Workshop “Andean Studies in the United Kingdom”, May 2011

The  Stirling  Latin American  and 
Caribbean Research  Group

Stirling University, School of Arts & Humanities
27-28 May 2011


Margaret Bolton

University of Aberdeen (

Can Insights from Science Studies Enhance Our Appreciation of Andean Societies?

Insights from science studies have obvious applications in the study of topics related to science, technology and medicine in the Andean region. They have also surfaced in recent studies of scientific approaches to development and less obviously Inca khipus are taken as an example in the work of one sociologist of science.   Nevertheless, Robert Oppenheim (2007) has suggested that the sort of approach known as actor-network theory pioneered in studies of scientific and technological topics by the likes of Bruno Latour and John Law could be of more general use in anthropology in settings other than the technological.  This paper asks whether a science studies approach, based upon a sensitivity to materiality, relationality and process, and in which the divide between the things of nature and the culture of humans is discarded, might offer anthropological studies in a region where technology and the use of materials took a different course from that of the Old World and where mountains move and landscape features are endowed with animation and agency. 

Nicole Bourque

University of Glasgow (

Conversion to Protestantism and Islam in La Paz

This paper will examine theories of religious conversion by looking at conversion to Protestantism and Islam in La Paz, Bolivia. While most of the research on conversion to Protestantism in Latin America has focused on the wider social, economic and political contexts that have lead large numbers of people to convert to Protestantism, the research on conversion to Islam in North American and Europe has tended to focus more on why particular individuals convert, why and how they came to choose Islam as opposed to another religion and the processes the convert goes through as they recreate their ‘new’ identity.

James Butterworth

Royal Holloway – University of London (

Andean Divas: Migration, Ethnicity and Stardom in the Peruvian huayno

This paper analyses the folkloric divas at the heart of the Peruvian musical genre huayno con arpa, which, over the last two-and-a-half decades, has become the principal popular musical index of the Andes. The growth of huayno con arpa, however, has been led by Andean migrants, not in the Andes themselves, but in the coastal capital of Lima. Firstly, I examine how the processes of hybridisation triggered by this migration have conditioned the development of huayno con arpa as an aesthetic expression and cultural symbol for Andean migrants. Secondly, I reflect on how an expanding and diversifying social involvement in huayno con arpa relates to debates about the “cholofication” of Lima and the rise of a “cholo” middle class. Finally, I consider how narratives about the experiences, struggles, and aspirations of Andean migrants continue to attach themselves to discourses propagated by performers, mediators, and the public.

Daniela Castellanos

University of St. Andrews (

The Politics of Envy in Rural Colombia: Crafting the Margins and Representing the Surreptitious

This paper is based on long-term fieldwork among the rural potters of Aguabuena, a non-existent place in the official geographic records of Central Andean Colombia. The presentation examines how envy provides an alternative way of thinking about the ways marginal communities relate to the State and how they position themselves in the world. Among Aguabuena potters, the identity of the people and of the place has been shaped through envy. Envy is an agent acting upon the people, but it is also an agency of the people as it is embodied by the potters and their surrounding world (including their crafts). Both the place and the people are (in)famous for their envy. As has been argued by other scholars, artisans face a tension between tradition and modernity that creates a double-edged sword situation consisting in exalting them as repository of a national past while also marginalising them. Similarly, the official invisibility of Aguabuena stands in sharp contrast with the high material visibility of the potters known in the Colombian nation for their crafts that are produced through “traditional” means. At the same time, potters make themselves also officially visible and renowned through their envy. A constant re-presentation of their enviousness takes place at a rural inspection office. There, while recording the accusations of the potters, the state representatives, the inspector, the secretary and the police, set a tribunal for envy involving themselves in the surreptitious world of the envious beings. In such a setting “the true” is a contested matter and the margins are re-created and strengthened through the envious means of those in conflict and the ones mediating. By analysing the performativity of envy at the inspección and the sociability of “suing”, the presentation will show some possibilities that margins play and marginal people have when shaped by the politics of envy.

Juan Cobo

University of Cambridge (

The Reception of Tridentine Catholicism in the New Kingdom of Granada

My research focuses on New Granada, examining the development of colonial society there in roughly the century after 1550, a crucial stage in its early development, from the perspective of religious transformation. It does so by examining the reception of Tridentine Catholicism, its clash with the religious structures and ideas that were there before – both those which the first generation of Spanish missionaries and civil administrators had encountered when they first came into contact with the indigenous peoples of New Granada, and those which they brought with them – and what this meant for New Granada’s inhabitants. It focuses on the issues surrounding two interconnected elements at the centre of Catholic religious life, the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, whose emphasis and role in the New Kingdom of Granada were transformed by the programme of religious reform of which the Council of Trent was the cornerstone. This process was not a straightforward one, instead being the story of stops and starts, changes of direction, and experimentation. Yet it is a process which provides a crucial insight into the formation of the foundations of Spanish rule in the New Kingdom of Granada, and the incorporation of its indigenous inhabitants into the Catholic Church.

 Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Sáenz

University of Stirling (

Linguistic and cultural translation: the colonial linguist-missionaries’ ‘battle of words’

Using the example of the Christian term and concept of ‘soul’, translated into Quechua as ‘anima’, I will examine colonial Quechua dictionaries as to their strategies for translating Christian words in certain ways and the implications for indigenous colonial culture in the Andes. I will also briefly consider the wider thematic and methodological implications which follow from my findings and form part of the questions which I tackle in my work in progress on a larger study, “Entrelazando dos mundos: la creación del discurso quechua colonial a través de fuentes españolas e indígenas”.

 Emilia Ferraro

University of St. Andrews (

Beads, Money and Rosaries. Reflections from Northern Ecuador

This paper is a work in progress on the ornamental use and quality of coins in Andean Ecuador, where more than anywhere else in the Andes, necklaces made of beads are still an essential part of the dressing codes of indigenous women and identity. Especially in the past, coins were used as beads in necklaces and earrings. The combination of coins and beads in necklaces is not insignificant, especially when we consider that they are often found together with crucifixes and /or other types of reliquaries: do these necklaces also have some sort of religious significance? Can they be a local version of catholic rosaries? And if so, what is the significance of coins in them?

The use of beads as currency across the world and at different historical times has received much attention in both anthropological and archaeological literature. The same has not happened for the “beads quality” of money. An attention to the combination of beads, coins and crucifixes would not only provide further insights into contemporary Andean lived realities, but it would also highlight the relevance of Andean data for wider socio-anthropological theories of money.

Laurie Martiarena

University of East Anglia (

The Social Life of Death: Mortuary Practice in the North-Central Andes, AD 1000-1610

My current doctoral research focuses on funerary practices in the North-Central Andes (in modern Peru the region of Ancash) between AD 1000 and 1610, a period covering the Inca and Spanish conquests. This study will be carried out through an analysis of burial patterns and ethnohistorical documents at that time in the region. I will investigate the use of tombs and their ideology, within a framework of changing social organisation. This research is to demonstrate correlating archaeological and ethnohistorical data, and how historical events, political action and manipulation can affect the habitus of a society. Through the ways that people treat their dead we can track cultural emphases and changes in the social life of ancient groups.

Colin McEwan

The British Museum (

Exhibiting the Andes – Collections, Research and Display

In my presentation I will first describe some of the initial outcomes of the AHRC funded collaborative project ‘Inca ushnus – landscape, site and symbol in the Andes’ including the new finds from last season’s fieldwork at Ingapirca Waminan south of Ayacucho. I will explain some of the connections we are making between the field research and objects in museum collections and as well as varied approaches we are adopting to enhance the dissemination and then display project outcomes.  I will ask how we can more effectively promote the public visibility of Andean research across the UK. 

I also circulate the attached poster which describes a new Leverhulme-funded project which is getting underway and will focus on the analytical study of dyes, colourants and pigments in Andean textiles at the BM and Quai Branly. 

 Tristan Platt

University of St. Andrews (

The White Flower of the Qaraqara and the marriage of Ursula Ayra Kanchi Janq’u Tutumpi. Reflections on the new ethnohistory of Charcas 

Gabriela Ramos

University of Cambridge (

The Government of Poverty in Colonial Peru: The hospitales de indios,
16th – 18th Centuries

In 16th century Europe, the problems of poverty and the poor gained a
central place as matters of government, and Spain was no exception. Their
translation into issues of colonial rule is evident, as the Spanish Crown
granted the Indians the legal status of ‘poor’. Both the Spanish King and
bishops assigned themselves the title of ‘protector of the poor’ or
‘protector of the Indians’. What were the implications of these
developments for the indigenous population? By focusing on the hospitales
de indios
, this paper investigates the extent to which they were part of a
government apparatus connecting the indigenous population, colonial
officers, and the Church.

Henry Stobart

Royal Holloway – University of London ( 

Protecting Our Own: Ethnographic Perspectives on Music and its Commodification in the Bolivian Andes.

In this paper I want to dialogue with my paper ‘Rampant Reproduction and Digital Democracy: Shifting Landscapes of Music Production and ‘Piracy’ in Bolivia’ (Ethnomusicology Forum paper 2010). From this article, and the extreme levels of recorded music piracy it describes, readers might be tempted to conclude that notions of musical property and copyright have become all but redundant in Bolivia. However, I now wish to offer a different angle on the situation and argue that, despite the all but unfettered flow of inexpensive unlicensed recorded music and music videos in the country, in recent years cultural property claims have intensified, rather than diminished. Furthermore, such claims have sparked bitter disagreements both with neighbouring countries and between groups within Bolivia. So, we might wonder, what does this mean for the future of Bolivian policies as regards intellectual property and copyright? I have no intention with coming up with a definitive answer, but I hope at least to outline some of the often contradictory dynamics – many of which are by no means unique to Bolivia – and generate discussion.

Sonia Tell

Universidad de Córdoba, Argentina (

“Are there Indians in Cordoba?” Genealogy and Alliances in the Categorisation of indios and pueblos de indios in the Region of the Southern Peruvian Viceroyalty (Eighteenth Century)

This presentation is part of ongoing research about pueblos de indios in the province of Córdoba (today located in central Argentina) during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This province was part of the Governance of Tucumán (present-day central and Northwestern Argentina) which belonged to the Viceroyalty of Peru since the mid-sixteenth century until 1776, when it became part of the new Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata. 

Among the native groups who were subjected to colonial rule in the governance of Tucumán, those inhabiting the hills and plains of Córdoba were the only ones who had not been integrated into the Tawantinsuyu or forged alliances with the Inkas. However, during the colonial period those groups were organised and administrated according to a model that was inspired by some of the policies that had been previously implemented in the Andean area, and readjusted to the local power relations.  

The imposition of the Spanish colonial policies of government, civilisation and exploitation of labour meant for the native groups in this province – as in most of the governance – a dramatic experience of disarticulation. Very few of the pueblos de indios created in late sixteenth or seventeenth century could persist organised and recognised under that status until the end of the colonial period, and even less until the late nineteenth century when the provincial government dissolved by law the common tenancy of their lands and stopped recognising them as collective subjects. 

My current research is an attempt to explore some of the practices, options, and circumstances that contribute to understand the divergent trajectories of the pueblos de indios in this province, and the transformations they experienced along this process. In other words, how some of them managed to reproduce and maintain the recognition by colonial and republican authorities, while others lost it or disappeared because of the dispersal of their population.  

In this opportunity, I will talk about the different definitions of the categories indio and pueblos de indios emerging in the judicial contention over lands in the second half of the eighteenth century. It will allow me to discuss the importance (or non-importance) of genealogy and alliances in the construction of both categories by Spaniards and Indians, as well as the interests, local practices and long term processes of forasterización and mestizaje in which their opposite definitions were rooted. Although this debate may appear as part of a distant past, some of its words resonate – with different modulations – in the debates on identity and legitimacy that the pueblos originarios face today in Córdoba as well as in other regions. 

Julia Zumstein

University of East Anglia (

Power, Persons, and Objects: Material Culture and Elite Identity in Formative Period North Peru

My research is centred on emerging elites in the northern Andes, specifically Initial Period Cupisnique and Early Horizon Chavín. I intend to tackle issues of elite authority and the practical role in society at the level of the individual, by a consideration of personal identity, embodiment, and perceptions and expressions of power and personhood. How was the relationship between elite and non-elite persons constructed? My primary dataset will comprise personal adornment, jewellery, dress and costume – both the objects themselves and depictions thereof; I also intend to consider ritual paraphernalia and funerary practices. My concern is with how those artefacts and representations become endowed with symbolic meaning and how their meanings affect their use. My theoretical approach is oriented practically and functionally rather than symbolically, i.e. my focus is on how material culture and practice operated and were manipulated to create identities and promote forms of authority, rather than on the content and cosmological meaning of images and practices.