Have a Drink

Mary Weismantel

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:
Have a Drink

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This chapter moves from today's Ecuadorian Amazon to the Moche culture of Peru's north coast (ad 100–700) to consider how alcohol's enduring importance in the Andes may relate to its importance as a gift shared by both friends and rivals. It is also suggested that chicha has been used through the centuries to express the tension between inequality and shared identity that is found in all societies. Chicha today carries meanings of gender, race, nation, and community — some of the most powerful identities known. Throughout its long history, chicha has demonstrated its symbolic potency. It has also consistently been used to express tensions between inequality and shared identity, as well as to embody qualities of the natural and supernatural world.

Keywords: chicha; Moche culture; Andes; gift; inequality; identity; community; politics

Chapter.  8520 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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