his book offers a reinterpretation of the twenty-year tran-
that bridged the moment of contact between Span-
ish conquistadors and Andean peoples, and the moment when
a colonial regime with working relations of subordination was
recognizable. The time span is approximately 1531 to 1550; the
main geographical setting is the highlands of South America un-
der Inca control, a 4,000 km (2,486 mi) mountainous landscape
that extends from present-day Ecuador to the north of Argen­
tina and Chile, and in particular the city of Cuzco—navel and
capital of the Inca empire—and its surroundings. The book’s
overall contention is that a pervasive colonial imprint still per-
meates accounts of what happened almost 500 years ago, and
its goal is to provide an alternative historical narrative that at
once examines the imprint and shifts away from it. The aim is to
present, then, not an anticolonial narrative, since what is “anti”
is constrained by (and inadvertently echoes) the conceptual
frames of that which it opposes, but a decolonial one.
The conquest of the Inca empire has long captured the inter-
est of scholars and laymen. A rich literature offering detailed,
vivid accounts of the numerous encounters and battles that took
place during those years is as ubiquitous in academic libraries as
in the kiosks that surround Cuzco’s main plaza, an ineludible
Situated Interventions  Colonial Imprints, Decolonial Moves
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