Cultural Interbreedings: Constituting the Majority as a Minority Author(s): Serge Gruzinski and Nathan Wachtel Source: Comparative Studies

in Society and History, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 231-250 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/179314 Accessed: 09/12/2009 13:22
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CulturalInterbreedings: Constituting the Majorityas a Minority
SERGE GRUZINSKI E.H.E.S.S. NATHAN WACHTEL

College de Franco From the time of the Spanish invasion, in the Andean world as in Mexico, a mere handful of conquistadorescame to impose their domination upon the indigentmasses. One cannot,therefore,begin by speakingof minoritiesnor of the marginalizationof Amerindianpopulations, even when these decrease dramaticallyfollowing the demographiccatastropheof the sixteenth century, for in spite of this they remainsignificantlymore numerousthan the Spanish. Yet it is truethatthe term Indianappears,from its origins even, as a derogatoliteratureon savages, idolaters,and so ry term (see the flood of contemporary forth) and that it is in fact applied even now in countries such as Peru and survives in many regions, to the Bolivia, where the autochthonoussubstratum populationsleast integratedinto nationallife, who might be considered,in this sense, as "marginal." What, then, has takenplace duringthese last five centuries?
THE INDIANS OF A MAJORITY OF MEXICO OR THE CONSTITUTION AS A MINORITY

POPULATION

At the moment of their conquest, the Indians of Mexico City formed an agglomerationof 200,000 to 300,000 inhabitants.Against several thousand conquistadors,these Indians constituted a demographicmajoritythroughout the sixteenth century.Even though epidemics greatly reduced their number, they were still the most importantethnic group of that city at the beginning of the seventeenthcentury. Our inquiry concerns the means by which this majoritywas progressively transformed into a minorityby the play of constraintsemanatingfrom colonial domination.To put it anotherway, we ask in what manner,in what stages, and in what rhythms did Occidentalizationin its most diverse forms-the gaze, discourse, law, faith, work-model and phagocytize the populationswhich it encounteredby determiningtheir status,their marginsof expression, and their modes of existence.
0010-4175/97/2220-4344 $7.50 + .10 ? 1997 Society for Comparative Study of Society and History

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MINORS, NEOPHYTES AND EXEMPTS

In the days after the Spanish conquest, a variety of institutionaland juridical measures assigned a minor status to members of the Indianpopulation.The Indians were, in the eyes of the Church, a population of neophytes who needed special attentionand a separatestatus. This is why the tribunalof the Inquisitiondid not hold any jurisdiction where the Indians were concerned. The formula of ellos son como ninos which the ecclesiastical chroniclers employed reveals the state of mind of the monks who felt that the Indians were placed under their tutelage and that they were to show the monks the filial obedience that children owe to their parents.At this point, the Indians were not yet a minority, properly speaking-unless a spiritualone-but a group treatedin a special mannerbecause they benefited from a paternalistic benevolence and because they were regardedas needing protectionas much from the abuses of the Spanish' as from themselves (for example, a returnto idolatry).
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE TWO REPUBLICS

To speak of Indians or ratherof naturales, as do all of the Spanish, reverts distinctgroupfrom thatformedby the invaders. to delimiting an irremediably To provide it with an institutional reality, the republica de Indios, and a it juridically judiciaryorganism,the Juzgadode Indios, leads to differentiating of was set The this to from the rest of the population. effect apartthe vanthe pre-Hispanicdifferences quished societies without necessarily respecting by which the indigenous world was distributedamong a multitude of ethnicities and states with distinct languages and origins. The Spanish domination designated and characterizedan Othernessby assigning objective contours to it. This separation, temporaland spiritualin principle,tendedtowardsa physical separation.The monks even envisaged totally isolating the Indians from the Europeans,fearingthe bad habits and perniciousexample of the latter.By enclosing the Indianpopulationwithin their networkof churchesand monasteries, the religious orders strove to make material a line of demarcation between conquerorsand conquered.By insisting that blacks, half-castes and those of mixed blood should be chased out of indigenous communities, the monks hoped to renderairtightthe frontierwhich, it must be recalled,guaranteed their hold over the natives. In the case of Mexico City, the distinction between the republic of the Indians and the republic of the Spanish established a physical and spatial separation between the groups. The conquerors settled in the center of
I "Defenderestas ovejas de los lobos" in the "Carta colectiva de los franciscanosde Mexico al (17-XI-1532) publishedFrayToribiode Benavente('Motolinia'), Memoriales(Mexiemperador" co: UNAM, 1971).

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Mexico-Tenochtitlan,while the conqueredwithdrew to the core of two parcialidades, San Juan Tenochtitlan and Santiago Tlatelolco, located in the perimeter. Provided with its institutions, its police, and its resources, the Indian city offered to the conqueredpeoples a frameworkwithin which they could preservethe remainsof theirheritage,maintaintheir own personalityor ratherfashion an identity and a mode of life better adapted to the colonial context. The Indianswere not yet made a minorityquantitativelynor systematically marginalized,but they were alreadyplaced in the peripheryrelative to the Hispanic center.
INTERBREEDING AND MARGINALIZATION

The politics of the regularChurchand of the Spanishcrown came to be linked to the formationof the Indiansinto a groupprovidedwith a particular status.2 It was not a matterof making of them a minoritybut, rather,a category that could be integratedinto an old-regime society formedof naciones,3of bodies, of communities and corporations.Nevertheless, the Indians occupied a subaltern position due to their situation as conquered peoples and as former pagans. Multiplepressures,however, stood in the way of the closing and the consolidation of the indigenous group. These pressuresdeveloped principallyout of the demographicweakeningdue to the repeatedepidemics thatthe indigenous populationsuffered. They also came from the process of interbreedingset in motion in the aftermath of the Conquest.Unions-legitimate or illegitimatemultipliedbetween Indiansand Spanish.After the birthof the first half-castes, there rapidly appearedan intermediarygroup with a confused status which was sometimes assimilated into the Spanish group, sometimes thrown back into the indigenous world. To this biological interbreedingwas added the culturalinterbreeding linked to the daily coexistence of Indianswith Spanish. Contraryto the principle of separation,many Indians-domestics, servants, merchants-lived in the Spanishcity and became accustomedto other modes of life. All this took place as if the interbreedings eroded the Othernesswhich the prejudices and the institutionsof the Spanish attemptedto circumscribe. But the effects of interbreeding were still more complex. In the city, Indianization and Hispanicizationplayed an unequalgame. The attraction exercised by the Europeansector prevailedand in the end largely swept away the other. This promptedthe Indians and the half-castes to distance themselves from their indigenous heritage or to modify it in noticeable proportions.From the seventeenthon and especially in the eighteenthcentury,the indigenous mode of life became a phenomenonif not of a minority, at least of marginalization
2 It would be suitablein this instanceto comparethe case of Americanswith the earlierones of the Canary Islands and of Grenada. 3 "Esta nacion" concerning the Indians in "Cartacolectiva de los franciscanosde Mexico al 438. emperador,"

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in Mexico City. The irresistibleHispanicizationof Indian elites, old nobility and recently wealthy caciques, and of the mixtures of blood contributedto accentuatingthe process of marginalization.
THE EXOTICISATION OF THE PRESENT

At the same time, the transformation of indigenous modes of life and traditions into expressions of a minority followed anotherpath. In the sixteenth century,the place of the Indiancity in Renaissancefestivals is never secondof the Fall of ary or accessory. Whetherit concerns a scenic representation Rhodes (1539) or the celebration of the funeral of Charles V (1559), the Indians and the authoritiesof the parcialidadesparticipatedin a mannerthat was was as extensive as it was active. Their visibility, to use an anachronism, optimal. In the following century,with the demographicdecline of the Indian population, the social deteriorationof its elites, and the entrenchmentof Hispanic society, this interventionwould take a differentturn.After the flood of 1629 which affected only the indigenouspopulationof Mexico, the Indians ceased to constitute a majority.On the contrary,they appearedthereafteras survivors of a group on route to extinction. Throughoutthe seventeenthcentury,public and official usages of the Indian tradition developed which reduced it to exoticized forms or used it to reevaluate memories of a past abolished for good. The villancicos sung in Mexico, for example, put on stage Indianswhose language,accent, dress, and the audience.The artistsof Creole and peninsularMexireactionsentertained co in particularexploited the indigenous vein with insistence and talent. In truthit was impossible for the urbanelites to ignore these Indians,who made up an integralpartof their daily routines.Again it was necessaryto metamorphize the Indian reality to better integrateit into the Baroque entertainment and imagination.Musicians, poets, decorators,and paintersemployed it as a source of flashy exoticism. They treatedit as an estheticizedvision and, thus, strippedit of all displeasingor menacingharshness,purifyingit of any foreign or disorientingnote. This reflection of the Indianworld could only be festive, the interventionof Mexicans on the stage being synonymous with joy and exhilaration: tambien a sus usanzasalen.4 In this expurgatedform, the Indianworld gained, throughoutthe seventeenth century,its place in the streetfestivals and in the most sophisticatedentertainments given at the Courtor in the city. It appearedin the ceremonialhalls of the palace where one did not hesitate to display it before the gaze of viceroys and their retinue newly disembarkedfrom the old world. The masterpieceof
Juana Ines de la Cruz, Los empenos de una casa, concludes with a sarao
4 Sor JuanaInes de la Cruz, Obras completas, t. II (Mexico, FCE), 16.

Los Mejicanos alegres

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of four nations in which the Mexicans participate.While the dances follow one another,the choir sings: I Venid,Mejicanos, alegresvenid, a ver en un sol mil soles lucir.5 The same entertainment appearsseveral years later in the Comediede saint Francois Borja of Matias de Bocanegra(1612-68). The studentsof the Jesuit college of San Pedro and San Pablo performedit on the occasion of a visit from the viceroy, the marquis of Villena. The finale of the spectacle was assigned to graceful childrenin Indiancostumes, who sang "tanvistosamente adornadoscon preciosas tilmas y trajes de lama de oro, cactles o coturnos bordados de pedreria,copiles o diademas sembradasde perlas y diamantes, quetzalesde plumeriaverde sobre los hombros."The actorsintoned a homage to the viceroy: Salid,mexicanos, bailael tocotin, que al sol de Villena teneisen zenit6 On that occasion sixteen children danced a tocotin or a mitote, a majestic and solemn indigenous dance. The musical accompaniment strove to be faithful to Indiantraditions:"A lo sonoro de los ayacatzitlesdorados,que son unas curiosas calabacillas Ilenas de guijillas, que hacen un agradablesonido y al son de los instrumentos musicos, tocabaun nino cantor,acompanadode ostros en el mismo traje,en un angulo del tablado,un teponaztle,instrumento de los indios parasus danzas, cantandoel solo los compases del tocotin en aquestas coplas, repitiendo cada una la capilla, que en un retiro de celosias estaba oculta." The precision of this reconstitutionbetrayed an indisputable familiarity with indigenous usages, instruments,colors, pieces of clothing. The effect of exoticism that was producedwas not thereforenecessarily mixed with caricature or stereotype.The Creoles manifestly possessed a precise knowledge of the resources of the indigenous art, even of the nahuatllanguage. Sor Juana did not hesitate to introduce nahuatl phrases and words into her Spanish villancicos, even in series of couplets. An example follows:
5 Ibid., t.III, 180. 6 Trez piezas, 377-9. Conceived after the model of the plays of Lope de Vega, at once edifying, humorousand pleasant,the Comddiede saint Francois Borja tells of the conversion of a great Jesuit saint, the Duke of Gandia, grandee of Spain and viceroy of Catalonia. It is punctuatedby interludesand dances such as the branle and a part of the alcancias, earthenware balls filled with flowers or ashes. Ten studentsof the highest nobility played a partin it that was remarkedupon.

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Solo Dios Piltzintli y nuestro tlatlacol

del Cielobajo,

nos lo perdono.

Latin,Castilian,and the Mexican languagemingle to form what this nun calls: un tocotinmestizo de Espanol y Mejicano.7 In any case exoticization equally concerns groups other than the Indians. The peoples of African origin were also present in the Baroque festivals. In this case, it is the accent reconstructed by the poet that gives rise to laughter, even if it restores for us the sonorous image of a lost world. But the miracle that the acceptance of Africano-Mexican culture would have been did not take place. The song was limited to expressing the manner in which the literate Spanish imagined the blacks who surrounded them would speak. The figure of the good Negro accompanyingChristianfestivities with his joviality also belonged to the repertoireof stereotypes. The process of exoticization is linked to a cultural exploitation, in the current sense of the term, of non-Europeangroups. This exploitation succeeded so well that it producedforms capable of being exported across the Atlantic. This was the case with the famous Indiandance, the tocotin, which arrivesin Spain around1680, perhapseven earlier.8 This was not in any case a new phenomenon.Almost a century earlier,the vogue of African dances in Mexico, New Spain, and the Caribbeancrossed the ocean to spreadthroughout old Europe.9In this way the chaconne and sarabandeswept throughour continent.
THE HEROIZATION OF THE PAST

The domesticationof Indiantraditionsand of theirpatrimonyoperatedalso by the bias shown in the recovery of the indigenous past. This time, the past recovered did not conflict with a daily reality which by necessity had to be transformed.It fell to chroniclersand historiansto invent a past that was as glorious as it was inoffensive. They were so successful that at the end of the seventeenthcenturythe prestigiousmemoryof Mexican sovereigns fascinated
7 Sor JuanaInes de la Cruz, Obras completas, II, 41, 17. The "interbreeding" of cultureswas so evident and so familiarthat the adjective itself-mestizo-was from the common domain, to the point of being used in a villancico as popularand as burlesqueas that of San Pedro Nolasco (1677). 8 Marie Cecile Benassy, p. 31. 9 The recoveryof Indianculturestook on occasion the routeof mythologicalallegory:In 1713, vaunted the virtues of pulque, the a float presentedby the corporationof pulque manufacturers fermentedjuice of the agave. A Creole poet took it upon himself to invent a creationalmyth to attach the Mexican plant to classical mythology. Createdby Hercules, born of the milk of the Goddess Juno, the pulque became that "preciosisimabebida, tenida de sus aficionadospor digno brindis de la mesa de Jupiter,y aptisimapara procerizarsea deidades."

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lettered Creoles and Europeanvisitors. This recovery was founded upon the first archeologicalworks begun at the end of the seventeenthcentury.In this period the Italian Gemelli Carericame to admire the sculpted stones which featuredan eagle on a nopal, or cactus, while literateMexicans were already speculatingaboutthe site of the temple of Huizilopochtliwhich some amongst them believed to be under the cathedral.10 From this period the excursion to antiquities (for example, the pyramids) of Teotihuacanalso became a must requiringan indispensableextension to any stay in Mexico. Teotihuacanwas to be visited in the same way: One went to the Churchof Guadalupe. Gemelli Careri had the privilege of meeting the greatest connoisseur of relics of Indian civilizations, don Carlos de Sigtienza y Gongora. The latter had gathereda collection of Indiancodex so famous-"alhajas tan dignas de aprecio y veneracionpor su antigtiedad, y ser originales"1-that he dreamed of presenting it as a gift to the libraries of the Escurial, the Vatican, and Florence. The deciphering of the manuscripts,as well as his archaeological explorations,had given him a broadfamiliarityfor his era and was authoritative enough to allow him to impose his vision of the past. The image which he proposedconcerningthe ancient Mexicans is flattering.l2It contrastssharply with the vision of pagan idolaters plunged into sin and barbarity. But interest in the pre-Hispanicpast was not merely an exercise in erudition. It satisfied more immediate designs. During this period pre-Hispanic archaeologywas in tune with politics. Baroquefestivals have providedus with the example of the triumphalarch conceived by don Carlos in honor of the marquis de Laguna and on which Aztec kings allegorically embodied the "political virtues." The rehabilitatedvision of Indianness served a double function: It carrieda message intendedfor the metropolisrepresentedby the viceroy even as it served to root the memory of a young fatherlandcalled Mexico in Indian prehistory.The Indians found themselves doubly dispossessed of their past.
THE SACRALIZATION OF THE MEXICAN LAND AND OF ITS FIRST INHABITANTS

During the same period, priests of the archbishopricof Mexico succeeded in associating the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupewith the indigenous world in an irreversiblemanner.The blossoming of this devotion had multiple causes which we will examine here. It had numerousrepercussions,among them that
10 Giovanni Gemelli Careri, Viajea la Nueva Espana (Mexico: UNAM), 123. l1 Elias Trabulse,p. 19. 12 Don Carlos de de sus pueblos, por ser los mas Siguenza y Gongora,p. 252: "genie arrancada extranos de su provincia, gente despedazada por defender su patria y hecha pedazos por su pobreza; pueblo terrible en el sufrir y despues del cual no se hallaria otro tan paciente en el padecer,gente que siempreaguardael remediode sus miseriasy siemprese halla pisadade todos, cuya tierrapadece trabajosen repetidasinundaciones."

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of making the Indiansthe guardiansof a miraculousimage of an exceptional naturewhich allowed them to acquirea considerableinfluence in the Mexico valley and then throughoutall of Mexico. The legend set down in the middle of the seventeenthcenturysaid the Virginappearedto, and left her portentous mark upon, one of the members of the Indian community,Juan Diego. The Indiansreceived in this way a certificateof Christianity and of Baroquepiety: "non fecit taliter omni nationi." The perception of the present as folklbre and as exotic, the rehabilitation and exaltation of the pre-Hispanicpast, and lastly divine election were the inventions of the Creole elites of the seventeenthcenturywhich provided that remains their own that indigenous group with an essential characteristic today. Having become a minority, the Indians remained in the opinion of Mexicans and in the eyes of touriststhe exotic celebrantsof feathereddances, the fallen descendants of the pyramid builders and the bearers of a superstitious and sometimes fanatical piety. Significantly, the Indians were still a nation and not yet a discreditedminority.Further, althoughthey were contemin this way at the same time thatdiscourse porarywith a discoursecharacterized about secta distinguishedand severely condemned three minority groups in colonial society-"marranes" [maronites],"sodomites," seventeenth-century and "idolaters"-identified by sexual practice or religious deviation in contrast to the way the Indians were viewed.
THE ENLIGHTENMENT AND REPRESSION

The Baroquecity had encouragedand even promoteda festive Indiannessand an exuberantreligiosity eager for marvelsand miracles.Around 1800, Mexico counted 135,000 inhabitants, half of whom were Europeans. It harbored 26,500 half-castes,about 12,000 mulattos,and another33,000 Indians.To put it anotherway, the half-castes never constitutedmore than a strong minority; and Europeans, or those considthe Indianswere far from having disappeared; ered as such, were indisputablythe majority.The town visited by Alexandre de Humboldtwas comprisedone quarterof mixed bloods, a quarterIndians, and one-half whites. It had not therefore become a half-caste town-since whites and Indiansstill representedthree quartersof its inhabitants-nor the bottomless melting pot which one might imagine. It is within this context, in which the survival of an importantindigenous group contrasted with the decline begun in the sixteenth century, that the politics followed by the agents of enlighteneddespotism must be interpreted. In the second half of the eighteenth century, a series of measures markeda change in course. In 1769, the Churchoutlawedthe nescuitiles,the representations of the Passion, those of Pastores y Reyes, and forbade the palo del
volador and dances such as the santiaguitos, the fandango del olvido de los maridos difuntos, and the bayle de la camisa. There was no longer a question

of the Indians offering incense to the horse of Saint Jacques (Santiago) or

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or engaging in the frenzied dance that went with it. For the Churchthe arguments were strong:the indecency of the participants, the profanationof liturornaments and the the excessive gical clothing, mishaps, expenditures,andthe of the celebrations. Civil authorities would no longer put up grotesqueaspect with seeing Indiansundressedin public: "Lalimpieza y aseo es uno de los tres principalesobjetos de la policia y este no solo comprehendelas calles y plazas de las poblaciones, sino tambien las personas que las habitan cuyo traje honesto y decente influye mucho en las buenascostumbres." In truth,wearing an indigenous costume was not forbidden,but the combinationswhich "distorted"traditionalclothing were no longer tolerated: "con andrajosu otros semejantestrapos,come suelen hacerlo a imitacion de los individuosde otras castas."Also banishedwere, consequently,"mantas,sabanas,frezadas,jergas o lo que Ilaman chispas, zarapesu otro qualquieragiron o trapo semejante." Men of the Enlightenmentalso intended to normalize appearances,"con la inteligencia de que siendo como es en los hombres la desnudez un indicio vehementisimo de ociosidad o de malas costumbres."13 For a population materially incapable of dressing themselves correctly, this was a signal for them to be driven back into the squalid suburbs. In other terms, in the second half of the eighteenth century, under the pressures of enlightened despotism, numerous forms of expression in the Indian town suffered all sorts of restrictions:the suppressionof the poorest confraternitiesor those without properand due authorization, the banning of indigenoustheater,limitationsimposed upon processions, on marches,and on public demonstrationsof indigenous religiosity, the destruction of chapels built by the Indians. This sequence of measures did not in any case concern only the indigenous world but encompassed the ensemble of popular practices, whether of half-caste, Spanish, or African origin. Projects envisioning the imposition of the Castilianlanguagecompleted a mechanismunderwhich the motivation for public order, hygiene, and decency combined to justify a progressive elimination of Indian visibility.
THE LEGAL DEATH OF INDIANS IN THE TOWN

The decrees of the Cortesof Cadiz and the decisions of the young independent state became linked to the pursuitof Enlightenmentpolitics in their attackon even the structures of the indigenousgroup.In suppressingindigenousmunicthe civil and ecclesiastictribunals reservedfor Indiansbrotheripal institutions, hoods and communities-juzgado de Indios, provisorato de Indios-the Mexican authoritiesunderminedthe foundationsand effaced the prerogatives throughwhich the Mexican Indianshad maintaineda collective and juridical identity and a communal existence.
13 AGN (Mexico), Bando 20, no. 25.

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Having disappearedin principle from the census, the Indians became a poverty-strickenminority of whom the novels of the nineteenth centurysuch as Los bandidosdel Rio Frio of ManuelPayno-and the storiesof travelers portrayeda folkloric portraitof sordid lives. The descriptionsof pilgrimages to the Virgin of Guadalupe or to the Indian chinamperos of Xochimilco evoked a picturesqueminority, drawn back into its own past, although a far less menacing one than the leperos of the town. Not only did the modernizationof the city create a minority out of the Indians, but the rapid expansion of industryand of urbanizationaccelerated the proletarianization of those who had survived the colonial epoch at the same time that it drove back into the same lower-class colonias and the same shanty towns Indians who were without community, immigrants without roots, and discardedfrom all places of origin. This rapid overview-necessarily summary and without nuance-of the fate of the Indiansof Mexico City illustratesthe mannerin which the successive manifestations of Occidental domination-what we call Occidentalizationa defeatedpopulationfirst into Indians, worked unrelentinglyat transforming then into a republic, and finally into a minority with a stereotyped profile before expunging them progressively from the territoryof the city and the urbanlandscape.
ANDEANISATION AND OCCIDENTALIZATION

The Andean world was also, from the sixteenth century on, the theater of multiple culturalconfrontations,of intermixings,migrations,and interbreeding that engenderednew collective identities. The processes of acculturation developed in both directions:On one side, the indigenous societies subjected to the colonial system received, according to diverse modalities, Occidental contributions;and on the other, the Spanish were inevitably subjectedto the which influences of the American milieu (on this "inverse acculturation," producedCreole culture, see the work of Solange Alberroon The Spanish in Colonial Mexico).14We are interestedhere in the phenomenaof acculturation affecting indigenous societies, which themselves appear complex, variable, To summarize(and simplify), one can distinguish in and even contradictory. the Andean world two opposed types of acculturation: First, on the one hand,principallyin the frameworkof indigenouscommunities stemming from colonial reductions, Amerindiansocieties absorbed a certainnumberof occidental elements while integratingthese in the systems of representation logic: This type of governedby a specifically autochthonous the term Indianness what defined was acculturation precisely by engendered and correspondedeventually to a process of Andeanization.
14

Solange Alberro: Les Espagnols dans le Mexique colonial. Histoire d'une acculturation

(Cahiers des Annales, Paris, 1992).

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at once biologSecond, on the otherhand,the phenomenaof interbreeding, ical and cultural,which developed principallyin the urbanand mining centers, gave place equally to a plurisecularsocial ascension, such that the boundaries between the interbred culturewhich resultedand Creole cultureseemed someas well as slippages in both times fluid, permittingall possible intermediaries directionsbut from an indigenous point of view was a process of Occidentalization. If these movements of Occidentalizationand Andeanization spread in a parallelmannerin distinct milieu, they neverthelessdid not remain separated from one another,for these milieus continue to be linked by tight relationships, maintainedby the migrationsthemselves and the intermixingof populations, so much so that the processes in essence opposed each other and in fact intersected,interfered,even imbricatedwith each other.To put it anotherway, these are contraryfluxes that one sees at work, in which the inverse effects neverthelessreact,one upon another,to the point of mutuallyreinforcingeach other in their antinomy:Andeanizationproducedan Indiannesswith specific characteristicswhich was subjected to Spanish and then Creole domination and then committed to a path of marginalization; Occidentalizationlead to a more or less progressiveintegrationof the interbredclasses into Creole society. More or less, for the process of Occidentalizationfollowed neither a unilinearnor a uniformcourse. Between the Indianpole on the one hand and the Creole pole on the other lies the complexity of interbredidentities which, are at the same time signaledby their own traitsand dissolved contradictorily, in the face of moving boundaries.In this unstablecontext, the marginalization of one appears all the more radical as the integrationof the other becomes more massive and complete. It is this combined play of exclusion and assimilation that our researchmust attemptto bring to light, including its particular rhythmsand the respectiveperiodizationsthemselves, which variedaccording to a regionalor local situation.But we know thatin the end, duringthe course of centuries,within the same area,it is Occidentalization that ends up prevailing over Andeanization, of which nevertheless something remains, to the extent that the residual Indians find themselves in our day, in effect, more marginalizedthan ever. The questionmight be posed in anotherway: How do we make sense of the fact that Indians still remain in our own time, despite the diverse interbreedings exercised over Indianness for five centuries in a constant process of erosion?It is also appropriate to go back to the origins of colonial society and to observe that Indianness is itself the culmination of vast phenomena of interbreeding,not only with the Spanish, but also, and first of all, within the indigenous world. At the time that they invaded the Inca Empire, the Spanish encountered several dozen ethnic groups or political formations,which little by little lost their own as they dissolved characteristicsduringthe colonial transformation

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into what has become, in effect, their communityof Indianness.On the high AndeanplateauaroundLake Titicaca,the Incas had themselves imposed their dominance,one or two centuriesbefore, over a half a dozen chieftainshipsor realms that still formed, at the time of the Europeaninvasion, distinct sociopolitical unities which the Spanishdesignatedby the term naciones (containing in turn diverse subdivisions). These Lupaqas,Pacajes, Carangas,Soras, and other Quillacas spoke the same language,Aymara,and shareda common universe of symbolic representations.Where among these Indians lay the limits of a sentimentof belonging to a collective entity? The lines of greatest separationmight lay within the Aymarawhole, among the different nations between different But the lines of separation noted by colonial documentation. social groupshave a more or less strongintensity, allowing thresholdsto shift at various levels accordingto the historical conjuncture.It is in this manner that the politics of the regroupingof the population(reducciones),carriedout principallyby viceroy Franciscode Toledo, helped to disruptthe political and socio-economic organization of the indigenous world: The Cacique hierarchies suffered a repeated series of ruptureswhile affirming new autonomies. The Spanish authoritiesimposed in effect taxation (for the tributeand the mita) within the frameworkof the regroupedvillages, which in the end With this progressive fragformed the basic units of viceroy administration. mentation,from the end of the sixteenth century to aroundthe beginning of the seventeenth, the traditionalnetworks of solidarity were forced to define themselves within increasinglynarrowlimits, passing, thus, from membership to the indigenous communityof colonial in a vast chieftainshipto attachment origin. A remarkablephenomenonmanifesteditself in most of the regroupedvillages: They were always composed of two halves, generally designated accordingto the categoriesof High and Low, which regroupedthe ayllus of new communities. To put it anotherway, despite the disruptionsprovoked by the Europeaninvasion and by the process of dividing up the old chieftainships, the colonial communities were reconstitutedeverywhere on the basis of a dualistic organization.In his advice to Francisco de Toledo for the Government of Peru,15 the auditorJuande Matienzo officially recommendedthat the new villages be placed into two principaldistricts:hence, the recognitionand application by the Spanish authoritiesthemselves of a specifically Andean model. But the permanenceof the principles of organizationwas from that time on combined with profoundchanges regardingtheir exercise, for it was the same system of bipartitedivision and of interlockings,peculiarto Andean dualism, on which the definition of collective identities at a more local level was founded by lowering the threshold of the largest division. Despite this reduction of underlying territorialunity, the principles of dualistic organi15

Juan de Matienzo, Gobierno del Peru (Paris, 1967).

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zation nevertheless continued to inform the society globally and to assure a multiplicity of functions; it was also the same binary logic that everywhere orderedthe distributionof space, the redivision of social groups,the representation of time, and finally the conception of the universe. The Andean dualistic schemes also appeared as powerful operators by means of which the indigenous world not only adapteditself to colonial dominationbut furthermore absorbedthe contributionsof the Occident into the interiorof a system of representations which remained subject, despite reorientationsand distortions, to preexisting logics. This incorporationof foreign elements in an autochthonousunit which conserved its principles of organizationaccounted in particularfor the most remarkablecharacteristicsof the process of religious acculturationin the Andean world. This process did not simply amountto a series of recoveries, ortranslations. Itis known,forexample,thatSaintJacques,the reinterpretations, knightbrandishinghis sword, was assimilatedinto Illapa,the god of lightning andof thunder, just as the superposingof Christonto the Sun was favoredby the proximity of the dates of the solstice and Corpus Christi. But in practice the novelty of the processlay not in these identificationsin andof themselves,butin the fact thatthey took partin a system of classificationandthatthe components of the syncretic combination, whether pagan or Christian,found themselves subjected to pairs of binary opposites (high-low, right-left, masculinefeminine, and so forth) of the dualistic order. In the frameworkof sacred the saintsquitelogically came to occupy the upperextremityof the topography, vertical axis, while the devils were symmetrically positioned at the lower extreme. Moreover,the original traitsof Andean dualism affected, even more themselves:Fromthe time thatthey entered subtly,the Occidentalcontributions into the play of classifying categories, they were in turnsusceptibleto infinite divisions. In this way the Virgindisaggregated into differentaspects:On the one hand she resided in the Upper World, with the saints; and on the other, she theEarth-Mother and,in this aspect,belongedequally mergedwithPachamama, to the Lower World.In an analogousmannerthe ancientdivinity for whom she was a substitute, thegreatidol of LakeTiticaca,was on theone hand Copacabana, transformed into the Virgin of Copacabana,clearly celestial, but on the other, survivedin theformof aquaticandinfernalsirens.16 In sum,despitechanges,the perpetual logics in the Andeancontinuitieswere whatgave orderto thereligious in the colonial epoch, andparticularly in the seventeenthcentury: restructurings In the end, it was an example of the phenomenonof Andeanization. To summarize, the model governed by a dualistic order controlled this combinationof a territorialunity with pagan-Christiansyncretismon which were founded the new identities born of the colonial transformations. These
16 Cf Nathan Wachtel. Le retour des ancetres. Les Indiens Urus de Bolivie (XXeme-XVIeme siecle). Essai d'histoire regressive. (Paris, 1990), 549-58.

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did not, however, follow concomitant rhythms. The conjuncturesdiffered accordingto the type of phenomenonenvisaged and not without some overlapping or discrepanciesbetween contextualfunction and local conditions. If the process of the fragmentationof ancient chieftainships began with the Europeaninvasion and if the indigenous communities constituting the new foundationalunits tracedtheir origin generally to the reduccionesorderedby the Spanishadministration in the second half of the sixteenthcentury,the ties of solidaritythat extended their networksacross a large scale (regional, even interregional)often persisted up to the end of the seventeenth century and eroded only gradually.In the case of evangelization and the "extirpationof idolatries,"both collided with strongforms of resistance,so much so thatin an early period the two camps of belief, Christianand autochthonous,remained while giving way to reciprocalreinterpretations and not mergingin a synthesis until a period which may be located approximatelyin the second half of the seventeenthcentury.The institutionalexpression of this pagan-christiansyncretism, namely the system of rotation of religious offices, did not in turn seem to emerge as a regularpracticeuntil well into the eighteenthcentury,so that the crystallizationof elements constitutingthe model to which Andean worked Indiannessconformed did not take place until after the restructuring out over nearly two centuries. During this time an inverse movement of Occidentalizationdid its work, principallyin the urbanmilieu and in the mining centers. The history of the Indians of the cities in the Andean world during the colonial period still remains largely unknown. The case of the three principalcities of the high plateau in present-dayBolivia-Potosi, Oruro,and La Paz-will be studied as illustrations,allowing us to enter into the details of certaincolonial transformations. Potosi, the Imperial City founded in 1545 at the foot of Cerro and well known for its fabulous silver mines, rapidlybecame one of the most populous cities of the Occidentalworld:At the beginning of the seventeenthcenturyits populationwas estimated at close to 130,000 inhabitants(6,000 Spanish and 120,000 Indians). More so than Cuzco, the old Inca capital, or Lima, the capital of the Viceroyalty,it is at Potosi that, with the flood of migrantsfrom all parts, the intermixingof the Andean populationsbegan, followed by the process of internal interbreedingthat resulted in the dissolution of ancient ethnic identities. The census taken in the time of Franciscode Toledo, in 1575, registeredat Potosi a list of 690 taxpayerslisted in the category of yanaconas, which is to in the city and who have alreadydetached say Indianswho reside permanently themselves from their communityof origin.17In fact, they come from regions

17

Ibid, 476-7.

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as far away as those of Cuzco (37 percent), Lake Titicaca (18 percent), Huamanga (11 percent), and more distant still, since certain ones amongst them are originally from Quito, Bogota, and even from Mexico. The census indicates that an enormous majority of the Indian yanaconas (536, or 78 percent) are guayradores,or miners, who use traditionalAndean techniques. For nearly thirty years, in effect, from 1545 to around 1575 (when the amalgam was introduced),these Indians essentially controlled the extraction of crude ore that was later convertedinto silver. These Indiansformed teams of workerswho negotiatedreal contractswith the Spanishmining entrepreneurs: They procuredthe necessarytools for themselves and agreedto supply a fixed quantity of minerals while keeping the extracted surplus for themselves. Moreover, the Spanish had to employ the same indigenous teams to make silver from their portion of the ore. Certain sectors of the Andean world, therefore, are to be found notably engaged in the new economic networks from very early on. The other yanaconas of Potosi were essentially artisans such as tailors, cobblers, saddlers, and carpenters,who worked at crafts that the Spanishintroduced.Therewas even a complementof 47 merchantswhose presence appearsall the more notablein the traditionaleconomic organization in the central and southernAndes founded on an ideal of complementarity which excluded commercial exchanges. An anonymousdescriptionof Potosi, dating from 1603, confirms this integrationinto the colonial economic system in anothercontext (afterthe Indians had long lost technical control over the productionof silver). An enumerated table of the indigenouspopulationindicatesthat 30,000 Indiansworkedin the mines or performedthe services linked to the exploitation of mines, while 30,000 others "find themselves in this City occupied with diverse trades and activities."'8 Regarding the former, if the hardest tasks (mostly inside the mine) were carried out by the 4,780 miners forced into obligatory labor, another10,000 free workerswere requiredat the various stages of production. Still, this half of the populationreceived salaries(unequalaccordingto whether one is dealing with the mita or a voluntary engagement). The Indians occupied with other trades, which constitutedthe other half, appearedto be working on their own behalf. Among these, one discovers 1,000 merchants who supplied the constructiontimber;2,700 who procuredthe wood for fuel; to the city the necessary foodstuffs and, last, 10,000 Indians who transported and fodder. The Indians in this last category were not limited to the tasks of Without a doubt they also included Indians coming from commutransport: nities to sell a partof theirproduceat Potosi and those who maintainedin this way (along with the other migrants) the multiple links between the rural milieu and the urbancenter. All of these Indiansrubbedshouldersin Potosi, learningfrom one another
18 Ibid., 478-9.

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to recognize theirdifferencesand theircommon condition.While it is truethat the mitayos coming from the same corregimientowere attachedto the same parish (the Pacajes to that of the Concepcion, the Caracarasto that of San Cristobal, and so forth), they were not the only residents, as other Indians lived there as well; nor were their neighborhoodsrestricted to streets and markets, for they extended in the workplace as well: The mita in effect allocated to each of its beneficiaries contingents of Indians of different origins, and inversely the mitayos of the same origin found themselves dispersed and regroupedwith other Indians.There is all the more reason for free workers to have the same experience. The intermixing of the population thus affected every aspect of daily life in Potosi, leading us to conclude that it very much representedthe crucible in which the gestation of a new identity took but where at the same time the permanent place, one in fact of interbreeding contact with the Spanish sector, the indefinitely renewed movement of social ascent, and the opening onto vast networks reaching even to the Old World constantly sustained a strong process of Occidentalization. Analogous phenomenaoccurred in a city such as Oruro,even though its silver mines were much less important thanthose of Potosi. It is not surprising to find that the majorityof the 1,246forasteros registeredin the census of the Duke of La Palata are,19in 1683, employed in mining production;but one trades discovers that,as in Potosi, a significantpartof them exercised artisanal (159, or 13 (181, or 14.5 percent) or occupations linked to transportation in appearance,distinguishthis percent). Two remarkabletraits, contradictory than forasteros. On the one more half of them (54 percent) of hand, group were born in Oruro,descendantsof migrantsalready settled in the city; and among those who were not born there, more than a quarter(27 percent) had resided there for at least five years: The constant flux of migrationsdid not prevent a certain stability in that urbanpopulation.On the other, despite the long historyof these migrations(of which many go back three or four generations, all the way to the time of the founding of Oruro), a very substantial majority(83 percent) of these forasteroscontinue to pay tributeto the caciques of their original villages. Moreover,more than half of them (54 percent) have even fulfilled their obligation of mita in Potosi "in silver" (which is to say that they paid a monetarycommutationto their caciques, and one mentions only for the sake of the recordthe 2 percent who served in person). To put it anotherway, even in this urbanmilieu, the majorityof these forasteros still conserved, at the end of the seventeenthcentury,ties with their commuin Oruroextended its influence nities of origin. The crucible of acculturation the well beyond the limits of the city, through multipleramificationsthatunite the urbanIndians with the more distant countryside.
19 Ibid. 480-2.

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The third case, La Paz, representsanotherexample, not a mining center20 but a commercialway station,one situatedon the grandaxis linking Cuzco to Potosi and which benefited as well from its proximity to the yungas, the Amazonian Piedmont in which cocoa leaves were produced.The city of La Paz presents anotherpeculiarity:its jurisdiction encompassed two, and later three, peripheralrural parishes organized after the model of the indigenous and San Sebastian).Duringthe colonicommunity(San Pedro,SantaBarbara, al period, therefore,some of the Indiansof La Paz were true urbanites,while others were suburbancountry dwellers.21 If to begin with, one examines the global evolution of the populationof La Paz, to the extent that available documentationpermits,one finds the indigenous sector, taken in its ensemble, suffered long-term erosion. Our earliest informationdates back to 1586, when La Paz contained6,000 inhabitants,of which 96 percentwere Indians.The first decline appearsin the middle of the seventeenth century. In 1650, the population rose slightly, to 7,500 inhabitants, but among these the Indians did not representmore than 81 percent, while the category of half-castes (recordedfor the first time) increasedto 13 percent, and that of the Spanishonly to 6 percent.A second decline appeared in 1675, when the total populationhad almost doubled to 12,000 inhabitants; but the Indian portion of the populationhad diminishedto 60 percent, while the half-castes and Spanish (the two categories are confounded) made up 40 percent.Withouta doubt the strong urbangrowth, accompaniedby the swell of half-castes, meant once again great waves of migrations.22But then for nearlytwo centuries,if the populationof La Paz continuedto grow (above the fluctuationswhich we cannot examine here in detail), on the whole a certain stability in its composition can be observed: it is, thus, that in 1854, out of some 60,000 inhabitants,58 percent are inscribed in the category of Indians, while 42 percentare half-castes and whites (categories still confounded).It is during the second half of the nineteenth century that a new and marked decline occurs, resulting in a profound disruptionof the urbanlandscape by the beginning of the twentieth century.The census of 1909 counted around 80,000 inhabitants,among whom one may distinguish30 percentIndians,32 percenthalf-castes, and 38 percentwhites. Moreover,the evolution of the first half of the twentiethcenturywould only continuethese shifts with recompositions, therebyaccentuatingthem. In 1942, La Paz counted more than 300,000 inhabitants,of which 23 percent are recordedas Indians, 35 percent as halfcastes, and 41 percent as whites. Every bit as much as Potosi or Oruro,but accordingto other modalities, the city of La Paz played the role of a crucible for the process of Occidentalization.23
20 Cf Rossana Barragan,Espacio urbanoy dinamica etnica. La Paz en el siglo XIX. (La Paz,
Hisbol, 1990). 21 Ibid. 85-122.
22 Ibid. 72-74. 23 Ibid. 76-82

and 75.

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After this sketch, in broadstrokes,of the global evolution of the population of La Paz, we must call attentionto several particular points and examine in detail the distribution of of in greater categories people the differentdistricts. Let us returnthereforeto the threeruralparishessituatedon the periphery. For two of these, San Sebastian and Santa Barbara,the bipartite organization seemed to disappearat the very moment of their creationfollowing the division of the original parish, called de las piezas at the end of the seventeenth century.At San Pedro, on the contrary,the dualist order,with its two halves, Hanansayaand Hurinsaya,was still testified to in 1770 and did not fade in turnuntil afterthe greatIndianuprisingof 1781 (duringwhich the rebel troops laid siege to La Paz for six months, spreadingterrorthroughoutCreole society). Let us clarify here that the threeruralparisheswere not only peopled by Indians of the community, for very early on these parishes underwentthe progressive intrusionof the Spanish, who establishedhaciendasthere. These encroachmentsaccelerated after 1781, particularlyin San Sebastian and in Santa Barbara,where the category of originarios Indians then disappeared (although it survived in San Pedro). A second acceleration, of a different characterbut acting in the same direction,occurredin the second half of the nineteenthcentury, with urbanexpansion: Santa Barbaraand San Sebastian saw themselves thereafterabsorbedinto the city itself. In fact, in 1877 the populationof La Paz reached 70,000 inhabitants.This included some 6,000 in the parishof San Pedro,as a substanmore ruralIndians,who concentrated tial majority(70 percent).24 When the three categories (Indian, half-caste and whites) are considered together,it is possible to see thatafterthe same census of 1877 they can all be in each of the eight districtswhich make up the found, in unequaldistribution, city, althoughSan Pedro is distinguishedanew by showing the most elevated percentagesnot only of Indians (30 percent) but also of half-castes (64 percent). Strong correspondencesappearas well between the geography of the districts and the distributionof occupations:Most artisanalactivity (from 70 to 90 percent)of bakers,butchers,tailors, cobblers, hatters,and so forth) was thatout of in the peripheral districts.Conversely,it is remarkable concentrated the entire populationof La Paz, 32 percentof Indiansand 36 percentof halfcastes were neverthelessregisteredin the centraldistricts,while 44 percentof whites were to be found also in the peripheraldistricts.That these last should more clearly Indianor half-caste is not, in be distinguishedby characteristics the essential matteris that in proportionsthat the end, the least bit surprising; were, to be sure, variable, all the categories of people rubbed shouldersand intermixedin all the districts of the city.25 One other observationmust be made on the sexual distributionwithin the categoryof half-castes,for the same census of 1877 indicatesthatfor all of the
24

Ibid. 96-122,

and 185 passim.

25

Ibid. cf table, 196-7.

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districts of La Paz, 61 percent were women, and only 39 percent, men. This strong imbalanceconfirms, on the one hand, the vital role that women played in the migratorymovements towardsthe city and the processes of interbreeding. As recent work shows, it was generally migrants(or their descendants) who, from an early epoch of the colonial period, exercised the urbanoccupations of domestics and, above all, the activity of sellers (regatonas) in the marketstalls.26But the imbalanceregisteredby the census also indicated,on the other hand, the complex problem of identifying individuals attributedto the category of half-caste. It will be recalled here that one of the most visible criteria, and one which denoted a self-designation, for example, that of clothing, was in effect truly pertinentonly for women. Half-caste men distinguished themselves little, in this view, from the Creole membersof society (if not by the quality of their clothing); while half-caste women, from the sixteenth century on and throughoutthe colonial and later republicanperiods, them as despite the many changing fashions, wore clothing that differentiated much from the Spanish as from the Indians.Even today (and since aroundthe end of the eighteenthcentury),in La Paz as on all the high Andean plain, the famous pollera (gatheredand layered skirts), inheritedfrom an ancient form of dress used by Creole women, is a quasi-emblematicsign of the chola.27 Why does the latter,who does so much to distinguishherself from the Indian woman, not follow the course of Occidentalizationto its end? Her daughter, especially now, doubtless does so: Did not the pollera mark a stage in the process which has continued through generations?This apparentlymodest costume raises the whole problem, which we may only invoke here, of the autonomy of a half-caste culture. If the constitutionof the Indiansas a minorityhas followed, in Mexico and in the Andean world, distinct modalities and differentrhythms,in the end it results in a common effacementof the collective identitiescreatedby colonial domination. During several centuries Indianization and Occidentalization have produced opposite effects, but the processes in reality have become intermingled;and it is Occidentalizationwhich, everywhere, has finished as the victor.But this has not been entirelytrue,for Indiansremainminoritiesall the same, if one is to be precise. Is this a question of last vestiges before an ineluctable and final disappearance,or will the construction of new consciousnesses of identity open other perspectives for them (as the "neoindigenist"movementswhich have been developing over the course of the last few years seem to testify)? The question reaches beyond the bounds of our brief reflection here. Yet the Mexican case as well as that of the Andean world should perhaps
27 Cf Rossana Barragan,"Entre polleras, nanacas y lliqllas. Los mestizos y cholas en la conformacion de la "TerceraRepublica," in Tradiciony modernidad en los Andes, Henrique Urbano, ed. (Cuzco, 1993), 43-73.

26 Ibid. 192 and passim.

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incite us to reconsiderthe infatuationwith which we interestourselves these days with minorities,ethnic and other;to reflect on the mannerin which they springup and constructthemselves within our discourseand our imagination; finally, to scrutinizethe mannerin which they disappearwhen lucidity, usury, or the effects of fashion, take our attentionelsewhere. The rhetoricof alterity equally meritsreview in the light of an historicalexperiencewhich reveals the extent to which the Creole and Europeanintellectual elites have long been fond of a concept which embraces the most diverse strategies.

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