You Are What You Drink

David J. Goldstein, Robin C. Coleman Goldstein and Patrick R. Williams

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:
You Are What You Drink

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This chapter deals with the use of chicha de molle at the Wari site of Cerro Baúl (ad 600–1000) in southern Peru. Through paleobotanical analysis of excavated areas, it shows how molle was used as both an indicator of social rank within the site and a marker of Wari ethnicity that differentiated the people living in Cerro Baúl from others living in the valley. It starts by exploring the diversity of Andean fermented beverages in the colonial period and the present. After examining the relationship between food preferences and identity, it investigates the centrality of fermented beverages produced from sources other than corn at Cerro Baúl. Additionally, the potential for the use of other kinds of grains — kiwicha and quinoa — for fermented beverage production within different settings at the site and the use of molle drinks are evaluated. In conclusion, it describes the significance of the molle data with regard to how fermented beverage production is interpreted at other pre-Hispanic sites in the Andes.

Keywords: chicha de molle; Cerro Baúl; Wari ethnicity; fermented beverages; kiwicha; quinoa; corn

Chapter.  12062 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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