Status and Identity in the Imperial Andes

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

From the 15th to the 17th century Andean populations lived a tumultuous period of cultural contact and entanglement, resulting in a variety of interactions and negotiations between Inka, Spanish, indigenous, and African peoples. While the study of indigenous agency during Imperial Inka and Spanish periods of contact has received an increase in deserved attention (deFrance 2003; Van Buren 1993; Wernke 2007, 2013), the role of status and power in shaping colonial interactions has received less consideration. Current archaeological research in the Andes has the potential to build on existing studies of domestic life and changing foodways to better understand complex power dynamics and social dimensions. By focusing on access and incorporation of both indigenous, African, and Spanish goods, as well as their determined quality and value, archaeological studies are well positioned to develop a more nuanced and intimate picture of colonial period social dynamics, especially in regards to the daily negotiations of status and identity. Building on household studies from Spanish Florida (Deagan 1996), this session examines how indigenous and African peoples selectively incorporated or rejected Imperial goods, and how differential opportunities of access to these goods may have influenced social status, health, and relationships with imperial actors.

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  • Documents (12)

  • Arqueología de los repartos mercantiles en los Andes coloniales: endeudamiento, elites locales y cultura material. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Francisco García-Albarido.

    La colonización de los Andes representó una oportunidad de enriquecimiento individual para peninsulares, criollos y nativos. Esto se logró mediante el mercantilismo forzoso de productos europeos y americanos, promovido por mercaderes limeños y tempranamente ejecutado por los corregidores (entre otros). El reparto de mercaderías a precios excesivos generó el endeudamiento forzado de las comunidades nativas. En muchos casos, los curacas también buscaron beneficiarse de esta práctica, colaborando...

  • Community and the Contours of Empire: The Hacienda System in the Northern Highlands of Ecuador (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Zev Cossin.

    Recent archaeological studies of Spanish colonialism have redirected scholarly attention both to the workings of imperialism and the multitude of ways in which marginalized populations navigated and remade the grids of power that constitute empire. A focus on the household and the materiality of everyday life has generated a rich body of evidence by which to tack between multiple scales of social life and foreground the material culture of daily life as constitutive elements in the making of...

  • Defining Identity during Revitalization: Taki Onqoy in the Chicha-Soras Valley (Ayacucho, Peru) (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Scotti Norman.

    Investigations into Early Colonial Period status and identity of New World indigenous people have focused on assemblages of Spanish and indigenous goods in domestic and public contexts (Deagan 2003, Rice 2012). These studies have investigated how access to new goods and foodways may have reflected status among indigenous people, or how use of these imports in specific contexts were markers of changing identities. This paper presents excavation results at Iglesiachayoq (Ayacucho, Peru), an Inka...

  • Empire in Ruins: Inca Urban Planning and the Colonial Occupation at Huánuco Pampa (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only R. Alan Covey. Miriam Aráoz Silva.

    Located in the Andean highlands of northern Peru, the Inca administrative center at Huánuco Pampa served as a provincial capital, drawing thousands of tributary households into scripted encounters with imperial officials on festive occasions. Inca site planning created spaces for performing diverse identities and reinforcing relationships between local people and Inca elites. After an unsuccessful Spanish attempt to establish a town within the central plaza of the site, Huánuco Pampa faded to...

  • The House that Built Me: local and non-local among the Lurin Yauyos during the Inka Empire (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carla Hernandez Garavito. Carlos Osores Mendives.

    Most scholarship on the shifts in local lifeways during the Late Horizon strictly focused on changes in the availability to new and limited-access goods by local elites (D’Altroy 2001; Hastorf 1990; 2003). In these models, local leaders became immersed in reciprocal and status-granting relationships with the Inka through gifts and exclusive artifacts. Materiality played a pivotal role in the relationship between the Inka and their subjects. However, it is less clear how local ethnicity was...

  • Identity and Offerings in the Southern Peruvian Andes: A comparative study of the painted tablets and discs tradition of the Arequipa region, Southern Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alexander Menaker.

    Inka and Spanish imperial projects in the Andes frequently targeted local beliefs and ritual practices, albeit in dissimilar ways. Understanding the effects of imperial projects is not possible without a clear sense of the local ritual landscape and its (in)compatibility with state religions and other practices spread across state networks. The painted tablet and disc tradition of the Arequipa region in the Southern Peruvian Andes offers a particular case for studying local and regional rituals...

  • Identity, Residential Mobility and Anthropogenic Lead in early colonial Huamanga (Ayacucho), Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ellen Lofaro. George Kamenov. Jorge Luis Soto Maguino. John Krigbaum.

    La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús de Huamanga, the earliest Jesuit church in modern-day Ayacucho, Peru, was built in AD 1605 near the main plaza. Famous for its baroque art, this standing church is in need of extensive renovations. In a partial restoration in 2008, an archaeological excavation uncovered human and faunal remains underneath the church floor proper, and underneath the floors of associated chapels. Upon examination, only indigenous individuals appear to be buried underneath the...

  • Land, Labor, and Status: A perspective from Colonial Cusco, Peru. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Raymond Hunter. Steve Kosiba.

    Access to land is an important marker of status in agrarian societies. During the Andean Late Horizon (c.1400-1532), land differences grounded status distinctions: nobles developed monumental estate farms and kin-oriented communities collectively administered patchwork fields. Under the Spanish colonial system (1532-1824) access to land and labour came to differentiate status in new ways. Spaniards appropriated labor and property, while indigenous nobility contested Spanish rule and staked new...

  • Status and Identity at the Margins of Empire: Foodways in pre-Inka and Inka Cuzco (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kylie Quave. Sarah Kennedy. R. Alan Covey.

    Diet and cuisine are key practices in the daily negotiation of status and identity, particularly when studied at the household level. In the Maras region of rural Cuzco, the developing Inka state and a rival polity known ethnohistorically as the Ayarmaka maintained autonomous economic, social, and political practices. While other groups in the Cuzco region exchanged goods and shared some cultural practices with the Inka, the Ayarmakas did not. In the 15th century, the Ayarmaka suddenly abandoned...

  • Supplies, Status, and Slavery: Contested Aesthetics at the Haciendas of Nasca (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brendan Weaver.

    The coastal wine and brandy-producing estates owned by the Society of Jesus in Nasca held captive a large enslaved population in the 17th and 18th centuries. With a combined population of nearly 600 slaves of diverse sub-Saharan origins, San Joseph and San Xavier de la Nasca were the largest and most profitable of the Jesuit vineyards in the viceroyalty of Peru. These estates were also home to black freepersons and itinerant indigenous and mestizo wage laborers who engaged, exchanged goods,...

  • A View from the Hinterlands: Early Colonial Objects in Mortuary Contexts in Northern Highland Ecuador (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tamara Bray.

    In this paper I re-visit a particularly interesting find made in the Pimampiro District of northern highland Ecuador a number of years ago. It consisted of a traditional shaft tomb burial that contained an unusual assemblage of items, which included seemingly obvious Late Period Caranqui and Panzaleo wares together with a set of four Nueva Cadiz beads. How and why did these precious European objects penetrate this seemingly remote region at such an early date to be inserted into such a basic...

  • A Wake of Change: Investigating Biocultural Interaction During the Early Colonial Period in the Central Andes, Peru (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anna Gurevitz. Scotti Norman.

    Burial practice in the Central Andes was transmitted continuously from the Middle Horizon (AD 700-AD 1000) onward, if not earlier in some areas, reflecting an agreed-upon understanding of Andean social identity throughout time. However, when the Spanish colonized the Andes, they drastically altered this continuity, forcing indigenous populations to bury their dead under the Church in idealized Catholic tradition. This sudden change in burial practice ruptured Andean identity as indigenous...