Archaeological Review of the Cañasgordas farm
Since the discovery in 1995 of the foundations of the chapel of Nuestro Señor de la Expiración de Cañasgordas (erected in the mid-17th century), by the architect-restorer José Luis Giraldo, archaeological studies have been of great importance to learn more about background the history of this old property that began to be formalized after the purchase that the Spanish captain Antonio Rodríguez Migolla, made from the priest Juan Sánchez around the year 1629 in order to promote livestock activities and the cultivation of sugar cane. It was Rodríguez who precisely promoted the design and construction projects of the sugar mill, the chapel and the main block of the house between 1630 and 1645.
These changes in land tenure and architectural structuring also go hand in hand with the expropriation of indigenous communities such as the Lilies (by the Lili River) who had been transferred from the Arroyohondo sector (Yumbo) to the area. called El Estero (northeast of Cañasgordas). It should be noted that the original land of the hacienda only extended up to the current Corregimiento de El Hormiguero (Cali), covering an approximate area of 25 km² with a limit in what is now called the Cascajal ditch (about 5 km east of the house ). Starting in 1706, the Caicedo family began to take possession of the areas formerly occupied by the indigenous Pances (up to the Jamundí River).
Ceramic fragments belonging to pots and bowls made by these groups of the Quebradaseca archaeological tradition (XIV-XVII centuries AD), have been discovered around the house; Precisely in the same housing areas of the enslaved who worked in the sugar mill (18th-19th centuries) and that have been explored by ICANH archaeologists between 2010 and 2017, according to the descriptions contained in the novel El Alférez Real de Eustaquio Palacios (1886).
This approach had already led to the discovery and excavation of some sectors of the cemetery of the old Vice-Parish (dependent on Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Jamundí) which is also referred to in the literary work. Burials were practiced there until 1862, and by then it was a private cemetery.
Trapiche Review of Hacienda Cañasgordas
The Hacienda Cañasgordas sugar mill, located on the north side of the house, is a building built in adobe, with clay tiles and an L-shape in its distribution, dating back to the 17th century. Although the sugar mill began as a simple and small building – ramada -, during the time it was in operation, this space was modified and grew adjusting to the productive needs that the farm had. It should be remembered that Cañasgordas was one of the great sugarcane producing estates of the time and which found another source of economic income in its processing.
Water was the driving force behind the sugar mill for the extraction of sugarcane juice, which was later cooked at high temperatures until the honeys that would make up the famous “sugar loaf” were achieved. These were condensed for weeks in conical shapes. , removing the excess juice that in some cases would be used for honey, molasses or liquor production.
Along with the extraction mill, the mill had multiple spaces, such as: the oven, where the magic of the transformation of cane juice into sugar crystals and derivatives occurred; production areas, storage and administrative spaces. A good part of the workforce that worked on the farm was for many years, slaves and their descendants, who were in charge of all the activities related to the production of cane, from its cultivation to the production of sugar and honey.
It is believed that in the areas near the sugar mill, it is possible to locate the houses of the slaves, a historical debt pending to be told, a narrative that would complement the already traditional discourse of the Hacienda, its noble owners and families and the independence events in their properties.