Supplies, Status, and Slavery: Contested Aesthetics of Provisioning at the Jesuit Haciendas of Nasca

Abstract

The seventeenth- and eighteenth-century wine- and brandy-producing estates owned by the Society of Jesus in Nasca, Peru, held a large enslaved population of diverse sub-Saharan origins. Enslaved actors, together with a minority of black freepersons and itinerant indigenous and mestizo laborers, relied on goods and foodstuffs supplied by their Jesuit administrators along with products they provisioned themselves. The aesthetic worlds of the estates were contested through the ways in which these actors engaged and provisioned themselves, making use of material culture and foodways to strategically manipulate their statuses and produce meaning reflective of their diverse origins and entanglements.

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Acknowledgments

Funding for field and laboratory research was provided by an International Dissertation Research Grant from the Social Science Research Council (to Weaver, 2012), and the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies (to Muñoz, 2013). Funding for data analysis has been provided by fellowships from the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities (to Weaver, 2014–15, 2015–16), a Mellon Partners for Humanities Education Fellowship (to Weaver 2016–18), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Stanford Archaeological Center (to Weaver 2018-19).

An early draft of this article was presented by Weaver at the session “Status and Identity in the Imperial Andes” co-organized by Sarah Kennedy and Scotti Norman at the 2017 meetings of the Society for American Archaeology. We offer thanks to Kennedy and Norman, as well as the session’s discussants, Susan deFrance and Jeffery Quilter. We are especially thankful to our peer reviewers, for providing very useful comments and suggestions, and to the following individuals for their feedback at various stages of this research: Steven Wernke, Jane Landers, Meghan Cook Weaver, and Miguel Fhon Bazán. Deep appreciation is also extended to the efforts of our entire PAHN family (our students, community participants, and especially the project’s madrinas [godmothers] Vicenta Guerra and Teodosia Chipana) and to the Peruvian Ministry of Culture, and staff at the Museo de Historia Natural and the Ethnobotanical and Archaeobotanical Laboratories at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, and at the Museo Regional de Ica for all of their assistance and guidance.

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Weaver, B.J.M., Muñoz, L.A. & Durand, K. Supplies, Status, and Slavery: Contested Aesthetics of Provisioning at the Jesuit Haciendas of Nasca. Int J Histor Archaeol 23, 1011–1038 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-018-0485-y

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Keywords

  • Slavery
  • Provisions
  • Foodways
  • Society of Jesus
  • Peru