Posted by: | 15th Sep, 2008


The second part of the chronicle was very different from that of the first. One of the things that stood out the most is that Cabeza de Vaca reached/portrayed himself as a ‘god-like’ figure. He now also was a healer, peacemaker and an evangelizer. As a healer Cabeza de Vaca was not only able to cure the sick but also revive the dead; “A la noche se volvieron a sus casas, y dijeron que aquel que estaba muerto…se había levantado bueno y se había paseado, y comido, y hablado con ellos.” (p. 158) I wonder, did Cabeza de Vaca’s healing abilities continue to work when he returned to Europe?

Cabeza de Vaca mentions that at times the indigenous people would cry for him when he left to continue in his travels. Does this show that he truly had a strong and positive relationship with the community? Or is Cabeza de Vaca only trying to further advance his image to the reader?

Another interesting element to this part of Naufragios was how Cabeza de Vaca wrote about his attempts at evangelization. It seemed evident that evangelization was to be a big part of his exploration but I found the process seemed rushed in Cabeza de Vaca’s writing and his voyage. The entire issue of evangelization was cramped into a small few chapters towards the end and touched on only sporadically on a few pages throughout. The way Cabeza de Vaca wrote about evangelization in chapters XXXV and XXXVI it seemed as though he had left this issue too late into his voyage and now had to rush the topic before leaving.

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