By Frank L. Salomon, Mercedes Niño-Murcia
Andean peoples joined the area of alphabetic literacy approximately 500 years in the past, but the heritage in their literacy has remained hidden in the past. within the Lettered Mountain, Frank Salomon and Mercedes Niño-Murcia extend notions of literacy and problem stereotypes of Andean “orality” by means of reading the writings of mountain villagers from Inka occasions to the net period. Their historic ethnography is predicated on wide study within the village of Tupicocha, within the primary Peruvian province of Huarochirí. The sector has a distinct position within the historical past of Latin American letters because the domestic of the original early-seventeenth-century Quechua-language ebook explaining Peru’s historic gods and priesthoods. Granted entry to Tupicocha’s unusually wealthy inner data, Salomon and Niño-Murcia came upon that legacy mirrored in a particular model of lettered lifestyles built sooner than the coming of kingdom faculties. of their precise ethnography, writing emerges as an essential perform underlying particularly Andean sacred tradition and self-governance. while, the authors locate that Andean family members with the countryside were deprived by way of country writing criteria constructed in discussion with ecu academies yet no longer with the agricultural literate culture.
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Extra resources for The Lettered Mountain: A Peruvian Village's Way With Writing
To court exactitude, Wallace Stevens suggests (as reproduced in the epigraph to this book), it is not enough to abandon ‘‘the tired romance Peru and the Ethnography of Writing | 25 of imprecision’’ (1965 :353). Tupicochan writing indeed tolerates a modicum of ‘‘tired romance’’ in the form of civic bombast. But the core aesthetic of writing is an astringently plain one—‘‘a rhetoric that convinces and appeals by adopting the language of antirhetoric’’ (Riles 2006:19, summarizing an argument from James Aho’s 1985 book on the culture of accounting).
The word constancia connotes durable knowledge, a defense against errors, falsehoods, and forgetting. Producing a constancia is the culmination of every collective function. The function is not considered done without it: the document is not about the deed but is the deed. Considering local usage, one might deﬁne constancias as consubstantial records. Constancias trump all oral testimonies in cases of dispute. In short, intravillage literacy is a tough, practical matter of mutual social control.
Namyejo rengue kyo’’ transcribes a mantra the shopkeeper learned from the proselytizing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist sect, of Japanese origin, which he attends when visiting Lima. 9. The reverse side of the same sign shows the highland woman in her urban or traveling clothes. 10. Printed materials from urban media that refer to the village are carefully hoarded. This article from a 1994 Lima Sunday tourism supplement describes the winter ritual cycle in Tupicocha. The sidebar at the upper right has the effect of ‘‘ofﬁcializing’’ a dubious explanation, from folk etymology, for the village’s name.