Local-Imperial Interactions in the Frontier: Chimu and Inca Empires in the chaupiyunga of the Moche valley, Peru

Event Date: 

Friday, May 10, 2019 - 12:00pm

Event Location: 

  • HSSB 2001A
Dr. Alicia Boswell

Assistant Professor, History of Art and Architecture Department, UCSB

This talk examines the relationship of Collambay, a frontier community in the chaupiyunga zone of the Moche valley, Peru with two Andean empires, the Chimú (AD 900 – 1470) and the Inca (AD 1470 – 1532). The chaupiyunga (500 – 2300 mal) in the western foothills of the Central Andes have not been studied intensively by archaeologists. This ecological niche is known for its production of highly desired resources essential to Andean strategies of political economy, such as coca, and operated as a political frontier. Drawing on ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and archaeological evidence this case study offers an example of a frontier community’s interactions with two successive and distinctly different imperial powers. A longue durée perspective enables Boswell to document whom lived in Collambay and the continuities and changes in residents’ practices to understand their relations with imperial powers. Boswell’s work highlights the perspective of “marginal” groups and the value of understanding local practices and dynamics to examine local-imperial interactions.