We Are Kin with the Land: The Role of Rock Art Sites in the Negotiation of Social Relations in the North Central Andes of Peru
Author(s): Jonathan Dubois
Research in the highlands of Huánuco, Peru, has revealed rock art sites were used to establish, negotiate, and legitimize changing social relations for more than three millennia. Implementation of stylistic seriation bolstered by art from more securely dated archaeological deposits allowed for the development of a chronological sequence of rock art styles in Huánuco. The research revealed rock art played a prominent role in expressing changing social relations in the region. This paper focuses on the rockshelter, Gonga, and its rock art panel that was created and repainted multiple times over the millennia. An early painting depicts a human couple, while later repaintings emphasized the female character and the male figure was smeared with paint. I propose that the initial painting served to instantiate the people represented by the figures as founding ancestors of an ayllu (kinship group) based on the timing of the painting in conjunction with the appearance of public burial structures called chullpas. The highlighting of the female character at the expense of the male indicates a negotiation or contestation of prevailing social relations. Finally, I argue that rock art was a medium for negotiation because the mountains where they were painted were considered active, sacred agents.
Cite this Record
We Are Kin with the Land: The Role of Rock Art Sites in the Negotiation of Social Relations in the North Central Andes of Peru. Jonathan Dubois. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444871)
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min long: -82.441; min lat: -56.17 ; max long: -64.863; max lat: 16.636 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20609