Andean Religious Acculturation, Social Climbing, Indian History in Eighteenth Century Arequipa (Southern Peru): Idolatrous Cacique Gregorio Taco
The paper focuses on a 600-paged religious inquiry carried in 1750 against native chief Gregorio Taco, the Indian leader of the parish of Andagua, in the Diocese of Arequipa (southern Peru). The analysis borrows from anthropology, Andean and Church history, as well as economic and administrative history of the Viceroyalty of Peru. The research demonstrates that, by late colonial period, Indians of the Southern Andes had keenly worked an intermingling of religious and economic matters in which the re-edition of pre-Hispanic beliefs, like the worshipping of ancestors’ mummies, played a prominent role. Taco’s case evidences that, by late colonial period, Catholicism had entered the private sphere of Indian life and, along with die-hard pre-Hispanic beliefs, had become instrumental to the economic and political agendas of aspiring community leaders.
Keywords: Andean Religion, Arequipa, Mummy Worshipping, Viceroyalty of Peru, Paganism, Religious Persecution, Indian Leadership
Dr. Maria Marsilli
Assistant Professor, History Department, John Carroll University