By Michael Warner
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Extra info for Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory
As the latter lift their hands to heaven, it's as if they're proto-Christians, at the very least testifying to the universality of the Judeo-Christian condemnation of "unnatural" sexuality. Serving as a mirror of European belief, this split representation of Indians permits the covering over of divisions within the invading troops. For Balboa himself is no noble or gentleman, although that is the position he strives to achieve in his conquests. The representation of the Indians (which, of course, starts with believing that they are ruled by a king, and that their society is divided along European class lines) serves to dissimulate Balboa's power grab within Spanish society.
14 These two men are the only named figures in Clastres, and although both cross-dress, they are otherwise quite different. One of them is the maladjusted Chachubutawachugi, who refuses to carry his basket as women do, and who refuses to behave as a woman. How he came to be a basket-carrier is not spelled out — bad luck in hunting, or some such event, has led him to be stigmatized and denied male prerogatives. The other basket-carrier, Krembegi, Clastres applauds as a model of social adjustment, and he offers his liberal endorsement of the tribe that has found room for him.
Here is the scene in Peter Martyr: [Balboa] founde the house of this kynge infected with most abhominable and unnaturall lechery. For he founde the kynges brother and many other younge men in womens apparell, smoth & effeminately decked, which by the report of such as dwelte abowte hym, he abused with preposterous venus. Of these abowte the number of fortie, he commaunded to bee gyven for a pray to his dogges. (89v) A number of elements in this description make it clear that sodomy is its subject even though the term is never used.