By Carolyn J Dean

A massive contribution to either artwork heritage and Latin American stories, A tradition of Stone bargains refined new insights into Inka tradition and the translation of non-Western artwork. Carolyn Dean specializes in rock outcrops masterfully built-in into Inka structure, exquisitely labored masonry, and freestanding sacred rocks, explaining how definite stones took on lives in their personal and performed an essential function within the unfolding of Inka background. interpreting the a number of makes use of of stone, she argues that the Inka understood construction in stone as a fashion of ordering the chaos of unordered nature, changing untamed areas into domesticated areas, and laying declare to new territories. Dean contends that figuring out what the rocks signified calls for seeing them because the Inka observed them: as most likely animate, sentient, and sacred. via cautious research of Inka stonework, colonial-period debts of the Inka, and modern ethnographic and folkloric stories of indigenous Andean tradition, Dean reconstructs the relationships among stonework and different facets of Inka existence, together with imperial enlargement, worship, and agriculture. She additionally scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by means of the colonial Spanish and, later, by way of tourism and the vacationer undefined. A tradition of Stone is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and understand the Inka prior.

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Extra resources for A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock

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At both Machu Picchu and Pisaq, the living rock is embraced by masonry but is also exposed. The interplay of worked and unworked stone at sites of contouring articulates the rock’s liminal position as part of the natural environment and part of the built environment, a simultaneous resident of both this world and the inner- or underworld. At Chinchero the set of carved rocks known as Pumacaca (Pumaqaqa, “mountain lion crag”) was even once contoured in such a way as to make 30 rock and remembrance 7.

Whereas the Inka valued embodied essence over superficial appearance, today it seems that appearance now trumps essence. While stones were once understood to take form of their own volition, they now take form in the tourist imagination, and the tourist has become the primary producer of meaning. We will consider the impact this has had on understanding Peru’s indige‑ nous past. As we toil to see rocks from an Inka perspective, as we come to terms with their terms, perhaps we can learn from Andeans who once struggled to explain their world using European expressive modes.

The concluding chapter will pursue these notions further. What I am attempting here is to approximate Inka visuality with regard to stone as it is revealed in rocks themselves and recorded in both colonial-period accounts and contemporary stories told by the descendants of the Inka and other Andean peoples. Thus I am relying primarily on evidence from three kinds of sources in addition to prior scholarship on aspects of Inka rockwork. First there are the rocks themselves, how they are situated in and related to both the natural and built environments around them.

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