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The encomienda was a dependency relation system, that started in Spain during the Roman Empire, where the stronger people protected the weakest in exchange for a service. It was later used during the Spanish colonization of the Americas and the Philippines. The Spanish monarch would assign a Spaniard with the task of "protecting" a specific group of Native Americans.

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Babylon Spanish English dictionary

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n. command, control, domination
v. entrust, commit; commend

A Spanish-English Dictionary (Granada University, Spain), 14.4

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(v.) = consign.
Ex: There ought to be a special kind of Hell to which poor citators can be consigned.
* encomendar Algo a Alguien = entrust [instrust].
* encomendar una tarea a Alguien = assign + task.
* encomendar un trabajo a Alguien = assign + job.

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