Accepted paper:

A new curacal archive: autonomy and administration in 20th century Macha


Tristan Platt (University of St Andrews)

Paper short abstract:

In December 2013 I revisited the old Curaca of Macha (Alasaya), don Gregorio Carvajal, when I was shown a part of his archive I had not seen before. Correspondence from different instances show us Indian authorities at different levels writing and receiving correspondence, not only to and from national and Church authori- ties, but among themselves. The archive reflects the play of Indian authority and communal sovereignty dur- ing the period of indigenous fiscal autonomy during the 20th century, and includes a local written expression of the tributary “pact”. Don Gregorio also recited an oral template of the notarial form for the documents he had written recognising fulfillment by tributaries of their “turno forzoso” (mita obligations). I compare this template with documents written by his father don Agustin Carvajal, ex-combatiente of the Chaco war, now stored in the Historical Archive of Potosí. This shows the creative combination of old Spanish legal formulae, reflecting the reproduction in the 20th century of the democracy of the “Old Régime”.

Paper long abstract:

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