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Duke University Press Books
People of the Volcano: Andean Counterpoint in the Colca Valley of Peru

People of the Volcano: Andean Counterpoint in the Colca Valley of Peru

by Noble David CookNoble David Cook
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While it now attracts many tourists, the Colca Valley of Peru's southern Andes was largely isolated from the outside world until the 1970s, when a passable road was built linking the valley-and its colonial churches, terraced hillsides, and deep canyon-to the city of Arequipa and its airport, eight hours away. Noble David Cook and his co-researcher Alexandra Parma Cook have been studying the Colca Valley since 1974, and this detailed ethnohistory reflects their decades-long engagement with the valley, its history, and its people. Drawing on unusually rich surviving documentary evidence, they explore the cultural transformations experienced by the first three generations of Indians and Europeans in the region following the Spanish conquest of the Incas.

Social structures, the domestic export and economies, and spiritual spheres within native Andean communities are key elements of analysis. Also highlighted is the persistence of duality in the Andean world: perceived dichotomies such as those between the coast and the highlands, Europeans and Indo-Peruvians. Even before the conquest, the Cabana and Collagua communities sharing the Colca Valley were divided according to kinship and location. The Incas, and then the Spanish, capitalized on these divisions, incorporating them into their state structure in order to administer the area more effectively, but Colca Valley peoples resisted total assimilation into either. Colca Valley communities have shown a remarkable tenacity in retaining their social, economic, and cultural practices while accommodating various assimilationist efforts over the centuries. Today's population maintains similarities with their ancestors of more than five hundred years ago-in language, agricultural practices, daily rituals, familial relationships, and practices of reciprocity. They also retain links to ecological phenomena, including the volcanoes from which they believe they emerged and continue to venerate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822339717
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 06/27/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 338
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Noble David Cook is Professor of History at Florida International University. He is the author of Born to Die: Disease and New World Conquest, 1492–1650; The People of the Colca Valley: A Population Study; and Demographic Collapse: Indian Peru, 1520–1620.

Alexandra Parma Cook is an independent scholar. They are the coauthors of Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy and the coeditors and translators of The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, by Pedro de Cieza de León, both also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents

Illustrations and Tables ix

Preface xi

Part I: Foundations

1. Beneath the Soaring Condor 3

2. Return of the Viracocha 29

3. Crisis of the New Order 51

Part II: The Republica de los Indios

4. Constructing an “Andean Utopia” 79

5. “Republica de los Indios”: Social and Political Structure 105

6. Tribute and the Domestic economy 131

7. Extractive Economy 155

8. Indoctrination and Resistance 181

Part III: The “Republica de los Espanoles”

9. Crisis in the “Republica de los Espanoles” 215

Epilogue: Andean Counterpoint 243

Notes 261

Bibliography 285

Index 311

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