Accepted paper:

A bloodless combat: appreciating "Mirrors and Maize" (1971) from central Peru


Frank Salomon (University of Wisconsin Madison)
Luis Andrade Ciudad (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will analyze the speeches and songs of Inka tinkuy in the central Andean community of Rapaz.

Paper long abstract:

Tristan Platt's early ethnographic essay, "Mirrors and Maize" (published 1978 in French, 1986 in English) powerfully guided Andean ethnography by characterizing as fundamental cultural structures yanantin and tinkuy: generative symbols of reciprocity, applied in combat, marriage and polity. Thanks to Platt, tinkuy is a well-known term for programmed "ritual combat" between moieties or opposed villages. Tinkuy is practiced (or remembered) in northern Ecuador and various southern Andean locales. Today Rapaz, a central-Peruvian Quechua village, uses the word tinkuy as the name of a dramatized ritual combat, but with big differences. Ordinarily, central Peruvian dramas of combat are "dances of the conquest" about the Spanish invasion. Their plots emphasize the failure of reciprocity that initiate colonial history. Rapaz' Inka tinkuy, by contrast, only concerns prehispanic events. It runs contrary to the ideas of sacrificial battle Platt documented in Bolivia, as well as to the historicist Pizarran plot. This paper examines the speeches and songs of Inka tinkuy (as pronounced in a rarely documented variety of Quechua 1 called Yaro), with emphasis on its implications about Inka conflict and solidarity.

panel P18
The anthropology of connections: ethnography, archive and language in the work of Professor Tristan Platt