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A Culture of Stone


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xiii
Note on Orthography xv
Introduction: Coming to Terms with Inka Rocks 1
1. Rock and Remembrance 25
2. Rock and Reciprocity 65
3. Rock and Rule 103
4. Rock in Ruins 143
Notes 179
Glossary of Quechua Terms 255
Bibliography 257
Index 289

Promotional Information

Examines pre-Hispanic Inka perspectives on stone, as they are articulated in and through the rocks themselves, as well as in Andean stories about stone

About the Author

Carolyn Dean is Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Inka Bodies and the Body of Christ: Corpus Christi in Colonial Cuzco, Peru, also published by Duke University Press.


"The sixteenth-century Spanish priest Cristobal de Albornoz noted that over half of the sacred things in the Inka capital of Cuzco were rocks. In her stimulating new book Carolyn Dean explores this 'culture of stone,' exploring ways in which rock outcrops and other rock forms were the focus of ritual practice and spiritual belief. This insightful and thought-provoking study reframes the way we consider the Inka visual world, illuminating key aspects of pre-Hispanic understandings of landscape and the built environment." Joanne Pillsbury, Director of Pre-Columbian Studies, Dumbarton Oaks "By addressing both well-known and understudied objects, Carolyn Dean offers sophisticated new insights into Inka practices. Moreover, while advancing scholarship on the colonial Andes, she tackles issues relating to the interpretation of non-Western art and its reception, contributing to debates on material objects and the built environment in a wide range of fields." Dana Leibsohn, Art Department, Smith College "Gold, silver, and weaving are the riches most often associated with the Inka, but as Carolyn Dean's scholarly study demonstrates, their greatest investment of thought and time was in stone. Moving between descriptions of the magnificent walls of Inka imperial buildings and worked stones in situ, Dean links them as related parts of Inka visual expression that is hard to comprehend and not easily recognized. But, as Dean stresses, there is an intimate relationship between Andeans and stone that is at the heart of the greatest empire of Ancient America."--Thomas B. F. Cummins, Harvard University "Carolyn Dean, an art historian, has pieced together a very interesting book on the meaning of stone for the Inkas, based on observations she has made on 'hikes and outings' and supplemented by good use of colonial documentation. The book is well written and well illustrated with photographs..." - Journal of American Studies, November 2012

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