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Orlove Reviewed work(s): Source: Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 12, No. 2 (May, 1997), pp. 234-268 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/656584 . Accessed: 01/01/2013 10:21
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Meat and Strength: The Moral Economy of a Chilean Food Riot
Division of Environmental Studies University of California, Davis
Benjamin S. Orlove
The policies of a Latin American government drive food prices up; unions and neighborhood associations in the capital city organize a demonstration; the governmentcalls in the army;many people are killed; an uneasy truce prevails. As area specialists and indeed most newspaper readersand television watchers know, such sequences of events are common in recent Latin Americanhistory.1 Such events seem familiar, not only because they appearregularly in journal articles, in books, in headlines, and on the evening news, but also because they can be easily fitted into plausible narrativeframes. The actors (desperatelypoor masses, unresponsive governing elites) are well known, and they are engaged in a common sort of conflict (debates in public arenasover economic policies). The opening event in the narrative, a sudden rise in food prices, can be understood as one of the natural vicissitudes of an underdevelopedeconomy. Most readers, accustomed to hearing of such occurrences, would not be likely to question the direct links from the first event to the second, the public expression of political discontent, and then to the third, the repression by the government. This article examines one such set of events, which took place in Santiago, Chile in 1905, and compares it to food riots in other parts of the world. The analysis drawsboth on ways in which these events resembleotherfood riots and on ways in which they differ from them. The claims of the urbanpoor in this instance to have a right to subsistence and the rejectionof these claims by elites are familiar to studentsof food riots in other partsof the world. The linkages among the threeevents in Chile in 1905, though, areless typical, for threereasons.First, the rise in food prices is a puzzling triggerof the riot, since the policy thatcaused the prices to increasetook place years before the demonstrationsand repression. Second, the foodstuff that was in dispute was not a common grain such as wheat or rice that provides the bulk of subsistence and whose price and availability form the key issues in most food riots, but meat, a luxury item that formed a small portionof the diet of much of the population of Chile at the time. Finally, the link between the protest demonstrationand the repressionis complex rather
CulturalAnthropology 12(2):234-268. Copyright ? 1997, American AnthropologicalAssociation.
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MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 235
than simple, since the demonstrationitself went throughseveral peaceful stages before violence broke out. This sequence of stages is of particularinterest because it suggests that the participants were concerned not only with assuring theiraccess to certainfoods but also with maintainingcertainritualizedforms of public behavior. In orderto examine a case such as this one, in which the price rise, the demonstration, and the repression cannot be located in a tight temporal and causal sequence, this article follows the lead of E. P. Thompson's "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century" (1971). In this pathbreaking analysis of English food riots, Thompson showed that major public disturbancescould be understood less as the direct consequences of objective declines in living standardsamong the working classes than as responses to violations of deeply held views of propereconomic relations. His contributionwas to show that issues of food prices were not merely one point of conflict between working and property-owningclasses over the materialcontrol of an economy, but were linked to class-specific notions of social rights and responsibilities. He emphasized the loyalty of the rioters to "custom"(1991:259), a set of implicit rules governing the exchanges of goods, labor, and money and guaranteeingthe "common weal" (1971:79). The rioters, he explained, did not merely seek an adequatefood supply; they also defended the customs thatguaranteedthem their subsistence, and reinforced the notions of justice that underlay these customs. Though this article is in general accord with Thompson's views, it travels furtherthanhe does down the roadof offering a culturalaccount of economic interests. First, I emphasize the importanceof culture by expanding the range of cases that are considered. Thompson and his earlier followers concentratedon Europe and drew some additional cases from Asia; since the Latin American cases that I discuss here differ culturally from these Old World societies, they highlight the importanceof culturalinfluences on moral economies and food riots. I raise some questions about the contrasts that distinguish the established agrariancivilizations of Europe and Asia from the newer, conquest-based rule in the Spanish colonies in the Americas and their successor states. In particular, the centralityof the landed estate, or hacienda, makes Chile very different from these other cases in termsof the institutions throughwhich food was distributed and of the forms of social interactionbetween social classes. Second, by examining the performativeas well as the instrumentalaspects of protest, this article expands the treatment of custom beyond Thompson's views. Though he does examine the role of rituals (e.g., in the opening and closing of marketplaces),he usually presents custom as a set of rules that controls the exchanges of goods, money, and labor among social classes. Following the lead of such writers as Scott (1985) and Comaroff(1985), and more recent writings on Latin America such as Alonso 1994 and Edelman 1994, I look not only at the content of the protest-the stated opposition to government food policies-but also at the spatial and temporalpatternsof movement of the protesters themselves. I link these patternsto the structured practices of etiquette in everyday life. This notion of performativitylies at the core of anotherrecent critique
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in which the relationsbetween eating and working are established culturally as well as physiologically. Though Thompson occasionally discusses culturally-basedfood preferences (1991:349-350). well-being. the links among food. or at least to be seen by society (other villagers.though it emphasizes food (linked to work and strength)ratherthan sexuality (linked to reproductionand pleasure). ratherthan assumes. political leaders-can be located This content downloaded on Tue. and Bourdieu's examinationof daily life as the site of affirmationand contestation of sets of meanings (1977). Following in part Mintz's work on the political dimensions of "sweetness" (1985). For Sahlins. and hierarchies. This genealogy of concepts of justice. and value. especially the use of disguises. and erosion of village economies). This article thusjoins with scholarshipthathas sought to expand the notion of class throughan examination of patriarchy. links food and work not only through the marketplace.growing state control of forests. he usually takes as self-evident the notion that an adequate supply of subsistence foods is a sign of social justice. as may be seen in the contrastbetween the accountsof certain types of protest offered by Thompson and by later writers. work. Sahlins suggests thatthe villagers put on costumes to be visible. these disguises are one of the elements that villagers adopted from the local repertoireof expressive forms. to construct quasi-theatricalperformances that provide political commentary.236 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY of Thompson's work. landlords. nobles. and (2) the humanbody itself. fathers. it follows Wharton's examination of the culturalhistory of the links among diet. and officials) as portrayingfolkloric figures that criticized this reduction in access to resources. Thompson's Whigs and Hunters (1975) explains the protests in the early 18th century by English peasants against the laws that limited their customary access to forest resources such as wood and game. Thoughboth authorsagree on the preconditionsof these movements (increasing commercial extractionof timber. andofficials. Wolf 1990). in Foucauldian terms. this article follows Douglas's well-known work on the homologies between categorizations of meals and of social events and identities (1971). Peter Sahlins's study (1994) examines similar movements of forest villagers in the early 19th century in the French Pyrenees. Thompson tends to assign practical reasons to certain features of the protests.and health (1982) and Rabinbach's discussion of the images of the body at work (1990). strength. Thus it agrees with Thompson thatone of the bases of the authorityof powerful men-husbands. this article examines the cultural notions that underlie this idea of justice itself by looking at the connections between the economy and the daily practices of social relations (Orlove and Rutz 1989. In its focus on meals. Finally and most important.this article explores. Two of these realms are particularlyimportant:(1) the everyday social world in which meals can be understoodas enactments of social identities. Thompson argues that the villagers blackened their faces to become invisible. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .landowners. relations. such as carnivals and charivaris. nobles. In its focus on the humanbody. new laws that undercutcustomary access to forest resources. merchants.but also through other realms as well. or at least to remain anonymous and to stay beyond the reach of the state during their acts of reprisal against landowners.
on cattle that crossed the high Andean passes from Argentinainto Chile. Opposition to the tariff appearedalmost immediately. However. It seems to have been set off by an increase. established in 1897. and that one of the points of contention in societies based on such authorityis the failure of such men to meet their obligations to their dependents. 1905. but in the cost of staples. 160. 165). prospering from mineral exports. Many poor families apparentlywere forced to reduce their consumption of meat in order to maintain their consumption of basic foodstuffs. after several years of relative quiescence. Employment grew steadily in Santiago between 1899 and 1905 as the Chilean economy. as indicatedby the increasingvolumes and values of Chilean exports. the tariff passed in 1897. continued to expand (DeShazo 1983:11).which believed that this package would lead to an expansion of urban industrial employment (Antiguita 1912-1918:966-972).driven up by the large amountsof paper money that the government had issued in the previous years (T. the expanding government budgets. beans.2 In sum. it differs from Thompson in linking these obligations to notions of the human body. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . At first. while the prices of wheat. Wages seem to have held steady in this period as well.the Partido Dem6crata (T. as partof a broaderprotectionist package-supported in partby the PartidoDem6crata. see Table 1). Wright 1975:50-51). Wright 1973:251. and the stable exchange rates (HurtadoRuiz-Tagle 1966:150. many of whom were organized in mutual aid societies in Santiago. These workers. The PartidoDemocratareturnedto its earlierposition and pressed for the abolition of the tariff in 1898 and 1899. the years before 1905 were markedneither by rising meat prices nor by a general economic downturn. The Events of Red Week The events of Red Week can be traced back to a matter of long-standing public debate in Chile: the tariff. Table 1 shows that meat prices remained fairly stable between 1902 and 1905. The mutual aid societies took part in a series of ralliesin 1902 thatalso supported this aim (T. had at best an indirect relation with meat prices. when the mutual aid society of the Santiago retail meat vendors called a meeting of all such mutualaid societies to discuss once again the abolition of the tariff. The immediate antecedents of Red Week can be traced to September 1. this tariff was blocked by some free trade interests. Wright1973: 244-250). were encouragedin their opposition by the leading left-wing party. This tariff was first proposed in 1887 by the leading organization of landowners. The first years of the 20th century were otherwise ones of economic prosperityin Chile. 157. not in the cost of meat. as well as by some urbanworkers. including mine owners. and potatoes rose sharply.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 237 in their ability to control the distributionof food to their dependents. when the construction of railroads from major cattle-producingareas on the Argentine pampas to the Chilean border offered the possibility of reducing meat prices in Chile by facilitating exports of cattle from Argentinato Chile. The renewal of opposition to the tariff in 1905. with continued supportfrom the landowners' association. the Sociedad Nacional de Agricultura(National AgriculturalSociety). The meat vendors were concerned that declining consumption of beef This content downloaded on Tue.
00 5.18 5.00 66.36 6. n.65 4. and received.a. The demonstration began as planned.a.00 63.a.28 14.a. October 22. Year 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 Cow Whole Animal 48. the principal artery of downtown Santiago.a. held later in September.a.a.70 7.98 7.76 103.12 103. Wright 1973:250). It spread the word about the demonstration to the prospective participants.00 68. The This content downloaded on Tue. the mutual aid societies and members of the Partido Dem6crata formed the Comite Central de Abolici6n del Impuesto al Ganado (Central Committee to Abolish the Cattle Tariff).85 5. A large crowd formed at the prearranged spot on the Alameda.50 6.00 51. n. and they may also have been stirred into action by rumors of a reopening of trade negotiations between Chile and Argentina. n. n. n.00 52. aPotatoprices are for Santiagoand Valparaiso.26 9.20 6.90 6.00 8.00 65. Beans.00 51. At that meeting. and Potatoes in Santiago for the Years 1887-1905 (current pesos).84 Flour 46 kg 3.00 11. which could have led to a further increase in tariffs (T.00 56. n. faced with strong support of the tariff from the National Agricultural Society.00 49.85 8. scheduled a demonstration for Sunday.00 Potatoesa 100 kg n.82 4.70 4.69 4.75 6. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .00 6.and are roundedto the nearestpeso. official approval of the demonstration and the specific route that the marchers would take.90 6.95 6.30 7.a.238 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY Table 1.").42 96.00 81.00 18.07 7. Wholesale Prices of Cattle.44 5. Wright 1973:249.82 Beans 100 kg 5. n.87 4.35 10. It also sought.50 68.27 4. would force many of them out of business. they are missing for some years (indicated by "n.00 99.00 55. Its support in the press came not from left-wing newspapers.00 56. but from the widely read middle-of-the-road Catholic newspaper El Chileno (Hernandez Corejo 1958:53). n.a.a.51 4. n. Flour.20 8.00 10. This committee.00 8.90 4.00 60.a.10 7. 5 2 4 6 5 3 4 5 7 Sources: Bauer 1975:233-234.80 7.
above which was written "meat for the rich. the demonstrations duringRed Week did not focus on issues of economic patriotismor nationalism.GermanRiesco Errazuriz. where the majorityof the demonstratorshad remained. A governmentrepresentativetold a small group of the marchersthatthe presidentcould be found in his personalresidence a few blocks away.3The scheduled route would then lead the marchersback to the Alameda.OF A FOOD RIOT 239 MORALECONOMY estimates for the number of demonstratorsrange between 12. In one instance. This content downloaded on Tue. the largest and most imposing civil structurein the city. A numberof the groups carriedbanners. tore up the principal public statues and monuments on the Alameda. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The demonstratorswere greatly surprisedto find that the president was not in the Casa de Gobierno." [Izquierdo Fernandez 1976:59] The speeches centered on the themes addressedin these banners:the availability of meat and the disparities between the rich and the poor.on another the common appeared representing peopleandby its side. More or less simultaneously.composed of representativesof ten neighborhood organizations and 41 mutual aid societies and unions. Some demonstratorsbegan to shout angryslogans. the vast majority of the demonstrators-left without their leaders. the figureof a fat man the thirdone. the previously orderly march began to turn hostile.a petition thatrequested the repeal of the cattle tariff. began their march along the preassigned route to the Casa de Gobierno (Government Building). A large numberwere sure that he had left the city of Santiago altogether.for example. showeda fat ox smokinga cigar (a landlord[hacendado]). and attacked stores and private residences. two forms of violence broke out: by the demonstratorsagainst buildings and other public structures. Many of the rioters looted stores. where the president received the petition and spoke with them.000 and 50. adopting as principal targets pawnshops and grocery stores.many of them referring to the tariff: The streetcar one of them showed workers. a sizeable gathering for a city that had about 320. The demonstratorsdid not addressmattersof national self-sufficiency or of free trade. who had remained with the president for lengthy discussions-believed that the president refused to meet with them." and on its side the sad figure of a thin horse appeared with the words "meat for the common people.000 inhabitants(HurtadoRuizTagle 1966:146). Some of them went there.000. One group of demonstrators. destroyed telegraphand telephone lines.and by the police against the demonstrators. in a room whose Venetian blinds were not raised to place the group in public view. However. the crowd attackeda pharmacywhen they heard that its owner had refused to provide first aid to a wounded demonstrator(Vial Correa 1981:892). a few were invited into the house. finally. where they intended to deliver to the president. but simply spoke of meat. At this point.carriedthreebanners: the figureof an ox held prisoner and which the common by the cattle ranchers of thebanners a humanskeleton people[el pueblo]weretryingto free. Unlike some other cases in which tariffs become the subject of wider debate. burned streetcars.The crowd stoned the Casa de Gobierno.
. A number of policemen circulated in plain dress. and the returnof 1. the city had returnedto a state of calm. respectively. By Friday. with the declarationof a curfew and the prohibition of public assembly on Monday. bakers. cemetery officials reported burials of over 300 people who were killed in the fighting (Subercaseaux 1936:135). but from This content downloaded on Tue. the city's most exclusive social club. the tenants of a conventillo (a tenement.Most of the individuals reported a trade (carpenters. The governmentsoon began to gain the upperhand.. but it continued to make its presence felt.) Governmentaccounts indicate that 70 people were killed. typesetters. correspondto the eyewitness accounts that describe the rioters as including some unskilled workers.As is usually the case with participantsin riots. the marital status of the women appearsnot to have been recorded). Some accounts show the broadsocial characterof the disturbances. The greatest part of the violence occurred during the first days of Red Week.240 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY The police attackedthe crowd but soon lost control of the city. The proportionsof gaianes (unskilled day laborers)were 35 percentand 17 percent (Izquierdo Fernandez 1976:74-77). and the Club de la Uni6n. including the full rangeof occupational categories in the city. each of whose rooms was rented out to a poor family) threatenedto attack the manager unless he canceled their rents. One representativedescribed the mob as "a human avalanche . all of whom received rifles from the War Ministry. He found detailed data on one set of 31 men who had been wounded and another groupof 55 men and 3 women who had been arrested. IzquierdoFernandezcarefully reviewed court records in an effort to obtain a view of the social composition of the rioters. the police found reinforcements from several quarters:the volunteer fire brigade. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a very large numberfor a country unused to such urbanpolitical violence. in the visible signs of destruction throughoutthe city and in discussions of the violence. Red Week was over. or peddlers). but as being drawnpredominantlyfrom a stratum of the more secure and better-paid artisanal and manufacturingworkers.for example. shooting demonstratorswithout warning. small though they are. These samples. Newspapereditorials and the records of a special session of the congress record some portions of the debates that took place. (Accounts differ on whetherthe urbanpolice and their impromptuassistantshad alreadycome close to establishing order [Vial Correa 1981:894-895]. or whetherthe army's intervention was critical [IzquierdoFernmndez 1976:66-73]. tailors." and another suggested that the problem came not from the shortagein supply in Chile. The garrisonsordinarily stationednear the city were away on practicemaneuvers. respectively). several associations of Europeans who resided in Santiago. shoemakers.The violence spreadthroughoutSantiago. a blind and ferocious beast.500 army troops from their maneuvers on Tuesday. with high proportionsof bachelors among the men (58 percent and 66 percent. The riotersthus formed a diverse group.However. though the lowest strataof the urbanpoor were underrepresented. these two groups were composed of relatively young individuals (average ages 30 and 23 years. and other estimates are several times that figure. with the bulk of the attackson buildings and well over half the deaths taking place on Sundayand Monday.
then. El Mercurio 1905. issuing from gunshot wounds and staining the streets. became a key term in Chilean political discourse. suggest the importanceof the notion of a moral economy for understandingthe social. too. whose blood. The newspapersoffered a wider range of opinion.4 This theme.The discussions of food riots in Europe and Asia by historiansand sociologists. 1905d. a focus on red meat. one would presumethat such riots would not have occurreduntil inflation had progressed further:in 1905. Whatis it that led so many people to pay heed to the call of the retail meat vendors? On the basis of the literatureon food riots in other countries. There is a thirdsort as well. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The phrase "social question." with its recognition of working-class organizationssuch as mutual aid societies and unions. In this effort to offer a more culturalaccount of food riots. HernandezCornejo 1958:53). In a later section. 1905b. work. Union activity and strikes continuedelsewhere in Chile through1907. Although the first two themes of violence and of class mobilization are strongly representedin the literatureon food riots. although I suggest differences as well as similarities between postcolonial Latin America and the older. These dramaticevents. and picked up again. while the more conservative El Mercurio condemned the rioters themselves as uncivilized criminals (El Ferrocarril 1905a.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 241 the higher wages that led workersto expect foods that they had not eaten in earlier periods (Boletin 1906a). I review a set of recent culturally-oriented studies within Latin America in order to sketch out the broadly-sharedculturalthemes of food. and political role of food. suggests a presence of left-wing parties and movements that may have been a second kind of redness. and bodily vitality from which these Latin American moral economies elaborated specific This content downloaded on Tue. declined a bit in the following years. more autonomoussocieties of Europe and Asia. The left-leaning El Ferrocarril and the centrist Catholic El Chileno suggested that the high price of food was the cause of the rioting. This social question. and reinstated until 1918. the chastened representatives of the Partido Dem6cratasupportedthe tariff as well (Boletin 1906b). I follow suggestions offered in two bodies of literature. inflation had not reached levels that led the urbanpoor to reduce their consumption of staples. The riot did not lead immediately to the removal of the tariff. the additional theme of the cultural understandingsof food is not. reviewed in the next section. the phrasecuestion social (social question) became increasingly important. helps clarify an unusualaspect of Red Week. understood as the vast and problematic gap between rich and poor. cultural. well-being. as shown in the term carne roja. was one of the aspects of redness that gave this week its name. 1905c. it was then suspended until 1911. The cattle tariff remained in place until 1909. since concern over economic inequality remained at or near the surface in the following decades (Morris 1966). In these debates. power. had many victims. It is this interrelationof these three sorts of redness thatI seek to explore. with a major wave of strikes in 1917-1919. which Chileans used primarily for beef. though there was some link between protest and tariffs in the following years. but had only been sufficient to induce them to cut back on the amount of meat they ate.
gave patron-clientrelations in Chile an especially personal and patriarchaltone and established the landowner's house as a key place for the performance of these identities.. and bread marketswere bound up in a complex set of customs that This content downloaded on Tue. indeed. notionswhich in the paternalist of the authorities. These qualities and this setting provided the context for turningprestationsof raw and cooked meat into highly chargedoccasions for the affirmationor contestationof social hierarchies. notions of the common weal-notions which.I suggest thatthe social and culturalcentralityof the hacienda. and passionatelyheld. view of social normsandobligations. Thompson 1991. such as ruralartisans. Hence this moral economy impinged very generally upon .. the moral economy did not simply consist of regularaccess to certain foods at certainprices. Moreover. urban grain. takentogether.. tradition foundsome support the people re-echoedso loudly in their turnthat the authorities were. functionsof severalpartieswithinthe community the moraleconomy.. where protestersblocked the movement of grain to cities or forced officials to bring prices back to customarylevels.. the prisoners of the people. Thompson's key discussion of this moral economy merits inclusion. A consistent traditional [and]of the proper can be said . However. in some measure.. In earlierperiods. national governments often sought to centralize this control to ensure an adequatesupply of food to cities and armies. local authorities in ruralareas regulated the marketingand sale of the grain that was grown there. with different sorts of bread deemed appropriatefor different sorts of occasions. and did not only intrude at moments of disturbance. [1971:79] As Thompson shows for the case of 18th-century England. This moraleconomy. but also a more profound conflict of cultures or mentalities between a newly emergentmarketeconomy and a well-established "moraleconomy" (Thompson 1971) in which intergrouprelations were regulated by a system of customary rights and obligations that assured subsistence to all groups. opposition to this new control was strong.and the consequent growth of the marketeconomy in grain (see also Galius 1994.. Riots broke out in small towns and rural areas. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Tilly 1975). There also was a high degree of cultural elaboration of food.. supposed to constitute definite. government and thought. A Comparative Perspective on the Moral Economy of Food The comparativeliteratureon food riots offers insights into the issues that mobilized the participantsin Red Week and into the forms of action thatthis mobilization took. particularlyin periods when grain was scarce and prices high.. flour.242 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY sets of meanings. Pioneering studies of food riots in England (Thompson 1971) and France (Tilly 1971) focus on the increase in early moder Europe of the numberof urbandwellers and others who did not producetheir own food. By the 18th century. Thompson andTilly arguethatthese clashes reflected not only a divergence of economic interests between those groups that benefited and those that lost out from the new forms of marketingand control. greaterin Chile thanelsewhere in Latin America.
1983). Moreover. They focus on specific foods. studies of food riots in Asia show a generally similar patternof the breakdownof such moral economies. These claims for the legitimacy of this uneven distributionof necessities imply a profoundhierarchyin the case on hand and suggest. The Chilean case differs in a key detail: beef. or even further to more abstracteconomic categories such as subsistence or expenditures. more comparatively. of meat. a healthy state of society. Nonetheless. where the long-established bureaucraticstate had an obligation to oversee the supply of rice and to maintain state granaries. in contrastto the Europeanand Asian cases. some of whom attributegreat passivity to the poor. even in times of famine. They suggest that food has cultural as well as economic importance. who ate large quantities of meat.5 In China. 344-349) notes the disputes among South Asian historians. althoughthe specific targetsof the riots were somewhatdifferent. the spatial patterningof activity. much as wheat in Western Europe and rice in China permit a closer understandingof their respective moral economies. the consumption of meat was unevenly distributed in Chile. local meanings of food. Thompson (1991:294-295. This content downloaded on Tue. was the foodstuff whose availability the urbanmasses sought to maintain. it suggests the importance of examining the historically specific. the people who sought to maintain the presence of beef in their diets-a middle stratumlocated between the elite. it permits a more theoretical reconsideration of the broadly comparative notion of subsistence. who ate almost noneconceived of this meat as a necessity. This case thus leads in two directions. First. I am suggesting that meat offers a view into Latin American moral economies. These studies offer several useful hints for the study of Red Week. and of the social bonds thatlinked the suppliers and consumersof meat. that the linked notions of subsistence and moral economy are less egalitarian than Thompson and others such as Scott (1976) have suggested. and contexts is taken as a sign of what Thompsoncalls the common weal. forms. Second. while others find grain riots similar to those in Europe and China (Arnold 1979). The latter aim is accomplished by presenting a case in which basic necessities are taken as varying. not grain. where virtually everyone ate wheat or rice as a daily staple.This importancecan be noted when some people take the scarcity or absence of food not only as a decline of their materialwell-being but also as a violation of established rules thatgovern the relations between different social sectors. and the etiquette that participantswere to follow. ratherthan as a luxury. in which the availability of food in culturally-establishedquantities. As will be discussed more fully in a later section. As Thompson himself has noted (1991:345-349). within a given society. Food riots in imperial China also focused on the scarcity or high price of staple grains. ratherthan generalizing from them to all foods. this cultural importance of food can also be noted in the more commonplace situation.6 Ratherthanproposing a simple opposition between meat riots in Latin America and grain riots in Europe and Asia. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . as partof their subsistence. rather than uniform. and the poor.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 243 indicated the times and rituals of opening and closing.provincial governors were often blamed (Wong 1982.
The north and south both attracted Europeanmigrants.more than twice as fast as the national rate of 1. and the manufacture of such items as cement. 68). During the period 1885-1907.29 percent. sugar-refining. glass. In the centralvalley. The immigrationto the city was even greaterthan this disparity suggests. as agriculturalcolonies and coal mining expanded. Many workers found employment in the rapidly expanding transport and construction industries. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . which grew as the Chilean state and overseas trade occupied increasingly importantroles in the national economy. the central valley in which Santiago is located.and mediumsized firms ratherthanlarge ones. particularlyafter 1880 and especially in the food sector (baking. which grew in size afterChile defeated Peru and Bolivia in the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) and incorporatedportions of their national territories. Santiago and Valparaiso expanded by drawing on populations from rural areas of the country.Before presentingtheir descriptions of meals.and vegetable-oil extraction).75 percent.Valparaiso. appareland leather-working.244 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY The Moral Economy of Food: Meat in Chilean Diets In my efforts to reconstructand to explain the importancethat demonstrators in Red Week placed on beef. however. brewing. the Chilean control and settlementof the southernregions also grew. This diverse manufacturing sector included both small artisanal firms and medium-sized factories (Blakemore 1993:60-61). When the AraucanianIndians were conqueredin a series of wars from the 1850s through the 1880s. and paper.238. Santiago's populationgrew from 177. change was concentratedin Santiago and its port. where large enterprisesplayed a more important role. the most immediate of which are the numerous travel accounts that describe many aspects of daily life in Chile in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thus althoughthe working population of the city varied greatly in their forms of employmentandlength of urbanresidence. Manufacturingbegan to develop in these cities as well. in order to indicate the social context of the particularmoral economy of food. increasing at an annualrate of 2. I turnto several sources. The north. I offer a brief summaryof Chilean society at the time. Chile in 1905 The economic and political changes that followed independence from Spain in 1821 in some ways had more profound changes on the peripheralregions of Chile than on its core area. Unlike Buenos Aires. the capital of Argentinaon the other side of the Andes whose growth was due to large-scale foreign immigration. nearly all of them shared strong links to ruralareas and employment in small. since mortalityrates were higher in the cities than in ruralareas (DeShazo 1983:4. which aside from Santiago itself remainedheavily rural in the 19th century (Loveman 1979:162). and the majorstrikes in this period-much more closely tied to unions than This content downloaded on Tue. textiles.271 to 322. chemicals. especially the central valley. was transformedby the growthof the copper and nitratemining thatunderwrote much of the expansion of the national state and economy. The labormovement in Chile developed most strongly in the mines and ports.
The use of the word casa also appearsin the local term for the long- This content downloaded on Tue. provided labor for the landowner in exchange for access to fields that they cultivated on their own and some pasture on which they could raise a horse and a few head of cattle. some sources mention the gardens that inquilinos planted. The inquilinos. An inquilino family would reside on a haciendafor many years. place. or casual laborers. For example.The landownersrelied on two groupsof laborers. The organizationof land and labor was fairly uniform throughoutthese haciendas. and more generally. The housing in which they lived also differed.even though railroadsextended throughoutthe central valley in the 19th century and landowners sought to increase production to meet the demands of the growing populations in Santiago and the mining regions. or service tenants. while others would rely exclusively on family labor. using the more pejorative term rancho (shack) for the houses of peones (Gilliss 1854:345). while peones often traveled from one haciendato anotherwithout settling permanentlyin any one area. and threshingof grain.were hired seasonally for specific tasks. the planting. and the annual roundup of the semi-feral cattle that grazed on natural pasture-were performedby human and animal labor. perhapsgenerations. and scale. or hire peones. these estates were a central context for the development of a Chilean moral economy. The major agriculturalactivities-the preparationof fields. of great importancethroughout Chilean history. continued to dominate the countryside of the central valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries.and medium-sized towns. which date back to at least the early 18th century.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 245 Red Week was-were concentratedoutside Santiago. harvesting. The frequent references to the casual ease with which peones shifted partnersand bore childrenout of wedlock suggest that marriagesamong inquilinos were more stable than those among peones (Gilliss 1854:344). and they often refer to their houses as casas. common throughoutmost of Latin America. played a key role in Red Week. the peones. the basic system of laborrelationscontinued. or both. The relations of productionthat had dominated in the colonial period also maintainedtheirbasic configuration. with very little mechanization. in which large estates coexisted with small. making Chile one of the few exceptions to the pattern. since most meals were served at home. and the size of the lands allotted to them often decreased) did not reshape the basic patterns.7There was a virtually total absence of a labor movement in the agriculturalzones of the country(Zeitlin and Ratcliff 1988). 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Many of the participantsin Red Week were raised on such estates. autonomouspeasantvillages. The haciendas.Nonetheless. Although a detailed historical demographyof hacienda workersremainsto be done.depending on time. a numberof sources offer suggestions about domestic organization-a topic of direct relevance to the moral economy of food. The changes thatdid take place (the obligations of each inquilino family tended to increase. ChileanHaciendas The traditionallarge estates or haciendas. The specific details of laborrelations varied from haciendato hacienda. some inquilino families would have inquilinos of theirown.
9 ChileanMeals My analysis of Chilean meals focuses primarilyon the large estates of the central valley. wearing a torn jacket. the Peruvian tapada. Huaso and inquilino refer to primarilyto ruralpeople. as well as of other social types. These patternssuggest the highly patriarchalcharacterof the hacienda as an institution.without any possessions.perhapsin searchfor work on some hacienda. andparticular rural Latin American social types in the 19th century include the Argentine gaucho. broader. weakly for the peones. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . which indicate This content downloaded on Tue. The former terms define social classes. dress.more diffuse characterizations of individuals. women. Such secondary families were known as casas chicas (small houses). or casa-hacienda. The huaso. to apply to roughly the same sets of individuals. the latter denote social types. and appearsto be somewhat taller and a good deal fleshier than the roto.) Social types are perhaps more slippery and imprecise thansocial classes. but many of them also apply a second pair of terms. and the word inquilino could be applied to urbandwellers who rent their residences as well as to rural service tenants. whose central buildings are clearly visible in the background (Torero 1872:464. and the Brazilian caboclo. These differences in body size. Nineteenth-centurysources make frequent use of the terms inquilino and peon. despite the lack of consensus over the truenatureof the huaso and the roto. which contrastedwith the large principal dwelling. However. the repeatedusage of terms denoting social types in the sources suggests the importanceof examining them. recognizing and supporting their children. the institutional context from which most of the population of Santiago in 1905 was removed by at most a generation or two. and association with haciendas appearin many other sources as well. galloping on a horse. although huaso can be used more loosely to refer to unsophisticatedplebeian individuals. Patron-clientrelations tied men to hacendados. categorizing adult males and their dependents by their economic relations to landlords.246 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY lasting ties that hacendados established with mistresses. children.The termsinquilino andpeon are widely understoodthroughout Spanish-speaking Latin America.(Wider-knownexamples of goods. he seems associated with the hacienda. each of which is associated with the use of certain demeanors. specific activities.8 The terms roto andpeon were used for residents of mining camps andeven for urbandwellers. 483). as is roto in this usage. he is resting on his journey throughunpopulated countryside. an urban case rather than the rural ones discussed here. I also include a few sources on urban diet in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A barefoot roto. Poole  provides a fascinating exploration of a female 19th-centuryLatin American social type. the Mexican charro. The position of a man in ruralChile could be judged by the number of houses. appears seated by a tree along a road. wears boots and more elegant clothing. huaso and roto. the upper-classwoman partly concealed in a shawl. closely in the case of inquilinos. One 19th-centurysource includes engravings of both. wealth. huaso is an exclusively Chilean term. and livestock he possessed.
andfor supper. To summarizethe sources that I have discussed more fully elsewhere (Orlove 1995).S. whose simple diet.we wentby rail a little distanceinto the country. [ 1824:198-199] withoutthe intervention At the other end of the social scale are the ruralpoor.andno scrupleis madeof helpinganydishbeforeyou withthe spoon or knifeyouhavebeeneatingwith.mixedwithwheatandgrease[beeftallow]. each of whomthe contractor paid five reales a day. the last things.butevery thanwouldbe thought Thedinnerwas larger witha gooddealof oil andgarlic. The spatial and temporal breadth of this review once again follows Thompson's lead (1971).both in Santiago and on the haciendas.A numberof sources point to the abundanceof meat among the wealthy. Navy. a wherethe gradeis very steep.to . lacked meat (Darwin 1900:290. who traveled throughChile in the middle of the 19th century as head of an astronomical expedition organized by the U. Hervey 1891-1892:330).paid He receivesthreerations consistsof a poundof bread. whether in private homes and clubs in Santiago or in the main haciendahouses. religious.in money. Even breakfasts regularly included meat.andfromfifteento eighteencentsperday. Villalobos 1972. of cornor wheateach week. The greatest kindnessis shownby takingthingsfromyourown plateandputtingit on thatof yourfriend. describes the manner in which a pe6n was paid: in meals.. for dinner. Gilliss 1854:258. whether broiled (Graham 1824:197) or preparedin stews (Merwin 1966:52). [1854:345-346] Another source describes specific meals among the poor in similar terms: On the 14thof August. and furnished This content downloaded on Tue. A largenumber with a here.and where gorge in the coast rangeof mountains. He examined food riots in 18th-centuryEngland as evidence of violations of a moraleconomy whose restrictionson the distributionand sale of grain he traces from the 16th century.All the disheswerecarvedon the table. centered on grains and beans.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 247 that the urban diets were quite similar to those in the countryside. and he drew examples of the moral economy from regions where riots did not take place as well as from those where they did. Smith 1899:37). food was generally abundantin 19th-centuryChile. The English traveler MariaGrahamprovides a particularlyfull description of a meal in Santiago.andit is difficultto resist the pressing invitationsof every momentto eat of every thing. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . especially on Sundays and on civic. Merwin 1966. The principaldishes aroundwhich meals were organized are invariably based on meat (Elliott 1911:255. Lieutenant James Gilliss.. but little real starvation. as follows: consistentwithgoodtaste. and family celebrations. M.oreven tastingor eatingfromthegeneraldish of a plate. weekly. five bridgesarerequired of peoneswereat work withinone mile. Many sources (Bauer 1975.A rationfor breakfast a peck a pintof beans.Fishcameamong though thingwaswell dressed. Wright 1904) describe the great hospitality of wealthy Chileans and the abundance of food at their tables. Therewas much poverty. Merwin 1966:68.
they ate theirdinner.anddrewtheirhatsovertheireyes for a few moments' themselves siesta.and then placedin the sun to rise.piecesof the doughwereweighed. however.placement of old nail kegs on the ground. or fourlaborers around squatted andin the othera stick flattenedat the end. not hacienda houses but those of inquilinos.whetherdescribing hacienda houses or the more modest dwellings of inquilinos.. while anotherstates: was The patr6n to the work. [Merwin1966(1863):78-79] Merwin's descriptiongoes beyond a simple iterationof the ingredientsthat were eaten. .Tornero1872:478] These sources suggest that the threshingand rounduphad a festive element as well as a narrowly agriculturalcomponent. old nail kegs. indicating on what occasions and in what mannerfood was served. describe anothercontext.anda largeironkettleto cooktheirbeans. or musselshell.a stoneoven to baketheirbread. others tell of the annualroundups.248 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY sufficiencyof breadand beans. but in the absence of dignity and sociality. and presumablyabrupt. see also Graham 1824:189-190. One observer notes that "[a] daily feast for the laborersis providedby the patr6nas long as the trilla lasts" (Merwin 1966:95-96). andwitha piece of breadin one hand. Several travelersdescribe occasions on which they were invited into comfortable ruralhomes.[Villalobos 1972:92. [i]n addition themselvesin the evening . meals differ not merely in how much meat they contain. filled with cookedbeans. note that peones ate separately (Darwin 1900:290-294. At noon. with whichto scoop up the beans. and coveredwith a dirtyponcho.everyonetook partin the celebrations. Some accounts. Graham 1824:195). since the servers may have wished to offer their foreign guests particularlyelaborate meals.Whentheirhungerwas satisfied. and were generously fed meals that includedmeat.much as the leisurely pace of the meal in the formercase differs from the sudden ending in the latter.of mares ranin circles on enormousheaps of wheat laid out on the threshingfloor.in which freeranging cattle were gathered from hill country and slaughtered.PereiraSalas 1977:37-40.they threw on the ground. or threshing. presumablyless influenced by the presence of foreigners. Although these meals appearto have been served with at most a few hours' advanced notice. and gratifiedby the yield. in which common people ate: large work parties on haciendas. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Several accounts describe the annual trilla.madeinto loaves.three eachkeg. the huasosentertained even the dogs received succulentrecompense. and in some cases hundreds. The accounts suggest that par- This content downloaded on Tue. Looking toward the middle of the social scale.were placedon the ground. in which dozens.The travelers. The peones' meal differs from that of the elites not merely in its concentration on beans and grains and its lack of meat. these events were marked by consumption as well as production. Graham's"pressinginvitations of every moment to eat of every thing" contrast with the simple. but also in the context and mannerin which the food is served. it may still be questioned how representativethey were.They have a brushshantyin which to sleep at night. In this sense. The breadwas leavenedwithyeast.
In addition to Graham's description of an upper-class urban dinner in Santiago. so they prepared their meals right outside their front doors. Some of these sources offer accounts of urbandiets as well. rice. the national independence holiday (1854:485) DeShazo suggests that levels of meat consumption in a later period were higher. He notes thatmeat. and at other times as huasos (suggesting that they were more dignified and prosperousthan the rotos).or two-story buildings that followed colonial and early republican design: a single passageway connected the street and the interior patio. often as many as 20.and peones (or rotos) did not. at least among the better-off urban workers. with no doors to theirrooms other than the one to the patio. In his account of urban working-class politics from 1902 to 1927.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 249 ticipation in these events was limited to certain categories of men. then. Much as the inquilinos had the obligation to participatein these large work parties. He also describes the abundancewith which meat was served at fiestas patrias. necessary for taking part in the threshing and the roundup. This involvement followed from the fact that inquilinos (or huasos) usually owned horses. Women could see their neighbors as they preparedtheir stews each morning (1983:56-64). and vegetables" (1983:64). he states that the first course of the main midday meal "invariably consisted of a stew of some kind (cazuela. Most often. especially Sundays. The poor were crowded into conventillos.Many poorer workersate meat only infrequently. This content downloaded on Tue. and no windows at all in most instances. with many lavish courses. when they might eat a "puchero(composed of meat and all mannersof vegetables boiled together)"(1854:219). potatoes. a family occupied only one room. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . The rooms would have filled with smoke if the families cooked inside. from which a number of rooms opened (Orlove and Bauer 1997). to receive meat as well-a privilege that on occasion extended furtherdown the social hierarchyto include peones and even dogs. The quantityof meat that was served also corresponded to the scale of the social event. in the case of the roundup. These different sources. The quantity and frequency of meat consumption correspondedclosely with an individual's position in the social hierarchy (see also Douglas 1971). one. at times described as inquilinos (suggesting that they were better off than the peones and with more stable ties to the hacendado). was also the item whose presence was most variable. they also had the right to participatein the hacienda-sponsoredfestivities that followed and. The fact that a numberof families.if at all. ajiaco) with meat. shareda single watertap. Gilliss's account of the urbanpoor in Santiago suggests thattheir consumption of meat was limited to special occasions. whethercivic or religious holidays or large work parties. the most expensive of the items in the workers' diets. also suggests that people knew a good deal about what their neighbors were eating. light and air could enter the rooms only when the patio door was open (DeShazo 1983:59). DeShazo's account of the housing of the urbanpoor suggests that people often knew how much meat their neighbors were eating. meat was invariably associated with large festive occasions. are consistent in depicting a single patternof meat consumption in 19th-centuryChile.
much as recent writers on Europeanfood riots have emphasized the importanceof regional variation within specific countries such as England (Wells 1988). it is something thatthey receive. gender. in the second sense. these works suggest that Europeancountries developed distinct but related moral economies. of women. of dogs) from the circle of commensality. and social settings. or ground) where a circle of people is gathered. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Nor do I wish to claim that I have found a set of homogeneous national cultures. this circle was also hierarchical. and the host may also give out portions of food. legal traditions. Along with more recent works on food scarcity and political unrest elsewhere in Europe. I draw on three recent ethnographicand ethnohistorical studies thatexamine other cases of meat distributionand consumption in South America. as well in the types of grain used for bread. Tilly 1971). In including these othercases. This circle of commensality was to some extent egalitarian. bodily vital force. the This content downloaded on Tue. and that each of these moral economies took a variety of forms in different regions.I am borrowingonce again from Thompson and his followers (for example. I am not claiming that I have discovered a unitaryLatin America culturethatexpresses itself identically in Ecuador. so that an examination of these themes in one setting can illuminate their distinct elaboration in another. meat is something thatindividualshave.forms of government. However. 1914-1921 (Lih 1990). such as Bread and Authority in Russia. Instead. floor. Colombia. periods. The word distribution seems appropriateto describe this pattern. or cooked beans) to the spot (table.'0This metonymic association between stewpots and stews is entirely in keeping with the 19th-centurydescriptions of Chilean meals: A high-statusperson (landlord. host. puchero. In the first sense. or senior woman of the household) brings (or has a servant bring) a potful of food (cazuela. These words are much like the English term casserole in that they refer both to food preparedfor eating in a particularway and to the container (a large pot) in which the food is preparedand served. Comparative Cases from South America To understandmore fully why meat came to play so importanta role in Chilean society and culture. and Brazil as well as in Chile. and religions. I am suggesting that these different cultures draw on common themes-meat. and Germany (Galius 1994). human work.since it can denote not only the varying amountsof meat consumed by differentindividuals but also the specific acts in which some individuals give meat to others.employer. France (Bouton 1993). In adopting this approach. rituals of enactmentof hierarchyand equality-and develop them in distinct though related ways. of children.250 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY This pattern applies to both rural areas and Santiago.The sources that describe Chilean meals include many instances of exclusions (of peones.in thatall the people who gatheredfor the meal were served from the common pot. This emphasis on distribution may also be noted in the two most frequently-reportednames of dishes. both one-pot stews: cazuela and puchero.since each of the three cases is an instance of a specific regional variantwithin these states.they all may serve themselves. Despite their differences in economic organization.
He analyzes the socorros generales and This content downloaded on Tue. not universal. but were public enactments of social relations with well-defined sequences of movements and gestures. of the material and the symbolic. These haciendas parallel the ones of the Chilean centralvalley in a numberof ways: the rhythmsof agriculturaland pastoral production were constrained by a highly seasonal climate and a simple technology. subsistence. Andres Guerrero(1990. virtually always to male household heads for particularnecessities of the domestic group. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 1991) examines detailed archival sources from haciendas in highland Ecuador during the first two decades of the 20th century. The second are the suplidos (donations) thatthe hacendadoor his foremen made near the hacienda storehouses to individual huasipongos. including the purchaseof basic goods (such as food or clothing) duringemergencies (such as the illness of a child). These themes are underwrittenby the centrality of breadin Christianthought and ritual in its Catholic. made in Fischler's L'omnivore: le gout. Protestant. known in highland Ecuador as huasipongos. Geertz's discussions of the state as theater. Guerreroargues for the inseparabilityof productionand consumption. In addition. and James Scott's writings on moral economy. performeda certainnumberof days of labor in exchange for use rights to parcels of land and for permission to graze some animals. Guerrerofocuses on two sorts of occasions on which hacendados distributedgoods. I am thus challenging argumentsfor the homogeneity of the humantaste for meat. Guerrero also sees haciendas as enduring communities in which ritualized acts of distribution and consumption had great importance in sustaining social ties." Guerreroshows that these distributionsdid not merely allocate goods. to the huasipongos. on hacienda pastures. la cuisine et le corps (1990) and Fiddes's Meat: A Natural Symbol (1991). that the significance of meat always lies in the association of blood and life. at threshingtime in the field). individuals from a lower stratumof day laborers-called "peones"in Ecuador as in Chile-were hired seasonally. andhumansociality.and Orthodox variants.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 251 cultural systems in each of these countries share common themes about bread. and the peones as well. often sheep. the haciendas dominated local society and drew on a work force composed of permanentworkers and supplemented by seasonal peones who were hired for tasks that demanded larger work parties. and life-cycle rituals (such as the wedding or the funeral of a relative). Several books treatthe topic of food and identity for otherportionsof South America since the time of independence. I view meat as a cultural symbol: its meanings are contingent. I would revise the claim. He recognizes haciendas as units of production in which the permanentworkers. The first are socorros generales or uyanzas (collective distributions)that the hacendado personally made to a large set of peasants (to the entire set of huasipongos in front of the main hacienda house at specific fiestas. In this way. Drawing on Bourdieu's notions of practice and habitus. Guerreroarguesfor an incorporationof culturalthemes of etiquette and ritual into analyses of hacienda society. I disagree with the notion that there is a simple biological tendency for humans to preferanimalmeat over plant protein (Abrams 1987).
and that was when therewere the a good piece of meat. In Conversations in Colombia. since they speak of goods entering and leaving the house.252 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY suplidos in terms of "communal reciprocity and domestic reciprocity" (1990:38) respectively.Theytalk of how it was. land). which the peasants conceptualize as coming from the tierra (earth. along with informationfrom hacienda archives. very big. of maintainingthe base of the house. uyanzas.12 The fuerza thatpeople and animals hold can be used in work. Fava beans with meat. StephenGudemanandAlberto Rivera(1990) offer a close textual examinationof the metaphorsand models aroundwhich present-dayhighland Colombian peasants describe. Whenthe harvestwas over the Festivalof OurLadyof Mercy[thepatronof the hacienda]was celebrated[on the hacienda]. killing a cow. as well as the mannerin which this food was distributed. the peasantsevaluatedhacendadosless in termsof the size of the parcels of land they provided than in terms of their willingness to grant suplidos in times of emergency and at life cycle events. to the animals that eat the naturalvegetation and the crops. Gudeman and Rivera use this emphasis on fuerza and food to explain the tendency of peasants to repay the other peasants who work for them with food This content downloaded on Tue. Specifically.All four of the former huasipongos whose specific words Guerreroquotes list meat as the first item among the food that was distributedin the prestationsknown as uyanzas. bracketedmaterialinserted by in his transcription of the interviews] Guerrero An inhabitantof a village near the same hacienda concurred: and afterEastertherewere the uyanzas. The word casa (house) is central to their accounts of household budgets. and-striking for the case on hand-in terms of the type and amountof food given at the socorros generales. The peasantsutilize an economic theory thatunderscoresthe consumptionas well as the production of food.enormous A recent study of economic discourse in Colombia complements Guerrero's work on the importanceof food as an element in the acts of distribution that legitimized the ties between landlords and peasants. Drawing on the oral testimonies of formerhuasipongos of haciendasexpropriatedby agrarianreform agencies. hominy. and to the people who eat the crops and animals. a breadthis big. social patternsthat he relates to both longstanding Andean traditions and the needs to legitimize paternalisticauthority.bread. The fuerza can be transferredfrom the land to the naturalvegetation and to the crops that grow in the land. discuss. [Guerrero 1990:5] giving lots of meat. Guerrero shows that the peasants judged the relative generosity of hacendados in terms that reveal their embeddedness in a complex moral economy. One former huasipongo stated.power). and plan their economic activities. This is whatthey gave [to each one].GudemanandRivera find the basis of productionto befuerza (strength.[Thehacendados] gave each [of thehuasipongos] a cheese. and so forth. cheeses. [Guerrero1990:5. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .
hunger.The tradeof labor presentsan expansionand contractionof domesticboundaries. They emphasize the enduringlanguages of exchange thatestablish legitimate social ties between work givers and work receivers.its is also its expenditure workersare fed. and illness in a shantytownon the edge of a small marketcenter in northeastern Brazil. they show thatthe house is a key spatial image.since they focus on discourse and images such as fuerza and houses. an area she has visited and studied since the mid-1960s. they in turn will give meals. Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1988.becausethe workhas come "insidethe doors"andis owned.107). 1991) describes poverty.This material offers a disturbing counterpoint to the Chilean. and the dense social fabric that connects peasants with one anotherreplaced by flimsier networksamong a proletariaton the edge of utterdesperation. When individuals go from one household to anotherto work. GudemanandRivera's analysis also differs from Guerrero's. in their discussions of the distribution of food in the patio of the main casahacienda in Ecuadorand the incorporationof the worker into the peasanthouse in Colombia. the employment (principally in domestic labor and in seasonal agriculturalday labor on the plantations) more unstable.Workandfood are alwaysjoined. Although the abundanceof foodstuffs relative to cash might lead the peasants to substitutefood for cash wheneverthey can. When a man works for anotherhouse. ratherthan on rituals and practices. it provideshim with the force to work.in this instance sugar-caneplantations. treated as subordinatemembers of a household under the leadership of a senior male head.[Gudeman andRivera1990:112-113] The Colombian case differs from the Ecuadoran one because it involves roughly equal freeholdingpeasantsratherthanhierarchicallyopposed landlords and workers. Nonetheless. In reverse. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Gudemanand Rivera state thatpeasants understandthis serving of meals to workers in terms of a household economy ratherthan in terms of an income-maximizing firm: "[A]s one person explained. they will be provided with all their meals but not given any cash. They add that"the quantityserved is always ample"(1990:108). the Ecuadoran and Colombian cases both point to the importanceof the cultural as well as the economic dimensions of work. others are temporarily house's economy.thathouse's use of labor of food. like 19thcentury central Chile and early 20th-centuryhighland Ecuador. the paternalistic moral economy that linked patroes (bosses) with workers greatly eroded. includedwithin a throughthe provisionof foodstuffs.is dominatedby large private landholdings. This region. This content downloaded on Tue. Moreover. The transaction keeps food and work directly linked. Ecuadoran.when thathouse repaysthe labor. though it is figured quite differently in each case. to the membersof the household for whom they areworking when they come to work in return. but not cash.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 253 as well as cash. These relations also apply when two households exchange labor with one another. and Colombian cases: the poverty is more extreme. They show the cultural importanceof serving abundantmeals to workers. becausethe workis for the recipienthouse.servingmeals is 'as if the workerwere from the house'" (1990:106.
" Their ownfraqueza (thinness or weakness) contrastswith the latter's forqa. youngandold.their conceptualization of hungeras linked to delirio defome (madness). To take one example. She discusses the ways in which a unifyingmetaphor. she describes "the folk pediatric disorder gasto" from which many infants die: already showing signs of extreme malnourishment. The poor.. and warehouses for food" (1988:438). Making Meat Ends: Meat as the Focus of Red Week We may now returnto one of the puzzling features of Red Week: why did a large groupof people riot over meat in Santiago.and weakerthanthe wealthy (much as 19th-centuryChileanrotos were depicted as smaller than the huasos)." [It]portrays life as a . This use of gasto by Brazilians to refer to infants suffering from an illness may seem very different from the Colombian usage.. in which gasto refers to expenditures of goods in contrastto cash outlays.. She has focused her researchon the culturalpatterns throughwhich these people understandtheir own experiences: their almost casual acceptanceof the deaths of their infant sons and daughters. were centered on a few staples. [1991:188-189] grace. thinner. in Chile as in Europe and Asia.andaboveall.254 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY Scheper-Hughes shows the connections these semi-urbanpoor make between food and well-being. meat consumption was stratified. and they describe themselves as "little people" in contrast to the wealthy elite. Rather than examining such public acts of political opposition. train stations. with the rich eating much more of it than the poor (Goody 1982). It thus seems difficult to extend to Red Week the claim that riots occurredwhen subsistence foods became unavailablein a degree and man- This content downloaded on Tue. frequently unable to obtain adequate food. and are often fed relatively little.. Scheper-Hughesanalyzes "the frequentjuxtaposition of the idioms of hunger and of nervousness in the everyday discourse of the poor residents of [a] hillside slum" (1988:439). when other studies in Europe and Asia have shown staple grains to be the focus of food riots? Despite the caution thatmust be exercised in the examinationof single cases. and Asia. hastening their nearly-inevitable deaths (1991:189). as in Europeand Asia. ScheperHughes focuses on the ways dispossessed persons understandtheir everyday lives.. gives shapeandmeaning to peoples'day-to-day realities. Diets in Chile.beauty. these infants are considered too weak to eat. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .almostanimistic constelall. battleground between strong and weak.. betweenrichandpoor. however. the link between these two cases is in the conceptualization of gasto as both a loss of energy and a potential incapacity to restore this energy. it isforVa[cognatewithSpanishfuerza].. Europe. maleandfemale.andpower. are often literally smaller. lationof strength. It is the drivingandcompellingimageof "life as a luta [struggle]. Above anelusive.thattriumphs. whom they term "big people. especially granted the overall similarity between food consumption in Latin America. powerfuland powerless. this riot does seem to constitute a discrepancy.This hunger can lead to riots: Scheper-Hughes describes "the frequent sackings of public markets.
1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . (The presence in Santiago of many brothels and of beds in conventillo rooms sublet to single men by families might also suggest that like the peones. The evidence from 19th-centuryChilean haciendas and from early 20thcenturyEcuadoranhaciendas shows thatmeat was a crucial markerof social position on these ruralestates. the more mobile day-laborers. though rented. or even hacienda day-laborers. all of whom shifted jobs regularly and some of whom migrated from Santiago to find employment as road construction workers.residences. or poorest poor). the contract may be seen as providing different stratawith differentlevels of subsistence (offering more to a privileged fraction. resembled the rootlessness of the rural peones. The implicit social contractbetween masses and elites in the more established agrarianstates in Europe and Asia guaranteessubsistence foods to the masses. but not a meat riot. riots over these foodstuffs might have been expected. Whatever the specific sources of these differences. The basic explanation that I suggest rests on a comparison between different moral economies. One of the clearest distinctions that separatedChilean inquilinos (or huasos) from peones (or rotos) was that the former ate meat regularly and the latter did not. since elsewhere in Latin America small towns and freeholding peasant villages coexisted with large estates. and most other Latin American societies as well. the gananes may have been more likely to be single or to have unstable unions [DeShazo 1983:59-73].MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 255 ner thatchallenged widely-held expectations of a moral economy. Moreover.or gaianes. By contrast.'3 One may speculate on the factors that could account for these differences in moral economies of food. the accounts of 19th-centuryChile suggest a focus on meat as a subsistence good for certain social sectors.) The term bajo pueblo (low people. in this Chilean case. less to disfavored groups). the centrality of the hacienda led Chile to be differentfrom most Europeanand Asian societies. despite its central importance in the diet and its association with fuerza. and potatoes between 1903 and 1905. The greaterhistorical depth of the agrariancivilizations in Europe and Asia may have supported a stronger culturalconsensus on peasant subsistence than the conquestbased rule in the Spanish colonies in the Americas and their successor states.Grantedthe increase in the prices of wheat. The particularnatureof Spanish imperial rule in colonial Latin America and the specific sorts of elite hegemony in the first century of postcolonial rule may have also sharpened the distinctions among caste-like status groups and rendered patron-clientties more personalistic. with the huasipongos having some access to meat and the peones very little. beans. These individuals could have understood themselves much as the inquilinos did. the situation on Ecuadoranhaciendas was very similar. miners. also suggests a conceptual This content downloaded on Tue. in thattheir identities were based on permanentemployment and secure. would not seem to be a basic staple in Chile since large portions of the population ate it only infrequently. the demonstrations that preceded the riot were organized by membersof workers' guilds and neighborhood associations. which appears in Chilean newspapersand books of the period. To draw a parallel with Santiago in 1905. The principal difficulty with the direct application of this claim to Red Week lies in the fact that meat.
In the Chileancase. Fischler 1990). though very little. do not feel theneedto changethis dietaryregimen. some sources suggest that the This content downloaded on Tue. an uppergroupwithin the pueblo sought to maintain its position above a lower group within the same mass. the poorestpeople. meat was not merely a symbolic markerof status but a constitutive element of certaintypes of persons. The threatthat meat would be removed from their diet undercut a deeply held sense of social position.there appearsto have been an association between meat and fuerza. Moreover. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Moreover.[El Ferrocarril 1905d] This view is probablyoverstated. which allow the consumption of meat to serve as a markerof such distinctions: ownership of animals is associated with the powerful and prestigious figure of the hacendado. and the mannerof distributionof meat at the dinner table is an important point of etiquette.with a tariffor withouta tariff.possibly mediatedby the importanceof tallow as a fat. meat.. and pueblo] that rose up in an insurrection. thehighpriceof meat-it was notthatthatcouldmovethepoorestpeople[el bajo since they have nevereaten meat. If meat prices moved even higher.256 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY division of pueblo (common people) into a main groupand a lower marginalized fragment.. It also might have been taken as a sign of slipping down into a world of casual employment in which the permanentworkerswould have been seen as living like the people who moved from one place to another in search of work. In particular. the animals that are eaten. the analysts of the Europeanand Asian cases follow Thompson in locating the social boundarydifferently. one account states. These persons ate some meat. control over animals is an everyday form of masteryfor many sectors of Chilean society. This view suggests a difference from the Europeanand Asian cases. As has already been mentioned. most likely consuming it only on special occasions such as a wedding or on the Chilean independence day.ratherthan with America and Indians. Their participationin the events organizedby others suggests thatthey were unwilling to give up what were quite literallythe scrapsof meat in theirdiet. more specific to Latin America. indicate the presence of a significant miof such casual laborers nority among those who were wounded or arrestedin the riot. The importanceof meat in these dishes suggests thatits absence might have sparkeddomestic arguments as well (Weismantel 1989).will alwayshave a pricethatwill not place it withinthe reachof the most needy. the permanentworkers would have suffered the embarrassmentof having their neighbors in their conventillos notice that they preparedtheir noonday stews with less meat. The absence of meat would not only have carrieda general social stigma. Whereas others have claimed that the prestige of meat is universal (Abrams 1987. accustomedto a vegetablediet. between a local society that seeks to maintainits subsistence on the one hand and a small elite of merchants or officials concerned with profit on the other.are linked with Europe and Europeans. I would stress that the meaning of meat in this case depends upon some features. and cattle in particular. Izquierdo Femrnndez's figures. For example. since the quantitativedata that are available. Fiddes 1991.
because they were larger and fleshier. where meat is a luxury. and work: These days the familiesof the poorhaveto makeimmensesacrificesin orderto be able to obtainthe piece of meatwhichis indispensable for the puchero.presumably the youngmenof the working convincedthattruepatriotism the virility of our race with a lies in maintaining andabundant diet..MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 257 different levels of subsistence in Chilean society were justified by reference to bodily differences among the strata. or simply by the presence of meat in the major dishes around which daily meals were structured. As Colombian peasants explicitly recognize (Gudemanand Rivera 1990:86-88).. My sisterknowsthatI needtheforcade carne[strength [1991:158] Another newspaper account links the consumption of meat to notions of gender and race and to a concept of the role of the working class in the destiny of Chile: the sons of work[los hijosdel trabajo. strength. This view suggests a difference from the Europeanand Asian cases. understoodas a kind of naturalforce and as an attribute of the earth. We are This content downloaded on Tue. as follows: I am alreadyhomeandbuggingmy sisterto see if lunchis ready. but also played a key role in culturalunderstandingsof the ways in which adult bodies perform work. animals may be seen as storing fuerza.that is. Newspaper accounts of Red Week explicitly link these concepts of meat. and because they performedmore strenuous labor. By 11:30A.that which is used up in daily work [ese piece of meat which restoresthe strength pedazo de carne reparadorde las fuerzas gastadas en el trabajodiario].M.. [El Ferrocarril1905b] The last phrase-"ese pedazo de came reparadorde las fuerzas gastadas en el trabajodiario"-links came (meat) and trabajo (work) with fuerza and gasto in a fashion reminiscent of the language of present-day Colombian peasants recordedby Gudeman and Rivera.andas muchmeatas possible. a factory worker whose sister cooked for him. used similar language. frommeat]to workhard. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . This association might have been established by the regularity with which hacendados gave meat to participantsin large work parties.in this view.. [El Ferrocarril1905a] nutritious class] . One of Scheper-Hughes's Brazilian informants. in that the basic subsistence diet of some social sectors in Chile ideally includes not only staple grains but also meat. that the huasos were not merely entitled to eat more meat than the rotos.rice. but that they actually needed it more. ThenI eat a huge moundof beans. meat did not merely serve as a markerof social status. She quotes his description of his return from the factory for his main meal.. such as riding horses and rounding up cattle in scrub wildlands. need virility to push the chariot of progress vigorously. noodles.
shows that despite the differences in detail.the generosity of the authority. one could argue that the expansion of capitalism This content downloaded on Tue. formal manner at the principal residences of a maximal authority (a president or a hacendado. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .258 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY The patriotism to which this article refers resembles the paternalism of the patron or landlord:they both indicate a responsibility to feed male workerswell so that they can work hard for the prosperity of all-for the common weal. the requests were made in a ritualized. in Thompson's terms. although they may not always have received as much as they wanted or precisely the goods or money that they requested. In both the Chilean and the Ecuadorancases. It was at this point that they began to riot. In additionto demonstratingthe centralityof meat as a markerof status and the importanceof the body as the site where work and strength are connected througheating. by apparentlynot even receiving the petitioners.perhapsbecause they seemed self-evident to him: to receive the huasipongos and to hear their suplidos. officials. all participantsagreed on the vital importance of the immediate reception that the highest government officials gave to the protesterswho came to the majorgovernmentbuilding in the district (1990). the events of Red Week also indicate the culturalsalience for the participantsin the riot of other social practices rooted in haciendalife. It was at the time when the president failed to meet analogous obligations.Guerrero'sinsight in applying Bourdieu's heavily spatializednotion of habituscan be extended to the Chilean case. There are several possible lines of explanation for this failure of the president to receive the petitioners in the form they expected. Otheraccounts of political protest in Latin America suggest the significance of this kind of moment:Edelman's discussion of accountsby peasants. A few found out that he was at his privateresidence instead and went there to visit him. the requests affirmed the paternalisticnatureof authority. The petitioners in Santiago. and otherpartiesof a set of demonstrationsin Costa Rica.Phrased in terms of the needs of a domestic group ratherthan in terms of luxury goods or personal wishes. Guerrero'saccounts offer striking similarities to this Chilean case and may help clarify this sudden transformationfrom orderly demonstrationto violent riot. resemble the huasipongos who made suplidos (requests) to the hacendados. Following Thompson's views of food riots in England. A key instance of the performativityof social life can be found in the temporal and spatial patterningof requests made by inferiors to superiors. The bulk of the demonstratorsbelieved that the presidenthad refused to meet with the petitioners (and many thoughtthathe had left Santiago). and the longstanding natureof the ties between the authorityand the people he ruled. requesting the abolition of the tariff on imported meat. The key transitionfrom peaceful assembly to violent sacking and rioting took place when the leaders of the petitioners reached the presidential palace and were told that the president was not there.'4Guerrerosuggests that the huasipongos did not returnempty-handedwhen they made requests. or his direct representative). He does not explicitly state the most basic obligations of the hacendado. for example. that the orderly demonstrationturned into a riot.
the sacking of warehouses in towns or haciendas by ruralmasses and the urban poor. ratherthan mass assemblies. As the official residence of the president.MORAL ECONOMY OF A FOOD RIOT 259 in Chile led the elites to become hungry for profits and to abandontheir former sense of customaryobligations to the poor. ratherthan his private home. or pole. and in the contents of the petition itself. awareof the long history of Indian rebellions in their country (Moreno Yafiez 1976). but also on more deeply held understandingsof the human body and the natural This content downloaded on Tue. Whatever the full explanation of the mentalities of the governing elites. This view would draw some support from the apparentreadiness of the members of the city's most elite social club to abandon their comfortable salons and take up rifles. or failed. from which they served meals to the inquilinos on the occasion of the owner's birthday. These saqueos were greatly fearedby Ecuadoranhacendados. and the casashacienda of the Ecuadoranestates. within the forms of power exercised by Latin American elites. An alternative view would follow the claim of Coronil and Skurski (1991) that violence had always been one element. they continue to the present in Brazil (Scheper-Hughes 1991:438). and other Latin American countries (Walton and Seddon 1994).the houses of the Colombian peasants into which hired or exchange laborers are temporarily incorporated through serving abundant meals. The riot broke out precisely at the point when the president refused. explain why the presidentdid not arrangeto have the armyreturnto its garrison just outside Santiago before the day on which the demonstration was scheduled. I have also sought to show that this moral economy-this language of mobilization. makes it seem as if the demonstratorswere following the reversal of a common English proverb:every castle is a man's home. This view would not. Argentina (Serulnikov 1994). they clearly rejected the rightof the thousandsof people gatheredoutside the Casa de Gobierno to be heard. The route of the march. it was the place where the masses expected to meet their leader. and from the general elite acceptance of the numerous killings. to come out of the Casa de Gobiero to meet the leaders of the demonstration. leading to the Casa de Gobierno. which huasipongos recall decades lateras the site of generous distributionsof meat and other foods. the president's apparentpreferencefor smaller meetings with a few delegates. I have sought to connect this Casa de Gobierno with other casas. and whose work they receive. 1906b). less egalitarianthan the Europeanand Asian ones but a moral economy nonetheless. might also be taken as a political style consonant with a rupturingof personal moral obligations. Red Week would recall the longstanding traditionin Latin America of the saqueo. This view would draw supportfrom the speeches made in the Chilean congress which claimed that the tariff was necessary to improve the national economy (Boletin 1906a. in other terms-rested not only on a ratherintellectual acceptance of the exchange of certaingoods and services. I have sought to find a kind of moral economy. in the patriarchallinks that connect the heads of the houses to those whom they feed. Venezuela (Coronil and Skurski 1991). such as the estate houses into which hacienda families invited foreign travelerson any occasion. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In this choice of the location of the presentationof the petition. In this view. however.
Carol Smith. These are among the most recent instances of a long history of food riots. is different in overall orientation and in many specific details. ratherthan merely being one expenditurein a working-class household budget. as well as the journal editor Daniel Segal and the anonymous journal reviewers. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . are my own.260 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY world. Manycolleagueshave offeredthoughtful drafts of this paper. Work and food can be seen as two of the many elements that enter into the balance of forces within the humanbody. It is the distinctiveness of a specific moral economy that allows a piece of beef to make the difference between an acceptable and an unacceptablenoonday pot of stew. Most recently. and Venezuela (Coronil and Skurski 1991). the Dominican Republic (Walton 1989).In the firstdecadesof this century. It is this distinctiveness that allows us to connect the demonstratorsin the streets of Santiago to the Ecuadoranhuasipongos who express nostalgia for their former lords. This content downloaded on Tue. There is some overlap between the discussion of meals on 19th-century Chilean haciendas in this article and the treatmentof food. and the body in anotherpaper of mine (Orlove 1995). although that work. Angie Haugerud. but also for dignity.Kay Dewey. and the returnto the study of the role of objects in culture-have supportedthis expanded view of class relations. a wave of food riots in the late 1980s accompanied economic austeritymeasures associated with neoliberal policies in Argentina (Serulnikov 1994). unless otherwise noted. work. It is this distinctiveness thathelps us link demonstrationsat the beginning of this century with demonstrationsat its close. All translationsof sources. whose detailed knowledge and synthetic understandingof Chilean history have been fundamental in the development of this article. Deborah Poole. not only for wealth and for power. 1. and that these understandingswere renderedpalpable in certain public encounters. much as the workplaceand the marketbecome two of the many contexts in which powerful and weak individualsencountereach other. Maria Marsilli. dating back to the colonialperiodin Mexico(T. the interest in the human body. which does not discuss the events of Red Week at all. to the Brazilian city dwellers who despair of their hunger. Portes and Johns (1989) and Walton and Seddon (1994) offer overviews of these riots. Several recent trends in anthropology-the closer attentionto systems of discourse and practice. Catherine Kudlick. by showing that people struggle. It is these elements and contexts that comprise particularmoral economies. Bruce Rosenstock. and Sharon Zukin. either to establish and maintain their identities or to contest and reformulatethem. I would like to acknowledge my particulardebt to Arnold Bauer. Charlie Hale. I would also like to thanka numberof colleagues for their comments:Rafael Baraona. This analysis of the Chilean instance of a more general set of Latin American moral economies fits in with the efforts of Thompson and of recent anthropologists to incorporateculture into analyses of class and political action.MarcBlanchard. to understandthe links that connect the public world of work and marketexchange with the more personal world of home and meals. and who generously shared with me some of his notes from research in newspaper archives in Santiago. Tulio Halperin. Wright1985). Notes criticismsof earlier Acknowledgments.
were rendered vulnerable to the manipulation of anarchists and other individuals "interested in causing chaos" (1976:92). According to Izquierdo Fernandez. meat merely happened to be the specific commodity that caught their attention. the urban poor also thought that the state. 3. 5." DeShazo eschews these rigid periodizations. implicitly contrastingsuch behavior with the more matureand reasoned political activity that characterized later decades of the century. still place Red Week squarely in the frameworkof labor movements and strikes (Collier and Collier 1991:73). I use Casa de Gobierno because this name also appearsin the documents of the period. Izquierdo Fernandezemphasizes the "spontaneous"characterof the action of this turba (mob). from its earlier name. Other accounts of Red Week have largely ignored its cultural roots. in which proletarian mobs roamed the city at will" (1973:252). since earnings varied greatly according to occupation.. lacking political experience. This content downloaded on Tue. a phrase that denotes both a high cost of living and the scarcity of basic goods. but talks only of la carestia de la vida. Barria offers an explicit theory of stages of workers' movements. It is more difficult to determine economic trends regardingwages than for price levels or employment. while driving down real wages. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . helped mobilize them. Thomas Wright discusses the causes and consequences of Red Week in detail. More explicitly. 2. Monte6n. Others. He argues that outbreaks of violence over issues of inflation declined as the 20th century progressed. was responsible for assuring the availability of basic staples at low. the poor. and fewer statistical sources are available (DeShazo 1983:29-35). Scheper-Hughes 1991) and Ecuador (Moreno Yafiez 1976). Casa de la Moneda. 1975:55-58). because the pluralistdemocratic state became the arenain which interest groups voiced andresolved their opposing concerns (1973:257-259.OF A FOODRIOT 261 MORALECONOMY riots occurred in Brazil (Meade 1989. degenerated into two days of violence. This building is also widely known as La Moneda.. describes Red Week in a section titled "Portraitof the Early Left. in this case British colonial rulers. but still claims that "[h]igh food costs.. hourly or daily wage rates do not necessarily correlate precisely with total household income."because it served as the royal mint in the colonial period. 4. and preoccupied with their economic needs. Izquierdo Fernandez (1976) explains the violence througha discussion of the economic. Monte6n 1982) claim that such spontaneous disturbances declined as organized labor unions and proletarian parties grew and became able to present working-class demands more effectively. but summarizes its first days in a single sentence: "an orderly protest . Unions offering the opportunity to better wages through collective action appealed to workers with rising but frustratedexpectations" (1983:87). political.. and because I wish to examine its connections with other casas. "house of the coin" or "mint. even furtherremoved from an orthodox Marxist framework. and populardemonstrationsopposed threatenedincreases of breadprices in Peru (Stein 1980:33) following a traditionof riots in that country in the 19th century (Peloso 1985). Marxist historians (Barria 1971. In Sri Lanka. Barriadoes not even mention meat. also provided workers with a common grievance which . and intellectual underdevelopmentof the urban poor. stable prices (Rogers 1987). They present the demonstratorsas salaried workers who were concerned with the purchasing power of their earnings. These authorsall present the issue of the price and availability of meat as merely being the surface manifestation of what they claim to be the more fundamental issues of wages and inflation. with Red Week falling into the first "heroic" stage. whose periodization is more modest. living at a minimum level of subsistence.
gave major impetus to Chilean unionism and left-wing politics generally in the early decades of the 20th century. 12. On the basis of this activity DeShazo (1983) offers a revisionist position. Vial Correa (1987:895-896) addresses this question for the case of Red Week. However. claiming that small-scale manufacturing and transportworkers in Santiago and Valparaiso. A few suggested that it was not progresista (progressive) to honor such reactionaryprejudices by including them in a scholarly context. 1 Jan 2013 10:21:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and it is hard to imagine terms like bum having as much impact as words about our body-centered categories of race. 13. As detailed studies have shown. 7. perhaps because of its pejorative connotations. telling me that it was nothing more than an insult used by snobbish members of the bourgeoisie and did not merit such consideration. but remains generally skeptical of this left-wing influence in this instance. 11. to or "worn out. as some of the more acute observers of Chile such as Grahamand Gilliss noted. a numberof urbanriots in Latin America have focused on other foods. 9. especially among the railroad workers. banging empty pots together. I explained to them that I decided to include the term because of its centrality to my argument. antigovernment demonstrationsprotesting the scarcity of foodstuffs in 1972 during the Unidad Popular government.. although the word roto can also mean "tornm" 10. as in Darwin (1900). This linkage brings to mind the marchas de cacerolas vacias.262 CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY 6. sexual orientation. Chileans may have considered this fat to concentratefuerza and to give fuerza to people who eat it. and disability. however. the word roto is the past participle of romper. sturdy" (1955:57-58). There was some union activity in Santiago." Even terms such as Okie and cracker have an overtly racial connotation." break. qualities that he attributes to the consumption of great quantities of meat (1955:59). particularlycalories and fats. of a ruddy complexion. Bauer notes a patternof distributionvery similar to the suplidos on 19th-century haciendas in the central valley of Chile: "gifts at weddings and births. The etymological origins of the term huaso are quite obscure. noting the direct presence of railroad workers in the riots and the possible influence of anarchist union organizers among typesetters and bakers. and even a watermelon for 'the grateful workers"' (1975:166). such opposition was fueled by the sense thatnominally autonomous This content downloaded on Tue..in which women marcheddown majoravenues in Santiago. is omitted altogether.Echaiz emphasizes that the typical huasos is "fleshy. Other food riots in Latin America have centered on meat. In particular. and even on services. and the term huaso covers all ruralpeople. under the influence of Anarcho-Syndicalists. on nonfood goods (Nash 1992). 8. the word roto. handouts during times of food shortage .In our conversations.stores well. On occasion. its use may reflect cultural attributes as well. The Chileans who read earlier drafts of this article all objected strongly to my detailed attention to the term roto. An interesting parallel may be drawn with the broad-based discontent over meat scarcity in EasternEurope during the final years of Soviet domination. such as the cost of urban transport(Walton 1989) and the cost of credit (Edelman 1990). This emphasis on fuerza suggests a possible reason for the importanceof tallow in 19th-century Chilean diets. such as the disturbances in Rio de Janeiro in May and June 1902 (Meade 1989:244-245). Tallow has a number of importantmaterial attributes:it is easily transportable. we discussed the absence of class-related terms in the currentAmericandiscourse over "hatespeech. and contains importantnutrients. is strongly flavored. gender.
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