Diet, Status, and Identity in Colonial Peru: Investigations at Carrizales (Zaña Valley, Peru)


Late 16th century Peru was a dynamic period associated with emerging Spanish colonial polices - forced resettlement and tribute extraction – coupled with general demographic decline. Spanish officials and indigenous communities alike had to make difficult choices on how they provided for their households and put food on the table. We examine the effects of this tumultuous period on Spanish and indigenous foodways at the reducción site of Carrizales, located in the lower Zaña Valley on the North Coast of Peru. Comparisons of households and middens associated with both ecclesiastical space and indigenous domesticate space demonstrate marked differences in local foodways within the reducción. Zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical remains reveal how new foods were incorporated into the diets of both indigenous residents and Spanish officials, and how the status and identity of both parties was maintained through access to specific foods and meat cuts, as well as preparation and cooking techniques. These results highlight the dynamism of colonial life for both indigenous and Spanish peoples, while emphasizing the important role of food as a symbol of status and social identity.

Cite this Record

Diet, Status, and Identity in Colonial Peru: Investigations at Carrizales (Zaña Valley, Peru). Sarah Kennedy, Parker VanValkenburgh, Katherine L. Chiou. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404212)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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