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Au miroir de l’anthropologie historique

 | 
Juan Carlos Garavaglia
, 
Jacques Poloni-Simard
, 
Gilles Rivière

Anthropologie américaniste

Books of the Andean Diaspora

Les livres de la diaspora andine

Frank Salomon

Résumé

Les recherches qu’a conduites Nathan Wachtel sur les populations andines et juives portent souvent sur la question de la permanence des groupes ethniques. Or les structures symboliques de l’identité ne sont pas en soi immortelles. Elles se renouvellent dans la mesure où elles intègrent constamment une part d’émotion partagée. Cet article considère les ressemblances et les différences des marranes sépharades et des cholos andins face à ce processus. Aussi bien pour les Juifs sépharades que pour les populations andines, les manières dont les symboles hérités sont chargés de sentiments d’émotion et de fidélité ont été profondément marquées par la persécution systématique des xve-xviie siècles, de l’Inquisition pour les premiers et de l’extirpation des idolâtries, entre autres facteurs d’origine coloniale, pour les seconds. La clandestinité, l’abolition des hiérarchies de l’autorité, la stigmatisation, la racialisation et les conditions découlant de l’infériorité juridique ont affecté les deux populations. Dans la mesure où ils sont les descendants de ces persécutions, marranes et cholos ont refaçonné leurs héritages respectifs selon des modalités qui comportent bien des traits communs.
On pourrait spéculer à partir de ce qu’Ariel Segal considère comme le dénominateur commun de notre temps et qu’il a appelé le « marranisme light » : le choix de manifester des différences visibles au nom de l’héritage et d’établir des frontières avec les autres groupes, alors que, dans le même temps, est pratiquée une endogamie plus perméable et que sont cultivées des connexions cosmopolites. Ce travail est centré sur la reconstruction « light » de la culture andine, naguère stigmatisée, à l’aide des publications provinciales. Les populations andines comme les colonies urbaines de migrants et les diasporas internationales (ainsi que le montre le cas de Huarochirí, ici étudié) ont produit une énorme quantité d’imprimés et d’écrits sur internet qui ont le plus souvent été ignorés par la bibliographie et les chercheurs. Les caractéristiques de ces textes nous obligent à nous demander si ce processus light ne signifie pas aujourd’hui un renforcement de l’identité plutôt que sa dissolution.

Texte intégral

1The endurance of group identities forms a leitmotif of Nathan Wachtel’s scholarship, on both its Andean and its Jewish sides. In Le Retour des Ancêtres cultural structures of the Uru tradition, reworked through centuries of adversity, exert a compelling logic on their holders. Yet if systemic order interests him, so too does its emotional anchoring in the historic actor and vice versa. His researches attend to cathexis between person and symbol, to “faith” as well as “souvenir.”

  • 1 Valensi L. and Wachtel N., Jewish Memories, Berkeley, University of California Press, [1986] 1991, (...)

2A notion of culture by choice, of volunteered attachment, underpins his vision of marranismo and of Jewish testimony. To hold an identity is to cultivate symbols that connect the immediate texture of life with inherited scenarios and classifications. One equates the self to the imagined, transcendent collectivity by homologizing “unique memories of particular private details” with “the general categories that subsume them and give them meaning. Individual memory is embedded in a long history from which it derives structures and intelligibility.”1

The Andean Marranesque?

  • 2 Finkielkraut A., The Imaginary Jew, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, [1980] 1994; Marks E., M (...)

3Could Wachtel’s understanding of memorious identity founded in “private details and… general categories” apply to Andean society? Can ethnographers entertain a broad generic idea of marranismo spreading beyond Jewish concerns, as some philosophers and literary scholars already do?2

  • 3 Duviols P., La destrucción de las religiones andinas (conquista y colonia), México, Universidad Nac (...)
  • 4 Estenssoro J. C., Del paganismo a la santidad: la incorporación de los indios del Perú al catolicis (...)
  • 5 M. Silverblatt I. M., Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World, Du (...)

4There seems to be a prima facie warrant for thinking of Andean peoples as populations shaped by early-modern persecutions much like those that created Jewish marranism. Pierre Duviols pioneered in demonstrating how New World colonial society invented novel extensions of the Inquisition3 to press upon “the people called Indians” in ways akin to those experienced previously by heretics, Muslims, and conversos. Of late, arguments about the Peruvian “Extirpations of Idolatry” have been pushed farther, to suggest that that “extirpators” pressed primarily upon precocious versions of Amerindian Christianity,4 a phenomenon related to the Inquisition’s particular brutality toward Jewish Christian converts. Silverblatt argues that colonial religious persecution modeled upon inquisition was among the forges whereon modernity hammered out its basic schema of “races” and “nations”,5 imposing pariah status and the condition of internal alien upon the New World peoples. While it is true that the “extirpation” campaigns which did this touched only a minority of Andean villages, it is also true that yndios everywhere lived for centuries under laws banning their characteristic sacred practices.

  • 6 Huertas Vallejos L., La religión en una sociedad rural andina (siglo XVII), Ayacucho, Editorial de (...)

5The clandestine priesthoods and shrines which guided central-Peruvian identity culture in the 17th and 18th centuries6 resemble Jewish marranism in obvious ways: clandestinity, reduction of material culture, superficial homologation with Christian religion, etc. But the idea of describing modern Andean populations as marranesque seems at first glance thoroughly misleading. It was touristic writers of the 1950s and 1960s, or development-oriented westernizers, who thought they saw in the Quechua sphere a “westernized veneer” covering a clandestine core of historically deep and unchanging “Inka” identity. Ethnohistoric research has long since put such notions to bed. If the clandestine model were the only marrano model, the discussion would end here.

6But it does not. Newer ideas of marranism center on other properties than clandestinity, dual consciousness, and cultural introversion. We are now aware that marranism is an ever-changing project. There seems to be such a thing as late or recent marranism, the variety which finds a niche in the more tolerant modernity of, for example, Europe, India, and the Americas. If one takes these more recent varieties into view, marranismo once again becomes suggestive for viewing peoples who, like the Jews of Iberia, had to redevelop their heritage once in the context of early-Modern imperial persecution and then again under secular capitalist regimes.

  • 7 Wachtel N., La foi du souvenir. Labyrinthes marranes, Paris, Le Seuil, 2001, p. 333-366.

7Wachtel’s study of modern Brazilians who inherit crypto-Jewish culture was among the first to characterize the marranism of our time.7 Today, in places ranging from Spain and Portugal to remote former provinces in Peru or New Mexico, other modern “mestizo children of Israel” embrace marrano identity publicly. (We are not concerned here with the question of whether they are in fact genealogically Jewish, but only with their self-understanding.) Although some follow the rabbinic path to conversion, others insist that eclectic marranism is a legitimate Jewish tradition in no need of conversion.

  • 8 Segal A., Jews of the Amazon. Self-Exile in Paradise, Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society, (...)

8If clandestinity and tragic memory have influenced marrano culture, so has remoteness from authoritative congregations—a veritable “diaspora within the diaspora.” Unlike metropolitan Jewries, which foster the rabbinate, the heterodox Jews of Amazonia (etc.) have relaxed their endogamic taboos, allowed commensality, and indulged in easygoing collages of Jewish custom with the national culture of vernacular Christianity. Segal speaks of the “admirable lightness of being Jewish” in Iquitos.8 Yet remote Jews do not renounce identity. Improvising upon what were once habits of clandestine survival, they now adopt as “history that gives structure and intelligibility” narratives of prestigious, even redemptive difference alongside those of martyrdom.

9The stigma on the Amerindian has also changed. The serf-like tributary status of indio, an ascriptive label without identity value, has ceded to a racially marked but politically effective citizenship in all the Andean republics. Andean practices need not be hidden because most Catholic clergy adopt a modus vivendi with Andean ritualism. Changes open the way to newer identity projects. In highland and coastal Peru, descendents of “the people called Indians” tend to rework the cultural inheritance of their highland homes in a way that resembles “light” marranism: the “secret” of Indian stigma is transmuted into an acceptable and even valuable local or regional identity.

10Ex-peasant, non-“white” families in Lima and other cities and towns are publicly labeled cholo, a despective term pointing out less-than-white race and lower-class status. With hard-bitten ambivalence they accept in some contexts and reject in others. But cholo, like yndio is a part of the unwanted racial framework imposed by an unfriendly society. Memorious contexts such as festivals, gatherings of “provincial societies” (the Andean equivalent of landsmanschaften), school pageants, and keepsake books or websites rework indigenous symbols in other ways. One characteristic memory-and-identity practice is what Marisol de la Cadena calls “de-indianization.” A cultural complex that ethnologists know as “Andean” is retained, but relabeled in non-stigmatized categories such as “Inca heritage” or “regional custom.” Another practice is upward reframing, such as linguistic elevation and translation: transposition of peasant genres (such as the comparsa or satirical skit) into higher registers (such as television-style comedy). This often entails translation from the low-status language Quechua to Spanish. Similarly village iconography is transposed into the “high” idioms of oil painting, etc. Similarly too, traditional knowledge such as herbal or hydrological lore is relocated in the dignified sphere of “organic medicine” or “indigenous science.” A third practice is folklorization: parts of peasant cultural knowledge get detached from their original functional sphere and reframed in new recitals of memory or new forms of esthetic play, such as contests. For example dances originally created to honor the prehispanic deities become stage spectacles for inter-village competitions. A fourth practice is emphasis on the nexus between village memories and patriotic history. Mythic figures from the Andean past are recast as precursors of the Peruvian nation.

11Identities generally correspond to material interests, of course. Some modern marranos value their Jewishness as an identity bridge to more fortunate people in capital cities and foreign countries. The diasporic Andean people of cities, on the other hand, have crucial material interests in defending land inheritances or rights to communal pasture and water. Many rely on remittances of crops to supplement miserable urban earnings. And stay-at-home kin have equally compelling reasons to support urban Andeanism: they rely upon outbound migrants to finance rural infrastructure, to underwrite festivals (which are themselves fundraisers), and to house “children of the village” when they travel to urban markets or schools.

  • 9 Taylor G., Ritos y tradiciones de Huarochirí, 2nd ed, Lima, Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos/B (...)

12The culture we are concerned with is that of Huarochirí, a province well known to Wachtel’s Andeanist readers but not perhaps to his Judaic ones. Huarochirí forms a southerly part of the Department of Lima. It extends upward from the Pacific coastal desert to the icy crest of the western cordillera, over 5000 m. in places. Huarochirí has canonical standing in Andean anthropology because the only known Quechua-language book of pre-Christian sacred tradition was written there9 probably in 1608. Today Huarochirí province is monolingually Spanish-speaking. Huarochirí has an 87.9% literate for people over 15 years of age according to the 2001 census.

  • 10 Ortiz Rescaniere A., Huarochirí, 400 años después, Lima, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, (...)

13It is not the whole of Huarochirí society that possesses a marranesque culture of memory. Rather it is the province’s diaspora, grown up since people of the high-altitude villages began migrating massively to Lima in the 1940’s, and then traveling abroad, from the 1960’s onward. We will concentrate on the diaspora’s characteristic literature: the phenomenon of provincial or artisan print. Such writing is the visible trace of a dialogue between many tiny homelands and their ever-stretching networks of expatriate loyalty. They embody all the characteristic memory-identity practices just outlined. The particular cases sketched below come from the central and southerly parts of the Province: the province’s eponymous capital, and such villages as Tupicocha, Sunicancha, and San Damián. These were historic protagonists of the 1608 Quechua book. Indeed Father Francisco de Avila probably sponsored the book to expose their “idolatrous” culture. Second only to Cajatambo province, Huarochirí took a hammering from the agents of “extirpation” in the same era when the Lima Inquisition was conducting anti-Semitic autos-da-fe. Nonetheless the modern print lore sketched below, like the oral lore captured by ethnographers,10 largely carries on the prehispanically-rooted tradition of the waka or Andean sacred beings.

Artisan Print and “Provincial” Society

14In the dusty flea markets of central Lima, some low-end book dealers keep stacks of obscure publications from the country’s provinces, towns, and villages. These catchall volumes of local lore come from job printers in central Lima. They are made at the request of villagers who promote them as festival souvenirs, civic publicity, or sometimes political campaign favors. Such print productions exist at the farthest edges of the global print sphere. They rarely show copyright information. They have no ISBN numbers, no recognized publishers, and no entries in library union catalogues. Most never appear in “proper” bookstores. Scholars tend to cite them sparingly if at all. Libraries, even the great Latin Americanist collections, hold only small samplings. But they are treasures in the communities whose lives they depict.

  • 11 For example: Bermejo V., Puno, historia y paisaje, Puno, n. p., 1947; Bueno Morales M., Síntesis mo (...)
  • 12 For example, Frisancho Pineda S., Mitos, fábulas, tradiciones y leyendas puneñas, Puno, Editorial S (...)

15The literature discussed in this essay corresponds to recent tendencies in “provincial” literature during the post World War II mass emigration. Recent artisan print’s origins lie partly in a many-sided older tradition of publishing by schoolteachers in small towns. Teachers’ theses or festival-commemorating “local monographs” establish authoritative “histories.”11 Genres in village-oriented print are also influenced by the memorial albums produced by small provincial newspapers, which often double as job printers.12

16Rural villages, of course, do not have printing facilities of their own. But since migration of villagers into the city of Lima began after World War II, and especially since city-bound migration became a demographic tidal wave from the 1960s onward, villages produce as well as consume print. Every highland province, Huarochirí being quite typical in this regard, now consists of its resident peasantry plus an elastic web of its “children” who have worked their way into the city. Since the 1980’s ex-villagers and children of villagers have increasingly taken off for richer countries in the Southern Cone, North America, and Europe. Today, the web stretching from a high-altitude herding village is likely to reach Milan, Madrid, Dallas, or Sydney.

17This partnership between a core Andean territory, and a durable web of diaspora “children” precariously established in urban space gives birth, village by village, to “provincial societies” which provide structures of leadership and fiduciary channels. Since the 1960s “provincial societies” have been the object of considerable research. Their number is unknown but probably in the thousands; certainly they are among the main civil-society achievements of modern Peru. They are highly formal corporations which write internal statutes, elect officers, and hold treasuries. Their gatherings include bullfights, “folkloric” dances, soccer matches, and chicken barbecues in the dusty outer boroughs. The larger the scale of the society, the more its leadership tends to embrace and reproduce the homeland’s elite stratum of wealthy landholders, merchants, and professionals.

18For innumerable ex-peasant families, the small homeland is precious in several ways. To return “home” for patron saint festivals is to embrace a far-flung kindred and rekindle old friendships or wangle promising patronage. In return for what it gives its “children,” the village expects its provincial society to give support in the form of funding for public works. Rural print, and its emerging successor-medium webspace form parts of a single deterritorialized economy for making money and meaning in this fashion. So important is it for urbanites to be strong actors in this web that they spend hard-won discretionary income attending “folklore academies,” private schools which have sprung up in all the self-built boroughs to teach (and, of course, modify) the dances and songs rural home districts cherish. Tailoring and costume rental shops specialized in providing urban versions of Andean ritual garb have become substantial businesses. Commercial television stations win high ratings with shows spotlighting spectacular “folkloric” productions. This medium fosters a novel mentality of peasant cosmopolitanism, which enjoys watching the folklorized productions of villages one never knew in rural experience.

19Although print has only a narrow distribution in highland communities, its high prestige and its linking function with the emigrant population give it an importance beyond its “demographics.” The connection through print does more than reinforce villages’ ability to tap their diasporas for fundraising purposes. In settlements that have marked elites (such as the provincial capital), printed works also serve elites as gatekeeping mechanisms that confer various levels of “distinction.” By accepting some contributions, and by editing them in an “elevating” way, the creators of provincial print canonize individuals as notables and authorize parts of regional verbal culture as traditional folklore. Local-interest publications could be thought of as current “correspondence” between a center and its deterritorialized diaspora. Some are fairly broad-based civic efforts, while others represent bids for leadership by particular political-cum-kinship networks.

20Campesinos address the diaspora and vice versa via several print media. One is that of festival programs. These brochures are composed by the organizers of patron saint days and other rituals, job-printed, and hand distributed through urban neighborhoods where the “children of the village” dwell. They speak in a peculiar rhetoric of extravagance and nostalgia, calling the scattered kindreds to their roots. The passage below advertises two festival meals (see Fig. 1):

“The bracing luncheon offered by Sr. Valeriano Llaullipoma at which exquisite little goats direct from the [legendary prehispanic ruins of] Cinco Cerros will be savored and to settle the meal inexhaustible Crystal Beer, and imported wine and liquor…
“The succulent lunch offered by Sr. Blas Ramos and Sra. Dionicia Alberco in which various dishes prepared by a CHEFF [sic] from [the fashionable Lima borough of] Miraflores will be savored and to comfort oneself Polar brand stout and the whiskeys of Miraflores.”

Fig. 1. – Page from Tupicocha’s 1999 program for its patron saint festival, including description of honorific ceremonies to be held by the village in honor of its returning “children” resident in Lima.

Fig. 1. – Page from Tupicocha’s 1999 program for its patron saint festival, including description of honorific ceremonies to be held by the village in honor of its returning “children” resident in Lima.
  • 13 Contreras Tello J., Añoranza huarochirana, trabajo monográfico dedicado a la gran familia huarochir (...)
  • 14 La Voz de San Damián, Lima, n. p., 1957.
  • 15 See also Makaya. Circula en todo el Perú con los distritos de Azángaro (San Juan de Salinas), 10, 1 (...)

21Another genre is the provincial monographs, e.g. Añoranza huarochirana, by Juan Contreras Tello.13 Some of them never see print, but circulate only in photocopied typescript. A third genre consists of collective commemorative books, such as La Voz de San Damián14 to which local notables, teachers, and prominent diaspora members are asked to contribute. Fourth, one finds irregularly published provincial journals of Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural (Lima, 1992-) is an example.15

  • 16 For example: Alva Serna F. A., Distrito de Aco y su folklore. Provincia de Corongo Ancash, Lima?, n (...)

22The authors usually include schoolteachers and principals, politically ambitious local men, Lima-dwelling leaders of immigrant associations, factional or party activists, subprefects or other bureaucrats showing formal sympathy, lettered relatives of costumbreros (persons known for expertise in “custom”), and community members eager to promote development or modernization programs. Businesses owned by countrymen in Lima (such as tent-restaurants, barbershops, or used auto-part stands), and occasionally Lima-based businesses that sell to Huarochiranos, subsidize editions by buying advertising space. Just about every province that contributes to Lima’s great rural influx has produced literature of this order.16

The Books of Andean Diaspora

  • 17 Matos Mar J. et al., Las actuales comunidades indígenas: Huarochirí en 1955, Lima, Universidad Naci (...)

23Artisan print grew up in obscurity and stigma. One indication of wide social distance between metropolitan and provincial print is the fact that academic social science has generally taken no notice of the latter. In 1957, the very year when La Voz de San Damián came out, a team of San Marcos University researchers were finishing an intensive study of Huarochirí Province.17 This compendium would become a cornerstone of Peruvian social science. The book has nothing to say about provincial print. Neither did the writers of La Voz choose to mention the San Marcos University Project. This suggests that small-town intellectual elites did not welcome, or maybe were not even contacted by, metropolitan ones. Between La Voz and the contemporaneous, widely-read book which José Matos Mar and his students published, one sharp and even painful contrast stands out. The title of Matos’ social science classic and all its text flatly attribute Indian-ness to Huarochiranos.

24To that decade’s social scientists on fieldwork, Huarochiranos appeared a colorlessly “peasant” population, unlettered, destined for a modernization likely to leach out what few cultural idiosyncrasies they thought worth noting. The authors of the provincial monograph, on the contrary, saw the village as a society rich in “history,” including written history, a collectivity unique in its customs and determined to uphold the abused and challenged dignity of rural groups.

  • 18 Sotelo H. R., Las insurreciones y levantamientos en Huarochirí y sus factores determinantes, Lima, (...)

25Most Huarochirí villages like villages all over Andean Peru have produced at least one such “local monograph.” Writers often lay claim to authenticity via various essentialisms; in Huarochirí a common one is emphasis on “rebeldía” (rebelliousness), which is treated as a characteristic virtue of Huarochiranos. Its canonical text is a San Marcos dissertation,18 printed and widely circulated. It constructs as master narrative a story of the Huarochiranos as Andean Cincinnati: men and women of the soil rising in arms whenever the Peruvian nation is threatened or oppressed. In every century they gather from mountainside pastures and fields to battle the enemies of the authentic Peru, whether the enemies be the viceroyal bureaucrats of 1750, the Spanish gachupines of 1820, or the Chileans of 1879.

26Provincial print glorifies innovations and anniversaries of “progress”: the arrival of the first motor vehicle in 1944, after years of grueling and dangerous communal work on the new road; the anniversary of building the railroad through the Rímac gorge; the elevation of villages to District status; the installation of Huarochirí’s first TV antenna (1989). State documents which elsewhere might be taken as “purely legal” are reproduced in full as constancias, or proof texts. The provincial book is in this regard an extension of the innumerable ledgers in which home-dwelling Huarochiranos write the constancias of every deed done by their clan-like descent groups (ayllu).

27Extremely detailed reports from the emigrant colony to the parent society, with honors to Lima patrons, are always in demand. Provincial publications carry verbatim texts of ceremonial speeches at urban social functions. Photographs and historical essays commemorate the “invasions” through which migrants to the city founded new neighborhoods: one photo shows a crowd in Sunday clothes, massed around a pole bearing a megaphone horn and a Peruvian flag, in the midst of a patch of desert that contains nothing else.

  • 19 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos a tupicochanizarse, Chosica, n. p., 1983-91.

28Provincial publications sometimes internalize the national state’s aggressive cultural hegemony, especially when written by village-born educators. A female schoolteacher contributed to La Voz an article called “Negative Factors of Education” in which she damns the “complete promiscuity” or “indigenous homes” as an obstacle to learning. Those who “sleep on the floor on rawhides and rough blankets”, those who wear “the cloak, scarf, and sandals” are guilty of “immorality” because they practice “vices” (meaning marital sex and the occasional fiesta-time indiscretion) in front of children. Similarly Tupicocha’s semipublished self-ethnographer Eugenio Vilcayauri Medina19 set out to glorify “tradition”, but also felt free to rebuke the “degenerative love of custom [costumbrismo] and of the ill-interpreted folklore for which the traditional festivals are always a pretext” (p. 17).

29But nostalgia usually overwhelms censoriousness, and for a very practical reason. The nostalgia which traditionalism evokes is translatable into effective alliance between urban “children of the community” and hard-pressed campesinos.

  • 20 Contreras Tello J., oranza huarochirana…, op. cit., p. 95-111.

30It is therefore hard to overestimate the priority that sheer emotion receives in composing provincial publications. Panoramic photos of the home village—the welcoming view one sees when returning from a day on the high fields—are a must. Many pages are dedicated to the words of songs, especially huaynos, on themes of homeland and wistful love. Villagers enjoy seeing familiar food (for example, the huatia or earth-baked potato) dignified in culinary lexicons or recipes. Poetry in elevated pseudo-19th century diction gives the patria chica or local homeland anthems similar in genre to those of the nation. Authors play on nostalgic feelings by writing in astonishing detail about childhood games.20 Soccer narratives matter in more than sporting ways, because soccer teams formed in youth tend to function as strongly cohesive age sets throughout life. Among all the “customs,” publications supremely emphasize non-lethal bullfighting, a spectacle which caught on hugely among highlanders because many of their richest life experiences are connected with herding, the roundup (herranza) and feats of horsemanship.

31A section glorifying motherhood and female patriotism in generalities is never lacking. Yet only a few teachers and hardly any campesinas or urban female entrepreneurs emerge as profiled personalities. Emigrant women’s heroic role in organizing community kitchens for poor neighborhoods is underrepresented. Provincial print provides lavish obituaries which include fine-grained biography of people the city would despise as mere peasants. Photographs of the deceased are one reason such books become carefully guarded keepsakes, eventually verging on heirloom status.

32Articles include a fair amount of narrative meant to evoke poignant scenes:

  • 21 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. 8.

“[In the rainy season in Tupicocha,] when the tillers go home after their day’s work, and rain catches up with them, flash floods sometimes leave them cut off across inundated canyons […] children go along trembling from the cold… torrents roar fiercely in the canyons, thunder and lightning crashes strike ever harder on the mountains.
“[…] the herdsmen suffer a lot in those time. Water leaks into their rickety huts. Their soaked firewood won’t burn and clean water is hard to get. The herdsman sometimes loses his cattle in fields smothered by cloud cover so thick it makes one feel deaf… when the cattle get too skinny they refuse to walk or sometimes they get lost or die.”21

  • 22 La Voz de San Damián, p. 187. See also Salomon F., “Collquiri’s Dam: The Colonial Re-voicing of an (...)

33Other prose contributions can fairly be called self-ethnography, for example including an account of the launching of the sacrificial boat to the Owners of Yansa Lake.22 This ritual, closely linked to an earlier one described in the 1608 Quechua source, would be utterly opaque to urbanites and obscure even to peasants from other villages (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2. – The ethnography of nostalgia: A page from Añoranza Huarochirana pictures the Carnaval clown Rey Momo Ño Carnavalón “and one of his wives” (1995).

Fig. 2. – The ethnography of nostalgia: A page from Añoranza Huarochirana  pictures the Carnaval clown Rey Momo Ño Carnavalón “and one of his wives” (1995).
  • 23 Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural, I, 1991, p. 164.

34However the “writing of culture” here stands poles apart from academic ethnography. In the first place, it assumes native familiarity with concepts and places. For example, one would have to know the plants and animals emblematic of particular settlements to understand a clever satire of Huarochirí’s various towns in dialogue with each other around a campfire, where speaking herbs stand in allegorically for moral qualities.23 In the second, its ethnographic art does not at all seek to conserve local styles or usages. Rather, “good” writing in this context involves clever transposition from vernacular to literary registers. When the Andean gods appear, as they often do, their loves and rivalries are told in courtly or “elevated” language perhaps derived from Spanish imitators of Racine. A person not familiar with the terrain might even fail to recognize some “traditions” as referring to the same rites which seem so intensely “Andean” when described by Arguedas, the indigenists, or modern cultural anthropologists.

Provincial Writing and the Mystique of Names

35Unlike schoolbooks, with their relentless preaching of national linguistic norms, provincial print glorifies linguistic peculiarity. But it does so only in specific contexts. Books of the diaspora invite highlanders to revel in their distinctive lexicon (see Fig. 3) as a domain of “folklore.” In the linguistic games of marranesque nostalgia, proper nouns play a leading role.

Fig. 3. – Lexical folklore: part of a list of local usages in Añoranza huarochirana. Some are in fact peculiar to Huarochirí, others more general rural usages.

Fig. 3. – Lexical folklore: part of a list of local usages in Añoranza huarochirana. Some are in fact peculiar to Huarochirí, others more general rural usages.

36A Huarochirano’s name is a layered linguistic construct. Its innermost shell is one’s querer (‘love’, that is, the name used affectionately by the inner circle of kin and generation mates), for example Fuyensho for Florencio, Shindo for Gumercindo, Mashaco for Marcial, Shufa for Sofía, Lensha for Florencia, Quilish for Eráclides, Pesh for Perseveranda, Shico for Francisco, Shufeo for Saturno, Yengo for José. The prominent “sh”, which is not a phoneme of Royal Academy Spanish, functions as sound-symbolism evoking local identity. It may relate to the dialectological influence of Quechua I (i.e. central-Peruvian Quechua) but it is also common in “baby talk.” The querer of a deceased person is almost unbearably evocative; it is likely to call forth tears of renewed grief, and for this reason, one does not mention it during mourning.

  • 24 Contreras Tello J., Añoranza huarochirana…, op. cit., p. 160-162.
  • 25 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. no num.

37Since it is usually one’s age mates who know quereres and satirical nicknames, these constitute richly rewarding emotional “warm buttons.” One provincial monograph feature24 is a trivia quiz challenging the “children” of Huarochirí to remember the quereres or loving nicknames of specific local hometown figures. Vilcayauri Medina25 thought them worth of a 3-page list.

  • 26 Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural, I, 1991, p. 153.

38Toponyms also play a starring roles in the lexicography of local sentiment. No medium is more toponym-intensive than provincial print, more dedicated to touring imagined space. Even pure trajectory, without prose cues to any exterior connotation, is a sought-for effect. For example, one article consists of nothing but a list of the 50 named landmarks a traveler passed on the old route from Huarochirí to Lima26 (see Fig. 4).

39A rich crust of toponymy covers many pages, like embroidery on a ceremonial garment:

“When we talk of “Gurmanchi”, swiftly we remember “Chilcanchi”, “Ollucanchi”, “Matahuanchi”, “Canchanchi”, “Shiquircanchi”. Likewise, when we think of “Macachaya”, by association we think of “Huahuilcaya”, “Sincocaya”, “Matiacaya”, “Cornaya”; likewise of “Culcushica”, “Cushashica”, of “Huayqui”, “Calmayqui”, “Chacuayqui”.”

Fig. 4. – A toponymic quiz in Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural: “Did you know the route by which our ancestors used to travel to the city of Lima?”.

Fig. 4. – A toponymic quiz in Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural: “Did you know the route by which our ancestors used to travel to the city of Lima?”.

40Not a single one of these is lexically transparent. The terms derive from the extinct ethnic language of the region. The enjoyment they give is that of mentally ranging through one’s homeland. The apparently boundless appreciation for proper names gives a clue to the intellectual inclinations behind this literature. Proper nouns, unlike all other kinds of words, are commonly taken as denoting not a class of entities but unique referents. To be a learned person in this lore of uniqueness is to be headed upstream against the trend of organized intellectual life, with its nomothetic and generalizing aspirations. Nobody gives this mentality a clearer voice than “Eveme” of Tupicocha, who typed a whole lexicon to express his aspirations for a form of learning that flees the nomothetic to ground itself in the unique:

  • 27 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. 42…

“TUPICOCHANIZARSE: to affiliate oneself with one’s environment; to identify oneself with Tupicocha.”
“TUPICOCHOLOGÍA: Science which deals with the subjects that constitute and integrate Tupicocha.”
“TUPICOCHOGRAFÍA: Science that deals with the description of Tupicocha in its various aspects.”
“TUPICOCHÍLOGO: One who professes Tupicochography.”27

41What did the author have in mind? The motion toward a “science” whose subject matter finally resolves itself into an indefinitely large universe of the unique—a strictly chorographic study diametrically opposed to the usual philosophy of scholarship—is offered as a path to certainty of selfhood: a firm existential grip which enables people to be strong, moral, loyal and authentic.

Varieties of the marranesque

42Like the Marranos of Iquitos reveling in an ethnic literary heritage whose pole lies afar, the Huarochiranos of Lima or New Jersey take pleasure in such writings. However the comparison between diasporic Huarochirano identity and that of modern, post-clandestine marrano Jews is not an especially close one. After the experiences of persecution and clandestinity relaxed, Sephardic and Andean cultures took differing courses. Post-clandestine groups that see themselves as the descendants of conversos have embraced as core identities terms like judío, hebreo, and israelita, even speaking of ‘race.’ Post-clandestine descendants of those persecuted for Andean “idolatry” on the other hand accept “de-indianized” terms like Inca or originario as identities. Like nearly all coastal and highland Peruvians, they reject racialized terms such as indígena or runa as incompatible with citizen dignity. They wholly reject genealogical connection with indios. They dislike the term “ethnic,” which to their ears smacks of racialization.

43Yet the two kinds of populations do have a commonality rooted in the era of the inquisition. They both regard themselves as the inheritors of a cultural patrimony unjustly devalued by metropolitan power, one which differentiates them from all others, and which ultimately entails an entitlement to sacred land. In neither case is it a public culture. Any competence in it constitutes a form of reserved knowledge. While not secret, it is not open either; outsiders may partake by invitation only. Both cultures were shut off from the possibility of expression in print for a good four centuries, and both re-enter the republic of letters as disadvantaged latecomers.

  • 28 Kugelmass J. and Boyarin J. (eds.), From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry, with (...)

44Massive migration out of Andean homelands has added to the ethos of reserved knowledge an ethos of expatriation. When migrant Huarochiranos seized upon writing as an elastic nexus through which expatriate villagers afar and those in the homeland could communicate, they set in motion a peculiar form of auto-ethnographic creativity. It bears a distant likeness to the Yizkor-bicher (‘books of remembrance’)28 which the survivors of post-Holocaust Ashkenazic Jewry created to honor their devastated homes, and to the currently fashionable novels of Sephardic marranism.

45One important difference between Andean and Jewish diaspora culture, however, is the distribution of authority. Modern marranos face overbearing rabbinic hierarchies that challenge their claim to legitimate Jewishness. The balance of authority over Andean identities is more even; it grows in a dialogue between homeland villages and far-flung expatriates. Diasporic Andeans partake of higher education and speak less-stigmatized varieties of Spanish, factors which allow them to impose their will on some village discourse. For example, they often try to “improve” Andean songs and rites toward less “serrano” style. But villagers push back via their control of ritual programs and land tenure, and elder costumbreros are recognized as important voices. Only the merit of returning to sponsor an important ceremony can finally validate an expatriate’s claim to speak for the village.

  • 29 Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán and Centro de Documentación sobre la Mujer, Hijas de Kavil (...)
  • 30 Comunarios de Kutini Qaqallinka and Hilda Araujo, Historia de la comunidad de Kutini Qaqallinka, La (...)

46It is interesting that, just as Jewish academics (including Wachtel) have taken important part in the global re-framing of marranism via journalism and scholarly print, so academics of Andean origin or sympathy today take part in the re-framing of Andean culture via vernacular print. The situation of 1957, when academic and provincial print hostilely ignored each other, is all but inverted. Today international NGO’s, visiting researchers (often students at Andean universities), and local government entities themselves sponsor local-oriented publications. One result is the elimination of genre and manner typical of old styles of provincial print. Newer formats are typically testimonial, framed in ideologies of multiculturalism. Diasporic Andeans with academic connections are often the compilers and/or translators. The latest print reincarnation of Huarochirí’s classic mythology is a book of this kind.29 Parallel productions multiply elsewhere in the Andes.30 Beyond Peruvian territory and increasingly within it, the Internet makes production of provincial media ever cheaper and faster; Huarochiranos living in Texas, especially, have mounted a chain of websites which substantially carry on the genres of provincial print.

47Both Jewish and Andean literatures of volunteered attachment operate by helping the reader situate himself imaginatively within the inherited cultural structures. There are some differences, however, in the makeup of favorite structures. The marranesque Jewish memory puts the reader’s experience into relation with traditional “historical” scenarios. Usually they are scenarios of prophecy, of persecution and survival. In Andean cases drama-like scenarios do occur. For example, political struggles for modern projects are likened to the scenario of colonial “rebellion.” But more usually one finds attachment exercised through spatial memory. Diasporic Andean writers tend to position the reader mentally in archetypal spaces (the same sacred landscape mentally reconstructed through recitations of toponyms), or to put the viewer into the virtual presence of sacred beings (mountains, lakes, saints) attached to specific places, by means of pictorial art, cartography, or ritual poetry. The exercise of locating the self in a transcendent entity constituted by kinship is common to both traditions, with differential emphasis: While apical ancestors (the heroes of Genesis) are safe themes for Jewish inhabitants of Christian-dominated states, the apical Andean ancestors known through the 1608 Quechua book were detached from human kinship by the destruction of the mummies who embodied them. The space of proximate kinship, on the other hand, is richly detailed in Andean writing. And there is one final commonality: in both cases, marranism and diasporic literature have played parts in transforming cultural identity from a coercive or inborn aspect of social existence to an achieved or voluntary one. The traditionalism that provincial print so ardently expresses is in this sense an eminently modern creation.

Notes

1 Valensi L. and Wachtel N., Jewish Memories, Berkeley, University of California Press, [1986] 1991, p. 349.

2 Finkielkraut A., The Imaginary Jew, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, [1980] 1994; Marks E., Marrano as Metaphor: the Jewish presence in French writing, New York, Columbia University Press, 1996.

3 Duviols P., La destrucción de las religiones andinas (conquista y colonia), México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, [1971] 1977, p. 269-280.

4 Estenssoro J. C., Del paganismo a la santidad: la incorporación de los indios del Perú al catolicismo, 1532-1750, Lima, Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos/Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú-Instituto Riva-Agüero, 2003.

5 M. Silverblatt I. M., Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World, Durham, Duke University Press, 2004, p. 216-220.

6 Huertas Vallejos L., La religión en una sociedad rural andina (siglo XVII), Ayacucho, Editorial de la Universidad San Cristóbal de Huamanga, 1981, p. 18-37.

7 Wachtel N., La foi du souvenir. Labyrinthes marranes, Paris, Le Seuil, 2001, p. 333-366.

8 Segal A., Jews of the Amazon. Self-Exile in Paradise, Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society, 1999, p. 110.

9 Taylor G., Ritos y tradiciones de Huarochirí, 2nd ed, Lima, Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos/Banco Central de Reserva del Perú/Universidad Ricardo Palma, 1999.

10 Ortiz Rescaniere A., Huarochirí, 400 años después, Lima, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1980.

11 For example: Bermejo V., Puno, historia y paisaje, Puno, n. p., 1947; Bueno Morales M., Síntesis monográfica de la provincia de Melgar, Puno, Editorial “Los Andes”, 1972; Viza Yucra A., Monografía sintética del distrito de Achaya, Puno, Editorial “Los Andes”, 1977; Paredes Ochoa P. A., Ensayo monográfico del distrito de Chupa provincia de Azángaro, Puno, Editorial Samuel Frisancho Pineda, 1998; Paniagua Loza F., El Jaq’e Arjatiri Maestro Telésforo Catacora Defensor del Indio, Juli, n. p., 1991; Ramos Núñez R., Monografía de la provincia de Lampa, Puno, Editorial “Los Andes”, 1967; Sanabria J. C. et al., Apurimac. Primer volumen, Lima, Editorial Atlántida, 1989; Serruto Loayza A. A., Monografía del distrito de Pichacani, Puno, n. p., 1953; Talavera Cervantes J. M., Monografía de Azángaro. Pasado y Presente, Puno, n. p., ca. 1985; Urquiaga Vásquez A., Huella histórica de Putina, Sicuani, Talleres Offset de la Prelatura de Sicuani, 1981?

12 For example, Frisancho Pineda S., Mitos, fábulas, tradiciones y leyendas puneñas, Puno, Editorial Samuel Frisancho Pineda, 1990; Id. (ed.), Album de oro. Monografía del Departamento de Puno, vol. 1, Puno?, n. p., 1970?

13 Contreras Tello J., Añoranza huarochirana, trabajo monográfico dedicado a la gran familia huarochirana que quiere y añora a la tierra natal, Lima, Impofot, 1994.

14 La Voz de San Damián, Lima, n. p., 1957.

15 See also Makaya. Circula en todo el Perú con los distritos de Azángaro (San Juan de Salinas), 10, 13, 1981.

16 For example: Alva Serna F. A., Distrito de Aco y su folklore. Provincia de Corongo Ancash, Lima?, n. p., ca. 1985. Díaz Torres G., Folklore y cantares campesinos y populares [de Chota], Lima, Asociación de Ex-Alumnos Sanjuanistas, 1993?.

17 Matos Mar J. et al., Las actuales comunidades indígenas: Huarochirí en 1955, Lima, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Facultad de Letras, Departamento de Antropología, 1956.

18 Sotelo H. R., Las insurreciones y levantamientos en Huarochirí y sus factores determinantes, Lima, Empresa Periodística S.A. “La Prensa”, 1942.

19 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos a tupicochanizarse, Chosica, n. p., 1983-91.

20 Contreras Tello J., oranza huarochirana…, op. cit., p. 95-111.

21 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. 8.

22 La Voz de San Damián, p. 187. See also Salomon F., “Collquiri’s Dam: The Colonial Re-voicing of an Appeal to the Archaic”, E. Hill Boone and T. Cummins (eds.), Native Traditions in the Postconquest World, Washington, Dumbarton Oaks, 1998, p. 265-293.

23 Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural, I, 1991, p. 164.

24 Contreras Tello J., Añoranza huarochirana…, op. cit., p. 160-162.

25 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. no num.

26 Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural, I, 1991, p. 153.

27 Vilcayauri Medina E., Tupicochanos…, op. cit., p. 42…

28 Kugelmass J. and Boyarin J. (eds.), From a Ruined Garden: The Memorial Books of Polish Jewry, with geographical index and bibliography by Zachary M. Baker, 2nd ed., Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1998.

29 Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán and Centro de Documentación sobre la Mujer, Hijas de Kavillaca: tradición oral de mujeres de Huarochirí, Lima, Ediciones Flora Tristán, 2002.

30 Comunarios de Kutini Qaqallinka and Hilda Araujo, Historia de la comunidad de Kutini Qaqallinka, La Paz?, Ricerca e Cooperazione, 1999; Id, Historia de la comunidad de Tirajahua, La Paz?, Ricerca e Cooperazione, 1999; Mesías Carrera M. (ed.), Zámbiza. Historia y cultura popular, Quito, Centro Ecuatoriano para el Desarrollo de la Comunidad/Ediciones Abya-Yala, 1990.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. – Page from Tupicocha’s 1999 program for its patron saint festival, including description of honorific ceremonies to be held by the village in honor of its returning “children” resident in Lima.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pur/docannexe/image/43845/img-1.jpeg
Fichier image/jpeg, 308k
Titre Fig. 2. – The ethnography of nostalgia: A page from Añoranza Huarochirana pictures the Carnaval clown Rey Momo Ño Carnavalón “and one of his wives” (1995).
URL http://books.openedition.org/pur/docannexe/image/43845/img-2.jpeg
Fichier image/jpeg, 53k
Titre Fig. 3. – Lexical folklore: part of a list of local usages in Añoranza huarochirana. Some are in fact peculiar to Huarochirí, others more general rural usages.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pur/docannexe/image/43845/img-3.jpeg
Fichier image/jpeg, 62k
Titre Fig. 4. – A toponymic quiz in Huarochirí. Revista de unidad cultural: “Did you know the route by which our ancestors used to travel to the city of Lima?”.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pur/docannexe/image/43845/img-4.jpeg
Fichier image/jpeg, 50k

Auteur

University of Wisconsin

© Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2014

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540