Senior Thesis Abstract (Hu)


Between the Sword and the Wall: Inca and Modern Peruvian State Strategies of Control in Pomatambo-Vilcashuaman

Di Hu

Sub-field: Archaeology & Cultural Anthropology

Advisor: Paula Sabloff, Cultural Anthropologist, Department of Anthropology

In my thesis, I compare the different methods of control employed by the Inca and the modern Peruvian state in Pomatambo, a village of about two hundred people situated 3,500 meters above sea level in the province of Vilcashuamán in the south central highlands of Peru, and its surrounding area. I examine how the state related to the peasant populations of the periphery in the two time periods, and compare how these states suppressed uprisings, how they integrated smaller polities, and used military and economic methods to control the population of the Pomatambo-Vilcashuamán area. More specifically, I compare the Inca conquest and colonization of the area with how the modern state of Peru defeated the Shining Path and pacified the area. I examine the political, economic, and military policies used by both entities in response to the challenges of pacifying rebellions. Because the Vilcashuamán region has a long history of rebellion dating back to pre-Inca times, the physical signs of state control, ancient and modern, abound in the area. A comparison of state strategies of control reveals much about the relationship between the nature of the two states and the types of political-geographical policies they pursued.

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