HEADS OF STATE: ICONS, POWER, AND POLITICS IN THE ANCIENT AND MODERN ANDES

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Left Coast Press, 2008 - Religion - 293 pages
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The human head has had important political, ritual and symbolic meanings throughout Andean history. Scholars have spoken of captured and trophy heads, curated crania, symbolic flying heads, head imagery on pots and on stone, head-shaped vessels, and linguistic references to the head. In this synthesizing work, cultural anthropologist Denise Arnold and archaeologist Christine Hastorf examine the cult of heads in the Andes—past and present—to develop a theory of its place in indigenous cultural practice and its relationship to political systems. Using ethnographic and archaeological fieldwork, highland-lowland comparisons, archival documents, oral histories, and ritual texts, the authors draw from Marx, Mauss, Foucault, Assadourian, Viveiros del Castro and other theorists to show how heads shape and symbolize power, violence, fertility, identity, and economy in South American cultures.
 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
11
Acknowledgments
15
Introduction
19
Part I The Ethnography of Andean Head Taking and Power
35
Part II The Archaeology of Andean Head Taking and Power
147
Appendixes
235
Glossary
241
Notes
247
References
257
Index
281
About the Authors
293
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Denise Y. Arnold is Director of the Instituto de Lengua y Cultura Aymara in La Paz, Bolivia, and visiting Research Professor at Birkbeck College London. She is author of The Metamorphosis of Heads and several dozen monographs and articles in English and Spanish on Andean studies. Arnold is a specialist in Andean kinship and gender relations, oral literatures, textiles and visual languages, and in social movements of the contemporary Andes. Christine A. Hastorf is Professor of Anthropology at University of California Berkeley. She is author of Agriculture and the Onset of Political Inequality before the Inka, editor of Empire and Domestic Economy (with Terry D Altroy), and Current Paleoethnobotany (with Virginia Popper), and author of numerous articles on paleoethnobotany and Andean archaeology.

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