The essays in Amazonia and the Andes focus on indigenous mediation of colonialism in Latin America. Articles consider child sorcery and colonial violence, the persistence of Incan symbolism and hierarchy, and forms of indigenous historicity. There are also essays on cannibalism, Brazilian and Andean identity, and the “Ecological Indian” and a dramatic reevaluation of the authenticity of Fray Diego de Landa’s writing on the Maya.
Contibutors. David Cahill, Mark Goodale, Edward O. Kohn, Frank Salomon, Fernando Santos-Granero
In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred.
Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors.
Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.
Explores the relationship between indigenous people, the management of natural resources, and the development process in a modernizing region of Chile
Aymara Indians are a geographically isolated, indigenous people living in the Andes Mountains near Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the most arid regions of the world. As rapid economic growth in the area has begun to divert scarce water to hydroelectric and agricultural projects, the Aymara struggle to maintain their sustainable and traditional systems of water use, agriculture, and pastoralism.
In Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes, Amy Eisenberg provides a detailed exploration of the ethnoecological dimensions of the tension between the Aymara, whose economic, spiritual, and social life are inextricably tied to land and water, and three major challenges: the paving of Chile Highway 11, the diversion of the Altiplano waters of the Río Lauca for irrigation and power-generation, and Chilean national park policies regarding Aymara communities, their natural resources, and cultural properties within Parque Nacional Lauca, the International Biosphere Reserve.
Pursuing collaborative research, Eisenberg performed ethnographic interviews with Aymara people in more than sixteen Andean villages, some at altitudes of 4,600 meters. Drawing upon botany, agriculture, natural history, physical and cultural geography, history, archaeology, and social and environmental impact assessment, she presents deep, multifaceted insights from the Aymara’s point of view.
Illustrated with maps and dramatic photographs by John Amato, Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes provides an account of indigenous perspectives and concerns related to economic development that will be invaluable to scholars and policy-makers in the fields of natural and cultural resource preservation in and beyond Chile.
Why can’t a Quechua speaker wear pants? Anna M. Babel uses this question to open an analysis of language and social structure at the border of eastern and western, highland and lowland Bolivia. Through an exploration of categories such as political affiliation, ethnic identity, style of dress, and history of migration, she describes the ways that people understand themselves and others as Quechua speakers, Spanish speakers, or something in between.
Between the Andes and the Amazon is ethnography in storytelling form, a rigorous yet sensitive exploration of how people understand themselves and others as members of social groups through the words and languages they use.
Drawing on fifteen years of ethnographic research, Babel offers a close examination of how people produce oppositions, even as they might position themselves “in between” those categories. These oppositions form the raw material of the social system that people accept as “normal” or “the way things are.” Meaning-making happens through language use and language play, Babel explains, and the practice of using Spanish versus Quechua is a claim to an identity or a social position. Babel gives personal perspectives on what it is like to live in this community, focusing on her own experiences and those of her key consultants. Between the Andes and the Amazon opens new ways of thinking about what it means to be a speaker of an indigenous or colonial language—or a mix of both.
In Beyond the Lettered City, the anthropologist Joanne Rappaport and the art historian Tom Cummins examine the colonial imposition of alphabetic and visual literacy on indigenous groups in the northern Andes. They consider how the Andean peoples received, maintained, and subverted the conventions of Spanish literacy, often combining them with their own traditions. Indigenous Andean communities neither used narrative pictorial representation nor had alphabetic or hieroglyphic literacy before the arrival of the Spaniards. To absorb the conventions of Spanish literacy, they had to engage with European symbolic systems. Doing so altered their worldviews and everyday lives, making alphabetic and visual literacy prime tools of colonial domination. Rappaport and Cummins advocate a broad understanding of literacy, including not only reading and writing, but also interpretations of the spoken word, paintings, wax seals, gestures, and urban design. By analyzing secular and religious notarial manuals and dictionaries, urban architecture, religious images, catechisms and sermons, and the vast corpus of administrative documents produced by the colonial authorities and indigenous scribes, they expand Ángel Rama’s concept of the lettered city to encompass many of those who previously would have been considered the least literate.
In December 2005, following a series of convulsive upheavals that saw the overthrow of two presidents in three years, Bolivian peasant leader Evo Morales became the first Indian president in South American history. Consequently, according to S. Sándor John, Bolivia symbolizes new shifts in Latin America, pushed by radical social movements of the poor, the dispossessed, and indigenous people once crossed off the maps of "official" history. But, as John explains, Bolivian radicalism has a distinctive genealogy that does not fit into ready-made patterns of the Latin American left.
According to its author, this book grew out of a desire to answer nagging questions about this unusual place. Why was Bolivia home to the most persistent and heroically combative labor movement in the Western Hemisphere? Why did this movement take root so deeply and so stubbornly? What does the distinctive radical tradition of Trotskyism in Bolivia tell us about the past fifty years there, and what about the explosive developments of more recent years? To answer these questions, John clearly and carefully pieces together a fragmented past to show a part of Latin American radical history that has been overlooked for far too long. Based on years of research in archives and extensive interviews with labor, peasant, and student activists—as well as Chaco War veterans and prominent political figures—the book brings together political, social, and cultural history, linking the origins of Bolivian radicalism to events unfolding today in the country that calls itself "the heart of South America."
Winner of the 2003 Senior Book Prize from the American Ethnological Society.
Cholas and Pishtacos are two provocative characters from South American popular culture—a sensual mixed-race woman and a horrifying white killerwho show up in everything from horror stories and dirty jokes to romantic novels and travel posters. In this elegantly written book, these two figures become vehicles for an exploration of race, sex, and violence that pulls the reader into the vivid landscapes and lively cities of the Andes. Weismantel's theory of race and sex begins not with individual identity but with three forms of social and economic interaction: estrangement, exchange, and accumulation. She maps the barriers that separate white and Indian, male and female-barriers that exist not in order to prevent exchange, but rather to exacerbate its inequality.
Weismantel weaves together sources ranging from her own fieldwork and the words of potato sellers, hotel maids, and tourists to classic works by photographer Martin Chambi and novelist José María Arguedas. Cholas and Pishtacos is also an enjoyable and informative introduction to a relatively unknown region of the Americas.
Set against the background of Bolivia’s prominent urban festival parades and the country’s recent appearance on the front lines of antiglobalization movements, Circuits of Culture is the first social analysis of Bolivian film and television, their circulation through the social and national landscape, and the emergence of the country’s indigenous video movement.
At the heart of Jeff Himpele’s examination is an ethnography of the popular television program, The Open Tribunal of the People. The indigenous and underrepresented majorities in La Paz have used the talk show to publicize their social problems and seek medical and legal assistance from the show’s hosts and the political party they launched. Himpele studies the program in order to identify the possibilities of the mass media as a site for political discourse and as a means of social action.
Charting as well the history of Bolivia’s media culture, Himpele perceptively investigates cinematic media as sites for understanding the modernization of Bolivia, its social movements, and the formation of indigenous identities, and in doing so provides a new framework for exploring the circulation of culture as a way of creating publics, political movements, and producing media.
Jeff D. Himpele is associate director for the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning at Princeton University. He is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker; his films include the award-winning Incidents of Travel in Chichen Itza and Taypi Kala: Six Visions of Tiwanaku.
With spears and arrows, atl-atls and slings, the people of the New World fought to defend themselves against European invasion and conquest. Over a century of scholarship on warfare has substantially enhanced our understanding of the scope and scale of violent conflict in Pre-Columbian America. Yet we still struggle to understand the nuances of indigenous warfare and its importance for native politics and society. This volume sheds new light on the nature of war in Mesoamerica and the Andes. Relying on methodological and theoretical developments in anthropological archaeology, bioarchaeology, and ethnohistory, contributors highlight the particularities of warfare in indigenous societies and examine the commonalities of warfare in cross-cultural perspective. Their essays focus on place and the body, as they explore the importance of captive-taking, sacrifice, performance, and political history in the conduct of war. Observers have debated whether the indigenous peoples of the Americas were distinctly noble or frightfully savage in their way of war. This volume shows that such polarized positions are unfounded. By focusing on the nuances of indigenous violent conflict, the contributors demonstrate that war in the Americas was much like war elsewhere in the ancient and modern world: strategic, political, bloody, socially productive, yet terribly destructive.
Until now, Andean peasants have primarily been thought of by scholars as isolated subsistence farmers, "resistant" to money and to different markets in the region. Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the Andes overturns this widely held assumption and puts in its place a new perspective as it explores the dynamic between Andean cultural, social, and economic practices and the market forces of a colonial and postcolonial mercantile economy. Bringing together the work of outstanding scholars in Andean history, anthropology, and ethnohistory, these pioneering essays show how, from the very earliest period of Spanish rule, Andean peasants and their rulers embraced the new economic opportunities and challenged or subverted the new structures introduced by the colonial administration. They also convincingly explain why in the twentieth century the mistaken idea developed that Andean peasants were conservative and unable to participate effectively in different markets, and reveal how closely ethnic inequalities were tied to evolving market relations. Inviting a critical reconsideration of ethnic, class, and gender issues in the context of rural Andean markets, this book will revise the prevailing view of Andean history and provide a more fully informed picture of the complex mercantile activities of Andean peasants.
This book explores the life and times of Ecuador's most controversial politician within the broader context of the new political history, addressing five major themes of nineteenth-century Latin American history: the creation of political networks, the divisiveness of regionalism, the bitterness of the liberal-conservative ideological divide, the complicating problem of caudillismo, and the quest for progress and modernization.
Two myths traditionally associated with García Moreno's rule are debunked. The first is that he created a theocracy in Ecuador. Instead, the book argues that he negotiated a concordat with the Papacy giving the national government control over the church's secular responsibilities, and subordinated the clergy, many of whom were highly critical of García Moreno, to the conservative state. A second, frequently repeated generalization is that he created a conservative dictatorship out of touch with the liberal age in which he lived. Instead, the book argues that moderates held sway during the first nine years of García Moreno's period of influence, and only during his final term did he achieve the type of conservative state he thought necessary to advance his progressive nation-building agenda.
In sum, this book enriches our understanding of many of the notions of state formation by suggesting that conservatives like García Moreno envisioned a program of material progress and promoting national unity under a very different formula from that of nineteenth-century liberals.
Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city, has the most intense regional culture in the central Andes. Arequipeños fiercely conceive of themselves as exceptional and distinctive, yet also broadly representative of the nation’s overall hybrid nature—a blending of coast (modern, “white”) and sierra (traditional, “indigenous”). The Independent Republic of Arequipa investigates why and how this regional identity developed in a boom of cultural production after the War of the Pacific (1879–1884) through the mid-twentieth century.
Drawing on decades of ethnographic fieldwork, Thomas F. Love offers the first anthropological history of southwestern Peru’s distinctive regional culture. He examines both its pre-Hispanic and colonial altiplano foundations (anchored in continuing pilgrimage to key Marian shrines) and the nature of its mid-nineteenth century “revolutionary” identity in cross-class resistance to Lima’s autocratic control of nation-building in the post-Independence state. Love then examines Arequipa’s early twentieth-century “mestizo” identity (an early and unusual case of “browning” of regional identity) in the context of raging debates about the “national question” and the “Indian problem,” as well as the post-WWII development of extravagant displays of distinctive bull-on-bull fighting that now constitute the very performance of regional identity. Love’s research reveals that Arequipa’s “traditional” local culture, symbolically marked by populist, secular, and rural elements, was in fact a project of urban-based, largely middle-class cultural entrepreneurs, invented to counter continuing Limeño autocratic power, marked by nostalgia, and anxious about the inclusion of the nation’s indigenous majority as full modern citizens.
Latin American indigenous media production has recently experienced a noticeable boom, specifically in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia. Indianizing Film zooms in on a selection of award-winning and widely influential fiction and docudrama shorts, analyzing them in the wider context of indigenous media practices and debates over decolonizing knowledge. Within this framework, Freya Schiwy approaches questions of gender, power, and representation.
Schiwy argues that instead of solely creating entertainment through their work indigenous media activists are building communication networks that encourage interaction between diverse cultures. As a result, mainstream images are retooled, permitting communities to strengthen their cultures and express their own visions of development and modernization. Indianizing Film encourages readers to consider how indigenous media contributes to a wider understanding of decolonization and anticolonial study against the universal backdrop of the twenty-first century.
As indigenous peoples in Latin America have achieved greater prominence and power, international agencies have attempted to incorporate the agendas of indigenous movements into development policymaking and project implementation. Transnational networks and policies centered on ethnically aware development paradigms have emerged with the goal of supporting indigenous cultures while enabling indigenous peoples to access the ostensible benefits of economic globalization and institutionalized participation. Focused on Bolivia and Ecuador, Indigenous Development in the Andes is a nuanced examination of the complexities involved in designing and executing “culturally appropriate” development agendas. Robert Andolina, Nina Laurie, and Sarah A. Radcliffe illuminate a web of relations among indigenous villagers, social movement leaders, government officials, NGO workers, and staff of multilateral agencies such as the World Bank.
The authors argue that this reconfiguration of development policy and practice permits Ecuadorian and Bolivian indigenous groups to renegotiate their relationship to development as subjects who contribute and participate. Yet it also recasts indigenous peoples and their cultures as objects of intervention and largely fails to address fundamental concerns of indigenous movements, including racism, national inequalities, and international dependencies. Andean indigenous peoples are less marginalized, but they face ongoing dilemmas of identity and agency as their fields of action cross national boundaries and overlap with powerful institutions. Focusing on the encounters of indigenous peoples with international development as they negotiate issues related to land, water, professionalization, and gender, Indigenous Development in the Andes offers a comprehensive analysis of the diverse consequences of neoliberal development, and it underscores crucial questions about globalization, governance, cultural identity, and social movements.
Via military conquest, Catholic evangelization, and intercultural engagement and struggle, a vast array of knowledge circulated through the Spanish viceroyalties in Mexico and the Andes. This collection highlights the critical role that indigenous intellectuals played in this cultural ferment. Scholars of history, anthropology, literature, and art history reveal new facets of the colonial experience by emphasizing the wide range of indigenous individuals who used knowledge to subvert, undermine, critique, and sometimes enhance colonial power. Seeking to understand the political, social, and cultural impact of indigenous intellectuals, the contributors examine both ideological and practical forms of knowledge. Their understanding of "intellectual" encompasses the creators of written texts and visual representations, functionaries and bureaucrats who interacted with colonial agents and institutions, and organic intellectuals.
Contributors. Elizabeth Hill Boone, Kathryn Burns, John Charles, Alan Durston, María Elena Martínez, Tristan Platt, Gabriela Ramos, Susan Schroeder, John F. Schwaller, Camilla Townsend, Eleanor Wake, Yanna Yannakakis
Ruins and remnants of the past are endowed with life, rather than mere relics handed down from previous generations. Living Ruins explores some of the ways Indigenous people relate to the material remains of human activity and provides an informed and critical stance that nuances and contests institutionalized patrimonialization discourse on vestiges of the past in present landscapes.
Ten case studies from the Maya region, Amazonia, and the Andes detail and contextualize narratives, rituals, and a range of practices and attitudes toward different kinds of vestiges. The chapters engage with recently debated issues such as regimes of historicity and knowledge, cultural landscapes, conceptions of personhood and ancestrality, artifacts, and materiality. They focus on Indigenous perspectives rather than mainstream narratives such as those mediated by UNESCO, Hollywood, travel agents, and sometimes even academics. The contributions provide critical analyses alongside a multifaceted account of how people relate to the place/time nexus, expanding our understanding of different ontological conceptualizations of the past and their significance in the present.
Living Ruins adds to the lively body of work on the invention of tradition, Indigenous claims on their lands and history, “retrospective ethnogenesis,” and neo-Indianism in a world where tourism, NGOs, and Western essentialism are changing Indigenous attitudes and representations. This book is significant to anyone interested in cultural heritage studies, Amerindian spirituality, and Indigenous engagement with archaeological sites in Latin America.
Contributors: Cedric Becquey, Laurence Charlier Zeineddine, Marie Chosson, Pablo Cruz, Philippe Erikson, Antoinette Molinié, Fernando Santos-Granero, Emilie Stoll, Valentina Vapnarsky, Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen
Living with the Dead in the Andes
Edited by Izumi Shimada and James L. Fitzsimmons University of Arizona Press, 2015 Library of Congress PM4176.S2 | Dewey Decimal 497.4
The Andean idea of death differs markedly from the Western view. In the Central Andes, particularly the highlands, death is not conceptually separated from life, nor is it viewed as a permanent state. People, animals, and plants simply transition from a soft, juicy, dynamic life to drier, more lasting states, like dry corn husks or mummified ancestors. Death is seen as an extension of vitality.
Living with the Dead in the Andes considers recent research by archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, ethnographers, and ethnohistorians whose work reveals the diversity and complexity of the dead-living interaction. The book’s contributors reap the salient results of this new research to illuminate various conceptions and treatments of the dead: “bad” and “good” dead, mummified and preserved, the body represented by art or effigies, and personhood in material and symbolic terms.
Death does not end or erase the emotional bonds established in life, and a comprehensive understanding of death requires consideration of the corpse, the soul, and the mourners. Lingering sentiment and memory of the departed seems as universal as death itself, yet often it is economic, social, and political agendas that influence the interactions between the dead and the living.
Nine chapters written by scholars from diverse countries and fields offer data-rich case studies and innovative methodologies and approaches. Chapters include discussions on the archaeology of memory, archaeothanatology (analysis of the transformation of the entire corpse and associated remains), a historical analysis of postmortem ritual activities, and ethnosemantic-iconographic analysis of the living-dead relationship. This insightful book focuses on the broader concerns of life and death.
Westerners think of time as a measure of duration, a metric quantity that is continuous, homogeneous, unchangeable, and never ending—a reality that lies outside of human existence. How did the people of Mesoamerica and the Andes, isolated as they were from the rest of the world, conceive of their histories? How and why did they time their rituals? What knowledge can we acquire about their time from studying the material record they have left behind?
This volume brings together specialists in anthropology, archaeology, art history, astronomy, and the history of science to contemplate concrete and abstract temporal concepts gleaned from the Central Mexicans, Mayans, and Andeans. Contributors first address how people reckon and register time; they compare the western linear, progressive way of knowing time with the largely cyclic notions of temporality derived from the Americas, and they dissect, explain, and explore the origins of the complex dynastic and ritual calendars of the Maya, Inca, and Aztecs. They subsequently consider how people sense time and its moral dimensions. Time becomes an inescapable feature of the process of perception, an entity that occupies a succession of moments rather than the knife-edge present ingrained in our Western minds.
Since the days of the Spanish Conquest, the indigenous populations of Andean Bolivia have struggled to preserve their textile-based writings. This struggle continues today, both in schools and within the larger culture. The Metamorphosis of Heads explores the history and cultural significance of Andean textile writings--weavings and kipus (knotted cords), and their extreme contrasts in form and production from European alphabet-based texts. Denise Arnold examines the subjugation of native texts in favor of European ones through the imposition of homogenized curricula by the Educational Reform Law. As Arnold reveals, this struggle over language and education directly correlates to long-standing conflicts for land ownership and power in the region, since the majority of the more affluent urban population is Spanish speaking, while indigenous languages are spoken primarily among the rural poor. <I>The Metamorphosis of Heads</I> acknowledges the vital importance of contemporary efforts to maintain Andean history and cultural heritage in schools, and shows how indigenous Andean populations have incorporated elements of Western textual practices into their own textual activities.
Based on extensive fieldwork over two decades, and historical, anthropological, and ethnographic research, Denise Arnold assembles an original and richly diverse interdisciplinary study. The textual theory she proposes has wider ramifications for studies of Latin America in general, while recognizing the specifically regional practices of indigenous struggles in the face of nation building and economic globalization.
The Money Doctor in the Andes is an account of the technical assistance missions to five Andean republics—Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru—undertaken by Princeton University economist Edwin Walter Kemmerer during the 1920s. Drake demonstrates that in each case the Kemmerer mission recommended an identical series of monetary, fiscal, and banking reforms, adding occasional recommendations on everything from administrative reorganization to penal code reform as local circumstances seemed to warrant. In each case, too, local legislatures adopted all the main Kemmerer proposals virtually without debate or modifications.
Drake links the Kemmerer missions to vital developments in the political economic history of the Andean republics in the interwar period. He analyzes the domestic interest groups and political forces whose convergent strategies gave the Kemmerer missions their remarkable record in achieving local success for the reforms proposed. Second, Drake situates the Kemmerer missions at the center of a process of political modernization that created new institutions and policy agencies in each of the five countries; the missions thereby contributed to the expansion of the central government as an agent of development in ways that later differed sharply from Kemmerer's orthodox policies. Finally, The Money Doctor in the Andes regards developments in the Andean countries in the context of the region's developing economic ties to the United States. Expectations that Kemmerer's plans would simultaneously attract foreign capital and control inflation drew support from sectors as diverse as trade unions and landowners. When the Depression deepened, Kemmerer's policies proved counterproductive and the fragile consensus that had installed them fell apart, but the political and administrative reforms endured—with far-reaching consequences.
In the Andean city of Otavalo, Ecuador, a cultural renaissance is now taking place against a backdrop of fading farming traditions, transnational migration, and an influx of new consumer goods. Recently, Otavalenos have transformed their textile trade into a prosperous tourist industry, exporting colorful weavings around the world.
Tracing the connections among newly invented craft traditions, social networks, and consumption patterns, Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld highlights the way ethnic identities and class cultures materialize in a sensual world that includes luxurious woven belts, powerful stereos, and garlic roasted cuyes (guinea pigs). Yet this case reaches beyond the Andes. He shows how local and global interactions intensify the cultural expression of the world's emerging "native middle classes," at times leaving behind those unable to afford the new trappings of indigenous identity.
Colloredo-Mansfeld also comments on his experiences working as an artist in Otavalo. His drawings, along with numerous photographs, animate this engaging study in economic anthropology.
In Bolivia today, the ability to speak an indigenous language is highly valued among educated urbanites as a useful job skill, but a rural person who speaks a native language is branded with lower social status. Likewise, chewing coca in the countryside spells “inferior indian,” but in La Paz jazz bars it’s decidedly cool. In the Andes and elsewhere, the commodification of indianness has impacted urban lifestyles as people co-opt indigenous cultures for qualities that emphasize the uniqueness of their national culture.
This volume looks at how metropolitan ideas of nation employed by politicians, the media and education are produced, reproduced, and contested by people of the rural Andes—people who have long been regarded as ethnically and racially distinct from more culturally European urban citizens. Yet these peripheral “natives” are shown to be actively engaged with the idea of the nation in their own communities, forcing us to re-think the ways in which indigeneity is defined by its marginality.
The contributors examine the ways in which numerous identities—racial, generational, ethnic, regional, national, gender, and sexual—are both mutually informing and contradictory among subaltern Andean people who are more likely now to claim an allegiance to a nation than ever before. Although indians are less often confronted with crude assimilationist policies, they continue to face racism and discrimination as they struggle to assert an identity that is more than a mere refraction of the dominant culture. Yet despite the language of multiculturalism employed even in constitutional reform, any assertion of indian identity is likely to be resisted. By exploring topics as varied as nation-building in the 1930s or the chuqila dance, these authors expose a paradox in the relation between indians and the nation: that the nation can be claimed as a source of power and distinct identity while simultaneously making some types of national imaginings unattainable.
Whether dancing together or simply talking to one another, the people described in these essays are shown creating identity through processes that are inherently social and interactive. To sing, to eat, to weave . . . In the performance of these simple acts, bodies move in particular spaces and contexts and do so within certain understandings of gender, race and nation. Through its presentation of this rich variety of ethnographic and historical contexts, Natives Making Nation provides a finely nuanced view of contemporary Andean life.
Organized in the mid-1970s as a means of communal protection against livestock rustling and general thievery in Peru’s rugged northern mountains, the rondas campesinas (peasants who make the rounds) grew into an entire system of peasant justice and one of the most significant Andean social movements of the late twentieth century. Nightwatch is the first full-length ethnography and the only study in English to examine this grassroots agrarian social movement, which became a rallying point for rural pride. Drawing on fieldwork conducted over the course of a decade, Orin Starn chronicles the historical conditions that led to the formation of the rondas, the social and geographical expansion of the movement, and its gradual decline in the 1990s. Throughout this anecdotal yet deeply analytical account, the author relies on interviews with ronda participants, villagers, and Peru’s regional and national leaders to explore the role of women, the involvement of nongovernmental organizations, and struggles for leadership within the rondas. Starn moves easily from global to local contexts and from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, presenting this movement in a straightforward manner that makes it accessible to both specialists and nonspecialists. An engagingly written story of village mobilization, Nightwatch is also a meditation on the nature of fieldwork, the representation of subaltern people, the relationship between resistance and power, and what it means to be politically active at the end of the century. It will appeal widely to scholars and students of anthropology, Latin American studies, cultural studies, history, subaltern studies, and those interested in the politics of social movements.
Throughout Latin America and the rest of the Third World, profound social problems are growing in response to burgeoning populations and unstable economic and political systems. In Peru, terrorist acts by the Shining Path guerilla movement are the most visible manifestation of social discontent, but rapid economic and religious changes have touched the lives of almost everyone, radically altering traditional lifeways. In this twenty-year study of the community of Quinua in the Department of Ayacucho, William Mitchell looks at changes provoked by population growth within a severely limited ecological and economic setting, including increasing conversion to a cash economy and out-migration, the decline of the Catholic fiesta system and the rise of Protestantism, and growing poverty and revolution.
When Mitchell first began his field studies in Quinua in 1966, farming was still the Quinueños' principal means of livelihood. But while the population was increasing rapidly, the amount of arable land in the community remained the same, creating increased food shortfalls. At the same time, government controls on food prices and subsidies of cheap food imports drove down the value of rural farm production. These ecological and economic factors forced many people to enter the nonfarm economy to feed themselves.
Using a materialist approach, Mitchell charts the new economic strategies that Quinueños use to confront the harsh pressures of their lives, including ceramic production, wage labor, petty commerce, and migration to cash work on the coat and in the eastern tropical forests. In addition, he shows how the growing conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism is also an economic strategy, since Protestant ideology offers acceptable reasons for redirecting the money that used to be spent on elaborate religious festivals to household needs and education.
The twenty-year span of this study makes it especially valuable for students of social change. Mitchell's unique, interdisciplinary approach, considering ecological, economic, and population factors simultaneously, offers a model that can be widely applied in many Third World areas. Additionally, the inclusion of an entire chapter of family histories reveals how economic and ecological forces are played out at the individual level.
In the highland region of Sullk’ata, located in the rural Bolivian Andes, habitual activities such as sharing food, work, and stories create a sense of relatedness among people. Through these day-to-day interactions—as well as more unusual events—individuals negotiate the affective bonds and hierarchies of their relationships. In Performing Kinship, Krista E. Van Vleet reveals the ways in which relatedness is evoked, performed, and recast among the women of Sullk’ata. Portraying relationships of camaraderie and conflict, Van Vleet argues that narrative illuminates power relationships, which structure differences among women as well as between women and men. She also contends that in the Andes gender cannot be understood without attention to kinship. Stories such as that of the young woman who migrates to the city to do domestic work and later returns to the highlands voicing a deep ambivalence about the traditional authority of her in-laws provide enlightening examples of the ways in which storytelling enables residents of Sullk’ata to make sense of events and link themselves to one another in a variety of relationships. A vibrant ethnography, Performing Kinship offers a rare glimpse into an compelling world.
A major contribution to debates about Latin American state formation, Political Cultures in the Andes brings together comparative historical studies focused on Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth. While highlighting patterns of political discourse and practice common to the entire region, these state-of-the-art histories show how national and local political cultures depended on specific constellations of power, gender and racial orders, processes of identity formation, and socioeconomic and institutional structures.
The contributors foreground the struggles over democracy and citizens’ rights as well as notions of race, ethnicity, gender, and class that have been at the forefront of political debates and social movements in the Andes since the waning days of the colonial regime some two hundred years ago. Among the many topics they consider are the significance of the Bourbon reform era to subsequent state-formation projects, the role of race and nation in the work of early-twentieth-century Bolivian intellectuals, the fiscal decentralization campaign in Peru following the devastating War of the Pacific in the late nineteenth century, and the negotiation of the rights of “free men of all colors” in Colombia’s Atlantic coast region during the late colonial period. Political Cultures in the Andes includes an essay by the noted Mexicanist Alan Knight in which he considers the value and limits of the concept of political culture and a response to Knight’s essay by the volume’s editors, Nils Jacobsen and Cristóbal Aljovín de Losada. This important collection exemplifies the rich potential of a pragmatic political culture approach to deciphering the processes involved in the formation of historical polities.
Contributors. Cristóbal Aljovín de Losada, Carlos Contreras, Margarita Garrido, Laura Gotkowitz, Aline Helg, Nils Jacobsen, Alan Knight, Brooke Larson, Mary Roldan, Sergio Serulnikov, Charles F. Walker, Derek Williams
The Andean region is perhaps the most violent and politically unstable in the Western Hemisphere. Politics in the Andes is the first comprehensive volume to assess the persistent political challenges facing Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
Arguing that Andean states and societies have been shaped by common historical forces, the contributors' comparative approach reveals how different countries have responded variously to the challenges and opportunities presented by those forces. Individual chapters are structured around themes of ethnic, regional, and gender diversity; violence and drug trafficking; and political change and democracy.
Politics in the Andes offers a contemporary view of a region in crisis, providing the necessary context to link the often sensational news from the area to broader historical, political, economic, and social trends.
This distinctive book is the first to address the topic of landscape archaeology in early states from a truly global perspective. It provides an excellent introduction to—and overview of—the discipline today. The volume grew out of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Complex Societies Group, whose theme, States and the Landscape, paid tribute to the work of Robert McC. Adams. When Adams began publishing in the 1960s, the interdependence of cities and their countrysides, and the information revealed through the spatial patterning of communities, went largely unrecognized. Today, as this useful collection makes clear, these interpretive insights are fundamental to all archaeologists who investigate the roles of complex polities in their landscapes.
Polities and Power features detailed studies from an intentionally disparate array of regions, including Mesoamerica, Andean South America, southwestern Asia, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Each chapter or pair of chapters is followed by a critical commentary. In concert, these studies strive to infer social, political, and economic meaning from archaeologically discerned landscapes associated with societies that incorporate some expression of state authority. The contributions engage a variety of themes, including the significance of landscapes as they condition and reflect complex polities; the interplay of natural and cultural elements in defining landscapes of state; archaeological landscapes as ever-dynamic entities; and archaeological landscapes as recursive structures, reflected in palimpsests of human activity.
Individually, many of these contributions are provocative, even controversial. Taken together, they reveal the contours of landscape archaeology at this particular evolutionary moment.
Portraits in the Andes examines indigenous and mestizo self-representation through the medium of photography from the early to mid twentieth century. As Jorge Coronado reveals, these images offer a powerful counterpoint to the often-slanted, predominant view of indigenismo produced by the intellectual elite.
Photography offered an inexpensive and readily available technology for producing portraits and other images that allowed lower- and middle-class racialized subjects to create their own distinct rhetoric and vision of their culture. The powerful identity-marking vehicle that photography provided to the masses has been overlooked in much of Latin American cultural studies—which have focused primarily on the elite’s visual arts. Coronado's study offers close readings of Andean photographic archives from the early- to mid-twentieth century, to show the development of a consumer culture and the agency of marginalized groups in creating a visual document of their personal interpretations of modernity.
Reading the Illegible examines the history of alphabetic writing in early colonial Peru, deconstructing the conventional notion of literacy as a weapon of the colonizer. This book develops the concept of legibility, which allows for an in-depth analysis of coexisting Andean and non-Native media. The book discusses the stories surrounding the creation of the Huarochirí Manuscript (c. 1598–1608), the only surviving book-length text written by Indigenous people in Quechua in the early colonial period. The manuscript has been deemed “untranslatable in all the usual senses,” but scholar Laura Leon Llerena argues that it offers an important window into the meaning of legibility.
The concept of legibility allows us to reconsider this unique manuscript within the intertwined histories of literacy, knowledge, and colonialism. Reading the Illegible shows that the anonymous author(s) of the Huarochirí Manuscript, along with two contemporaneous Andean-authored texts by Joan de Santa Cruz Pachacuti and Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, rewrote the history of writing and the notion of Christianity by deploying the colonizers’ technology of alphabetic writing.
Reading the Illegible weaves together the story of the peoples, places, objects, and media that surrounded the creation of the anonymous Huarochirí Manuscript to demonstrate how Andean people endowed the European technology of writing with a new social role in the context of a multimedia society.
Revolution in the Andes is an in-depth history of the Túpac Amaru insurrection, the largest and most threatening indigenous challenge to Spanish rule in the Andean world after the Conquest. Between 1780 and 1782, insurgent armies were organized throughout the Andean region. Some of the oldest and most populous cities in this region—including Cusco, La Paz, Puno, and Oruro—were besieged, assaulted, or occupied. Huge swaths of the countryside fell under control of the rebel forces. While essentially an indigenous movement, the rebellion sometimes attracted mestizo and Creole support for ousting the Spanish and restoring rule of the Andes to the land's ancestral owners. Sergio Serulnikov chronicles the uprisings and the ensuing war between rebel forces and royalist armies, emphasizing that the insurrection was comprised of several regional movements with varied ideological outlooks, social makeup, leadership structures, and expectations of change.
A massive land-seizure movement first erupted in Peru in 1958 and spread across the Andean highlands in 1963–1964. Several hundred peasant communities in the Peruvian Andes occupied neighboring haciendas in an attempt to retake lands they felt had been stolen from them over the years. Hacienda peasants also participated in this movement, forming peasant sindicatos (unions) to improve their labor conditions.
The land-seizure movement brought with it an upsurge in community political mobilization. Throughout the highlands, village leaders banded together in regional federations, often allying themselves with progressive or radical urban groups. Radical activists from labor unions and university student groups joined with indigenous peasant leaders, breaking down the highland peasantry’s traditional isolation from the political system.
Struggle in the Andes is an analysis of the causes and consequences of extensive social and political mobilization among Peru’s peasant population in the 1960s. In addition to describing the growth of the peasant land movement, Howard Handelman investigates the social and economic conditions that contributed to rural unrest. Using data that he collected in forty-one diverse highland communities, Handelman examines the correlates of peasant political activity, concluding that land seizures in the traditional southern sierra had different origins and political implications than did unrest in the more socioeconomically modernized central highlands.
The data suggest a model of peasant mobilization that calls into question prevailing scholarly hypotheses on the relationships between modernization, peasant political mobilization, and radicalization. Handelman discusses the land-reform program and the accompanying rural mobilization that was being implemented by Peru’s reformist military regime. Using his model of peasant mobilization, he speculates on the possible effects of the government’s contemporary programs on future peasant political behavior.
Over the last two decades, indigenous populations in Latin America have achieved a remarkable level of visibility and political effectiveness, particularly in Ecuador and Bolivia. In Struggles of Voice, José Antonio Lucero examines these two outstanding examples in order to understand their different patterns of indigenous mobilization and to reformulate the theoretical model by which we link political representation to social change.
Building on extensive fieldwork, Lucero considers Ecuador's united indigenous movement and compares it to the more fragmented situation in Bolivia. He analyzes the mechanisms at work in political and social structures to explain the different outcomes in each case. Lucero assesses the intricacies of the many indigenous organizations and the influence of various NGOs to uncover how the conflicts within social movements, the shifting nature of indigenous identities, and the politics of transnationalism all contribute to the success or failure of political mobilization.
Blending philosophical inquiry with empirical analysis, Struggles of Voice is an informed and incisive comparative history of indigenous movements in these two Andean countries. It helps to redefine our understanding of the complex intersections of social movements and political representation.
In this volume, anthropologists, art historians, fiber artists, and technologists come together to explore the meanings, uses, and fabrication of textiles in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from Precolumbian times to the present. Originally published in 1991 by Garland Publishing, the book grew out of a 1987 symposium held in conjunction with the exhibit "Costume as Communication: Ethnographic Costumes and Textiles from Middle America and the Central Andes of South America" at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University.
Voices from the Global Margin looks behind the generalities of debates about globalization to explore the personal impact of global forces on the Peruvian poor. In this highly readable ethnography, William Mitchell draws on the narratives of people he has known for forty years, offering deep insight into how they have coped with extreme poverty and rapid population growth—and their creation of new lives and customs in the process. In their own passionate words they describe their struggles to make ends meet, many abandoning rural homes for marginal wages in Lima and the United States. They chronicle their terror during the Shining Path guerrilla war and the government's violent military response. Mitchell's long experience as an anthropologist living with the people he writes about allows him to put the stories in context, helping readers understand the impact of the larger world on individuals and their communities. His book reckons up the human costs of the global economy, urging us to work toward a more just world.
Pilar is a capable, energetic merchant in the small, Peruvian highland settlement of Chiuchin. Genovena, an unmarried day laborer in the same town, faces an impoverished old age without children to support her. Carmen is the wife of a prosperous farmer in the agricultural community of Mayobamba, eleven thousand feet above Chiuchin in the Andean sierra. Mariana, a madre soltera—single mother—without a husband or communal land of her own, also resides in Mayobamba.
These lives form part of an interlocking network that the authors carefully examine in Women of the Andes. In doing so, they explore the riddle of women’s structural subordination by analyzing the social, political, and economic realities of life in Peru. They examine theoretical explanations of sexual hierarchies against the backdrop of life histories. The result is a study that pinpoints the mechanisms perpetuating sexual repression and traces the impact of social change and national policy on women’s lives.
The history of writing, or so the standard story goes, is an ascending process, evolving toward the alphabet and finally culminating in the "full writing" of recorded speech. Writing without Words challenges this orthodoxy, and with it widespread notions of literacy and dominant views of art and literature, history and geography. Asking how knowledge was encoded and preserved in Pre-Columbian and early colonial Mesoamerican cultures, the authors focus on systems of writing that did not strive to represent speech. Their work reveals the complicity of ideology in the history of literacy, and offers new insight into the history of writing. The contributors--who include art historians, anthropologists, and literary theorists--examine the ways in which ancient Mesoamerican and Andean peoples conveyed meaning through hieroglyphic, pictorial, and coded systems, systems inseparable from the ideologies they were developed to serve. We see, then, how these systems changed with the European invasion, and how uniquely colonial writing systems came to embody the post-conquest American ideologies. The authors also explore the role of these early systems in religious discourse and their relation to later colonial writing. Bringing the insights from Mesoamerica and the Andes to bear on a fundamental exchange among art history, literary theory, semiotics, and anthropology, the volume reveals the power contained in the medium of writing.
Contributors. Elizabeth Hill Boone, Tom Cummins, Stephen Houston, Mark B. King, Dana Leibsohn, Walter D. Mignolo, John Monaghan, John M. D. Pohl, Joanne Rappaport, Peter van der Loo