Racial Conflict and Identity Crisis in Wartime Peru

Vincent C. Peloso

in Military Struggle and Identity Formation in Latin America

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034874
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038438 | DOI:
Racial Conflict and Identity Crisis in Wartime Peru

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This chapter subjects the historiography and evidence of the massacre of Chinese immigrants in the Cañete valley by Afro-Peruvian peasants, led by women during the War of the Pacific, to critical analysis in light of recent discussions of the nexus of race, culture, and nation. It validates the motives of the peasants who carried out the massacre by examining the event as an aspect of racial and cultural identity formation. The study highlights the self-serving character of contemporary evaluations, and it gives attention to the cultural tensions and ambiguous meanings present in the massacre, which illustrate the character of national identity projects in late nineteenth-century Peru.

Keywords: racial conflict; Cañete massacre; Chinese immigrants; wartime Peru; War of the Pacific; Afro-Peruvian peasants; cultural identity

Chapter.  9933 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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