A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on Rock by Carolyn J Dean

By Carolyn J Dean

An important contribution to either artwork heritage and Latin American reviews, A tradition of Stone deals subtle new insights into Inka tradition and the translation of non-Western paintings. Carolyn Dean makes a speciality of rock outcrops masterfully built-in into Inka structure, exquisitely labored masonry, and freestanding sacred rocks, explaining how yes stones took on lives in their personal and performed an important function within the unfolding of Inka heritage. reading the a number of makes use of of stone, she argues that the Inka understood construction in stone as a manner of ordering the chaos of unordered nature, changing untamed areas into domesticated areas, and laying declare to new territories. Dean contends that knowing what the rocks signified calls for seeing them because the Inka observed them: as most likely animate, sentient, and sacred. via cautious research of Inka stonework, colonial-period money owed of the Inka, and modern ethnographic and folkloric reports of indigenous Andean tradition, Dean reconstructs the relationships among stonework and different facets of Inka existence, together with imperial growth, worship, and agriculture. She additionally scrutinizes meanings imposed on Inka stone by means of the colonial Spanish and, later, by way of tourism and the vacationer undefined. A tradition of Stone is a compelling multidisciplinary argument for rethinking how we see and understand the Inka earlier.

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Archaeologists and others who have focused on site planning have also attempted integrated studies of the Inka built environment. 63 My present inquiry follows in the footsteps of, and is inspired by, all these authors, for the Inka’s culture of stone placed value on rocks of all sorts, whether they were carved or not, or integrated into masonry walls or not. To separate out carved stone as worthy of special attention, or to separate out for study stones in architecture while ignoring stones apart from it, is to prioritize non-Inka understandings of rock.

46 To the left, Chuquillanto is positioned on a vertical axis between the town of Guayllapampa (Guaillabamba) below and a hill labeled Sauasiray; to the right, “Acoitapia” appears above the town of Calca and below a twin-peaked hill labeled Pitusiray and Urcun/Urcunsiray. Both Chuquillanto and Acuytapra are half human and half stone; their bodies below the waist have petrified, and the tops of their heads merge with the rocky peaks above. Legendary lithomorphs such as these were clearly identifiable in the landscape.

49 Rather, she argues, signs validate already known histories and relationships. 50 As suggested earlier, we might think of the land, scattered with the lithic evidence of past acts, as a memoryscape. ”51 Memories, of course, are subjective abstractions of human experience. Remembering one version of the past requires the forgetting or repressing of another version of that same past. Identifying historic actors—what we might think of as materialized memories—petrified in the landscape with whom future humans will interact keeps particular interpretations of history alive.

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