Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationBrown U.
Grant numberGr. 10240
Approve DateOctober 7, 2021
Project TitleRivas-Tello, Daiana (Brown U.) "Craft Production, Community Identity, and Collective Memory in Huancas, Peru"
This project will employ archaeological, ethnographic and archival methods to examine the long-term history of Indigenous potters in Huancas, Peru. By examining pathways and strategies of resilience employed by Huancas potters over 550 years, I study Indigenous community responses to colonial structures and the role material and crafting plays in maintaining community identity. In approximately 1470, the now community of Huancas, were forcibly resettled from their homeland in the central Peruvian highlands to the Amazonas region of Peru, by the Inka Empire. They continued to produce pottery under Spanish colonial and Peruvian national rule, and in 2012 the Ministry of Culture designated Huancas pottery as Cultural Patrimony. In collaboration with Huancas potters, I will examine how they modified this craft while experiencing shifts in regimes from the Late Horizon (ca. 1470- 1535), Spanish Colonial (ca. 1535- 1823), and Republican periods (1824-) into the present. I ask: How have Huancas potters adapted this crafting tradition through centuries of colonialism? How have different state interventions in property, heritage, and legal definitions of Indigeneity, impacted this practice? How do we explain the longevity of Huancas potting tradition? This project will contribute to broader anthropological questions on persistence, colonialism, and Indigenous remembrance.