. . . . . .
introduction: revisiting indigenismo
1. In the following text, the reader will notice that Cuzco is spelled in di√erent ways.
This is due to a great extent to the fact that the name was originally Quechua and
there was no written language there prior to the Spanish colonization of Peru. In
Quechua, the name has a guttural sound that is represented (depending on
which system is adopted) with either a q or a double c, that is, Qosqo or Ccoscco.
The Spaniards decided to use the name Cuzco, which is how it appears in the
dictionaries of the Real Academia de la Lengua Española. Many of the contempo-
rary inhabitants of Cuzco spell the name with an s, as Cusco, and I used this
spelling in previous publications in English. The name also appears spelled with
a k in some of the documents and texts I cite, so the reader will likewise find the
form Kosko.
2. The volume edited by Gisela Cánepa Koch (2001) is a major e√ort in the reas-
sessment currently under way within Peru’s social sciences of the field com-
monly known as folclor or ‘‘traditional culture.’’ In the introduction, Cánepa
Koch provides a theoretical elaboration of the significance of the ‘‘performative
3. For instance, Michael Herzfeld (1986) clearly illustrates how the work done by
folklorists in the case of Greece proved crucial to the development of a Greek
national identity, as it established the necessary connections between an idealized
past and what began to be considered the continuity of this cultural heritage
among members of the present-day peasant majority. As we shall see, although
this type of e√ort is similar to those undertaken in the early twentieth century by
some of Cuzco’s indigenista intellectuals, this attitude cannot be extended to all
who promoted folkloric practices.
4. I admit that I, too, made this mistaken assessment in previous studies (Men-
doza 1998, 2000, 2001) and did not fully appreciate the complex nature of this
5. The term captación refers to a particular piece of music or dance choreography, a
combination of dance choreography and music, or a combination of dance
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