Mediation, Resistance, and Identity in Colonial Cuzco. A Review Essay
by Kathryn Burns (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999); Inka
Peru, by Carolyn Dean (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999).
History, by Catherine Julien (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2000); The
Peru, by Ward Stavig (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999).
|R. Alan Covey a1|
a1 American Museum of Natural History
This essay addresses recent scholarship on Colonial Cuzco, focusing on the complexity of imperial relationships at the colonial interface. Encounters between Europeans and Andeans in highland Peru involved considerable complexity at any given moment, and changed significantly over time. Exploring this complexity through historiography, ethnohistory, art, and anthropology, the four books reviewed here describe Colonial Cuzco as a contested interculture, in which a multiplicity of self-interested individuals and groups exploited inequalities between colonial government and those governed. As Dean (1999) observes, this divide developed out of the innate ambivalence of colonialism, in which colonizers sought to subordinate through enculturation, yet maintain discrete cultural categories. Native resistance to foreign enculturation and periodic rebellions and revitalization movements acted to maintain these categories. Still, the quotidian operation of the colonial system allowed (and even required) the mediation of the colonial interculture, a creative blurring of such categories as government/governed, urban/rural, sacred/secular, and even past/present. Fundamental to appreciating how Spaniards, Andeans, and others wove a variegated social fabric in Colonial Cuzco is the Quechua notion of tinku (or tinkuy), described by Dean, Stavig, and others.