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Summary of Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru – 1st Edition
From publisher Princeton University Press:
The myths and cosmologies of non-Western peoples are not just histories, relating the world as it once was, nor are they pseudo-histories, justifying the world as it has come to be. Instead, they are tools of struggle: ideologies both producing and produced by the effort to create society in someone’s image. On them are written the memories and hopes of forgotten people, yearning for power over their – and others’ – lives. Such is Irene Silverblatt’s argument as she documents religious/ideological struggle in pre- and post-conquest Peru. Heavily influenced by Marxist anthropology and by debates about the social construction of gender, she examines religious and gender ideologies in the Andes prior to the Inca conquest, during their short reign (1450-1532), and after the coming of the Spanish. Though the pre-Inca period is relatively opaque Silverblatt argues that the sexes were relatively equal. Men’s and women’s work, men’s and women’s religion each upheld a portion of the universe. Women inherited from women, worshipped female gods and directed their cults; men inherited from men, and ruled cults whose gods were male. Gender was the dominant screen through which these people viewed life – and both sides could play. The Incas shared this gender-defined worldview, but used it to justify their conquest and control. They worshipped Viracocha, whom they claimed as the an-drogynous pro-genitor of Sun and Moon, respectively the ancestors of men and women.–Www.jstor.org (Nov. 9, 2010).
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