The Humachis of Huancavelica during the Late Colonial Period (AD 1780-1840)
Author(s): Douglas K Smit
This paper will present preliminary results from excavations at Santa Barbara, the central labor encampment for the mercury mines of Huancavelica. Located in the Central Peruvian Andes, Huancavelica was the largest source of mercury in the Western Hemisphere and a critical source of wealth for Spain’s colonial empire. The Spanish administration mobilized labor through the infamous mita, a rotational labor tax that required colonial provinces to send one-seventh of their population to work in the mines. While historians emphasized the importance of Huancavelica for the colonial political economy, we know very little of the indigenous laborers actually responsible for this immense wealth. Therefore, this research combines archaeological analyses of household material culture, local notarial documents, and historical ethnography in order to understand the organization and colonial transformations of indigenous labor systems at Huancavelica.
Cite this Record
The Humachis of Huancavelica during the Late Colonial Period (AD 1780-1840). Douglas K Smit. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434783)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;