Walking in Tiwanaku Shoes: Small Things, Quotidian Cues and Tiwanaku Identities in Diaspora

Author(s): Paul Goldstein

Year: 2018


In the absence of living interlocutors for the Andean Tiwanaku state society (AD 500-1000),we ask how Tiwanaku peoples imagined and reproduced themselves as social beings. A conventional view poses that Tiwanaku civilization at its apogee was unified by common membership in, or allegiance or aspiration to, an elite political culture, as evidenced by a high culture of specialized craft production, elite ritual functions, and religio-political iconography. This paper instead applies practice theory to preserved quotidian items from Tiwanaku personal spaces, positing that Tiwanaku identities were also inscribed, and can be reliably read, in the material record of daily life. Quotidian Tiwanaku material culture represents the countless repetitive tasks that make up most of humans’ days on earth – the "small things forgotten" that James Deetz described, considered through lenses of habitus, structuration and materiality. Utilitarian artifacts from recent household and mortuary excavations at the uniquely well-preserved town sites in Tiwanaku’s lowland provinces are considered. We will walk in Tiwanaku people’s shoes, both figuratively and literally, and consider the meaning of uniquely "Tiwanaku ways of doing" in everyday attire, instruments, toys, and agrarian, craft, culinary and household tools and tasks.

Cite this Record

Walking in Tiwanaku Shoes: Small Things, Quotidian Cues and Tiwanaku Identities in Diaspora. Paul Goldstein. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444180)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22611