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Alluvium and Empire: The Archaeology of Colonial Resettlement and Indigenous Persistence on Peru’s North Coast
by Parker VanValkenburgh
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Cloth: 978-0-8165-3263-6 | eISBN: 978-0-8165-4282-6
Library of Congress Classification F3429.1.L35V36 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 985.1402

Alluvium and Empire uncovers the stories of Indigenous people who were subject to one of the largest waves of forced resettlement in human history, the Reducción General. In 1569, Spanish administrators attempted to move at least 1.4 million Indigenous people into a series of planned towns called reducciones, with the goal of reshaping their households, communities, and religious practices. However, in northern Peru’s Zaña Valley, this process failed to go as the Spanish had planned. In Alluvium and Empire, Parker VanValkenburgh explores both the short-term processes and long-term legacies of Indigenous resettlement in this region, drawing particular attention to the formation of complex relationships between Indigenous communities, imperial institutions, and the dynamic environments of Peru’s north coast.

The volume draws on nearly ten years of field and archival research to craft a nuanced account of the Reducción General and its aftermath. Written at the intersections of history and archaeology, Alluvium and Empire at once bears witness to the violence of Spanish colonization and highlights Indigenous resilience in the aftermath of resettlement. In the process, VanValkenburgh critiques previous approaches to the study of empire and models a genealogical approach that attends to the open-ended—and often unpredictable—ways in which empires take shape.

See other books on: Colonization | Empire | Indians of South America | Peru | Relocation
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