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
City, CountryPrinceton, NJ
Abstract

Heavily influenced by Marxist anthropology and by debates about the social construction of gender, Irene Silverblatt examines religious and gender ideologies in the Andes prior to the Inca conquest, during their short reign (1450-1532), and after the coming of the Spanish. Though the pre-Inca period is relatively opaque Silverblatt argues that the sexes were relatively equal. Men's and women's work, men's and women's religion each upheld a portion of the universe. Women inherited from women, worshipped female gods and directed their cults; men inherited from men, and ruled cults whose gods were male. Gender was the dominant screen through which these people viewed life - and both sides could play. The Incas shared this gender-defined worldview, but used it to justify their conquest and control. They worshipped Viracocha, whom they claimed as the an-drogynous pro-genitor of Sun and Moon, respectively the ancestors of men and women.

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