Andean Religious Acculturation, Social Climbing, Indian History in Eighteenth Century Arequipa (Southern Peru): Idolatrous Cacique Gregorio Taco

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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
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Maria Marsilli

Assistant  Professor, History Department, John Carroll University
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Assistant Professor of History 2002-present at John Carroll University. Ph.D., Emory University (2002). Has taught low and upper division courses in Latin American History with emphasis on Indian peoples throughout the Andes. Has published several articles on native religion in colonial southern Peru-Northern Chile. Currently completing her book “God and Evil in the Andean South: Native Colonial Religion in the Diocese of Arequipa” in contract to be published by the American Academy of Franciscan History and Stanford University Press.

Ref: I08P0171