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Breaking Down the East-West Dichotomy: Toward an Understanding of Intercultural Interactions in the Saipurú Region under the Inkas

Author(s): Matthew Warren ; Sonia Alconini ; Sergio Calla

Year: 2015

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In the last decades prior to the Spanish conquest, the Inka Empire expanded its frontiers into the ethnically and culturally diverse region of the Bolivian Chaco, ushering in a brief period of limited colonial control over its indigenous inhabitants. In a geographically isolated area far from the imperial heartland, the Inkas and their imperial allies established settlements in the vicinity of Saipurú; in this context, several disparate highland and lowland cultures met, interacted, and created a unique, multiethnic colonial space. This poster will address complementary and often contrasting forms of archaeological and ethnohistoric evidence for (1) the possible cultural affiliations of the various groups that came together at Saipurú, including lowland Arawak- and Guaraní-speaking groups, the Inkas, and at least one altiplano population; (2) the creation of hybrid ceramic styles, and the socioeconomic factors involved in such processes; and (3) the artificial dichotomy between the highland Andean west and the lowland east that was consciously formulated and reproduced by the Inkas. While ethnohistoric sources attest to this enforced ideology of difference and its implications for the structure of colonial relations between the Inkas and lowland groups, archaeological evidence from the Saipurú region supporting such claims appears somewhat tenuous.

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Breaking Down the East-West Dichotomy: Toward an Understanding of Intercultural Interactions in the Saipurú Region under the Inkas. Matthew Warren, Sergio Calla, Sonia Alconini. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397923)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America