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Historia (Santiago)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7194

Historia (Santiago) vol.4 Santiago  2008


Affronts washed with blood: honor, masculinity and sword duels in 18th century chile1



Verônica Undurraga Schüler

PhD candidate in History, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, holder of the CONICYT scholarship. E-mail:

Translated by Cristina Labarca Cortés
Translation from Historia (Santiago), Santiago, v.41, n.1, p. 165-188, enero-junio. 2008.




This works deals with the relationship between honor and social practices in Chile's eighteenth century and analyzes formal duels or expressions of legalized masculine violence. This article explores various manifestations of the social ways used to deal with honor at that time, together with the inquiries about mechanisms used to restore honor and its links with traditional masculinity. Theoretically, this work rescues contributions made by anthropologists and provides an overview of how honor and masculinity have been examined in the historiography. Starting from judicial records, the article considers the transversal character of honor in social terms and approaches its "double significance" as both a relational space for people and as a sphere for the confrontation of individuals.

Key words: Honor, Duels, Violence, Masculinity, Eighteenth Century Chile


Este trabajo aborda la relación entre honor y prácticas sociales en el siglo XVIII chileno, analizando la figura de los duelos o expresiones de violencia masculina formalizada. Junto con indagar en los mecanismos restitutorios del honor y su vinculación a los fundamentos de una masculinidad tradicional, reflexiona sobre las gamas de manejo social de dicho valor en el período señalado. Teóricamente se rescatan los aportes de la antropología y se hace un balance del tratamiento histo­riográfico del problema. Desde los registros judiciales se plantea el carácter trans­versal del honor en términos sociales y se aborda su "doble naturaleza" en cuanto espacio relacional y ámbito de confrontación de los individuos.

Palabras clave: Honor, duelos, violencia, masculinidad, siglo XVIII chileno.




A history of social uses of honor necessarily entails the analysis of the socio cultural value system that all human groups construct to evaluate, reward or sanction the patterns of action and possession –material or symbolic- of its members. Therefore, this leads us to the cultural referents of past societies and opens up windows for the observation of representations and practices that were significant to those that shared the same mental universe2. In this sense, we can say that one of the faces of honor consisted in constructing communication links that make dialogue inside the community possible, forming a common language that crosses society transversally3. Now, these dynamics have not avoided that at the same time honor lend its categories for a game of competitions that break dialogues and boost individual and collective rivalries about its uses and attributes. It is this duality between the spheres of relationships and confrontation that explains the complexity of the phenomenon and sustains this presentation analytically.

Honor, a secular value of traditional societies, has been the object of permanent symbolical struggles inside society to anoint certain cultural forms as "legitimate"4. The control and selection of the many practices and discursive forms – by the power and knowledge of that historical moment – consecrated the discourse of the elites as the real discourse of honor5. The installation of this real discourse of honor as a cultural referent explains the silence – or better still, the hiding – of the other discursive forms existent in the period and that can be read between the lines of, for example, legal registers6.

Besides this elitist discourse there were a series of values, practices and norms that formed what could be called the culture of aristocratic honor, a system of significances that give meaning to a set of behaviors, mechanisms of judgment and of relations with certain economical means. The material fundaments of power were covered with a symbolical burden and became symbols of prestige, just like some types of real estate, certain activities or some agricultural crops that were linked to the elites and were therefore labeled as "noble".

Now, behind the façade of a legitimate culture of honor, that defined suitable ways of use and comprehension, there were alternative and transversal codes that crossed the whole social body. The oneness and exclusiveness of honor, proposed by their real discourse, were only illusory and responded more to the will of order of a few than to the dynamics of the complex social reality of 18th century Chile. This not only tells us, following Frédéri­que Langue, of "the polysemy of normative universes and mental structures"7 of colonial American societies, but also of the update, re significance and manipulation of representations and practices of honor by a large part of the social actors of the period8.

It was a social use of honor, practiced daily and formed from the ethnical, work and gender circumstances that sustained identities and constructed the acceptance of otherness inside the colonial world of Chile. With this, castes, poor Spaniards, artisans or laborers showed their operative capacity to move inside hierarchic structures, detecting and maneuvering the gaps that the structures of colonial domination left unsealed9. This point of view does not pretend to minimize the action of dispositions for submission used on large part of the American population10. Rather, it ratifies its existence, choosing complementary points of view that make it possible to understand the ways in which colonial individuals resisted, adapted, manipulated, and, in one word, lived under those guidelines11.



Although the plurality of codes of honor for colonial America is a known phenomenon, studied by historiography in the last fifteen years, its analysis in the Capitanía General de Chile has not been attended in the same measure by investigators.12 Centered on the already mentioned "true discourses of honor", Chilean historiography has generally conceived this value as an exclusive attribute of the superior groups of society.

If we attend to the classic works of Diego Barros Arana, Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna or Domingo Amunátegui Solar, to mention just a few, we will confirm that the closest observations about this refer to the "aristocratic spirit" of the creoles, that make them incline towards "the honors and distinctions of any kind"13. One or another reference to the conflicts for the order of precedence in official acts, to the acts of noble character or the professions of gentleman in some military order, express in these works the distinctive adscription of the honor practices of the elite.  The genealogic works that seal the identity preoccupations about lineage of the dominant groups, who looked at the material or symbolical fundaments that allowed them to access, reserve or increase individual and collective honor through entailment or titles of Castilla, endorse this perspective14. Meanwhile, Hispanists associated the concept of honor to the noblemen, those sons of good birth, turned into idealized archetypes that crystallized the self perception of moral nobility of elite that remitted vices to the frontiers of its group15.

Later generations, under the influence of European historiography currents like the history of mentalities or structuralism, channeled their interest to areas evaded by other investigators, thinking about codes of conduct and value attributes that informed the cultural reality of the colonial past. This is how in the works of Góngora we find allusions to the basis of an elusive and disputed social prestige, not only coveted by individuals enriched by commerce, but also individuals from the margins of society, those to whom any sign of status was supposedly vetoed, obliged to live anonymously inside the apparently homogenous and generally "vicious" group of castes16.

According to Villalobos, the claim for honor by individuals that did not belong to the elite, responded to the fact that "popular culture could not escape the dominant environment" of a "Hispanic Creole culture" especially preoccupied with honor17. Though the "segment of the dominated" formed a space with its own ways of life to counteract the official culture, many Indians or poor creoles would have aspired to be a part of the regime and participate of its benefits18. In this way, honor was adhered to a unified code formulated by the dominant groups, where any pretension of belonging was equivalent to an immersion in the values of the elite.

From our point of view, we see that despite in several occasions the pretensions of honor of castes and poor Spaniards made them submit themselves to the visions of the world and the parameters of conduct of superior groups, in other instances these same individuals constructed representations and validated practices that were useful to their social status and that were contradictory with the honor representations of the elite19. The social use of honor was immersed in daily life of men and women that turned to its parameters to obtain advantages in the hierarchies of esteem and power inside their own communities, and that were not necessarily at the service of the interests of the elite. This is why an interpretation of honor from the point of view of Hispanics, as an attribute of the dominant groups and a tool of social control, still reproduced the mental structures and parameters of conduct of the elite and evaded alternative manifestations of honor that respond to the particular dynamics of all the groups of this colonial society20.

The access to these is possible through a historiography more concerned with the effective social uses than the general lineaments that prescribed models of conduct, that were not always followed21. In this way, the analysis of the practice of honor in the 18th century makes it possible for us to know the ways in which they dialogued with norms and costumes, generating a creative space of new uses and representations in a dynamic we have called social use of honor.

This sphere of interaction was feasible in the measure that actors from the most diverse social standings participate in it. This leads us to some of the latest historiography discussions about honor. It is already a cliché in the analysis of this issue in colonial America to state that individuals of all social standings were familiar with honor, or asked for this or that gesture or treatment of honor22. However, for a historic moment in which the high spheres of power imposed restrictions of legal, social and origin/color characteristics to those that aimed for honor, the questions we can ask about those who searched, found and flaunted this ideal must take into account the broader social dynamics; mechanisms of cultural circulation, the construction of individual and collective identities. If, for example, we consider the claims of honor laborers or artisans made before justice as a discursive strategy to obtain legal favors, we perpetrate the interpretation of traditional historiography of honor as an ideal exclusively linked to the elite, from which it could eventually "derive" towards the other social groups.

The latter issue has been a privileged variable that has tended to monopolize the historiography of honor in colonial America. The contributions of the history of gender have been vital in these preoccupations, and have tackled topics like sexuality, marriage, family and women. Among these many analyses are the works of Verena Martínez-Alier, Marriage, class and colour in nineteenth-century Cuba. A study of racial attitudes and sexual values in a slave society, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1974; Asunción Lavrín (coord.), Sexualidad y matrimonio en la América Hispánica. Siglos XVI –XVIII, México, Grijalbo, 1991; Patricia Seed, Amar, honrar y obedecer en el México colonial. Conflictos en torno a la elección matrimonial, 1574-1821, México, Patria (Alianza), 1991; Ramón Gutiérrez, Cuando Jesús llegó, las madres del maíz se fueron. Matrimonio, sexualidad y poder en Nuevo México, 1500-1846, México, F.C.E., 1993; Pablo Rodríguez, Seducción, amancebamiento y abandono en la Colonia, Bogotá, LEALON, 1991; Pablo Rodríguez, En busca de lo cotidiano. Honor, sexo, fiesta y sociedad s. XVII – XIX, Bogotá, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2002; Ann Twinam, "Honor, sexualidad e ilegitimidad en la Hispanoamérica colonial", en Asunción Lavrín, (coord.), Sexualidad y matrimonio en la América hispánica: siglos XVI-XVIII, México DF., Grijalbo, 1991, 127-171. Meanwhile, female honor in Chile, from the analysis of trials for the non-fulfillment of engagements, has been studied in Consuelo Figueroa, "El honor femenino. Ideario colectivo y práctica cotidiana", in Diana Veneros (ed.), Perfiles revelados. Historias de mujeres en Chile, siglos XVIII-XIX, Santiago, Editorial Universitaria, 63-89, 1997.

The possibility that these individuals have in fact participated in a particular representation of honor, practiced it daily and defended it when it was attacked, implies a reversal of viewpoint and to propose new analytical categories. These tools may come from two complementary proposals; the anthropological perspective or the historiography outlined by Langue who refers to the "mirror identities". They help us understand the ways in which the elites, poor Spaniards, artisans or castes, to mention just some of the colonial social actors, constructed representations and practices of honor according to their needs of situation and identity. 

When honor is conceived as one of the supreme temporary values of societies, and therefore as a criterion that can be found in any place and group – be it in the Bedouin communities of Egypt, in the towns of Cyprus, inside upper or lower classes – the anthropological interpretation has posed this notion as one of the ways of imposition of socialized types and models of behavior in human societies23. The contributions of the so-called "current of social anthropology of Oxford", made since the mid 1960s, revitalized the studies about Mediterranean honor, offering new interpretations that led to dozens of publications, soon going beyond the frontiers of that group. That is how Peristiany, one of the major representatives of that line of investigation, has pointed out that "as long as all societies evaluate conduct referring it to ideal patterns of action, all societies have their own forms of honor and shame24". With this, ethnocentric claims of an honor considered as the nation's "character" were questioned. Likewise, the anthropological interpretation forced to think of an honor that was not only characteristic of a social stratified structure – in which its prerogative only belonged to the elites –25, but poised clear and precise bases of a popular honor, with structural issues, specific attitudes, definitions of gender, status gradations or mechanisms to appeal to violence, that conjunctly conformed a defined and frequently sophisticated cultural universe26

If we can establish the cultural universality and multi-faceted nature of honor from the anthropological point of view, we as investigators of the particular and diachronic must show the ways in which this code has been used, renamed or challenged in the diverse historical contexts. For the 18th century in Chile, it has been habitual to fall in a simplifying polarity of a "high" culture and another one of "popular" tradition. This hides both the diversity of forms and the existence of hybrid mentalities that could have acted as cultural mediators27. When thought in terms of complements – in dynamics of "mirrors"- more than oppositions we will observe colonial America as a privileged space for syncretism and for the diffusion of cultural models28.



Through the 18th century the city of Santiago was a pole of attraction for population in and outside the Capitanía General de Chile, which came in search of better opportunities29. Women and men from diverse nations, trades and qualities – or identities as defined by origin/color–30, formed a crowd of new arrivals.

 Many of those who came from abroad had connections in the country; they could count on the support of some relative, or at least a compatriot, and temporarily settle in his residence31. Others, like laborers and farm boys, found temporary refuge at ranches of the periphery, conforming a floating population with intermittent jobs who were sometimes confused with vagabonds and loafers32. There were also individuals with some degree of work qualification that allowed them to earn enough to rent narrow rooms in the city. Among them was the hairdresser Pedro Carrera and the doctor Vicente Martres, both Frenchmen, who rented shared rooms with other companions in the area of Cañada baja, close to Calle de los Baratillos33. The link between them, us and the problem that concerns us is a substantial legal process against Carrera for the homicide of his compatriot and party pal Vicente Martres, in a sword duel34. With this event we can get to know snippets of male lives obsessed with honor and reconstruct in detail all the norms, hierarchies and parameters of conduct of a micro society of Frenchmen on Chilean soil in the mid 18th century.

The relationship between Carrera and Martres was strong, stable and independent of their place of residence or trade. Moreover, this bond could be socially transversal, joining individuals of different social and economic backgrounds in loyalty and comradeship. Following the terminology of the time, it was a relationship of closeness from the recognition of the same place of origin of immigrants35.

The tendency of foreigners to look for support in their compatriots was reinforced by a socio cultural context preoccupied with defining identities and constructing the "otherness" of individuals according to their origin. Taxonomical gestures of colonial societies that morally classified and defined individuals according to the purity/impurity of birth also boosted the constructions of identities and stereotypes from the place of origin36. So, geography of birth was conformed that defined characters and modes of conducts, especially visible in Hispanic immigrants, but that must have been the same for Frenchmen in Chile37.

The Frenchmen of the mentioned legal trial established strong bonds of belonging with one another, constructing a micro society with hierarchies and comparisons, norms and transgressions, spheres of interaction and confrontation. Hairdressers, doctors, inn-keepers, barrel-makers, small merchants – or "mercachifles" as they are called in the documentation – were in permanent contact, reuniting in the same places of sociability. They met in inns and boules courts of Santiago and la Cañada was the spot where the two compatriots tried to avenge their honor the night of April 10th 1752. Those Frenchmen that lived off their trades and shared rooms with compatriots to be able to pay the rent approach us to the ways of life of the immigrants that were located in what we could call the "middle level" of 18th century Chilean society. Connected to poor Spaniards, artisans and small merchants, their personal paths express the dynamics of connection and distancing that marked the ways of interaction between them and the local population.

Their preoccupations were far from the subjects that part of historiography has studied about the French in colonial Chile, like their participation in contraband of valuables or their connections with the Hispanic Creole elite through convenient marriages38. Instead, they were about the practice of their work for their daily sustenance, just like many other individuals that lived of their trades. If they interrupted their tasks to attend to places of fun, they always did it under codes of conduct and models of values marked by an honor constructed from their identities. It was the dishonor suffered by one of them in a place of fun that demanded justice through a duel, for ever breaking the history of that community.

We can legitimately ask ourselves what were two Frenchmen doing fighting a duel on Chilean soil in the mid 18th century? If, on one hand, from the point of view of the "high culture" that period has been considered the century of the illustration and the lights, vector of transformations that supposedly made honor an old fashioned ideal, why were men willing to risk their lives for a (from the perspective of the illustration) superfluous and class-conscious ideal?39. What were the circumstances that forced to spill blood of the aggressor as the sole path to restitute the damaged honor, evading the institutional ways to solve conflicts, like justice – through the legal term of slander – or the mediation of renowned individuals of society? Lastly, if the duel has for a long time been considered to be an exclusive resort of the elite, what were two individuals outside the power circles doing, who had trades of precarious social prestige, following the pre-established stages of those violent ritualized exchanges?40.

These questions mark some of the lines we will develop throughout this presentation. They speak to us of the diversity of cultural forms, the ambiguity of the categories of honor and the creative power of social practices. We will observe how the duel – as a social use of honor – threatened the repeated policies of population control by part of the crown and local authorities; these were preoccupied with monopolizing violence in administrative organisms, eliminating practices like private vengeance41. In this way, honor acted as a driving force of conducts of transgression and ceased to be an instrument of social discipline to become the best ally and means to legitimize a violence that could be linked to more "noble" motivations, as a defense of personal dignity42.

Finally, the story of the physician and hairdresser show the ambiguous supports of prestige in Chilean colonial society of the 18th century. To acknowledge the viewpoint of the elite was not enough; prestige summoned different judgments of value according to the sphere in which it was structured. So, if a physician could be despised in the aristocratic circles that remembered the dark origins of a trade linked to barbers and surgeons, this same subject could enjoy ample credibility and respect among manual workers and even small merchants. In the case of the micro society of Frenchmen on Chilean soil in the mid 18th century, we see that the physician Vicente Martres received shows of respect and enjoyed privileges that the hairdresser Pedro Carrera did not. However, the complexity of the network of status is even larger, because it was the honor of the hairdresser that was damaged and he demanded a duel to repair it. The fact that the claims of Pedro Carrera were heard by the physician implies not only that he agreed to the challenge, but that he also acknowledged the legitimacy of the latter's honor. This leads us once again to consider the transversal and polysemous character of honor that could be vindicated by judges and mayors as well as artisans, inn-keepers or hairdressers.



The trajectory of the dishonor of "Pedro the hairdresser" was forged during lunch on Monday august 10th  175243. As always, the group of Frenchmen had gathered in the inn of Pedro Potier, in the lower part of la Cañada. This was the meeting point of the group, a nucleus of sociability that brought them together every day, reinforcing the sense of belonging to a foreign nation. A large table gathered the men, who ate and laughed at the heat of their drinks. All, except Pedro, took part in the male reunion. Marginalized and sitting among the women on the platform, among other reasons for his underestimated task of serving plates, Pedro observed the fun that men and women had throwing balls of bread and grapes at each other from one table to the other. His humiliation was forged from second to second. Why, the hairdresser would think, if that same morning he was playing boules with the physician Vicente Martres, sharing jokes and signs of familiarity, now his companion was sitting at the table with the men while he was degraded in the female space?44

The spheres of male sociability were crossed by different codes that, if in some circumstances – like games – allowed camaraderie between men of different social standings, in others – like sitting down at the table to eat – prescribed more strict rules of interaction, governed by the prevailing criteria of socio cultural discrimination. Like in any society, small as its scale may be, inside the French community we have analyzed there were logics of inclusion and exclusion of its members. The criteria of parity, essentially caused by the conscience of belonging to the same nation, were supplanted by gestures of differentiation that defined hierarchies inside the group. These made it possible that Pedro the hairdresser and Vicente Martres had fun together in the morning, displaying several "demonstrations of friendship" and in the evening locate in unequal places inside the same inn45.

While solidarity between compatriots led Pedro Potier to lend the hairdresser the ovens of his inn to prepare the hairs for his wigs, the perception of intercommunity distances marginalized the latter from the male reunion.

The bond of friendship between the physician and French hairdresser was governed by unwritten, but equally compulsive laws of a masculinity that showed "the approved way to be a male in a determinate society"46. If we consider that the fundamental preoccupations of traditional male identity – power, autonomy, domination and virility – were damaged that afternoon for Pedro Carrera, we will see the scope of his dishonor47. A dishonor that was even graphically expressed in his feminization, his marginalization to the female space.

In the male universe of honor, leaving an offense without amends was equal to cowardice. This showed the tight link between honor and courage, on one hand, and between cowardice and dishonor, on the other. In the case of the former duo, these were attributes that have been linked to masculinity inside the patriarchal structure. From the point of view of psychology, the construction of traditional male subjectivity has been highlighted on a series of bases, like the characteristics of hardness directly linked to violence and power48. In this context, the man carried the imperative to externally defend, if need be with blood, both his honor and that of his family, of which he bore the name49. The practice of male physical violence linked to honor could be used against women – understood as a correction of conducts that had damaged the honor of the father, husband of brother–50, or against another man after an aggression to male honor, caused by a blow, insult, the generation of a rumor or sexual interaction with a women dependent on the damaged man.

The shortest way to get honor was to snatch another man's51. Among manual workers like artisans, butchers or laborers, a man who failed to defend himself from the attacks of his peers was marginalized from male community. As stated by Lyman L. Jonson for Buenos Aires of the time, the stimulus of these types of conducts necessarily carried aggressive reactions that increased disputes in the several instances of male interaction, like local stores, horse races, gambling and card games "generating an interminable circle of challenges and responses"52. Cheating in a game, addressing a woman or declining another glass of alcohol expressed and found their meaning in the fundamental preoccupations of male identity: power, autonomy, domination and virility. Questioning a man's honor, courage or sexual prowess was to question his place in male society.

In this case, Pedro the hairdresser had been marginalized. We don't know how many bread projectiles reached him before he stood up to get some coconuts in the garden to throw them violently at the men's table. Though a subject called don Bartolomé received the fruits on his head, he did not give it much thought and continued eating. This action, or inaction of an individual challenged by another, implied two things. In the first place, that the defied man did not consider the offense to the relevant, because when it came from a man who was not his equal, it did not diminish his honor in the least. According to Bourdieu, challenge – as a source of honor – "only counts if it is directed to a man (as opposed to a woman) and to an honorable man, capable of giving a response"53. The challenge to an equal in the competition of honor implied the acknowledgment of that equality and, therefore, the possibility to recover the lost honor attacking the honor of the opponent. In the referred context, the preeminence of the attacked subject was not only represented by his inclusion in the table of the men, but also by the form of address of "don", with which he was designated by his table companions and by Pedro himself. For the period in question, the use of "don" was not reserved for the descendants of conquerors or colonial elites, but had suffered a semantic displacement that made it possible to grant it – though often after intense fights – to all who claimed clean blood, or who had some kind of prestige inside the community, as in this case54.

In the second place, the unwillingness of don Bartolomé to acknowledge the challenge, meant that the public dishonor of Pedro increased and that he had to act as soon as possible to repair it. The hairdresser approached don Bartolomé: his intention had to be interpreted as a provocation that left the other with no other possibility than to use fists or swords. He threatened him to talk, mocking his silence; when he received no response and as a strategy to obtain recognition as an equal to the men present, he challenged them all, saying that "he was there for anyone of that table" 55. In this way he called on his masculinity, restoring his courage in front of those he had to live with every day. His masculinity – intimately linked to physical force and sexual prowess – was the quality that could reinstate him in the male sphere.



After this, Pedro told his rival to meanwhile have a glass of wine. Knowing his words would not go unnoticed and that they would be interpreted by al present as a direct affront to the conduct of don Bartolomé (associating his behavior to the social image of drunk), the hairdresser aimed to wash his honor with blood. It mattered little if his rival was or not inclined to drink excessively. The relevant thing was that he publicly appealed to one of the most used insults in colonial imaginary to discredit his contender56. As we have pointed out, offenses were public because of the presence of witnesses, who were potential generators of the rumor that would then damage the reputation of the affronted57.  In a world of face to face relationships, in which honor was essential for credibility and social insertion, the permanence of social links with others  not only implied recognition, it was necessary for daily sustenance58.

Given the circumstances, the answer of don Bartolomé could not wait. According to a witness:

"Don Bartholo answered that he was not a drunk for him to call him so, at the same time making the gesture of putting his hand on the chest of the hairdresser, and he then grabbed a knife from the table; and he brandished it and made gestures as if he wanted to use it, so the onlookers moved and the deponent took the knife from his hand, then he was grabbed by the women, who threw him out"59.

The dialectic challenge-response had led the offended part – in this part don Bartolomé – to take the initiative, combining two defense systems. He verbally denies the insult and when he makes the gesture of placing "his hand on the hairdresser's chest" he interprets the role of aggressor. Don Bartolomé fell in the game of the satisfaction of honor for Pedro the hairdresser, appealing to the symbolic-corporal system of honor that made a difference between the upper and lower parts of the body, qualifying the former noble and the latter vulgar60. When he made this gesture, he transgressed what Georg Simmel has called "the ideal sphere" that surrounds the body of every individual61. The violation of that sacred perimeter – be it by a blow, push, scratch or pulling of hair for example – did not only leave physical traces, tangible and exposed to others. Next to physical presence, in each social actor there was a moral presence, a social image of the individual for the group. It was this moral, that we could call "reputation", that was most affected by affronts and its repair was considered to be a reincorporation to the social body62.

Among all the physical offenses prior to the violent exchange in itself, placing a hand on the rival's chest, pushing him or taking him by his clothes was one of the most offensive.

This act did not entail the ambiguity of the pat on the back, but constituted a direct invitation to fight63. That explains the violent reaction of Pedro, who brandished a knife. He was willing to use it in that instant, just like many men used to do to save their honor after insults and aggressions in local stores and inns64. In this case, the witnesses of the dispute prevented it, and what was even more humiliating for Pedro the hair dresser, women ended up throwing him out of the place. However, before this last gesture of disgrace, Pedro managed to exchange some words with his companion of games of that morning. Vicente Martres had said in the middle of the argument, that the hairdresser "deserved to be hit with sticks for his disrespect", an especially dishonorable form of punishment, reserved only for animals or slaves65. When he was about to be expelled by the women - and just a few minutes away from losing any possibility to avenge his honor - Pedro stood in front of Vicente and asked ratification of the offense. When he received it, he provocatively said "see you"66.

The challenge was made. His motives were explicit. His acts defined. Just a small reflection about this last issue: the future duelists. Pedro the hairdresser had to choose his rival between the men of that table. He chose Vicente Martres, an option that can be understood from the camaraderie they had that morning in the boules court.  This implied their mutual acknowledgement as compatriots, members of a male community, which was the basis of the reciprocated perception of the offense. Later, Pedro would confess to Joachim Joseph Telles – his companion of trade who was also his roommate – that after the incidents he was especially upset with Martres because of an insult the latter said to him. It was the expression "picaronazo", augmentative adjective of "pícaro" (scoundrel) that according to the Diccionario de Autoridades evoked everything that was "low, despicable, malicious, dishonorable and shameful"67. That word, pronounced in front of all, really expressed the opinion of the men who were seated at the table: Pedro had no honor.

Perhaps the practice of a prestigious private trade, plus his poverty that forced him to work as a servant in Potier's inn consigned him to an inferior category – "low" as described by the source – in the society of the French68. According to these ranks, Pedro should not have felt offended when he was relegated from the table of men that for these matters, was the table of honor. From that point of view, the hairdresser did not keep his place, transgressing the hierarchies that sealed status inside the group.

We find ourselves faced with the double aspect of honor we mentioned at the beginning of this presentation. In the sphere of relationships, honor built ties of communication that made coexistence possible and set norms for interaction. In the sphere of confrontation, honor was object of continuous disputes and disagreements about its uses, attributions and components. In many cases, these were struggles between divergent representations, related with the particular identities of each one of the colonial subjects. For Pedro the hairdresser, despite the others opinion, masculinity was essential in the representation of honor. It made it possible for him to relate with the physician Vicente Mar­tres, having fun together in male environments, and then get offended by the sexual incursion of the companion – now rival – with some woman.

Actually, there were conflicts pending between the parts, derived from the visits they made to some women called "las Valdivianas" who temporarily located their "house of dates" in the house next to Potier's inn. Their trade did not prevent that Pedro's masculinity was affronted when Vicente Martres started to spend time with the woman he used to be intimate with first69. This not only corroborates the tight relationship between maleness and sexual prowess, amply studied from the historical and anthropological point of view70, it also extends implications independently of the nature of the bond between women and men. This, since literature has tended to associate male honor to the capacity to control the sexuality of dependent women – linked to man through law or blood – be they wives, daughters or sisters. However, for 18th century Chile we have observed that it could in turn be damaged by the behavior of women united in "illicit friendship" to the man. This shows that in these cultural universes civil unions were validated71.

Now, the case that concerns us goes beyond those considerations, and shows the versatility of the social uses that associated male honor with unquestionable sexual prowess. We don't know if there was any kind of formal relationship between the hairdresser and that woman or if the other men knew about Pedro's fondness of her. To our conjectures, we only find silence in legal registers that did not systematically tackle that line of investigation. Instead, the motivations for the duel were sought in the incidents of that same afternoon in Potier's inn72. For now, we have only been able to see the ambiguity of the networks of significations on the diverse types of relationships between a man and a woman in the colonial past.



After uttering that threatening "see you", Pedro had all afternoon to prepare his revenge. He gathered in his room with some neighbors who lent him a long sword, appropriate for the confrontation73. He left the room he rented with a companion of trade, carrying the weapon and his cloak to hide his identity while he waited for Vicente, after dining, to leave the same inn where the argument had taken place only a few hours before.  The hairdresser approached the physician and told him, before another man, that he needed him to visit a sick woman. When Vicente Martres agreed, Pedro Carrera moved away a few meters from his rival and told him that he was the sick person, because of the words that had offended him that afternoon. Propounding dishonor as a disease that marginalizes from the social body and proposing a duel as a means of recovery and reinsertion, Pedro and the physician embarked on a discussion that could only end in a violent confrontation.

Vicente went quickly to his house to fetch his sword and then returned to the accorded place, south of la Cañada. The next morning, when the committal began for the homicide of the physician Vicente Martres, witnesses pointed out that the night before, for a long time, they heard sword noises and then a voice that cried out: "Pedro, I am hurt"74.

Friends and rivals had gathered in the night to wash their honor with blood. The circumstance that had damaged the honor of Pedro the hairdresser and the scene in which the affronts had taken place, forced him to openly claim the attributes of a masculinity centered on domination, physical force and sexual prowess. If his manhood had been damaged so flagrantly that afternoon, he had to regain it by taking that of another man. This explained why he chose violence as a means to repair his honor, evading the institutional mechanisms to solve interpersonal conflicts. On occasions, the revenge of damaged honor was only achieved with bloodshed75. Honor, a part of the "ideal and sacred sphere"76of a person, needed immense atonement in the same field, and was to be repaired through practices in sacred and ritualized spheres. The role of human blood as a substance capable of atoning damages finds its highest expression in the figure of the whipped, crucified and bleeding Christ of the Christian worldview.  The duel as expiation, as amends of damaged honor, finds a restoring balm in blood. Its rules established that the end of the clash was the first wound with bloodshed on one of the duelists77.

The norms of its development gave it the appearance of a ritual; concerned with forms that shifted the accent from substance and function78. In this sense we could talk of a stylization of violence, aimed at disguising the gross reality of the act of a man to man fight, joining bodies, sweating, bleeding. The creation of symbolical universes for its phases, weapons, times and participants, have been considered by historiography as one of the many efforts of the elites to legitimize its practices and differentiate it from the practices of other groups79.

S. Parker, "La ley penal y las "leyes caballerescas": hacia el duelo legal en el Uruguay, 1880-1920", en Anuario IEHS, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional del Centro, Tandil-Argentina, Nº 14, 1999, 295-311; Pablo Piccato, "La política y la tecnología del honor: el duelo en México durante el porfiriato y la revolución", in Anuario IEHS, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional del Centro, Tandil-Argentina, Nº 14, 1999, 273-294; Nelly Porro Girardi, "La defensa de la honra a uso de Indias", Revista Chilena de Historia del Derecho, Santiago, Facultad de Derecho Universidad de Chile, N° 12, 1986, 323-331.

In this case the difference was between a refined violence and one of popular tradition, represented – according to the perspective of the elite – as chaotic, irrational, and informal, with no values or predefined objectives. These considerations have been refuted in the last years, showing that related to certain social values like honor, popular violence could be understood as a system of private revenge, subject to particular norms and codes80. Thoughts like these, from disciplines like anthropology, force us to rethink the categories and clarify judgments about the representations and practices of honor in the colonial past. If popular violence could be related to specific formal values and codes, we must also be open to the possibility that duels were not exclusive of the elite and that honor was not a monolithic code, reserved to privileged groups, with consent of the community.



The hairdresser Pedro Carrera chased an elusive honor, enjoyed its privileges to loose it in a social game of competitions and solidarities, quarrels and camaraderie. From a male universe based on physical force and virility, he had to wash his honor with the blood of a companion and, finally, with his own. He knew that when he saved his honor he risked losing his life, as in fact happened the morning of July 4th 1752 when he was hanged by order of the Real Audiencia, for his confessed homicide of Vicente Martres81.

However, he also knew the costs of a dishonor that would break the links he had with the other members of the micro society of Frenchmen that lived on Chilean soil in the mid 18th century. Only if we consider that honor and related criteria – like good name and reputation – more than superfluous adornments, were fundaments of the confidence that made it possible to establish commercial relationships and camaraderie, we understand he vital importance that value had in traditional societies.

The relevance of honor in the social game of the Chilean 18th century made this a common language that connected an important part of the individuals under its codes and nomenclature; individuals who appealed to its treatments and claimed its gestures. However, individual aspirations of honor were only effective if they were acknowledged socially and this is where discrepancies began that made honor a space of confrontation.  In this, lies the dramatic nucleus of the story of Pedro Carrera and Vicente Martres: the ambiguity of an honor that in some circumstances could be patrimony of all and in others only belonged to a few.



Date of reception: March 2007
Date of acceptance: November 2007



1 This article is part of an investigation for a thesis to obtain PhD in History at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, En busca de honor: Identidades, representaciones y prácticas culturales de los grupos medios y populares en Santiago colonial (1700-18800) directed by professor Jaime Valenzuela Márquez, with the valuable support of CONICYT. A preliminary paper was presented at the V Encuentro de Historia Colonial, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, October 2006.
2 About this, the anthropologist Peristiany, one of the referents in the study of honor in Mediterranean societies, has pointed out that honor and dishonor "are the reflection of the personality of society and the mirror of social ideals". J. G. Peristiany (ed.), El concepto de honor en la sociedad mediterránea, Barcelona, Labor, 1968, 12.  By representation we understand the systems of perceptions and judgment than individuals or the communities of interpretation understand and construct of the social world. Under the concept of practices we will be referring to the experiences and ways how people materialize what honor meant for them. Roger Chartier, El mundo como representación. Estudios sobre historia cultural, Barcelona, Gedisa, 1992. For some critical reflections about the notion of representation, see Carlo Ginzburg, Ojazos de madera. Nueve reflexiones sobre la distancia, Barcelona, Península, 2000, 85-88.
3 About the transversal and polysemous character of collonial chilean honor see Verónica Undurra­ga, "Honores transversales, honores polisémicos en la sociedad chilena del siglo XVIII", in A. Araya, A. Candina and C. Cussen (eds.), Del nuevo al viejo mundo: mentalidades y representaciones desde América, Santiago, Fondo de Publicaciones Americanistas y Facultad de Humanidades de la Universi­dad de Chile, 2008, 53-65.
4 By "symbolic struggles" we understand, following Pierre Bourdieu, the disputes for the appropriation of the distinctive signs that are the basis of the cultural capital of a society. These are "struggles in which what is at stake is everything that, in the social world, is about beliefs, credibility or incredibility, perception and appreciation, knowledge and recognition, name, renown, prestige, honor, glory, authority, everything that constitutes the symbolic power as a recognized power". Pierre Bourdieu, La distinción. Criterio y bases sociales del gusto, Madrid, Tau­rus, 2000, 248.
5 By elite we refer to a select and reduced group of people that had social, economic and political prerogatives in a certain social, economic and political context. See Jacques A. Barbier, "Elite and Cadres in Bourbon Chile", Hispanic American Historical Review (from now on HAHR), 52 (3), 1972, 416-435. We take the notion of discourse proposed by Foucault, as a system of possibility of knowledge. As such, it is not only a way of expression, but a disposition of experiences and knowledge. Michel Foucault, El orden del discurso, Barcelona, Tusquets, 2002; Michel Foucault, Arqueología del saber, Buenos Aires, Siglo XXI, 2003.
6 It is import to consider the sometimes highly deforming mediation of sources produced by the dominant groups. This leads to the discussion about the methodological difficulties to access the unofficial discourses and practices as well as ideas, perceptions and value systems of popular groups. Although the legal archives insert their content inside the power structures of each historical moment, reflecting the cultural models of those who sustained it, they leave some spaces for the expression of the imagery of reality by lower and middle class individuals. Though these persons knew the rules and expectations of the authorities when they found themselves in legal instances, their initial testimonies did not fall in legal formality. This contrasts with the middle and final stages of the trials, in which institutional mediation and styling were clearly expressed.
7 Frédérique Langue, "Les identités fractales: honneur et couleur dans la société vénézuélienne du XVIIIe siècle", Caravelle, Nº 65, 1995, 25 (translation is ours).
8 The social use of identities is referred especially to those derived of origin and color of the colonial actors. Berta Ares Queija, "Mestizos en hábito de indios: ¿estrategias transgresoras o identidades difusas?", in R. M. Loureiro y Serge Gruzinski (eds.), Passar as frontei­ras. Il coloquio internacional sobre mediadores culturais, séculos XV a XVIII, Lagos, Centro de Estudios Gil Eanes, 1999, 133-146; Bernard Lavallé, Amor y opresión en los Andes centrales, Lima, IEP / IFEA / URP, 85-136. When we state the existence of a social use of honor in 18th century Chile, we not only postulate the possibility of negotiation of native identities but of all those linked to the faces of honor, especially in middle and lower groups.  The synonymy between honor and good conduct, or between honor and virility, were some of the mechanisms used by poor Spaniards, Indians and castes to construct alternative representations of honor. With this, the importance of traditional criteria, like lineage, was eluded or at least minimized. See Verónica Undurraga, "El honor no es más que la buena opinión: aproximación al honor a partir de la categoría de lo público en el Chile de 1792 a 1822", Bicentenario. Revista de Historia de Chile y América, Vol. 4, Nº 2, 2005, Santiago, 17-35.
9 The term Spaniard is used here according to the common use it had in the time of this study, that is to say, referring to the individuals that arrived from Spain, the descendants of Spaniards or even those who, because of their phenotype, passed as them. Adding "poor" to that notion, as is frequently seen in the documentation of the time, a material criterion is added to characterize the social status of some "Spaniards" in the colony.
10 The notion of American colonial society as a society of domination, with all the range of nuances that this notion can have, has been studied by several authors. For Chile we can mention, among others, the works of Sergio Villalobos, Historia del pueblo chile-no, Tomo IV, Santiago, Editorial Universitaria, 1999, 211-294. From the point of view of social disciplining, Leonardo León has shown the mechanisms of control of the population by the elite of the illustration. See his works, "Elite y bajo pueblo durante el período colonial. La guerra contra las pulperas en Santiago de Chile", Monografías de Cuadernos de Historia Nº 1, Historia de las mentalidades. Homenaje a Georges Duby, Santiago, Departamento de Ciencias Históricas, Universi­dad de Chile, 2000, 93-114; "La construcción del orden social oligárquico en Chile colonial: la creación del Cuerpo de Dragones, 1758", Estudios Coloniales I, Santiago, Universidad Andrés Bello, 2000, 183-195; "Reglamentando la vida cotidiana en Chile colonial, 1760-1768", Valles. Revista de estudios regionales, La Ligua, Año 4, Nº 4, 1998, 47-75.
11 The strategies of adaptation and manipulation in the social world show the operability of a "specific rationality" in the actions of colonial actors. The term "specific rationality" comes from Giovanni Levi who applies it to the European peasant world of the Old Regime. Giovanni Levi, La herencia inmaterial. La historia de un exorcista piamontés del siglo XVII, Madrid, Nerea, 1990, 11 y 12.
12 Lyman L. Johnson and Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, The faces of honor in Colonial Latin America. Sex, shame and violence, Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1998; María Eugenia Chaves, Honor y libertad. Discursos y recursos en la estrategia de libertad de una mujer esclava (Guayaquil a fines del período colonial), Goteborg, Departamento de Historia/Instituto Iberoamericano de la Uni­versidad de Goteborg, 2001; Sarah Chambers, From Subjects to Citizens. Honor, Gender and Politics in Arequipa, Peru, 1780-1854, University Park PA, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999; Frédé­rique Langue, "Les identités fractales", op. cit., 23-37; Frédérique Langue, Aristócratas, honor y subversión en la Venezuela del siglo XVIII, Caracas, Biblioteca de la Academia Nacional de la Histo­ria, Serie Fuentes para la Historia de Venezuela, Vol. 252, 2000
13 Diego Barros Arana, Historia general de Chile, tomo VII, Santiago, Universitaria-DIBAM, 2000, 308. The description of individuals of mixed race as vicious, with propensity to drinking and gambling, certainly did not contribute to search for fundaments of honor in the middle or lower groups. Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna, Historia crítica y social de Santiago. 1541-1868, Santiago, Nascimento, 1924, Tomo II, 144 y 532.
14 Domingo Amunátegui Solar, Mayorazgos y títulos de Castilla, 3 vols., Santiago, Imprenta, Litografía I Encuadernación Barcelona, 1901; Juan Mujica, Linajes españoles. Nobleza colonial de Chile, 2 vols., Santiago, Zamorano y Caperán, 1927; Luis Thayer Ojeda, Familias chilenas, Santiago, Guillermo Miranda Editor, 1905; Juan Luis Espejo, Nobiliario de la Capitanía General de Chile, Santiago, Andrés Bello, 1967; Julio Retamal Favereau y otros, Familias fundadoras de Chile, 3 vols., Santiago, Universidad Católica de Chile, 1992, 2000, 2003. Also, the several articles by Luis Lira Montt endorse the conception of honor as a principle associated to the elite. His interest for the study of nobility in Indias, as a social institution regulated by the Spanish crown, stems from a historical-legal and institutional point of view.  Some of his works are: "Bene­méritos del Reino de Chile repertorio del siglo XVII", Boletín de la Academia Chilena de la Historia (en adelante BAChH), N° 105, 1995, 51-74; "El fuero nobiliario en Indias", BAChH, N° 89, 1975­1976, 45-78; "La fundación de mayorazgos en Indias", BAChH, N° 102, 1991-1992, 349-386.
15 Jaime Eyzaguirre, Fisonomía histórica de Chile, Santiago, Ed. del Pacífico, 1958, 15-17, 21-23.
16 About the preoccupations of enriched merchants with social prestige see Mario Góngora, Encomenderos y estancieros. Estudios acerca de la constitución social aristocrática de Chile después de la Conquista 1580-1660, Santiago, Universitaria, 1970, 80-87. In his analysis of social urban stratification in colonial Chile, the same author refers to the expectative of honor the mixed race had and their efforts to obtain it through the military ranks in the 18th century. Though these ideas were not systematically developed in his writings, they constituted refreshing pints of view that obligated to center the attention of facets that gave color and mobility to the apparently quiet and grey colonial siesta. Mario Góngora, "Urban social stratifi­cation in colonial Chile", HAHR, 55 (3), august 1975, 440. About the prestige that the promotion ladders of urban militias gave to castes in the 18th century in Chile, see Hugo Contreras, "Las milicias de pardos y morenos libres de Santiago de Chile en el siglo XVIII, 1760-1800", Cuadernos de Historia, Nº 25, Santiago, 2006, 93-117.  
17 Sergio Villalobos, op. cit., 284.
18 Ibid., 294.
19 About the struggles between discordant representations of honor, see Verónica Undurraga, "Honores transversales, honores polisémicos", op. cit.
20 In the reality of colonial Chile, the existence of codes of honor different from those of the elite has remained unnoticed for historiography up until a few years ago, and there is still no systematic study that – dialoguing with documentary registers – shows the diversity of its representations and practices, an issue we are currently working on for our doctoral thesis. Up to the moment, the only works exclusively destined to analyze honor in Chilean colonial society, besides those previously mentioned of our own authorship, have been "El concepto de honor en Chile colonial" and "Mujeres de Chillán luchan por su honra", by Retamal Ávila. In the first, the analysis is centered on the fundaments of power and social prestige of the aristocrats of the 16th and 17th centuries, recording a change in the "concept of honor" for the 18th century derived from the penetration of "new people" in the nucleus of the elite. Likewise, the author accepts the possibility that this notion "went through" the integrants of the "emerging middle group" and even some Indians, especially caciques. In the second article, the importance of female sexual purity is addressed in the conformation of the Hispanic Creole honor. See Julio Retamal Ávila, "El concepto de honor en Chile colonial", Estudios Colo­niales II, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, 2002, 41-56; "Mujeres de Chillán luchan por su honra", Estudios Coloniales III, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, 2004, 113-127.
21 Frédérique Langue has proponed this way of access to the American colonial past, based on the parameters of the 1990s European "new social history". See her work "Les identités fractales", op. cit., 24. For a critical analysis of the contributions and weaknesses of the work directed by Bernard Lepetit, that crystallizes the preoccupations of this "new social history", see the review by Abel Ignacio López, "La historiografía francesa de los años noventa. Bernard Lepetit (director). Les formes de l'experience. Une autre histoire sociale. Paris, Albin Michel, 1995", in Anuario Colombiano de Historia Social y de la Cultura, Vol. 26, 1999, 373-386. The interest for the study of the social practices in the American colonial world has intended to reconsider, for example, the history of institutions, with the accent on the social actors and the adjustment of general norms to local peculiarities. For the legal sphere, see Juan Carlos Garavaglia and Jean-Frédéric Schaub, Lois, Justice, Coutume. Amérique et Europe latines (16e-19e siècle), Paris, Éditions de L'Ècole del Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2005. 23 See note 13.
22 The lines of analysis of Mediterranean honor impelled by the anthropological interpretation have included topics like social position, spiritual kinship or relationships with godfathers, family, hospitality and sexuality. Some of these works are: J. G. Peristiany (ed.), El concepto de honor, op.cit.; Julian Pitt-Rivers, Antropología del honor o política de los sexos. Ensayos de antropología mediterránea, Barcelona, Crítica,1979; Julian Pitt-Rivers and J. G. Peristiany (eds.), Honor y gracia, Alianza, Madrid, 1993; J. K. Campbell, Honnour, Family and Patronage: A Study of Institutions and Moral Values in a Greek Mountain Community, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1964; J. Davis, People of the Mediterranean. An essay in comparative social anthropology, Londres, Routhledge and Kegan Paul, 1977.
23 J. G. Peristiany, El concepto de honor, op. cit. 12.
24 J. G. Peristiany, El concepto de honor, op. cit. 12.
25 For this perspective see José Antonio Maravall, Poder, honor y élites en el siglo XVII, Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1984. In turn, Weber's sociology endorses the connection between honor and "class situation". Max Weber, Economía y sociedad. Esbozo de sociología comprensiva, Santafé de Bogotá, F.C.E., 1997, 687-691.  
26 About this, anthropologists have stressed the multi-faceted nature of honor "and the fact that the different social groups value their facets differently". The representation of honor is articulated in a different context according to the location in the social structure and the specific value given to their different aspects can be explained by this. Julian Pitt-Rivers, Antropología del honor, op. cit., 66 y 140.
27 Already thirty years ago Carlo Ginzburg pointed out the need to reconsider the relationship between popular culture and culture of the elite, avoiding a paternalism that makes the former be a sole reproducer of the ideas of the latter. Though this prejudice has been avoided, replacing the study of the culture produced by the popular groups to the problem of the culture imposed to them, the most attractive solution has been to show circularity between the levels of culture. Next to this, the notion of "popular culture" has been amply problematic, as it gives a false impression of homogeneity and expresses a reductionism cultural division in two levels, thus forgetting plurality of thought, behavior and the specific modalities of appropriation of cultural meanings. Carlo Ginzburg, El queso y los gusanos. El cosmos según un molinero del siglo XVI, Barcelona, Península, 2001 (1ª ed. 1976). About the role of cultural mediators, see Berta Ares Queija y Serge Gruzinski (coord.), Entre dos mundos. Fronteras culturales y agentes mediadores, Sevilla, Publicaciones de la Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos de Sevilla, 1997.
28 Frédérique Langue, "Les identités fractales", op.cit.; Serge Gruzinski, El pensamiento mestizo, Barcelona, Paidós, 2000.
29 To analyse the influence of Santiago inside the colonial economic system see the studies of Marcello Carmagnani, Los mecanimos de la vida económica en una sociedad colonial. Chile, 1680-1830, Santiago, DIBAM, 2001 and Romano Ruggiero, Una economía colonial: Chile siglo XVIII, Buenos Aires, Eudeba, 1965. From the point of view of the mobility of men in search of work and social opportunities see the interesting article, revolutionary for the time, of Mario Góngora, "Vagabundaje y sociedad fronteriza en Chile siglos XVII-XIX)", en Estudios de historia de la ideas y de historia social, Valparaíso, Ediciones Universitarias de Valparaíso, 1980.  
30 McCaa, Robert, "Calidad, Class, and Marriage in Colonial Mexico: The Case of Parral, 1788-1790", HAHR, 64 (3), 1984, 477-501; Roland Anrup and María Eugenia Chaves, "La «plebe» en una sociedad de «todos los colores». La construcción e un imaginario social y político en la colonia tardía en Cartagena y Guayaquil", Caravelle. Cahiers du monde hispanique et luso-bresilien, Nº 84, 2005, 93-126.
31 Just like historiography, our sources show the networks the Basques established from the peninsula with their friends and relatives in Chile, an essential step for their quick social insertion and promising economic bonanza. See, for example, Archivo Nacional Fondo Real Audiencia (from now on A.N.R.A.) Vol. 3205, Pieza 1, 35 Fjs., Santiago, 1794. Don Benito Aspeitía Yañez asks for permission to marry doña Constanza Ferrer. In this file one can see the friendship between the parents of Aspeitía and don Manuel de Salas, who felt the moral obligation to act as the father of the newly arrived Basque, advising him on his marriage plans. See also Trinidad Zaldívar, María José Vial and Francisca Rengifo, Los vascos en Chile. 1680-1820, Santiago, Los Andes, 1998, 36-40.
32 About the spatial mobility of the laborers, see the works of Gabriel Salazar, Labradores, peones y proletarios. Formación y crisis de la sociedad popular chilena del siglo XIX, Santiago, Lom Ediciones, 2000; "Ser niño huacho en la Historia de Chile (Siglo XIX)", Proposiciones. Chile, Histo­ria y Bajo Pueblo, Nº 19, Santiago, 1990, 55-83. The link between loitering and the laborers-farmboys has been studied by Alejandra Araya in Ociosos, vagabundos y malentretenidos en Chile colonial, Santiago, Dibam-Lom Ediciones, 1999, 67-80.
33 Armando de Ramón, Santiago de Chile (1541-1990). Historia de una sociedad urbana, Santia­go, Editorial Sudamericana, 2000; "Santiago de Chile: 1650-1700", en Historia, Nº 12, Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 1974-1975, 93-104.
34 A.N.R.A. Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, 70 Fjs. y A.N.R.A. Vol. 3224, Pza. 10, 9 Fjs. Contra Pedro Carrera por homicidio de Vicente Maestres, Santiago, 1752.
35 The Diccionario de Autoridades, derives "paisanaje", of "paisano". The latter refers to "someone who is from a same country, province or place as another or others. It is formed from the name País". Real Academia, Diccionario de la lengua castellana, en que se explica el verdadero sentido de las voces, su naturaleza y calidad, con las phrases o modos de hablar, los proverbios o refranes, y otras cosas convenientes al uso de la lengua, Imprenta de la Real Academia Española por los herederos de Francisco del Hierro, Madrid, tomo V, 1737, 80.
36 Historiography has amply referred to the problem of ethnic identities, particularly the relationship between the categories derived from mixed races and the "society of castes" and the social structure of the colonial American world. In general terms, we can point out that the initial impact of the statements of Magnus Mörner that established equivalence between "race" and social hierarchies have been questioned from different angles. The criticisms on the nomenclature used, like "race" or "ethnia", do not only express semantic problems, but they pretend to show the ambiguity of cultural identities and the inconveniences of circumventing the tight links between those categories and the mechanisms of domination used by Hispanics. Some examples: Magnus Mörner, La mezcla de razas en la historia de América latina, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 1969; Berta Ares Queija, "Mestizos en hábito de indios", op. cit.; Roland Anrup and María Eugenia Chaves, "La «plebe»", op. cit.; Robert H. Jackson, "Race/Caste and the Creation and Meaning of Identity in Colonial Spanish America", Revista de Indias, Vol. LV, Nº 203, 1995, 149-173; John K. Chance and William B. Taylor, "Estate and Class in a Colonial City: Oaxaca in 1792", Comparative Studies in Society and History, Vol. 19, Nº 4, 1977, 454-487; Carmen Bernand, "De lo étnico a lo popular: circulaciones, mezclas, rupturas", en Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos, Nº 6, 2006,
37 About the construction of identities/otherness from the place of birth, we have referred to the prejudices about Galicians in 18th century Chile and some of the hostilities between them and the Basques in our work "Honores transversales, honores polisé­micos", op. cit.
38 Jean-Pierre Blancpain, Francia y los franceses en Chile (1700-1980), Santiago, Hachette, 1987; Aníbal Escobar V., Francia y la colonia francesa en Chile, Santiago, Imprenta y Litografía La Ilustración, 1920; Fernando Campos Harriet, Veleros franceses en el Mar del Sur (1700-1800), Santia­go, Zig-Zag, 1964.
39 However there are several studies that refute the vision that the coming of the bourgeoisie diminished the preoccupation with honor, especially during the 19th century. See Sandra Gayol, "Honor Moderno: The significance of honor in fin-de-siécle Argentina", HAHR, 84 (3), 2004, 475-498; Sandra Gayol, Sociabilidad en Buenos Aires. Hombres, Honor y Cafés 1862-1910, Buenos Aires, Ediciones del Signo, 2000; Sarah Chambers, From Subjects to Citizens, op. cit.; Verena Martínez-Alier, Marriage, class and colour, op. cit.; Peter M. Beattie, "The House, the Street, and the Barracks: Reform and Honorable Masculine Social Space in Brazil, 1864-1945, HAHR, 76 (3), 1996, 439-473; Thomas W. Gallant, "Honor, Masculinity, and Ritual Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece", HAHR, 105, (2), 2000, 359-382; Kenneth S. Greenberg, "The Nose, the Lie, and the Duel in the Antebellum South", The American Historical Review, Vol. 95, Nº 1, 1990, 57-74
40 About social contempt for the practice of doctors in colonial Chile, see Vicuña Mackenna, Médicos de antaño, Buenos Aires, Editorial Francisco de Aguirre, 1974, 106-117. About this subject, we have an interesting legal process for slander filed by a doctor after a man insulted him degrading his profession. Just as he said, the other individual "with violent contempt and despise of my honor and profession he insulted me notoriously accusing me of being only a bleeder and not a physician". Consequently, he requests the aggressor to publicly deny his words for the "restoration of my honor and profession". Archivo Nacional, Fondo Criminal, Legajo 1, expediente 2, Foja 1, Dn Agustin Gastaldes contra Dn Francisco Pérez por injurias, 1802, Sta Rosa del Huasco. We thank Emma de Ramón for the chance to review this documentation when it was in process of cataloguing. Gonzalo Vial has studied some of the prejudices about trades at the end of the colonial period. Gonzalo Vial, "Los prejuicios sociales en Chile, al terminar el siglo XVIII. (Notas para su estudio)", BAChH, 73, 1965, 14-29. However, we estimate that the author's perspective, particularly centered on the mechanisms of exclusion, must be clarified also including the strategies of recognition by the large part of marginalized individuals. These aspects were tackled by us in the Third Session of
"Cátedras y Tertulias": "En busca de honor en Chile colonial: re-significación, categorías raciales y masculinidad", Archivo Nacional Histórico, 29 de agosto de 2006.
41 About the ways of "private vengeance" in Spain and its domains from the 16th to the 18th century and the difficulties of the crown to eliminate this practice, see Francisco Tomás y Valiente, El Derecho Penal de la Monarquía absoluta (Siglos XVI - XVII - XVIII), Madrid, Tecnos, 1969, 46-80. The policies of social control displayed under the aegis of illustrated despotism amply exceed the parameters of this investigation. For a general analysis of the Chilean case, see Jacques A. Barbier, Reform and Politics in Bourbon Chile, 1755-1796, Ottawa, University of Ottawa, 1980. An interesting line of analysis refers to the efforts of the illustrated elite to "order" public fun under the parameters of civilization/barbarism. Juan Pedro Viqueira Albán, ¿Relajados o reprimi­dos? Diversiones públicas y vida social en la ciudad de México durante el Siglo de las Luces, México, F.C.E., 2005.
42 The concept of honor as a means of social disciplining has been one of the most studied aspects of the subject in historiography, especially in the perspectives of the history of gender. However, these interpretations evade the existence of a social use of honor, capable of turning this notion in a legitimizing element of transgressions of order and official moral. For a summary and discussion of this perspective. see Steve Stern, The secret history of gender. Women, men, and power in late Colonial Mexico, Chapel Hill & London, The University of North Carolina Press, 1995, 14-19.  
43 That is the way in which witnesses, friends and acquaintances of Pedro Carrera referred to him. In some cases, he was also called "Pedro the French hairdresser". A.N.R.A. Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, Fjs. 152 vta, 161vta y 164, among others.
44 About the game of boules and other games of the time see the works of Eugenio Pereira Salas, Juegos y alegrías coloniales en Chile, Santiago, Editorial Zig-Zag, 1947 and Oreste Plath, Origen y folclor de los juegos en Chile: ritos, mitos, tradiciones, Santiago, Grijalbo, 1998.
45 Declaration of the owner of the boules court, who was there when the physician and hairdresser were there. A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza 3, Fj. 163. 
46 Irene Meler, "La masculinidad. Diversidad y similitudes entre los grupos humanos", in Mabel Burin and Irene Meler, Varones. Género y subjetividad masculina, Buenos Aires, Paidós, 2000, 76.
47 For an analysis of masculinity in the popular sectors of the 19th century in Chile, see the works of Marcos Fernández L., Prisión común, imaginario social e identidad. Chile, 1870-1920, Santiago, Andrés Bello, DIBAM, 2003; "Perfiles masculinos al interior de la cárcel rural: historias de reos y soldados en el penal de Rancagua durante el siglo XIX", Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades, Santiago, Nº 3, 1999, 137-168; "Pobres, borrachos, violentos y libres: notas para la reconstrucción de identidades masculinas populares en el siglo XIX", in José Olavarría y Rodrigo Parrini (eds.), Masculinidad/es. Identidad, sexualidad y familia, Santiago, FLACSO-UAHC, 2000, 47­58. The case of Argentina has been studied by Sandra Gayol, who connects masculinity to a popular honor linked to sexuality, physical force and reputation. See her book Sociabilidad en Buenos Aires, op. cit. It is worth noting the similarity of that construction of masculinity in the traditional world, independently of the geographical place. To observe these similarities in 17th century England, for example, see Elizabeth A. Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England. Honour, Sex, and Marriage, London and New York, Longman, 1999.
48 Mabel Burin, "Construcción de la subjetividad masculina", in Mabel Burin and Irene Meler, Varones. Género, op. cit., 130.
49 Consuelo Figueroa, "El honor femenino", op. cit.
50 María Teresa Rojas, "Agresión de hombre, defensa de mujer: una aproximación a la violencia conyugal y la justicia en el mundo popular. Zona central de Chile 1760-1830", Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades, Nº 3, 1999, 89-116.
51 Lyman L. Johnson, "Dangerous Words, Provocative Gestures, and Violent Acts. The Disputed Hierarchies of Plebeian Life in Colonial Buenos Aires", in Lyman L. Johnson and Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, The faces of honor, op. cit., 133. See also, Julian Pitt-Rivers, Antropología del honor, op. cit., 20-24.
52 Lyman L. Johnson, "Dangerous Words", op. cit., 130.
53 Pierre Bourdieu, La dominación masculina, Barcelona, Anagrama, 2000, 67. About this, Pitt-Rivers points out: "When honor is contested, it can be vindicated. Now, the power to contest the honor of another man also depends on the relative position of the contenders. An inferior man is considered not to have enough honor to be insulted by the affront of a superior. A superior can ignore the affront of an inferior, since his honor is not compromised by it, though he may decide to punish his nerve.  The contenders in duel must acknowledge equality, since they are in it in equal conditions […] A man is responsible for his honor only before his equals in society, that is to say, before those he competes with conceptually". Julian Pitt-Rivers, Antropología del honor, op. cit., 30.  
54 About the shifts in the use of "don" and the struggles for the legitimacy of its use, see Frédérique Langue, "Les identités fractales", op. cit.
55 A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza 3, Fj.162.
56 About the persistente of the term "drunk", an insult in colonial times, see María Eugenia Albornoz, Violencias, género y representaciones: La injuria de palabra en Santiago de Chile (1672-1822), tesis inédita de Magíster en Género y Cultura, Santiago, Universidad de Chile, 2003, 43 y 45. William B. Taylor proposed to call insults "fight words", given their role prior to physical confrontation. He makes a distinction of types of insults according to the ethnic identities of those who pronounce them. See his work Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1979, 73-83. For an analysis of insults – amply understood as words and gestures – and social colonial order, see Sonya Lipsett-Rivera, "Los insultos en la Nueva España en el siglo XVIII", in Pilar Gonzalbo Aizpuru (dir.), Historia de la vida cotidiana en México, Tomo III El Siglo XVIII: entre tradición y cambio, México, El Colegio de México, F. C. E., 2005, 473-500. A historiography balance of the topic in the American colonial world, with new proposals, can be found in Cheryl English Martin, "Popular Speech and Social Order in Northern Mexico, 1650-1830", Comparative Studies in Society and His­tory, Vol. 32, Nº 2, 1990, 305-324.
57 Verónica Undurraga, "El honor no es más que la buena opinión, op. cit.  
58 About the tight relationships in traditional Chile, see René Salinas, "Espacio do­méstico, solidaridades y redes de sociabilidad aldeana en Chile tradicional, 1750-1880", Contribucio­nes Científicas y Tecnológicas, Santiago, N° 118, 1998, 1-19.
59 A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza 3, Fj. 162.
60 Marta Madero, Manos violentas, palabras vedadas: la injuria en Castilla y León, siglos XIII ­XV, Madrid, Taurus, 1992, 13 (notions of the prologue by Jacques Le Goff). About the uses of corporal metaphors as expressions of the social order in the colonial American world, see the works by Alejandra Araya, "Aproximación hacia una historia del cuerpo. Los vínculos de dependencia personal en la sociedad colonial: gestos, actitudes y símbolos entre elites y subordinados", in Monografías de Cuadernos de Historia Nº 1, op. cit., 81-91; "La pedagogía del cuerpo en la educación Novo-Hispánica", Estudios Coloniales II, op. cit., 115-157; "Sirvientes contra amos: Las heridas en lo íntimo propio", in Rafael Sagredo and Cristián Gazmuri (directors), Historia de la vida privada en Chile, Tomo I: El Chile tradicional. De la Conquista a 1840, Santiago, Taurus, 2005, 161-197.
61 The Sociology of Georg Simmel, translated, edited, and with an introduction by Kurt H. Wolff, The Free Press of Glencoe, Glencoe, 1950, 321.
62 About the relationship between dishonor and social marginalization in Chile at the decline of the colonial period, see our work "El honor no es más que la buena opinión, op. cit.  
63 The range of interpretations constructed about physical contacts between males in situations of work and leisure in 18th century Buenos Aires has been reviewed in Lyman L. Johnson, "Dangerous Words", op. cit., 132 y 133.
64 We tackle this in the paper "Cuando las afrentas se lavaban con sangre: honor y violencia popular en Chile colonial", III Seminario historiadores de Chile: Mario Góngora. Vida, ideas e historiografía, Instituto de Historia, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, noviembre de 2006.
65 A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza 3, Fj. 164vta. About social significances of bodily punishment, see Alejandra Araya, "El castigo físico: el cuerpo como representación de la persona, un capítulo en la historia de la occidentalización de América, siglos XVI-XVIII", Historia, Nº 39, Vol. 2, Santiago, 2006, 349-367. From the legal perspectiva, see the detailed work of Patricia Zambrana Moral, "Rasgos generales de la evolución histórica de la tipología de las penas corporales", Revista de Estudios Histórico-Jurídicos, Escuela de Derecho, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, XX­VII, 2005, 197-229. For Mexico, see Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Crime and punishment in late colonial Mexico City, 1692-1810, Albuquerque, University of New Mexico Press, 1999, 101-131.
66 A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza 3, Fj. 164vta.
67 Real Academia Española, Diccionario de la lengua castellana, op. cit., Tomo V, 1737, term: «pícaro», 257.  
68 The material poverty Pedro Carrera lived in can be read of the scrawny inventory of his possessions, made by the law after his sentence. This procedure was usually done to cover the costs of the trial.  A.N.R.A. Vol. 3224, Pza. 10, Fjs. 101 y 101vta.
69 Potier's wife pointed out that during lunch, Pedro the hairdresser referred to Vicente Martres as "that dog [that] has me heartbroken because he goes to a house of women that I visit". A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, Fj. 165.
70 Julian Pitt-Rivers, Antropología del honor, op. cit.; J. G. Peristiany (ed.), El concepto de honor, op. cit.; J. K. Campbell, Honnour, Family and Patronage; Pierre Bourdieu, La dominación masculina; Robert Nye A., Masculinity and male codes of honor in modern France, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993; Elizabeth A. Foyster, Manhood in Early Modern England.
71 This is one of the aspects we are studying for our doctoral thesis and have already referred to it in the already mentioned paper "Cuando las afrentas se lavaban con sangre". About the acceptance in the community of men and women living together, without the sacrament of marriage, see the works by Eduardo Cavieres and René Salinas, particularly Amor, sexo y matrimonio en Chile tradicional, Valparaíso, Universidad Católica de Valparaí­so, 1991; René Salinas, "La transgresión delictiva de la moral matrimonial y sexual y su represión en Chile tradicional. 1700-1870", Contribuciones Científicas y Tecnológicas, Santiago, N° 114, noviem­bre 1996, 1-23.
72 When this was known in the trial, the women had already left the place. The ambivalence of the men's position towards them is expressed in several of the witnesses' declarations. Some admitted to frequent them, but at the same time must have felt uncomfortable with their presence in the neighborhood, a position they probably took on before the representatives of justice. A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, Fj. 165.
73 A witness described the weapon as "a large sword, one of those of a well known brand, of squadron with a high quality bluish shimmer". The owner of the sword was "don Ignacio Corona", a merchant that had his store next to the room of Pedro Carrera and his companion. Corona points out that Carrera must have gone fetching the weapon in the room of Joseph Astorga, "a merchant of that neighborhood", he had borrowed it to the night before. In fact, at the moment of the questioning, Corona did not have the sword because he had lent it to the merchant Dn. Juan de Santiago. The expedient does not answer the question if Astorga or Santiago used the sword in a duel, but in any case, the image of that weapon going from hand to hand of the men of the place is highly suggestive. A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, Fjs. 169-170vta.
74 A.N.R.A., Vol. 2537, Pza. 3, Fjs. 160, 163 y 168vta. Pedro Carrera was convicted to death by hanging for homicide.
75 "It is evident that the duel, as understood in classic Europe, places us in the confluence of concepts of different origin: blood vengeance and punishment of insult". Jean-Paul Roux, La sangre. Mitos, símbolos y realidades, Barcelona, Península, 1990, 185. See also Mentalites. Histoire des Cultures et des Sociétés, Nº 1: Affaires de Sang, Paris, Imago, 1988.
76 The Sociology of Georg Simmel, 321.
77 V. G. Kiernan, El Duelo en la Historia de Europa. Honor y privilegio de la aristocracia, Madrid, Alianza, 1992, 162.
78 Pierre Bourdieu, La distinción, 195-197.
79 Bibliography about duels is ample. For Europe, only from the historiographic point of view, we can cite: Claude Chauchaudis, La loi du duel: le code du point d'honneur dans l'Espagne des XVI et XVII siècles, Toulousse, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 1997; Robert Nye A., Masculinity and male codes, V. G. Kiernan, El Duelo en la Historia, op. cit. Also, considering only historiography, for America we can mention: Sandra Gayol, "Duelos, honores, leyes y derechos: Argentina, 1887-1923", en Anuario IEHS, Facultad de Ciencias Humanas, Universidad Nacional del Centro, Tandil-Argentina, Nº 14, 1999, 313-330; David
80 It is a perspective we are developing in an investigation about honor in the Chilean 18th century and that we have already presented in the mentioned paper "Cuando las afrentas se lavaban con sangre". For the anthropological perspective, see Pierre Bonte and Michael Izard (dir.), Diccionario de etnología y antropología, Madrid, Akal, 1996, 732-735; Joseph Ginat, Blood disputes among Bedouin and rural Arabs of Israel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987; Raymond Verdier (dir), La vengeance. Etudes d'ethnologie, d'histoire et de philosophie, Paris, Editions Cujas, 4 vols., 1980-1984. From the historiography point of view, see Pieter Spierenburg (ed.), Men and Violence. Gender, Honor and Rituals in Modern Europe and America, Ohio, Ohio State University Press, 1998. We specially stress the suggesting work of Thomas W. Gallant, "Ho­nor, Masculinity, and Ritual Knife Fighting in Nineteenth-Century Greece", The American Historical Review, Vol. 105, Nº 2, 2000, 359-382.
81 The Real Audiencia revokes the first sentence that convicted Pedro Carrera to torment, applying "the ordinary death penalty, which will be given to him. He will be taken out of prison on a horse with small saddle, with a rope con his neck, and taken – while the town crier informs his crime – to the orca that will be placed on the main market-place and there he will be hanged, until his natural death, and may no person dare to take the body without express permission of this Real Audiencia". A.N.R.A. Vol. 3224, Pza. 10, Fj. 98.