. . . . . .
Although all research and every text transform us in unique ways, I feel that
the stories and feelings I have tried to show in this book, as well as the
process of giving it its final shape, have deeply touched me. The task of
acknowledging those who accompanied me along the way is therefore very
di≈cult indeed, not just because it always proves challenging to name all the
individuals who have somehow participated in a given project but also
because the latter is closely connected with previous projects. I therefore
apologize beforehand because in some cases I refer to groups or institutions
in the hope that all the individuals they encompass will feel acknowledged.
Bernard Cohn, my teacher during my graduate studies at the University
of Chicago, drew my attention to the importance of studying the institu-
tional aspects of the promotion of folklore. Thanks to his suggestion I
entered this world in a previous research project, and it gradually became a
project in itself. The teachings and writings of Cohn played a central role in
my interdisciplinary adventure and helped me ease the fears and frustrations
that sometimes beset anthropologists when they enter the domains of his-
tory. His invaluable advice that I should explore and interrogate di√erent
forms of knowledge of social reality changed me as a researcher. It is for this
and much more that I dedicate the book in part to his memory.
The book is likewise dedicated to the memory of Miguel H., Milla M.,
and Delia Vidal de Milla, whose warmth, help, and enthusiasm clearly
marked the book and made it possible. The long conversations we had in
their home in Cuzco, the documents and contacts they facilitated, and above
all the passion and emotion they transmitted to me enriched my knowledge
of the world of art and folklore in the city of Cuzco. This city will never be
the same without their warm presence. I deeply regret that this book was
published after they passed away, but I am sure they know, wherever they
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