Gender and the Boundaries of Dress in Contemporary Peru
University of Texas Press, 2010 M01 1 - 384 páginas
Set in Arequipa during Peru’s recent years of crisis, this ethnography reveals how dress creates gendered bodies. It explores why people wear clothes, why people make art, and why those things matter in a war-torn land. Blenda Femenías argues that women’s clothes are key symbols of gender identity and resistance to racism. Moving between metropolitan Arequipa and rural Caylloma Province, the central characters are the Quechua- and Spanish-speaking maize farmers and alpaca herders of the Colca Valley. Their identification as Indians, whites, and mestizos emerges through locally produced garments called bordados. Because the artists who create these beautiful objects are also producers who carve an economic foothold, family workshops are vital in a nation where jobs are as scarce as peace. But ambiguity permeates all practices shaping bordados’ significance. Femenías traces contemporary political and ritual applications, not only Caylloma’s long-standing and violent ethnic conflicts, to the historical importance of cloth since Inca times. This is the only book about expressive culture in an Andean nation that centers on gender. In this feminist contribution to ethnography, based on twenty years’ experience with Peru, including two years of intensive fieldwork, Femenías reflects on the ways gender shapes relationships among subjects, research, and representation.
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activities alpaca Andean anthropologist Arequipa artisans artists authenticity bayeta body Bolivia bordados Cabanaconde Caceres Candelaria Carnival Caylloma bordados Caylloma Province Cayllominos Chivay market claim Colca River Colca Valley colors comadre Condori Coporaque create creative cross-dressing cultural Cusco custom daily dance domination dress economic embodied embroidered embroidery especially ethnic identity ethnography Eudumila exchange fabric Federation female Femenias festivals fieldwork fiestas garments gender husband Indian indigenous interview Juan kiosk labor learned Leonardo Mejia Lima lived machine male means men’s mestizo misti mother mourning Nilda operarios participation performance Peru Peruvian photographs plaza political poncho production province Pujllay Quechua racial regional representation ritual roles rural Sabancaya Sallnow sell sewing skirts social sometimes space Spanish style Sullca Susana Bernal symbolic term textiles tourists town traditional transvestism urban usually vendors villages violence visual wear polleras Witite woman women wear polleras wool workshop