In the last 500 years, the indigenous peoples of the Andes and their European colonizers have struggled for political and social control over the region.
The initial years of conquest and culture clash in the 16th century preceded an era of convergence,when Europeans and Andeans hybridized, borrowing each other’s languages, clothing, religion, and food. In certain times and places during the Colonial (1530s-1821) and post-Colonial eras (1821-today), Spaniards attempted to erase local people’s histories and practices.
In others, the already-diverse peoples of the Andes re-shaped their own cultures, creating new identities. By examining representations of racial-ethnic, gender, and class categories in the Andes over the last 500 years, Andean Identities looks at how individuals and groups (indigenous, mixed-race, and Afro-Peruvian) categorize themselves and others, and what inequalities result. European colonialism left a legacy of inequalities related to identity that persists, not only in the Andes, but also in North America.
The exhibit concludes with comparisons of cases of unequal citizenship. What do indigenous women’s movements in Peru have to do with Black Lives Matter in the United States and Students for an Inclusive Campus at Beloit? Come see the exhibit to find out and make your own connections to your society and community.
Andean Identities: Conquest, Conflict, and Convergence will be on display in the Shaw Gallery on the second floor of the Logan Museum through December 2016. It was curated by Prof. Kylie Quave and students in her spring 2016 course Dimensions of Identity.