Indigenous Responses To Colonization 2332 Introduction To Andean And Amazonian Cultures Ohio State Essay

828 words - 4 pages

Gabriella Mickel
2332 Introduction to Andean and Amazonian Cultures
Topic number: 1
Indigenous Responses to Colonization
In the late 15th century, Europeans, mainly the Spanish and Portuguese, began the
colonization of South America. The original wave of conquistadores brought the indigenous
people of South America war, slavery and disease. Indisputably, the Andean and Amazonian
people and their cultures were negatively impacted by the arrival of the conquistadores; however,
after the initial wave of calamitous conquest, Catholic missions and colonial governments
influenced changes that “were not simply in the direction of destruction, dissipation and
demoralization.” Throughout the course, there were readings that demonstrated the destructive,
dissipation and demoralization aspects of colonization and there were readings that showed how
the indigenous people adapted their cultures, in a way that was not completely destructive, to
blend with those of the European colonists.
In “Inca Imperialism, Ritual Change, and Cosmological Continuity in the Cotahuasi
Valley of Peru” by Justin Jennings the religious co-option strategy of the Incan empire is
compared with the Spanish strategy of strict conversion. The Inca co-option strategy allowed
conquered people to maintain their current base beliefs and ideals, while only making minor
changes in order to blend with the accepted standard Inca religion. While disputes would occur,
co-option was often a semi-passive process. The conversion strategy of the Spaniards required
conquered peoples to make many more drastic changes. The Spaniards attempted to completely
replace the indigenous religions with the Catholic religion. The Spanish conversion strategy
made opposition from the people they were trying to convert more tempting. Co-option and
conversion are very different strategies, however, looking back it is easy to see that the Spanish
conversion strategy was not completely successful and yielded a result similar to that of
co-option.
The attempted religious conversion of the indigenous people by the Spanish led to many
adaptations that preserved basic indigenous ideals, while creating new practices and traditions.
These changes were not necessarily destructive. For example, during the Inti Raymi there are
indigenous ceremonies for the summer solstice and connections to the Spanish tradition of the
Feast of Saint John the Baptist (Wibbelsman). This cultural change is a bit subtle, however, in
the reading by Michael Taussig and the film ​The Devil’s Miner ​the world of miners in the
Andean region where indigenous traditions and hints of the Spanish Catholic religion are
constantly intertwined is introduced. In...

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