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The Social Agency of Things? Animism and Materiality in the Andes

  • Bill Sillar (a1)


A major focus of inter-disciplinary debate has been the need to bridge the Cartesian divide between people as active subjects and inert passive objects, to better reflect how things provoke and resist human actions through their ‘secondary agency’. Many Central Andean people express a deep concern about their relationship with places and things, which they communicate with through daily work and rituals involving ‘sympathetic magic’. A consideration of Andean animism emphasizes how agency is located in the social relationship people have with the material world and how material objects can have social identities.


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Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • ISSN: 0959-7743
  • EISSN: 1474-0540
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-archaeological-journal
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