Invaders as Ancestors: On the Intercultural Making and Unmaking of Spanish Colonialism in the Andes

Peter Gose

© 2008

Since pre-Incan times, native Andean people had worshipped their ancestors, and the custom continued even after the arrival of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. Ancestor-worship however, did not exclude members of other cultures: in fact, the Andeans welcomed outsiders as ancestors. Invaders as Ancestors examines how this unique cultural practice first facilitated Spanish colonization and eventually undid the colonial project when the Spanish attacked ancestor worship as idolatry and Andeans adopted Spanish political and religious forms to challenge indigenous rulers.

In this work, Peter Gose demonstrates the ways in which Andeans converted conquest confrontations into relations of kinship and obligation and then worshipped Christianized and racially "white" spirits after the Spaniards invaded, though the conquering Spaniards prevented actual kinship bonds with the Andeans by adhering to strict rules of racial separation. Invaders as Ancestors explores an alternative response to colonization beyond the predictable resistance narrative, presenting instead a creative form of transculturation under the agency of the Andeans. Invaders as Ancestors is a fascinating account of one of the most unusual transcultural encounters in the history of colonialism.

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Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 404 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP002678

  • PUBLISHED DEC 2008

    From: $34.46

    Regular Price: $45.95

    ISBN 9780802096173
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2008

    From: $33.71

    Regular Price: $44.95

Quick Overview

Invaders as Ancestors examines how the unique practices involved in Andean ancestor-worship first facilitated Spanish colonization and eventually undid the colonial project.

Invaders as Ancestors: On the Intercultural Making and Unmaking of Spanish Colonialism in the Andes

Peter Gose

© 2008

Since pre-Incan times, native Andean people had worshipped their ancestors, and the custom continued even after the arrival of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. Ancestor-worship however, did not exclude members of other cultures: in fact, the Andeans welcomed outsiders as ancestors. Invaders as Ancestors examines how this unique cultural practice first facilitated Spanish colonization and eventually undid the colonial project when the Spanish attacked ancestor worship as idolatry and Andeans adopted Spanish political and religious forms to challenge indigenous rulers.

In this work, Peter Gose demonstrates the ways in which Andeans converted conquest confrontations into relations of kinship and obligation and then worshipped Christianized and racially "white" spirits after the Spaniards invaded, though the conquering Spaniards prevented actual kinship bonds with the Andeans by adhering to strict rules of racial separation. Invaders as Ancestors explores an alternative response to colonization beyond the predictable resistance narrative, presenting instead a creative form of transculturation under the agency of the Andeans. Invaders as Ancestors is a fascinating account of one of the most unusual transcultural encounters in the history of colonialism.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Anthropological Horizons
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 404 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 1.2in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    “Gose's monograph marks a handsome success in what one might call ‘big ethnohistory’’and has brought the history of vernacular sacred culture a long distance from the periphery toward the core of New World historiography.”


    Frank Salmon
    Journal of Latin American Studies vol 42:2010
  • Author Information

    Peter Gose is the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University.

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