The Spanish encountered a culture very foreign to their own in the jagged peaks of the Andes. At the time of the conquest the Andean Mountains were spattered with different languages. There was no alphabetic writing. What the pan-Andeans did have was objects, everyday objects such as tunics and keros, wooden drinking vessels, which communicated narratives and ideas through geometric designs called tocapu. And the pan-Andean people had writing in their own way, the quipu. A knotted string device of varying colors and materials was how the pan-Andean people had kept records for thousands of years. Pan-Andeans had developed a tactile culture revolving around practicality, the material and oral tradition. Yet after the conquest these unique societal characteristics faded away or were manipulated by the Spanish. In this paper I will look closely at how the acculturation of the pan-Andeans took place and what tools were instrumental in this process.
[...] "Represenation in the Sixteenth Century and the Colonial Image of the Inca." Writing without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes. Ed. Elizabeth Hill Boone & Walter D. Mignolo. Durham: Duke University Press Cummins, Tom. Writing without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes Cummins, Tom. Writing without Words: Alternative Literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes Mills, Kenneth, William B. Taylor, and Sandra Lauderdale Graham. Colonial Latin America: A Documentary History. '1st ed. Lanham: SR Books Cummins, Tom. [...]
[...] However, in the first picture where Guaman Poma depicts a qhipu he uses a placard for the benefit of European audiences (figure 9). The placard reads, signifying to the reader that the quipu conveys a message. In this example the viewer needs an additional translation to understand the meaning of a quipu, an illustration and a word. Commingling of Andean and Western Images Guaman Poma's work has been described as of the most significant objects of colonial Andean intellectual production”. [...]
[...] Here again we see a discrepancy in parameters in which the indigenous populations reacted to a post-conquest world. First in the way indigenous history of Mexico and Peru were represented in Herrera's title pages and now in the legal documents produced in indigenous languages. Like the documents produced in Central Mexico, the Peruvian colonial documents could have been presented in traditional modes of representation. The design pattern of tocapu was already established in the Andean system of representation and could have been used or incorporated into a new colonial legal framework. [...]
[...] The Spanish administrators broke the nexus by imposing a European system of reference upon the pan-Andeans, where their objects and imagery seized to operate in their original function. Through the use of alphabetic writing pan-Andeans lost much of their culture and historical memory, but they also gained footing in new world, through legal documents and the objects of their old world. And through alphabetic writing the pan- Andeans were also commemorated by their own sons. Bibliography Acosta, Jose de. Historia natural y moral de las Indias. [...]
[...] In the two title pages from Herrera's Historia general a comparison can be made about how the Spanish were able to portray Mexican and Peruvian histories. The difference between the two title pages is obvious at first glance. The title page representing Aztec history (figure was based on traditional Aztec imagery. However for the title page conveying the history of the Inca Empire no autochthonous forms of representation were consulted or used. The images representing the Incas are not completely fabricated by the European artist. [...]
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