By Olivia Harris. Published 2000. ISBN 9781900039291
This volume opens a new series by the Institute of Latin American Studies dedicated to collecting the best work of leading Latin Americanists in the United Kingdom. The book brings together previously published ethnographic essays based on anthropological fieldwork in Northern Potosí, Bolivia spanning the past 25 years. A new Introduction contextualises the pieces within the empirical and analytical developments in Latin American and Andean anthropology. The essays discuss key concerns and cultural symbols of the indigenous peasants of the Andes: the importance of the land and practices relating to its continued fertility; the cult of the dead; the complex division of labour and forms of circulation within the indigenous economy; the question of gender; and the mythological figure of the earth-mother. While based upon detailed ethnographic research all the chapters also engage in theoretical and analytical debate both within and beyond the discipline.