Reportaje de C.Heaney (inglés)

Seminario Interdisciplinar Pisac 2012

Doctorado en Antropología, Arqueología, Historia y Lingüística Andinas

By Christopher Heaney

For six days in June, professors, researchers, and graduate students in history, anthropology and archaeology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and other institutions worldwide came together for the Programa de Estudios Andinos’ annual interdisciplinary seminar in Pisac, in the Valle Sagrado of Cusco. At this worldly and intellectual affair, held in the shadow of one of the Incas’ most well-known monuments, the participants defended their doctoral work, discussed advances in methodology, and shared discoveries from archives and the field over cups and cups of coca tea, and a few pisco sours.

 The week saw several invited professors present and explain their innovative ongoing research projects. On Monday, Paul Heggarty, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, set the tone with an ambitious, creative, and highly contentious talk, titled, “Arqueología, lingüístuca, genetica, mito-historia: hacia una vision más coherente del pasado andino.” Heggarty challenged the attending Andeanists to explain what Heggarty described as regionwide pre-Incaic shifts in language to Quechua and Aymara, which promoted a debate over the utility of archaeological models in other fields. The following day, Ann Peters, from the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Unversity of Pennsylvania, presented her ongoing project on the fardos funerarios of Wari Kayan, titled, “La comunidad de producción textil y los diversos modos de intercambio: aplicabilidad al análisis de Paracas Necrópolis.” The product of years of archival research and material study of textiles from multiple fardos, Peters’ presentation convincingly argued that distinct cultural groups shared artistic motifs and buried their dead in textiles that showed generation after generation of re-interpretation. Finally, on Wednesday, Karoline Noack, of the Universität Bonn, presented her research on textiles from the colonial area, “Textiles y la diferencia colonial en espacios transculturales (Trujillo, s. XVI).” Noack showed how scholars could use notarial records from the archives to make up for a lack of surviving material culture, and argued that participants in the textile industry cut across a wide range of casta and social identity, from slaves to nobility.

Current Estudiantes de Doctorado del PEA delivered reports on their ongoing research, and received valuable critiques. Donato Amado presented on “El sistema de tenecia de tierras, ceques y caminos rituales en el valle del Cuzco, siglos XVI y XVII,” an impressive use of the regional archives of Cusco to describe the shift in the ownership and organization of lands and roads from the Inca period to the colonial era. Joege Pavel Elias was congratulated for the regional focus of his historical investigation, “Estudio Económico, Social, y Político de la Evolución del Grupo Encomendero en el Corregimiento de San Miguel de Piura (1532-1720),” and was asked to consider treating the experience of indigenous communities affected by the encomienda as well. Nelson Peyrera presented “Campesinos republicanos: La sociedad rural de Ayacucho y el Estado peruano en el siglo XIX (1840-1880),” an exciting use of lawsuits to show how campesinos interpreted and argued for their rights as communities and landholders before the War of the Pacific. Lastly, Gregorio Efraín Cáceres presented “Sistema medico indígena andino: construcción de una alternativa de salud intercultural, articulada a lo regional y nacional,” an ambitious project of ethnohistory and anthropology that was encouraged to focus more exclusively on its fascinating core, a participant-observation of healers in rural Cusco.

The highlight of the week, however, were the very successful sustentaciones de las teses de doctorado de four students, now doctors – the first to receive their Ph.D. from the Programa de Estudios Andinos. María Carolina Agüero received her doctorate in archaeology for her tesis, “Usos sociales (y politicos) del vestuario durante el Período Formativo en la region de Tarapacá (Norte de Chile),” which argued for an autochtonous development of style in a periperhal area, exclusive of Wari influence. On Wednesday, Vera Tyuleneva defended “El Paititi en la Geografía Histórica,” and presented her extremely convincing historical explanation for the rise of the Paititi myth, which located one major inspiration in a series of missions in the lowlands of modern Bolivia. On Thursday, Cecilia Sanhueza presented her historical thesis, “Los mojones del Inca. Territorio, frontera, geografía sagrada y ‘cartografía’ oral en el Tahuantinsuyu,” which made innovative use of chronicles to argue for a lasting pre-Columbian division of space in the Atacama Desert. Finally, Ricardo Valderrama successfully defended his anthropological thesis, “Pastores, pastos y rebaños en la provincia de Caylloma,” a committed, exhaustive work of social anthropology that examined continuity and change in the use of condominios among Caylloma’s pastores.

Finally, the week let the program’s participants enjoy the opening possibilities of the field and contemplate new ways to help young researchers in Estudios Andinos forward their work. On Monday, the program’s invited professors and graduate students discussed a potential “Red de Doctorados de Estudios Andinos,” a network for young scholars in North and South America, allowing them to follow each other’s work, plan collaboratively, and navigate the changing methodological and political field of research. And on Thursday, Cesar A. Méndez, the winner of the Premio Franklin Pease G.Y. de Estudios de Andinos 2011-2012, shared his exciting project, “Discutiendo la tecnología lítica de los primeros pobladores del Centro de Chile entre 13000 y 11000 años atrás. ¿Qué hemos aprendido?, ¿Qué nos falta por conocer?” The project demonstrated a mixture of creativity and methodologically rigorous excavation and interpretation, and showed how archaeologists could tell microhistories of particular prehistoric sites, using the evidence at hand.

The week was capped off with a tour of Coricancha/Santo Domingo, led by Vera Tyuleneva, the museum’s director, and a paseo onLa Ruta del Chinchaysuyo, planned by Donato Amado. The paseo through the Pampa de Anta took the participants to Limatambo, the incredible complex of huacas and water worship of Quillarumiyoc, and the andenes de Zurite. The day ended, as did the week, with the sounds of warm discussion and friendly enjoyment over a Sumaq mikuy in Calca. As the sun went down, and the participants began to digest the rich mealof Andean food, and conversation, the plink-plink of a game of Sapo outside competed with the sound of laughter as the week’s last memory.