in The City at Its Limits

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226280974
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226280998 | DOI:

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Lima features a cluster of lopsided streets and jirones, the core of what used to be known as the “Indian” pueblo of Santiago. Viceroy Francisco de Toledo introduced colonial legislation into the terrain of what, after Marcel Mauss, we call the “techniques of the body,” setting off the long and complex process that, in the centuries that followed, would definitively transform native people's attire and physical comportment. A quick survey of the literature on migration and mestizaje in Peru reveals the weight that is now assigned to clothing in effecting (or impeding) the emergence of new identities in the urban milieu. In Lima, as in most other urban centers, features of indigenous dress are generally met with ridicule and rejected by individuals of all social standings. In the context of Billie Jean Isbell's treatment of the incest taboo among Chuschinos, one gains insight into the place of nakedness in the enforcement of social rules and in the punishment of the transgression of these rules.

Keywords: Lima; Santiago; Francisco de Toledo; Peru; clothing; Billie Jean Isbell; taboo; transgression; nakedness; social rules

Chapter.  8569 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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