By Mary Weismantel

Cholas and Pishtacos are provocative characters from South American well known culture—a sensual mixed-race girl and a scary white killerwho appear in every thing from horror tales and soiled jokes to romantic novels and commute posters. during this elegantly written ebook, those figures turn into autos for an exploration of race, intercourse, and violence that attracts the reader into the bright landscapes and full of life towns of the Andes. Weismantel's concept of race and intercourse starts now not with person identification yet with 3 types of social and financial interplay: estrangement, alternate, and accumulation. She maps the limitations that separate white and Indian, male and female-barriers that exist now not for you to hinder trade, yet quite to exacerbate its inequality.

Weismantel weaves jointly assets starting from her personal fieldwork and the phrases of potato dealers, lodge maids, and travelers to vintage works through photographer Martin Chambi and novelist José María Arguedas. Cholas and Pishtacos is additionally an relaxing and informative advent to a comparatively unknown quarter of the Americas.

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Extra resources for Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes (Women in Culture and Society)

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As we shall see, cholo/a often In trod u cti on xxxv functions as a synonym, uttered with all the vitriol that could ever be attached to the word indio. For hatred is often there, perhaps most visible in the fact that indio and its synonyms are almost never heard alone. The most common phrase in which the word appears is indio sucio ("dirty Indian"); indeed, the very concept of an Indian is strongly associated with dirt and disease. " There are various ways to say "stupid Indian"; indios mudos and indios brutos, for example, are phrases so common as to be cliched.

37 I was initially surprised to hear the word inga, for Zumbagua was never part of the Inca empire, and people there do not identify with Incas as ancestors. I gradually realized that in local Quichua inga frequently functioned as a euphemism for runa, much as aut6ctono did for indio in local Spanish. This reluctance to use the word runa to modify shimi is not surprising. In Cotopaxi Spanish, runa is often used as an adjective to describe anything foul, ugly, coarse, or of poor quality. " And just as in my white Missouri childhood, when casually offensive expressions like "nigger-rigged" were all too common, Spanish-speakers in Cotopaxi have coined compound words using runa.

46 But does the existence of these categories really mitigate the effect of the white/nonwhite binary? In fact, race does not appear any less powerful-or less brutalwhen viewed from the perspective of those whom others call cholas: quite the opposite. As we shall see in chapter 3, the ambiguous location that market women occupy in Andean racial hierarchies is no comfortable "buffer zone," as Degler imagined. S. " They know-perhaps more intimately than anyone-that the meeting place of the races is "una herida abierta," an open wound, where the subordinate race "grates against the other and bleeds" (1987: 3).

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