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Naboría, a word originally denoting an indigenous noble's dependent. A Caribbean term, perhaps Taíno, naboría was transferred by Spaniards to mainland colonies, where in the sixteenth century it was applied to the evolving and slowly expanding indigenous servant/worker class. Naborías became in effect the first wage laborers of the hemisphere, a minority group of individuals who left indigenous communities to perform semiskilled jobs in colonists' homes, mines, estates, textile workshops, and other enterprises. The term is freely used in the chronicles of the sixteenth century.

As the functions of the naborías became increasingly varied and specialized over time, the term was gradually replaced with more specific labor categories, such as gañán (estate worker) or criado (domestic servant).

See alsoColonialism .


Ida Altman and James Lockhart, Provinces of Early Mexico: Variants of Spanish American Regional Evolution (1976), pp. 18-19, 24, 26, 44-46, 103, 217.

James Lockhart, The Nahuas After the Conquest (1992), pp. 113-114.

Additional Bibliography

Díaz del Castillo, Bernal. Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España. Edited by Carmelo Sáenz de Santa María. Madrid: Instituto "Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo," C.S.I.C., 1982.

Horn, Rebecca. Postconquest Coyoacan: Nahua-Spanish Relations in Central Mexico, 1519–1650. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Pastrana Flores, Miguel. Historias de la Conquista: Aspectos de la historiografía de tradición náhuatl. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2004.

Schwartz, Stuart B., ed. Victors and Vanquished: Spanish and Nahua Views of the Conquest of Mexico. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2000.

                                        Stephanie Wood