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The Repartimiento de Labor was a colonial labor system imposed upon the indigenous population of Spanish America and the Philippines. It was close to the mita system of the Inca Empire: the natives were forced into low-paid or unpaid labor for a portion of each year on Spanish-owned farms, in mines and workshops, and on public projects. The repartimiento system was a slavery-like system, although some workers received low wages.

The repartimiento system, for the most part, followed the encomienda system of forced labor throughout New Spain.

A conquistador would take over and supervise a number of indigenous workers, who would labor at crop fields or mines, or in the Philippines in ship building of the Manila Galleons. The one in charge of doing the reparto ("distribution") of workers was the Alcalde Mayor (local magistrate) of the city. The diminution of the number of Native Americans due to European diseases to which the native populations had no resistance, as well as to desertion from the work fields, led to the substitution of the encomienda system. There were instances when both systems (repartimiento and encomienda) sometimes coexisted. Native American communities that were close to Spanish populations were required to provide a percentage of their people (2-4 %) to work in agriculture, construction of houses, streets, etc. Many were escaping the encomienda system and looking for a working wage. Others signed contracts for six months to a year, during which time the worker was required to be paid a salary (something the Spanish Crown did not enforce or support), provided living quarters as well as religious services.

See also

Cargo system


Jesuit Reductions

Jesuit Asia missions

Spanish missions in Arizona

Spanish missions in California

Spanish missions in Mexico

Spanish Missions in the Sonoran Desert

Spanish missions in Texas

Spanish missions in Trinidad

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Repartimiento

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