is never acknowledged or promoted in the way that Inti Raymi's re-
lationship to Corpus Christi is, however. The modern Inti Raymi, in
fact, depends on that association as a "survival." Foreigners, who claim
(with a certain amount of superiority) to recognize it as merely an in-
vented tradition, though, fail to realize that few Peruvians are "fooled"
by the Inti Raymi show. Inti Raymi does not claim - except in the most
hyperbolic advertising-to be "authentically Inka." The word "evoca-
tion" in the festival's "Majestuosa evocacion del Inti Raymi" carefully
signals this. The modern Inti Raymi is a scripted, organized tribute to
an irretrievable past.
is precisely because of the irretrievability that it
strikes nationals and foreigners differently. North Americans absurdly
think of "their Indians" (natives of North America) as vanished; they
look to Peru's campesinos (those who look and act the least Europeanized)
for the "Indian experience." For Peruvians, "Indians" are all around, if
not in their own genes, but debased; their noble soul has been obfus-
cated by centuries of oppression. Inti Raymi allows the mestizo nation to
discover the noble savage in themselves, the festive alter ego by which
their daily, modern selves are defined. Although interpreted by foreign
tourists as being a show for them, Inti Raymi has always appealed much
more to regional and national tourism than to international tourism.
The Transient Triumph
Thomas Abercrombie
offers many useful observations in his
consideration of Indianness and the performative culture of Carnival
in Oruro (Bolivia). Both Inti Raymi in Cuzco and Carnival in Oruro
celebrate indigenous culture and co-opt the Andean past on behalf of
nationalist projects. Both festivals attract thousands of tourists, and in
both cases those tourists are primarily national and urban. Abercrom-
(1990, II6)
notes that although thousands of Bolivians adopt native
dress and dance indigenous dances for Carnival, "nary an Indian" actu-
ally participates; he defines "Indian" as those who do not (or cannot)
take off their identification with the costume at the end of the festival.
"Indians," no matter what the genetic composition, are thus "perma-
nent and self-professed."
The performed "Indian" is an urban construction that depends on
the notion that the Indian resides in the past and thus has no (and
is denied any) agency in the present (Abercrombie
1990, III).
Inka Triumphant
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