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Status Distinction and Legitimation of Power as Reflected in Changing Patterns of Consumption in Late Prehispanic Peru

  • Cathy Lynne Costin (a1) and Timothy Earle (a2)

Abstract

Patterns in household consumption reflect changing strategies of control, finance, and legitimation used by the Inka empire after their conquest of the northern Wanka of Central Peru. Changes in consumption reflect differential access to goods. In pre-Inka Wanka II, the evidence of social stratification was relatively marked; in Wanka III—under Inka domination—this difference continued but narrowed significantly. The symbolic referents of prestige wares that distinguished elites from commoners changed from local styles to those conforming to Inka stylistic canons. We also recognize changing participation in activities associated with economic control and legitimation. In Wanka II, elite households yielded evidence of greater involvement in storage and feasting. In Wanka III, the overall quantities of items associated with these activities fell and the difference between elites and commoners was diminished as the state co-opted local elite prerogatives of status and power.

Résumé

Los patrones de consumo de la unidad doméstica señalan cambios en las estrategias de control, financiamiento, y legitimación usadas por el imperio Inka despues de conquistar la parte norte del señorío Wanka, en los Andes centrales. Estos cambios reflejan el acceso diferencial a bienes de consumo. En el período Wanka II, los signos de estratificación social eran claramente demarcados; en el período Wanka III—bajo el dominio Inka—estas diferencias continuaron aunque fueron reducidas significativamente. Los referentes simbólicos de prestigio que diferenciaban a los miembros de la nobleza de los "comunes" cambiaron del estilo local a aquellos patrones que conformaban al estilo Inka. Tambien se pueden reconocer cambios en la participación en actividades asociadas con el control económico y legitimación. En el período Wanka II hay evidencias de un mayor rol de las unidades domésticas de la nobleza en actividades de almacenamiento y en celebraciones. En el período Wanka HI, la cantidad de objetos asociados con estas actividades disminuyó y las diferencias entre nobles y comunes fueron reducidas mientras que el estado Inka absorbió las prerrogativas de status y poder de la elite local.

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Status Distinction and Legitimation of Power as Reflected in Changing Patterns of Consumption in Late Prehispanic Peru

  • Cathy Lynne Costin (a1) and Timothy Earle (a2)

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