The Spirit of the Gift in the Peruvian Andes

Frédérique Apffel-Marglin

in Subversive Spiritualities

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199793853
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

The Spirit of the Gift in the Peruvian Andes

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Chapter 5 introduces an indigenous Peruvian ritual. The first part of the chapter is in the voice of an indigenous woman from a Highland Andean community. In her story she recounts why she rejected the science of agronomy she was taught at the university and why she formed an organization to revive rituals in her community. The second part of the chapter is a description of the festival of the water, Yarqa Aspiy, in her community where the people ritualistically clean the irrigation canals. The offerings and exchange of gifts among humans and between humans and other-than-humans exemplify the gift economy. The last part of the chapter raises the issue of restoring certainty in seventeenth-century Europe by focusing on Robert Boyle's experimental scientific method for establishing certainty, one established on totally new bases. This new experimental method created an anthropocentric dualist cosmology.

Keywords: Andes; agronomy; water festival; gift economy; certainty; Robert Boyle; scientific method

Chapter.  11964 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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