Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru

TitleMoon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsSilverblatt, Irene
Number of Pages299
PublisherPrinceton University Press
CityPrinceton, NJ
Abstract

When the Spanish arrived in Peru in 1532, men of the Inca Empire worshipped the Sun as Father and their dead kings as ancestor heroes, while women venerated the Moon and her daughters, the Inca queens, as founders of female dynasties. In the pre-Inca period such notions of parallel descent were expressions of complementarity between men and women. Examining the interplay between gender ideologies and political hierarchy, Silverblatt shows how Inca rulers used their Sun and Moon traditions as methods of controlling women and the Andean peoples the Incas conquered. She then explores the process by which the Spaniards employed European male and female imageries to establish their own rule in Peru and to make new inroads on the power of native women, particularly poor peasant women. Harassed economically and abused sexually, Andean women fought back, earning in the process the Spaniards' condemnation as "witches." [Princeton University Press]

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14165734

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