NIELSEN Axel Emil
capítulos de libros
Poor chiefs: corporate dimensions of pre-Inca society in the Southern Andes
AXEL E. NIELSEN
Against Typological Tyranny in Archaeology: A South American Perspective
Lugar: New York; Año: 2014; p. 99 - 120
During the first centuries of the second millennium AD the people of the Southern Andes experienced dramatic organizational changes. The nature of this transformation, however, and of the social order that emerged from it, have been hard to define. I argue that these difficulties derive from the inability of Neo-evolutionary typologies to apprehend the structuring principles of pre-Hispanic society. The ethnohistorical sources suggest that, in the 16th century, Andean formations held a strong corporate orientation and followed segmentary, decentralized principles of integration, in which kin groups (ayllus) maintained certain control over strategic resources and local authorities, even when they were incorporated into larger polities or ethnic federations. Inequalities probably existed, but were based on the differential access to social and symbolic (political) capital, rather than on the control and accumulation of economic resources. Elements of this model are evaluated with archaeological data generated through the investigation of public spaces of the 13th and 14th centuries in Los Amarillos (NW Argentina) and Laqaya (SW Bolivia). The results indicate that some of these structuring principles may be traced back to pre-Inca times in the area, but they also suggest that there were significant differences between regions.