CORDIS - EU research results

Temporalities of Andean Heritage Landscapes

Project description

Understanding the concept of time in Andean indigenous heritage

The efforts of native communities to regain control over their archaeological heritage in combination with the necessity of project/site managers to protect indigenous archaeological sites lead to the need for a new approach to local temporalities. The EU-funded TAHL project will conduct ethnographic research on Andean indigenous heritage by inquiring into the Quechua principle of muyuy. It will focus on the perception of time via the material world and the use of space in the Chinchero area, in the Cuzco region of Peru. The muyuy is a social and political principle that secures social relationships in the countryside. It organises communal agricultural work and production in a rotating system that periodically allocates plots to families for their maintenance.


How can project/site managers consider local categories and ideas of time when conceptualizing, managing, and protecting indigenous archaeological sites in the Andes? At a time when politicians and scholars give increasing importance to local perspectives, few models exist for addressing the conflicting temporalities of Andean indigenous heritage. My project engages this problem by undertaking an ethnographic inquiry into the Quechua category of muyuy with reference to how time is understood through the material world and use of space in the community of Chinchero, in the Cuzco region of Peru. Muyuy is an Andean long-standing, key organising and dynamic principle of socio-political and ritual life that projects social relationships onto the landscape in different forms. Semantically, it is a concept charged with the temporalities of rotation, alternation, and circulation. As customary law and action, muyuy organises communal agricultural work and production by periodically rotating the plots allocated to families for their sustenance, ensuring rights to land. While muyuy has received some previous attention in the literature, my work will examine this idea in the most depth to date. My previous doctoral research on the topic has already laid the foundations for a more thorough and productive study. An emphasis on muyuy and other temporal categories is (relatively) new. By focusing on native temporalities my project intersects current anthropological debates on indigenous landscapes, as well as current indigenous efforts worldwide to regain control over their archaeological heritage.


Net EU contribution
€ 178 202,88
28006 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 178 202,88

Partners (1)