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With the desire of support- ing an establishment that is indispensable in order to spread the light, and to see, assembled in the capital, all of the productions of the republic, the govern- ment commissions governors, priests, judges, and mayors to send all things found curious, such as minerals, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, fishes, etc.

We expect that, with their help, the people of Colombia can soon compete with the cabinets of European nations. First, the short- age of materials exhibited is noticeable. That is, that republican infancy can be related—mistakenly, in my opinion—to a national history born suddenly ex nihilo. Nonetheless, this does not happen with the sala de dibujo that is remote neither in space nor in time. The gesture of erasing the particular history of the sala de dibujo and incorporating it almost aseptically into the museum renders it so remote in time—not in space, obviously—that it turns into the emblem of national memory being wiped out precisely in the mo- ment of its institutional constitution.

The transition from colony to republic entailed rethinking the spatial stat- us of Colombia in relation to other states, mainly non-Spanish European. Not exposing the sala de dibujo as part of the collection stages a desire for a final detachment from imperial subjection by obliterating it as a center for calcula- tion, a room where imperial knowledge was assembled, or even a place for political conspiracy.

Reframing the sala de dibujo thus marks a radical break from the recent colonial past, signaling an unbridgeable distance between and This mark silently exhibits the revolutionary narrative of time: silencing the recent military past—and in this sense naturalizing it as a stance where the subject turns into object in not being able to speak back—as a remote object, a presence so remote it has been purposefully forgotten. I find that not only is the naturalization of the nation exhibited in the first museum of Colombia, but also the naturalization of the recent military histo- ry is a way to give the republic peaceful entrance into an international mar- ket.

For Colombia, entering into the international market implied creating a nar- rative of peace 36 in order to obliterate the recent past and present of war. Progress or a mere parody of it cannot incorporate ongoing war or violence within its narrative of normality.

It is well known that narratives of progress mask violence—physical, cultural, and economic—as an inherent characteristic of the movement-toward-the-future that feeds its teleological nature. By means of what could be labeled as a military slip, the naturalization of military practices aimed at equating sidereal stones with indigenous corpses.

This has to be read as a not-so-innocent explanation but also as a clear sign of the cleansing of atavistic military practices. Just as the military history of the Botanical House was erased, the history of the mummy has to be also oc- cluded. Hence, trig- gering a relation between crime and community, war and nationality also fade into the air. Deficit is precisely that which does not allow the obliteration of the recent military past of the young republic.

Reach- ing abundance is necessary as a means to overcome deficit at a national scale in order to compete with non-Spanish Europe and thus be recognized by European states. Europe is the site where abundant material culture is to be found, while Latin America, in this case Colombia, is a space where scarce material culture can be overcome only by the exploitation and export of natural re- sources.

Thus, history is seen through the lens of a scarcity redeemable only by debt: Latin America owes Europe its entrance into progress, a narrative literally familiar to the first generation of Republicans who had taken im- mense debt from the English in order to found their nation-states.

Michel de Certeau speaks of the ways in which progress privileges time over space despite the latter being its obvious condition of possibility. To be critical about this entails a process of historicizing space, always problematizing progress and showing the inner contradictions to its seemingly neutral, peaceful, and objective narrative. It is not only metaphorically, then, that the Botanical House, after being sold by the government in , was demolished in to build new city roads.

The de- bate is more complex than this, 44 but let us say that while progress privileges time over space, in the minds of Latin American elites war was seen as privileging the latter over the former. In privileging geography, maps, and frontiers, war was seen by nineteenth-century elites as an antimovement interrupting the swift notion of progress as a historical wave advancing from one stage to another, from underdevelopment to development, from barbar- ism to civilization.

Emptying the Botanical House of its particular history created a discursive magnetic field from which to centralize the performance of citizenship, representing state power as a bartering ma- chine that in exchange for stones and curiosities naturalized subjection to the new Republican state, showing more than ever that the state as an apparatus does not exist but as a series of practices that render acquiescence accept- able. If the modern state is the outmost center of ideas such as reason, progress, and individual freedom, 48 it has to be said that in Colombia—and possibly in other Latin American coun- tries that founded museums around the same time Argentina in , Brazil in —exhibiting the constitution of state power was a process that un- covered irrationality, randomness, and deficit as the lacking ingredients from which early narratives were assembled, showing painstakingly that the state is founded on an illusion.

Probably more dramatically than elsewhere, given that institutionalized discourses on nationality happened earlier than in Eu- rope but also because in Latin America these were channeled through a feeble state still at war with the Spanish Empire, the centralization of a community showed itself, literally, as a random selection of objects obtained by enforced ritualistic practices.

Paula Findlen, in her book on collecting nature in early modern Italy, speaks of the ways in which collecting practices during the Renaissance served to bridge distances among European cities. To achieve this, it seemed crucial to erase the marks that could have disturbed that process. Hiding scarcity and exhibiting natural abundance were actions that led to an invention ex nihilo of nationality instead of conceiving nationality as a quest for self knowledge. Colombia, Gaceta de Colombia 1, no.

Cualla, — In chapter 2 of this volume, Javier Uriarte also explores the founding violence of the state through institutional narratives like the museum. Sevilla, Memorias de un oficial, The minutes of this interrogatory appear in Historia documental, Colombia, Gaceta de Colombia, August , emphasis added. In line with this discussion but regarding a different context that of Argentina in the later part of the nineteenth century , chapter 2 of this volume discusses how the state combined anthropology with archaeology in order to wipe out the contemporary history of indigenous presence in the territory.

These erasing practices are, hence, unfortunately endemic in the constitution of the Latin American modern state. I thank one of the anonymous readers of this text for pointing out the striking similarities between state-sponsored discourses about the territory of the nation then and now. That way, the European copy turns into the original, setting the paradigm for what is culturally accepted as being of buen gusto [good taste] for the Spanish- speaking middle-class reading public.

Segura, Itinerario, Oxford: Blackwell, Andermann, Jens. Gaceta de Colombia 1, no 1. Cualla, — Deas, Malcolm. De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, Findlen, Paula. Quito: Imprenta del Clero, Los grandes conflictos de nuestra historia.

Lynch, John. The Spanish American Revolutions — New York: Norton, Nieto, Mauricio. Rotker, Susana. Segura, Martha. Itinerario del Museo Nacional de Colombia — Sevilla, Rafael. Vezga, Florentino. This strong desire for extinguishing the desert led in fact to the construction of other deserts— this time not just imagined or fictional but tragically concrete.

The direct cause for this desertification was war, the main instrument that made possible this new emptiness, which was the basis for the strong modernizing impulse that came to Latin America in the last years of the nineteenth century. In these pages, I discuss the forms in which Francisco Pascasio Moreno, per- haps the best-known Argentine traveler to Patagonia the southernmost part of the country in the final years of the nineteenth century, discursively transforms the desert into his personal collection.

This collection would be the origin of the La Plata Museum of Natural Sciences, which he directed from its opening to the public in until I argue that war was a condition of possibility for the building of this personal collection and, ulti- mately, for the museum.

In this chapter, I argue that Moreno makes frequent use of metonymic operations in order to avoid the explicit mention of violence, of the same violence that is a condition for the very existence of the museum. I think here of metonymy as a rhetorical figure of contiguity that works through associations, identification, and similarities. It is true that Moreno, through his trips and his writings, contributed to the mapping of Patagonia.

However, even as he made those territories visible for the eyes of the state, his texts also display different strategies that make war the very instrument that transforms the frontier into something visible and appropriable for the state invisible. The dynamics and the logic of the collection are already present in the forms in which the traveler traverses, modifies, and even looks at these spaces.

The book narrates a journey to Patagonia made in the years —, at a moment in which the quotation by Presi- dent Avellaneda that opens these pages suggested the commonly accepted idea that the war against the indigenous peoples was the only possible way to extend modernization and progress to southern Argentina. The book was published in , when the Conquest of the Desert effectively began and when most of its crucial battles took place.

However, these texts, for the most part, do not mention the war. This chapter reveals the different metonymic operations of which the traveler makes use in order to silence war. In his voyages, Moreno assumes the role of a pioneer while competing with European travelers on behalf of his fatherland and reaching regions in which nobody—that is to say, no European or white man—had set foot before himself.

This role is also assigned to him by the state. This private collection is, of course, the origin of the La Plata Museum of Natural Sciences that Moreno would direct for twenty-one years. As a parallel element to this official construction of Moreno, it would be useful to ask ourselves what is the role of the state in his writing and how this traveler imagines the state throughout his route.

How is the relationship with the state conceived when it does not exist in the territories visited? How is the central power made visible? The answer to these ques- tions lies in the relationship between the state, the violence that founds it, and the rhetoric of the collection and the museum.

In Viaje a la Patagonia Austral, Moreno gives authority to his discourse by way of use of scientific discourse. I have searched its ruins, I have studied its walls and, upon the minimum trace, I have attacked and beaten them with the hammer and pickax; and in the middle of that arid solitude I have found the animation of lost epochs, the extinguished vertebrates from the dawn of the Tertiary have resurrected before my sight.

The only thing that can be found there are signs, ruins, traces of something that is always hidden and needs to be brought to life i. Here, the task of the collector implies the ideas of revelation and discovery in the sense of uncovering. Paradoxically, though, this entrance into the present takes place as long as they continue to be dead objects, as long as they are immobilized as ancestors.

The voyage becomes thus a temporal one since the appropriation of the space implies its inclusion in the modernizing logic of the museum. The objects found are read as part of the past and inserted into the national narration of progress.

Moreno seems satisfied only when he describes the land as what it is going to be trans- formed into, or as a past that can be incorporated into his own narration. From this perspective, Patagonia is literally a space of death. Nature is a form of the past that is meaningful as long as it can be transformed, as long as it can be described as something different from what the traveler sees, as what it will become.

However, the strength of this rhetorical faith in the changes that the arrival of progress would carry hides the erasures that this same arrival presupposes. The arrival of the train and cars have erased the traces of looting and throat cutting. However clear this oper- ation of substitution seems, it is expressed through a strong rhetoric of conti- nuity since the text refers to an apparently inevitable transformation of the indigenous space.

That is why I prefer to read a metonymic tone—rather than a metaphoric one—in this writing. The quote includes another operation of substitution, perhaps subtler and rhetorically more effective than the one I just described. The quote implies that this same space will be replaced by the school, a figurative way of expressing the disappearance of a traditional form of knowledge for a modern state institution.

This replace- ment is ideologically construed since the explanation for the disappearance of indigenous life does not lie on the presence of the school, of labor, or of the new means of transportation. This series of rhetorical substitutions dis- guised as continuities hide their celebration of the genocidal war that makes them possible.

The carob tree is the space of indigenous culture, but it is also an abandoned space since there is no mention of the actual presence of people around it. As mentioned above, only traces of barbarian activities disappear thanks to modernization. The association of natives with violence constitutes a mechanism for legitimizing the very fact that they are, when Moreno writes his text, nothing more than a trace. The only part of indigenous life that is recalled here is its violence, while the conquests of civilization appear as elliptic operations that only show a satisfactory result, eliding the war that remains silenced as an expla- nation for those civilizing achievements.

They are conceived as part of a collection. Furthermore, the traveler does not exhume just skulls but entire bodies as well. He even desecrates indigenous tombs to obtain the buried bodies. Everything is equally subject to being exhibit- ed and studied. The problem with this position lies in the distance between that which is openly expressed and that which at the same time is being stated surreptitiously, through silences and ellipses. These operations of invisibility are precisely the ones that, in Moreno, make war legitimate.

In the final years of the nineteenth century, from the perspec- tive of the Argentine state, it is not possible to reconcile the ideology of progress—reflected in the importance of the museum institution—with the opposition to the extermination of indigenous peoples. In this way, their permanence within the nation- al space would become meaningful for the modern state. In the future that the traveler projects for Patagonia, natives are imagined as a subordinate and precarious workforce.

Thus, the state that consolidated in these years implied the establishment of new capitalist relations of production. At the same time, this discourse projects a certain form of precariousness within the national space, a space composed by that which was outside and has now been incorporated into that space, perhaps conditionally, and with a very precise and restricted task. This is what Moreno expresses in his travelogue. However, in his Reminiscences, where we find texts written once the disappearance of indige- nous cultures has become a concrete and tragic reality, Moreno refers to the role of the indigenous peoples in the nation as different from that of the gaucho while still proposing the museum as the inevitable destiny for the former.

The distance between natives and gauchos is now significant. In a footnote, Moreno refers to anthropophagy, which, according to him, was a common indigenous custom. Las escenas que ellos me contaron a ese respecto, horrorizan. Only one solider escaped this killing, and he now provides service as guardian at the National History Museum]. The quote is also rich in that it can lead us to reflect on the oblique or additional modes of exhibition employed by the museum in those years.

In this particular case, through a macabre operation, it is not the native who is exposed but rather the soldier who survived the massacre perpetrated by the natives. He continues to be a cheap workforce in the modern nation-state since he is a marginal part of two of its most representative spaces: the estate and the museum. The soldier, victim of the barbarians, will still share the space with them, even if they have been domesticated by the museum and their proxim- ity is no longer dangerous.

At the same time, it is as if the indigenous violence had a particularly strong metonymic effect: anything or anyone that is touched by it, that suffers it, or that is a witness of it becomes a part of the narration about it. In addition, the indigenous people are not exposed in the museum only as skulls or skeletons, but the institution also has the task of preserving the living Indian.

There is a subtle continuity between the archaeological object found and exhibited at the museum and the living Indians who are also exhibited and studied with the excuse of their preservation. The museum is, therefore, the ideal institution to place them.

It is the space for those who preserve traces of death, be it their own or that of the other. It is, in fact, a ghostly place, in between life and death. The text once again establishes a continuity by subtly identifying the different elements that the envoy will gather and thus fossilizing the indigenous people.

By bringing them to the museum and transforming them in part of the collection, Moreno implicitly equals the discourse of anthropol- ogy to that of archaeology. This is the nostalgic tone of progress, the ghostly description of spaces and peoples that are disappearing as a result of the new temporal dimension that war is projecting into space. While in Viaje a la Patagonia austral there is a clear tendency to establish beginnings since the narrator of this book constructs himself as an absolute pioneer, the Remi- niscencias are in a certain sense the narration of an ending.

In this book, the encounters with indigenous people are frequently the anticipation of their imminent disappearance. It is precisely the disappearance of the tribe that makes the existence of the museum meaningful and necessary. The exteriority and exotic character of the lands described by these very different travelers can lead us to compare the divergent operations of classification and cataloging that take place in each of them.

Francisco P. Moreno, Reminiscencias del Perito Moreno, coll. Eduardo V. Coni, , Moreno, Reminiscencias, 27— Andermann, The Optic of the State, Moreno, Reminiscencias, I do not know for what strange concern he did so since later on, when I met him again in Patagones, even if we were still friends, he would not let me approach him.

I proposed him to go with him and he rejected my offer saying that I wanted his head. That was his destiny]. Indeed, Sam seems to be an original kind of friend. Moreno, Viaje, Moreno, Remniscencias, — This is another good example of the metonymic effect of continuities in the discourse of the collection. Moreno, Reminiscencias, 33—34, emphasis added. It is important to point out that today, most of these skulls and skeletons have been returned to the lands of their people thanks to the important and insistent work of a group of social forces.

As a result, in a sense, the museum became itself a desert. Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frank- furt am Main: Vervuert, Rosario, Argentina: Beatriz Viterbo Editora, Buenos Aires: Ariel, Espasa-Calpe, Badenes, Daniel. Bandieri, Susana. Historia de la Patagonia. Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, Certeau, Michel de. Translated by Steven Rendall. Fabian, Johannes. New York: Columbia University Press, Jagoe, Eva-Lynn Alicia. Rosario, Argentina: Beatriz Viterbo Editoria, Molloy, Sylvia.

Madrid: Ibe- roamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert, Buenos Aires: Imprenta Pablo E. Coni, Collected by Eduardo V. Buenos Aires: El Elefante Blanco, Viaje a la Patagonia austral. Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia, Stewart, Susan. Torre, Claudia. Buenos Aires: Prometeo Libros, Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno, In the social context of the nineteenth century, buen gusto was routinely understood as the degree of civilization of an individual.

It is no coincidence that these activities need be carried out during a trip abroad. For this would-be collector of privileged reproductions, the provenance of the object is essential, not necessarily its exchange value or even its authenticity. Only the acquisition of an object properly vetted by buen gusto could guarantee the resulting pride of ownership in the mechanically reproduced replica.

Questions of authenticity as the hallmark of the collectable are new to the practice of collecting. Benjamin may have written in expectation of the day when mechanical reproduction had rendered the aura of originals meaningless; for nineteenth- century collectors—like their twenty-first-century counterparts in museum shops everywhere—the aura of an original only heightened the desirability of the replica.

For whether in museum workshops of the nineteenth century or in the museum shops of the twenty-first—and the catalog and Internet commerce that are its successors—the misappropriation of the replica often renders it a stand-in of the auratic original. This holds not only for the art work, but also, for instance, for a landscape which passes in review before the spectator in a movie.

As a leisure activity, this makes the popularity of travel writing among turn-of-the-last-century readers contemporaneous with the dawn of both the tourism and the film industries in Latin America. It is in this context that this study proposes the consumption of travel writing as a form of virtual collecting for those middle-class Latin Americans devoid of economic privileges but still eager to share in the col- lecting activities that seemed to be the inevitable result of a trip abroad.

At the Exhibition, everyone is somewhat badaud]. When tensions marked his experience abroad in this trip, he was able to dismiss them by resorting to a gaze deferred that affirmed his claim to cultural superiority over subject matter and audience, all in uneasy pursuit of the modern literary market. To see and to judge, to select in order to display, is of course the task—and the privilege— of the collector. Much of it is not in circulation today. A carefree combination that allowed him to obtain handouts from the Guatemalan dictator].

Era amigo de Verlaine, de Moreas, de Reynaud, de Duplessis, de todos los concurrentes a las comidas y reuniones de La Plume. He was a friend of Verlaine, of Moreas, of Reynaud, and of Duplessis, of all those present at the dinners and meetings of La Plume. Whether this recognition was indeed true is still open to question.

Stop then before the windows, stop before shop doors, and you will see familiar scenes developing their languid cinematographic films, under the light of antique patriarchal lamps. A revealing textual depiction of the act of acquisition of a privileged souvenir abroad actually makes an appearance early in the text. I browse through my album of erotic epilepsies; I unravel the Tibetan prayer in red characters. Again, as with the reproductions of European museum workshops, the fact that the image is a replica—and a replica, moreover, mediated through the privileged activity of a trip abroad—only serves to heighten its desirability.

Pero luego los ojos se acostum- bran. This is not what we had dreamed of! This is not what we had seen in prints! But then the eyes become accustomed. It is the Japan of the curio cabinet. Its desirability rests precisely in its reproducibility, in how closely actual Japanese landscapes reproduce that which is already known and collected.

Despite the promise implicit in the title, the first stops in the textual itinerary—organized in a similar fashion to the historical one, the better to promote the illusion of travel—show little in the way of exoticism.

Ya de las amplias calles llenas de tiendas y de las avenidas palaciegas, nada vemos. One could say that one hand physically erases, one by one, the sensation of life, of commerce, of modernity. We see nothing of the wide streets full of shops and of palatial avenues. Instead, the ruined domes of pagodas, the cor- roded walls of palaces, the hills full of scattered rocks. Those ruined copulas, those corroded palace walls, those dispersed stones could all very well be housed in a museum.

Never really perceiving them as human, the text seeks to mutate temple dancer and opium smoker into privileged Oriental replicas of objetos de arte, stripped of all context of the culture that produced them, passively open to inspection by the would-be collector. Much like the arti- facts of primitive cultures located in Western museums of the turn of the century, the reader is meant to understand them merely as aesthetic objects.

In contrast to the panoramic film vistas at work elsewhere in the collection, these two texts deploy almost cinematic close-ups of their subjects. Al fin, entre las hojas, una puertecilla. After the flower filled streets in which Europeans build their paradisiacal bengalows sic under the shade of palm trees, we find an indigenous neighborhood with its narrow streets, its low little houses, its enormous roofs. And then, nothing, not a single house, not a single light; nothing other than greenery, the mobile architectures of the trees, the thick foliage, the palpitating domes.

Finally, among the leaves, a small door. Beyond the door, in the darkness, is the realm of timelessness, of the ahistorical Orient. Suddenly, silently, like a shadow, the temple dancer appeared. In line with the modernista obsession with filling every available space, the accumulation of signifiers takes over in the guise of ethnological explanation.

En Banares la Santa y en otras ciudades de las riberas del Ganges, las hay que son graves y suntuosas sacerdotisas. Las hay, en fin, que viviendo del ejercicio de su arte, recorren las grandes capitales del mundo y modifican. No es ni una joya sagrada, ni una flor de suntuosidad. Ninguna influencia sabia adultera su arte instinti- vo.

There are some who serve the god Siva, who have something sacred in their bronze bodies, and who, it seems, perform miracles of adoration before amazed multitudes. There are some also who, in the palaces of the maharajas revive, with the fabulous prestige of their dances, the abolished splendor of ancient Indian courts.

There are some who, finally, living by the exercise of their art, travel through the great capitals of the world and modify. Our own, she who has just appeared in this courtyard in Colombo, does not belong to these high castes. She is neither a sacred jewel, nor a sumptuous flower. She is a popular dancer, an indigenous plant, a fruit of the soil.

Her bronze skin has never been steeped in scents and her toes have only been gilded by the sun. No wise influence adulterates her instinctive art. No ritual measures her steps. As she is, humble and divine, made not for the entertainment of princes but to complete the voluptuous drunkenness of Malabar sailors and Cingalese workers; as she is and as she performs tonight.

The golden idol seems to rest, finally, on a vegetal pedestal that hinders her from taking a step. Los brazos que se alzan ondulando, parecen subir, subir sin cesar. Y alucinados por el ritmo, acabamos por no ver, entre ramas y flores. The arms that rise undulating, seem to climb and climb endlessly. It is the sacred serpent of India! The music, which finally finds its true purpose, redou- bles its penetrating, anguished, exasperating melancholy. And, hallucinated by the rhythm, we end up not seeing, among branches and flowers.

And the narrator is its collector. Reality, here it is: you are in Paris, you have not left Paris]. But our guide reassured us, assuring us that it was impossible to confuse these houses. Once again, as in Colombo, the performance about to begin is heralded by a sensory experience. The scent of opium—if once strange, now described in familiar terms— contributes to the Orientalism of the scene.

Eran chinos flacos, de rostros inteligentes. They were thin Chinese men, with intelligent faces. They all wore wide black pants and shiny pajamas. Static, with closed eyes and crossed arms, they seemed like wax figures. Only there, at the edge of the room,.

It was a young Vietnamese woman who had just smoked her last pipe. Or was it perhaps an adolescent? All in that apparition of lan- guid beauty signaled femininity. The body was outlined in fine undulations under the dark silk, and the contour of the face was of impeccable purity.

On her toes, as on her fingers, shone silver rings without precious stones, and on her ankles, on her arms, her neck, were piled bracelets, chains, and neck- laces. The narrator is liberated from social conventions to stare, an act that under different circumstances, that is, among social equals, would be frowned on but that under the exigen- cies of his craft and the conditions of travel is even expected. Why make such a long trip if not to contemplate wonders? Those dreamy eyes of mystery, voluptuousness, and sad- ness.

Contemplating them for a long time, I learned the mysteries of opium. I peered into them, as into an infinite well, with horror and beatitude]. And there were, on jade boats, among sparkling, shining silks, Yunnan princesses who went in search of amorous adventures in glaucous seas; and there were heroic pirates who fought in their fragile sampans against the formidable navy of the emperor; and there were tutelary dragons, with scales of a thousand colors, who ap- peared under the moonlight to offer sad virgins invincible talismans; and there were palaces as big as towns, filigree palaces with golden roofs, walls covered in embroidered tapestries, palaces full of music, perfumes, gallantry; and there were, deep down, deep, deep down, at the bottom of the waters of the well, minuscule, miraculous, pagodas.

What I wanted to know was whether she was real or was a ghost, a human creature or a shadow. Des femmes songereusses nourries de pavots noirs. Eso era, sin duda. Yes, that was it. That was it, no doubt. Esto evita los detalles baedekerianos. That way he avoids Baedeker-like details. Besides, he must believe that his public is educated and that his allusions and historical or legendary references are understood.

These shared assumptions add another level to the text as a virtual catalog for would-be collectors marooned at home by economic circumstances. William F. Rice Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , 46— Hannah Arendt, trans. Brothers Jules — and Edmond — Goncourt, writers, critics, print- makers, painters, collectors, and marchands, are credited with the introduction of Japanese art in France in the nineteenth century. Semblanzas, ed. In line with Edward W.

Ibid, 81, emphasis added. Buenos Aires: Hachette, Benjamin, Walter. Madrid: Taurus, New York: Schocken, Semblanzas, edited by M. Paris: Garnier Hermanos, Mexico City: Imprenta Universi- taria, Vistas de Europa, 7— Ma- drid: Editorial Mundo Latino, Madrid: J. Howarth, David, and Stephen Howarth.

Edited by Stephen Rab- son and Peter Mayle. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Hudson, Kenneth. Museums of Influence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Caracas: Alfadil Ediciones, Edited and introduced by William F.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Said, Edward W. Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient. Harmondsworth: Penguin, Turner, Jane, ed. The Dictionary of Art. New York: Grove, This is no small task. Although collecting, both as a recurrent theme and as a strategy that the authors apply in writing their texts, is central to the aesthet- ics of modernismo, a sustained discussion of the topic is still lacking.

This perspective is in tune with that of Andrew Reynolds, Olga Villella, and Shelley Garrigan, who have also shown the centrality of the collecting in modernista aesthetics. My argument is that in De sobremesa, the act and the theme of collecting provide a paradigm for the construction of certain hybrid and unstable aes- thetic, cultural, and personal notions of identity. As I explain in what follows, collecting is a recurrent theme in a novel that frequently enumerates and describes the objects that its protagonist amasses.

Furthermore, collecting is also an activity that the novel enacts, as Silva brings together in his text a variety of literary themes and motifs in such a way that the novel becomes itself a collection of heterogeneous elements. For that reason, De sobremesa is not only a novel that displays a thematic obsession with material culture but, in a sense, also a novel about collecting, both literal and figurative, and that, through its own performing of the act of collecting, outlines the pos- sibilities of a porous and mutable notion of selfhood that goes beyond fixed models of identity.

According to the diary, his life changes unexpectedly once he en- counters Helena, a fifteen-year-old girl, whom he glimpses from a distance in a Swiss hotel. Once he recovers, he returns to his country, disenchanted and skeptical.

From a formal point of view, one may argue that the act of collecting permeates the novel, which may be read as a collage that brings together heterogeneous elements from various sources. Some parts of the novel, for instance, are written in accordance with the conventions set by a romantic tradition that praises the purity of the beloved woman. He plans to impose free trade and to foster mining, agriculture geared toward export, and industrial development.

Although at times this has been considered a flaw of the novel, this eclecticism may also be read as an enactment of the type of collection that the novel itself addresses as a topic. De sobremesa is a text that collects and juxtaposes various possibly contradictory themes and motifs in a manner that actually resembles the way the act of collecting is portrayed within the novel itself.

As a topic, collecting figures prominently in the novel. You will adorn the vestibule of my Paris hotel, you enormous Etruscan vase that boast in your bas-reliefs a beautiful proces- sion of nymphs, and above the horns of the ram that make your handles, the orchids of the tropics. He is portrayed as a womanizer, a collector of women, who registers his many conquests in his diary. El vulgo les pone nombres a las cosas para poderlas decir y pega tiquetes a los individuos para poderlos clasificar.

T hat is the label that was assigned to me in the classification. People give names to things in order to be able to say them and fixes labels on individuals to be able to classify them. However, he also calls himself a scientist, a speculator, a gourmet, and a man of the world. He is a soldier, a geologist and a botanist, a mystic, a sybarite, an art collector, a businessman, a hacendado, and a sociologist. In the West, however, collecting has long been a strategy for the deployment of a posses- sive self, culture, and authenticity.

These items have been assembled in the room, one can surmise, because of their artistic effect and perhaps as a form of inspiration. In general, one may say that the things assembled in the room share an air of exoticism, whether in virtue of their antiquity or of their belonging to distant cultures. And that heteroclite assembly was presided by the Quechuan idol that you took from the bottom of a shrine in your latest excavation, and a Greek statuette of white marble.

Although earlier in the novel he had claimed to have abandoned his political civilizing project, which could be put into place only by force, this fragment suggests otherwise. This might indicate a lack of identification of behalf of the protagonist and of the text itself with the indigenous or, as I discuss later in more detail, a new assessment of it.

A recurring narrative in Western accounts of collecting is that objects are dislo- cated and brought into contact with others according to the criteria that the collector imposes in a process that establishes a new order and endows the objects with a new meaning.

While the European collection is brought together by a Western subject that assembles objects that are deemed rare or exotic, De sobremesa problematizes such distinctions in various ways, first among them by assign- ing the role of a collector to a non-European subject. My view is that, in turning to the European theme of collecting and the collection, as well as when collecting is enacted in his texts, Silva is both quoting and reinterpreting a topic taken from the European cultural archive.

His mother, according to the novel, comes from a race of llaneros, those rebellious and savage cow- boys who fought and defeated the Spaniards during the wars of indepen- dence. It is evident that by formulating the dichotomy between the Spanish and American elements, Silva is recurring to the now well-known trope of civil- ization versus barbarism that is prominent in nineteenth-century Latin American literature, a dichotomy that, albeit formulated somewhat different- ly, has its best-known representative in the work of Faustino Sarmiento.

The cannibal, initially a trope for Latin American alterity, becomes in the twentieth century a model for hybrid iden- tities, 54 and this is prefigured in the kind of bricolage that De sobremesa exemplifies. It is undeniable that in the novel a nostalgia for that other, spiritual tendency is also expressed.

No, you cannot die. Perhaps you never existed and are only a luminous dream of my spirit; but it is a dream that is more real than that which men call Reality. And the materialization of this attitude is the collection. The Savage Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, , See, for instance, Rosemary C. Allusions to the topic of collecting abound in modernismo. This suggests to me that modernista texts can be read as collections of various styles. Silva, De sobremesa, in Obra completa, Silva, De sobremesa, in Obra completa, , emphasis in the original.

I thank the anonymous reader of the manuscript for suggesting the connection between collecting and plunder at this point in my discussion. In this novel, the Duke Jean Des Esseintes isolates himself from the world and makes his home a collection of exotic objects over which he establishes a dominion in his attempt to reject nature. Latin America thus appears in the novel as a barbaric object that is dominated by the collector.

Along with this phenomenon, the idea that good taste is a sort of knowledge gained strength The Pleasure Wars [New York: Norton, ], vol. Conse- quently, knowing how to choose objects that demonstrate good taste becomes an important task for members of the bourgeoisie as they define their identity.

As Janell Watson has pointed out, the private collection of bibelots becomes prominent in nineteenth-century Europe with the development of bourgeois culture. Although for some this may a sign that the modernistas simply identified with Europe, I do not believe it to be the case in this text.

The Arcades Project. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, Camacho Guizado, Eduardo. Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, Gay, Peter. Breve historia del modernismo. Huysmans, Joris Karl. Introduction by Havelock Ellis. New York: Modern Library, Madrid: Iberoamericana; Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert, La Greca, Nancy. LoDato, Rosemary C. Macpherson, Crawford B. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

Valencia: Editorial Prometeo, Obra completa. Trigo, Benigno. Watson, Janell. Tablada speaks of the market-based practice of collecting and of how buying in bulk takes away from the pleasure and adventure of collecting. The economic feasibility of the postcard made it possible for anyone to become a collector, and it also provided the general public with access to central cultural figures, allowing personal texts from famed personalities into the homes of the popu- lation at large.

Postcards also tell the story of nations and their geography, archi- tecture, and ethnography. The format reveals individual choices wrapped up with visual and textual production that reflects mass culture as well as per- sonal relationships. They combine the benefits of a capitalist authority that is evident in the variety and accessibility of the postcard with an explicit sus- taining of increasingly democratic and open societies through facilitated communicative and textual practices available across social spheres.

Immersed in the social modernity of the turn of the nineteenth century, writers of the movement confronted the material realities of the expanding modernization in Latin America to enrich their revolutionary aesthetic. In addition, moder- nistas brought literature into the streets on a daily basis due to their journalis- tic production and became public figures through their official political ap- pointments and unofficial close relationships with heads of state and other political authorities.

The postcard intersects notions of public and private, a tension evident in modernismo from its inception. The postcard, however, provides additional layers of literary openness to the region. It allows consumers a choice in a vast world of postcard formats and images, and, even more importantly, it gives the public an outlet for their own poetic production and reception.

In fact, the literary during the modernista period, due to the sharp rise in journalism and serialized formats of the text, became a de facto public insti- tution. The greater part of literary production was journalistic and mass- produced in newspaper form and therefore consumed daily by an expansive reading public.

Consequently, modernista writers became celebrities in their own right and were well known and often cited and recited in the Hispanic world. This popularity resulted in a seamless modernista integration into the popular collecting and communi- cative practices that accompanied the postcard. The writers often received postcards requesting lines of poetry, they themselves often had their own postcards made with images and photographs to identify the sender, and they used the format for their personal correspondence.

Figures 5. At times, their brief correspondence took a literary turn. Here, in order for us to see natural beauty, we can resort to closing our eyes, and accomplishing in this manner, solitary repose. At this moment, Leopoldo is the humble son of work, and nothing more].

When it came to textual practices and evolving textual formats such as the newspaper, magazines, serial novels, advertising, and the postcard, the modernista movement was completely immersed. Moreover, they actively used such practices to further their influence in the literary field and expand their prestige within Spanish America and across the Atlantic. Postcards, highlighting the consternation that existed between the public and private, the lightning speed of the telegram and intellectual letter writing, a high literary institution and a revolutionalized transnational literary field, found themselves at the intersection of the transformations of the turn of the twentieth century.

The material form of the postcard, its repetitive transmis- sion, and the way that it converted writing into an accelerated practice situ- ates the medium as an innovative textual practice where the maelstrom of cultural change would meet and condense. Modernistas, due to their journa- listic careers, were experts in the incorporation of everyday trivialities into their texts.

However, modernista writers rarely treated their quotidian topics with com- plete levity and frivolity. As is the case with the postcard, modernistas recognized the impact of everyday topics and wrote extensively on the societal impact of such themes as popular dance, music, theater, fashion [both feminine and masculine], the occult, tourist destina- tions, public drunkenness, and myriad other themes.

Modernista writers, as producers of a highly revolutionary corpus of verse, were also experienced cultural critics who did not hold back in publicly expressing their views on the routine and seemingly mundane and then widely disseminating the texts in newspapers and even later publishing them in attractive book forms by prestigious editorial houses in Spanish America, Spain, and France. Publicly coming to terms with popular practices like the postcard manifests the frag- mented character of the modernista writer and his intentional foray into the public and popular spheres referred to earlier.

He explains that these post- cards come in all shapes and sizes and how he has, with pleasure, responded to the continuous solicitations. He recounts that, at times, young women will return his response asking him not to send the card in an envelope but to ensure that the postage stamp is on the postcard itself.

This particularity in postcard correspondence attests to one of its fundamental attributes: its popu- lar collectability. The collectability of the postcard accompanied their popu- larity and widespread use since the inception of the medium in Austria in Modernista literary culture did not escape this popular practice and actively participated in its dissemination. From the stereotypical and the kitsch to postcards that were produced with an aristocratic aesthetic in mind, the post- card attests to the dramatic intersection of high and low culture that is symp- tomatic of the cultural dynamic at the turn of the twentieth century.

The literary and creative qualities inherent in epistolary writing, lost in part due to the postcard, is the price paid for the expansion of the postal service and the revolutionary and efficacious post- card. La vida actual. Contemporary life makes episto- lary correspondence impossible. But everything has its compensation, both before and after Emerson employed the term.

If before one received a letter, today its fifty postcards. The emotion produced when the postman arrives is multiple]. Emer- son, in his text, explores the justice of duality inherent in humanity. In the case of postal communica- tion, the renowned and prestigious modernista clearly endorses the popular form of the postcard over the more traditional letter and, consequently, the sentimental over the intellectual, the fleeting over the unhurried and ponder- ous.

The production of the postcard image and its visual aesthetic qualities also had a profound effect on the reception and transference of communica- tion. Equating photography to lan- guage and the speech act, the poet highlights the significance of the photo to the relatively short text produced on the postcard.

The object as a whole is more eloquent because of its visual component. It also adds to the creativity and level of fashion that is inherent in the communicative mode. Second, he focuses on how the postcard has revolutionized the fashion of sentimental writing. It also shows his interest in the transforming social and communication norms as they were continually being developed at the time.

In this way, the poet writes for a popular audience immersed in the new print and information technologies on the American continents. Its graphic commentaries of the most notable events will later serve as priceless docu- ments. They paint a frame of mind, humor, and an opinion of generality]. In fact, many modernista attitudes held in relation to the communication industry can be paralleled to characteristics of postcard production of the time.

Las ideas no hacen familia en la mente, como antes, ni casa, ni larga vida. Ideas do not congregate in the mind like before, nor have homes, nor enduring lives. They are born upon the backs of horses, mounted on a flash of lightning with wings. They are not born by one mind only, but by the commerce of all]. The fleeting materiality of the postcard with its industrial production apparatus that ensured its wide varia- tion and innumerable series situates the format in a modernista framework that ironically frees literary, creative, and personal expression while compli- cating that same expression due to the restrictions of the market, a market that requires continual payment, a confining space for textual production, and extratextual graphics that potentially alter or supplement textual meaning.

He then dedicates the remainder of his essay to a detailed description of the postcard varieties. The press clarified the details, and then postcard writers, inspired by journalists, provided commen- tary and illustrated in their own way the events. Upon the royal arrival a good number were already in circulation, and during their stay sales figures rose sharply. It is a phrase of Parisian camaraderie]. He views the postcard as a mover of public determination and propaganda that express- es the waves of quotidian and Parisian culture.

When is it my turn? Modernista writers convert the everyday into causes for literary and philosophical concern. The transaction between the poet and the popular opens up the modernista movement to expanded reader- ships and textual venues. This extension of the literary to the everyday actions of modernista poets helps to establish the connection between literary produc- tion and personal contact and relationships.

One example of this is the often- received request for autographs and lines of verse. My album contains the signatures of almost all great artists and famous writers in the world, but I am lacking yours that I have always desired and which, until now, I have not had the opportunity to acquire. The finest spot in my album is empty awaiting your worthy and valuable signature. I hope that you will not leave me unsatisfied and that you will send it as soon as possible in order to satisfy the heart of your most fervent and enthusiastic admirer.

Will I achieve the immense pleasure to have a thought and your autograph in one of my postcards? Will I be so lucky? The young woman expresses the pleasure and luck that would come from the response of an autograph and verse. She also alerts the poet to his privileged place among the most renowned cultural producers of the period. Requests for auto- graphs and poetry placed modernistas at the whim of readers, and the subse- quent transference of the poetic by means of postcards openly exposed these private requests.

Often overlooked in modernista criticism, the public acceptance and fame in Spanish America of modernista writers was a widespread and decades-long occurrence that resulted from public practices such as responding to autograph requests and postcard corre- spondence. These open textual productions exposed modernista verse to a public that consumed letters on a rapidly increasing scale. Library reader- ships were higher than ever, book imports and sales expanded greatly, news- paper and magazine production in some areas of Spanish America was simi- lar to that of the United States and Great Britain, and education reforms resulted in increased literacy rates across the region.

It was also the economical nature and simplicity of the postcard format that led to this facilitated intersection between writers and their fans. Postcards and their collecting have as many motives and personal articulations as people who keep and collect them; both origin and collectability seem to intersect and are not mutually exclusive to postcard acquisition.

The postcard as a site of individual subjec- tivity fits well into the mold of modernista ideology of individual creation and use. His writings on the subject only briefly discuss the collecting aspect of the format and instead focused on the rhetoric of the images and captions of the postcards themselves and the revolution in com- munication promoted by the postcard.

They all request the usual autograph. The curious pile causes me to notice the matters of the other postcards, and through them I attempt to divine the personalities of my unknown feminine interlocutors and amiable faraway friends. In these illustrated cards one finds the most varied images that hint at diverse characters and spirits.

Nevertheless, this rural passion seems to me to depict an elegant idyll of a dreamlike Trianon, of a refined hameau where pastoral marchionesses carry staffs adorned with silks and flowers. All of this is most certainly sentimental, it is very eighteenth century]. The consumption of the postcard allowed the general public to choose and adjust the imagery of the format for personal use.

Postcard discourse depends on this cycle of triple production and recep- tion. First is a round of printing that is extraneous to the postcard consumer who subsequently produces a different product when he or she adds written text that is separate from the image and annotations of the original printer. Finally, the postcard travels through the processes of the postal service, add- ing additional textual and iconographic content through adhesive and ink- based postal stamps. The receptor then possesses a discursive gift, layered with meaning and intentionalities, the original consumer playing only a par- tial role in the production of the text.

As photography was becoming more and more a part of everyday life, the post- card provided an opportunity for the general public to disseminate, collect, and individually express themselves through images. A discursive mode that was previously reserved for the elite and artistic classes, the image, in part because of modalities like the postcard, became an inexpensive, durable form of representation available to the masses.

In- stead, he shows the personal didacticism involved in postcard correspon- dence and the layers of symbolic messaging involved. Also touching on the pedagogical nature of the postcard, Geo. And it does not stop there: it is a history of art, but also a popular history, it is more attractive than fastidious lexicons; a history where empty formulas have been replaced by the very concept of beauty.

The historian, the sociologist, the archaeologist, and the ethnologist also have an interest in knowing it well, for the better orientation of their own researches. And we, on our part, shall have to make inquiries of them all, either to illuminate the past with the help of the vestiges brought to light by excavations or to reveal in the present the survivals that can explain the ancient customs of which they are the last reflection.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible for us to confine this work exclusively to the economic domain, as we should have liked to do. The inadequacy of the works devoted to pre-Columbian South America has compelled us to examine and consider certain historical and sociological questions of which a knowledge is indispensable for the understanding of this book.

However, the treatment of these problems has been made as brief as possible. The purpose of this work, it need hardly be said, is purely scientific. Comparisons between economic systems established at different times must always be made with the greatest circumspection, and we propose to call particular attention to the exaggerations of those authors who seek in the Peruvian experiment either an apology for or a condemnation of modern socialism.

To measure the distance that separates the society of the Incas from our own, it suffices to point out that in the Inca empire the management of the economy was in the hands of an elite that was destroyed by the Indians themselves in the course of their civil wars and by the Spaniards at the time of the conquest. And even though we may be deluding ourselves concerning the extent of the interest that this study of the past could have for our contemporaries, we do not consider it profitless to investigate this singular empire, taking apart its complicated machinery and stripping away all its military and political exploits, all the anecdotes and all the legends, unobsessed by names and dates.

It is surely no detraction of the economists to assert that they are almost completely ignorant of ancient Peru. If only, thanks to our efforts, some of them decide to study it with greater penetration than has been possible for us, we shall not regret having tried in these few pages to bring the extraordinary enterprise of the Incas to life again.

We have given our own solution in Vol. I, ch. As in the Egypt of the Lagides, this experiment appears to have been predominantly fiscal in character. V, , completed and revised in the light of the many works published between that date and the present. Beyond the steps of the steep Cordilleras, Beyond the mists where the black eagles soar, Higher than the summits hollowed out into funnels, Where the familiar lava boils in bloody flow. Those determinists who seek at any cost to explain every social order in terms of its natural environment would be greatly embarrassed by the case of the Incas.

They will not find here the essential elements that, according to them, make possible the birth of a great civilization. No country in the world seems better to have deserved the praise of which Europe was deemed worthy than does this plateau lost in the center of a vast continent: everything here was inferior except man himself.

To understand the attraction of a place where Nature is so niggardly, one must have seen this part of South America, so distant and so little known. It is a region that the traveler hesitates to traverse, but where he discovers such marvelous horizons that he cannot tear himself without regret from their contemplation and remains haunted by the memory of them long after he has left them behind.

Briefly, Peru is made up of three strips of land running from north to south and separated from one another by the two parallel chains of the Andes. Accordingly, the traveler making his way from the Pacific toward the Atlantic must cross the two Andean chains, the passes of which are rarely less than 13, feet above sea level and whose highest peaks rise to almost 23, feet. He will journey, in consequence, through all degrees of altitude and meet with an astonishing variation in landscape, climate, flora, and fauna.

On the other hand, if he were to set out from what is now Colombia and proceed southward down the length of the inter-Andean plateau, he could continue for months to enjoy the same temperature, contemplate the same scenery, and eat the same food. Thus, in the first case, the predominant impression would be one of diversity; in the second, of monotony.

The Peruvian coast is entirely without rain. The cold ocean current from the polar regions of the Pacific, known as the Humboldt Current, flows along the shore from south to north. It makes the sea colder than the land and removes the humidity from the ocean breezes, allowing the aqueous vapors to condense into fog. It is only at certain times, and hardly even then, that the Peruvian hillsides adjacent to the sea are bathed in a dew that makes some growth of vegetation possible; but this comes to an end very quickly, the plants die, and the sun effaces the last vestiges of that ephemeral springtime from the arid soil.

Farther north, on the contrary, the Humboldt Current veers westward toward the Galapagos Islands, the sea becomes warmer than the land, rain falls on the coast, and a lush tropical vegetation springs up in the maritime provinces of the present Republic of Ecuador. Thus, the lengthy seaboard of Peru offers centers of habitation only along the watercourses that descend from the Cordillera.

The littoral consists of a series of fertile transverse valleys, separated at their beginning by the spurs and foothills of the Andes and then by deserts that are sometimes more than sixty-two miles long. That is why, in our day, no railroad like the one in Chile has yet been built down the length of Peru.

In spite of the latitude, the climate is temperate because of the southwest winds that constantly cool the air. The Incas conquered the seaboard only after they had established themselves in the interior. Their empire came into being on the inter-Andean plateau, at an altitude of from 5, to 13, feet. It did not blossom in the gentle warmth of the tropics, as Spencer has mistakenly supposed, but in the icy blasts that blow down from the Cordilleras.

At first sight, this plateau appears like a corridor laid out between the two ramparts of the Andes, but it is a corridor through which passage is not always practicable, for it is cut across by the ramifications that, at wide intervals, join the two mountain chains.

They do not flow to the coast, but toward the north or the east in the direction of the forests, thus isolating the interior completely. Only one, the Santa, traverses the western Cordillera, while six of the principal rivers cut through the eastern range. Contrary to what we might think, the Peruvian plateau faces the Atlantic. The forests of the eastern slope of the Andes form the third zone, and on the east of the Inca empire they constituted a barrier as impassable as the deserts and the snow-capped peaks, as mysterious as the ocean.

Their great luxuriance and alluvial soil extend to distances that the Indians of the plateau in earlier days could perhaps not even imagine. Gonzalo Pizarro, who, in search of cinnamon, was the first to venture into these inhospitable areas, wandered around for two and a half years and lost more than half his men; and when at last he returned to the plateau, he was so changed that people did not recognize him at all. For all practical purposes, the transition from the coast to the sierra can be noted by the difference in the roofs of the houses: they are flat in the first region, and sloping in the second.

As can be seen, the characteristic feature of all this part of South America is what may be called its cellular structure cloisonnement. The habitable regions are far apart and often separated by obstacles difficult to surmount. Conditions such as these are prejudicial to the establishment of a unified state and favorable to the growth of regionalism and social conservatism. One can well imagine how centers of civilization may have sprung up in the different basins, how migrations from one to another may have occurred, or how influences may have made their way through the notches in the mountains; but it is hard to understand how an empire could have been built up under such unlikely circumstances.

Let us pause now on the plateau that was the center of that empire. Depending on the altitude, we shall find valleys with a temperate climate bolsones, cabeceras, quebradas , and broad expanses of cold the puna. Above a height of 15, feet the barren puna brava climbs to the eternal snows. Beyond the limits of the fertile valleys that are scattered here and there, the plateau presents the most striking spectacle of desolation imaginable. An ocean of stunted grass stretches north and south into infinity, cut by courses of solidified lava and strewn with stones spewed out by the volcanoes.

To east and west, the two ranges of the Cordilleras reach out to touch the horizon with their ramparts of rock and snow. There is nothing here that can give life to these solitudes: no man; no tree, except for a few scant resinous shrubs; hardly any animals—only a few plovers and some ducks by the shores of the lagoons, some falcons, and the condor that soars in high circles in the icy air.

Sometimes a knot of mountains fissured by earthquakes rises up, blocking the horizon from view; sometimes there will be a long stretch of sandy desert with a deformed and nettlesome vegetation of giant torch cactus, spurge, and aloe—enormous and grotesque growths that brandish their needles and spearheads in the air and lift up cleft stumps adrip with blackish sap; occasionally one comes upon an array of undulating grass-covered hillocks watered by a fine drizzle of rain that soaks into the spongy soil and veils the mountains in a transparent mist; and then once more the gray immensities stretch away to the north as far as the eye can see, in the direction of Quito, between those colossi of the Andes that have created a triumphal approach, bordered by volcanoes, to the present capital of Ecuador.

Everything here is monumental, awesome, and mysterious. The very rivers flow toward unknown horizons. The Egyptians could not discover the sources of the Nile; the Peruvians, on the contrary, saw rivers arising all around them without ever knowing what distant sea received their waters. Nothing relieves the starkness of this landscape. The alternation of the seasons is scarcely noticeable, and day and night in these latitudes never vary their length.

The dry grass, without disappearing, blends its faded drab tones with the green of the new shoots and carpets the soil with a gray uniformity. There is no winter or summer here, nor any spring; it is the land of eternal autumn. There is no word to express the intense poetic quality of these solitudes when the sudden tropic night falls upon the colorless landscape.

Life and death seem to lose all significance in this tranquil and silent immobility where nothing has been made for man, where the mountains are barriers, and the rivers torrential floods. Among the few fertile valleys that open out on the intermontane plateau, there is a narrow one, roughly from eighteen to twenty-five miles long, situated between the canyons of the Apurimac and the Urubamba, at an altitude of 11, feet, surrounded by treeless limestone plains, and dominated by mountain peaks that rise to some 17, feet above sea level.

Although isolated at the bottom of this dip in the terrain, the city is really in the center of the plateau. Lima, the present capital of Peru, on the coast, is separated from the provinces of the interior by the barrier of the Andes, which is traversed by the railroad of the Oroya, the highest in the world.

Pizarro chose Lima in order more easily to maintain direct relations with the mother country, but it is a metropolis that faces outward, and its situation makes it more international than Peruvian. Farther to the south stretches another region that is equally celebrated, that of Lake Titicaca.

It is hard to imagine it as the center of a great civilization that has since vanished. The vegetation is so scanty that the wild olive is the only shrub that can gain a foothold there, the water of the lake so cold that a man could not bathe in it in safety. Torrential rains, scorching sun, freezing nights succeed one another, although the presence of a body of water mitigates to some extent the extremes of temperature. As it is, this land exercises a singular fascination on those who have come to know it.

Like the desert or the ocean, the puna holds the soul of its people captive. If the environment has not determined the social order here, it has nonetheless set its mark upon the inhabitants. Contemplation of the imposing vistas of the plateau has made the Indian grave and pensive. Gray tones and infinite horizons have disposed his temperament to sadness and revery. If the Peruvian is mild and docile today, it is probably because of the political and social regime to which he submitted; if he is indolent, this may be due to his Amazonian origin, though the latter is still uncertain; but if he has no notion of time and if respect for the ancient nature-gods still has a place in his heart, it is beyond any doubt because generation after generation he has led his flocks of llamas in the gray silence across the Andean solitudes.

The social characteristics derived from this environment—attachment to tradition and dispersion into isolated communities—reappeared after the Spanish conquest. Today as in the past, merchants and officials are the only ones who really succeed in freeing themselves from the grip of these geographic impediments to communication.

But there was a time when all these Indians were closely united under a common dominion. They often developed on the banks of a great river. Most authors reason from the examples furnished by antiquity. III, ch. There too there is a dearth of arable land.

More than half the soil cannot be cultivated. Wolf, Ecuador , p. XII, The Indian of the plateau—the Quechua—is a very clearly marked physical type. Bouguer asserts, [3] but olive-brown; the skin tough in texture, the face oval-shaped and wide, the head large, the brow slightly bulging; a wide mouth, strong jaws, thin lips, very white and even teeth; dark, arched eyebrows; small, dark, sunken eyes with long lashes and the whites of a yellowish cast; high cheekbones; a rather long nose, with wide nostrils; thick, black, long, glossy hair, but a sparse beard—all in all, his features are regular, but lacking in delicacy.

His prominent muscles, broad chest, and well-set shoulders make him seem rather strong and heavy in spite of his small hands and feet and slender ankles. The women, of a similar build, lack the grace and suppleness of their taller and slenderer rivals of the forest tribes. On the other hand, both men and women give an impression of physical wellbeing; few are hunchbacked, bandy-legged, or bald. Where did this Indian come from?

This is an important problem, for societies are not built in a day, and the one we are about to study was preceded by a long evolution that at least partially explains it. According to them, before the Inca empire there were in Peru only scattered tribes consisting of barbarous idolators with no common ties.

Some of these writers—Garcilaso, for example—blacken the picture as much as they can in order to set the Inca civilization in a better light, representing the Indians of an earlier day as dissolute cannibals who feasted on the flesh and blood of their enemies; [5] as perpetually at war with one another; [6] and as without leaders except for the captains whom they chose as their commanders in time of war.

The use of this word thus signifies that the Indians would obey only the leaders whom they themselves chose. Some speak of elected sovereigns, others of hereditary monarchs, and still others of caciques or curacas , without being any more specific. Herrera remarks that in his time the situation had not changed in this respect in Chile, New Granada, or Guatemala; [11] and Ulloa compares the Indians of the pre-Inca period to wild beasts.

This basic error on the part of the first historians has given rise to numerous inaccuracies among later writers. In the course of recent years archaeology has brought to light an entire past whose existence had hardly been suspected. We propose to reconstruct it here, though only very cursorily, in its major outlines, without subjecting it to any critical examination, which would be outside the scope of this work, but simply with the object of situating the Inca civilization historically.

The first point to be noted, about which there is no longer any question today, is the Asiatic or Australian origin of the Indians. Palavecino, who, in comparing the Quechua language with that of the Maoris of New Zealand, has discovered that thirty per cent of the words of these two languages were formed from the same elements and that a great number of them had identical meanings.

How did this identity come about? It would have been easier to cross from America to Polynesia, as the voyage of the Kon-Tiki demonstrated, but the natives of South America were very indifferent navigators. Can it be assumed, then, that the Asiatics crossed over by way of Bering Strait, taking advantage of the chain of the Aleutian Islands?

We can find no reason for such a fantastic expedition. In Asia there was neither a lack of living space nor a deterioration in the climate nor any pressure brought to bear by conquerors. Besides, this migration would have left some trace behind. Did the Polynesians make their way over the South Pacific at the time of the advance of the polar ice? There is nothing to confirm this bold hypothesis. We believe that a comprehensive explanation must be sought that will be able to deal with all the different unsolved problems of prehistory in the South Pacific.

The statues of Easter Island, the Fiji monolith, the tombs of Paracas—the necropolis of a vanished city—the sign of the stairway frequently found in the Andes, the bas-reliefs at the Gate of the Sun in Tiahuanaco: these await the single theory that will explain them all. The brightest beam of light that illuminates American prehistory is that cast by the civilization of the Mayas in Yucatan.

It spread over the southern continent, and its influence is no longer contested today. On the other hand, there is much debate over the thesis that migrations from the shores of the Caribbean Sea reached the Andean plateau by way of the rivers across those territories of Venezuela and Brazil that still remain almost entirely unexplored. This would explain the traces of Amazonian invasion that have been attributed to remote epochs. The Urus, who live on the banks of the Desaguadero south of Lake Titicaca would, according to this hypothesis, be the descendants of the ancient Amazonians Arawaks.

They have continued to be hunters and fishermen. They must once have inhabited a vast stretch of land extending as far as the Pacific Ocean, and their language was still spoken over a large part of the plateau at the time of the Spanish conquest. It is only recently that the connecting links have been discovered in the long chain of civilizations that unites Central with South America.

The natives came from the north by way of the Andean plateau; but the stream of migration sometimes divided, and some of them would retrace, in the opposite direction, the road taken by their ancestors. Flux was followed by reflux. Since a great deal of uncertainty still prevails in this whole area of American prehistory, we shall not attempt to take a stand in regard to controversies that it is for the archaeologists and ethnologists to resolve, but shall confine ourselves to presenting in composite form the various items of information provided by the specialists.

The different civilizations are distinguished from one another primarily by their styles of sculpture, pottery, and textiles. The connecting link between Central America and Peru was formed by the civilizations that developed on the territory of what is now the Republic of Ecuador. The brachycephalic people who came from the north drove back the dolichocephalic natives, first from the coast and then from the plateau.

The vanquished peoples were to become the Jivaros, who now inhabit the forests in the eastern part of Ecuador Oriente , and who have attained a sort of celebrity through their skill in the preparation of shrunken heads. Marshall Saville has made a study of the bas-reliefs, stone seats, and statues found on the coast, all of which evidence a culture that seems to have remained primitive.

The most ancient civilization of Peru has recently been identified by J. Its sculptors had a delirious imagination, which imbued them with a love for the monstrous and the horrible, and which clearly distinguishes them from those of Tiahuanaco. It is sculptural in character, at first done in white and ochre red, and later in black.

The vessels are surmounted by a stirrup-spout formed by a pair of arched tubes joined together at the mouth. The scenes depicted on the vases are varied and often very vivid: battles, banquets, hunting and fishing, a chief carried in a litter, household work, etc. Taken together, they reveal the existence of a well-advanced state of civilization: a sumptuous court, officials, artisans, servants—a whole social hierarchy.

They also show us that certain immoral practices were not uncommon. Much more mysterious is the civilization of Paracas. Thanks to the dry climate, the heat, and the strong currents of air that freshen the atmosphere, the objects dug out of the necropolis of that name have remained intact.

Wrapped around the mummies were found fabrics of cotton and wool in a variety of vivid colors as many as sixteen different tonalities have been counted. The motifs, representing felines wildcats or pumas , birds, fish—either humanized or fantastic—and men—linear, polygonal, or naturalistically drawn—are well proportioned to the dimensions of the fabrics and are harmoniously and symmetrically distributed.

Several pieces of material bear a motif, often very complicated, which is repeated several times, but always with some change of detail, very much like a theme and variations. Two other important cultures, less ancient than those of which we have just spoken, developed side by side: that of Recuay and that of Nazca-Ica. The remains of the first are found in the Huaylas corridor: pottery of white clay, vases with cylindrical necks, with scenes in high relief depicted on their upper parts, and black geometrical designs.

More beautiful and more celebrated are the polychrome pottery vessels of Nazca, adorned with highly complicated drawings of mythological beings, of men either stylized or realistically depicted, and, above all, of fish, for the inhabitants of the area were fishermen. Ica pottery is in three colors and rich in geometric designs.

Its capital, Tiahuanaco, was situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca in an area so desolate that some authors, in order to explain its presence there, have thought it necessary to assume that the climate of the area must have undergone a change. Such modifications have, in fact, occurred in various places: in upper Argentina, in the region of Atacama, and in Ecuador. On the subject of the Tiahuanaco civilization a great many theories have been held, of which we shall not make any thorough examination here.

According to H. Urteaga, Tiahuanaco was probably Quecha, and not Aymara as is generally believed. We know nothing of the daily life of the people except that most of them were farmers, for their language is rich in agricultural terms; that they knew how to work in stone, construct objects in copper and bronze, and make pottery; and that they carried on trade with the coast: vases in the Tiahuanaco style have been found in Ecuador, ornaments of this provenance reached the shores of the Pacific, and this commerce perhaps extended as far as Central America.

Nor do we know anything about the capital itself, save that it still lifts its beautiful monolithic Gate of the Sun in the midst of a desert landscape and that it keeps its stone foundations hidden in the soil, from which they are only just beginning to be unearthed. All that we know of this empire is that it was spread over a very wide territory. Aymara place names are to be found today in northern Argentina, [46] and Aymara dialects in the province of Huarachiri in Peru and in the region of Arica on the Chilean seaboard; and the style of Tiahuanaco deeply influenced the ceramics and textiles of the coastal areas.

What remains to us from this people is its language: Aymara. Language is the living expression of a segment of humanity. If it is rich in abstract words, it points to a high degree of intellectual culture. If it abounds in technical terms, it indicates an advanced economic development.

If it is complex and skillfully put together, it attests a long period of evolution. When a word expresses an idea, it is because that idea has been conceived; and when a word denotes a place, it is because that place has been occupied. Every word marks, in some domain or other, a conquest by man. Now the Aymara language is exceedingly rich. It possesses formative affixes that permit the modification of verbal roots and contains a great number of synonyms capable of denoting the most delicate shades of meaning, so that Max Uhle finds it superior to the Quechua language itself.

The Tiahuanaco civilization was destroyed by some cataclysm—invasion, epidemic, or earthquake. Nevertheless, there are certain differences between them. In physique, the Aymaras have a more oval- or lozenge-shaped face; they are a little taller, and the upper torso is proportionately higher; and slanting eyes are more frequent among them than among the Quechuas. A still more striking fact is that while the languages spoken by these two ethnic groups have forty per cent of their words in common, there are differences of syntax between them that are inexplicable on the assumption that one is derived from the other.

At the present time, the boundary between the Aymaras and the Quechuas runs on the northeast from Lake Titicaca to Cojata and on the northwest from this lake to Puno; [53]. There may have been other important centers of life and culture elsewhere, but not enough is known about them to enable us to speak of them here. First, we see what a mistake it would be to regard the Incas as a primitive people. Even before their time there had already been alternate periods of prosperity and depression.

No one is in a position to say whether the Indian of the fifteenth century was superior or inferior to his precursor of the Tiahuanaco period. Progress does not follow a straight line, and the notion of a continuous or even intermittent evolution toward a better state of affairs is a postulate no longer encountered anywhere but in textbooks.

Next, the civilization of Peru was not subjected to any influence from the Mediterranean. Hypotheses concerning Jewish or Egyptian immigrations must be rejected, for the Indians at the time of the Spanish conquest had no knowledge of iron or the wheel or glass or wheat, and it is known today that they themselves had discovered copper and bronze.

In the third place, it is evident that natural obstacles, however difficult to surmount, did not prevent numerous migrations from taking place. It would be a mistake to suppose that what we have called the cellular structure of these regions had the result of keeping people forever bound to their native valleys. We are astonished, in fact, to find that so many changes of domicile could have occurred, for, in addition to those we have mentioned, there were a number of secondary movements here and there in South America.

Thus, the inhabitants of the Atacama district emigrated toward the north and the sierra; [60] and groups of Guaranis who had come from the middle of South America settled in the north of what is now Argentina; later the Andean tribes drove them back, and they then returned to their point of departure. Fourthly, there exists in South America a common substratum of Amazonian origin.

The history of the great Inca dynasty is itself extremely confused in many respects, and we shall not undertake to make it clearer here. The names of monarchs and the precise dates of events are matters of indifference to us; we are interested only in the nature and order of those events and in the development of institutions.

Most of the Spanish chroniclers, including Garcilaso, call the first of these rulers by the name of Manco Capac, and the second Sinchi Roca. As we have seen, after the civilization of Tiahuanaco had flourished in all its splendor, a long-continued eclipse took place. Then the sinchis took over the direction of the different tribes. No doubt, once they had achieved permanent status, they were the first sovereigns.

Hence, it is easy to understand that there is a tendency today to regard Manco Capac and Sinchi Roca, not as two individuals, but as two dynasties, as legendary beings. Indeed, the mythological character that the chroniclers themselves attributed to the first of them confirms this interpretation. What is certain is that at a given moment in history the Incas established themselves, by fair means or foul, as the dominant class in the valley of Cuzco, which was already inhabited.

They forthwith began their conquest of the plateau and concurrently developed an increasingly efficient organization. The great struggles with the rival tribes—first the Collas and then the Chancas—served to strengthen the central power and enabled the upper class to free itself once and for all from its original geographical limits, to increase its knowledge, and to enlarge its means of action.

Thus, the elite came to stand out more and more conspicuously from the mass of the people. It is not known how long the Incas reigned: from to years, according to Bias Valera; from to years, according to Ondegardo and Acosta; more than years, according to Balboa; and nearly 1, years, according to Sarmiento.

Garcilaso lists thirteen monarchs, but he probably names some of them twice, for the number given by Balboa and Montesinos is not so large. What follows is the approximate line of succession of the sovereigns. We shall not set down the dates of their reigns, for these vary from one author to another; we shall merely indicate the century in which each of the Incas probably lived.

The last sovereign, Huayna Capac, had, contrary to custom, divided his empire, which had become too large, between his two sons, the legitimate heir Huascar and the bastard Atahualpa. On the death of the monarch, civil war broke out between these fraternal enemies, and Atahualpa, the conqueror, had Huascar and his family put to death.

The Spaniards arrived just in time to take advantage of the existing disorder and establish themselves as masters. At this moment the empire extended for more than two thousand five hundred miles from the river Ancasmayo, two degrees north of the equator, to the river Maule, thirty-five degrees south of that line, and its area was approximately six times that of France.

We propose to examine here the social structure of that empire at this time. The entire history of the Incas, in fact, ran its course in the span of four hundred years: the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, during which the sovereigns were hardly more than tribal chieftains or at best the chiefs of a confederation of tribes like so many others Chachapoyas, Huanucos, Chinchas, Chancas ; the fourteenth, which was the century of preparation; and the fifteenth, when they reached their apogee. And yet so brilliant was its short day of splendor that dazzled historians even up to the present have failed to perceive, in its shadow, the great civilizations that preceded it; and so deeply did the Incas stamp their imprint upon their people that the passing centuries have not yet been able to efface it, and the ethnologist continually rediscovers it among the Indians of today.

II, ch. Morua, Historia , Vol. To be sure, it was often so used by the chroniclers. It was only with their decline that liberty degenerated into anarchy and the disturbances broke out that completely discredited this institution. Historia general , Dec. V, Bk. Imbelloni, La esfinge indiana and G. Entirely without reason, H. Joyce, South American Archaeology , p. The Kon-Tiki, a raft built along the same lines as those once used by the natives, left Peru and was allowed to drift.

The current carried all those on board toward Polynesia. Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki London, For the refutation of this hypothesis, see L. Posnansky, Tihuanacu , p. A whole literature exists on the curious Uru people, who are on the way to total extinction as a result of the disappearance of the totora reeds, which they used in making boats. The Urus differ from the Aymaras and profess to antedate other men.

Romero, El departamento de Puno , p. Hewett, Ancient Andean Life , p. Kroeber, Peruvian Archaeology in ; J. Muelle and C. VII, No. For earlier opinions, cf. Velasco, Historia , p. The former is expressive; the latter is not. Kimmich maintains that it resembles Chinese towns in its outer wall of defense and its sloping roofs. Paz Soldan, Arte de la lengua yunga Lima, and E.

Larco Hoyle, Los Mochicas , and H. I, No. We do not know for what city Paracas served as the necropolis. No trace of it exists in the environs. Urteaga, op. The reader will find beautiful reproductions in this work. Latcham, El comercio precolombiano , p. Imbelloni, op. Means, op. VI, No. We shall return to Machu Picchu when we speak of the cities of the Incas. Saavedra, El ayllu , p.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, an Italian Jesuit, L. A little later, D. There is another early seventeenth-century work of the same title by Diego Gualdo. Vignaud op. In this book we shall call the emperor or king the Inca and give the generic name of Incas to the Indians of royal blood, who belonged to the upper class. Rouma, Les Indiens quitchouas et aymaras, etc. Brussels, Squier writes that the Aymaras are as different from the Quechuas as the French are from the Germans Peru , p.

The Esmeraldas did not submit to the Inca influence. They spoke a language belonging to the Chibcha family. There are traces of dwellings in northeastern Bolivia that indicate the existence of a once numerous population different from that of the plateau. Many objects of the pre-Columbian era in South America are identical with those brought to light by excavations in the Old World. The vases found by Schliemann on the site of Troy are like those of Peru.

II, p. The Incas and the Pharaohs resembled each other in more than one respect, and certain authors have busied themselves in drawing up lists of analogies from which they draw the conclusion that the Indians are of Aryan origin. But the pace of progress is unequal. Some peoples are advanced, and some are retarded; and the forms of this progress are far from being identical. Although the idea of monarchy was the same among the Incas and the Pharaohs, the social structure of their peoples was nevertheless absolutely different.

Let us, therefore, be on our guard against both extremes: it is just as much an exaggeration to conclude from an identity of ideas or of products that there must have been some reciprocal influence as it is to disregard the identity on the assumption that all progress is the result of independent lines of parallel development. Wiener, drawing his inspiration from Montesinos, acknowledges the existence of kings who performed the function of high priests pirhuas and later of high priests with the attributes of sovereignty amautas before the Inca invasion Essai sur les institutions, etc.

Mitchell Humphreys calls our attention to the discrepancies existing among the various authors who have treated this subject, but does not give the probable list of sovereigns Dauer und Chronologie der Inkaherrschaft [Rostock, ]. An ingenious theory recently advanced by J. This eminent Americanist maintains that the list of emperors compiled in Peru by the chroniclers had been fabricated by the Indians in such a way as to give their history a well-balanced and harmonious appearance.

He concludes from this that their power, born of conquest, had not yet been legitimized by prescription and that the King of Spain was consequently justified in dethroning them. This curious reasoning is characteristic of the legal mentality of that time. There are very few countries in which one does not observe a constant pressure of the population toward an increase beyond the means of subsistence. The increase of population in relation to the means of subsistence was one of the dominant factors in the imperial policy; and the conquests, the technical progress, the social organization all expressed the continuous effort of the Quechuas to extend and intensify the cultivation of the soil.

To be sure, vital statistics are lacking, not because they are nonexistent—on the contrary, the gathering of statistics had attained a rare degree of perfection, as we shall see—but because we no longer know how to read the quipus by which they were recorded. Nevertheless, the increase in population before the Spanish conquest is evident not only from the statements of the chroniclers, but from a study of the facts. At the time of the conquest the population of the Inca empire was probably between eleven and twelve million.

We shall return to this point later. Here we shall note merely that in , on the eve of the war, the total population of all races within the limits of the ancient Peruvian empire was scarcely larger than that which lived under the rule of Huayna Capac. There should be nothing surprising in this predominance of the demographic factor. In assuring peace and security within his frontiers and decreeing a stern code of moral behavior, the Inca promoted the growth of the population.

Infanticide and adultery were severely punished, prostitution was almost completely suppressed, and marriage was made obligatory. Every year, or every two or three years, at a fixed date, the young women from eighteen to twenty and the young men from twenty-four to twenty-six were solemnly assembled. Most people were married, not by royal authority, but in accordance with local custom.

Here we encounter that duality upon which we shall later shed a fuller light, and without which it is impossible to explain the Inca system: the coexistence of rational planning and local custom. In marriage, as in other matters, the custom varied with the region; but, in general, the Indian who wanted to marry a girl would buy her by making presents to her father and the local chief—the curaca —and the representative of the monarch would have nothing more to do than to register the agreement of the parties.

In brief, the Indian was obliged to marry, but he could receive additional wives at the hand of his sovereign. It seems beyond dispute that the confirmed bachelor—that is, the young man who had not made up his mind to take a wife by the age of twenty-five or twenty-six—was married by authority. In any case, the choice of a spouse remained extremely circumscribed, since it could be exercised only within certain limits of age, social class, and territory.

Any union outside the community was prohibited. Marriage was indissoluble except in the case of adultery on the part of the wife, which, in certain provinces, could lead to her being repudiated, subject to the authorization of the Inca if the woman concerned was the wife of a curaca , or of the curaca if she was the wife of an ordinary Indian. Generally speaking, however, adultery, whether on the part of man or woman, was prohibited on pain of death.

Polygamy is met with only among the high officials or local chiefs in command of more than a thousand families, and especially in the household of the Inca sovereign himself. It was a custom that granted every man the right to have as many wives as he could support. In practice, this meant, in most cases, only one. For the Inca monarch, polygamy was a political necessity.

His family, which to a considerable extent constituted the ruling class, had to be large enough to assure a sufficient recruitment of military leaders and civil administrators. While the local chiefs could have as many as five or six wives, the Inca could have an unlimited number.

These polygamous practices are often cited as a cause of the increase in population. Such a conception of marriage seems surprising to us today; yet the Spaniards themselves adopted the principle of obligatory unions shortly after the conquest in an effort to put an end to the immorality prevalent among the white men. In a royal decree ordered the encomenderos whose functions we shall describe later, and whose number included all the conquistadors or their descendants to marry within three years under pain of losing the encomienda that constituted their means of livelihood.

It may be added that compulsory marriage is entirely logical in a socialist system. Socialism, defined as the absorption of the individual by the state or the local community, must inevitably lead to official mating, as communism must inevitably lead to the communal sharing of women. The laws of Lycurgus deprived the unmarried man of his rights of citizenship; Plato pressed this idea to its farthest extreme when he envisaged yearly unions only among couples so matched as to assure the improvement of the race; and Campanella, in his famous Civitas solis , did not confine himself merely to setting the dates when nuptials were to be officially solemnized, but required that conjugal relations should take place on days fixed by authority in accordance with the counsels of astrologers and physicians.

As their arable lands were limited, they did not deem it essential that the population should increase. Another cause of the increase in the population was undoubtedly the system of labor, which we shall have to study. The Indian had his family assist him in the accomplishment of the task that was assigned to him by law. Thus far we have seen no more than a part of the agonizing problem with which the Inca sovereigns were faced: The population was increasing.

What were its means of subsistence? From the description we have given of the Peruvian plateau it can well be imagined that they were far from sufficient. For the most part, arable lands were few and poor; the valleys themselves, like that of Cuzco, were incapable of feeding groups even moderately prolific. Thus, the population was unevenly distributed. It was so dense in the fertile regions that Squier compared Peru to China. Thus, Cuzco and Ollantay were built on rocky slopes, and the coastal towns of Pachacamac and Chincha were situated outside the territory that the rivers could render fertile.

The staple food of the Peruvians was maize. This plant is remarkably well suited to poor soil and primitive processes of cultivation. Because of the way it grows, the number of stalks it can put forth in a given space is severely limited, and this makes it easier to cultivate. It is not necessary for the entire surface of the field to be conscientiously ploughed; it is enough to dig holes in the ground at the proper intervals and to bury the seeds in them.

No cereal produces such a crop as this, and its stalks provide a fodder that is superior to wheat straw. It is of better quality in the cold regions, where it has a long period of nurture, than in the warm valleys of the coast. Maize is the sacred grain of the New World. Ondegardo tells us that the harvests were poor three years out of five and that in certain villages, notably in the Collao, the Indians reaped only a fifth of what they needed to support life.

He adds that in a good many districts there were harvests only every six or seven years. Next to maize, it was vegetables that played the most important part in the diet of the Peruvians. A number of other plants also provided food for the population. Salt was plentiful in Peru and was found near both Tumbez and Cuzco. As we shall see later, hunting was strictly regulated.

There were few domestic animals. The Indians had a sort of duck, [41] a great many guinea pigs—the only animals on the coast—and dogs. A few tribes of northern Peru enjoyed the flesh of these last, but in the central provinces dogs were considered more of a liability than an asset because they had to be fed; this is the reason why only a small number of them were to be found in pre-Columbian America, although they multiplied rapidly after the Spanish conquest.

Lastly, the inhabitants of the plateau used to eat certain rodents the abrocome, the viscacha, and the agouti and certain marsupials the opossum , the bones of which have been found in the tombs of Machu Picchu. Not only were these two species used as beasts of burden, but their wool served as raw material for the manufacture of textiles, their flesh as meat, and their dung as fuel.

Along with maize, the llama formed the basis of the whole economy of the plateau. The Spanish conquerors, at a loss for a name to denote this animal, with which they were unacquainted, would sometimes call it the big sheep and sometimes the small camel. The latter appellation is rather felicitous, for the grass of the puna ychu is all the food the llama needs to satisfy it, and it can go entirely without food and water for several days.

It does not need to be shod, for it has cloven hoofs, nor to be saddled, for its thick fleece is sufficient protection; it has no fear of the cold, and it likes high altitudes. It is rarely encountered north of the equator, where there is a dearth of ychu. It can scarcely carry more than a hundred and ten pounds for a distance of twelve and a half miles a day.

It is not very intelligent, for a rope stretched in front of it below the neck is enough to keep it from moving forward; it does not have the sense to take a slight movement backward and lower its head so as to pass under this obstacle. This makes it easy to pen up whole flocks of them.

It eats only during the day and chews its cud at night. The alpaca, or paco, the wool of which is longer and silkier than that of the llama, is even less suited for use as a beast of burden. At the time of the Incas, the members of the ruling class possessed great flocks of llamas, frequently numbering more than five hundred head.

Among the common people, every head of a family owned a pair of llamas. He had the right to kill and eat the young offspring, and, in addition, to receive some sides of meat at the time of the royal hunts; but with certain exceptions that we shall consider later in discussing livestock allotments this amounted to a rather meager total. No one knows whether the llama really prevented cannibalism, as some maintain, [46] but this beast was certainly a blessing to the poor Indian of the plateau.

It constituted an article of exchange of the first rank and made it possible for the inhabitants of the very cold regions to procure by this means the maize they needed. And the Indian showed his affection for the llama in a thousand touching ways. The llama is not only a useful animal; it is graceful as well. No doubt the llama of today carries much merchandise unknown to the Incas, but the animal itself has not changed since pre-Columbian days any more than the man who drives him or the profile of the mountains and the horizon of the plateau.

On the coast, fish naturally occupied a large place in his diet, but it was very rare on the plateau, for no fish could live in those torrential streams. The diet of the Peruvian Indians was thus primarily vegetarian. Garcilaso, who tried to enumerate all the things the Peruvians lacked, was obliged to draw up a list of impressive length. Desolate stretches of grass, rocks, or sand; a dearth of water on the coast; insufficient warmth on the plateau; a scarcity of animals—all made for a perpetual struggle for survival and growth.

The Indian is a man continually on the defensive in the struggle for existence. Only external conquest and an internal organization that left no place for waste could enable a people to live under these conditions. No doubt it would be a great mistake to believe, with the Marxists, that economic factors explain everything; for the troubled times that followed the disappearance of the civilization of Tiahuanaco could have continued, the excess population could have been wiped out by civil wars or in the wake of a series of famines, and the Spaniards would have found the country in the state in which they found the coasts of Darien and New Granada.

But from the moment when an intelligent and ambitious leader stood forth and asserted himself, he was obliged to begin the struggle against Nature. The pressure of population on the means of subsistence was one of the determining factors in Peruvian policy, and we feel its influence acting throughout all phases of the drama in which the Incas played their historic role.

Elsewhere in the same book ch. The general histories avoid this difficult subject of the Peruvian population. The Spanish demographic statistics of the sixteenth century are fiscal, representing only the taxable inhabitants from eighteen to fifty years of age , and it is therefore necessary, in order to calculate the whole population, to multiply these figures by an arbitrary coefficient—four, four and a half, or five.

Epidemics seem to have decimated the population on a number of occasions before the Spanish conquest. This is not correct. There can be no doubt about the total decrease in population, and the majority of the Spaniards acknowledged it.

Marcos de Niza speaks of territories in which the population had dropped from eighty thousand to four thousand Relation , F. These figures are fantastic, but the fact of depopulation is certain. According to M. But the Inca empire did not include all this territory, for the eastern part of the first three and the southern part of the last were outside its territories; on the other hand, it included the Andean region northwest of Argentina.

The Inca used to give his provincial governors the right to assign wives to their principal officials. Among the Chibchas marriage took place by purchase. Restrepo, Los Chibchas , p. IV, ch. VI, ch. A description of the Indian family of the present day will be found in the last chapter of this book. Montesinos says the same op. The change to endogamy is probably due to the desire to avoid the breaking up of community property and to hold together the working forces of the group J.

Basadre, Historia , p. According to the latest sociological research, which we shall not discuss here, the original family system among the Peruvians was matriarchal Cunow, Uhle, Latcham, Bandelier. This is logical as long as a state of sexual anarchy prevails, since the maternal line of descent is the only one possible.

When kinship groups were established, sexual taboos the abhorrence of incest limited the possibilities of union and led the men to obtain outside their clan the women they needed, first by abduction or war, and later by gift or purchase C. As a result, woman lost her position of eminence and became a thing, a chattel for man, and the matriarchal system was superseded by a patriarchy.

Henceforth, woman remained inferior to man, she formed part of the patrimony of the master, she could be given as a gift, and she could be handed down by inheritance B.

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