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Summary:Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon explores for the first time the images that are central to the identity of modern Peru. It examines the representation and reinterpretation of myths, rituals, and other key symbols handed down over centuries. Peru, now seen as one of the six cradles of world civilization, has been the setting for the independent development of complex societies whose artistic achievements are outstanding. For over a century, anthropological research and archaeological discoveries, including that of Machu Picchu, have revealed a country with ancient origins, rooted in legend. The discovery of pre-Columbian sites and cultures that preceded the Inca, including the Chimú, Mochica, and Nazca, has helped forge a centuries-old universe.
This book follows in three stages the development of a living cultural identity. First it explores the myths and rituals of ancient Peruvian cultures, their role in forming Andean cosmology, and the symbols to which later periods continued to refer; it then shows the ways in which they were perpetuated, concealed, and hybridized under the Spanish Viceroyalty; and finally it considers their resurgence, affirmation, and transformation in the modern era, especially through the indigenista movement, whose superb but little-known art expresses the pride of an independent nation.
Containing a wealth of new material from an array of disciplines, this volume consists of essays by eminent Peruvian and international specialists, including Walter Alva, Richard L. Burger, Thomas B. F. Cummins, Natalia Majluf, and Luis Eduardo Wuffarden, as well as previously unpublished interviews with some of Peru’s leading cultural figures, among them Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
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