Local Ritual and Social Change in the Andean Formative Period at Hualcayán, Peru

Author(s): Rebecca Bria

Year: 2016


Research in the Andes has long focused on how early complex societies performed elaborate rituals in monumental spaces to both organize communities and establish authority. In pursuing this research for the Formative Period (1800-1 BC), comparisons between local ritual practices and the regional traditions of Kotosh and Chavín have overshadowed the study of how and why communities selectively altered and replaced ritual practices over the long term. For example, how did different generations modify local rituals to address or enact social change in their community?

This paper explores this question by examining how the people of Hualcayán—a Formative village and temple in highland Ancash, Peru—performed their rituals over nearly two millennia. It focuses attention on the particular moments in which they modified their ritual spaces and practices, weaving together evidence from architectural, material, and food analyses. These data are used to illuminate how and why the people of Hualcayán transformed the way they interacted through ritual, and in consequence, reconstituted their community to emphasize at certain times social integration and at other times exclusivity and group membership. In so doing, the paper highlights the dynamic relationship between local ritual practice and social change during the Andean Formative Period.

Cite this Record

Local Ritual and Social Change in the Andean Formative Period at Hualcayán, Peru. Rebecca Bria. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404369)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

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