Inside the Reducción: Crafting Colonial Foodways at Carrizales and Mocupe Viejo, Zaña Valley, Peru (1570–1700)


This study explores the politics of indigenous foodways in early colonial Peru, examining the processes by which indigenous households adapted to demographic stress, resettlement, and evangelization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries CE. We examine faunal and botanical data from two planned towns (reducciones) located in Peru’s Zaña Valley—Carrizales and Mocupe Viejo. Inter- and intra-site comparison of food procurement and diet reveal different strategies and timing in the ways that Eurasian products were incorporated into native foodways, suggesting that while Old World animal domesticates were rapidly integrated into the indigenous diet, plant domesticates tied to the Iberian palate were not as readily adopted.

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Research was funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant (RZ-51748-14) to VanValkenburgh, a University of Pittsburgh Center for Latin American Studies Graduate Student Research Grant (to Kennedy), and a University of Pittsburgh International Studies Fund Research Grant (to Kennedy). Elizabeth Arkush, Marc Bermann, Igor Chechushkov, Peiyu Chen, Deb Neidich, Ryan Smith, John Walden, and Nicole Wong provided initial and valuable feedback on earlier drafts of this manuscript. Special thanks to Karen Durand Caceres, Danilo Depaz Romero, Amy Fann, Sarita Fuentes Villalobos, Winnie Looc, and Mercedes Vera Urbina for their assistance in laboratory research. Specimen identification was aided by the expertise of Susan deFrance, Philippe Béarez, Sadie Weber, Nicole Cannarozzi, Ali Altamirano, and Isabel Salvatierra. Finally, we would like to thank Ellen Lofaro and Brendan Weaver for their insightful reviews and valuable feedback.

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Kennedy, S.A., Chiou, K.L. & VanValkenburgh, P. Inside the Reducción: Crafting Colonial Foodways at Carrizales and Mocupe Viejo, Zaña Valley, Peru (1570–1700). Int J Histor Archaeol 23, 980–1010 (2019).

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  • Foodways
  • Colonialism
  • Andes
  • Identity
  • Tribute