Event: PIZZA TALK: From W’aka to Plaza: Ritual Landscapes in Huarochiri (Lima, Peru)

Date & Time

November 13, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Contact Information

Sumiji Takahashi
Phone 310-825-4169


Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details


Dr. Carla Hernández Garavito

Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Anthropology, UC Riverside


The Inka expansion on the Central Andes brought into the Empire several polities with different histories, traditions, and identities. The increasing pressure to manage diversity and territorial expansion led the Inka to build upon familiarity with their subjects whenever possible. In this presentation, I explore once such familiar space: ritual spaces. Inka plazas are well known to archaeological research as places for feasting, displays of Inka power, and affirmation of social solidarities. However, in many cases, Inka plazas were attached to other sacred built and natural places that rather than affirmed imperial control, embodied the identities of the subjects. I will discuss the history of such a sacred place or w’aka in Huarochirí before and after the Inka. I contend that the plazas fully adapted to the embodiment of community identity already at play in the w’aka. Consequently, the closeness between this w’aka and Inka plazas reinforced the notion of local communities appropriating and retelling their history of subjugation by the Inka as one of alliance and broadening of community ties. Finally, I look at how the experience of this local community with Inka imperialism informed how they engaged with Spanish colonialism and evangelization. Overall, my work aims to recognize the importance of experience and reinvention among Andean communities in the face of political imposition