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Volume 50 / Humanities

HISTORY: ETHNOHISTORY


South America

FRANK SALOMON, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

SOME 45 YEARS AGO Raúl Porras Barrenechea, whose landmark works of source criticism now return to currency in a handsome reference edition (item bi 88000704), expressed no particular hope for recovering the integral Inca lineage tradition which Juan de Betanzos learned from his Inca wife Cuxirimay Ocllo; most of Betanzos' book had been thought lost by fire, leaving only the truncated Suma y narración de los Incas known to Marcos Jiménez de la Espada. Now Magdalena Fito has recovered, and María del Carmen Martín Rubio has edited, a complete Betanzos manuscript (item bi 88000454). It is more than quadruple the old fragment's size and richly packed with the political-minded lore of a Cusco royal kindred. Ediciones Atlas' paperback, making available a source discovery of the first magnitude, should renew optimism that some of the other "crónicas presuntas y perdidas" which Porras cataloged might yet reappear. One may also hope that future rediscoverers, unlike Rubio, will learn to competently edit the Quechua material which lies at such sources' heart.

It will be intriguing to see how Cuxirimay Ocllo's grandiose imperialist version looks when read through the revisionist optic provided by the last decade of Inca studies. Rostworowski's new summation Historia del Tahuantinsuyu (item bi 88000708) caps off a long inquiry into the non-Inca diversity which Inca dynastic lore obscures. A special number of Ethnohistory (items bi 89002834, bi 89002908, bi 89003086, and bi 89002891) emphasizes the degree to which preexisting non-Inca institutions shaped forms of dominion that Rostworowski declines even to call an empire. Zuidema's La civilisation inca au Cuzco (item bi 89003206), the record of his Collège de France lectures, takes account of research postdating his own influential 1964 image of Cusco. Current Inca research increasingly discusses non-narrative sources: pictures that may have recorded dynastic lore (items bi 89002883 and bi 88000701) and poems that may or may not be Inca historical ballads (items bi 89002797 and bi 89002875). For other examples of Inca research using non-"canonical" sources see items bi 89002842, bi 89002862, and bi 89003098.

The stereotype image of post-1532 Andean societies as fortresses of continuity amid a chaos of colonial change has given way to more realistic images that emphasize the continuum of hostility and interdependence between natives and Spaniards. Discussion both theoretical and substantive tends to center on how Andean culture reproduced itself colonially.

In this discussion the evolution of Andean religion under 16th- and 17th-century repressive pressures (items bi 89002916, bi 89002986, bi 89003155, and bi 89002948) has become a crucible of debate. Some (notably Szeminski, item bi 89003145) see unyielding nativism where others (notably Duviols in HLAS 46:1626; see also item bi 89002857) see native adoption of European ideas (item bi 89002982). Testimony wrung from "extirpation of idolatry" defendants is key data for such debate. Pierre Duviols, a pioneer of Andean religious history (see HLAS 34:1155), puts important Lima-area trial records at readers' command in Cultura andina y represión (item bi 89002841). But Antonio Acosta (item bi 88001093) charges that Duviols has misconceived the whole process by emphasizing the transatlantic political context at the expense of understanding the actual village theater of conflict. Acosta also furnishes historical context to Gerald Taylor's landmark Spanish version of the Huarochirí manuscript (item bi 89003167), establishing a clearer picture of the local brouhaha which engendered the manuscript than had Duviols and José María Arguedas in their Dioses y hombres de Huarochirí (Lima: Museo Nacional de Historia e Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1966). Silverblatt's feminist critique, Moon, sun and witches (item bi 88000710; see also item bi 89002773), holds that conflict over gender roles as much as political conflict shaped the dialectic of official versus clandestine worship.

Where sociopolitical organization is concerned, the movement to build ethnohistories of long diachrony - penetrating through and beyond the Inca and Spanish crises of the 16th century - requires one to disaggregate "lo andino" into more realistic local, temporal or regional problems. A thoughtful collaboration on Aymara culture (items bi 89002806 and bi 89002992) and a broad comparative synthesis on Tawantinsuyu's Amazonian flank (item bi 88000706) reflect strong European interest in such themes. Galo Ramón's La resistencia andina: Cayambe 1500-1800 (item bi 89003028; see also item bi 88000483) traces, over the long haul, a Cayambe señorío in Ecuador.

Especially for the 17th century, one welcome consequence of the shift away from purely indigenist historiography is integration of findings about purportedly aboriginal Andean economic forms ("reciprocity", etc.), with fast-growing knowledge of colonial economic articulation. La participación indígena en los mercados surandinos (item bi 89002863), a broad collaboration, and Larson's Explotación agraria y resistencia campesina en Cochabamba (item bi 88000500) demonstrate Bolivianist leadership in this enterprise.

The biennium since HLAS 48 marks the fruition of several major research projects on the 18th-century rebellions. Three important contributions are Stern's handsomely edited collaborative volume Resistance and rebellion in the Andean world, 18th-20th centuries (item bi 89003119), O'Phelan's Rebellions and revolts in Eighteenth century Peru and Upper Peru (item bi 89002961), and Flores Galindo's Buscando un inca (item bi 88000486, annotated in the Peruvian history subsection), winner of the Premio Casa de las Américas (Havana, 1986). In varied ways all complement analysis of colonial pressures with sensitivity to the fractious intra-Indian and interethnic dynamics hidden behind the facade of Inca ideology (see also items bi 89012814, bi 89001016, and bi 89003188). Yet there still exists no rounded "ethnography of the past" delineating a late-colonial Andean society.

Stern's synoptic introductory material and Flores Galindo's juxtaposition of successive Inca-remembering movements encourage comparison between the Andean mobilizations of Bourbon times and those of the independence era. The results of such research would shed light on the still-obscure Andean 19th century. Much as the 17th century formerly appeared an ethnohistoric void by virtue of its deficit of native-oriented chronicles when compared with the 16th, so the 19th century awaits redefinition in terms of its innovations rather than its "losses." The origins of the "national" ideal and its problematic relevance to culturally Andean people emerge as key themes, broadly contextualized in Deler and St. Geours' Estados y naciones en los Andes (item bi 88000481). A key debate involving Bonilla and Mallon (items bi 89002808 and bi 89002920, annotated in the Peruvian history subsection) dovetails with Platt's continuing exploration of problematic highland nationalisms (item bi 88000703; see also Favre's items bi 89002848 and bi 89002849). Few local, ethnographic-like approaches have arisen to complement Mallon (see HLAS 46:2989), Piel's studies being a partial exception (items bi 89002988 and bi 89002990). Southern Cone research now goes beyond the traditional frontier historiography (items bi 89004260 and bi 89002861) with, for example, Jones' ingenious essay on travel narratives (item bi 89002611), Carrera's compilation of sources on the making of native rural proletarians (item bi 88000458), Araucanian contributions by Bengoa (item bi 88000452) and Villalobos' group (item bi 89003192), and an ethno-substantial conference volume (item bi 89003111; see also item bi 89002898).

The emergence of university-educated Quechua, Aymara, and Araucanian intellectuals brings with it a growing production of native historiography, mostly concerned with recent times and usually focused on the task of connecting living "Indian" memory with the documentary record. Ecuadorian examples are Antonio Males' Villamanda ayllucunapac punta causay (item bi 88000698) and José Yáñez del Pozo's Yo declaro con franqueza (item bi 88001470). Their willingness to print material in low-prestige rural Spanish, rather than "proper" Spanish or anthropologically reputable Quechua, illustrates a rise in intellectual self-confidence. Curapil Curruhuinca and Luís Roux chronicle Araucanian resistance (item bi 88000480). Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui's Oprimidos pero no vencidos (item bi 89003034), product of an oral history workshop in Bolivia, appreciably advances the standard of oral historiography in the Andes.

The publication of Andean sources took a welcome turn toward paperback rather than bibliophile presentations. Examples include not only the new Betanzos and the Taylor/Acosta translation of the Huarochirí manuscript, both already mentioned, but also a spectrum of chronicles neatly and responsibly published by Madrid's Historia 16 (items bi 88000484, bi 88000463, bi 88000464, bi 88000462, bi 88000707, bi 88000459, bi 89002859, and bi 89003201); the series includes some relatively venturesome entries, including a complete paperback of Guaman Poma as edited by Adorno, Murra, and Urioste. A new paperback of Pero Sancho's Relación, successor to Xérez, appears in Ecuador (item bi 89003092).

Among Amazonian source publications the debut volume of the series Monumenta Amazonica stands out. It ably compiles Jesuit reports 1660-84 from the montaña (item bi 88000485) and offers apparatus as good as the best. In rough-and-ready format, but with generally impressive scholarship, the Boletim de Pesquisa da CEDEAM (Manaus) has put forward a growing selection of sources from Luso-Brazilian administrative archives (items bi 89002815, bi 89003032, bi 89002851, bi 89002840, and bi 89003031). Other Amazonian sources, some novel, appear in items bi 89003195, bi 89003106, and bi 88000459.

Formerly the playground of historyless "ethnographic present" approaches, Amazonia now produces syntheses of considerable ethnohistoric - including theoretical - sophistication. Overdue demolition of the premise of Amazonian "isolation" heightens many authors' readiness to interpret lowland microcosms within large historical constellations. Renard-Casewitz, Saignes and Taylor's L'Inca, L'espagnol et les sauvages, mentioned above, caps off a series of French contributions to the problem of highland-lowland relations with a vision of empire and wilderness as intrinsic complements. From a different starting point, Taussig's Shamanism, colonialism and the wild man (item bi 89003153) arrives at related ideas. Brazil produced several case and period studies rising above the previously uniform chronicles of atrocities: items bi 89002781, bi 89002784, bi 89002847, bi 89003003, bi 89002939, bi 89003057, bi 89003178, and bi 89003199. West-Amazonian montaña societies figure in items bi 89002789, bi 89002867, bi 89003030, bi 89001014, bi 89003093, bi 89003123, and bi 89003198. Northeast Amazonia still lags in historic research (see items bi 89002872 and bi 89002911). Items bi 88000497 and bi 89002791 add to a rewarding literature on eastern Bolivia.

The death of Udo Oberem, whose Los quijos (1980; see HLAS 44:1643) proved the feasibility of historicizing in detail a people notoriously "without history," ends the first post-Trimborn generation of South Americanist leadership at the Univ. of Bonn. In Peru, Toribio Mejía Xesspe has died; a native Quechuaphone contemporary and key informant of Julio C. Tello, he leaves an important legacy of work which may, one hopes, yet find its publisher. With the present volume 50 this section editor takes fond leave of HLAS.


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