A grant by the Spanish Crown to a colonist in America conferring the right to demand tribute and forced labor from the Indian inhabitants of an area.
More example sentences
- The entire Soconusco area became a Crown encomienda, with small-scale plots worked by individual families.
- First, the Franciscans were highly critical of the military conquest of the Indians and of the encomienda system in general.
- The encomienda system obliged Indians to work for the Spanish in order to pay a large tax.
Spanish, literally 'commission, charge'.