“Kulkarni” or scrivener. In: Lopes Mendes, Índia Portuguesa, vol. 2, p. 29


We will study the archival collection known as “Livros das Communidades” (Books of Communities) (hereafter LC). This collection provides a privileged access to imperial politics and village life in Goa. Together with other types of “indigenous documents”, such as “Tombos” and “Forais”, LC is the largest collection of documents produced in the Portuguese Estado da Índia during the early-modern period, which registers the political participation of local populations in the villages. Rural communities produced these documents. Yet these documentation practices also resulted from historical contact between Portuguese structures and Goan societies. Hence, we hypothesize, the Books of Communities also bear witness to the encounter between already existing local writing and archival traditions (namely olas, or palm leaves), and Portuguese practices (binded books, in paper) of record-keeping and written memory.

Researchers Ângela Barreto Xavier and José Miguel Ferreira are involved in this study.

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