paintings, which might be read as somewhat satirical, the commission overtly celebrated racial mixture.103
The commission’s images of human types, particularly in the highlands, were less explicit than the eighteenth-century casta paintings in documenting how actual relationships between men and women of different castes produced a new race. The commissioners painted only a handful of family groups; children appear only in few of their images. The commission provided no explicit image of an interracial marriage, though interracial relationships were often implied. Ancízar did not highlight specific cross-caste couples.104 But the artists conveyed that such mixture had gone on and would (p.80) continue, by placing people of different racial gradations side-by-side. Thus the commission showed the products, if not the process, of mestizaje.
Sociologist Olga Restrepo Forero, whose insights inform much of the inquiry undertaken in this chapter, suggests that the Chorographic Commission’s methodology actually produced heterogeneity. The very process of documenting differences serves to create “diversity, which is converted into an objective characteristic of the nation, and, as a discovered fact, ‘demands’ a certain type of organization or social action.”105 The commissioners did not hesitate to prescribe certain remedies for the ills they highlighted. As the next two chapters will show, Codazzi’s prescriptions for the lowland peripheral provinces were quite different than Ancízar’s recommendations for the Andean highlands. Ancízar advocated improved democratic institutions for the northeastern highlands, such as better schools, priests, courts, administration, and infrastructure. Such solutions, particularly schools, were not seen as viable for the more “barbaric” lowlands. Rather, according to Codazzi, in peripheral areas where Indians and blacks made up the majority of the population, and the hot climate was conducive to tropical disease, stronger measures would be needed.
Racial mixture and absorption of ostensibly lesser races by whites was seen as the route to national unity. But in portraying this whitening process as highly advanced in the interior highland provinces of the Northeast and Antioquia, and greatly lagging in the tropical lowland peripheries, the Chorographic Commission reified hierarchical relationships between climates and between peoples. The northern Andean regions were increasingly constituted in texts and images as “homogeneous,” white, prosperous, and democratic. According to Ancízar, they simply needed to “develop republican institutions” in order to flourish.106 The more problematic populations of the lowland peripheries, however, would require other methods, which were not so democratic; they would need to be subjugated, colonized, and forcibly integrated into the nation.107
(2.) For example, his initial notes on Barichara linked cleanliness, infrastructure, racial appearance, and religion: “Clean, happy, and healthy—People of Spanish physiognomy—Pretty children—Streets well paved … Good houses, clean … Fountain … Four churches, of which the principal is in carved stone … School with 180 boys.” On the other hand, whiteness was not always associated with progress. Regarding Chita, he noted: “White people, agreeable. Barely any indigenous. Customs of ruin … the aspect of the pueblo irregular and desolate.” Both quotes are in Manuel Ancízar, black notebook, UNAL-ACH, MAB, Personal, Papeles Personales, n.p.n. Compare to Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha, 2:149–53.
(3.) I found this to be more evident and systematic in his published memoir than in his two notebooks.
(6.) Ancízar, black notebook and brown notebooks, UNAL-ACH, MAB, Personal, Papeles Personales, n.p.n.
(p.229) (7.) Agustín Codazzi, “Jeografía física i política de la Provincia de Medellín,” GO, February 17, 1854, 138.
(9.) Agustín Codazzi, “Jeografía física i politica de la Provincia de Antioquia,” GO, March 23, 1854, 268.
(11.) Agustín Codazzi, “Jeografía física i política de la Provincia de Córdova (continuación),” GO, February 6, 1854, 102.
(12.) The Magdalena River still serves as a dividing line to mark off Colombia’s “East” from its “West,” even though most of Colombia’s territory is further to the east. Colombians tend to orient their geography with reference to the highlands and thus marginalize the lowlands. The northeastern provinces discussed in this chapter included Tunja, Tundama, Vélez, Ocaña, Pamplona, Santander, Socorro, and Soto. A short-lived province, García Rovira, was created in 1853, after their visit. The provinces around Bogotá were also discussed in Ancízar’s narrative but not fully studied and mapped by the commission until later. The northwestern provinces—the Antioqueño provinces, which the sources and I both sometimes gloss as Antioquia—were Antioquia, Medellín, and Córdoba.
(13.) Agustín Codazzi to Secretario del Estado del Despacho de Relaciones Esteriores, GO, September 13, 1851, 637.
(14.) In 1857 they would be combined into the states of Boyacá and Santander. Today they correspond roughly to the departments of Boyacá, Santander, and Norte de Santander.
(15.) Bogotá Province was in today’s Cundinamarca; from 1852 to 1855 it was subdivided into Zipaquirá, Tequendama, Cundinamarca, and Bogotá provinces. This area was not mapped or included in Codazzi’s reports until later, but Ancízar did include parts, such as Zipaquirá, in his travel narrative and some illustrations were made at the time. On the Antioquia expedition, the commission also passed through Mariquita, which Paz also painted.
(19.) Ancízar, black notebook. He made the same observation about thirty slaves in San Gil.
(27.) Known abroad as Panama hats, most were made at that time in what would (p.230) become the state of Santander. The materials had been introduced from Ecuador in the 1820s and the hats were first made for export in south-central Colombia, Johnson, Santander siglo XIX, 146–51; Stoller, “Liberalism and Conflict in Socorro, Colombia,” esp. 66–127, 281–325, and chapter 5.
(29.) That Ancízar was steeped in international literary currents, and expected his readers to be as well, was evidenced in his comment that one local political boss looked just like a character portrayed by French writer Eugène Sue, Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha, 1:168. On the popularity of such writers among both plebeian and elite readers, see Pombo, De Medellín a Bogotá, 146; Loaiza Cano, Manuel Ancízar y su época, 182; Gordillo Restrepo, “El Mosaico,” 43; Martínez, El nacionalismo cosmopolita, 112.
(30.) The first title was published in Colombia in 1866; the second is discussed in Segre, Intersected Identities, 39, and Carrera, Traveling from New Spain to Mexico, 136–37.
(33.) Restrepo Forero, “Naturalistas, saber y sociedad en Colombia,” 174–76. Triana gained access in 1881, Díaz Piedrahita, José Jerónimo Triana, 58–60.
(34.) González Aranda, Manual de arte, 154–56. Such links merit further research. For Ecuador, see Pérez, “Exoticism, Alterity, and the Ecuadorean Elite,” esp. 102–11.
(35.) Rodríguez Congote, “Monumentos, curiosidades naturales y paisajes notables,” 70–76; González Aranda, Manual de arte, 123; Codazzi to Ancízar, October 13, 1853. See also Antei, Guía de forasteros, for reproductions and discussions of illustrations by early nineteenth-century travelers.
(40.) Segre, Intersected Identities, 10. On Mexican efforts to forge a nation visually, see Carrera, Traveling from New Spain to Mexico. On race and color in genre and allegorical paintings, see Widdifield, The Embodiment of the National, esp. 108–21; Carrera, “From Royal Subject to Citizen.” On costumbrista writing in New Granada as central for the formation of a “national conscience,” as well as education and reform, see López Rodríguez, “Ficciones raciales,” 31.
(44.) “Profesion de fe,” NG, August 4, 1848, 3. The title exemplifies “Padre Alpha’s” use of religious language for secular ends.
(51.) Poole, Vision, Race, and Modernity; Stepan, Picturing Tropical Nature, esp. 85–148. This repetitiveness was fostered by the proliferation of lithographs and would be especially evident in ethnographic photography.
(53.) For examples of preliminary sketches by Ancízar and Price respectively, see Ancízar, brown notebook; Londoño Vega, ed., Acuarelas y dibujos de Henry Price, 42, 49.
(55.) Historian Karin Rosemblatt suggested this interpretation at the New York State Latin American History Workshop in Ithaca, New York, October 14, 2007.
(56.) Another image by Fernández, Ocaña. Mujeres blancas, 1851, also used a darker woman, in this case a servant not referenced in the title, to highlight the fair skin of two fashionably dressed white women who constituted the painting’s subject.
(57.) López Rodríguez explains such captions by arguing that Ancízar used the term indios mestizos to refer to those mestizos who did not approximate his whitened ideal, López Rodríguez, “Ficciones Raciales,” esp. 146–47, 84–195.
(60.) Manuel María Páz, Provincia del Cauca. Retrato de un negro de Cartago, ca. 1855. Newly enfranchised people of African descent in Cauca, in the Southwest, avoided labels such as “black” or “mulatto,” according to Sanders, Contentious Republicans.
(62.) See for example Carmelo Fernández, Pamplona. Indio i mestizo de Pamplona, 1851 and Vélez. Estancieros de las cercanias de Velez tipo blanco, ca. 1851.
(64.) On consumption as a marker of class differentiation in nineteenth-century Colombia, see Otero-Cleves, “From Fashionable Pianos to Cheap White Cotton,” esp. 139.
(70.) I first encountered this painting when I visited historian Víctor Alvarez’s history class at the University of Antioquia in Medellín in 1993. Alvarez used the painting to disrupt his students’ assumptions about their ostensibly white region.
(71.) Henry Price, Río Negro. Provincia de Córdova, 1852.
(73.) Henry Price, Retrato de una Negra [Portrait of a Black Woman], 1852, Banco de la República. Artist Liliana Angulo has made a photograph inspired by the painting titled Presencia Negra [Black Presence]. Retrato de Lucy Rengifo, nacida en Medellín. Both images were viewed at http://www.hemisphericinstitute.org/eng/publications/emisferica/5.2/artistpresentation/angulo/essay.html, accessed May 8, 2009.
(75.) I thank my relatives Stephen Kurtz, photographer and retired new media professor, and Louise Kurtz, production editor of art books, who suggested this interpretation, March 21, 2015.
(77.) In a letter written in 1863, Ancízar described the plebeians he encountered in Medellín in very different terms: “the ugliness of the working people surprises and shocks, all African or mulatto …” quoted in Loaiza Cano, Manuel Ancízar y su época, 365. Perhaps he was surprised because he had envisioned Antioqueños as white, Price’s depictions notwithstanding.
(78.) Agustín Codazzi, “Jeografía física i política de la Provincia de Medellín,” GO, February 17, 1854, 138.
(79.) Pombo, De Medellín a Bogotá, 64, see also 65–69, 1159–16. He hailed from the southwestern city of Popayán. His observations about Antioquia were influenced by the European expatriate Carlos de Grieff, based in Medellín, who also contributed to the commission.
(80.) Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 84; see my conclusion to this book.
(81.) Canvas shoes worn by peasants. A step up from going barefoot, they were cheaper than leather shoes.
(82.) Straw hat, made for export or domestic consumption.
(85.) On the “turbulent” mulatto, see Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 91. See also Pombo, De Medellín a Bogotá, esp. 154–55; Sanders, Contentious Republicans.
(86.) Price and especially Fernández usually portrayed local elites in genteel interior (p.233) settings and on town streets. See for example the following watercolors for the commission: Fernández, Tunja. Notables de la capital; Vélez. Notables de la provincia; Ocaña. Mujeres blancas; Santander. Tipo de notables de la Capital; and Pamplona. Habitantes de la capital, all ca. 1851; Price, Medellín, 1852.
(89.) Tipo is a masculine noun, modified by the masculine tejedor (“weaver”) as an adjective; otherwise she would have been labeled with the feminine noun tejedora. Feminine nouns such as tejedora were used in other of the commission’s images of types (e.g., figs. 9, 24).
(91.) For example, Ancízar wrote in his field notebook that the inhabitants of a low-lying Magdalena River port were “white, whitish, copper colored, pardos of straight hair, mulattos and blacks, and also the bad zambo type of boatman [boga], like the boss of our little boat … There are black girls [negritas] of white shirt and red kerchief … breasts almost out, provocative and streetish [callejeritas] but not entirely whores … muleteers, boatmen, passengers, merchants, employees … all sweating … such is the population,” Ancízar, black notebook.
(92.) Agustín Codazzi, “Jeografía física i política de la Provincia de Medellín,” GO, February 17, 1854, 138–39.
(94.) His argument resonated with that of Florentino González, who argued in the pages of El Neo-Granadino that races (the “Anglo-Saxon” race, the “Spanish” race) were “regenerated” or “degenerated” by “good” or “bad” institutions, Florentino González, “Sofisma de la raza,” NG, January 21, 1853, 20. On how institutions were seen as improving the people, see Melo, “La idea del progreso,” esp. 9–15.
(95.) Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha, 1:121. He was making an argument as to why Spanish colonial practices of religious indoctrination were no longer appropriate given the greater intelligence of the new race of inhabitants.
(96.) Ibid., 120. See also Restrepo Forero, “Un imaginario de la nación,” 49–50. Samper echoed this view a decade later when he wrote that the “barbaric” race would be replaced by a “race of republicans,” Samper, Ensayo sobre las revoluciones políticas, 229.
(97.) Safford, “Race, Integration, and Progress,” 27–28; Larson, Trials of Nation Making, 84; López Rodríguez, “Ficciones raciales.” On mestizaje as whitening in Colombia, see also Rojas, Civilization and Violence.
(98.) Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha, 2:11. In his original notes on La Paz, he described the population as “healthy people, white, simple. Children pretty and blond. Girls well built,” Ancízar, black notebook.
(99.) Ancízar, Peregrinación de Alpha, 2:105. See also his comments regarding Ocaña, Ancízar, ibid., 2:154. In his black notebook he described the population of Guïcán “as part indigenous and part lovely white, of pretty colors and sociable.”
(104.) López Rodríguez notes the paucity of explicit interracial couples in New Granada costumbrismo and the ambivalence of authors toward interracial and extramarital unions, López Rodríguez, “Ficciones raciales,” 114–235.