notes to introDuction
1. I use the relatively neutral term story, which may be either fiction or non-
fiction or some combination of the two, to avoid the unfortunate implications
of terms such as myth, tale, legend, fable, and history. For a useful discussion
of various terms used to describe Quechua stories, see Allen, “Time, Place
and Narrative”; and Howard-Malverde, The Speaking of History, 44–45. Also,
I use the words rock and stone interchangeably, though the word rock in Eng-
lish sometimes retains a connotation of naturalness in comparison with stone.
2. Summers wisely observes that “one of the deepest and simplest projec-
tions into unfamiliar art we can make is the assumption that we understand its
purpose, and as a matter of basic historical procedure, it should be assumed
that we do not immediately understand purpose” (Real Spaces, 63). Whether or
not the rocks considered here can be accurately termed art, as will be dis-
cussed further, I apply his point to unfamiliar material culture more generally.
3. For an insightful discussion of contemporary Andean knowledge of the
land and its features based on her ethnographic work in the Quechua com-
munity of Sonqo, located north and east of Cuzco, see Allen, The Hold Life
Has, 41.
4. There is some disagreement about whether Andeans recognize that
living spirits reside in inert natural objects, or that those objects are them-
selves alive. For a discussion of Andean religious beliefs and some of the vari-
ous characterizations—animistic, pantheistic, telluric, and so on—that have
been used to describe them, see Kuznar, “Introduction to Andean Religious
Ethnoarchaeology,” 41–42.
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