Places to Partake

Melissa Goodman-Elgar

in Drink, Power, and Society in the Andes

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033068
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038575 | DOI:
Places to Partake

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This chapter suggests that terraced fields were an important site of Inca rituals that linked corn, chicha, and the Inca elite to the productive cycle. It also reviews a means to archaeologically study the use of terraces in feasts. Viewing Inca agricultural terraces as monumental landscapes, this chapter then examines how certain terraces featured prominently in important state activities and reinforced Inca social hierarchies, gender roles, and state territorial expansion. In addition, it is shown that chicha provides a fundamental link between the earthly process of food production, the Inca sociopolitical order, and the requirements of divine beings as conceptualized in Inca telluric cosmology. This outlook presents an opportunity for the further development of landscape approaches in the Andes through focused fieldwork in field systems, which will provide a more nuanced appreciation of pre-Columbian behavior.

Keywords: Andean landscape; Inca rituals; corn; chicha; agricultural terraces; gender; territorial expansion; telluric cosmology

Chapter.  11643 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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