Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support System for the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida

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Situado and Sabana: Spain's Support System for the Presidio and Mission Provinces of Florida. By Amy Turner Bushnell. [Anthropological Papers, American Museum of Natural History, No. 74.] (Athens: University of Georgia Press. 1995. Pp. 249. $26.95 paperback.)

Amy Turner Bushnell, a distinguished Latin American historian at the College of Charleston, has written widely on Spanish colonial Florida. Situado and Sabana is the fruit of a consultancy she undertook for David Hurst Thomas, chief archaeologist for the American Museum of Natural History. Thomas sought from Bushnell the historical background for his lengthy excavations of the seventeenth-century Franciscan mission on Georgia's St. Catherine's Island. Within the short scope of this volume, Amy Bushnell more than fulfills her charge. This work, in fact, prefigures the general history of Spanish Florida which the author deems to be urgently needed. It centers around the Royal subsidy (situado) and the sabana, the cultivated Native American lands which supported Indians and Catholic missionaries alike. As David Thomas states, this book is a "rich mine of relevant detail and original assessment." Bushnell's clarity of thought and style is evident throughout, and she builds upon her earlier concepts of the "sacramental imperative," an underlying factor which she believes drove the form and location of the Florida missions, and of the "republic of Spaniards, republic of Indians," her description of the two organisms which confronted each other in Florida after European contact. …


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