Spain's invasion of the Andes initiated a social drama unprecedented in the experience of the Andean natives. Spanish and Spanish-conscripted native chroniclers wrote extensively about Inca pageantry, spectacle, and ritual, and hastily attributed pagan belief to performances they witnessed or heard about. With equal haste, the Spanish appropriated performance as means of introducing and enforcing Christianity. In this thesis, I treat performance as the central feature of Andean Colonial transition. Performance may be viewed as an ephemeral feature of the Andean transition but fortunately, in mortuary performances (dealing with death and treatment of the body); there are many theatrical elements that survive in mortuary contexts (e.g., staging, setting, costumes, make-up, props, and choreography). Archaeology, history, and ethnographic observation together illustrate that performance has alternately established, celebrated, or subverted Andean power relations during hundreds of years. Mortuary performances are especially excellent commentaries about religious climate of Colonial Peru. In this thesis I analyze mortuary performance in Colonial and contemporary Peru. I argue that the Colonial Spanish saw performance as evidence of belief and sought to transform pagan belief to Christian belief. Ultimately, communities, religion, and performance itself were transformed; integrated and reintegrated into dynamic personal and public expressions.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Ericksen, Connie, "Burial Plots: Finding Theatre in the Thanatology of Colonial North Coast Peru" (2017). All Theses and Dissertations. 6713.
Colonial Peru, Archaeology of Performance, Social Drama, Victor Turner, Eten Peru, Dramaturge, Chapel del San Pedro de Mórrope, Chapel del Niño Serranito de Eten