A grant by the Spanish Crown to a colonist in America conferring the right to demand tribute and forced labour from the Indian inhabitants of an area.
- 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, 'commission, charge'.
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