Representing and Negotiating Moche Identity in Everyday Life

Author(s): Erell Hubert

Year: 2015


Material culture used in daily practices plays a crucial role in mediating personal experiences, social identities, and wider socio-political phenomena. Based on my doctoral dissertation, I more specifically explore the ways miniature anthropomorphic figures used mostly in domestic contexts participated in the negotiation of the identities of Moche colonists settling in the Santa Valley (north coast of Peru) between the fifth and the ninth century AD. Figurines in particular seem to have played an important role in uniting Moche colonial communities through both imagery and the practices in which they were used. Indeed, they contributed to the construction of a normative image of a Moche body distinct from that of indigenous people, underlined the importance of women as intercessors in the lives of Moche people, and created a sense of belonging through their ubiquitous use in the daily lives of all colonists. Unlike ritual objects such as finely painted and sculpted vessels materialising a religious and political ideology centred on social hierarchy and warfare, figurines responded to daily concerns of Moche colonists in the Santa Valley for their cultural identity and for social cohesion, concerns born from their position as colonial actors.

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Cite this Record

Representing and Negotiating Moche Identity in Everyday Life. Erell Hubert. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396705)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;