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Variations actuelles sur un vieux thème andin : l'idéal vertical

Études rurales
PERSEE Program
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3406/rural.1981.2654
  • Ecology


Modern Variations on an Old Andean Theme : the Vertical Ideal. It is now time to make a synthesis of the various expressions in present day Andean societies of the vertical ideal of self-sufficiency as defined by J.V. Murra for the pre-hispanic Andes. The author makes a typology of these expressions, emphasizing both its limited and provisional character. She illustrates it with examples taken from her personal investigations as well as from works already published or in preparation. She distinguishes two types of access to the ressources of the various ecological levels to be found in the Andes : the control of a territory located at different levels and the access to their products through barter. In the first category two types are distinguished : control of the multiple levels amongst a group of families, as exemplified by the Macha and the Laymi, North of Potosi ; control of the multiple levels within each family, which can take two different forms according to whether the territory of the community is continuous or discontinuous. The first form is illustrated by the Q'eros (Cuzco) whose territory is made up of levels which are distant from one another, and by San Juan (in the valley of Chancay) whose territory is made of levels which are close to each other ; the second form is illustrated by Sibayo (Caylloma) which takes the type of a pre-hispanic «archipelago», and by various examples taken from the Sacred Valley of Cuzco which show the adaptation of the vertical ideal to the colonial type hacienda, to the market economy and finally to the co-operatives set up ty the peruvian land reform. The different forms of barter are analysed inasmuch as the follow up territorial control. Finally these variations in the present manifestations of the vertical ideal suggest the notion of a development cycle in the tactics of control.

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