From non-verbal communication to the act of mediation: The habitus in interpretation during the conquestand colonization of America
This article describes the origin and evolution of linguistic and cultural mediation in America. The concept of habitus in interpretation is used to describe the communication between different peninsular communities during the 15th century and the exploration of the African coasts. The first type of habitus in interpretation in America is established on the basis of the figure of the Alfaqueque and the so-called silent communication of the Portuguese explorers so as to compare them later on with the first communicative exchanges that occur between the conquerors and the Native American population. It can be deduced from the Chronicles of the conquest and of the American colonization that the habitus in interpretation is born from an act of violence and from a discourse about the Other based on the Western superiority both in faith and in culture.