Beyond the Lettered City
Indigenous Literacies in the Andes
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Duke University Press
Series: Narrating Native Histories
Title Page, Copyright
About the Series
Narrating Native Histories aims to foster a rethinking of the ethical, methodological, and conceptual frameworks within which we locate our work on Native histories and cultures. We seek to create a space for . . .
List of Illustrations
The research on which we base this study was funded by a Senior Collaborative Research Grant from the Getty Grant Program in 1995–96, permitting us to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and interpretation, . . .
From 1574 until his death in Madrid in 1590, Don Diego de Torres, the hereditary chief or cacique of the Muisca town of Turmequé, near Bogotá, fought a legal battle to regain the rights to his . . .
1. Imagining Colonial Culture
Andean peoples appropriated European representational forms within a colonial context that was more than a mere backdrop to their actions: it came to be an integral component of their worldview. . . .
2. Genre/Gender/Género: “Que no es uno ni otro, ni está claro”
Género is, by its etymological nature, a multifaceted word. When employed, it works to define, to distinguish, and to categorize so as to bring into proper focus social and cultural specificities. This . . .
3. The Indigenous Lettered City
The Spanish colonial social formation, writes Ángel Rama using a stunningly apposite metonym, can be best comprehended as a “lettered city,” a baroque edifice dedicated to the civilizing mission, . . .
4. Genres in Action
Up to this point we have only touched upon the conditions surrounding the production of legal documents. However, it is in the conditions of their transmission, reception, and subsequent use . . .
5. The King’s Quillca and the Rituality of Literacy
On 30 May 1613, two Muisca caciques, Don Francisco and Don Diego, wrote to King Philip II from their communities of Tuna and Suba, just a few leagues from Bogotá (agi/S 1613). They informed . . .
6. Reorienting the Colonial Body: Space and the Imposition of Literacy
Literacy, whether alphabetic or visual, is an intimately physical practice that involves the human body in a series of learned, though largely unconscious, activities: the position in which the reader . . .
In one of the early seventeenth- century Jesuit annual letters, a Muisca woman recounts a telling vision to her confessor. Twenty years earlier she had been seriously ill and sought the services of a . . .