By Mary Weismantel
Cholas and Pishtacos are provocative characters from South American well known culture—a sensual mixed-race girl and a frightening white killerwho appear in every little thing from horror tales and soiled jokes to romantic novels and trip posters. during this elegantly written publication, those figures develop into cars for an exploration of race, intercourse, and violence that attracts the reader into the shiny landscapes and energetic towns of the Andes. Weismantel's concept of race and intercourse starts off now not with person identification yet with 3 different types of social and monetary interplay: estrangement, alternate, and accumulation. She maps the limitations that separate white and Indian, male and female-barriers that exist now not so that it will hinder trade, yet fairly to exacerbate its inequality.
Weismantel weaves jointly assets starting from her personal fieldwork and the phrases of potato , lodge maids, and travelers to vintage works by way of photographer Martin Chambi and novelist José María Arguedas. Cholas and Pishtacos is usually an stress-free and informative creation to a comparatively unknown zone of the Americas.
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Additional info for Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes (Women in Culture and Society)
Talking about pishtacos is one means by which people in the Andes explore a recurrent fantasy of modem life: that of the stranger who brings romance, fame, or fortune. Through the iiakaq, Andean popular culture expresses a skepticism about these chance encounters, for 3 4 Part One: Estrangement while these moments do indeed sparkle with opportunity and danger, we arrive at them unequally armed. Nor do we ever really meet as strangers: from the very beginning, we recognize each other by the indelible markings of race, sex, and class-and, as the iiakaq reminds us, this knowledge makes us afraid.
He captured an especially telling incident in 1972, when then-president Rodriguez Lara-a landowner from the Zumbagua region-responded to a question about the loss of indigenous land rights with the words, "There is no more Indian Chapter 1: City of Indians problem. " 13 Within a nation governed by an ideology of unrelenting assimilationism, Whitten notes, black and Indian residents are not only "ethnically tagged as nonnational," but also as "nonnationalist" (Whitten 1981: 14). To speak of someone as Indian is specifically to define that person as incapable of membership in the body politic, and hence to exclude him or her from participation in it-thus freeing the state to act solely in defense of white interests.
Only with such an understanding can we begin to place the social geography of the Andes within the larger topography of the American continent. Though the pishtaco's peculiar traits have some cultural specificity, he is strikingly similar to racial bogeys elsewhere in the Americas. " Movement from one place to another was highly charged with racial meanings. In the town center, whiteness appears natural, and blackness out of place. The "all-black spaces on the edges of town" were different. They were "a location where black folks associated whiteness with the terrible, the terrifYing, the terrorizing.