Women’s Power and Prestige in the Pre-Hispanic and Early Colonial Andes

Author(s): Patrycja Przadka-Giersz

Year: 2018


The second half of the first millennium A.D. witnessed some significant changes in gender roles and traditions in the Andes. The discovery of the first undisturbed burial context of fifty-eight noblewomen with hundreds of precious artifacts found at Castillo de Huarmey provides important evidence about women and their roles played in ancient society in the Wari Empire. The amount and the richness of the luxury and prestige items, which comprise hundreds of objects of the most diversified types, provide important data regarding the identity of elite women and their social and economic role during the Middle Horizon. Many of these ancient traditions have persisted in the early colonial period. That refers especially to the elite women's personal attire, as well as jewelry, ritual accessories and others objects of prestige collected during their lifetime. Early colonial documentation, particularly the wills of indigenous elite women, compared with archaeological evidence, confirms that both female attire and personal grave goods imitated the symbolic image of the queens and princesses of antiquity, just like those from the mausoleum of Castillo de Huarmey. The information collected up to date allows also to analyze different goods of indigenous origin through their strategic and economic value over time.

Cite this Record

Women’s Power and Prestige in the Pre-Hispanic and Early Colonial Andes. Patrycja Przadka-Giersz. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444489)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20651